Inspiring Joy in Others by Christ

Inspiring Joy in Others by Christ

“Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”    

For more than fifty of his more than eighty years, Nurney Mason was a barber in the United States House of Representatives. Nurney Ma­son cut hair out of a tiny booth in the basement of the Rayburn Office Building — his little stall saw nearly as much history as the floor of the Capitol itself. And every day, he brought to his job not only his barbering skills, but kindness, optimism and encouragement He would greet everyone — whether powerful Congressman or lowest-level staffer — with a solid handshake and a knowing smile. Mason stayed upbeat, day after day, the vibrations of his clippers surely jarring his wrists over the half century he worked.

He was asked by one of his Congressional customers how he stayed so upbeat and happy all the time.

Nurney Mason replied simply, “I just make (joy) right here. I create joy where I stand.Continue reading

Walking With Those Who Need Us

Walking With Those Who Need Us

“And it happened that while they were conversing and debating, Jesus Himself drew near and walked with them …”

Tim was nine when the last of many foster-care placements began to break down and he was placed in a home where children received special care and help. Tim was a sad and angry young boy who, having been put into care by his mother when he was six, hated the world. He was often sullen and aggressive, though occasionally he revealed a wicked sense of humor and some sparkle.

During his time at the home, his care-givers would arrange for Tim to meet with his mother. Each time it would be the same. Tim would be excited, full of hope and plans, confident that this time things would be different and his mother would want him back. It was a very normal reaction for any child. Each time, however, the pain would be greater. Tim’s mother would express her pleasure at seeing him, give him sweets and they would go off for the day. Then it would end and Tim would return, agitated, withdrawn and angry, refusing to talk. His hopes and dreams were once more dashed. It took a great deal of being alongside him, listening to him and helping him to make sense of what had happened to him, before he could move on and begin to live with a different kind of hope. Continue reading

The Resurrection of the Body vs Transexualism

The Resurrection of the Body vs Transexualism

“That the dead will rise, even Moses made (that) known in the passage about the bush, …”

Since he was a boy, the painter Henri Matisse would visit the great Pierre-Auguste Renoir every week, taking in everything he could from the great master. When Renoir contracted arthritis, Matisse began to come every day to bring food, brushes and paint, and anything else Renoir needed

One day, Matisse watched as Renoir groaned in pain while making a simple but exact brush stroke. Finally, the young would-be artist could no longer stand watching his mentor suffer.

“Master,” Matisse asked, “your work is already vast and important. Why keep torturing yourself like this?”

“Very simple,” Renoir answered. “The pain passes; but the beauty remains.” Continue reading

Humility

Humility

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“For everyone who exults themselves will be humbled, but the ones who humble themselves will be exulted.”

        There once lived a man so humble, that even the angels rejoiced at the sight of him.  But, in spite of his great sanctity, he didn’t even have the slightest idea that he was holy.  He just went about his humdrum and ordinary daily tasks, diffusing goodness in the same way flowers unconsciously diffuse their fragrance, and in the same way streetlights diffuse their glow.

        His sanctity lay in this – that he forgot each person’s past, and looked at him or her, as they were, and he looked beyond each person’s appearance to the very center of their being, where they were innocent and blameless and too unaware to know what they were doing.  Thus, he loved and forgave everyone he met – and he saw nothing extraordinary in this, for it was the result of his way of looking at people. Continue reading

Courage or Compromise

Courage or Compromise

“Do you suppose that I am here to bring peace on earth?”

During the 1930’s Winston Churchill experienced what are called his “wilderness years.”   He was out of government, out of office and out of style. His day was over and done with, his influence on British public life seemingly in decline. Churchill retired to his country home in Kent, south of London, tended his garden, built brick walls and brooded.

In particular, he brooded about Hitler and the rise of Fascism and Nazism in Europe. Alarmed at what he heard about the rearmament of Germany, Churchill began to make speeches in the House of Commons, calling on the government of the day to be vigilant and to rearm the country against the threat of Nazi might. In reply, Members of Parliament denounced Churchill as a warmonger. After the horror of the First World War, nobody wanted to contemplate the possibility of another conflict. Peace was the order of the day, and any talk of arms and fighting would only serve to depress people and to dishearten them. It was madness to talk of war, and only a madman would contemplate such a thing. Churchill was ignored. But Churchill was right. The sad truth came all too quickly, to blight another generation and to send millions to the grave. Continue reading

Intention vs Consequence

Intention vs Consequence

   “Peter said, ‘Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for everyone?’

Writing in the Harvard Business Review [April 23, 2013], busi­ness consultant Peter Bregman tells of running late one evening. He was to meet his wife, Eleanor, for dinner, but a client meeting had run longer than expected and he was 30 minutes late.

Arriving at their table in the restaurant, he apologized. “I didn’t intend to be late,” he said!

Eleanor replied, “You never intend to be late.”

Uh-oh; she was mad! Continue reading

The Harvest Is Rich, But The Laborers Are Few.

The harvest is rich, but the laborers are few.

The world famous golfer Tiger Woods was once given a piece of advice by his father: “My dad once told me: no matter what anyone says or writes, really, none of those people has to hit your four-foot putt. You have to do it yourself.”

Perhaps what Mr. Woods senior meant is that there are some things we can only do ourselves regardless of other people. In a slightly different vein is the old saying, “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.” It can be said by exasperated parents who have sent their child to the shop to buy something and the child comes back with something quite different: or perhaps by boss whose staff doesn’t come up to snuff. Self-reliance and a willingness to do things for ourselves may be admirable traits. Indeed, there are some things that we just have to do for ourselves. Continue reading

Making Excuses

Making Excuses

ProLifeCorner-   “And to another [Jesus] said, “Follow me.” But he replied, “Lord, let me go first and bury my father.”

And Jesus said to one, “Follow me.” And he replied, “I will follow you, Lord, right after I check the day’s market reports.”

But Jesus said, “You cannot be my disciple if your concern for the poor and destitute does not match your concern for your portfolio.

Jesus said to another, “Follow me!”

And she replied, “I will follow you, Lord, right after I meet with my accountant to set-up my 401-K.”

But Jesus said, “You cannot be my disciple if your eternal life’s vi­sion cannot see beyond the age of retirement.”

Jesus said to the teenager, “Follow me.”

And the teen replied, “I will follow you, Lord, as soon as I get back from soccer practice, meeting my friends at the mall, and updating my Facebook page.”

But Jesus said, “You cannot be my disciple if it is just another something on your schedule.”

Jesus said to the mom and dad, “Follow me.”

And the parents said, “We will follow you, Lord, as soon as we are assured that our child is loved and cared for.”

But Jesus said, “You cannot be my disciples until you realize that to love and care for your child is to be my disciple.” Continue reading

Pentecost and Homily 2016

Pentecost and Homily 2016

Introduction:

Good afternoon (morning)!  Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of Pentecost – the coming of the Holy Spirit and the 1983rd birthday of the Church, which began in the year 33 AD! 

The Church recognizes two forms of revelation – Sacred Scripture –the Written Tradition as revealed by the God the Father and God the Son, AND Sacred Tradition (aka Oral Tradition) as clarified and explained more fully by God the Holy Spirit! 

Pentecost is the beginning of Sacred Tradition! The work of the Holy Spirit in the Church, as first revealed to the apostles – the first pope and first bishops, and continues to the end of time with their successors, the pope and bishops in union with him!

It is only to the pope and the bishops in union with him, and only them, does the guarantee of unbroken line of Truth and authoritative interpretation of divine revelation reside!  Continue reading

Samaritan Woman at the Well: A Different Perspective

Samaritan Woman at the Well: A Different Perspective

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The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, I can see that you are a prophet? Our ancestors worshipped on this mountain; but you people say that the place to worship is in Jerusalem.”

In 1923, the Jewish theologian Martin Buber wrote an immensely influential little book entitled I and Thou. Buber’s main point is that there are two ways of relating to other people in our lives: We can see them as objects to be used – what Buber calls an “I-it” relationship; or we can see others as having feelings, dreams and needs as real and as important as our own that can be the basis for dialogue and relationship – an “I-Thou” relationship.

In his memoirs, Buber tells the story of how he came to his theory of I-Thou and I-It. When he was a professor of philosophy at a university in Germany, a young student came to see him. The student had received his draft notice to serve in the German army in World War I. He was a pacifist by nature and afraid of being killed in battle, but, at the same time, he was a loyal and fiercely patriotic German. He asked Buber what he should do: serve his country and risk being killed or claim conscientious objector status and perhaps leave another young man to be killed in his place. Continue reading