To the Parishioners of St. Philip Neri Parish, sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints –

“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ”.

The sacredness/sanctity of the human body:

It is with gratitude and appreciation to Fr. Richard Rohr ofm that I share the following reflections and insights with you. The main and final goal of religion is to reconnect us to “THE WHOLE” (also known to us as the Body of Christ) – connecting us to ourselves and to one another … and thus, to be a source of healing and reconciliation to each other. Jesus was a “whole-maker”, bringing together those who were divided, separated, or left out of the whole. He initiated a new way of “catholicity” – to gather together all peoples “in love”.

To put this insight into a prayer: Lord God, we thank you for the gift, the desire to be ever clearer and more intimate in our awareness of your intimacy with us … that which sustains us, breath by breath by breath. We thank you for this!

We also thank you for the desire not to break the thread of that connectedness with you as we go through the day, facing what we need to face, walking where and what we need to walk through.

We are deeply moved by your grace to reach out and touch the hurting places in our lives with love, that our suffering might dissolve in love – until only love is left.

Help us to be patient with these adversities, to be open and faithful to this mysterious process in which we incarnate your healing presence in the midst of our lives. We ask for this through your Son, Jesus. Amen

All of this is to say that God saves us IN our body, not FROM our body. Our body is the same form and substance as that which God chose to put on and walk among us as JESUS. Our body is holy and beautiful to God – whether we are young or old, skinny or fat, fit or disabled, gay or straight, strong or weak in body and spirit. After all, it is the human body in which God placed God’s image, the “imago dei”.

We say THANK YOU … Because God is good – all the time!

Praise be Jesus Christ … and Mary Immaculate

St. Philip Neri … pray for us

St. Eugene de Mazenod … pray for us

St. Kateri Tekakwitha … pray for us

Fr. Mike Dechant OMI