St. Dismas Guild June 2016
“Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105
We would like to wish all the men out there a Blessed and Happy Father’s Day. Our Father is waiting for many of you to come home. He is waiting with open arms and wishes none to perish. Make the decision today to return to your Father’s house. Jesus had a close relationship with His Father. They talked all the time.
Dear St. Dismas Guild, Hi! My name is DC and I just changed my travel card to “Roman Catholic.” I’d like to give a little testimony and request of you three items, please. I’m told that you may be able to help me obtain a Catholic bible study so I can learn more and a Catholic study bible too. Also, please send me the newsletter. I’m not a highly educated person as far as big or fancy words, so send me a Catholic study bible that is easy to understand. Thank you.
My testimony: The Lord Jesus Christ has brought me a long way since last year…”the night I asked Him into my heart.” I got saved that night and was baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit the next day. He has been taking me from glory to glory ever since I turned my life over to Him. He spoke to me as I was slain (resting) in the Spirit. I was laughing and crying (tears of joy) at the same time for about 15 minutes. My legs were so shaky I couldn’t stand up for about 20 minutes and people in the service had to help me walk. I said, “God, I feel you. Let me hear you.” He said, “I love you.” I was so blown away that I said, “I heard you, let me hear you again.” He said one word; a name; “John.” I began studying and seeking Him and trying to find my place in the Lord. He spoke to my heart to write three confessions.
I wrote the first confession in detail and sent the 24 pages home and told my family to pray and see what God told them to do. A week or so later I prayed, “Lord, is it time to write the second confession?” That night I saw in my dream, “1 John” in bold lettering. I read the first chapter and was convicted at verse 9 (if we confess our sins He is just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us). I wrote the second confession and did the same with it as with the first one.
Then a few weeks later I wrote the third confession and gave it to a guard here on this unit because I committed the crime in TDCJ custody. I spent one week in solitary confinement as they did their investigation and then was released into population. “No TDCJ case was written against me and no free world charge either.” “GOD is great, AMEN!” The Lord has promised me many things for my obedience and I continue to be obedient. The Lord spoke to me one evening and said, “Genesis 12:1-3.” (The Promise to Abram). The Lord has held His end and made me an inspiration all over this unit. People I’ve never met before are inspired to speak the truth and follow God because they see what He has done for me and what He continues to do for me due to my obedience. I don’t have a high level of education; just average, but even a child knows how to speak the truth. I give “all” thanks, honor and glory to God for all He has done in the Holy and Precious name of Jesus Christ, my Lord. Amen. Inspired by: the Holy Spirit, written by: DC; Love always, your brother in Christ Jesus, DC
This testimony was accompanied by a beautifully-colored painting by DC of John 15:11, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” It is a picture of a heart shape with wings and a beautiful flower growing out of the heart. JOY is written on the heart. It’s very beautiful and colorful.
DC, thank you so much for sharing a powerful testimony of confession and truth. The truth really does set you free. You may have to pay the consequences of your sins but the great thing about telling the truth is your heart and mind eventually find the peace that surpasses all understanding, Jesus’ great gift to us. Your right, even a child knows how to tell the truth. The truth is found in Jesus and the truth is He calls each and every one of us by name. The world draws you away from the truth and that is quite evident in this upcoming election. James 4:4 says, O you unfaithful ones, are you not aware that love of the world is enmity to God? A man is marked out as God’s enemy if he chooses to be the world’s friend.” Jesus calls us His friends, since He has made known to us all that He heard from the Father (John 15:15)
DOING TIME WITH JESUS
Dear St. Dismas Guild, I’m on the way to be confirmed. I’ve studied the catechism and am praying and reading the Word, but being attacked on all sides for my faith in the Catholic Church. It’s a bit overwhelming and, at times, I wish I could just be alone to study and talk to God. There are so few of us here and we only have Mass twice a month. Every time we have Mass I feel the Holy Spirit move on me. I feel the presence of the Lord during the Holy Eucharist even though I can not partake yet, I feel it. I try to invite as many fellows as I can but so many try to fight our faith that it feels like a warzone. I’m an 8-1/2 year veteran in the Army and deployed many times, but this is unlike any warfare I’ve ever been in. Please pray for strength, courage and most of all, Mercy and Unity of All Christians. Thank you and God Bless you!. KH
You know KH, sometimes I, too, feel like just being alone to study and talk to God. We need those times to get through this life. Jesus spent much time going off to be alone with our Father. We are not fighting human forces but the principalities and powers, the rulers of this world of darkness, the evil spirits in regions above. (Ephesians 6:12) Satan works through those who are disobedient to God’s Word. If you want strength go to Philippians 4:13 which says, “In Him who is the source of my strength I have strength for everything.” Thank you for sharing
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Dear St. Dismas Guild, Peace be unto you. First and foremost, I’d like to thank you for sending me the cycle C bible study and the bible. I was wondering when cycle A and B come out will you send those to me, please and thank you. Second, I would like to be paired with a mentor. I grew up Catholic, first communion, and confession, but sadly never confirmed.
As I got older I fell off the faith and developed the lifestyle of “sex, drugs, and rock n roll!” While I bounced from job to job I struggled with addiction. Then I decided to get clean and go to college. Since I was in and out of jail so much I got a GED and HSED. While working on my way to FL for college I relapsed after being clean for about a year. I got into a fight and killed a man, and got 35 years at 100%. Since then I came back to God. I had my brother with me that dark night. Now I want to get a psychology, sociology, ministry or another degree so I can help troubled teens when I get out. I want to help them so they don’t have to go through the things I did. Thank you for sharing my story and hope it can help someone. Sincerely. JJ
JJ, God has put that desire in you to want to help others so they don’t have to go through what you have gone through. Remember this JJ, “The God of all grace, who called you to His everlasting glory in Christ will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish those who have suffered a little while.” (1 Peter 5:10). You need to be on guard every minute of the day from falling back. Keep your eyes on Jesus and He will hold you up when you feel the urge to fall back. Remember drugs only cover up the need to be accepted and loved and you can be an over comer by keeping your eyes on Jesus, obeying His Word and following the lead of the Holy Spirit who you received at baptism.
Dear St. Dismas Guild, I recently was given your newsletter and was told I could receive a catechism. Upon reading further I also learned that I might receive a bible study as well. I really appreciate what you are doing for the incarcerated Catholics. I am 38 and a recent widower and this is my first and last trip to the “joint.” I won’t bore you with my story but I do ask that you might join me in praying for all the suffering addicts as well as their families who suffer along with them daily whether they know it or not. I found my way back to Jesus and I have reconciled with God, church and family. I plan to continue on this path for good. Again I want to say thank you for all you do and have done for us inmates. Love, peace and mercy to all my fellow “Slaves of Jesus Christ” as Saint Paul would say. Sincerely, IH
IH, We are so sorry to hear about the loss of your wife. Yes, we pray for addicts and those in prison every day. It is the healing power of God’s Word that will take away any desire for drugs. Drugs are a cover up to the greatest need of every human being, to love and to be loved. “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him may not die but may have eternal life (John 3:16). Do you really believe Jesus took on Himself sins of drug addiction, sexual promiscuity, foul language, hate, rage, revenge, into His innocent body to set you free? He did, When we take our eyes off Jesus and look at the storms going on around us then we sink as Peter did in the boat (Matthew 14:30). Stay close to Jesus, immerse yourself in the Gospels and learn how Jesus talked, walked, healed and delivered and you will never fall back again. Jesus said to all: “Whoever wishes to be my follower must deny His very self, take up his cross each day, and follow in my steps.”
During the month of June we celebrate Father’s Day. I thank God for the family that I grew up in, especially my hard working dad, who worked two jobs to put us all through Catholic school. Through my faith journey, I learned that I had another father; God in heaven was my father. “See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are.” (1 John 3:1)
Whether or not you had a loving, faithful father, we can all turn to God our father in heaven who loves us simply because we are His children. He is our loving, faithful Father!
Having a family of my own now, I admire my husband and my dad even more, as dads have an incredible responsibility. They need to be a good husband, loving father and spiritual leader just to name a few. This month, I ask St. Joseph for his intercession for all fathers and families. As Mary is our role model for mothers, St. Joseph is our role model for fathers. St. Joseph teaches us that being a father is more than biological, as he was not the biological father of Jesus. Raising Jesus in a Jewish household, St. Joseph was the spiritual leader and teacher of the faith.
Pope Francis called St. Joseph, the guardian of Jesus and guardian of the Holy Family. “May his presence make us stronger and more courageous in making space for God in our lives to always defeat evil with good. We ask Him to protect us, take care of us, so that a life of grace grows stronger in each of us every day.” (Pope Francis about St. Joseph, July 2013)
Men and Abortion – Men Hurt Too
We know that women regret and suffer greatly from their past abortions. But now evidence shows that men who have participated in abortion are also dealing with a lot of pain and suffering afterwards as well.
Men achieve success in five key areas of their lives: the ability to procreate, provide, protect, perform and [enjoy] pleasure. If these areas of their lives are not fulfilled, due to abortion, there will be many devastating effects.
– anger and frustration
– drug and alcohol
– workaholic or excessive risk takers
– difficulty with relationships
– sexual dysfunction, pornography, masturbation
– sleeplessness, panic attacks, poor coping skills, flashbacks, nightmares, self-imposed isolation or suicidal tendencies
DEALING WITH SYMPTOMS
– It’s okay to Grieve and Cry
– find Counseling
– go to Confession
– consults with a Deacon or Priest
– find a Support Group
– Pray and start a Bible Study
Almost every woman who has found healing from her past abortion has discovered or rediscovered her faith, turned to God and the church.
We are praying for you if you are in this situation. If you have true contrition and seek forgiveness from God, amend your life and go and sin no more, you will find healing.
“Nevertheless, I will bring health and Healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant Peace and Truth.” Jeremiah 33:6
Turn to your Father in heaven He is always waiting for you.
Millions of men have felt these experiences too. If you need help dealing with this loss then contact: Life Issues Institute, 1821 W. Galbraith Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45239
In Jesus’ love,
St. Dismas Staff