This website is the home site of my criminal reformation apostolate; here you can find details about the Lampstand Foundation which I founded as a 501c (3) nonprofit corporation in Sacramento, California in 2003.
I also maintain a daily blog, The Catholic Eye, https://catholiceye.wordpress.com/
The work connected to the apostolate is listed under the home page categories (to your left) which I will be expanding as needed.
Today’s Second Post:
It is Christmastime and the chapel is filled with flowers sharing their fragrance and beauty with all of us in Mass today, a gray, cold, and cloudy day.
My wife and I are converts to the Catholic Church, having been baptized in 2004, so we’re still in the process of learning about this universal community stretching through eons of time and encompassing so much temporal and spiritual space; but one thing we have learned is how much deeper we appreciate Christmas—the Advent Season—since becoming Catholic.
For many months the glow from our baptism carried me happily along in the observance of the sacramental life of the Church so familiar to Cradle Catholics, attending Sunday Mass regularly, supporting the Church, blending many of the rituals around the liturgical seasons into our daily life; but then as the glow from the baptism wore somewhat off I encountered a period of spiritual dryness.
My spiritual dryness came largely from the increased reading and study of Catholic life in the United States and around the world as I began to see the human failures and satanic work in the priestly abuse of children; seemingly connected to the deep trough of relativism the Church in America and Europe had been wallowing in for several decades as she struggled to combat enemies from within and without.
I began exploring membership in lay Catholic organizations which I felt would recapture the glow of baptism but what I found was that what I thought I needed from Catholic organizations was something I only needed to do myself; embrace the daily practice of communion, prayer, and devotion.
The spiritual dryness I thought was calling me deeper back into the Church through lay organizational involvement was instead just a simple call back to the Church’s liturgy.
In June of this year (2008) I began attending daily Mass and observing daily practice of praying the rosary, and midday and evening prayers which I knew was part of living a deeper sacramental life in the Church. After several weeks of daily practice I began to realize that the blessing and grace I was receiving from it was so wonderful in itself, that I needed no further organizational stimulus to maintain it.
I also found, in the daily homiletic teaching from the priests of my parish, refreshment and broadening of spiritual grace that was deeply enhancing my individual journey into Catholicism as well as the sacramental grace received through daily reception of the Holy Eucharist, which is described in the Daily Roman Missal (2004):
The Holy Eucharist
By which Christ associates his Church
and all her members with the sacrifice on the cross.
The fruits of this sacrament are:
An increase in the communicant’s union with Christ.
Forgiveness of venial sins.
Preservation from grave sins.
A strengthening of the unity of the Church as the Mystical Body of Christ, because of the strengthening of the bonds of charity between the communicant and Christ.
(Midwest Theological Forum, Sixth Edition, Large Print, p. 2146)
However, the most wonderful grace is that received from being in the company of saints—Mass with the saints—both those whose stories we acknowledge each day, and the many saints surrounding me in the parish pews whose stories I do not know but whose faith and devotion to Holy Mother Church is so evident through their daily practice, and so beautifully represented in the profusion and arrangment of flowers this Christmas.
My fellow worshippers, almost all women, whose apostolates are reflected in their prayer intentions when they call for prayers for the apostolate of life, for vocations, for recovery; ah what work these women do.
I have no doubt that those who come to daily mass are among the most deeply faithful, and so how much more will their prayers bring comfort to the suffering.
Women, who have been so marginalized throughout human history, yet retain the clarity of spirit—as did Mary, the mother of our Lord and Mary Magdalene—to see the truth of Christ; and it is they who are first in the daily mass, they who do almost all of the readings, they who mostly distribute the body and blood of our Lord; they the saints aborning, they, who I am privileged to be among each morning.
By David H. Lukenbill, Christmastime 2008