Category: Deacon’s Beacon

From the heart of Deacon Doug.

The Governor of California has shut many business again, so here we are again to ponder, where are we going. Perhaps this is a good time to ask ourselves: Is my life moving toward God, or away from Him ? 

Most people enjoy a really good love story.  My wife Sheila watches the Hallmark Channel because they still have descent wholesome love stories.  In fact it’s about the only channel we both watch these days. But the greatest love story

In today’s parable of the sower, Jesus tells us about the way he gives out gifts, especially the gift of the Word of God.  He tells us that in all of our lives we have footpaths, some rocky ground and

It was so good to see those who participated this morning in our monthly School of Leaders .  Even though we are restricted in being physically together it’s important that we remain in contact with one another !  It’s important

Jesus never said it would be easy, he only promised us that it would be worth it.  If it was easy to do his work, there would be no shortage of disciples.  He knows however that what makes It possible

Who were the people that Jesus called to follow him.  They were ordinary fishermen.  They didn’t look different than any of the other townspeople.  They didn’t look pious. They were regular folks.  When Jesus called them they were mending their

In the gospel today Jesus calls his disciples by name and sends them out with the proclamation; “The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.”  The fact is he has called you by name to go out and do the same

In the Gospel  today they bring to Jesus a man possesses by a demonic who could not speak on the hope that Jesus would set him free. These neighbors undoubtedly took pity on him because of his double impediment.  Jesus

What kind of foundation is my life built on ?  What principles have I built my life around ?  Most people sincerely want to do the right thing. But it can be difficult when we go through a serious crisis

We are currently in a period in our Catholic Church we call Ordinary Time.  During this time we wear green vestments representing a time of growth and hope.  Thinking about this year however I do not think I would use

Happy July 4th. To everyone.  Be safe!  My reflection today is a prayer from the American Family Association web site written by Dave Butts. ______________________________ Father of all that is, I thank you for calling into being the United States

Today is the feast day of St. Thomas the Apostle.  He is often called “Doubting Thomas “ because he did not believe the others had seen the Lord.  It wasn’t until he saw Jesus that he proclaimed the Easter Proclamation

When a paralytic was brought to Jesus by his friends, Jesus did the unthinkable.  He first forgave his sins. The man’s companions were concerned about his physical condition, but for Jesus his priority was the condition of the man’s soul.

In the first reading today from the prophet Amos we read; “Seek good and not evil that, you may live.  Hate evil and love good, and let justice prevail at the gate.”  What great words for us as we witness

One day they were up on the Syrian boarder in Caesarea Philippi and he ask his disciples; “Who do people say that the Son Of Man is?”  I have stood on that spot several times and pondered that question.  Jesus

In the previous two chapters of Matthew’s gospel we hear about nine powerful miracles.  Today as we begin chapter ten, Jesus sends out his disciples to be prophets to the Jews.  Having witnessed these nine miracles, he now expects them

The Centurion in today’s gospel was a very important person.  By his very name he was in charge of 100 Roman soldiers.  Centurions were the backbone of the Roman army and the glue that held the army together when they

At the time of Jesus if you had leprosy you were separated from the community and lived in isolation. If a healthy person approached, you had to call out “unclean”. There was good reason for this isolation because they knew it was

Yesterday I mentioned we were in Boise, Idaho visiting parish and Cursillo friends Gary and Carol Ritchens. Somehow this part of my message got edited out! So I mention it again to thank them for their hospitality! We need to be careful

Today is the feast of St. John the Baptist.  Christmas was placed on what was thought to be the shortest day of the year so that after Christ’s birth the days and daylight increase. John the Baptist’s feast day was

Jesus says; “Stop judging, that you may not be judged.  For as you judge, so will you be judged….”.  It’s hard for us not to judge others especially those who look or speak differently than myself.  Our society and economy

First of all, Happy Father’s Day to all of the fathers reading this reflection. May God bless you to be that role model your children and family need ! In my life I have had many jobs and many job

Did you know that Jesus asks more than 300 questions in the four Gospels?  By contrast, he directly answers just a handful.  Today he tells Mother Mary when they find him in the temple; “Did you not know that I

For any of life’s major commitments, you simply have to give up some things.  For example, when we get married we relinquish some individual freedom such as autonomous decision making and total financial control.  But we gain more important things

Today Jesus teaches his disciples how to pray. It is a prayer most of us learned when we were small children. The problem is that we know the Our Father so well, we can rattle off the words without really having

Today Jesus tells us not to pray like the hypocrites who pray so that people may see them praying on street corners or places of worship. He says when we pray go to your inner room and pray to the

Every time I make the sign of the cross, I am signing myself with the Trinity, with Christ and with the Word of God.  But there is much more to being a disciple or traveler than just making the sign

Our reading today about turning the other cheek is very misunderstood. Jesus is not talking about the right to defend ourselves, but rather he is talking about the temptation to retaliate.  Sadly retaliation is part of our culture today.  Turn

Today is the feast of The Body and Blood of Christ.  What a great day to open up our churches once again ! Last week as I was coming out of Vons Grocery Story with my mask on, a lady

55 years ago a woman named Sheila said “I do” before God’s holy altar and married me.  What a blessings for me and a support for me as a deacon all these years. In our reading today Elijah is in

Growing up I am the oldest of a brother plus two half brothers and two half sisters.  My full brother is six years younger than me.  I would have to say that as children I picked on him a lot. 

We know the power of prayer by interacting with people who have received its healing power.  The prophet Elijah calls on God to start a fire dosed in water after none of the pagan gods could do it.  He was

In the Bible, The Jews usually associated a mountain as being closer to God.  In Matthew’s Gospel he places Jesus on a mountain to indicate that Jesus Actions or message is important.  That is why the Beatitudes take place on

One year on my birthday I was in Kyoto, Japan all alone in my hotel room.  It was one of the first times I was ever homesick and feeling very much alone. Everyone feels alone at some time in their

The good news is that our churches are beginning to open.  I sort of feel like St. Paul who says to us today; “I have finished the race.  I have kept the faith.”  But have we really finished the race

We all love to receive gifts.  Jesus promised his disciples a special gift. He told them he would give them another advocate to be with them forever, namely his Spirit. Jesus made that same promise to me.  I don’t always

Why was it that those close to Jesus, at least in the beginning of his ministry, had difficulty with him ? Perhaps they had watched him grow up as a “normal” child leading a normal life. He seemed like one

Today I drove back to California from spending two weeks in Arizona with my grand daughters.  I was thinking as I loaded the car that Jesus told his apostles to travel light.  It sounded good at the time.  The reason

I am beginning today with a quote from Bishop Donald Hying of Madison, Wisconsin.  “Racism is always a sin. Our society can and will, by the grace of God, overcome the injustices with which this sin infects our community.  If

When we look at the senseless killing of George Floyd, the rioting in our cities, the looting and defacing of businesses and churches, the limiting of the number of people allowed in a church due to Covid-19, It’s hard to

First let me say “Happy Birthday “ to our church as today is the day it all began. Also let me say that what we see in the news is the devil running rampant thru our cities. It started with

We read today in Acts 28:16; “Paul was under house arrest. As he awaited his trial in Rome, he lived by himself with a soldier guarding him, and people continued to visit him.” Just like us Paul was quarantine but

For many years now Catholics have been drifting away from regular mass attendance. People speculate on the reason for this and there is probably a combination of reasons.  One possibility seems to be that some people don’t come to mass

The gospels were preached long before they were ever written down. I would guess Peter heard the story of his denial in the courtyard told over and over again.  I wonder how he felt? The other apostles must have also

When I was working and living in England, I would visit a different Historical site each weekend.  One Saturday I traveled to Canterbury to see the Cathedral where St. Thomas Becket Bishop of Canterbury  was murdered while at the altar. 

The apostles were anything but perfect and the Gospels tell me more about their faults than their virtues. Think about it; they bickered, they fought over who would be first, they wanted power, Peter denied he knew him, they deserted

Our prayers today for all who gave their lives that we may be free. We know that freedom comes at a price, even religious freedom. Jesus says that in the world we will have trouble. We see that today as we fight

Happy Ascension Sunday to all of you.  The good news today is that Bishop Vann will open our churches for mass on June 14.  We don’t know however the number of people that will be allowed by the Governor of

One night while Paul was in Corinth, the Lord said to him in a vision, “Do not be afraid. Go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you.” Acts 18:9 I believe it’s time for us

Today is 40 days after Easter and the traditional feast of the Ascension of the Lord.  In the United States most diocese have transferred this celebration to next Sunday.  In the Holy Land today is a big feast day. One

In the reading today from Acts 16, they ask Paul; “what must I do to be saved?”  Paul responds that we must believe in the Lord Jesus.  This verse is at the heart of many people coming up to us

Deacon Russ Millspaugh sent out a cartoon that has God and Satan looking down on the earth.  Satan tells God, “I sent a virus and it closed all of your churches.”  God replies; “Yes but it opened up millions of

Last night we had a Virtual Ultreya on Zoom.  We had 100 openings for people to join and all 100 were taken.  In many homes couples joined the Ultreya plus the Medina family had 5 or 6 All together. As

This week we have been reading in Acts about St. Paul and his efforts to convert non Jews to Christ.  His journeys were met with hostility, difficulty and even imprisonment.  He was often prevented from doing good and sharing the

In today’s gospel from John 15:12, Jesus says;”This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.” It seems to me that there are two important aspects to what Jesus is saying.  First is that he loves us !

Today is the feast day of St. Matthias. He was added to the group of apostles in Acts 1 to replace Judas, who hung himself, in order to bring the number of apostles back up to twelve. I can relate

Today is the feast day of Our Lady of Fatima.  Once when I was on Portugal, long before GPS or cell phones, I set out to drive to Fatima but got lost.  The direction given to me were false either

I just finished a long telephone conversation with my first pastor as a deacon and founding pastor of San Antonio – Fr. Seamus. He never fails to call me on the anniversary of my ordination which was 41 years ago.

At my age it’s hard to remember everything I have to do ! Thank God for cell phones and a gentle ( or not so gentle) reminder from a loved one. I still miss the days of Post-It-Notes everywhere.  Don’t

First to all of our  Cursillo mothers I say Happy Mother’s Day.  Thank you for saying yes to life ! Thank you for saying yes to love !  Thank you for all you do, especially those who are home schooling

Jesus says in John 14:12 ; “ whoever believes in me will do the works I do and will Do Greater ones than these.” As I said this morning at School of Leaders, I find that so hard to believe.

When the apostles hear that Jesus is leaving to prepare a place for them in heaven, they are worried that they won’t be able to follow him. It’s kind of how many of us felt coming down the hill after

When Jesus washed the feet of the apostles, including Judas, he quoted Psalm 41:10.  He wanted to show them that Judas’ betrayal was actually part of Scripture.  Isn’t it amazing how God can use even a bitter betrayal to fulfill

The first line in today’s first reading from Act 12 is; “The word of God continued to spread and grow.” What was true then is still true today.  The Holy Spirit is still drawing people of every nation to Jesus.

Perhaps you have heard the old adage that says, “God writes straight with crooked lines.” It means that God has a way of accomplishing his plan through – and perhaps despite – the twists and turns of human history. Surely

Today we continue the gospel of the Good Shepherd picking up at verse 11.  The Old Testament  often speaks of God as shepherd of his people Israel as we hear in Psalm 23.  But Jesus also refers to himself as

Today is Good Shepherd Sunday.  Often we see paintings of a well-groomed shepherd, staff in hand, sitting in a lush green pasture, watching over well behaved docile sheep.  This image doesn’t tell the whole truth.  Sheep and shepherds are often

Saturday is the sacrament Rollo in Cursillo so I thought I would reflect on all the awesome truths surrounding Baptism.  In baptism we have Died with Christ and have been cleansed of original sin.  We are become children of God

Today is the feast day of St. Joseph the worker.  He and St. John the Baptist are the only non-Mary saints to have two feast days.  He is special to me because I grew up in St.Joseph county, Indiana, was

The conversion of Paul has all the elements of a dramatic Hollywood movie.  You have the villain suddenly stopped in his tracks by a light from the sky. A voice comes from heaven and this villain undergoes an amazing transformation

The gospel readings for this week comes from John 6.  Many of you know this is one of my favorite chapters and one I quote in the Sacraments Rollo.  It is the famous Bread of Life discourse.  Jesus meaning is

How could St. Stephen the first deacon forgive the people who were stoning him to death ?  Can you imagine the reaction of those stoning him when they heard these words ? Instead of cursing them and calling down God’s

Today’s first reading talks about the first Deacon and first martyr, St. Stephen. He is presented to us as someone who had trained for the ultimate spiritual challenge, the ability to remain joyful and  peaceful in a very difficult situation. 

The Gospel today is the story of the Road to Emmaus.  This gospel is the 4th meditation from Cursillo done on Saturday morning . Here we see two disciples heading home from Jerusalem.  They are sad, dejected, and have all

Today is the Feast Day of St. Mark one of the four evangelist to write the Gospel for us. The Church offers is saints like St. Mark not only as intercessors for us but also as role models. Like Mark,

As I have told many of you, there are many things in the scriptures that make me ponder.  Here is one !  If Jesus already had a plan to feed thousands of people, why would he ask his disciples to

Not too many people, upon being released from prison, would return to the scene of the crime and repeat it. Yet that’s exactly what the apostles did.  The authorities commanded them not to teach about Jesus, but they couldn’t seem

The gospel today is John 3:16-22. Most people only know John 3:16. They skip verses 17 thru 22. Deacon Shane in the Obstacles to Grace Rollo explains this passage very well. In fact it is the best “Sin” Rollo I have ever heard from

Isn’t it amazing how good and patient God is with us. Our lack of focus, our tendency to get confused or to not listen closely doesn’t deter or hinder God. God is patient with us. He find many different ways to speak

There’s something really mysterious about the Christian life. How could St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta keep smiling in the midst of all the suffering she encountered working with the poorest of the poor ? Or what about St. Maximilian Kolbe a prisoner

The scriptures today tell us: “the doors were locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews”. Today the doors of our churches are locked for fear of the Coronavirus. Just as the disciples overcame their fears, we can

As you have heard at Cursillo, Grace happens ! It happened to the apostles. During this time between Easter and Pentecost God’s grace changed ordinary men and prepared them for the day when the Holy Spirit would come down upon them. That

At the Sea of Galilee the disciples once again don’t recognize Jesus. Outside the empty tomb Mary Magdalene thinks he’s the gardener. On the road to Emmaus the two do not recognize him. In each of these situations however something happens that

Even though they had heard all the reports and testimony that Jesus had risen from the dead, there were still lingering doubts among the apostles. Can you imagine then the fear they felt when he was standing there before them.

You may have heard stories of people who spend years living on meager means unaware that a distant relative has left them a huge fortune. Sometimes on a spiritual level we are just like this story, unaware of all the

Father Justin Freeman writes: “The current stay-in-place measures are an opportunity for Catholics to renew our families and homes” ! We need to use this time to reconstitute family activities. Since those who have children can’t run all over to

Throughout the Easter Season our readings include the Book of Acts. As Acts progresses, we see Peter and other disciples, like Stephen, preaching the gospel in Jerusalem and Judea. Then the focus shifts to Phillip who spreads the gospel farther by

Happy Easter !! He is risen !! Alleluia, Alleluia !! What an incredible gift for us. Take hold of this gift by taking hold of Jesus. Then watch as your heart is filled with joy !! Don’t forget to send your Easter donation

Deacon Doug Cook, San Antonio de Padua del Canon Anaheim Hills. Ca. Orange Diocese Cursillo, Spiritual Director For the past 30 years my wife Sheila and I have taught in our parish RCIA program. As I read this reflection on

As you venerate the cross today or pray the Stations of the Cross (probably from the confines of your home), remember that God’s mercy is truly limitless. Never believe that the pain he suffered was not enough to save you. Never believe

Happy Holy Thursday as we start our Sacred Triduum. Can you imagine how dirty people’s feet were during the time of Christ? No wonder it was the role of the slave to wash the feet of the wealthy. No one

In these last few days of Lent many people are reflecting on the fact they were not able to go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Why not instead seek his forgiveness by asking a few simple questions of ourselves : 1.

At the last supper Jesus knows that Judas is going to betray him and Peter will deny him three times before dawn. But notice how he treats them both. He shares a meal with them and even washes their feet. He wants to

The readings this week focus on Jesus last 18 hours in his life. Jesus never promised that he would prevent all evil, sickness, tragedy or sin. That’s because we have free choice. But he did promise that he could come to

Since we could not receive palms today I’m sending you these: Let us remember the gift of love we celebrate this week and that we read in the passion Gospel today from Matthew !!! No greater love has anyone than to

It was so good to meet on Zoom with today’s SOL. Thanks to all who joined us today . Below is my refection as we prepare to enter into the holiest week of our church year!! De Colores, Deacon Doug The

Zoom Meeting link:

During this time of quarantine, it can be hard to be away from our loved ones and away from the sacraments. The good news is that we are all being called back to what is important, such as spiritual reflection,

I received this prayer from a homeless group I belong to. I thought I would share It with you as we continue our journey together during this pandemic!! My love to all in Cursillo and my prayers are with you

In today’s first reading we read about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego giving praise to God. What is unusual is that they did it not after they had been delivered from the fiery furnace, but while they were still in the midst