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God's Love

You know that popular saying… Time flies when you are having fun! Indeed, I don’t know where my time goes. On July 1st I completed nine years as your pastor. I want to thank each and every one of you for putting up with me. I am grateful to the Lord for having given me the privilege of serving in this faith community. None of us knows what the future holds. But looking back, I feel content that together we have done much to further God’s Kingdom here in Park Ridge.

My sole purpose in exercising my priesthood is to help you to know, love and follow Jesus. Before we come to know Him, we need to love Him. He has known us even before we know Him. He has loved us from all eternity. Knowing how much we have been loved, we will fall in love with Him. While it is important that we pray together as a community every Sunday, it is equally important that we develop a personal spiritual life. How do we do that?

In our spiritual life where do we begin? Too many people I am afraid start with a list of their sins and failures. I believe that is the wrong place to start. If you look at the Scriptures, you will see that God starts from a different point. The first message from God is love. He loves us with an everlasting love for He loved us even before we existed. As you read in Jeremiah, God says: “I formed you in your mother’s womb and I knew you before you were born.”

I would like to invite each and every one of you to embark on your spiritual journey. Our starting point is God’s love. Over the years in my homilies and talks I have recounted several amazing stories of God’s love that I have experienced personally. I am convinced that those stories are not unique to me. All of us have the same experiences. However, some of us do not take the time to become aware of the love that lies beneath these experiences.

I would like to offer you a few quotations from Scripture that drive home the point – that God loves each one of us, uniquely, totally, categorically. Please spend some time in prayerful reflection on these words from the very mouth of God:

But now the Lord who created you, says, “Don’t be afraid, for I have ransomed you; I have called you by name. You are mine. When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up – the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, your Savior, the Holy One of Israel... Others died that you might live; I traded their lives for yours because you are precious to me and honored and I love you. Don’t be afraid for I am with you.” (Isaiah 43: 1-5)

The Lord who made you, who will help you, says, “O servant of mine, don’t be afraid. O my chosen one, don’t be afraid. For I will give you abundant water for your thirst and for your parched fields. And I will pour out my Spirit and my blessings on your children.” (Isaiah 44: 2-3)

Listen to me, I have created you and cared for you since you were born. I will be your God through all your lifetime, yes, even when your hair is white with age. I made you and I will care for you. I will carry you along and be your Savior. (Isaiah 46: 3-4)

Sing for joy, O heavens; shout, O earth! Break forth with song, O mountains, for the Lord has comforted his people, and I will have compassion upon them in their sorrow. Yet they say, “My Lord deserted us; He has forgotten us.” Never! Can a mother forget her little child and not have love for her own baby? Yet even if that should be, I will not forget you. See, I have tattooed your name upon my palm. (Isaiah 49: 13-16)

For the mountains may depart and the hills disappear, but my kindness shall not leave you. (Isaiah 54: 10)

I send out my Word and it always produces fruit... You will live in joy and peace... Where once were thorns, fir trees will grow; where briars grew, the myrtle tree will sprout up. This miracle will make the Lord’s name very great and be an everlasting sign. (Isaiah 55: 11-13)

Once you have experienced this God’s love in your heart, you will have no trouble loving this God. Let us pray the Holy Spirit to give us the light and the grace to come to a personal, living realization of this God’s unique love for each one of us. May the love of God warm our hearts and strengthen our spirits!

Mission Statement: As children of God, living in a Catholic community of faith, we are united by the Gospel message of Jesus Christ. Aware that all we have is gift and grace from our Heavenly Father, we strive to give of our time, talent and treasure to build His kingdom on earth. We live this mission, challenged by the Word, nurtured by the Sacraments, and enlivened by the Spirit, to serve our brothers and sisters in peace, justice and dignity. All are welcome on this journey.

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Contact Information

St. Paul of the Cross

320 South Washington Street
Park Ridge, IL 60068


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Phone: (847) 825-7605
Fax: (847) 825-5186

Mass Schedule

Sunday

7:30 a.m. - Upper Church
9 a.m. - Upper Church & Holy Family Chapel
10:30 a.m. - Upper Church & Holy Family Chapel
12 p.m. - Upper Church
5:30 p.m. - Upper Church

Monday - Friday

6:25 a.m. - Upper Church
8:30 a.m. - Upper Church

Saturday

8 a.m. - Upper Church
4:30 p.m. - Upper Church & Holy Family Chapel