Friday, December 31, 2010
Saturday, December 25, 2010
If our greatest need had been information,
God would have sent us an educator.
If our greatest need had been technology,
God would have sent us a scientist.
If our greatest need had been money,
God would have sent us an economist.
If our greatest need had been pleasure,
God would have sent us an entertainer.
But our greatest need was forgiveness,
So God sent us a Savior.
- Roy Lessin
Merry Christmas and God Bless.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Yesterday I was told that the sign language movement for Hallelujah involves swirling your hands while raising them up above your head.
And, that when you watch a Mass for the deaf, when the attendees "sing" Hallelujah before they hear the Gospel reading, it looks like one big festive party.
Which got me thinking: That's what it should be like for everyone. We should all get as excited to hear the Word of God as we do to go to a big party. (written as I look in mirror)
Which got me thinking more: With Christmas coming up in less than a week, most people are getting ready for a big party.
The question is: Is it a present-exchanging, eat-lots-of-food, drink-lots-of-wine, party...
... or a birthday party?
Sunday, December 12, 2010
I wonder what plans Mary and Joseph had for their future - before God laid out His plan.
Speaking of, I wonder what it was like to be sitting there minding your own business only to look up and see the Angel Gabriel speaking to you.
I wonder what it was like when Mary saw that Elizabeth was indeed pregnant.
I wonder how hard it was for Joseph to believe, when human logic told him otherwise.
I wonder what it was like to travel 100 miles while very pregnant (and with a very pregnant wife).
I wonder exactly what that nativity scene looked like.
I wonder what it was like - to wonder what it would be like - to raise the Savior of the World.
I wonder what message God is sending us by choosing such an "ordinary" family, and modest setting, for the birth of His only Son.
I hope you are enjoying the wonder of this Advent season.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
"John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea"
I strolled past luxurious, soft cashmere sweaters that people were snapping up by the arm full.
"John wore clothing made of camel's hair"
Afterward, I had a delicious prime rib dinner with potatoes and vegetables while laughing with friends. (Did I mention the red wine?)
"His food was locust and wild honey"
It was a good day. I got a lot accomplished.
"I tell you, among those born of women there is none greater than John."
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Sunday, November 21, 2010
"Jesus, remember me when you come into my kingdom."
He replied to him,
"Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise."
I pray that we all hear that phrase someday.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
This week started like any other week.
Then on Monday, I found out our Deacon's mother-in-law passed away over the weekend.
Tuesday, I received word that a distant family member died.
Wednesday, a very close friend told me his mother was diagnosed with stage four cancer - a week after his uncle was told the same.
Thursday, a friend at church told me that last month, his mother went into the hospital for a routine colon exam and died of complications within days. His father died of a heart attack a week later.
But then on Thursday night, I heard one of the most uplifting stories I have ever heard.
A woman at my church told us how she became an altruistic kidney donor - meaning she donated one of her healthy kidneys to a complete stranger who desperately needed one.
She has a large family of her own to worry about, yet put her own health at risk because she felt God calling her to do something.
She didn't wait until her kids grew up, or until she found someone she knew who needed a kidney.
She just did it.
Today, while reflecting on the week, I saw the message weaved into all these events:
Don't put off those things - large or small - that you are going to do for God, for none of us know how much time we have left.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
At this point in my life, I can (almost, sort of) confidently say that I use all the right words in my prayers.
But I still constantly try to make our Mass more than just a bunch of repetitive words and actions - to find the meaning behind each action and every word.
For example, during the Eucharistic Prayer and the Institution Narrative, I really try to picture Jesus present in front of us, and mentally walk through the sacrifices He made for us.
Last week, in true "Billy" form, I just realized that when the priest displays the consecrated host to the people, and says "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the World" he is quoting John the Baptist. (I knew John said those words, but embarrassingly enough I never put two and two together!!)
Now when the priest utters those words, I can imagine John announcing the Messiah to his followers. I can feel the elation all of those present must have felt when they heard those words. (Which, by the way, is how we should all feel at Mass since Jesus is present with us!)
Sure, I hit myself upside the head for not figuring that out sooner. But at the same time I smiled inside, knowing that in this circus of life, God reveals different things to all of us at different times.
P.S. I'd love to know if any of you do anything like this to bring the Mass to life. As you can see, I can use all the help I can get!
Sunday, October 24, 2010
That's what St. Paul told Timothy in his second letter to him (2 Tim 4:7 - today's reading).
To me, it's a great reminder that our life on this Earth is a constant competition - that we are always engaged in spiritual battle. A battle that Pope John Paul II described as "an invisible struggle in which we engage every day against temptations."
It's so easy to forget that - especially in a world with so many physical, Earthly distractions. But unfortunately, forgetting that there is a competition going on is the equivalent of joining the other team.
Luckily, we don't need to be beaten, hunted, or chained in prison like St. Paul to make it to Paradise. In fact, as he notes, we don't even need to win the race.
Christ already did that for us.
We just need to finish.
Monday, October 18, 2010
By Monday morning when you get up, it's the lead story. It's not just India; it's Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, and before you know it, you're hearing this story everywhere, and they have now coined it as "the mystery flu." The President has made some comment that he and his family are praying and hoping that all will go well over there. But everyone is wondering, "How are we going to contain it?"
That's when the President of France makes an announcement that shocks Europe. He is closing their borders. No flights from India, Pakistan, or any of the countries where this thing has been seen. And that's why that night you are watching a little bit of CNN before going to bed. Your jaw hits your chest when a weeping woman is translated in English from a French news program. There's a man lying in a hospital in Paris, dying of the mystery flu. It has come to Europe.
Panic strikes. As best they can tell, after contracting the disease, you have it for a week before you even know it. Then you have four days of unbelievable symptoms. And then you die. Britain closes its borders, but it's too late. South Hampton, Liverpool, North Hampton, and it's Tuesday morning when the President of the United States makes the following announcement: "Due to a national-security risk, all flights to and from Europe and Asia have been canceled. If your loved ones are overseas, I'm sorry. They cannot come back until we find a cure for this thing."
Within four days, our nation has been plunged into an unbelievable fear. People are wondering, "What if it comes to this country?" And preachers on Tuesday are saying it's the scourge of God. It's Wednesday night, and you are at a church prayer meeting when somebody runs in from the parking lot and yells, "Turn on a radio, turn on a radio!" And while everyone in church listens to a little transistor radio with a microphone stuck up to it, the announcement is made. Two women are lying, in a Long Island hospital, dying from the mystery flu. Within hours it seems, the disease envelopes the country.
People are working around the clock, trying to find an antidote. Nothing is working. California, Oregon, Arizona, Florida, Massachusetts. It's as though it's just sweeping in from the borders.
And then all of a sudden the news comes out. The code has been broken. A cure can be found. A vaccine can be made. It's going to take the blood of somebody who hasn't been infected, and so, sure enough, all through the Midwest, through all those channels of emergency broadcasting, everyone is asked to do one simple thing: Go to your downtown hospital and have your blood analyzed. That's all we ask of you. When you hear the sirens go off in your neighborhood, please make your way quickly, quietly, and safely to the hospitals.
Sure enough, when you and your family get down there late on that Friday night, there is a long line, and they've got nurses and doctors coming out and pricking fingers and taking blood and putting labels on it. Your spouse and your kids are out there, and they take your blood and say, "Wait here in the parking lot, and if we call your name, you can be dismissed and go home." You stand around, scared, with your neighbors, wondering what on earth is going on, and if this is the end of the world.
Suddenly, a young man comes running out of the hospital screaming. He's yelling a name and waving a clipboard. What? He yells it again! And your son tugs on your jacket and says, "Daddy, that's me." Before you know it, they have grabbed your boy. "Wait a minute. Hold on!" And they say, "It's okay, his blood is clean. His blood is pure. We want to make sure he doesn't have the disease. We think he has the right blood type."
Five tense minutes later, out come the doctors and nurses crying and hugging one another-some are even laughing. It's the first time you have seen anybody laugh in a week, and an old doctor walks up to you and says, "Thank you, sir. Your son's blood is perfect. It's clean, it is pure, and we can make the vaccine."
You begin to sign, and then you see that the box for the number of pints of blood to be taken is empty. "H-h-h-how many pints?" And that is when the old doctor's smile fades, and he says, "We had no idea it would be a little child. We weren't prepared. We need it all!"
"But...but...I don't understand. He's my only son!"
"We are talking about the whole world here. Please sign. We...we...need to hurry!"
"But can't you give him a transfusion?"
Could you walk back? Could you walk back to that room where he sits on a table saying, "Daddy? Mommy? What's going on?" Could you take his hands and say, "Son, your mommy and I love you, and we would never, ever let anything happen to you that didn't just have to be! Do you understand that?" And when that old doctor comes back in and says, "I'm sorry, we've got to get started. People all over the world are dying," could you leave? Could you walk out while he is saying, "Dad? Mom? Dad? Why...why have you abandoned me?"
And then next week, when they have the ceremony to honor your son, and some folks sleep through it, and some folks don't even bother to come because they have better things to do, and some folks come with a pretentious smile and just pretend to care, would you want to jump up and say, "EXCUSE ME! MY SON DIED FOR YOU! DON'T YOU EVEN CARE? DOES IT MEAN NOTHING TO YOU?"
I wonder, is that what God wants to say? "MY SON DIED FOR YOU! DOES IT MEAN NOTHING? DON'T YOU KNOW HOW MUCH I CARE?"
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Sunday, October 3, 2010
This statement from God to Moses reminds me of the famous Footprints poem.
We really don't see God coming at us. He doesn't appear like Superman. He doesn't announce His arrival. And often, His plan is not the same as ours.
Rather, we see Him clearest when we look back. When we realize that He was there in a situation we thought He avoided. When we understand that He held us and guided us during life's obstacles and difficulties.
The truth is, He will never abandon us.
As He tells Joshua (1:9)
May the Lord be with, and Bless, all of you.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
The first, I kinda knew, but never took the time to learn the detail. I always knew the sign posted above Jesus read INRI and stood for Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews. But I never really understood how those letters stood for that phrase. Turns out there was no "J" in Latin, and the letter "I" was often used in its place. So the phrase in Latin is Iesvs Nazarenvs Rex Ivdaeorvm.
The second, embarrassingly enough, I never even thought about. In some crucifixes and paintings, Jesus' head is tilted straight down on the crucifix. In most, however, it is tilted down (or up) but slightly to the right. Why the difference?
A person that was crucified would have likely died from asphyxiation, and thus, their head would have slumped straight down. So, crucifixes that show Jesus' head in that pose are attempting to be more realistic in their depiction.
Those that show His head tilted slightly down (or up) and to the right are taking some artistic liberties. The right hand, in Christian faith, is the hand of blessing. Since Jesus chose to sacrifice Himself for our sins, He, in turn, gave us the ultimate blessing. This is why His head faces right in some crucifixes - to show that His death is a blessing for all of us.
Since my "lesson" last week, I did a little more research and found two other explanations for the right-leaning head tilt. One stated that Jesus was facing the good thief, whom He saved before dying. The other said it was to reinforce that Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father.
I've looked at crucifixes of our Savior thousands of times. Who knew I still had so much to learn about them?
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Don Draper walked into the Vatican with Frank Purdue to try and sell the Pope on his latest Ad campaign.
"Mr. Pope ... Frank and I want to integrate chicken into the rituals of folks around the country, and we were thinking ... what better way than The Lord's Prayer."
The Pope looked at Don with bewilderment. "I'm not sure I understand, Mr. Draper."
"Mr. Pope," Don continued, "we're willing to offer you .... fifty thousand dollars to change the Lord's Prayer to 'give us this day, our daily chicken.'"
The Pope's bewilderment quickly changed to agitation. "Mister Draper ... I will not hear of such nonsense. Absolutely not."
"Ok, ok," Don responded, "You got us. I must have misread the contract and missed a zero. We're really willing to offer you five hundred thousand dollars to change the Lord's Prayer to 'give us this day our daily chicken.'"
The Pope's agitation softened for just a second as he processed the new offer. "Listen, guys, those words are sacred to our religion. I just can't change them for five hundred grand. Sorry. Thank you for your time. Good day."
"Wait, wait, wait," Don quipped, sensing a tiny crack in the armor, "I get it. I get it. Ok .. .how's this ... we'll offer you one million dollars to change the Lord's Prayer to 'give us this day our daily chicken'. That's one... million ... dollars!"
The next day, the Pope gathered his staff and announced, "Folks, I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that I think I found a way to raise all that money we need to feed the poor."
"And the bad news?" a staff member asked.
"I think we're going to lose the Wonder Bread account..."
Please join me in saying a real Our Father for all of the victims of terrorism, wars, and natural disasters around the world.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
I remember reading this passage in Catechism class when I was a young boy.
It nearly sent me running from the Church. (Or at least to the pay phone to call my parents to pick me up ...)
Read literally, it is too harsh to handle. Hating your parents or spouse makes Jesus' next request to give up possessions seem rather simple.
Luckily, my teacher noticed the terror in my eyes and quickly explained to all of us that a more accurate translation of the word "hate" was "to love less" - and Jesus was really telling us that our love for He and His Father should not be surpassed by that for any other.
She then went on to give us a simple rule for "assigning" our love and attention:
I've never forgotten that.
Especially when I read a scary passage like Sunday's gospel.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Sunday, August 22, 2010
You are standing up there at the pearly gates to Paradise.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
(I'll be honest, I had to look it up.)
The answer appears to be four.
1) During the Annunciation
2) Her visit with Elizabeth
3) The Finding in the Temple
4) The Wedding Feast at Canaan
Perhaps none are as important as those last words we have from her:
"Do whatever He tells you. " (John 2:5)
Sunday, August 8, 2010
I'm sure most of you that read this blog also read Anne's - so I don't need to gush on and on about what an inspiring blog she hosts. (But I certainly will upon request ...)
I have to admit, this MEME really got me thinking. After long introspection, I learned that the prayers I gravitate to are either traditional or short/plainspeak. I'm assuming the spirit of this MEME is to share new or less common prayers with each other, so I will focus my list on the latter. (Otherwise, I would obviously have to start and end the list with the Our Father - the perfect prayer given to us by Jesus himself.)
Ok, here goes. You all know the first one, but perhaps not the second two ...
1) The Fatima Prayer
Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those that most need Thy mercy. Amen.
Why this prayer? For starters, it was given to us by Mary (if you believe in the Fatima miracle). Second, in just a few words it requests (a) forgiveness, (b) a path to Paradise, and (c) mercy on those souls in need. How's that for efficiency?
2) Morning Prayer
Lord, thank you for this beautiful day. Please help me to do everything in my power for your honor and glory.
Why this prayer? It's one of the first "non-traditional" prayers I ever learned. It was taught to me through a sermon by the late, great, Fr. Joseph Rosetti (who God blessed with 100 years on this earth). I'll never forget how he emphasized the word beautiful - so that it was clear that every day should be considered as such because it is a gift from God.
It also keeps me focused on what the day should really be about - God's will.
3) Mind and Heart
Jesus, please fill my mind with your Peace and my heart with Your Love.
Ironically, I just learned this one yesterday from a traveling priest at a Church I was visiting. (There goes God, working in his mysterious way again ...) I've actually prayed versions of this before, but I usually clutter them up by adding "and also ..." to them. This one is clean and simple. Could you imagine how wonderful this world would be if we all let Jesus fill our minds and hearts?
*As with all of my lists, this one is subject to change the minute I hit "publish post".
Sunday, July 25, 2010
I always had trouble with today's Gospel as a child.
Like most kids, I took it literally and was sorely disappointed when the hundreds of things I asked God for failed to materialize.
Of course, as I got older, and with the help of this Garth Brooks song, I realized that sometimes God just has to protect us from ourselves and our faulty plans.
And so on occasion, when I am thanking God for all the things He has given to me, I remember to thank Him for all those He purposefully hasn't as well.
Because as Mr. Brooks put it, sometimes those are God's greatest gifts to us.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
It so fully captures what I am thinking half the time (and should be thinking the other half), that I won't clutter it up with any additional commentary. Its quite beautiful on its own.
My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you and I hope that I have that desire in all that I am doing.
And I know that if I do this, you will lead me by the right road although I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death, I will not fear, for you are ever with me and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
- Mother Teresa
In today's Gospel reading (Lk 10:25-37) about the Good Samaritan, Luke reminded me how hard it is to really follow the Golden Rule.
On the surface, it seems easy. I mean, most of us, if we saw a person injured on the side of the road, would stop and help. (Or at the very least call 911, right?)
But when you dig deeper into the historical significance of the parable, you realize it isn't so easy after all.
Jews and Samaritans despised each other. The Samaritans taunted the Jews. In return, the Jews considered the Samaritans to be unclean outcasts, and cursed them when seeing them in synagogues. It was a rivalry that had been in place hundreds of years before Jesus.
And so this parable wasn't just about loving and helping a wounded person by the side of the road. It was about loving and helping a hated enemy.
I don't know about you, but I have a hard time loving the guy that cuts me off on the highway, let alone a hated enemy.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again .... I've sure got a long way to go!
Sunday, July 4, 2010
I was going to lament about how far the United States has strayed in 234 years.
I didn't want to, trust me. I love this country and what it stands for.
But that thought was really at the forefront of my mind this weekend.
And then I heard a story I had not heard before. One that was so simple, and yet, so motivating that it changed my outlook. It has nothing to do with America, or freedom. It's just a perfect lesson that perspective is everything.
It goes something like this:
Mahatma Gandhi was on a train when one of his sandals slipped off and fell onto the tracks. Since the train was moving, he could not retrieve the lost sandal. Instead, he calmly took off his other one, and threw it onto the tracks next to the first one.
When onlookers asked him why he chose to do that, he simply said that "the poor person that finds the first sandal now has a pair that he can wear."
What a wonderful gesture.
And a reminder that, even in a negative situation, there is always something you can do to help someone less fortunate.
Happy Birthday America.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Let the dead bury their dead.
First, let me say goodbye to my family at home ...
No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God.
I imagine Jesus shaking His head ever so slightly as he watched each of those men struggle with the decision staring them in the face.
And to be honest, I've always taken this passage from Luke at a symbolic level - that we cannot focus on following our Lord if we are concerned with worldly things.
But today I read it literally.
Burying one's father and saying goodbye to one's family are two pretty big things, aren't they? And Jesus still told them to pass and follow Him.
It's not like they said, "Let me just watch this show I TiVo-ed," or "I have reservations at this great restaurant tonight - can I meet up with you after dinner?"
Which makes me wonder how hard our Lord is shaking His head at the choices I make each day.
I pray I haven't given Him whiplash.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Peter answered Him.
I've read that passage many times, but I just realized it is as relevant today as it was 2000 years ago.
The truth is, there are thousands of people in the world today asking themselves, their family, God - or anyone who will listen - who Jesus is.
Maybe they were never taught. Maybe they forgot. Or maybe they just have a hard time understanding.
They need someone to "pull a Peter", and give them the answer.
I'd love to do it.
So does anyone have any ideas how to reach them?
Happy Father's Day to all you dads out there. God Bless.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
How many times have you seen the ol' point-to-the-sky-to-thank-God-for-my-goal/homerun/basket in sports?
Or how many times have you seen a player make the sign of the cross endless times before he starts a game, begging God to help him do well?
I have to admit, as much as I love sports, I'm always a bit disappointed when I see these gestures.
Don't get me wrong, I think its great that these athletes are thinking about God, and hopefully thanking Him for their talents.
But I wonder if those same people make the sign of the cross as they walk past homeless people.
Or point to the sky every time they see God working one of His many miracles here on Earth.
You know, for things that really matter.
I know I don't.
But I might from now on.
Sunday, June 6, 2010
I got up, ate breakfast, and got dressed for Mass.
I got up and decided if I could muster up enough courage to attend Mass this week.
I was running a bit late when I got into my car, and prayed there wouldn't be too much traffic.
I started my trek, and prayed no one set flames to my Church overnight.
I parked the car, and walked quickly into the Church, hoping to get a good seat.
I took a quick look around the Church before I entered, making sure no persecutors were waiting.
I sat down, and was happy that the air conditioning was working this week.
I was happy the 3 men that hung my friend upside-down and beat him for hours last week before Mass weren't there this time.
I was excited to see my favorite priest was celebrating the Mass today.
I was excited to see our priest was still alive and made it to Mass today.
I enjoyed reflecting on today's Gospel with my friends after Mass in the Narthex.
I rushed home before anyone saw me, and met secretly with a few friends to pray.
I feel Peace and Joy when I spend time in Church with God.
I feel Peace and Joy when I spend time in Church with God.
I live in the United States of America.
I live in the Middle East.
Pope Benedict made an appeal yesterday for Christians living in the Middle East. Please take some time and pray, not only for their continued courage, but for Peace in the Middle East and elsewhere.
Monday, May 31, 2010
I wanted to acknowledge the sacrifices that many people made for our freedoms, but keep it motivational for our faith.
Then God presented me with this song. I heard it for the first time as I was staring at my blank computer screen...
(The line that really made me stop was "What is it I've done with my life .... it happens in a Blink")
Those that died for our freedom did something great with their lives.
This song really made me think about my own ...
God Bless, and have a wonderful Memorial Day.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
When I reached my gate, I saw about five more waiting for the same flight I was.
I didn't think much of it at the time, but assumed they were on leave, perhaps off to enjoy a long Memorial Day week.
As I boarded, I noticed two open seats in first class - a rarity in a world where upgrades are used to buy loyalty.
Shortly thereafter, I noticed a flight attendant summoning two of Our Nation's Finest up to first-class to fill the open seats there.
A nice gesture, I thought to myself.
But it's what happened next that left me speechless.
One by one, three first-class passengers got up and exchanged their plush seats for the amenity-free joys of coach so that the other uniformed men could fly in luxury with their pals.
If you have ever glanced at the cost of a first-class ticket, you know what a generous gift that was.
The gesture took on even more meaning when we landed, and learned those five men were not on leave. They were headed off to serve the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan.
I've been thinking a lot about those gifts this Pentecost Sunday. And I pray that the Holy Spirit strengthens you and I to be as brave in serving our Lord as those five men are in serving their country, and as generous as those three folks that gave up their first-class seats.
P.S. Speaking of gifts, Victor has written another wonderful book ... and is offering it to everyone for free. If you have read Victor's blog, Time For Reflections, you know that he is a very gifted and entertaining writer. If you haven't, you can check it out here. (Victor: I'm about a third of the way through the book and am enjoying it very much. Thank you for your gift.)
Sunday, May 16, 2010
That struck me this weekend.
He didn't say, "go about your normal lives. Stay comfortable. Remain within your little bubble."
He said go.
I questioned myself. Am I going? Am I doing?
"Sure I am," I told myself, with a healthy degree of skepticism.
Then I started to do the math. I did a rough estimate of what percentage of my week was spent going and what part was spent not going.
Have I mentioned how much I hate math?
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Could you say yes if it meant changing your life drastically from what you had planned?
Could you say yes if you knew you would have a 50-50 chance of getting stoned to death in the next few months?
Could you say yes if you knew you would have to watch your son, daughter, or loved one, die a most gruesome death?
Could you say yes on the spot, without even thinking about it (like you might be right now)?
Blessed Mother, you said yes to our Father without fear of the hardships it might bring. Please pray that we, too, can say yes to all the little requests God makes of us each day.
A very Blessed Mother's Day to all mothers - living and deceased.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
If I could, then I would be able to proclaim wonderful messages like this one and disguise them in a catchy little song.
(It would sound so much convincing than than me saying "God has a plan for all of us - you just have to trust Him.")
And if you want to hear the inspiration to the song, watch this video on Josh Wilson's Facebook page (you don't have to be a member to watch).
There is an absolutely amazing line from the interview there that I wish I came up with on my own:
If we can trust God with our Eternity, we can certainly trust Him with our now.
Hmmm ... maybe that will be the title of my first album someday ...
Saturday, April 24, 2010
They spend time teaching, so that we can be inspired.
They get up in front of a crowd every week, when many are afraid to do that just once.
They listen for countless hours as we pour our sins and problems on them, yet they rarely return the favor.
They are the vessel for the miracle of the Eucharist.
They are held to unreasonable standards of perfection, even though they are as human as you and I.
They suffer a disproportionate amount of backlash because of the mistakes of a small sample of their peers. (I can't think of a profession with a more unbalanced scale.)
They, despite it all, continue to serve and pray for us. Much more than we do for them.
They are our front line of defense against the evil one.
They need our prayers and our support.
Please say an extra prayer for the priesthood this Good Shepherd Sunday.
God Bless you.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
It's a good thing, too, because I almost forgot how powerful a movie it is.
For those of you that haven't seen the movie, it's a heart-tugging story about a Jewish man who is so positive, and so uplifting, that he even makes the most of a Nazi-era Concentration Camp.
That movie, coupled with today's Gospel reading and the Easter season, led me to reflect on how beautiful our lives really are.
Sure, we all have our issues, our struggles, and our crosses to endure.
But they all pale in comparison to what life would be like if Jesus did not make the ultimate sacrifice for us, and if God wasn't eternally willing to forgive us.
Imagine, for just one minute, that there was nothing to look forward to. That, after taking our last breath, our souls would languish in emptiness for eternity.
(go on, I'll wait)
Kinda scary, huh?
Life would be pointless! Like a relatively short distraction on our way to perpetual gloom.
But thanks to Christ, we have Hope.
Hope that our lives are leading us to an eternity surrounded by God's love and joy in Paradise. That our future is a place where there is no sadness, no pain, and no emptiness.
Just our Father's never ending beauty.
Unfortunately, in the movie, Roberto Benigni's character is forced to make life beautiful for his son and everyone around him.
Luckily, in the real world, Jesus has already done that for us.