Sunday, July 25, 2010

Unanswered Prayers

"So I say to you, ask and it will be given to you ... For everyone that asks receives." 
Luke 11:9-10

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.

God Bless.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Yeah, What He Said

I came across this prayer by Thomas Merton the other day.

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.

God Bless.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Just When I Thought It Was Easy

"Each one of them is Jesus in disguise."
- 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!

God Bless.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Try This On For Size

I have to admit, my post today was going to have a slightly negative spin to it.

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.

God Bless.