Blessed Virgin Mary Church

      1101 Main Street                                                                                          Rectory   610-583-2128
      Darby, Pa   19023-1407                                                                                     Fax          610-583-9829


  • Taking Chances2:24










     a week


December 1, 2019

(There  was no letter from Msgr. Corley this week...a Weekly Inspiration from the publisher of our parish bulletin has been used in the absence of one of Monsignor's letters.)

Weekly Inspiration

Stay awake!

     With so many things competing for 0ur attention and so many details to attend to, it is very easy to fall into a slumber. We can find ourselves simply going through the motions of life and losing a sense of purpose and direction.  Busy with many things, we lose touch with the things of God, especially the gentle stirrings of His presence. 

     Advent calls us to the challenge of living a wakeful life.  Awake from the sleep that life's demands can put on us, and allow God's word to transform our hearts.  Being ready for the coming of the Lord is life's priority for the Christian. 

               Let us walk in the light of the Lord!

                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

SOME QUALITIES OF THE GOOD LIFE
            THAT WE SHOULD BE THANKFUL FOR

         ...inspired by Msgr. Corley 

Relationships that are mutually beneficial and refreshing:

· A conscience at peace.

· Being respected for your honesty, integrity,
           authenticity and compassion.

· A strong spiritual center.

· A decent job, ability to pay bills.

· Being more grateful rather than holding resentment.

· Children, parents, siblings, and friends all enjoy being with you.

· Dancing! Eating! And spicy soups!

· Having an open mind, heart and soul.

. More generosity than selfishness.

. Respect for the sacredness and dignity of life.

· Freshly baked whole wheat bread with crunchy peanut butter.

· Having good neighbors.

· German Beer and Cabernet Savignon Wine.

· Seeing a good movie and relaxing.

· Listening to music that inspires.

· Being able to laugh with people.

· Willingness to make sacrifices.”


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



INSPIRATION BY MSGR. CORLEY

       First of all, God’s spirit and grace captures the mind and heart of human authors. We believe that God inspires human beings to “see and understand” the events of life and interpret them according to God’s will. Remember that the human author is not like a robot or a tape-recorder. The person is blessed by God, knows his or her understanding is not of human origin and presents the “vision” to the community as “the Word of the Lord.”

       Second, the community of believers, in time, accepts the “Word” as an authentic revelation of God's will, and as a testimony of their faith. God’s spirit is working through the community as it declares the message “canonical” - or a “true measure of its faith in God.” Keep in mind there would be no Bible, no knowledge of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, without the community of believers agreeing about the “truth” of the story or teaching.

       When Catholics talk about the “truth of the Bible” there are two things to keep in mind: 

       First, when Catholics study the Bible, we look for the “message”       
       of God in each story.
This implies that every story may not be
       “literally” true, or historically accurate.

       Second, unlike some other Churches who seem to encourage
       an individualistic approach to the Bible, Catholics rely on
       “Scripture Scholars" and the teaching authority of the
       Church (Pope & Bishop) to settle any questions about a “message”

       or story in the scriptures that may lead to confusion.

So we believe that God in every story continues to “inspire” the Church through people (scholars and magisterium) to interpret God 's Word. This does not mean we should not read the Bible on our own, but it does imply our faith in “the Spirit who guides us in the truth,” and helps us to understand the Word through the help of human beings who have the “gifts” and ministry to serve the Church community.

       Finally, the Word of God stirs within us whenever our minds and hearts search for meaning and purpose in life. The Word of God is in us when we struggle to do the right thing, or when our conscience reminds us we are not doing what God wants. Sometimes the Word of God speaks to us in our dreams (remember St. Joseph- “the dreamer?”) At other times , after reading a Bible story tens of times, its meaning finally sinks into our hearts and responds to the circumstances of life.

       Then, finally, the Word of God rings “true” and with gratitude in our hearts, we experience salvation and redemptive grace.

       “Lord Jesus Christ be present now, and let your Holy Spirit bow all hearts in love and truth today, to hear your Word and keep your way.”


November 10, 2019

INSPIRATION BY MSGR. CORLEY
                                      HEALING THE WOUNDS OF CHRIST –


       “Let me begin by acknowledging that faith tells me the spark of divinity is in every soul, since every wounded human being is created in the image of God and worthy of respect. If you accept the words of Jesus who said when we help the needy or wounded, we are helping to heal him.

       Who are the wounded who reveal the pierced heart, hands and feet of Christ?

     1. Whenever we reach out to the sick, we heal the wounds of Jesus.

     2. Whenever we show compassion to the poor, welcome the stranger,      provide clothes or housing to the stranger, we heal the wounds of Christ.

     3. Whenever we sit beside a lonely person or listen to the cries of a person who is suffering, we heal the wounds of Christ.
     4. Whenever we forgive, or whenever we refuse to throw a stone, we heal the wounds of Jesus. When we help people, who have been wounded by life, we help to heal the wounds of Christ who continues to live in them.       
      
Our world needs more people who heal.”


 

October 27, 2019


INSPIRATION BY MSGR. CORLEY

“Mother Mary and the Sacredness of Human Life -

                ‘Catholics pray what they believe.’

       This liturgical principle means the official prayers for Mass express the faith of all Roman Catholics. Allow me to share a brief meditation on one of the prayers we use at Mass to honor Mary:

        PART ONE:  “Father, the birth of Christ, your Son, deepened the Virgin Mary’s love for you...”  The birth of Jesus brings gratitude and joy to the heart of Mary, which inspires deeper trust in the goodness of God and creates in her an even deeper willingness to serve the Lord. The birth of Jesus leads Mary to affirm the sacredness of human life and the mystery of God’s divine presence, providence and promise.

“All human life is sacred!”

         PART TWO: “The birth of Jesus increased her (Mary’s) holiness.”  To be holy is to become like the God we worship. We worship God through and in Jesus because we believe he is the true revelation of God the Creator and Sustainer of life. The humanity of Jesus gives us freedom and courage in our weakness. For Christians to be holy is to imitate the humanity of Christ.  In a way, Mary’s “holiness increased at the birth of Jesus” implies she become “more fully human” - that is more free, responsible, loving, realistic and spiritually awake.

       May our faith in Jesus help us deepen our trust in God, our willingness to serve the Lord, and motivate us to become holy, more “fully human beings”.

                             -Rev. Joseph M. Corley

October 20, 2019



                   PROTECT THE GIFTS OF THE EARTH - 9/18/16              

       “Our beloved Pope Francis published an encyclical titled ‘Praised Be To You’ about the care and protection of God’s gifts of life and the earth. He reminds us the earth is our home. He calls us to be good stewards of the earth by not polluting our air, waters and land, because when we do so we also pollute ourselves.

       The Pope reminds us that God wants us to live in harmony with creation and to share the gifts of the earth, because they are meant for all. He calls us to a Spiritual Conversion that includes a reverence for all creation (this reminds me of the respect our Native Americans Indians had and have for the earth). Since God reveals his presence in creation, as he does in the faces of the needy, he suggested we make ‘respect for the environment’ a work of mercy.

       I’m no expert on ‘climate change’ or the ecological balance between living creatures and their environment, but I do think the Pope is right to urge us to pay more attention to how we ‘use’ the gifts of the earth. He is right to encourage us not to waste or poison what God has given us.

       So, what can we do? We can teach our children, by example, not to waste water, electricity or food. We could cut down on the use of plastics, and pay more attention to things that hurt our environment and us. He believes that life and all creation reflect the goodness and presence of God, and both are considered sacred. He wants us to praise God by cherishing the gifts he has given to us. -Msgr. Corley.”

October 13, 2019

REFLECTION BY MSGR. CORLEY

                                                            “THE KISS   -

       The other day I was sitting in the doctor’s office for my usual 30,000 mile checkup for my heart. On the other side of the room sat a young mom, dad and a three year old girl. The parents sat opposite from each other. Their child ran back and forth to each one. When she ran to her dad he would say, ‘give Daddy a kiss,’ and the little girl would laugh and run back to her mother’s arms. This scene was repeated at least four times before the little one fell. Then the father jumped up, picked her up in his arms, and he kissed her. The mom clapped.

       As we deepen and renew our respect for Family Life and the Sacrament of Marriage,be sure to give a kind word and hug to the people in your family everyday.

                                      -Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

                 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

October 6, 2019


 REFLECTION BY MSGR. CORLEY - OCTOBER, 2017“

Mother Mary and the Sacredness of Human Life

                - Catholics pray what they believe.

       This liturgical principle means the official prayers for Mass express the faith of all Roman Catholics. Here is a brief meditation on one of the prayers we use at Mass to honor Mary:

     Part one: ‘Father, the birth of Christ, your Son, deepened the Virgin Mary’s love for you...’

       The birth of Jesus brings gratitude and joy to the heart of Mary, which inspires deeper trust in the goodness of God and creates in her an even deeper willingness to serve the Lord. The birth of Jesus leads Mary to affirm the sacredness of human life and the mystery of God’s divine presence, providence and promise. ‘All human life is sacred!’

       Part Two: ‘The birth of Jesus increased her (Mary’s) holiness.’

       To be holy is to become like the God we worship. We worship God through and in Jesus, because we believe he is the true revelation of God the Creator and Sustainer of life. The humanity of Jesus gives us freedom and courage in our weakness. For Christians to be holy is to imitate the humanity of Christ. In a way, Mary’s holiness increased at the birth of Jesus implies she becomes ‘more fully human’ - that is more free, responsible, loving, realistic and spiritually awake.

       May our faith in Jesus help us deepen our trust in God, our willingness to serve the Lord, and motivate us to become holy, more ‘fully human beings’.”

                      -Msgr. Corley

                        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

September 29, 2019


 REFLECTION BY MSGR. CORLEY -
THREE SAINTS AND REFORMERS”

(Saint Therese Lisieux - Oct. 1st;

       Saint Francis of Assisi - Oct. 4th;

              Saint Teresa of Avila - Oct. 15th)

       “This month our tradition offers us the example and inspiration of three reformers and outstanding people: St. Therese, St. Francis and St. Teresa.

       In this reflection, I will share why these two women and one man, deserve our attention.

       SAINT THERESE OF LISIEUX (“Little Flower”.

After years of internal spiritual struggle and poor health, she discovered and reminded the Church that the only thing that really matters is we grow in love for God, self, and others. Her clear and freeing spiritual insight, “LOVE IS MY VOCATION,” reminds us that money, role, status or meaningless rituals are not the foundation for our soul’s peace. She restored the Church’s focus on the bible as a source of grace, wisdom and courage.

     SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI. 

St. Francis sacrificed wealth for a deeper faith built on the virtues of poverty, humility and obedience. While praying, St. Francis sensed God calling him, “Francis, go rebuild my house which is falling down.” Francis, a reformer, reminded the Church to care for the poor, respect the gifts of the earth, avoid corruption and work for peace. He is respected by people throughout the world. SAINT TERESA OF AVILA.

St. Teresa reformed the Church and Carmelite Convent in Avila by rejecting mediocrity in our vocations and relationships with God and others. Teresa (sometimes called big “T”) stressed internal conversion that took a lifetime. Her “classical way” to spiritual growth included three stages: Purification, Illumination and Union. Based on her own experience and God’s grace, St. Teresa thought spiritual mature persons continue to have temptations in life, but as one grew older she learned to choose virtue rather than evil. Thank God for those three great Saints and Reformers.”

      - Msgr. Corley’s Bulletin Reflection from October, 2018.

September 22, 2019

REFLECTI MSGR. CORLEY - NOVEMBER, 2015
                            LOVE AND MERCY

       “Family Life requires unselfish Love and the gift of Mercy.

What is best for your spouse, children, siblings or parents.
        St. Paul explains the qualities of unselfish Love in 1 Cor 13:1-13.
By Mercy, we talk about the willingness to pardon, to give a
person another chance, to start over.
People who study the New
Testament say Love and Mercy are the foundations of the
Gospels. 
They say the ‘Good News’ is revealed in the teaching
and actions of Jesus
about God’s love and forgiveness offered to
the world.
       Take a few minutes to remember the times when you were loved
and forgiven,
or the times you needed Love and Mercy, but it was
not given to you. Then remember, Jesus is about God’s offer of
Love and Mercy to all
who open their hearts to the ‘Good News’.
       Finally, St. John of the Cross tells us that at death, when we face
Jesus, he will ask just one question: ‘Did you love anyone?’”

       Keep God in the Family -
Pray with your children
before meals and bedtime.

September 15, 2019

REFLECTION BY MSGR. CORLEY - OCTOBER, 2016

                             “JUST FOR TODAY...”-

                                     Title by Sybyl F. Partridge. 

“Her ideas have been used in the step programs and by Mother Teresa.”·

I will listen without judging.  · I will offer words of understanding, hope, mercy, and encouragement.  · I will not cooperate with hate, gossip, racism or be dominated by fear.  · I will reject anything that dehumanizes and desensitizes human beings.  · I will look for the spark of God’s Grace in others and my daily experiences.  · I will not care what others think or say about me.  · I will keep my focus on what Christ would say or think about me.  · I would practice self-control and pay more attention to what I eat.  · I will let the joy, hope, and freedom of the Lord’s Resurrection determine my attitude, and influence my relationships. · I will be transparent.  · I will keep the Ten Commandments, the beatitudes and admit my faults.  · I will show respect for the God given-dignity in the sick, imprisoned, strangers, and all those in need.  · I will follow the way of poverty, chastity, and obedience. 

Msgr. Corley, bulletin reflection – February, 2016 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
September 8, 2019

REFLECTION BY MSGR. CORLEY - OCTOBER, 2016

       “When we anticipate the future, our imagination can produce images that are bright or dark, happy or sad, pleasant or unpleasant, comfortable or full of anxiety, despair and insecurity.  Pope Francis urges us to look to life and tomorrow with hope.  Some people believe that hope is a basic, unconscious instinct that motivates all our actions: getting up in the morning, eating, going to work, saving money, anticipating the weekend with friends or family, buying a car or lottery tickets, planting flowers or having confidence in our own abilities to meet the challenges of life. Other people get hope confused with optimism.  An optimist sees something positive in every situation, can’t acknowledge the ‘darkness’ of life or admit ‘the glass is really half empty.’ The Pope wants us to nurture the kind of hope given to us in Baptism and strengthened through prayer and the Sacraments.  This hope is a God-given virtue and grace. It is based on faith in God’s promises and goodness revealed through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, who gives us a share in his divine life and vision for the future. Christian hope is like a candle burning in the darkness. Christian hope reminds us there is a ‘higher power’ that transcends human nature and governments.

       Christian hope allows us to be resilient despite depression, loss, sickness, unfulfilled dreams, broken promises, failure and even death. We believe our ultimate destiny is to meet God face to face - to experience judgment about our lives and spend the rest of eternity with or away from the glory of God.

       Our faith urges us to trust in God’s love and mercy, to accept responsibility for our lives, to cooperate with God’s grace, and to make the world a better place. A Christian man or woman knows life can be difficult, unfair and disappointing, however, he/she is also confident that in God’s divine providence ‘all will be well.  Our minds cannot predict the future, and our mental pictures of heaven - the Kingdom of God - are inadequate, but Jesus tells us the Kingdom of God is like a wedding banquet. Since most of us love to be with friends and family, to eat, dance and have ‘a good time, I choose to follow the lead of Jesus, who trusted in the Father’s love, lived the ‘Good News’ of a future based on faith, hope and love. Pray for hope.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

September 1, 2019

Remembering Mother Teresa of Calcutta for Msgr. Corley (one of his favorite Saints) SAINT MOTHER TERESA OF CALCUTTA (CANONIZATION: SEPTEMBER 4, 2016) “Saints are people who take the sacred scriptures to heart. Mother Teresa made the words of Jesus, ‘Feed the Hungry, (MT. 25)’ the foundation of her mission, calling and purpose in life.”  Below are a few reasons why St. Teresa of Calcutta inspired Msgr. Corley: “First, she saw the face of Christ in the face of the poor and rich. Second, she believed the “poorest” nations were the ones who were dehumanized by losing their respect for the dignity of all human life. Third, she thought the greatest sin or sadness was that people felt abandoned and uncared for. Fourth, she didn’t want a government’s program to help her. She depended on the love of God revealed through normal human compassion and charity. Fifth, she experienced a ‘Dark Night of the Soul’ for almost 50 years. By ‘Dark Night of the Soul’, I mean she lost the ‘feeling of assurance of God’s grace’ but continued to do God’s will. Mother Teresa was a little woman with a big heart full of Love, Mercy, Faith and Hope. We have a lot to learn from her. May she rest in peace and enjoy the presence of God for ever.” -JMC, 2016
August 25, 2019
BULLETIN REFLECTION BY MSGR. CORLEY

“Let us renew our respect, wonder, and thanks for the sacred word of God in the bible.

       God reveals Himself and His plan through the wonders of nature, the scriptures, and the events of our lives. God’s divine Word comes to us in the inspired scriptures.       

       How does God inspire the stories and teachings found in the Scriptures?

First, God's spirit and grace captures the mind and heart of human authors. We believe that God inspires human beings to “see and understand” the events of life and interpret them according to God's will. Remember that the human author is not like a robot or a tape-recorder. The person is blessed by God, knows his or her understanding is not of human origin, and presents the "vision" to the community as “The Word of the Lord.”

         Second, the community of believers, in time, accepts the “Word” as an authentic revelation of God's will, and as a testimony of their faith.  Now God's spirit is working through the community as it declares the message “canonical” -- or a “true measure of its faith in God.” Keep in mind there would be no Bible, no knowledge of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, without the community of believers agreeing about the “truth” of the story or teaching.

       When Catholics talk about the “truth of the Bible,”there are two things to keep in mind: 

       First, when Catholics study the Bible, we look for the "message" of God in each story. This implies that not every story may be "literally" true, or historically accurate.

        Second, unlike some Protestant Churches who seem to encourage an individualistic approach to the bible, Catholics rely on "Scripture Scholars" and the teaching authority of the Church (Pope and Bishop) to settle any questions about a “message” or story in the Scriptures that may lend to confusion.

       Therefore, we believe the Lord continues to "inspire" the Church through people (scholars and magisterium) to interpret God's word. This does not mean we should not read the Bible on our own, but it does imply our faith in “the Spirit who guides us in the truth,” and helps us to understand The Word through the help of human beings who have the “gifts” and ministry to serve the Church community.

       Finally, the Word of God stirs within us whenever our minds and hearts search for meaning and purpose in life. The Word of God is in us when we struggle to do the right thing, or when our conscience reminds us we are not doing what God wants. Sometimes the Word of God speaks to us in our dreams (remember St. Joseph –“the dreamer?”) At other times, after hearing a Bible story tens of times, its meaning finally sinks into our hearts and responds to the circumstances of our life. Then, finally, the word of God rings “true” and with gratitude in our hearts, we experience salvation and redemptive grace.

       “Lord Jesus Christ be present now, and let your Holy Spirit bow all hearts in love and truth today, to hear your Word and keep your way.

       ”God bless you.” --bulletin reflection, August ‘99.

         ​~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

August 25, 2019

BULLETIN REFLECTION BY MSGR. CORLEY  “Let us renew our respect, wonder, and thanks for the sacred word of God in the bible. God reveals Himself and His plan through the wonders of nature, the scriptures, and the events of our lives. God’s divine Word comes to us in the inspired scriptures. How does God inspire the stories and teachings found in the Scriptures? First, God's spirit and grace captures the mind and heart of human authors. We believe that God inspires human beings to “see and understand” the events of life and interpret them according to God's will. Remember that the human author is not like a robot or a tape-recorder. The person is blessed by God, knows his or her understanding is not of human origin, and presents the "vision" to the community as “The Word of the Lord.” Second, the community of believers, in time, accepts the “Word” as an authentic revelation of God's will, and as a testimony of their faith. Now God's spirit is working through the community as it declares the message “canonical” - or a “true measure of its faith in God.” Keep in mind there would be no Bible, no knowledge of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, without the community of believers agreeing about the “truth” of the story or teaching. When Catholics talk about the “truth of the Bible,” there are two things to keep in mind: First, when Catholics study the Bible, we look for the "message" of God in each story. This implies that not every story may be "literally" true, or historically accurate. Second, unlike some Protestant Churches who seem to encourage an individualistic approach to the bible, Catholics rely on "Scripture Scholars" and the teaching authority of the Church (Pope and Bishop) to settle any questions about a “message” or story in the Scriptures that may lend to confusion. Therefore, we believe the Lord continues to "inspire" the Church through people (scholars and magisterium) to interpret God's word. This does not mean we should not read the Bible on our own, but it does imply our faith in “the Spirit who guides us in the truth,” and helps us to understand The Word through the help of human beings who have the “gifts” and ministry to serve the Church community. Finally, the Word of God stirs within us whenever our minds and hearts search for meaning and purpose in life. The Word of God is in us when we struggle to do the right thing, or when our conscience reminds us we are not doing what God wants. Sometimes the Word of God speaks to us in our dreams (remember St. Joseph – “the dreamer?”) At other times, after hearing a Bible story tens of times, its meaning finally sinks into our hearts and responds to the circumstances of our life. Then, finally, the word of God rings “true” and with gratitude in our hearts, we experience salvation and redemptive grace. “Lord Jesus Christ be present now, and let your Holy Spirit bow all hearts in love and truth today, to hear your Word and keep your way.”  God bless you.”  -bulletin reflection, August ‘99.  
 
REMEMBER... I LOVE YOU...these three little words are actually among the biggest words in the universe. We can never hear them enough. How can we be angry, hurt, depressed down in the dumps or ambivalent towards someone who says “I Love You” every single day, many times a day? Tell your kids everyday, in as many ways as you can, I love you, I love you, I love you.  August 18, 2019

BULLETIN REFLECTION FROM MSGR. CORLEY

                 ACCEPT THE UNACCEPTABLE...

“The first part of the Serenity Prayer is ‘God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change...’ The key word in the prayer (after God) isaccept.

Experience has taught me a major step in personal development and spiritual growth is linked to learning how to recognize the things we cannot change in life.

Below you will find a list of truths you may need to accept in order t0 find peace:

· Accept the fact that you are not God; you are a creature of God. · Accept your foolish mistakes of the past and move forward. Do not brood over the past.

· Accept your limits and imperfections in the light of God's mercy and grace - do the same for others.

· Accept the limits and mistakes of your parents, children, brothers, and sisters.

· Accept the fact that your present situation may not be what you wanted or expected and surrender to the mystery of God's comforting, powerful presence in your life.

· Accept it as a blessing when you finally realize that it is time to stop blaming others for your present unhappiness or failures, and it is time for you to begin the gradual hard work of taking responsibility for your own happiness.

· Accept the reality that there are very few "quick fixes" to correct difficulties. We need fortitude.

· Accept the fact that growing up means you cannot always have it your way. Learn to be unselfish.

· Accept the fact that if you constantly think of yourself as a failure and a victim, you will probably always act and sound like a failure and a victim. Your identity is found in Christ.

· Accept yourself and life when you discover some of your dream, views, ideas, and expectations were probably unrealistic.

Accept the real world.

· Accept, in faith that God was with you yesterday, will be with you tomorrow, and is with you today. You are not in control. God is.

· Accept the goodness of God's mercy, spirit, compassion, and grace revealed in His Son, Jesus Christ.

As the Serenity Prayer says: real wisdom is learning, through God’s grace, we must accept the things we cannot change.”-bulletin reflection, January 2003.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

August 11, 2019

BULLETIN REFLECTION FROM MSGR. CORLEY

      “NOT GOD” - THE FOOLISHNESS OF PRIDE

                                    AND THE WISDOM OF HUMILITY.

       Ernest Kurtz wrote “Not God”, a book about the history of AA.  Kurtz points out that we are tempted to think we are like God and protected from the consequences of bad behavior.  Pride, of course , leads us to believe we are exceptional, and rationalization allows us to deny or ignore the pain our actions cause.  An exaggerated view of ourselves allows us to think we are above the rules, and can avoid responsibility for developing harmful habits. Here are a few examples:

       1. I’m smart...I can do what I want, go on binges, and make negative comments about people.

       2. I’m so exceptional...I can drive under the influence and have affairs outside of marriage without consequence.

       3. I’m special...I can lie to my boss, gossip, manipulate and disrespect people without feeling any guilt.

       4. I have more skills and do more than most people...I can cheat on my taxes and not put in a full days work for a full days pay.

       5. I’m so superior...I can watch porn without any negative effects. I can gamble half my pay away while not living up to my family obligations.

       6. I’m so religious...I should be shown respect and given exceptional privileges.

       7. I am rich & powerful...I can consume and waste whatever I want.

       8. I don’t need AA meetings...I can do it by myself.

       9. I can smoke and will not get cancer.

The opposite of pride is the virtue of humility. Humility is the wisdom that reminds us we are not God and we have our weaknesses.        

       Avoid the foolishness of pride, and pray for the wisdom of humility.

                -Msgr. Joseph M. Corley, August 9, 2015

August 4, 2019

BULLETIN REFLECTION FROM MSGR. CORLEY
                           ON AUGUST 7, 2016
                      

"Martha, Martha You Are Anxious About Many Things (LK 10:38-42).”

       Anxiety (unreasonable fear of something in the future) is one of the major reasons people visit a counselor or psychologist.

       All of us experience some anxiety related to work, health, relationships, stress and making decisions.  Some of us have more anxiety then others.  And, some forms of anxiety can really diminish our interest in life.  In some cases, anxiety can lead to depression and substance abuse.  So, what can you do on your own to reduce anxiety? 

     1. Accept anxiety as normal:
             Don’t allow yourself to become anxious about being anxious. 

     2. Learn and practice preventive actions:       
             get enough sleep, eat healthy, get exercise, reduce caffeine and alcohol, take                deep breaths. 

     3. Meditate on positive life images:

            Picture yourself dealing with stress. Give yourself positive thoughts like,
           “I can do this or, I have  self-confidence and self-esteem.”
            Picture yourself dealing with anxiety in a positive way.

     4. Have faith, meditate on these words of Jesus:
           “Fear is useless; Love overcomes fear; Don’t worry about tomorrow;  The Lord             who takes care of the sparrow, will take care of you; Come to me all you who               are weary, and I will refresh you; Do not let your hearts be troubled – have                   faith in God and in me; Nothing can separate us from the Love of God.”

                  God does not want us to live with a lot of anxiety.

July 28, 2019

                               BULLETIN REFLECTION FROM
                                 MSGR. CORLEY ON AUGUST 2, 2015

“BAD SHEPHERD, GOOD SHEPHERD.”
       “Mark 6:30-34 presents Jesus as a Good Shepherdwho
has compassion on his people. The story got me thinking about
how a
Bad Shepherd is presented in Mt. 23...Bad Shepherds are
hypocrites.
They fail to practice what they preach. Bad
Shepherds
do harm to people interested in religion and faith.
Bad Shepherds want to be noticed and given signs of respect in
public.
They care more about themselves then the people. They
reject the authentic faith in average people.
Bad Shepherds
think since they “know” about ritual and theology they are
“more righteous” then less educated people.
Bad Shepherds
care about “”externals” and appearances rather then faith,
mercy and justice.

       On the other hand,
a Good Shepherd cares about and
sacrifices himself for his people (children and family)
. A Good
Shepherd
guards and protects his people from harm. A Good
Shepherd
is approachable, honest, compassionate and forgiving.
A Good Shepherd brings hope and encouragement to his people.
A Good Shepherd cares more about Christ then Legalism and
more about love then harsh judgments. In short,
a Good
Shepherd imitates the ministry of Jesus- “The Good Shepherd.”

May the Lord send us Good Shepherds!”

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July 21, 2019

BULLETIN REFLECTION FROM MSGR.  CORLEY ON 4/30/2017
“YOUR THOUGHTS ARE NOT MY THOUGHTS SAYS THE LORD
                   (IS 55:8-9).”

       It is good for our humility to remember we are not “God”.  Now and
then we need to be reminded God’s thoughts, values and actions do
not always go along with the dominate values and thoughts of our
world.
·      The source of all goodness, life, and hope became a human
          being - born as a homeless child, to poor parents.
·      We are told not to return evil for evil.
·      God rejoices more over one repentant sinner than a hundred
          righteous people.
·      God does not judge by appearances but by what is in the heart.
·      The Love of God is revealed in the horrible crucifixion of an
          innocent man.
·      God offers grace to the good and evil, to the just and unjust.
·      A person without religion can have more faith and love than a
         very “religious” person.
·      We share in the very Spirit of God.
·      Death is not the end. It is a change.
·      God works through imperfect people.
     God’s thoughts about compassion, faith, sin, mercy, success, hope
       and righteousness are not always like ours.


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June 30, 2019

OUR DECLARATION OFDEPENDENCE

       The Gospel of Matthew (5:1-12) is part of the internationally known and respected “Sermon on the Mount”.

       Let’s focus our attention on the first beatitude, “Blessed are the Poor in Spirit, for Theirs is the Kingdom of God.”        

       First, keep in mind the word “Blessed” can be interpreted as “Happy.”

       Second,when Jesus refers to the “Poor in Spirit”, he is talking about anyone, rich or poor, who is aware of his/her dependence upon God.           
       Third,
“for Theirs is the Kingdom of God” means those who acknowledge their dependence upon God, and do God’s will, have already allowed God to rule their hearts. They give glory to God who is in them. How does the Beatitude apply to us?

       Matthew wrote the Beatitudes to inspire disciples like us. The Evangelist wanted to turn the readers attention to the most fundamental virtue of discipleship–humility (another word for being poor in spirit).       The Sermon on the Mount assures the humble of God’s presence and favor in their struggles. We live in a culture that admires independence and individualism. The Gospels, however, praise spiritual dependence and community life.

       The Beatitudes are a modern day Christian’s
             “Declaration of Dependence”
upon God.

       Pray for the virtue of humility, and be “happy” knowing that, like Jesus, you are poor in spirit.

Happy Fourth of July weekend!

        God Bless you.

              God Bless America.

Respectfully,

Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

June 23, 2019

BREAD OF PRESENCE, TRANSITION AND TRANSCENDENCE

       Most Catholics know we believe Christ is truly, really, spiritually and substantially present when we receive the Eucharist. Most Catholics appreciate the spiritual benefits associated with adoration and benediction of the “Most Blessed Sacrament.  Most Catholics respect the unity in faith the Eucharist signifies. Most Catholics have been taught that “going to communion” should express an inner attitude of acceptance and conformity to the teachings, sacrifice and celebration of Christ’s life, death and resurrection. Most Catholics know the experience of grace and new life connected with actively participating in Mass. But, most Catholics may not appreciate the Eucharist as the Bread of Transition and the Bread of Transcendence. The Eucharist can be referred to as “the Bread of Transition” .

because it helps us remember and feel the stabilizing presence of God as we go through the many changes and challenges of life.

       As we grow older, God is present through ups and downs, joy and sorrow,  success and failure, sickness and health. The Eucharist means God is always with us. The Eucharist can be called the “Bread of Transcendence”because it is our communion with the transcendent, awesome, mysterious, fascinating and wonderful presence of Almighty God.

       As we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, may we deepen our respect, reverence and hunger for this precious gift.

God Bless You.

Respectfully,

Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

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June 16, 2019

THE GRACE OF GOD HAS ALWAYS AND WILL ALWAYS BE WITH US

      Today is Holy Trinity Sunday. The image of the Trinity offers us four things to contemplate:         First, if you reduce all the biblical names for God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, you get a sense that our faith is about God who has always been with us. Calling us to goodness and life.         Second, the Trinity is an image of God that is about relationships and living together. The Trinity reminds us to cherish our relationships and nurture community life. 

       Third, belief in the Trinity means we have faith in one God who out of love creates, redeems and guides us. 

       Fourth, when I think of the Trinity I think of God’s promise to be with us in the future, and his eternal offer of Grace to the good and bad, just and unjust.  May the Holy Spirit help us recognize how the grace of God has always been with us in the past (even in times of loss and sadness), and may our faith in the promises of  God help us to be less fearful and more hopeful about the future. 

                                    Respectfully,  

                                                            Msgr. Joseph M. Corley 

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June 9, 2019

“THE HOLY SPIRIT IS AT WORK WHEN...”

       Since Easter the scriptures have described the workings of the Holy Spirit upon the followers of Jesus. They explain how the Holy Spirit brings us life,  freedom, truth and grace. The Holy Spirit leads us to repentance and renewal.  On this Pentecost Sunday, allow me to give a few examples how the Holy Spirit works in our lives.

       First, the Holy Spirit works through Doctors, Nurses and Scientists as they discover treatments and cures for the sick. The Holy Spirit works through family and friends who support each other in good times and bad, sickness and health, regrets and achievements.        
       Second, the Holy Spirit is at work when a person with an addiction accepts each step of the 12-step program of recovery.        
       Third, the Holy Spirit is at workwhen our thoughts turn from prejudice to respect, war to peace, vengeance to mercy,  fear to courage, injustice to justice, hardness of heart to compassion, selfishness to generosity, despair to hope, anxiety to faith, slavery to freedom, isolation to intimacy, stagnation to renewal, defensiveness to repentance, deception to truth, and  from illusion to reality.
​       Fourth, whenever our thoughts turn to God, the Father or Son, whenever we cry out to God in sorrow, the Holy Spirit is stirring in our hearts. The Holy Spirit is at work as we develop, discover and share our individual talents for the common good of the Church. The Spirit helps us grow in wisdom as we go through difficulties.

       “Come Holy Ghost, creator blest, and in our hearts take up thy rest:
​come with thy grace and heavenly aid to fill the hearts which thou hast made.

                          Respectfully, 

                                  Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

                         ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

OUR HUNGER FOR: “THE WORD OF THE LORD"

       I remember reading that "the scriptures are meant for the sensitive soul."

       What is a "sensitive soul?" A person with a "sensitive  soul" is a person who longs for the Word of God, because money, power, material success or possessions, status and prestige just don't satisfy his/her search for meaning and purpose in life.

      You have been blessed with a "sensitive soul", if you look for a transcendent authority concerning moral behavior. You have a "sensitive soul", if you wonder about the source and destiny of all creation and life. You have a "sensitive soul", if you hunger for the meaning of life, death, suffering and success. You have a "sensitive soul", if you seek a deeper understanding of what it means to "live a good life," or to "love your neighbor." You have a "sensitive soul", if you ponder the mystery of death and eternal life. If you desire to be a better person, to find inner peace, to change a negative attitude, or a bad habit, you have a "sensitive soul.”A person with a "sensitive soul" and faith in the Scriptures knows there ismercybeyond human understanding, hope beyond human potential, faith beyond fear, meaningbeyond doubt, and a loving divine plan that will overcome every setback, road block, sin or failure a person can experience.

       May the Grace of God protect our hearts and souls from becoming insensitive.May we always hunger for and cherish the sacred Word revealed to us by God through inspired human beings, and protected by the Holy Spirit working in the Church.

       "Believewhat you read. Proclaimwhat you believe. Live what  you proclaim.”

       God bless you.

Respectfully,  

Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

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May 26, 2019

“AT OUR 44th ANNIVERSARY, I WON THE PRIZE FOR...”
       My ordination class of 1975 met to celebrate our 44th
anniversary on May 16th. It was a joy to see the guys, have a
good meal, share memories and laugh.
       My brothers looked good. I won the prize for putting
on the most weight
(that hurt).
       Four men, who were classmates in the seminary and
left before ordination, came with their wives.
      
The most interesting part of the night happened while
talking with the wives of my classmates. Each woman told me
she believed her husband would love to be a priest. All felt if
the Church would allow married men to be priests, their
husbands would drop everything and sign up.

       Should I call the Pope?

                             Respectfully,
                                     Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

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May 19, 2019

FROM SCHOLAR TO SAINTLY CAREGIVER 

        I think someday Jean Vanier, who died two weeks ago at age 90, will be a saint.                      

       This is why:  After leading a life of a scholar and teacher, Mr. Vanier turned his attention to being with people, young and old, who lived with disabilities. In 1964, he established a group home (in France) for people with physical, emotional and mental difficulties. The home was called “L’Arche Community”.

       Over the years his respect and love for people with special needs motivated others throughout the world to establish similar living situations. Jean insisted his staff treat the people with love and dignity more than pity. He thought living with people who needed care was a gift that reminded caregivers to be humble, honest and light-hearted.

       He believed, in one way or another, all of us are not able to love or be fully human. He taught his followers “to see Christ in the people they were with.”   In a world where we are tempted to value the lives of the beautiful and protective, Jean Vanier reminded us that every human being is created in the image of God.Every human being has dignity, deserves respect and is to be treated with kindness.

         If that is not being pro-life, I don’t know what is.

       God bless all caregivers!                                                     

          Respectfully,     

Msgr. Joseph M. Corley


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May 5, 2019

“THE GIFT OF LIFE LASTS FOREVER”

       During the Easter Season we ponder two important revelations from God for us. They are the Resurrection of Jesus and the Gift of the Holy Spirit.

       For me,  faith in the resurrection is God’s way of confirming the life, teachings and sacrificial death of Jesus, and God’s refusal to take our greatest gift, life itself, back. God’s gift of life lasts an eternity.Even if we turn from God, the gift is forever. Freedom determines if our gift of life leads us to God or away from God for eternity.       

       So, pay attention to your life and your relationships.Pay attention to the choices you make each day in response to the joys and setbacks of life.

       Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in the truth about Jesus, yourself and others. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you experience the truth that will set you free (God’s Mercy and Grace), and renews you in Mind, Heart, Soul and Body. Pray the Spirit of God will rekindle faith, hope and love within you.  Let the power of the Spirit reduce your fears and deepen your confidence in God’s promise and offer of eternal Life, Love, Grace, Mercy and Hope.

Respectfully,

Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

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April 28, 2019

The God who is the SOURCE of all creation, life and hope 

                           Continues to be with us today                              

  · The God who LISTENED to the cries of his children, and led them from slavery
       to
FREEDOM - continues to be with us today. 

· The God who PROMISED eternal love and grace through Abraham, Noah, Moses   
       and Jesus - continues to be with us today. 

· The God who demanded we HELP the abandoned, the poor, the disabled and the    
       broken - continues to be with us today. 

· The God who was BORN in a manger, told us not to be dominated by FEAR -
       continues to be with us today. 

· The God who OPENED the eyes of the blind and the ears of those who could not
       hear - continues to be with us today. 

· The God who said the TRUTH shall set you free; who REJOICES over the return of
       the lost person - continues to be with us today. 

· The God who joined divine with HUMAN MERCY; the God who RAISED Lazarus
       from the dead - continues to be with us today. 

· The God who rejected BAD RELIGION and EMPTY RITUALS; who welcomed and
       ATE WITH SINNERS - continues to be with us today. 

· The God who was mocked, abandoned, REJECTED, denied, betrayed, falsely
       accused, crucified as a criminal: who DIED ON A CROSS, was buried, was RAISED FROM THE DEAD, and SENT HIS HOLY SPIRIT to purify, renew, unite,
       guide and defend us - continues to be with us today.    

                              Respectfully,    

                                        Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

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April 21, 2019

WHAT DOES RESURRECTION MEAN?  

       A friend once asked me, “What does resurrection mean?”         

 After a few minutes I said:

“It means you stand up again.” 

It means your soul, your full personality exists in a new way.

It means you are in a timeless communion with the source of all goodness.

It means you are in the eternal flow of surprise, wonder, joy and gratitude.

It means you give thanks for the love and life you shared with others because death has lost its sting, and you know in your heart life does not end - it changes like a worm into a butterfly, or a seed into a tree.” 
 
“ THE RESURRECTION MAN IS HERE ” 

The Resurrection Man is here! Hang a sign on the tomb that says “empty.” Open your eyes, smell the flowers, drop your crutches.  Take off your shoes,laugh at your demons and  jump into the river of life!  Anoint your hair with oil.Put on new clothes.  Light a fire, fry some fish, bake some bread, pour lots of wine,  pass the macaroni & cheese, join us at the victory table!  Time to celebrate - the departed have arrived.  Promenade with the universe.  Swing your partner,  stomp, shimmy, merengue, rumba with the Saints. Polka with the poor, jitterbug with the just, samba with sinners and cha-cha with Church ladies.

Get up and dance.

Stand up and joyfully shout  “The Resurrection Man is Here!”   

Respectfully,     

Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

April 14, 2019

LORD BY YOUR CROSS AND RESURRECTION YOU HAVE SET US FREE ”             This week we gather in faith to remember and celebrate the Lord’s entrance into Jerusalem, His Last Supper, His death on the cross and His glorious Resurrection.          The Church encourages us to see these great events in the life of Christ, “the Paschal Mystery”, as a guide, a map or spiritual principles for our own lives.   Our participation in these sacred revelations about God, our lives and relationships is a heartfelt “Amen” to Jesus as the image of God’s mercy and love on earth. So, let me share some images from this Holy Week that express our basic spiritual beliefs about God, humanity and the Church: 
 Palm Sunday:  Jesus is the man with conviction, confidence and courage.  Although he is “troubled”, he will not change his message.

         We are fickle: we accept the Lord one day and reject him the next. We are like a piece of palm blowing in the wind. 
 Holy Thursday:The Archbishop blesses the Holy Oils. We are reminded that faith in Christ heals our troubled hearts. The Holy Spirit guides the Church to be an instrument of healing. 
 
Holy Thursday Evening:  Christ washes the feet of his disciples and calls his closest followers to “do this in remembrance of me”. The Church is called to sacrificial service. 
 Good Friday:The cross becomes the sign of  love  and spiritual power that Christians embrace when turning from darkness to the light.  Judas rejected the Lord, and Peter denied him, but found new life through repentance. 
 Easter Vigil:The Easter candle reminds us Christ is the Light of the WorldFaith in the mercy and goodness of God overcomes the darkness of sin, despair and death itself. “Lord by your cross and resurrection you have set us all free.”

Praise God!        Alleluia!  Alleluia! Alleluia!     

                                        Respectfully,     

                                                  Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

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April 7, 2019

LENTEN REFLECTION ON PEACE
WITHIN BLESSED VIRGIN MARY PARISH DARBY

       It is not true that creation and the human family are doomed to destruction and loss 

- This is true: For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.

       It is not true that we must accept inhumanity and discrimination, hunger and poverty, death and destruction 

- This is true: I have come that they may have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.        It is not true that we have to wait for those who are specially gifted, who are the prophets of the Church before we can be peacemakers

- This is true: I will pour out my spirit on all flesh, and your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall have dreams.

       It is not true that our hopes for liberation of humankind, of justice, of human dignity, of peace are not meant for this earth and for this history

- This is true: The hour comes, and it is now, that the true worshipers shall worship God in spirit and in truth.

         From Testimony: The Word Made Flesh, by Daniel Berrigan, S.J. Orbis Books, 2004.          

                                          Respectfully,      

                                                   Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

                                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


March 31, 2019


IF YOU WANT TO BE HIS DISCIPLE,
LEARN TO REPENT AND CONTRIBUTE GOSPEL GOODNESS
TO THE WORLD

1. If you are proud, repent and learn what it means to be humble. 

2. If you lust, ask for the grace of chastity. 

3. If you like to stir up trouble by what you say, offer words of healing and peace.  4. If you are prejudice, unlearn it. 

5. If you are vengeful, repent and become merciful. 

6. If you let fear or prestige dominate your actions and words, repent and trust in            to tell the truth. 

7. If you have become hard-hearted, repent and ask for the grace of hope and        compassion. 

8. If you are jealous, repent and ask for the grace of being grateful. 
 Learning to repent, to change the way we think and act requires a lifetime of prayer, grace and conversion.      Respectfully,       Msgr. Joseph M. Corley


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    March 24, 2019

THE BURNING BUSH 

       Years ago a friend told me she talked to God as she sat on a park bench (southeast Philly) and concentrated ona beautiful bush that was in front of her.   She went to the park to pray when life was hard, confusing and she was tempted to despairThe woman had troubles: one child incarcerated, another “too lazy to find a job.” She blamed herself for their situations (maybe she did spoil them a little, but overall she was a “good enough mom”). She worked hard at her job and with her relationships. But, she wanted and needed to love and be loved at the cost of hurting herself. So, the lady would go, like Moses, to encounter God in the (burning) bush.   

       The bush reminded her of the presence of God. The same God who listened to the cries of his children when they were slaves in Egypt. She knew God listened to her and offered her the grace given to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Jesus, Mary and the Church.After she talked with God she would stand up and return home with renewed hope and courage in her heart. 

        I pray our Church will be like the “burning bush” of God’s presence and grace to all who come to BVM in “beautiful Darby, PA”.     

               Respectfully,     

                     Msgr. Joseph M.  Corley


~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  March 17, 2019

                      LENT IS A TIME TO UNLEARN AND RELEARN                   

       A willingness to repent (change your mind) during Lent requires grace to see what you can unlearn and relearn. 
      
WHAT DO WE NEED TO UNLEARN?  Some of us need to unlearn how we express anger, or look at people who are from another country or race.  Some people are called to be a little more humble.  Others, who think little of themselves, need grace to have more confidence and self-respect. What do you need to unlearn to be a better person and disciple of the Lord? 
      
WHAT DO WE NEED TO RELEARN?  We need to remember and trust that God’s Mercy is more than we deserve, expect or measure.  We need to remember that life is our greatest gift. We should remember God has always been with us, and (saint or sinner) God will always be with us!  We need to relearn the meaning of mature sacrificial love that requires the willingness to change our comfort to help another person.  We need to keep in mind and heart our purpose in life is primarily to contribute Gospel Goodness (be a disciple) to all are relationships.  We need to reconsider and believe that God cannot resist a humble person.  We need to relearn the spiritual meaning of success.  We need to count on God’s grace to help us overcome sin, despair, fear and even the sting of death.  We need to reconsider the  meaning of the cross and resurrection. 

       What do you need to remember about your faith?     

                      Respectfully,      
                            Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

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March 10, 2019

                         “LENT IS GOOD FOR THE SOUL” ____________
       Lent began on Ash Wednesday, March 6th, I want to share a couple
of reasons why I think it is good for your soul:


1. Lent reminds us we have a soul that lasts forever. It gives us an
    opportunity to reflect on our lives, examine our spiritual goals
    and ask for the grace to make changes that will bring inner
    peace.
2. Lent forces us to consider our relationships at home, at work,
    with neighbors and members of our Church. During Lent we
    dare ask ourselves, “Have I loved my neighbor as I love
    myself?”

3. Lent is a time for spiritual renewal. It challenges us to evaluate
     how the capital sins (temptations) influence our words and
     actions.
The capital sins are greed, gluttony, apathy, anger, lust,
     pride and jealousy.
Lent asks us if we are a little more
     responsible, free, loving, forgiving, grateful, generous and lighthearted
     than last year.
4. Lent helps us to understand our spiritual journey involves the
    support, encouragement, unity, help and example of our faith
    community. Lent teaches us to call upon the Holy Spirit for
    authentic interior Conversion.
It teaches us to ask ourselves
    each night in prayer before God, “Did I follow the spirit of
    Christ today in all my experiences
or did I let the spirit of
    darkness influence my words and actions?”

                              Respectfully,
                                    Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

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JESUS, GREED AND REPENT - WHAT JESUS SAID ABOUT GREED:

1. The parable of the fool who stored up his grain and died. 
                                                                                      (LK. 12: 13-27). 

2. The Rich Man who ignored the poor, hungry beggar.      
                                                                                     (LK. 16:19-31). 

3. It is not wise to lose your Soul in trying to gain the whole world .
                                                                                    (MK. 8:36-37).

       Repent means change your mind.  This Lent ask the Holy Spirit to help you to  see if you are greedy.  If you are, make amends by increasing your contributions to BVM, Rice Bowl, or to people you know who are hurting.        

Respectfully,      
Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

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February 24, 2019

BOYS TO MEN"

       “The Boy Crisis” by Dr. William Farrell is about “dad deprived boys” who need the example and encouragement of mature fathers to provide boys with challenges and goals in life. 

       Dr. Farrell notes “boys who hurt (lack positive male models) end up hurting themselves and us.”   Boys need men to teach them to solve conflict or disagreement without violence, guns or abuse.

       So, as we inspire and acknowledge the great potential in every girl,
we should not forget how much boys need good men as mentors, dads, coaches, teachers and relatives.     

Respectfully,      

Msgr.  Joseph M. Corley

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February 17, 2019

TWO PRIESTS WITH HEARTS DEVOTED TO THE LORD 

         I feel blessed having the opportunity to speak with many of our retired priests living at the Villa St. Joseph in Darby.  As their bodies get weaker, their faith and wisdom get stronger.  In these days of struggles (“Troubles”) within our Church, I want to share two experiences from the Villa that affirmed my faith in God’s grace and the priesthood.  

        About six weeks ago I spoke with a priest in his 90’s.  He was aware that death was near. I asked him if he was afraid to die. His answer was “I’m not afraid to die. I just hope Jesus knows I love Him and tried hard to be a good priest.”  I observed, “I’m sure He knows what a good and dedicated priest you have been.” He died two weeks ago.  

       Another priest, also 90 something, and still with us,after being interviewed by a young Seminarian,asked to speak with me.  During our conversation he said, “Joe, make sure the Seminarian knows I want him to always put Christ first.”  

       I felt it was a privilege to be in the presence of two retired priests whose hearts were still devoted to the Lord.  

       May all of us, priests, seminarians, religious and laity, be inspired
by their example. 
                                 Love,     

Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

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February 10, 2019

SEE THE LIGHT 

       An Impressionist Artist is interested in seeing the effects of sunlight on an object - often something outside like a bridge, tree, building, river or a haystack.  An Impressionist tries to capture how the same object looks different through the day or seasons, depending on the time and amount of light. You might say he or she is always looking for or noticing the changing effects of light on objects.  

        Jesus said “I am the Light of the World,” and “Let your Light Shine before all.” St. Paul saw a “Flash of Light” at the time of his conversion to Christ.   Allowing the word “Light” in the New Testament to signify the presence or grace of Christ, I pray that all of us are blessed to see, (like St. Paul), look for, notice or discern the Light of Grace in our relationships. 

       I pray we learn to be like an Impressionist Artist recognizing and appreciating the effects of Light (Grace) throughout the days, changes and  seasons of our lives.     

Respectfully,     

Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

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February 3, 2019

A NEW WAY TO FIND PEACE    

(THROUGH FUN,   DANCE   AND LAUGHTER) 

      As I grow older, I notice my clothes are shrinking, andI am tempted to forget about praying for peace in the world, in my relationships and my own country.  That said, through the Grace of God, and with thinking that is, magical, but realistic, I have discovered the way for us to experience the peace and serenity we desire.         

        The way to peace requires people to have fun, dance, and laugh at the same time, on the same day, once a week.   Every human being over six years old should dance (as if no one is watching), tell jokes and have fun with as many people as possible for one hour.This activity, I suggest, could contribute to world and inner peace.  

       Can you imagine people from Russia, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and the Americas getting together with neighbors and friends every week for one hour of play, to tell jokes and dance with others - to defy gravity by jumping for joy like an athlete, who just performed a super human achievement?

         Can you picture people leaping in the air to celebrate their ability to let go of frustrations, the stress of competition and feelings of superiority or inferiority?   Of course, we still need prayer and patience to experience peace, but fun, dance and laughter provide good medicine for our tired souls.  

       Hear any good jokes lately?  Had any fun lately?  When was the last time you laughed? Maybe we should have something like “BVM Has Talent” to discover who has and tells the best jokes.

       Stay Tuned!  

                                                   Respectfully,    

                                                           Msgr. Joseph M. Corley


GOD BLESS RESPONSIBLE FATHERS 

       The movies, “Creed II” and “The Mule” are about fathers.  The father in “The Mule” confesses he was not a good dad or husband because he put work ahead of his family.  “Creed II” also describes the relationships between two fathers and their sons.  One father cannot connect with his son until he realizes his own failures, then healing happens.  The other father, who tries to live his life through his son, is unable to show affection for his boy and is too hard on him. Eventually, the father learns to express his love and support for his son.          

       It is not easy to be a good parent - mom or dad.  It takes grace, maturity and the ability to make sacrifices for others.

                God bless all Dads and Moms.
    Respectfully,    

Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

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January 20, 2019

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. 

       When I was a seminarian in the late 60’s, just a few years after Vatican II and the Catholic Church’s call for renewal, evangelization and ecumenical practices, I was influenced by the lives of four outstanding men: Pope John XXIII, Dag Hammarskjold, Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 
       Pope John “opened the windows” of the Church to all that was good in the modern world, and encouraged the leaders of the Church to reach out, like the Good Samaritan, to those in need of God’s compassion (LK:10). 
        I was drawn to Dag Hammarskjold through his book “Markings” and his tireless work for peace as Secretary General to the UN (1953 -61). He died on a mission for peace. It is suspected a bomb was placed on the plane taking him to reconcile peoples at war.
      Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) is the Father of India's independence. Although he was Hindu, he was devoted to the “Sermon on the Mount” in Matthew's Gospel. He stood against the English rule and oppression of the lower cast. He was assassinated by a young radical male from India. His non-violent demonstrations influenced Dr. King’s approach to civil rights. I don’t know who was behind the assignation of Dr. King, but I do know that he, like Pope John, Gandhi and Hammarskjold, was motivated by faith. The faith, words and actions of these four men upset the power and status-quo of corrupt political systems during their time. 

       Why do I admire Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.? 
       First, like the Old Testament prophets, Dr. King interpreted the political, cultural, religious and economic situations of his times through the eyes of faith. 

        Second, Dr. King spoke with authority. He had confidence in the power of God and non-violence. Every time I hear his sermon on the “Drum Major Instinct” or his “I have a Dream” speech, I hear the bell of truth ring in my ears, heart and soul. We should never forget his desire to see the day when his children would be “judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin.” 
      Third, like many martyrs before him, he was willing to pay the price for putting faith into action. He was jailed, stabbed and slandered. The FBI used various “dirty tricks” to decrease his creditability and popularity in the USA. The same FBI lied about Rev. King and Catholic priests who protested the war in Vietnam. Despite numerous threats on his life, which made him nauseous before public appearances, Dr. King did not stop his protests against injustice.  I don't think Martin Luther King was perfect - nobody is. I do however, think he was an outstanding man, worthy of respect and ongoing admiration. I do not honor him because he
was an African American - though being black, a preacher and a voice for the oppressed increased the number of those who rejected him and his message. I honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. because of his faith, vision, courage, commitment and non-violence. His style of preaching and social action has influenced a generation of ministers and priests. 
       
Fourth, in a time when violence is an accepted response to the slightest frustration; in an age of apathy, confusion and selfishness; in a time when vice is given more attention than virtue and the sacred is often mocked; when racism, prejudice and hate mark the identity of the ignorant; when teens are saturated with vulgarity and amused by the immaturity of some parents, celebrities, politicians and religious types; when there is a general mistrust of authority figures; when our nation desperately needs leaders with character, compassion and courage, it is smart and good for our country to turn its attention to the life, message, methods and sacrifices of a sorely missed and needed American hero-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.   

                                                                     Respectfully,    

                                                                                 Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

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January  13, 2019

THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD

He stood in line with sinners Who longed for mercy -  A spiritual scrubbing that would 

Bring the grace of another chance. 
 He stood in line with sinners 

To fulfill the promise and 

Be plunged into the river of life 

Not needing public affirmation by the divine. 
 
He stood in line with sinners 

To begin his mission 

To call us to die and rise with him

To receive his spirit and 

Offer the light of the Gospel goodness 

To a dark and disconnected world. 
 He stood in line with sinners. 

This we should remember when we baptize 

Dip our fingers into the Holy Water

  Stand to renew our faith and  Connection with each other. 
 
   Respectfully,     

Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

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January 6, 2019

            FAITH IN DIVINE PROVIDENCE MEANS YOU TRUST IN GOD
        “The Father of Mercy, has a gentle and loving plan for the universe and each one of us as “individuals”.

       God is patient with us in our weakness. God is always able to adapt, and transform our lives after we use our freedom to accept or reject, cooperate or refuse to cooperate with God’s revealed word in the Scriptures and the Church.

       Every story in the Bible, in one way or another, directly or indirectly, presumes faith in God’s  Providence.

       Before the universe was created, God “destined us in love” (Ep. 1:3-6).   Two limited but perhaps helpful images, can be used to explain the Providence of God. 

       First, God can be compared to a rich father who gives his Sons/Daughters everything they need to succeed in life (Grace). But the kids are often foolish. They mess-up and waste their talents, gifts and opportunities.  to their father who is always ready to give them another “start-over” (God’s grace is unlimited and undeserved - Mt. 5:4348, Lk. 15:11-32, 1 Cor. 13).  

        The second image is the spiders web.Divine Providence is God’s delicate web that reflects light and attracts us to “goodness”.  God, like a spider who constructs a web within a specific plan, always takes the initiative to lure, persuade and invite us to share in his Divine Plan. When we turn from God we can interfere with God’s “loving and gentle plan,” but we can’t destroy it. God is resilient and creative.  God waits, adapts and spins another web of “goodness”.  

       There is a story about a woman who searched for goodness and inner peace.  One day she came across a beautiful door.  Above the door was a sign,“Enter for Goodness and Inner Peace.” In front of the door was an old man who assured her the sign was true, but finding goodness and inner peace could require some changes, discipline, pain and sacrificial love.  The woman did not go through the door because she was afraid.  

       God the father took initiative in sending us Jesus, and the Holy Spirit - the Comforter and bearer of Grace.  God continues to take the initiative in our lives by providing opportunities for us to choose “goodness”.  Jesus, because he trusted in the father’s love and Divine Providence, was willing to go through the “door to goodness and inner peace.”  Sin is not trusting God - it is a choice not to go through the door, but to live in fear, pride or mistrust. 

       Every day this year, the door to goodness will be open to us, and the Divine Web will attract us.  If we trust in God’s merciful, gentle, patient, creative and loving plan, we just might experience “goodness and inner peace”.     

                                      Respectfully,     

                                                Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

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December 30, 20018

WHERE WE GO TO FIND LOVE,  ADVICE & COMFORT 

        Since our Mission Statement calls us to support family life, and because this weekend the Church celebrates the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary & Joseph, I thought I would point out a few ideas about family life for your consideration.  

       To begin with, our school, our PREP program and CYO help parents to teach their children our faith and the integration of Catholic values. This past year we have given additional help to deserving families with tuition through the BVM Scholarship Fund, the Kremer, Saleski, Connelly, EFM, SKY, and Catholic Foundations. We have helped immigrant families find employment and legal advice when needed.Our contributions to the St. Vincent dePaul Society provides food for hundreds of families throughout the year.  

       What follows are some observations about family life that may be helpful to you: 

       First,no family is perfect (Luke 2:41-52), and disagreements are natural,

          but we must always avoid abuse, violence and resentment in the family.

       Second,try to respect each member of your family

           as you respect complete strangers.

       Third,it is OK to say no to your children.

       Fourth,be sure to spend quality time

            with your spouse, siblings, children and parents.

       Fifth,if your parents are older, call and visit them often.

       Sixth,do not spoil your kids.

       Seventh,do not grow tired of asking for the grace to forgive, admit mistakes,
            tell the truth, be fair and offer words of encouragement.

       Eighth,divorce, like capital punishment, should be the last choice,
             after exhausting all other options.  

       The family is the foundation of society and the school
             where children learn how to be or not to be good adults,
             neighbors and good   citizens. 

       If the familyis where we go for
             advice, acceptance,  forgiveness and  strength,    
                                   
...then it is Holy. 

       If the familyis where we find
              love, correction, loyalty and comfort,
                                    
...then it is Holy.

       The family is where we learn to trust,
              how we relate to others,
                   and where we share sorrow and joy.

Happy and Healthy New Year!    

Respectfully,     

Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

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December 23, 2018

“A WEARY WORLD REJOICES” 

        I am no prophet, but I’d like to be. 

        Like you I grow Weary from deception,  Weary from failure and disappointments, from false expectations, illusions,  empty routines and toxic relationships. 

A world tired from sin and sorrow, despair and guilt  searches for the light,  for meaning,  longs for a reason to rejoice,  to sing “Hallelujah, Hallelujah!” 

       Amid all the noise, the world listens for the angel’s voices, waits  for someone to bring comfort to those who find life itself a burden. 

       I hear a voice: “Come to me all who are weary and  find  life empty of meaning and purpose. I will refresh your souls.” 

       Jesus is the one we seek. He is the one who brings comfort  and hope, who makes a weary world rejoice. 

      Fall on your knees, follow him up the steep mountain. 

       Praise his name: King of Kings and Lord of Lords. 

Praise the night he was born and the Mystery of Divine Providence.    

Respectfully,     

Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

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December 16, 2018

A “ WONDERFUL ” LIFE  

     Since my three favorite Christmas movies are Home Alone, Charlie Brown and A Christmas Story (“You’ll shoot your eye out”), you can guess how out-of-it I felt when most of the people my age and older told me “A Wonderful Life” was the best Christmas movie.

     I decided to read a number of summaries of the classic film and understood why people loved it so much: a decent man (George) is ready to give up on life, but is saved by his Guardian Angel (Clarence), who allows George to see how his goodness has helped others. At the end, George, despite his problems, believes he really has “A wonderful life”.  

     As we enter the third week of Advent,

I pray your Guardian Angel or God’s grace (in any form) helps you to look back on your life with amazement and gratitude.

I pray you are blessed to recognize the “moments of grace” in your past or present that hint at the dynamic presence of the Lord’s spirit in your life.   Home Alone and A Christmas Story make me laugh.But the stories about the birth of Jesus in Matthew and Luke, bring joy and hope.

     Although we have money problems and challenges in our relationships, 
faith in the birth of Jesus allows us to say, “I have a wonderful life”.           

                                                                    Respectfully,     

Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

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December 9, 2018


WHAT I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS

         On this Second Sunday of Advent I find myself waiting to celebrate the beauty, joy, hope and wonder that comes with every Christmas.  A chance to renew my trust in God, who became a human being in Jesus Christ, born of Mother Mary.  

       As I wait,I pray for the renewal of heart.

       As I wait, I seek the grace to forgive old injuries and to grow in virtue.

       As I wait, I prepare for the grace to be free of past failures and future anxiety.

       As I wait, I look for the light of peace, kindness and honesty in others and in myself.  With the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, I wait in joyful hope.  

       I know what I want for Christmas! 

      I want to receive and share the grace of reconciliation.   

      I  want the courage of John the Baptist.
      I want the destiny of the Magi, the dreams of Joseph, the joy of the Shepherds and the Spirit that overshadowed Mary.

        I want the Beatitudes to be my “Declaration of Dependence upon God.” 

       I want the Wisdom to honor: the sacrifice of parents, the fortitude of the widowed, the innocence of children, the wisdom of the elderly, the restlessness of teens, the inner strength of the single, the hope of the engaged, the recovery of the addicted, the commitment, love and fidelity of the married, the gentleness of religious and priests, the compassion of care-givers, the generosity of volunteers, and the dedication of teachers.  

       This week my eyes search again (like the first time my Mother took me to see the Nativity scene in St. William’s Church, 1950),  for the Baby Jesus.

       I search because I know He is my light and hope.

       Have a Blessed Christmas for 2018!     

Respectfully,                                           

Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

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December 2, 2018

WHY NOT (PRACTICE THIS EVERYDAY IN ADVENT)
THE DAILY DECALOGUE OF POPE SAINT JOHN XXIII

Only for today, I will seek to live the livelong day positively without
wishing to solve the problems of my life all at once.
Only for today, I will take the greatest care of my appearance: I will
dress modestly; I will not raise my voice; I will be courteous in my
behavior;
I will not criticize anyone; I will not claim to improve or to
discipline anyone except myself.

Only for today, I will be happy in the certainty that I was created to
be happy,
not only in the other world but also in this one.
Only for today, I will adapt to circumstances, without requiring all
circumstances to be adapted to my own wishes.
Only for today, I will devote ten minutes of my time to some good
reading
, remembering that just as food is necessary to the life of the
body, so good reading is necessary to the life of the soul.
Only for today, I will do one good deed and not tell anyone about it.
Only for today, I will do at least one thing I do not like doing; and if
my feelings are hurt, I will make sure that no one notices.
Only for today, I will make a plan for myself: I may not follow it to
the letter, but I will make it.  And I will be on guard against two evils:
hastiness and indecision.

Only for today, I will firmly believe, despite appearances, that the
good providence of God cares for me as no one else who exists in
this world.

Only for today,
I will have no fears.  In particular, I will not be afraid
to enjoy what is beautiful and to believe in goodness
.

Indeed,

for twelve hours I can certainly do what might cause me consternation
were I to believe
I had to do it all my life
. 
-  Sent in by Joan Chapman.


Respectfully,
Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

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November 25, 2018

THE KING OF HEARTS”
This weekend we celebrate the Solemnity of “Christ the King”.
We remember the spiritual power of Jesus extends beyond regional boundaries
and rules the  hearts of those who follow Him. 

Here are some of the reasons why Christ is the King of our hearts:
Jesus is King because the integrity of His life encourages us to trust Him
         and the Father’s goodness.

Christ is King because He revealed what God is like and how human beings
         should respond to God.

Christ is King because He searched out sinners and ate with them.
Christ is King because he had pity and compassion on the crowds, wept at the death of loved       
         ones, and refreshed all those who were weary and found life burdensome.

Christ is King because He did not allow fear or anxiety to rule His life.  He strengthened the    
       weak,  forgave sinners, welcomed the outcasts, and connected love of God with love for 
       human beings.

Christ is King because He challenged us to reject pride, anger, lust, greed, laziness, envy,  
       hypocrisy and empty rituals.

Christ is King because He knew the complexity of the human heart, could not be
        bought by money, confronted shallow religious and political leaders, and was not
        impressed by a person's education, role, status, or material possessions.

Christ is King because he taught the Beatitudes, and gave us Parables about
        the Father’s love and mercy.

Christ is King because faith in and like Him can change hearts, minds and souls.

Christ is King because he was raised from the dead and sent His disciples the Holy Spirit.

Christ is King because of His mature, sacrificial love for God and humanity.

Christ is King, because for 2000 years His amazing grace has been revealed in political and
        religious leaders, men and women, the rich and poor, married and single, young and old,
        and those recovering from loss, addictions and despair.

Christ is still King and will always be King because His life, death and resurrection continues
        to  provide meaning, purpose and direction to people all over the world.

Christ is King because when we hear His Word and meet Him in the Sacraments,   
        we discover who we are, why we were created, where we are going and what is important.

Christ is King because “through Him, with Him and in Him” we find peace, hope and a reason
        to “lift up our hearts” in gratitude to God our Father.

God bless you.
Respectfully,
Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

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November 18, 2018

“NO REASON TO REJOICE FOR THOSE WHO
WALK WITH NOISE AND DENY THE VOICE.”
- T.S. ELIOT
-

In his poem, Ash Wednesday, T.S. Eliot warns us
to use quiet time to listen to our own thoughts, worries, hopes,
and maybe
the memory of God’s voice revealed in the scriptures.
But, it is hard to sit still.
We would rather fill our ears and thoughts with noise and
voices that distract us from paying attention to what is going on
inside our hearts, or the echo of faith in our minds.
I am reminded of a song by Bob Dylan as he sings “I stay
away from myself as much as possible.”
Dylan uses noise to escape
the fear, pain and confusion of self-knowledge that could lead us to
humble dependence upon God.

The Chinese have a proverb I like:

“Silence and Suffering are the greatest revelations.”

Some fear silence because they do not
want to think about their lives or disappointments.
Those who love and look for silence are comfortable with
themselves
because they learned to surrender to the mercy and
healing grace that comes through faith.

Take a couple of moments for silence in the morning before
you start your day and at night before sleep.
Accept whatever the silence reveals to you with confidence
in God’s goodness,              
love
        and
                  mercy.


Respectfully,
Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

November 11, 2018  

                                                       THE GRACE TO “SEE”
          The gospel story for last Sunday was about the blind man,
Bartimaeus, who asked Jesus “to see.” Jesus opened his eyes, and Bartimaeus followed Jesus.
         
Try this: when you pray, ask God for the grace to see, to
recognize the power of God’s presence (grace) in your past, present
and future.
           Pray for the ability to remember your past and “see” how God’s grace helped you in good times and bad.
          Pray for the grace to recognize the power of God in your
daily life and relationships. 
Be attentive to how grace calls you
to be honest, forgiving, courageous, humble or repentful. Notice the
times when others go out of their way to help you.

          Pray for the grace to embrace the future with confidence in God’s goodness
and presence.

         Pray for the grace to approach the future, no matter what, with faith, hope and love in your heart.  Like Bartimaeus, ask that you might “see.” Be confident in God’s guidance.
          God will listen to you as he listened to the blind man.  Then, like Bartimaeus,

follow Jesus.                                                                                                                                               
Respectfully,
Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

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November 4, 2018

“ I HEARD ”  

     Almighty God
    
I heard you are the source of all creation. 

Please create a new heart in me.  
    
I heard you made promises to Abraham and Noah.

Deepen my trust in your promises.  
    
I heard you offered hope through the prophets to Israel.

Please restore hope in all people. 
    
I heard you are the source of goodness

Open my eyes to the power of grace in my life and relationships.  
   
I heard that fear of you is the foundation of wisdom.

Please turn my fear of punishment into a fear of rejecting your mercy.  
   
I heard Jesus is the marriage of divinity and humanity.

In his name, help me defend the sacredness of life.  
  
I heard Jesus healed the sick.

In his name, heal me of sin, guilt, despair and resentment.  
  
I heard Jesus brought people together around a meal.

Let me participate in the Eucharist with joy and love for others.  
  
I heard Jesus died on the cross and was raised from the dead.

Please, in his namegive comfort to the innocent who suffer and lift up those who have fallen.  
  
I heard Jesus established a new way of looking at You, successes, failure and faith.
In his name give me the strength to repent.   
  
I heard Jesus promised the gift of the Holy Spirit

a lasting experience of freedom and courage to all.
Please, set me free from all darkness, and what enslaves me to superstitions.  
                                                Give us this day our daily bread.     

Respectfully,     

Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

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October 28, 2018

IF YOU LOVE THOSE WHO LOVE YOU, WHAT CREDIT IS THAT FOR YOU? EVEN SINNERS LOVE THOSE WHO LOVE THEM. ” L U K E 6 : 3 2  

       If you want to follow Jesus, remember he said, “Love your enemies, do good to them... Your reward will be great (LK. 6:35).” 

       1. Notice, Jesus does not say, “Like” or “befriend” enemies. He says,
“Love your enemies.” That means we are to pray for and respect those who oppose us. We should not dehumanize them. We should treat them the way we want to be treated. Love your enemies means you wish them well. That is not easy, we need help. 

        2. Grace helps us to do “the difficult good.”  Fortitude is the grace we need to love people who have hurt or made life difficult for us.    A few weeks ago I met a man (Peter) who had to work with another man who was always miserable, sarcastic, negative and cynical - a real “Danny Downer.” Peter asked my advice about how to deal with his difficult co-worker. I suggested he (Peter) change his response to the guy; “try to feel sorry for the man who has so much poison in his heart. Talk with him. Have fun with him. Share a joke. Bring some humor into the relationship. Introduce a positive story.”  

       Jesus challenges us to love our enemies. With the help of grace that leads to fortitude, we can.  If we do, Jesus promises us a place in his kingdom.                  
                                                                 Respectfully,

      Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

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October 21, 2018

“Pity”
One of Michelangelo’s most recognized and appreciated works
of art is the “PIETA”, which he completed in 1449.  It presents the body
of Jesus on the lap of Mary after the crucifixion.  It reminds me of
the thirteenth station, which often has Mary holding Jesus after He is
“Taken down from the Cross.”
“Pieta” means pity in Italian. The sight of it always triggers
pity in me for Jesus and Mary. When I contemplate the sculpture, I am
moved with compassion for all “mothers of sorrow”
who have suffered
the loss of a child at birth, in an accident, through sickness, violence or
addiction.
Psychologists believe it is good if we can feel pity and
compassion for others.
It reveals our humanity and prevents us from
becoming dehumanized.  As we continue our spiritual journey through
Respect Life month,we also celebrate the faith of Mary who trusted in
God’s providence and goodness. 

Let us always remember that three days
after her sacred heart was pierced by sorrow, she experienced the
greatest joy.

Respectfully,
Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

October 14, 2018

 THREE  SAINTS  AND  REFORMERS

Saint Therese Lisieux - Oct. 1st 

Saint Francis of Assisi - Oct. 4th 

Saint Teresa of Avila - Oct. 15th  

       This month our tradition offers us the example and inspiration of three reformers and outstanding people:

St. Therese,  St. Francis and  St. Teresa.

 In this reflection I will share why these two women and one man, deserve our attention.  

SAINT THERESE OF LISIEUX (“Little Flower”)

After years of internal spiritual struggle and poor health, she discovered and reminded the Church that the only thing that really matters is that we grow in love for God, self, and others.  Her clear and freeing spiritual insight, “LOVE IS MY VOCATION,” reminds us  that money, role, status or meaningless rituals are not the foundation for our soul’s peace.  She restored the Church’s focus on the bible as a source of grace, wisdom and courage.  

SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI
      St. Francis sacrificed wealth for a deeper faith built on the virtues of poverty, humility and obedience. While praying, St. Francis sensed God calling him, “Francis, go rebuild my house which is falling down.”
Francis, a reformer, reminded the Church to care for the poor, respect the gifts of the earth, avoid corruption and work for peace. 

He is respected by people throughout the world.  

SAINT TERESA OF AVILA.

         St. Teresa reformed the Church and Carmelite Convent in Avila by rejecting mediocrity in our vocations and relationships with God and others. Teresa (sometimes called big “T”) stressed internal conversion that took a lifetime. Her “classical way” to spiritual growth included three stages:

Purification, Illumination and Union.

       Based on her own experience and God’s grace, St. Teresa thought spiritual, mature persons continue to have temptations in life, but as one grew older she learned to choose virtue rather than evil.

Thank God for those three great Saints and Reformers.         Respectfully,     

Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

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October 7, 2018

  HE SAID, “I BLOCKED GOD OUT OF MY HEART.”
       A few weeks ago I spoke with a man from Darby who
said,
“for years I blocked God out of my empty heart with drugs,
alcohol and wild behavior.
  My heart was restless.  I acted crazy
until I almost died.  It was
then I had to open my heart to Jesus,
Mother Mary and the Holy Spirit
.  Now I have a few friends. 
I am at peace.
       His story is a great one.
This October we focus on the
sacredness of life.
  In particular we are reminded that the dignity
of life is never lost, and can be redeemed.

      
For all those who suffer with addictions, mental illness,
despair or abuse,
we pray to the Lord.
                                                  Respectfully,
                                                           Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Sept. 30, 2018


               BLESSED ARE THEY WHO HUNGER AND THIRST FOR             
             RIGHTEOUSNESS, THEY SHALL BE SATISFIED - MT. 5:6

       Can you imagine meeting Jesus, and he says “I know you are not perfect, but I know you are humble.  I call you to be my disciple because you hunger, thirst and long for spiritual health.
Your perseverance will save you.”
       When I mentioned MT. 5:6 to 165 men on a retreat at Malvern, PA, it brought new life to their  souls. When I mentioned it in BVM Church a few weeks ago, it rang like a bell in the minds and hearts of a few people in recovery.
       Remember,since age seven, all of us have approached the altar of Jesus with our hands out (expressing our hunger for the peace of Christ).  Every time we do that, Christ says something like, “Blessed are you...your spiritual hunger will be satisfied...Blessed and humble are you who come to me when you are tired, weary and afraid.
You will be refreshed. Your spiritual desires will be filled.”
       Praise be to God!
                                                            Respectfully,
                                                                       Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

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                                                                              Sept. 23, 2018

  TEACH YOUR CHILDREN TO CHERISH LIFE AS A SACRED GIFT. 
      It is sad to notice our bulletin has a section called “Around
Darbywood”, because it brings our attention to three serious and
harmful issues:
suicide, addiction and abuse. The fact that we provide information about these life-denying experiences confirms Pope John Paul II’s observation that we raise our children in a “culture of death” and violence.
     
October is Respect Life Month.  As a people of faith, we are reminded that God will provide the grace we need to renew and deepen our respect for life from conception to natural death.
     
Life is one of the five greatest gifts (along with Faith,  Family,
Friends, and Freedom)
.  Because life is a blessing, we cannot only talk about respecting life, we must speak and act in ways that will help
peoplewho suffer with addictions, depression, suicidal thoughts, abuse
and the human trafficking of young and old, male and female.

     
Our children have to be protected  from the poisonous effects of
pornography, violence, abortion, prejudice, and a “throw away” culture
that wants to avoid responsibility for the disabled.

                          May the sacred heart of Mary inspire us 
                         to cherish life the way she loved Jesus.
                                                      Respectfully,
                                                    Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

                                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                                                  Sept 16, 2018

FIVE MOMENTS OF GRACE


 1.      A hard working woman from Darby had a little legal problem. The Police Officer listened to her story and found out she was raising boys on her own. He got the boys into football camp and on a team free of charge. She gave him a basket of fruit to say thanks. 

2.      The elderly couple walked out of the hospital holding hands - just like they did for the last 61 years. 

3.      The elderly priest was in a nursing home. When the nurse found him half asleep with food on his shirt she said, “Fr., honey, let me clean you up so you can take a nap.”

4.      The young couple sat in Church with their three children sitting on their laps.  As the kids got restless, the dad kissed each one. They settled down (for a few seconds).  

5.      Two years after her husband’s death, a young widow met a gentleman and went out to lunch with him. Keep your eyes open!     

Respectfully,     

Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



                                                           Sept. 9, 2018


                                                  
I BELIEVE                                   

1.  “Every generation has the potential to

            be and do something great.” 

2.  “Pray to God for the grace to

            look at life with faith, hope and love in your heart.”

3.  “Saints or Sinners, God has always been with us
             and will always be with us.”

4.  “The five greatest gifts are:
             Life, Faith, Family, Friends and Freedom.” 

5.  “Love is the willingness to change your comfort,
             routine, work or schedule in order to help another person.” 

6.  “Never love somebody more than you respect yourself.”

7.  “Christ frees us from sin and despair,
             the power of fear and the sting of death.” 

8.  “Jesus offers the spark of divinity to all who believe.” 

9.  “The mercy of God is beyond measure.
             It is more than we expect and more than we deserve.” 

10.  “Keep your eyes, ears, heart and imagination open.” 

11.  “Pray you are not dominated by fear.” 

12.  “Foolishness is not paying attention. It is being so distracted, we miss what is right in front of us. Making quick judgments without enough information or presuming everyone tells the truth is unrealistic. God Bless our Church.”      

                                         Respectfully,     

                                               Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

                               ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                        LABOR DAY: PRAYER AND WORK
       A local institution employs many people.  Their
orientation program for new employees includes explaining
what the word
work means, because some people think
showing up for work is “real work”.
  They don’t associate being at work with actually doing labor.
       Years ago I saw an article that said if you own a
business and your employees actually work five out of eight
hours,
you should consider yourself lucky.  I wonder if the five hour rule still holds today.  Anyway, some people work hard; some try to avoid real work as much as possible (don’t dare ask them to do something that is not written in their contract), and for a few people, work is “no problem.”
        Presently, it is reported, more people are working than
in recent times.  That is good, because a job gives men and
women a sense of pride and security.
       Years ago, Hannah Arendt, wrote a book,
“The Human
Condition.”
  She was respected for her intellect.  She died  in 1975.  In The Human Condition, after acknowledging the many positive things about human work, she concludes the most important work we can do is to “persevere in faith and  prayer.” Pope John Paul II said something similar when he wrote about the dignity of Human Labor in the Sixth Century. St. Benedict knew “prayer and work” are good for our souls.
                                           Respectfully,
                                 Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

                        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

August 26, 2018

FAMILY LIFE - TWO EXPERIENCES
      First, it brought joy to my heart as I watched a young
mother with her three teenaged boys in our Church.
They were
sitting in a pew, mom put a hand on the back of one boy, and the
two other boys gently stroked their mother’s back.  I saw a family
express love and support a mom with three sons praying together.

       Second, sitting on my favorite bench on the
boardwalk of Ocean City, NJ.  I saw a young man
lug a wagon
with beach chairs, a huge cooler, an umbrella, and three little
girls up the steps from the beach to the boardwalk.  The girls
asked for ice cream. He gave the oldest money to buy them cones.
He was standing near me, so I said, “Dad is working hard on
vacation.”
He said, “yes, and they are worth it.”

       That dad loved his children.  It was sacrificial, unselfish love I saw in him.
                                             Respectfully,
                                                   Msgr. Joseph M. Corle
y

                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

August 19, 2018

PICK UP THE PIECES (JN 6:12) 

       A large crowd followed Jesus. He knew they were hungry and wanted to feed their bodies and souls. A young boy had fivebarley loaves and two fish.  Jesus blessed them and fed the people. There were leftovers, so Jesus told his disciples to “pick up the pieces.”They did and filled twelve baskets.   
     
Faith helps us to pick up the pieces of our lives when they seem to fall apart due to personal failures, broken relationships and dreams, disappointment and loss.   Faith reminds us that God will not allow his grace to be wastedwhen we feel like our lives are broken beyond repair.

     Ask God for help to live one day at a time.   Do not live in the past,  fear or predict the future.

Trust that God will help youpick up and repair the pieces of your life.

     Never give up!         
                                       Respectfully,     

Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

August 12,, 2018

LIFE IS LIKE A RIDE ON A ROLLER COASTER... 

     I was sitting on my favorite boardwalk in Ocean City, NJ when I heard kids on a roller coaster ride. They were screaming for their lives!  As I continued to watch the people get off the roller-coaster, I noticed the ride started out slow and easy, but within a minute it was going up and down, sudden dips, the speed continued to increase (lots of really loud yelling) until finally it came to a gentle stop. Then the participants looked relieved, invigorated and happy.  Some said “never again”, others said “that was great!”.  

     Our lives are like a roller coaster ride. We start out young and think things are peaceful. We don’t have a lot of problems. As we get older, life goes faster with more excitement, fear, fun and hurts. We experience ups and downs, joys and sorrows. Things change. We get older.We slow down;   finally, we come to a stop. Faith,  family and friends make up our safety bar that helps us hold on to life.     

     Faith,  family and friends help us to love the ride with all it’s up and downs.      

Respectfully,     

Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

~~~~~~~~~~
 
IS IT JUST ME? 

1. I find it amazing that people who rarely come to Church, volunteer for any service and fail to  financially support Church, expect the Church to give them whatever they want immediately and without cost (“let me borrow your...”).    It is not fair. 
2. It is interesting how friends or relatives (who are not connected to a Church), of active parishioners in a Church think they “deserve” what they want from us because “my grandmother, or friend” is involved with BVM. So what? We serve you because you know one of our active members? Not right. 
3. If you expect to have surgery, let me know before you are in the hospital. Try not to call and expect me at the last moment. It is not real to expect a priest servicing 2000 people and others to always be available. 

4. Please be on time for all sacraments. “BVM goes by only one time- it is BVM time.”

5. There is a difference between g o i n g t o M a s s and receiving communion:

  Going to Mass means you are in Church for all the readings and Eucharist.
Going to Communion means you do not hear the distinctive Word and just come to “get my communion.”

This does not apply to parents of children.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

August 5, 2018

“ LOVE KINDNESS, ACT JUSTLY AND
WALK HUMBLY WITH THE LORD     (MICAH 5:8). ” 
 

       Micah, prophet sent by God to the people, tells them
 
God does not want empty rituals and burnt offers from his people. God wants us “to love kindness, to act justly and walk humbly with the Lord.”

       How do we do that? How can we recognize a person that is kind, just and humble?   

       A KIND PERSON enjoys doing good for others.  A kind person will go out of his or her way to help you out. Unexpected kindness restores our hope and respect for humanity. We have a lot of kind people in BVM.   
        A JUST PERSON tries to be fair with everyone.  A just person gives others what they need and deserve as human beings.  Sometimes it is very hard to be just and fair - to pay people a just salary or provide the same opportunities for all.   

       A HUMBLE PERSON knows he/she is not God, does not know everything and realizes all people (including self) have strength and weakness.   God wants us to be kind,  just and humble.  Do you have friends who you consider kind,  just or humble?

       We need grace, faith and courage to be disciples of the Lord - to learn from and follow his example.

       We can do it!     

                                                   Respectfully,     
                                      Msgr. Joseph M. Corley 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

July 29, 2018

A PASTOR ’ S PRAYER FOR INACTIVE CATHOLICS
AND THOSE SEARCHING FOR GOD

       Dear Lord, source of all goodness, mercy, hope and strength, you never stop searching for your lost children.  Hear our prayers for our brothers, sisters and friends who have wandered away from you and your Church, because of their own faults or the failures of others. 

       With the help of your grace enable us, by word and example, to be examples of your love and goodness.  Open their minds, hearts, souls, eyes and ears to your presence in their relationships.  Allow them to feel and know that, saint or sinner, you have always been with them and will always be with them.  Bless them with faith that goes beyond human failure or goodness. 

       We trust in, we have confidence in, your desire that all people find purpose and meaning in life, based on a trust in your immeasurable goodness and providence. 

I STOOD WHERE HE PREACHED  

       On Friday, July 20th, seminarian Roneld St. Louis and I visited Calvary Baptist Church in Chester, PA (1616 West Second St.).

       The Church is like a shrine for me, because it was the place where Dr. King, Jr., preached while he was a seminary student.   Roneld and I were greeted by a sweet woman by the name of Dorothy. She showed us around the Church and allowed us to stand where MLK preached.

       I felt like I was standing in a sacred place.     

Respectfully,     

Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 

July 22, 2018

"We Are the  Miraculous,
the True Wonders of This World"   -  Maya Angelou
 


 In her poem, “A Brave and Startling Truth”, poet Maya Angelou longs for the day when we come to value making peace over hostility; when children are not saturated with violence and suffering; that human beings should are given more honor and respect; when we realize our hands are to heal, rather then harm. When men and women can live without self pity and fear, then we will understand “we are the miracles, the true wonders of the world.”  
Maya’s poem reminds me of the scene from Chapter 1, (Genesis), when after creating Adam & Eve, God says “This is very good.” Human beings - created in the image of God - are the greatest wonders of all creation.

Respect life!  

   Respectfully,     

Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

July 15, 2018

                                            ARE YOU “ READY? ” 
     In Luke 12:35-40, Jesus using six synonyms, talks about “being ready".  Most people who read Luke 12:35-40 think the Lord is warning us to be prepared, on guard for the arrival of the Lord at death; “the Son of Man will arrive when you least expect it.”   I think Jesus is telling us to be attentive to God as we approach death, and how to “stay awake” to the gifts and challenges of life each day.  

     What does it mean to be “ready” to recognize the Grace of God “in all things” every day?   To be “ready for life” each day means you know life,  faith,  family,  friends and freedom are gifts from God.

     “Ready for life” means you understand that Christian Love requires sacrifice and willingness to change your schedule, routine or comfort to help another person. It means you know all things are possible with God,that the seeds of the resurrection are in all your experiences, and all your experiences can lead to God.

     To be “ready for each day” means your mind, heart, soul, eyes and ears are open to the presence of Grace in your relationships.   How does one become “ready” for life"?  It requires a humble prayer that acknowledges your dependence upon God for life, goodness, mercy, hope and courage.  

     Your humble prayershould include being aware of your own faults; a desire to let faith, hope and love influence your attitude and relationships; trust in divine providence and the ability to see Christ in the wounded and innocent who suffer.   A humble prayer leads to confidence in God’s promises and the Grace to stand up again and again to the challenges of life.  Be ready!        
                                             Respectfully,     

Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

July 8, 2018

FRIENDS SHARING ICE CREAM ON A SUMMER DAY

       It was the beginning of Summer, June 21st. I was sitting on my favorite bench near 9th Street, on the boardwalk of Ocean City, N.J. - “The Family Capital Ocean Resort in the U.S.A.”.  The weather was perfect: sunny, warm and low humidity.   I sat there watching kids and families as they “walked the boards", bought ice cream, pizza and fries (the seagulls would come from nowhere and steal a fry  from an innocent person, who did not protect his/her food).   Along came a young woman, about 22, pushing another woman with a disability who was in a wheelchair. The young woman stopped, bought ice cream, took a big lick, and then fed it to the person in the chair, who was obviously delighted to taste the treat. The giver laughed and the receiver was happy.   The experience not only caught my eye, it touched my heart, soul and imagination. I saw an act of sharing, sacrificial love and an affirmation of life.

          Friends sharing ice cream on a beautiful day - a revelation of love, and what it means to respect life.      

Respectfully,     

Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

July 1, 2018

OURDECLARATIONOFDEPENDENCE 

       The Gospel of Matthew (5:1-12) is part of the internationally known and respected “Sermon on the Mount”.  Let’s focus our attention on the first beatitude, “Blessed are the Poor in Spirit, for Theirs is the Kingdom of God”. 

First, keep in mind the word “Blessed” can be interpreted as “Happy.”

Second, when Jesus refers to the “Poor in Spirit”, he is talking about anyone, rich or poor, who is aware of his/her dependence upon God. Third,“for Theirs is the Kingdom of God” means those who acknowledge their dependence upon God,  do God’s will, and have already allowed God to rule their hearts. They give glory to God who is in them.

       How does the Beatitude apply to us?   Matthew wrote the Beatitudes to inspire disciples like us. The Evangelist wanted to turn the reader's attention to the most fundamental virtue of discipleship–humility (another word for being poor in spirit).

       The Sermon on the Mount assures the humble of God’s presence and favor in their struggles.   We live in a culture that admires independence and individualism.  The Gospels, however, praise spiritual dependence  and community life.The Beatitudes are a modern-day Christian’s “Declaration of Dependence” upon God.        

Pray for the virtue of humility, and be “happy” knowing that, like Jesus, you are poor in spirit. 

                             HappyFourthofJuly weekend! 

                             God Bless you!
                             GodBless America!       

Respectfully,     

Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

July 8, 2018

FRIENDS SHARING ICE CREAM ON A SUMMER DAY 

    It was the beginning of summer, June 21st. I was sitting on my favorite bench near 9th Street, on the boardwalk of Ocean City, N.J. -- “The Family Capital Ocean Resort in the U.S.A”.  The weather was perfect:  sunny, warm and low humidity.   I sat there watching kids and families as they “walked the boards”, bought ice cream, pizza and fries (the seagulls would come from nowhere and steal a fry from an innocent person who did not protect his/her food). 

       Along came a young woman, about 22, pushing another woman with a disability, who was in a wheelchair. The young woman stopped, bought ice cream, took a big lick, and then fed it to the person in the chair, who was obviously delighted to taste the treat. The giver laughed and the receiver was happy.   The experience not only caught my eye, it touched my heart, soul and imagination.  I saw an act of sharing, sacrificial love and an affirmation of life.  Friends sharing ice cream on a beautiful day - a revelation of love and what it means to respect life.                                                Respectfully,           

              Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

June 24, 2018

MY MOTTO FOR LIFE 

       A motto expresses a basic principle for life. It can be used as a guide
to all our goals and relationships.

       Here is my eight word motto:  

First, Go Slow.Do not rush through life. Try to avoid multitasking or being too busy to rest, play, pray or smell the roses.  

Second, Stay Cool. In the words of St. Teresa Avila, “Let nothing disturb you.” Don’t let fear, your imagination or anger capture your soul: “All things are passing.” Read ECCL. 3:1-13.  

Third, Be Warm.Love God, your neighbor and yourself. Be kind. Offer words of encouragement. Don’t be afraid to hug a person who needs comfort. Let others feel “safe” around you.  

Fourth, Have Hope. Trust in God’s promises, grace and loving intensions. Don’t be afraid to “experiment with the Gospel.” Do not always look for immediate success.

What is your motto for life?       

Respectfully,     

Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

June 17, 2018

CONTEMPLATE THE HEART OF JESUS  

       On June 8th, our Church directed our attention to the
Sacred Heart of Jesus.  Since “The Sacred Heart of Christ” is my favorite devotion, I’ll share my reflections about the Sacred Heart with you.  I hope they inspire you to contemplate the Heart of the Lord. 
        First,we know what is in a person’s heart by what they say. Jesus spoke about the kingdom of God, the need to repent, God’s love and mercy. He also revealed his heart in parables, the sermon on the Mount and the Lord’s prayer. 
        Second,a person’s heart is expressed in his/her relationships. Jesus loved the common, humble, and spirituality hungry - the outcasts, and the sinners. 
        Third,the attitude of Christ, his consistent values, were made known by his faith in God’s Love and Mercy, his courage and conviction about the Good News and his Love for all who longed to hear his message. His disposition expressed what was in his heart. 
        Fourth, the Heart of Christ was revealed in his desire, his motivation to free people from sin, despair, the power of fear and even the sting of death. 
        Finally, the actions of Jesus; touching the leper, eating with sinners, confronting authority leaders and his sacrificial death on the cross reveal a Sacred Heart in communion with the source of goodness.   Get a picture of the Sacred Heart.

       Contemplate the Heart of Jesus every morning and night.  May the Lord make our hearts like the heart of Jesus.     

Respectfully,     

Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

June 10, 2018


HAPPY  FATHER ’ S  DAY  (-A LITTLE EARLY-) 
        Our Church and country have been blessed by a lot of good men who are Fathers. Although some shows on TV make Fathers look immature and unintelligent, every once in a  while we see a good Father image (Blue Bloods).   

       So, how do we recognize a “good” Father?  What qualities, characteristics or virtues are part of a “good enough” dad? Here are some I look for: 

1. Family and Faith come first. 

2. He is at home.  He provides for, protects and encourages   
     his children. 

3. He tells and shows his kids he loves them. 

4. He prays with his family - he is a spiritual leader. He is
     patient. 

5. He makes sacrifices for them but also teaches them to
     appreciate things - to say “thank you”. 

6. He laughs, sets rules and boundaries, and is consistent in
     discipline. 

7. He knows how to say I’m sorry. 

8. He loves and honors his wife - and his kids know it
    He practices 1 COR 13:1-13.  

       Be sure to express your respect and love for your Dad as often as possible.  Especially on June 17th.     

Respectfully,     

Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
June 3, 2018 

WHO SAID IT?  (Answers found below)

1. Who said, “If I were a Catholic and believed Christ was present in Holy Communion, I would crawl on my hands and knees to receive the sacred host.”?

(Pick one: MLK, Jr., Joel Olsen, Dr. Billy Graham, Mahatma Gandhi, Bishop T. Jakes). 

2. Who said, “The hardest thing in life is to be yourself when everyday a thousand other people want you to be somebody else?” (Msgr. Corley, Fr. Kennedy, Larry Doran, Chuck Bradford, Sigmund Freud, E.E. Cummings). 

3. Who said, “Some people are Christ-haunted and others are Christ-centered”?
(Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Robert Frost, St. Ignatius, Flannery O’Conner) 

4. Who said, “To love another person is to see the face of God”? (President Bush, President Obama, President Trump, President Carter, from Les Miserables).  

5. Who said, “Love bears all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Real love never dies”? (St. Mark, Senator McCann, Stevie Wonder, St. Paul, Sister Rosie). 

6. Who said, “I have discovered my vocation, it is to Love”? (Wendell Berry, Lao Tzo, St. Martha, Cecily Tynan, St. Terese of Lisieux). 

7. Who said, “If you have not prayed or visited a Church in years, there is only one thing you can do - start to pray and go to Church”?

(Governor Rendell, St. Lucy, St. John, Msgr. Corley, St. Teresa of Avila). 

ANSWERS:  1) Gandhi.  2) E.E. Cummings.

3) Flannery O’Conner. 4) Les Miserables.  5) St. Paul.

6) St. Therese.  7) St. Teresa.     

God Bless.     

Respectfully,    

  Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

May 27, 2018

WHO SAID IT? (Answers found below)

1. Who said, “Love creates life. The greatest gift in life is Love. I believe    God is the source of all Love and Life.”
(Pick one: St. John, Dr. King, Mother Teresa or Stevie Wonder). 

2. Who said, “Love gives us the Freedom to Forgive.”                       
(JFK, President Obama, St. Francis or Maya Angelou).
  
3. Who said, “You got to serve somebody. It might be the devil or it might be the Lord, but, you gotta serve somebody.”

(Mahatma Gandhi, St. Mark, Natalie Cole or  Bob Dylan).

4. Who said, “We know God has always been with us and will always be with us through Christ the Lord.”

(Pope John Paul, II, Pope Francis,
                             President Bush or Msgr. Corley). 

5. Who said, “The seeds of the Resurrection are in all our experiences.”
(Pope Benedict, Oprah, Jay-z, Jimmy Fallon or Pope Francis). 

6. Who said, “Be as wise as a Serpent and as gentle as a Dove.”

(Jesus, Mother Angelica, President Trump or Senator Pelosi). 

7. Who said, “If  your holiness does not lead you to deeper trust in God and mature Love for others, you need to repent.”

(Msgr. Corley, Fr. Kennedy, Sister Virginia, Sister Rosie or Archbishop Chaput). 

ANSWERS:
1) Stevie Wonder. 2) Maya Angelou. 3) Bob Dylan.
4) Msgr. Corley. 5) Pope Francis. 6) Jesus. 7) Msgr. Corley.     

God Bless.     

Respectfully,     

Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

May 20, 2018

PENTECOST

~SHARING IN THE GENEROUS SPIRIT ” OF GOD~

       I am fascinated with people who have a “generous Spirit.”
They don’t gossip, blame, make excuses, or seek revenge. Their willingness to help, without pay or public recognition, is attractive. Their willingness to make personal sacrifice for the good of another, without complaint or regret, wins my admiration. Their willingness to help people in need, without investigating the person’s “worthiness,” is an inspiration. Their ability to laugh at their own mistakes is charming. The ease with which they put aside their own interests in order to fulfill another person’s request is amazing.

       Being with a person who has a “generous Spirit” is refreshing. 

       Being with a person who has a “selfish Spiritis tiresome and draining.  

       This weekend we celebrate the Solemnity of the Pentecost, and the mystery of our sharing in the “generous Spirit” of God.  Because the Holy Spirit was in Jesus, and guides our Church, we believe God is our Advocate, who intercedes for our good. We believe God is open-hearted, kind and merciful, patient, and generous in his love for the human race. (Luke 6:27-38, Luke 15, Matthew 5:43-38).  

       As we pray, we ask to remain a Church
                      with a “generous Spirit”.

May the words of God to the Prophet Micah guide our speech and actions!            “I require you to act justly,

                   love kindly                        
                            and walk humbly with the Lord ."
  (Micah 6-8).

God Bless You!

GodBlessAmerica!   

Respectfully,     

Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~




May 13, 2018

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY, MOM!  

       Gertrude T. Corley, born July 8, 1919, died June 10, 2014.
She is my Mother.  It is almost four years since her funeral Mass on June 17, 2014.  Since it is Mother’s Day, let me share some of my memories of her with you.  Maybe they will remind you of your Mother.  

       Gertrude lived through the Depression.  So, she never wasted money or food.  She raised three boys by herself while often working two jobs.  She found grace and courage in life by going to the Marian Devotions in Germantown, Philadelphia  (she would drag me and my brothers on the bus with her).  She spoke with an IHM Sister every month. The Sister gave my Mom support and encouragement. At night, Mom would gather us in her room for family prayer.   As she grew older, she lived in the Philadelphia Protestant Home for 12 years, (I recommend it).  She wanted me to wear my Priest clothes when I visited, because she liked to “show me off” to her friends.  

       When I think of her, I have a few regrets but more joys. 
I regret not spending more time with her at the nursing home. 
I’m sorry I did not appreciate how hard it was for her to raise three kids by herself. 
It saddens me knowing I was not with her when she died.  

                                          I remember with joy:

1)  My Mother taught me how to dance.

2)  She was the only one I wanted to be with when I felt down.

3)  She let me use her car when I went on a date.

4)  She would tell me, in a nice way, “you are putting on too much weight.”       I said the same to her and we would laugh.

5)  In my office, I have her picture, our family cross, and the rosary she   
     had in her hand when she died.

6)  I have her engagement ring attached to the chalice I use for Mass every       day.

7)  Her death has enabled me to be more sensitive when helping a person           who has lost a loved one.  

                              Gertrude T. Corley deserves to rest in peace
                                          and enjoy the presence of God.  

                                       Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!   
                                                   Respectfully,     

Msgr. Joseph M. Corley


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



 “ WE REMEMBER THEM... ” 

IN THE RISING of the sun, and in its going down, we remember them.  From the moment I wake till I fall asleep, all that I do is remember them. In the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter, we remember them.  On the frigid days of winter and the moments I breathe the cold air, I warm myself with their embrace, and remember them.
In the opening of buds and in the rebirth of spring, we remember them
As the days grow longer and the outside becomes warmer, I am more awake and I remember them.
In the blueness of the sky and in the warmth of summer, we remember them. 

When I look above and see the images of the clouds and when I am comforted by the sun that shines down on me, I remember them.

In the rustling of the leaves and in the beauty of autumn, we remember them. 

From the time in which I feel the cool, crisp breeze and see the colors of the leaves, I remember them.

In the beginning of the year and when it ends, we remember them. 

On the day I make resolutions for myself and on the day I reflect upon how I’ve grown, I remember them.

When we are weary and in need of strength, we remember them. 

As I am faced with challenges that enter my life, I remember all that they taught me, and remember them.

When we are lost and sick at heart, we remember them. 

When I have gone astray and feel uncomfortable, I ask for help and remember them.

When we have joys we yearn to share, we remember them. 

From those times of celebration, love, and happiness, I remember them.

So long as they live, we, too, shall live, for they are now a part of us, as we remember them. 

On every day, and in every way, I know that they are with me and
I remember them
.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

May 6, 2018  

MARRIAGE AND FAMILY LIFE

      Last week I attended the “ongoing formation program” for priests in the Archdiocese. Below are the major themes I took away from the talks: 

     1. The Archbishop encouraged the priests to defend the traditional                       teaching about marriage; stress it as a sacrament: the “goods” of        
         marriage include loving commitment and the procreation of         
          children;
the importance of supporting families and family life.   
         (BVM does this via school and social programs)
     2. One presenter reminded us that faith tells us a sexual relationship 
          requires the desire to have children.   

   3.  Another guest described how our culture, more and more, does not    
         support traditional marriage. 

     4. A husband and wife team talked about being responsible Christian
        parents
and the energy needed to raise children in a “post Christian”
         environment.
They covered negative effects of social media. 

      5. The last conference focused on listening to and “walking with young
         adults”
as they try to find their way in life.   As an aside, all the 
         priests I spoke with expressed love and admiration for parents and   
        married couples.
Priests know it can be hard to persevere in love and commitment - to grow in unselfishness.  
During the Easter Season, I promise to do my best to support all our parishioners and families as  we walk through life together in faith, hope and love.     

Respectfully,     

Msgr. Joseph M. Corley
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

April 29, 2018

T H E  C O M F O R T I N G  P O W E R  O F  T H E  H O L Y  SPIRIT 

Comfort: To strengthen, give hope, ease another’s grief, console. 

           Power:    To act or influence , to control or exercise authority,
                                      the ability to persuade orMARRIAGE AND FAMILY LIFE   Last week I attended the “ongoing formation program” for priests in the Archdiocese. Below are the major themes I took away from the talks:  1. The Archbishop encouraged the priests to defend the traditional teaching about marriage; stress it as a sacrament: the “goods” of marriage include loving commitment and the procreation of children; the importance of supporting families and family life. (BVM does this via school and social programs).  2. One presenter reminded us that faith tells us a sexual relationship requires the desire to have children.  3. Another guest described how our culture, more and more, does not support traditional marriage.  4. A husband and wife team talked about being responsible Christian parents and the energy needed to raise children in a “post Christian” environment. They covered negative effects of social media.  5. The last conference focused on listening to and “walking with young adults” as they try to find their way in life.   As an aside, all the priests I spoke with expressed love and admiration for parents and married couples. Priests know it can be hard to persevere in love and commitment - to grow in unselfishness.   During the Easter Season, I promise to do my best to support all our parishioners and families as we walk through life together in faith, hope and love.      Respectfully,      Msgr. Joseph M. Corley motivate. 
 
Come Holy Spirit, rekindle in us the fires of faith, hope and love. 
Come Holy Spirit, dwell in the hearts of all who have experienced any kind of loss this year. 
Come Holy Spirit, strengthen parents, care-givers, those in recovery, the troubled, sick, abandoned and those locked in fear of any kind. 
Come Holy Spirit, guide us in the truth about ourselves, others and Jesus.  Come Holy Spirit, heal the memories of those stuck in the past and the anxieties of those worried about the future. 
Come Holy Spirit, great comforter and consoler, influence what we say and how we treat each other. Motivate us to walk together through life confident you are always with us - drawing us into communion around the Life, Death and Resurrection of the Lord.     

Respectfully,     

Msgr.  Joseph M. Corley

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

April 22, 2018

“ KINDLE IN US THE FIRE OF YOUR LOVE ”  

HOLY SPIRIT:   At the dawn of creation you moved over the waters;
continue to move through and renew all of us.  

You overshadowed Mary;
overshadow our memories and imaginations,
our minds and hearts, souls and wills.

You were with John and Jesus in the desert;
give us spiritual leaders with conviction and courage. 
Guide us in the truth about you, ourselves and life itself. 
May your truth set us free. 
May we never sin against you by preventing what is good or denying the grace of the Father’s mercy. 

You come to us in a thousand different ways; 
open our eyes and hearts to your saving presence; help us surrender to the mystery of the Father’s goodness.
It is you who turns our thoughts to justice and peace.

You have the power to reconcile those who are separated. 

You put an end to hatred,

change our fears to courage, and restore our lost innocence. 
You inspire the Word and our sacraments; inspire our words and actions. 
Keep us in communion with
Francis, Charles, Mary and the Apostles,
the Saints and each other.  
  

Respectfully,     

Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


April 15, 2018

“ THE HOLY SPIRIT IS AT WORK WHEN …” 

     Since Easter, the scriptures have described the workings of the Holy Spirit upon the followers of Jesus. They teach us the Holy Spirit brings us life, freedom, truth and grace - the Holy Spirit leads us to repentance and renewal.

     Allow me to give a few examples how the Holy Spirit works in our lives.  

     First, the Holy Spirit works through Doctors, Nurses and Scientists as they discover treatments and cures for the sick. The Holy Spirit works through family and friends who support each other in good times and bad, sickness and health, regrets and achievements.  

     Second, the Holy Spirit is at work when a person with an addiction accepts each step of the 12 Step Program to recovery.  

     Third, the Holy Spirit is at work when our thoughts turn from prejudice to respect, war to peace, vengeance to mercy, fear to courage, injustice to justice, hardness of heart to compassion, selfishness to generosity, despair to hope, anxiety to faith, slavery to freedom, isolation to intimacy, stagnation to renewal, defensiveness to repentance, deception to truth, and from illusion to reality.  

      Fourth, whenever our thoughts turn to God the Father or Son, whenever we cry out to God in sorrow, the Holy Spirit is stirring in our hearts.  The Holy Spirit is at work as we develop, discover and share our individual talents for the common good of the Church. The Spirit helps us grow in wisdom as we go through difficulties. 

     “Come Holy Ghost, creator blest, and in our hearts take up thy rest: Come with thy grace and heavenly aid to fill the hearts which thou hast made.”    

Respectfully,     

Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


April 8, 2018

APPEARANCES 

The Resurrection of Christ
is God’s approval of his Son’s life and sacrificial death.

After he was raised from the dead, Jesus appeared: 

1. In the gardento restore the peace and the right relationships                   
with God and others that were lost by Adam and Eve. 

2. On the road to Emmaus:  we are reminded that God is always with us - even when we do not recognize God’s presence. 

3. He was with the Apostles and Mary                                                                       
in the upper room when they were afraid.
He offered them Peace and a new way of looking
at life through the Holy Spirit. 

4. When he prepared fish for them to eat,                                                                 
he reminded them that he would be with them
when they shared food in his name.  

May the Holy Spirit help us to experience the Peace and Courage
that comes from faith.

May we recognize the presence of God’s grace when it appears.     

Happy Easter!     

Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Easter Sunday, April 1, 2018

WHAT DOES RESURRECTION MEAN?  

       One year after my friend’s husband died, she asked me,                                   “What does resurrection mean?”
After a few minutes I said: “It means you stand up again.

It means your soul,  your full personality exists in a new way.

It means you are in a timeless communion withthe source of all goodness.

It means you are in the eternal flow of surprise, wonder,  joy and gratitude.

It means you give thanks for the love and life you shared with others because death has lost its sting,

     and you know In your heart

          life does not endit changes
            like a worm into a butterfly, or a seed into a tree.” 
 
                   "THE RESURRECTION MAN IS HERE” 

The Resurrection Man is here! 
Hang a sign on the tomb that says “empty.”
Open your eyes, smell the flowers, drop your crutches.
Take off your shoes,  Laugh at your demons and  jump into the river of life!  Anoint your hair with oil.  Put on new clothes.  Light a fire, fry some fish,  bake some bread, pour lots of wine,  pass the macaroni & cheese,  join us at the victory table!  Time to celebrate  - the departed have arrived.  Promenade with the universe.  Swing your partner,  stomp, shimmy, Merengue,  Rumba with the saints.  Polka with the poor,  jitterbug with the just,  samba with sinners
and cha-cha with Church ladies.     

                                        Get up and dance!

Stand up and joyfully shout,  
                              
“The Resurrection Man is here!” 


    Respectfully,     

Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


March 25, 2018

“ LORD BY YOUR CROSS AND RESURRECTION
YOU HAVE SET US FREE ” 
 

      This week we gather in faith to remember and celebrate the Lord’s entrance into Jerusalem, His Last Supper, His death on the cross and His glorious Resurrection. The Church encourages us to see these great events in the life of Christ, “the Paschal Mystery”, as a guide, a map or spiritual principles for our own lives.  

     Our participation in these sacred revelations about God, our lives and relationships is a heartfelt “Amen” to Jesus as the image of God’s mercy and love on earth. So, let me share some images from this Holy Week that express our basic spiritual beliefs about God, humanity and the Church: 
 Palm Sunday: Jesus is the man with conviction, confidence and courage. Although He is “troubled”, He will not change His message.  We are fickle: we accept the Lord one day and reject Him the next.  We are like a piece of palm blowing in the wind. 
 
Holy Thursday:The Archbishop blesses the Holy Oils. We are reminded that faith in Christ heals our troubled hearts. The Holy Spirit guides the Church to be an instrument of healing. 
 Holy Thursday Evening: Christ washes the feet of His disciples and calls His closet followers to “do this in remembrance of me”. The Church is called to sacrificial service. 
 Good Friday: The cross becomes the sign of  love  and spiritual power that Christians embrace when turning from darkness to the light.  Judas rejected the Lord, and Peter denied him, but found new life through repentance. 
 
Easter Vigil:The Easter candle reminds us Christ is the Light of the World. Faith in the mercy and goodness of God overcomes the darkness of sin, despair and death itself.


                     “Lord by Your cross and resurrection

                                  You have set us all free."

                                           Praise God!

                          Alleluia!   Alleluia!   Alleluia!        

                                           Respectfully,     

                             Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

March 18, 2018

          “ B E C A U S E  Y O U  A R E  N E I T H E R  C O L D  O R  H O T , 
                   B U T  L U KE  W A R M,  I  W I L L  S P I T  Y O U 
                          O U T  O F  M Y  MOUTH ” (REV. 3:15-17)

     
Sister Suzanne, I.H.M., PhD, Neumann University, spoke here on March 1st, her theme was “Deliver us from Indifference.”
     Some words to describe “Indifference” include:  not caring, neither good nor bad, unimportant, apathetic, or a person who does not care about morality, religion or politics.  

     Jesus may have been upset with the Pharisees and angry with the money changers in the Temple, but in the book of Revelations, St. John says, “God thinks less of people who are indifferent.”  

     As a Catholic Christian, I pray I am not indifferent to the gift of life, to the grace of God, to the harm done by drugs and alcohol, to people being abused, to racism, to lies, or to people in need of medical treatment, shelter,  food, hope, kindness and mercy.  

     How about you?  Are you indifferent about things that really matter?  Are you “neither hot or cold” about the teaching of Jesus - to the mystery of his life, death and resurrection?      

    God is not indifferent to us.

     We should not be indifferent to each other.     

Respectfully,     

Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

March 11, 2018

“ REDEMPTION (RESCUE ME) ”  

     Last week, during the weekend Mass, I asked if anyone had a “word” for Church or God. One woman’s word was “Redemption”.   The biblical meaning of  “Redemption”  has something to do with buying back a person (family member or slave).
     In the New Testament, it was used to describe how the death and resurrection of Christ “paid the price”  for our sins.
    Our Liturgy reminds us we are “saved” by faith in the cross.  

     Allow me in the form of a prayer to connect the word “Redemption” with some serious and harmful matters in our own time that enslave us in darkness and lead to despair: 
 
Dear Lord, 

     Redeem our nation from the harmful effects of violence, illegal drugs, pornography, racism and outdated immigration policies. 

     Redeem us from pride, anger, greed, lust, envy, gluttony and sloth.

     Redeem whatever is in our minds and hearts that prevent us from recognizing the power of your grace in this life.           
     Redeem us from the worship of false gods, from exceptionalism, indifference, fake news and hard hearts. 
     Redeem us from our sins and the temptations that lead our souls to the darkness of despair.     

     We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, your Son, Our Lord.     

                                   Respectfully,     

                                   Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

March 4, 2018

“ DELIVER US FROM EVIL AND DESPAIR. ” 

     During Lent we pray to be delivered from all evil.  Two evils that prevent us from being thankful for life and God
are fear and despair.   In the New Testament Jesus says,“Fear is useless, what is needed is trust,” and “do not let your hearts be troubled.” 

      Jesus knew how our fears, connected to loss or any “anticipated danger”, could prevent us from the freedom and joy that lead to gratefulness.

     What are your fears?  Are they real or imagined? Do you believe St. John, who said “Love (God’s) casts out all fear?”   Despair is giving up. It is living without hope or encouragement (think of poor Judas).  Now think of St. Peter, who when drowning did not give up, but reached out in hope to be saved by Jesus

     All of us go through “Dark Knights of the Soul,” and discouragement.  When discouraged, pray to be delivered from despair.  Ask for the grace of Hope and Confidence in God’s Providence.

     Remember, God who has always been with you and will always be with you.     

     God Bless.     

Respectfully,     

Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

February 25, 2018

“ W H A T  P R O F I T  D O E S  H E  S H O W 
W H O  G A I N S  T H E  WHOLE  WORLD 
AND DESTROYS HIMSELF (HIS SOUL)

‘ IN THE PROCESS ’ ? ” 

A reflection on some of the things that can destroy our souls: 
1.  Being dominated by fear rather than  fortitude. 
2.
Waiting for approval of those who think pleasure and comfort should be      the guiding motivations in our lives. 

3.  Opting for convenient and comfortable lies rather than the truth

4.  Not asking for the grace that leads us out of the temptations to
      anger, lust, greed, pride, envy, gluttony and indifference.

5.  Sins of Omission: we remain silent when we are sure something is         
     unfair, wrong or hurting others. 

6.  Not giving proper time and attention to prayer, friends,
     exercise and laughter. 

7.  Clinging to vengeance, resentment and hate

8.  Accepting constant abuse. 

9.  Falling from idealism to despair, because of your own denial or    
      inability to accept reality. 

10.  Not being able to trust one good person with what is going on in
       your mind, heart and soul. 

              The Lord continues to call us to REPENT
                               - to change our thoughts and actions.
When we
put faith, hope and love over despair, mistrust and violence,
we help to
build up the Kingdom of God.      

Respectfully,     

Msgr. Joseph M. Corley


February 18, 2018

“ THE TOUCH ” 

     A few years ago I watched a documentary on TV about a summer basketball league in NY City. The show explained that each week a different professional B-Ball player visited the league, and played on a team for one game with the purpose of attracting more people (and donations) to the league.   The game I saw focused on an NBA player, (I forget his name) who had the right touch as he made seven three-point shots in a row. At the end of the game all the folks in the stands ran on to the court.  Each person wanted to touch “the man with the hot hand” to congratulate him or share in his “power.” 

      In the Gospels, Jesus touches  and heals people who are ill or possessed by demons. People in the Gospels, like the folks who wanted to touch the B-Ball player, wanted to touch Jesus to be healed by his spiritual power (MK 5:21-43).  

     Lent is good for our souls.It can be a time to repent and to heal. By regular prayer and making sacrifices for others we can get in touch with the spirit of Jesus, and bring more Gospel goodness to our relationships and communities.      

     Another way to feel the power of Christ is to participate in our Lenten Program on Wednesday nights (Feb. 21 - March 21st). You will be touched by the power of God’s grace as you join with your brothers and sisters in faith.       God bless!     

Respectfully,     

Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


February 11,2018

                    HEALING THE WOUNDS OF CHRIST  
       Let me begin by acknowledging that faith tells me the spark of divinity is in every soul, since every wounded human being is created in the image of God and worthy of respect, if you accept the words of Jesus, who said when we help the needy or wounded, we are helping to heal him.  

       Who are the wounded who reveal the pierced heart, hands and feet of Christ? 

1.  Whenever we reach out to the sick, we heal the wounds of Jesus.  2.  Whenever we show compassion to the poor,welcome the       
      stranger, provide clothes or housing to the stranger,
we heal
    the wounds of Christ. 

3.  Whenever we sit beside a lonely person or listen to the cries of a
   
  person who is suffering, we heal the wounds of Christ. 

4.  Whenever we forgive, or whenever we refuse to throw a stone,  
    
we heal the wounds of Jesus.   When we help people, who have    
      been wounded by life,
we help to heal the wounds of Christ, who
      continues to live in them.

Our world needs more people who heal.
  Respectfully,     

Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


->SEE THE  LIGHT <-

     An Impressionist Artist is interested in seeing theeffects of sunlight on an object - often something outside like a bridge, tree, building, river or haystack.

     An Impressionist tries to capture how the same object looks different through the day or seasons,depending on the time and amount of light. You might say he or she isalways looking for or noticing the changing effects of light on objects.  

     Jesus said “I am the Light of the World,” and “Let your Light Shine before all.” St. Paul saw a “Flash of Light”at the time of his conversion to Christ.  

     Allowingthe word “Light” in the New Testament to signify
the presence or grace of Christ
,
I pray that all of us are blessed to see, (like St. Paul),
look for, notice or discern the Light of Grace in our relationships.  I pray we learn to be like an Impressionist Artist recognizing and appreciating the effects of Light (Grace) throughout the days, changes and  of our lives.     

     Respectfully,     
                     Msgr. Joseph M. Corle
y



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
January 28, 2018 

RESPECTING LIFE

WHILE IN A DINER

   While in a popular diner with two friends, I noticed two young adults (male and female) lead a group of eight persons with disabilities to a table near us.

    Their waitress was sweet as she and the young adults helped the eight order their food.

     When the food arrived, they ate, laughed and enjoyed a night out.

     When they got up to leave, each one thanked the waitress with a hug or shook her hand.  The experience was life affirming.

    When we share communion at Mass, in one way or another, everyone has some spiritual or emotional disability, and God welcomes us like that  sweet waitress welcomed the Holy Eight.

                                          Respectfully,

                                         Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


January 21, 2018

“ I WILL LOVE YOU IN GOOD TIMESAND IN BAD,

IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH. ” 
            
The other day I visited a woman in our parish who was in a nursing rehab center.  She has been in and out of the hospitals for months.   After we talked and prayed together,  I asked how her husband was doing (the last time I saw him he looked tired).  She answered, “He has been great.  He visits me twice a day.”  As I left her room and walked to my car, I          thought of the sacramental vows people make, when they are married in Church before God,  family and friends.                                                                  

        When the woman and her husband were married, they promised to love each other, “in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health”.    With the help of grace they were keeping their sacred promises,
and inspiring me to keep my promises.                                                                 

     
     Respectfully,                                  

 Msgr. Joseph M. Corley     

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

Jauary 14, 2018

WHY I  ADMIRE DR. KING   

     Why do I admire Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.?   

     First, like the Old Testament prophets, Dr, King interpreted the political, cultural, religious and economic situations of his times through the eyes of faith. 

        Second, Dr. King spoke with authority. He had confidence in the power of God and non-violence. Every time I hear his sermon on the “Drum Major Instinct”or his “I have a dream” speech, I hear the bell of truth ring in my ears, heart and soul. We should never forget his desire to see the day when his children would be “judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin.” 

             Third, like many martyrs before him, he was willing to pay the      price for putting faith into action. He was jailed, stabbed and slandered. The FBI used various “dirty tricks” to decrease his credibility and  popularity in the USA. The same FBI lied about Rev. King and Catholic priests who protested the war in Vietnam. Despite numerous threats on his life, which made him nauseous before public appearances, Dr. King did not stop his protests against injustice.   I don't think Martin Luther King was perfect – nobody is. I do however, think he was an outstanding man, worthy of respect and ongoing admiration. I do not honor him because he was an African American – though being black, a preacher and a voice for the oppressed, increased the number of those who rejected him and his message. I honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. because of his faith, vision, courage, commitment and non-violence. His style of preaching and social action has influenced a generation of ministers and priests.                             Fourth, in a time when violence is an accepted response to the
slightest frustration; in an age of apathy, confusion and selfishness; in a time when vice is given more attention than virtue and the sacred is often mocked; when racism, prejudice and hate mark the identity of the ignorant; when teens are saturated with vulgarity and amused by the immaturity of some parents, celebrities, politicians and religious types; when there is a general mistrust of authority figures; when our nation desperately needs leaders with character, compassion and courage,
it is smart and good for our country to

remember the life, message, methods and sacrifices
of a leader and American hero -

The late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.       

Respectfully,     

Msgr. Joseph M. Corley 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

January 7, 2018

D I S A P P O I N T E D
- B U T -

N O T  C H A N G I N G  M Y  FAITH IN THE PEOPLE OF DARBY

   

Here are the reasons I was disappointed thatnot one public official from beautiful Darby, PAcalled to give BVM a “heads up” about the possibility of a Charter School, which would effect our school, coming into the borough.


1. BVM Parish and School have been loyal and committed to the                            community for over 100 years. 


2. For 100 years our doors, programs, schools, food and all of our services       have been open to people in need, Catholic or non-Catholic. 


3. BVM Parish School has saved the borough millions and millions of                  dollars over its 100 years of teaching children from all faiths and                    backgrounds. 


4. BVM Church has contributed to the common good of the community

     and its institutions. If we thought our Church and School would close,         we (out of respect and caring for the future well being of Darby), would       notify our Public Officials so they could prepare for the future. 


5. A good community is a community where people and institutions                    support each other, work for the common good, provide safe streets,              good education and opportunities for people to achieve. All this takes            the hard work of communication; a communication based on mutual           trust, respect and concern for it’s future.


     I’m disappointed, BUT... I’m not changing my faith 
      in the good people of  beautiful Darby, PA.    
               
   
Communication will always be the key to our success.     

Respectfully,     

Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

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December 31, 2017

“ NIGHT WATCH ” WITH YOU AND MARY, THE MOTHER OF GOD 

Every New Year’s Eve, for the last 44 years,

I have attended Mass in a Church at Midnight.

New Year’s Eve is sacred to me, because it is a night for reflection,anticipation and spiritual surrender to the mystery of God’s mercy
and loving kindness revealed in Jesus, the Son of Man.  
New Year’s Eve is a silent night of reflection for me.

I use it to review the past year with its joys,

disappointments, surprises and foolish worries.

It is a time to think back with gratitude for the good people I have met, and the good things our parish has accomplished.  

New Year’s Eve is also a time when I pray for the grace

to anticipate the coming year with deeper faith, hope and love

for God, family, friends, staff and parish.

I ask for the grace to do God’s will in the months to come

and not be tempted by anger or despair.  

I love being with a congregation on New Year’s Eve for Mass.

It is another opportunity for me to be with like-minded and like-hearted people, as we humbly and sincerely surrender our lives to God.

It is during Mass I share in the journey of faith with all who are gathered to share sacred time, place and the new Covenant.

We are like the Shepherds, who were awake during the night

watching their flocks, when an angel of the Lord appeared to them. Though shaken, they believed and found Jesus with Joseph and Mary.   Like Mary, who did not always understand

how God would work in her life, let us say “yes” to the voice of God

and the miracle of life itself.

All the best to you and your loved ones in 2018.     

Respectfully,     

Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

December 24, 2017

“AT THE BOTTOM OF THE CHRISTMAS TREE” 

When we were kids, two days before Christmas, my mother would drag me and my two brothers to the Penn Fruit store

that was about five blocks from home.

We went to buy a Christmas tree.

If there was snow on the ground,

we took a sled in order to tie the tree to it.  

Once we arrived home, untied the tree

and carried it into the living room, war broke out.

My mother would try to referee, as we argued

about how to set the tree in the stand, where to place the tree,

the amount of tinsel to use, what kind of lights we would hang

and the proper placement of Christmas ornaments.  

As the years passed, my brothers got married, and I was in the seminary. Mom bought a “new artificial tree” (I like real trees - sorry environmentalists) that she put up with the help of our neighbors.

She would wait for me to come home before setting up the nativity scene.   One thing never changes about the Corley Christmas tree ritual:
the last two things to complete the project included putting the star on topof the tree and arranging the manger scene at the bottom of the tree.

The nativity scene continues to capture my attention,

stir my imagination

and brings joy to my heart.

I cherish the hope and grace the mystery of Christmas

brings to the world each year.     

Respectfully,     

Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

December 17, 2017

WhatI WantforChristmas
 This Third Sunday of Advent I find myself waiting
to celebrate the beauty , joy, hope and wonder that comes
with every Christmas chance to renew my trust in God,
who became a human being in Jesus Christ, born of Mother Mary.  
As I wait,I pray  for the renewal of heart.                                                          
As I wait, I seek the grace to forgive old injuries and to grow in virtue.
As I wait, I prepare for the grace to be free          
                                              
of past failures and future anxiety.
As I wait,I look for the light of peace, kindness and honesty                     
in others and in myself.
With the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, I wait in joyful hope.  
I know what I want for Christmas!
I want to receive and share the grace of reconciliation.                               
I want the courage of John the Baptist.                                                               
I want the destiny of the Magi, the dreams of Joseph, the joy of the         Shepherds and the Spirit that overshadowed Mary.
I want the Beatitudes to be my “declaration of dependence upon God.” 
I want the wisdom to honor:
the sacrifice of parents, the fortitude of the widowed, the innocence of children, the wisdom of the elderly, the restlessness of teens, the inner strength of the single, the hope of the engaged, the recovery of the addicted, the commitment, love and fidelity of the married, the gentleness of religious and priests, the compassion of care-givers,
the generosity of volunteers, and the dedication of teachers.  
This week my eyes
search again(like the first time my Mother took me to see the Nativity scene in St. William’s Church, 1950)for the Baby Jesus.
I search, because
I know He is my light and hope.  
Have a blessed Christmas for2017!
       Respectfully,     
Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

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December 10, 2017

PA RUM PUM PUM PUM ”  (LITTLE DRUMMER BOY) 

“Little Drummer Boy” is one of my favorite Christmas songs.
It is about a little poor boy who is called to provide a gift for the newborn King (Jesus).   Since he does not own any fine gifts to bring the infant,
he asks Mary for permission to play his drum for the baby. 
Mary says “yes,” he plays and the child smiles at him. 
The song is about humility.  
Before God we are “poor” little boys and girls. We lack any fine gifts to bring to Jesus except humility, trust, hope and love.  
During Advent remember, and tell your children,
Jesus is God’s Christmas gift to us.
Our response of faith and love for others, is our little gift to God.
     

Respectfully,     

Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

December 3, 2017


“STAY AWAKE. BE ON GUARD.”
This First Sunday of Advent we light one candle in Church
to remind us to prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus the Lord.
This busy time of the year does not allow much time to get our
souls ready to rejoice at the birth of Jesus.
For too many people, the real happiness of the season is
determined by how much they didn't spend, and how many
gifts they remembered to buy.
“Peace finally comes to us when Christmas is over and we can rest

Yet,
we are challenged, not to miss the reason for the season.
Here are three easy suggestions that might help you.
Be on guard”
so you don’t fall asleep from exhaustion, but
"stay awake”
to experience the good news of God revealing His love and mercy
for us through Christ, the Lord.
First, take time to pray.                                                     
Take a few minutes every morning, noon and night to reflect upon your life.

Ask the Holy Spirit to help you remember how faith helped you cope in difficult times.  

Second, take time to reflect each day.                        
Ask the
Holy Spirit to help you remember the good people

who have had a positive influence in your life - people who have loved,
corrected, encouraged and forgiven you.
People who taught you about God.
Third,  take time to be amazed.                                      
Take a few seconds every day, and allow yourself to be captured by
the beauty and wonder of creation. Think of what most attracts you to Jesus.
Ask the Holy Spirit to help you “see”
the times God’s grace has made you grateful to be alive.
As we grow older, we have to acknowledge we may not have
many more Advents to properly prepare our souls
to appreciate what the birth of Christ means for us and the world.
Don’t let this season pass by 

without giving praise to God for the birth of Jesus, our Savior.
Peace!
Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

November 26, 2017

“THE KING OF HEARTS”

This weekend we celebrate the Solemnity of “Christ the King”.

We remember the spiritual power of Jesus extends beyond regional boundaries
and rules the hearts of those who follow Him.

Here are some of the reasons why Christ is the King of our hearts.

Jesus is King, because the integrity of His life encourages us to trust Him

and the Father’s goodness.      

  Christ is King, because He revealed what God is like and how human beings

should respond to God.

Christ is King, because He searched out sinners and ate with them.                
                    Christ is King, because he had pity and compassion on the crowds, wept at the death of loved ones, and refreshed all those who were weary and found life burdensome.

                 Christ is King, because He did not allow fear or anxiety to rule His life.  He                  strengthened the weak, forgave sinners, welcomed the outcasts,
and connected love of God with love for human beings. 

Christ is King, because He challenged us to reject pride, anger, lust, greed,
laziness, envy, hypocrisy and empty rituals.

           Christ is King, because He knew the complexity of the human heart,                        
could not be brought by money, confronted shallow religious and political leaders,
and was not impressed by a person's education, role, status, or material possessions.

        Christ is King, because he taught the Beatitudes, and gave us                                 
         Parables about the Father’s love and mercy. 
                       Christ is King, because faith in and like Him can change hearts, minds and souls.        
Christ is King, because he was raised from the dead,                                            
and sent His disciples the Holy Spirit.          

     Christ is King, because of His mature, sacrificial love for God and humanity.
   Christ is King, because for 2000 years His amazing grace has been revealed
in political and religious leaders, men and women, the rich and poor,
married and single, young and old,
and those recovering from loss, addictions and despair.

                 Christ is still King and will always be,                 
because His life, death and resurrection continues to provide
meaning, purpose and direction to people all over the world.
               Christ is King, because when we hear His Word and meet Him in the Sacraments,
we discover who we are, why we were created,
where we are going and what is important.

      Christ is King,

because
“through Him, with Him and in Him” we find
peace, hope and a reason to “lift up our hearts”
in gratitude to God, our Father.

God bless you.

Respectfully,

Msgr.  Joseph M. Corley

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


November 19, 2017

"God Likes Humble"


In or out of the Reconciliation room most of us do not enjoy acknowledging our sins, but we need to remember God always embraces those who are humble.


To begin, I will explain what a humble person knows:
He knows that he is not God.

• He is a creature who will not always understand God’s ways.
• A humble person knows he, like every other person, can be a saint and a sinner.
• A humble person is not superior or inferior to others.


The gospel offers us several examples that reveal God likes humble people.

First,      in Luke Chapter 5, after Peter humbles himself before Jesus, he is called to follow the Lord.

Second,        in Luke Chapter 15, the loving father welcomes his humble son upon his return in the story of the Prodigal Son.

Third,      Luke 16:19–31, the story of the poor man, Lazarus,                     
starving outside of the home of the rich man.
The humble poor man is taken to God  
and the selfish rich man is not.

Fourth,                Luke Chapter 18, the story about the self-righteous Pharisee               
and the tax collector; teaches us that God prefers
the humble man who can admit his faults.


As disciples of Jesus, who humbled himself in obedience to God, we are always learning how to put the virtue of humility into practice. It is good to remember that pride can lead to separation from God, who favors those who are humble. Respectfully,

Rev. Joseph M. Corley  

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November 12, 2017

IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME 
BY:  RAGAN COURTNEY AND BURYL RED

from the album Celebrate Life

In remembrance of Me eat this bread

In remembrance of Me drink this wine

In remembrance of Me pray for the time

When God's own will is done

In remembrance of me heal the sick

In remembrance of me feed the poor

In remembrance of me open the door 

And let your brother in, let him in

Take eat and be comforted

Drink and remember too

That this is my body and precious blood

Shed for you, shed for you

In remembrance of me search for truth 

In remembrance of me always love

In remembrance of me don't look above

But in your heart, in your heart

Look in your heart for God

Do this in remembrance of Me

Do this in remembrance of Me

In remembrance of Me 
 
    Respectfully,

Rev. Joseph M. Corley 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

November 5, 2017

ON “ HOW TO FIND HAPP INESS ”

ACCORDING TO ST. AUGUSTINE 

Everyone wants to be happy. 
Some find it in material possessions or physical comfort (a house, good car, and fine foods). Others find happiness in having friends and belonging to groups.  Lots of people enjoy being able to pursue their own interests or hobbies. 
St. Augustine (born in North Africa) said happiness involved
 three things:
 
First,  Augustine said you need a clean and honest conscience before God. That is, you have some confidence that you have done your best to be a good person, and if you failed, you humbly repent
with trust in God’s mercy.  
 
Second, you must have a heart as pure as possible.                                                 This means you do your best not to speak, act or dwell on negative, cynical, pessimistic or heard-hearted thoughts. 

 
 Third, you persevere in faith, hope and love.                                                            

If you do all three, according to St. Augustine,

you will find inner peace and spiritual happiness.     


 Respectfully,     

Rev. Joseph M. Corley

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
 

October 29, 2017

WHAT JESUS CARED ABOUT

1. He believed in Providence and wanted us to do the same.                           
By Providence I mean trusting that God wants what is best for us and goodness will overcome corruption. 

2. The BEATITUDES (MT. 5-7), Jesus expected his followers to persevere, to be better then those who only cared about externals – e.g., money, status and empty rituals. 

3. He wanted us to recognizehim in the poor and needy (MT. 25).                

4. He wanted us to reject religious leaders and religions who did not help  or encourage people (MT.23). 

5. He believed the Kingdom of God existed in the hearts of individuals here on earth as well as in heaven (Luke 17:21), and God’s grace was offered to all (MT.5:43-48). 

6. He came to fulfill the Old Testament Law and promise of God (MT.            5:17). 

7. He said Marriage was a sacred bond - “Two become one”.                            

8. He used parables to get people to think and to teach a new way of            looking at experiences (LK. 14). 

9. He stressed the Mercy of God (LK. 5&7).                                                               

10. He believed that our souls replaced the Old Testament’s purpose of the temple. 

11. He was against murder and violence (MT. 5:21-24).                                        

12. He believed in the power of God’s Love, Mercy and Grace. He had             confidence and Faith in the Resurrection of the dead.  I suggest that all of us who struggle “to have the mind of Christ”, meditate on the twelve things Jesus cared about most.

~~~~~

HAUNTED HOUSES

      For some of us dark memories and fears from the past
continue to haunt, to possess our minds, hearts, souls and wills. 
Evil spirits and negative experiences from our youth determine the way we look at life, others, ourselves and God revealed in Jesus.   
     Halloween should be a joyful, fun-filled celebration of the divine victory over all the things that scare us in life - including sin, despair
and death itself. 

Respectfully,

Rev. Joseph M. Corley