"One thing I do know is that I was blind and now I see.”

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
’Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.
— Amazing Grace by John Newton

One of my favorite songs is "Amazing Grace".  The lyrics really speak to my heart.  Newton embraced his own brokenness and crafted an image that many  of us can relate to in our lives: The image of a blind man being set free by God. Whatever that blindness may be in your life,  he reminds us that the only way  that any of us are going to make it through is by the Grace of God.

He is right.

As I looked at this Sunday's readings, they share two very distinct ideas. Light and darkness. Simple enough, right? Any child can recall how terrifying it was when the lights went out. We would negotiate with mom and dad to leave a light on. Maybe, we even got a cool night light to calm our fears. Staring at that light, we were brought some peace. until we closed our eyes and went to sleep.

As children, we learned that light overcomes darkness and that being able to see brings us calm and security.  One of the challenges of faith is to accept  that God is our light. He calms our fears, He overcomes darkness and brings peace to our life. That God would come down from the heavens  to be among us. That the King of Kings would come to serve; not to BE served. That God would dwell in each and every one of us. That we become that light not  to be hidden under a bushel basket; but rather, set out for the whole world to see.

The other night I was blessed to lead an XLT with the band at St. Frances of Rome in Wildomar. It was amazing to see so many people in worship praying and singing. There was great sound, great production, and cool music, but the best  thing about the night was the light that shined from the altar in the Eucharist. The light not only shined from the monstrance that held our Lord, but from the people who were present. It was blinding. It healed and it brought peace. It was beautiful and it was LOVE

This Sunday is also Laetare Sunday. Taken from Latin, it means simply, "to rejoice"  Being mid Lent, we look to the passion of our Lord. We look to the death on the cross but more importantly, we rejoice in the promise of the resurrection. We celebrate the Light of the World who conquered the darkness. The Light who made all things new.  The light that dwells in you and me.

"If he is a sinner, I do not know. One thing I do know is that I was blind and now I see"

Thank you Jesus for being that light. Thank you Lord for showing us the way. We praise you and thank you Jesus. You are the Light of the world.  Continue to open the eyes of the faithful. May they see less of us and more of You and end our blindness forever.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.


What blinds you? 

What are the "lights" in your life?

How are you preparing for Easter?

Wiffle Ball, Saturday Morning Cartoons and the Book of Deuteronomy

However, take care and be earnestly on your guard
not to forget the things which your own eyes have seen,
nor let them slip from your memory as long as you live,
but teach them to your children and to your children’s children.
— Deuteronomy 4:9

When I was a kid, there are three things I remember so clearly. God, wiffle ball and Saturday morning cartoons. 

St. Justin Martyr

God was part of my life every day. I went to Catholic school for twelve years. First to St. Justin Martyr (Go Olympians!) and then off to Servite High School (Go Friars!!). We went to mass every Sunday with the family. Back then, you could count on one or both of the Talarico boys (yes, even Frank Jr.) as an altar server and my grandma, in her wheelchair, praying her prayers. My parents slaved away at Fish Frys, helped to run the PTA  and start the youth group.It was what we did as a family.  It would be an example to me and would eventually lead me to where I am today in ministry. I will never forget those days. It was my first and most profound experience of God and Church. 


Wiffle ball was one of the biggest parts of my childhood. I know everyone likes to reminisce, but probably my favorite thing to do after school and on the weekend was play wiffle ball. We would rush home from school and get everyone in the cul-de-sac and pick teams. Friends from my class would join in; as well as, the neighborhood kids. Typically, they were the same teams but they were so much fun. I always tried to be on the opposite team of my brother just because, well, that is what brothers do, right? We would stay out till we couldn't see the ball any longer and then mom would yell to us all to come and eat dinner. All were welcome and all ate well. It was my first form of community. It was awesome.

When it came to the weekend, Saturday mornings always started with cartoons. After wiping the gunk out of our eyes, we would rush down to see what was on the TV. Back then, Bugs Bunny was cool. I think he still is!  Voltron was the new, hot cartoon and everyone thought they were a superhero. Once we watched a little bit of cartoons, we moved on to our chores. The "list" as my brother and I called it remained the same throughout my childhood. I dusted and Frank vacuumed, He cleaned the mirrors and I emptied the trash baskets. At the time it seemed like such hard work. Not so hard to me now.  We couldn't wait till we were done so we could get outside and play. Going outside and play, seems like such a "foreign" idea now a days but it was priceless to us. 

So by now you are asking yourself, Pasquale what does that have to do with anything and why did I read your blog today? They are good and fair questions. Today's reading from Deuteronomy reminds me to cherish the memories and to share them with my children.  

This upcoming year, my Gianna will begin Catholic school at Holy Family Cathedral. There is no doubt that Maurissa and I will help out in any way, just as my parents did for me and my brother. We will cause it is our new community, just as St. Justin was for my childhood.  We will help  because it is what  we are called to be as Church. The body of Christ.

As for wiffle ball, Gianna does enjoy playing baseball in the backyard with daddy, but more importantly, she begins soccer in a couple of weeks. She is so excited. She can't wait to get all dressed up and run around on the soccer field. Before you know it, she will be having her friends over to play games and hang out. Just like I did when I was a kid.  Then the slumber parties. And before you know it, Claire will begin just as her sister. Lord, help us. 

The other day, I had the chance to come home early and sit on the couch with my girls. Just the three of us. I know they are only supposed to get so much TV a day, but like they always do, they convinced their daddy to put on cartoons, eat Otter Pops and sit on the couch together. It was priceless. There really is nothing better in life. It made me smile from the inside out and brought to mind memories of my childhood.

Looking back, I can still hear Billy Crabtree yelling to me from the fence. I can still smell the lemon pledge from polishing the furniture and see the "list" on the fridge.  I cherish the days I had with Jimmy, Gil, Mike, family and friends. I praise God to be able to share and teach my children the same things. God is so good. Thank you Jesus for the many gifts I have been given. You are so generous to an unworthy servant.


What do you remember most in  your childhood?

What will you teach your children?

What have your children taught you?


Dedicated to my dear friend, Michael Catanzaro - You are missed.

The blind leading the blind

Technically, I am legally blind. I have an eye prescription that is 20/400 or something off the charts! In the morning when I wake up, I am in a rush to put my glasses on so that the blur I  see when I awake  comes clear as soon as possible. I have never really thought about it too much. There have been times where I thought I would get LASIX to fix my eyes, but it just never seemed that important. In the morning when I wake up, I rush to put my glasses  or contacts on so I can see throughout my day. Without them, I would not be able to see a thing!

This got me thinking about my faith. How clear is my vision for God? As I move day by day towards Easter, am I making sure I am focused on Jesus? 

It gets really easy to find the comfort in the norm. Giving up sodas or sweets in our Lenten sacrifice, but are we really sacrificing to get closer to our God? Is it clearing my vision so I can see the risen Christ?

For me, the sacraments have become my contact lenses, my glasses. In the haze and blur, reconciliation and eucharist make everything clear. Like I have said before and I will say many times, I continue to stumble, but the promise that is so much greater than me clears my vision and brings me to great joy. It brings me to Christ. It is the reason I write the music that I write and go around the country and speak. I know what the truth is and I want to share it! My hope is that I can help people see clearer.

Thank you Jesus for allowing the blind to see! Thank you Jesus for giving me the chance to open my eyes and see you goodness.

Thank you Jesus!



"I am a sinner...thank God for ..."

...forgiveness.  It seems every single day I stumble.  Something that I should not be doing I seem to do anyway. 

It seems that people think since I am in the role that I am, I should be perfect.  I strive to do the best I can to get closer to my God.  Every day, I strive to be holy  but I fall. I fall and it hurts.

There are days the scars seem deeper than others. I make mistakes, I get up, but these scars remain. There are days I know everyone can see my scars.  Thank you, God, for those scars.  They remain as a constant reminder that not only am I a sinner but I am redeemed by our Savior's  healing power. The same God who raised Lazarus has come for me. The same Lord, who made the blind man see, has opened my eyes. A loving God who would do anything for me, even sending his only begotten Son to save me.

I am a sinner. I am broken. I am frail  but I am also saved by the grace of God. Our salvation happened on the cross. So I live my days and look to the promise of resurrection. I am a sinner...but I will not accept that as my fate.  I know God has plans for me.  I know they are for happiness and joy.  We praise you Jesus for your sacrifice and the forgiveness that You have given to all us. I am a sinner and I am forgiven and for that, I am grateful.


What does tomorrow hold for you?  how will you make it different?

St. Michael the Archangel, protect us in this battle against sin!

Friends and Novenas

One of the greatest gifts God gives to us is the gift of friendship. They come in all shapes and sizes and many times we would could never imagine our life without them.  My friend, Bobby,  is a great example of that friendship. He is a calming force in my life and for that I am grateful. He took me aside when things started getting a little hectic with music and we began praying this novena together to remind me to allow God to be at the front of my music ministry. Needless to say, he is a good friend.

St. Cecelia, pray for us!   

Novena to St. Cecilia 

O Eternal God, Who gave us, in the person of St. Cecilia, a powerful protectress, grant that after having faithfully passed our days, 
like herself, in innocence and holiness, we may one day attain the land of beatitude, where in concert with her, we may praise You 
and bless You forevermore in eternity. Amen. 
Lord, have mercy on us. 
Christ, have mercy on us. 
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ hear us. 
Christ, graciously hear us. 
God the Father of heaven, 
Have mercy on us. 
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, 
Have mercy on us. 
God the Holy Spirit, 
Have mercy on us. 
Holy Trinity, one God, 
Have mercy on us. 
Holy Mary, Mother of God, 
Pray for us. (repeat after each line) 
Saint Cecilia, 
Saint Cecilia, wise virgin, 
Saint Cecilia, whose heart burned with the fire of divine love, 
Saint Cecilia, apostle by your zeal and charity, 
Saint Cecilia, who converted your spouse and procured for him the crown of martyrdom, 
Saint Cecilia, who by your pleadings moved the hearts of pagans, and brought them into the true Church, 
Saint Cecilia, who did unceasingly see your guardian angel by your side, 
Saint Cecilia, who mingled your voice with the celestial harmonies of the virgins, 
Saint Cecilia, who by your melodious accents celebrated the praises of Jesus, 
Saint Cecilia, illustrious martyr of Jesus Christ, 
Saint Cecilia, who during three days suffered most excruciating torments, 
Saint Cecilia, consolation of the afflicted, 
Saint Cecilia, protectress of all who invoke you, 
Saint Cecilia, patroness of holy canticles, 
Saint Cecilia, special patroness and advocate of all singers, musicians, authors, and students, 
We salute you, O Virgin, who gave your blood for the defense and faith of Jesus Christ. We seek your prayers 
for liturgical music that is beautiful, holy, and universal. 
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world 
 Spare us, O Lord. 
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, 
 Graciously hear us, O Lord. 
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, 
 Have mercy on us. 
God glorified Saint Cecilia, 
 And he crowned her virtues. 
Let us pray. O Eternal God, who gave us, in the person of Saint Cecilia, a powerful protectress, grant that after having faithfully 
passed our days, like herself, in innocence and holiness, we may one day attain the land of beatitude, where in concert with her, we 
may praise you and bless you forevermore in eternity. Amen.