“Do you know the Gift?”

 

The Gift
The Gift

Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” ~John 4:10

The story of the Woman of Samaria is one that is very powerful. Filled with love, healing, reconciliation, searching for the path, and joy. Here was this woman who was searching for something she never thought she would receive. She was in the presence of God Himself, but failed to realize the Gift that was in front of her.

Jesus was thirsty, but not for earthly things, He was thirsty for her Soul. He traveled a road no Jew had ever dared traveled before, and he broke a rule and spoke to a woman. He met her where she was in her walk of life; broken, battered, bruised and sinful. Divorced five times and living with someone out of wedlock. She was looked down upon, lower than a dog, yet Jesus had mercy upon her. He met her with Love and Mercy not condemnation and judgment. He met her at the Wellspring of her life and offered her eternal life.

Do we take the time to recognize the Gift’s of God that are in our own midst? The people God sends to us, places in our lives for a specific reason? Do we judge others for what they have done or are doing or not doing? While I was preaching this evening, Jesus walked through the doors of the Church… late into the service I was leading. He walked down the center isle of the Church in the middle of my words. 40 – 50 people saw him enter and walk toward me, then he took a seat in the front row. He was somewhat unkempt; dirty, and smelled of alcohol. I also failed to mention that he had a bottle of scotch he tried to hid under his hat. He sat quietly and listened intently for the remainder of my talk, and at the end asked some questions. I took the time to speak with him then he departed and began looking at some of the icons in the Church. When others departed he asked me questions about the ‘circles around the head’s’ of those depicted in the pictures, of which I explained to him. He then inquired of the icons of the Holy Infant, and Our Mother of Perpetual Help, of which I explained to him. I asked if he would like prayer and he responded “Why? I don’t know? No thank you”, and then went on his way.

This man entered in to the OPEN DOOR of God’s Mercy. He walked through the Open Door of the Church seeking something. I tried not to judge but to be of-service, after all, he was and is a child of God.

The Gift of God was before me. The Gift of understanding, mercy, healing and forgiveness. The Gift of compassion was before me and I was lucky that I recognized that gift before me, as I have failed to do, so many times in my life.

Gift2You are the Gift of God. You have received Salvation for it has already been purchased for you! Judgment has already been rendered and you have been found guilty, yet the Gift of GRACE has entered the world and found you WORTHY of the Gift of Forgiveness; Found you WORTHY of the Gift of Mercy. Now it is time for us to not only BE that Gift, but to GIVE it away FREELY and UNCONDITIONALLY!

Do you know the Gift of God that is before you this day? Know it; Know Him; Be Him and give it away to others on the path of knowledge. The Door of Mercy is now open to all God’s Children.

Keep on Keepin On!

Please consider giving a Financial Gift to help this ministry continue. Thank you so very much and God bless you for your Generosity and Kindness.

Your generous support is greatly needed. Please consider going to our GoFundMe account and give what you can to further the Gospel of Mercy throughout the United States and beyond. Thank you in advance for your generosity.

Richard Lane Ministries

#YearOfMercy #JubileeYearOfMercy #DoorOfFaith

Is your parish read for the “Jubilee Year of Mercy”? Click the below link to see how YOU can schedule Catholic Lay Evangelist and EWTN personality Richard Lane, to come and help YOUR parish get ready for the Year of Mercy!

Click HERE to see how you can have RICHARD LANE at YOUR Parish for a Year of Mercy Mission.
Click HERE to see how you can have RICHARD LANE at YOUR Parish for a Year of Mercy Mission.

Follow Catholic Lay Evangelist Richard Lane at;

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“…the Church is a field hospital for the Spiritually wounded.”

 

Field Hospital“I see the Church as a field hospital” ~ Pope Francis

As a Veteran of the United States Army, when I hear the words “Field Hospital” it gives me the vision of a hospital within the middle of the battle field. His Holiness Pope Francis is making reference to the Church as a ‘field hospital’ for the wounded after battle, which begs the question, are we engaged?

Are WE all ‘engaged’ in the battle against evil in this world? Engaged in the battle against relativism; engaged in battle against pride, egotism, economic supremacy, violence in this nation and the many other evils such as drugs that plague our society? Are we all ENGAGED in the war, or do we sit on the sidelines and take comfort within the safety of our own little “safe world of prayer”, the safety net of our own freedom from conflict and yet still point and wage the judgmental finger at others?

Helping others in their Spiritual woundedness.
Helping others in their Spiritual woundedness.

The Church; each one of our parishes should be a field hospital for those who have been engaged in the war daily. Being engaged means being out on the field of battle; taking it to the streets, engaging our youth, those who are hurting, homeless, the helpless and those who are fighting additions. When people come in from the battle, they are broken, battered and bruised from conflict, often times suffering from P.T.S.D., and in need of healing, reconciliation and guidance. We are called to be the face of the Father’s mercy at all times, to all people. Not judging those who come into the Father’s House, but to welcome them like the Father welcomed the Prodigal Son.

Get in the fight. Get engaged in the battle against the enemy of this world. Engage your children, your spouse, your family. Encounter the mercy of the Father within the Healing of the Eucharist, and the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Then go out and find another

I am my brothers keeper. I shall NEVER leave a fallen Soldier on the field of battle.
I am my brothers keeper. I shall NEVER leave a fallen Soldier on the field of battle.

fallen soldier on the field of battle in this world and bring them to the Church. The Field Hospital that welcomes and heals ALL who seek. Seek and you shall find, Knock and the door shall be opened, says Jesus. Let us engage this world and definitely be our brothers keeper.
Keep on Keepin’ On!

Keep on Keepin On!

Richard Lane Ministries

Your generous support is greatly needed. Please consider going to our GoFundMe account and give what you can to further the Gospel of Mercy throughout the United States and beyond. Thank you in advance for your generosity.

#YearOfMercy #JubileeYearOfMercy #DoorOfFaith

Is your parish read for the “Jubilee Year of Mercy”? Click the below link to see how YOU can schedule Catholic Lay Evangelist and EWTN personality Richard Lane, to come and help YOUR parish get ready for the Year of Mercy!

Click HERE to see how you can have RICHARD LANE at YOUR Parish for a Year of Mercy Mission.
Click HERE to see how you can have RICHARD LANE at YOUR Parish for a Year of Mercy Mission.

Follow Catholic Lay Evangelist Richard Lane at;

Catholic Evangelist
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Follow Richard Lane on Twitter.
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Witness to the Mercy of God…

 

 

Pope Francis speaks next to the presiden...Pope Francis speaks next to the president of the Religious Affairs, Professor Mehmet Gormez, during a joint press conference following their meeting in Ankara as part of a three day visit in Turkey on November 28, 2014. Pope Francis called for dialogue between faiths to end the Islamist extremism plaguing the Middle East as he visited Turkey for his first visit to the overwhelmingly Muslim but officially secular state. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who welcomed Pope Francis as the first foreign dignitary to his controversial new presidential palace outside Ankara, for his part issued a strong warning about rising Islamophobia in the world. The 77-year-old Argentine pope will move to Istanbul on Saturday and Sunday, visiting key sites of the city's Byzantine and Ottoman heritage as well as meeting the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I.  AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTEFILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images
Pope Francis speaks next to the presiden…Pope Francis speaks next to the president of the Religious Affairs, Professor Mehmet Gormez, during a joint press conference following their meeting in Ankara as part of a three day visit in Turkey on November 28, 2014. Pope Francis called for dialogue between faiths to end the Islamist extremism plaguing the Middle East as he visited Turkey for his first visit to the overwhelmingly Muslim but officially secular state. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who welcomed Pope Francis as the first foreign dignitary to his controversial new presidential palace outside Ankara, for his part issued a strong warning about rising Islamophobia in the world. The 77-year-old Argentine pope will move to Istanbul on Saturday and Sunday, visiting key sites of the city’s Byzantine and Ottoman heritage as well as meeting the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I. AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTEFILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images

“The Church is called above all to be a credible witness to mercy, professing it and living it as the core of the revelation of Jesus Christ.” ~ Pope Francis Year of Mercy

Why are you Catholic? Why are you Christian? Why are you a believer of He who is the Alpha and the Omega; the First and the Last; He who is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords? What is your 1 Peter 3:15 Story? “Always be ready to give reason for your belief.”

You are not Catholic because you were born or Baptized Catholic? You are Catholic, you are Christian because of your belief in Jesus Christ. We must always give a credible witness to our Faith. I am Catholic Christian because of the “source and summit of Salvation”; the Eucharist; the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ within the Blessed Sacrament. I am Christian because Jesus gave Himself for my own Salvation. I am Christian because He has done great things for me in my life.

This is the core of the ‘credible witness’ we are to give the world. Just as John the Baptist was the voice crying out in the desert a message of redemption and salvation through Jesus Christ. Witness to the Mercy of Christ means that we are to give witness to the GIVING of the Love of God for all mankind; believers and unbelievers; Christians, Muslims, Jew’s, Buddhists and Atheist’s.

John 3:16 says “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son” that all might be saved. We are called to love one another despite our indifferences. We are called to forgiveness, and unconditional love. Professing our love and LIVING OUT that love in this world that continues to attempt to destroy us. Love conquers all things, love believes all things and love bears all things.

I challenge you today to a random act of kindness. Tell someone “God loves you and so do I.” Share your love of Christ with someone you just met. I challenge you to call someone you have not spoken too in a long time and just tell them you were thinking of them and you love them. Something that has not been their, will be their, unexpectedly.

Keep on Keepin On!

Richard Lane Ministries

Your generous support is greatly needed. Please consider going to our GoFundMe account and give what you can to further the Gospel of Mercy throughout the United States and beyond. Thank you in advance for your generosity.

#YearOfMercy #JubileeYearOfMercy #DoorOfFaith

Is your parish read for the “Jubilee Year of Mercy”? Click the below link to see how YOU can schedule Catholic Lay Evangelist and EWTN personality Richard Lane, to come and help YOUR parish get ready for the Year of Mercy!

Click HERE to see how you can have RICHARD LANE at YOUR Parish for a Year of Mercy Mission.
Click HERE to see how you can have RICHARD LANE at YOUR Parish for a Year of Mercy Mission.

Follow Catholic Lay Evangelist Richard Lane at;

Catholic Evangelist
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Follow Richard Lane on Twitter.
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His Grace Saves and His Mercy Sustains!

mercy

“A Holy Year to experience strongly within ourselves the joy of having been found by Jesus, the Good Shepherd Who has come in search of us because we were lost.”

There is a story in the Bible I believe where there are 100 sheep, one gets lost or wanders away and the Shepherd stops everything and searches for that one lost sheep, until it is found. Many of us traverse this world with our eyes wide shut. Lost in the darkness which envelopes our very being. Making us callous and hardened to the little things in life. We are so busy in the fast paced world we fail to realize the Rose the grew in the concrete; we fail to realize the beauty amidst the turmoil.

It is through God’s Amazing Grace that those of us who were caught up ‘IN the world’ have been found and given New Life. It is through God’s Amazing Grace that gives use ‘New Eyes’ that are OPENED to the NEW possibilities that only God has for us. It is through His Amazing Grace that He loves us so much, that He will take the time to come after just one person out of all the inhabitants of the earth, He is searching for YOU and I. How can God do this you ask? THROUGH you and I. You see once we have had that Encounter with the Lord, when we have received His Mercy and Forgiveness, when we have had a Sacramental Encounter with the Lord, then He uses us to GO OUT into the world and make a difference. We then become the Face of the Good Shepherd, who is searching for the lost sheep.

Let us take time during this Year of Mercy to realize the Rose that grew from the concrete, to seek out those whose eyes are wide shut and lost. Never forget it was His Grace that saved you and His Mercy that sustains you!

Blessed Be the Name of the Lord!

Keep on Keepin On!

Richard Lane Ministries

Your generous support is greatly needed. Please consider going to our GoFundMe account and give what you can to further the Gospel of Mercy throughout the United States and beyond. Thank you in advance for your generosity.

#YearOfMercy #JubileeYearOfMercy #DoorOfFaith

Is your parish read for the “Jubilee Year of Mercy”? Click the below link to see how YOU can schedule Catholic Lay Evangelist and EWTN personality Richard Lane, to come and help YOUR parish get ready for the Year of Mercy!

Click HERE to see how you can have RICHARD LANE at YOUR Parish for a Year of Mercy Mission.
Click HERE to see how you can have RICHARD LANE at YOUR Parish for a Year of Mercy Mission.

Follow Catholic Lay Evangelist Richard Lane at;

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Follow Richard Lane on Twitter.
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A Sign and Instrument of the Father’s Mercy…

 

Jubilee Year of Mercy
Jubilee Year of Mercy

“Many question in their hearts: why a Jubilee of

Mercy today? Simply because the Church, in this

time of great historical change, is called to offer

more evident signs of God’s presence and closeness.

This is not the time to be distracted; on the contrary,

we need to be vigilant and to reawaken in ourselves

the capacity to see what is essential.

This is a time for the Church to rediscover the

meaning of the mission entrusted to her by the Lord

on the day of Easter: to be a sign and an instrument

of the Father’s mercy.” ~ Pope Francis

It is evident and obvious in this day and age of relativism, we as Christians need to provide a more visible presence in this world. We have taken God out of our schools and look what has happened; we are trying to remove him from our government; look what is happening. We live in a United States of America that was founded on Judaeo Christian morals and principles, yet we still have states such as Oregon that are 87% non-Christian. We have a lot of work to do. We must be a visible sign of the presence and work of God in this world.

We live in a Microwave, drive thru, instant-messenger, instant-gratification society. We seek likes from Facebook, Retweets from Twitter, Snaps from Snapchat and instant recognition from Instagram. Distractions are around us all. The evil one’s desire is that we continue to be distracted in our daily lives; keeping us away from doing the Will of God. He wants to keep us B.U.S.Y = Burdened Under Satan’s Yoke

Our Holy Father is calling on all people of faith to recommitment; to rediscover the Joy of living, the Joy of Loving, the Joy of serving others; to rediscover the meaning of mission; “to be an instrument and sign of the Father’s Mercy”.

Christ Jesus was the VISIBLE sign of the Father’s Love. The Bible tells us that God so loved the WORLD that HE Gave. He gave all He had, which was His ONLY begotten Son; therefore Jesus became the VISIBLE sign of the Father’s Love and Mercy upon ALL men and women who shall believe.

GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME!!!

Keep on Keepin On!

Richard Lane Ministries

Your generous support is greatly needed. Please consider going to our GoFundMe account and give what you can to further the Gospel of Mercy throughout the United States and beyond. Thank you in advance for your generosity.

#YearOfMercy #JubileeYearOfMercy #DoorOfFaith

Is your parish read for the “Jubilee Year of Mercy”? Click the below link to see how YOU can schedule Catholic Lay Evangelist and EWTN personality Richard Lane, to come and help YOUR parish get ready for the Year of Mercy!

Click HERE to see how you can have RICHARD LANE at YOUR Parish for a Year of Mercy Mission.
Click HERE to see how you can have RICHARD LANE at YOUR Parish for a Year of Mercy Mission.

Follow Catholic Lay Evangelist Richard Lane at;

Catholic Evangelist
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Follow Richard Lane on Twitter.
Follow Richard Lane on Twitter.
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His Mercy Endures Forever!

Go out and reach the Least, Lost and Most Abandoned. Let them see the Face of the Father's Mercy in you.
Go out and reach the Least, Lost and Most Abandoned. Let them see the Face of the Father’s Mercy in you.

“How much wrong we do to God and his grace when we speak of sins being punished by his judgment before we speak of their being forgiven by his mercy,” ~ Pope Francis December 8, 2015

I have a new saying; “A Saint is nothing more than a sinner who fell down and got up multiple times.” We all fall short of the Glory of God. We are all sinners. Every last person who walks on this earth is a sinner, yet we ALL have been justified by the Grace of God. G.R.A.C.E. = God’s Righteousness At Christ’ Expense.

Calvary is the precipice upon which the Love of the Father is seen. It is the apex of the Mission of the Son of God. Unconditional mercy, unconditional love and unconditional forgiveness. Yet in our own judgment of others we do wrong to God and His Grace when we presuppose and place limitations upon His Mercy. The Bible teaches us “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his mercy endures forever”  Psalm 136:1.

If we are called to an encounter with Christ; to be like Him who is the face of the Father’s mercy, then we are called to be that Face. The face of Love to the unloved, the face of healing to those who are hurting, and the face of forgiveness for those who have fallen short of the Mercy of God and have not had the opportunity to walk through His Open Door of Grace.

Let us not judge others, let us attempt to be the Face of Forgiveness; the Face of His Mercy, that we might be that voice crying out… GIVE THANKS unto the LORD for HE IS GOOD!

Keep on Keepin’ on!

Richard Lane Ministries

Your generous support is greatly needed. Please consider going to our GoFundMe account and give what you can to further the Gospel of Mercy throughout the United States and beyond. Thank you in advance for your generosity.

#YearOfMercy #JubileeYearOfMercy #DoorOfFaith

Is your parish read for the “Jubilee Year of Mercy”? Click the below link to see how YOU can schedule Catholic Lay Evangelist and EWTN personality Richard Lane, to come and help YOUR parish get ready for the Year of Mercy!

Click HERE to see how you can have RICHARD LANE at YOUR Parish for a Year of Mercy Mission.
Click HERE to see how you can have RICHARD LANE at YOUR Parish for a Year of Mercy Mission.

Follow Catholic Lay Evangelist Richard Lane at;

Catholic Evangelist
Catholic Evangelist
Follow Richard Lane on Twitter.
Follow Richard Lane on Twitter.
Follow Richard Lane on Facebook
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Richard Lane YouTube

Opening the Door of Mercy Vs. Condemnation…

Pope Francis pushes open the Holy Door of St. Peter's Basilica, formally launching the Holy Year of Mercy, at the Vatican, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015. The 12-month jubilee emphasizes what has become the leitmotif of his papacy: to show the merciful and welcoming side of a Catholic Church more often known for its moralizing and judgment. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Pope Francis pushes open the Holy Door of St. Peter’s Basilica, formally launching the Holy Year of Mercy, at the Vatican, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015. The 12-month jubilee emphasizes what has become the leitmotif of his papacy: to show the merciful and welcoming side of a Catholic Church more often known for its moralizing and judgment. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

On December 8, 2015 Pope Francis opened the Door of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome symbolizing the beginning of the Jubilee Year of Mercy. His Holiness began by  providing a symbolic message of opening the doors of our hearts to Mercy; the Mercy of God upon us as well as extending that same Mercy to others in this world, rather than condemning each other for our own sinfulness.

The Holy Father chose December 8th for a special reason as this is the day the Church celebrates the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

St. John Paul II wrote;

“… it marks the moment when the Holy Spirit, who had already infused the fullness of grace into Mary of Nazareth, formed in her virginal womb the human nature of Christ. This fullness marks the moment when, with the entrance of the eternal into time, time itself is redeemed, and being filled with the mystery of Christ becomes definitely “salvation time”.” 

~ Redemptoris Mater St. John Paul II

Through the great Fiat of the Blessed Mother, her yes opened the door of salvation to enter into the world; thus our yes, should open the door to salvation to all; “God so loved the world he gave his only begotten son…” ~ John 3:16

His Holiness, Pope Francis addressed almost 50,000 people this morning saying, “We have to put mercy before judgement, and in any event God’s judgment will always be in the light of His mercy.”

His mercy extends to all people; good, bad, right, wrong, better, worse, and indifferent, for all have fallen short of His Grace. ~ Romans 3:23 We should not condemn, but love as He loves us.

Throughout this Year of Mercy you will receive, hopefully, on a daily basis, reflections on this website taken directly from the Papal Bull of Indiction Misericordiae Vultus. It is our prayer that you would read, understand, implement and share the teachings and edicts given from our Holy Father, that we all might be the Face of the Father’s Mercy to all.

Keep on Keepin’ on!

Richard Lane Ministries

San Diego, join us for the Goretti Group Friday Dec 4th

The Goretti Group
The Goretti Group

Please join us Friday December 4th for a GLORIOUS evening filled with Grace.

The Goretti Group welcomes EWTN Personality and Internationally Renown Catholic Lay Evangelist Richard Lane. Mr. Lane will be speaking about the Jubilee Year of Mercy, Advent and Chastity.

“This is a time for the Church to rediscover the meaning of mission… to be a sign and an instrument of the Father’s Mercy” ~ Pope Francis

Please join us at Our Lady of the Rosary 1629 Columbia St., San Diego, CA. 92101. Adoration and Confession at 5:30; Holy Mass 6:30; Meal will be served at 7:30 and Mr. Lane’s presentation will begin at 8pm. ALL are welcome to join us!

November is Black Catholic History Month – November 10th…

Help us to celebrate Black Catholic History month. Please read, learn and share with others!


We continue our celebration of Black Catholic History Month today, November 10th, in telling the stories of those who have made a significant impact upon the Church. Those of African, African-American and those of non-color that have helped to advance the Gospel Message to millions around the world and especially in this Nation. 
 
 
“And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross.” (Matthew 27:32)
 
Today we reflect upon the life of St. Simon of Cyrene, although much is not known about this man ‘of color’, his small contribution is not only told in the Synoptic Gospels of Matthew and Luke, but we also reflect upon his ‘mission’ in the 5th Station of the Cross.
 
As Simon was walking into the city of Jerusalem with his two sons, he noticed the hustle and bustle of the city, which was normal, but it seemed a bit different on this trip. As we in modern day society know with traffic accidents, things slow down and everyone wants to ‘rubber neck’ and watch; so was the case in this time. Simon, with his two sons in tow, moved closer to the commotion when he realized it was ‘this Jesus’, the reported Messiah; the Healer, the Preacher and the Teacher; the one who claimed to be ‘the Son of God’, had been arrested, beaten, set with a crown of thorns upon his head, and was being led to His execution; even forced to carry his own instrument of death – the Cross.
 
I place myself in the same position as Simon was in and thinking as a father would, with his children present, ‘what should I do’? I would like to believe that I would have done the same as Simon; ensuring my children were safe and then press forward to see if there was anything (however little it might be) that I could do.
 
I am certain that Simon was appalled at what was transpiring and more than likely shouted at the Roman Soldiers, for doing what they were doing, when all of a sudden, a Soldier forced Simon ‘into service’; demanding that he (Simon) pick up the Cross and carry it for Jesus. Imagine looking down upon Christ, broken, battered, bloodied and bruised; picking up this ‘tree’ that had fallen upon him and helping him (Christ) to his feet.
 
Let us learn from this great Saint our ‘mission’; we too must bear our share of the burdens for the sake of the Gospel. We too must pick up the Cross of Christ and carry the Good News of Salvation into all the strata of humanity; extolling, Christ destroyed Death, so that we might LIVE IN HIM, forever more…
 
Thank you St. Simon of Cyrene for teaching us love and compassion; for giving us strength and courage to pick up the Cross of Jesus, for the sake of all mankind!
 
St. Simon of Cyrene, Pray for us!
 
Blessings and Peace, and remember… KEEP ON KEEPIN’ ON!!!

Richard Lane Ministries
www.CatholicEvangelist.net
Click HERE to see how you can have RICHARD LANE at YOUR Parish for a Year of Mercy Mission.
Click HERE to see how you can have RICHARD LANE at YOUR Parish for a Year of Mercy Mission.

Follow Catholic Lay Evangelist Richard Lane at;

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November is Black Catholic History Month – “How we got over”

Nightwatch Services – “How We Got Over”…

Night WatchI have seen this on the internet several times and feel impelled to share it. This is part of the History of the United States, Black, White, Hispanic, et. al. We are all brothers and sisters in the Lord and share in it’s struggles and triumphs. This article is only a small portion of the strength, faith and love millions had and continue to have for this Nation. God bless you and God bless the United States of America!

Evangelist Richard Lane, RichardLaneMinistries.com

www.CatholicEvangelist.net

“Many of you who live or grew up in Black communities in the United States have probably heard of “Watch Night Services,” the gathering of the faithful in church on New Year’s Eve.


The service usually begins anywhere from 7 p.m. To 10 p.m. And ends at midnight with the entrance of the New Year. 


Some folks come to church first, before going out to celebrate. For others, church is the only New Year’s Eve event. Like many others, I always assumed that Watch Night was a fairly standard Christian religious service — made a bit more Afro centric because that’s what happens when elements of Christianity become linked with the Black Church. 

Still, it seemed that predominately White Christian churches did not include Watch Night services on their calendars, but focused instead on Christmas Eve programs.
In fact, there were instances where clergy in mainline denominations wondered aloud about the propriety of linking religious services with a secular holiday like New Year’s Eve.

However, there is a reason for the importance of New Year’s Eve services in African American congregations. 

The Watch Night Services in Black communities that we celebrate today can be traced back to gatherings on December 31, 1862, also known as “Freedom’s Eve.”
On that night, Blacks came together in churches and private homes all across the nation, anxiously awaiting news that the Emancipation Proclamation actually had become law.
Then, at the stroke of midnight, it was January 1, 1863, and all slaves in the Confederate States were declared legally free.

NightWatchWhen the news was received, there were prayers, shouts and songs of joy as people fell to their knees and thanked God.
Black folks have gathered in churches annually on New Year’s Eve ever since, praising God for bringing us safely through another year.

It’s been 145 years since that first Freedom’s Eve and many of us were never taught the African American history of Watch Night, but tradition still brings us together at this time every year to celebrate “how we got over.””

Richard Lane Ministries