Ask Our Lord for Help and Trust

Ask Our Lord for Help and Trust

“Oh man of little faith, why did you doubt?”

In the June, 2017 edition of the Christian Century magazine, in his article entitled The Temporary Gift of Marriage, Craig Barnes writes: It was the pastor’s last marriage prep meeting with Mike and Sue before their wedding. They had completed all the preparation work on the sacramental dimensions and practical issues of their new life together. Now all that was left was to finalize the wedding cer­emony. As they were about to review the proposed liturgy that the pastor had drafted, Mike said, “Before we get into this, I have to say I’m really sacred.”

Seeing his fiancée’s stunned, pained expression, he said quickly, “Oh, I’m not afraid of marrying you, Sue. I’m just terrified of losing you.” Then he looked back at the pastor and explained, “Several years ago, my mother died, and it almost killed me.” Turning back to his fiancée, Mike continued, “What if something happens to you too? I can’t imagine how I would survive.”

The pastor wanted to say something like, Oh, Mike, don’t worry about that. You’re both young and there are so many wonderful years ahead for both of you. But he had buried too many young people to say that. So, as compassionately as possible, he said, “In my experience 100 percent of all marriages eventually come to an end, and you’ll never beat those odds”. Continue reading

Keep Eyes Fixed on the Final Goal

Keep Eyes Fixed on the Final Goal

“Tell no one of this vision, until the son of man is raised from the dead.”

The late Itzhak Perlman was one of the great virtuoso violinists of the 20th century. Stricken with polio as a child, he wore large braces on both legs and maneuvered with the aid of two crutches.

Seeing him take the stage was an inspiring sight: painfully and slowly, but majestically and confidently, he would make his way to his chair. Then he would carefully lower himself into his chair, place his crutches on the floor, unfasten the braces on his legs, and tuck one foot back and extend the other foot forward; he would then bend down and pick up his violin, arrange it un­der his chin, and then nod to the conductor. It was a ritual that his audiences had come to respect and admire.

Continue reading

A Humble Approach to Adoption

A Humble Approach to Adoption

“… although you have hidden these things from the wise and learned you have revealed them to little ones.”

A relatively recent January, Parade Magazine article by Rosemary Zibart, entitled Their Faces Spoke to the Heart, states that there are nearly 130,000 children in the United States waiting to be adopted — most of them are the hardest to place: older children, minorities, and brothers and sisters. Many of these kids have known only abuse and neglect all their lives; they’re angry, they’re afraid, and they’ve suffered every kind of physical, emotional and behavioral problem imaginable.

Ten years ago, a social worker in New Mexico came up with a new adoption strategy. Tired of the same static, expressionless snapshots that she would show prospective parents, she asked some professional photographers to shoot portraits of these children that would capture the spirit and personality of each child. The photographers readily volunteered. Families consid­ering adopting were then invited to a special showing of these stunning photographs at a local gallery. Continue reading

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

Fear Not!

Fear Not!

“Everyone who acknowledges Me before others, I will acknowledge before My heavenly Father. But whoever denies Me before others, I will deny before My heavenly Father.”

It’s not very often that the Vatican gives approval to a film showing at the cinema, but it happened in 1997 when the Italian movie Life is Beautiful was first released. It’s an unusual film which deals with a sensitive subject, that of the Nazi Holocaust and the deportation of Jews to concentration camps. Although it won an Oscar for best picture, the movie has its critics as well as its admirers.

The film tells the story of a Jewish Italian man named Guido, an attractive clown-like figure who falls in love with Dora, the woman of his dreams. His humorous personality wins her affection and eventually they marry and have a son. The little boy is about six years old when the Nazi persecution takes over. The Germans round up Guido and his son and, because Dora refuses to be left behind, all three are taken to a concentration camp. When they arrive the couple is separated in preparation for hard labor. Any children are killed, but Guido hides his son and persuades him the whole business is a game in which he must co-operate if he wants to win a prize. The scenes unfold with a mixture of comedy and drama, exploring the rich themes of love, of sacrifice, and of courage. Continue reading

Happiness or Holiness

 Happiness or Holiness (or both?)

     “He began to teach them, saying: ‘Blessed are they …’ “

       At the conclusion of the movie “Bride of Frankenstein,” the movie sequel based on Mary’s Shelly’s book, “Frankenstein,” Frankenstein’s monster is emotionally devastated at the repugnant rejection of him by his so called, “bride to be.”

     With tears in its eyes, the heartbroken monster starts to throw a tantrum, when it inadvertently and unknowingly stumbles across a lever that, if moved in the wrong position, could set off a chain reaction and destroy the entire laboratory, and everything and everyone in it, including itself. 

      In anticipation of this potential disaster, the evil scientist sternly warns the monster “not to pull the lever” in the hopes the monster might react rationally, and avoid the impending calamity. 

Of course, sternly warning a monster of its moral obligation not to do something rash and immoral, immediately following a personally devastating emotional and psychological heartbreak and public humiliation is almost like inviting it, in fact, to “pull the lever.” That’s why they’re monsters!  They generally don’t listen very well, especially when you tell them to do something right or not do something wrong. Continue reading

Difficulty is Part of the Gift

Difficulty is Part of the Gift

“Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to Him, “Are you He who is to come, or shall we look for another?”

One Christmas a boy in a remote far away village gave his teacher an exquisite seashell as a gift. He had walked many difficult miles over treacherous terrain to find it, to a special bay, the only place such shells could be found.

The teacher was quite moved by the boy’s gift, and understood where it had come from and the difficulty involved in obtaining it: “What a beautiful shell. You must have walked many difficult and dangerous miles for it. I am deeply grateful for your gift,” the teacher said. Continue reading

Ash Wednesday Introduction2016

Ash Wednesday Introduction 2016

ProLifeCorner- Today all throughout the world, Christians of many denominations will start a 40 day period of fasting and prayer. A dear friend of the ProLifeCorner sent us his introduction to this most holy season. To some Christians who do not practice Lent, hopefully this introduction will provide a little deeper understanding of this holy season. If practicing Lent is not part of your tradition, and this introduction makes sense to you, please join us on this holy journey for a more personal relationship with our Lord and Savior.

Ash Wednesday Introduction

Today, the Church celebrates Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent.

Lent has three major themes: repentance, purification, and growth.  These three themes are exemplified very appropriately by the use of ashes. Continue reading

I Am the Vine, You Are the Branches

ProLifeCorner-   “I am the vine, you are the branches.”

When Maureen O’Rourke’s  father was dying of Alzheimer’s, she promised to be with him to the end.  A career nurse, she was confident that she could care for him during his difficult final days.  After pneumonia set it, death was imminent — or so it was thought.  He was taken to a nursing home; but she remained at his side, taking care of all his physical needs as he slipped in and out of consciousness. 

Even though her dad continued to hang on, she was determined to keep her promise to him: that he had nothing to fear, that he would not die alone, and that she would stay with him until the end.  

But after three weeks, she was physically and emotionally exhausted.   She could not continue.  From a WBUR “Kind World” radio interview entitled, Father’s Final Days, A Small Act of Grace, Maureen remembers: Continue reading