“Good News!”

“Receive the Gospel of Christ whose herald you now are: believe what you read, teach what you believe and practice what you teach.”

I recently began ministering to the patients and staff at Ancora Psychiatric Hospital. During one of my rounds, a person requested a prayer, then suddenly proclaimed, “God uses us as prayer!” (“Joseph, you’re a prayer, not just there to say prayers”). I’m striving to be a humble servant and one of God’s instruments for another’s spiritual needs, wants or desires. I’m strengthened by “God’s Charge” of twenty years ago!

As a chaplain, I’m constantly interacting with a diversity of hospitalized men and women as well as a dedicated staff, each of whom have been blessed and protected by the God of their own understanding. Many continue on as they have been, practicing their faith while on their own spiritual journey, who are now inviting me to walk beside them as they make their way back to God’s reward. I’m on my own spiritual voyage, so unlike my many others, becoming more faith-fueled and faith-filled.

I assume that others observe this as I’ve been told that they feel God’s graces as we listen with our own God-centered acceptance of one another, divinely created and immersed in a struggle for the salvation our souls. While focusing our energies upon celebrating our spiritual gifts, I’ve sensed a love for our beloved mother, Mary and her crucified but resurrected son, Jesus.

I reinforce that it’s not what we say but how we embody these behaviors as we defuse the crude mentalities that we’ve had to cope with during our lives. I’m blessed to facilitate many spirituality-centered groups, fueled by my Catholicism and graced to interact with people of many different faith persuasions who constantly share their own journey.

True that Ancora Psychiatric Hospital has been seen, felt, even spoken about as “a tough environment”, but every day I’m blessed to witness miracles from the never-ending love that Our (Triune) God continues to shower on us.