Posts Tagged ‘work’

Mind Your Business….

June 9, 2017

“Anyone who would not work, should not eat. We hear that some of you are unruly, not keeping busy but acting like busy-bodies. We enjoin all such, and we urge them strongly in the Lord Jesus Christ, to earn the food they eat by working quietly. You must never grow weary of doing what is right, brothers”. ( 2 Thessalonians 3:10-13 ).

In this letter Paul is writing to the community because there are people who are not really doing their part and are taking the time from the work they should be doing, and instead making themselves busy dealing with affairs of others.

In the world today, much is said of those who are not gainfully employed, or under employed. The world looks at these souls and judge them. They are judge to be lazy, guilty of sloth. They just don’t want to work. Indeed, there are those who were brought up not to value work at all, or were taught not to value certain types of work, because they were considered somehow “less” or not really something to be desired.

Society has been equally disowning of people who have been challenged in their educational processes.

In fact, we still struggle in this area. We understand, for instance, that different people learn by differing methods. We have not gotten to a point where we can effectively transform that knowledge into the individual student. How they learn, and then transform that into an educational process that works for that student.

There are budget concerns.. ” We can’t possibly create individual plans for each and every students!.. We simply can’t afford either the staff, or the budget concerns.” This is a common issue in education. Then those who do not learn in the traditional ways, are by and large, relegated to “lesser” jobs. They are told, ” You don’t have what it takes to go to college… you should find a trade , or go to work in retail or fast food. You might not think this goes on today. You would be wrong.

But I digress…

The problem we have, is that work is today, not something of value for most people. The employers, do not value the work of the people who work for them. They value instead the spreadsheet. The statistics that look nice and green. As long as those numbers look right, and positive, then everything is fine. Otherwise, there are only numbers and that the shoulders are broad enough to receive the pat on the back approvals of those closest. The company ( or owners ) no longer feel any obligation towards those people who toil in their firms.. after all they are numbers… replaceable, something that is replaceable in very little time with another body eager to fill it. Who spend their time “dumbing down” the process so it is easier to replace the last body that fell under the wheel of their taskmasters whip. For them their world is “gray”…. no black or white… just the gray of how the story is spun.

There are employees who, no longer have a work ethic. Who do not care about the job they do. Who’s sole concern is how little it is possible to do, in order to keep a paycheck. They do not care about the tools they are given, or the people for whom this work is done. As long as their numbers are passable, that go up to the “ivory tower” of management, then its good enough. There is no loyalty to the company that they work for, because they already know the company has no loyalty or care for them as people.

So why should we care about work ?

Work, is a gift from God. We work in order to gain a just wage. It is through that work, that we gain a just wage through which , we tithe. Tithing is not just money. Tithing is time, talent and treasure. That thing which we offer to God, through our family, through our brothers and sisters, and as a way to sanctify our day.

Paul is also quick to instruct the Thessalonians to conduct themselves in an upright and honorable way.

We too, should spend our efforts in public and in private, working on our own sanctification. It is through this type of work. Working honorably, and justly; working on our own sanctification, will be the greatest tool we have at our disposal to bring about the Kingdom of God.

Will we falter ? Sure we will. Will we slip ? Of course we will. It is not how we FALL,… but how we RISE !

May God give you the gift of His peace !


Soured Milk Cookie Reflection…..

August 15, 2015

Soured Milk Cookie reflection..

” Elijah went a day’s journey into the desert,
until he came to a broom tree and sat beneath it.
He prayed for death saying:
“This is enough, O LORD!
Take my life, for I am no better than my fathers.”
He lay down and fell asleep under the broom tree,
but then an angel touched him and ordered him to get up and eat.
Elijah looked and there at his head was a hearth cake
and a jug of water.
After he ate and drank, he lay down again,
but the angel of the LORD came back a second time,
touched him, and ordered,
“Get up and eat, else the journey will be too long for you!”
He got up, ate, and drank;
then strengthened by that food,
he walked forty days and forty nights to the mountain of God, Horeb.” (1 Kings 19:4-8)

After having gone to the Fridge yesterday, I have my first cup of coffee poured..
I had put in some sugar.. and grabbed the milk from the fridge.. and poured it in.

There is was…. those little floating tiny curdles in my coffee that told me that the milk was going bad..
Then I thought to myself.. well it probably just started to go bad.. so I mixed it in.. and took a sip..
BLEH.. no.. indeed it had already gone bad and was probably had been bad for a couple of days.

I did not notice because I usually drink me coffee during the week, at the office, where,
since the milk is that powdered creamer substitute that is the abomination to coffee drinkers who,
like myself, just really look forward to that first cup of the day.. to savor and enjoy that first
swallow of that sweet dark, liquid sharing the sweet and acidic smokey flavor that dances down the pallet.

I admittedly screwed up my face, and experienced instead a bit of frustration at the combination of
waste of a perfectly good cup of coffee, and the sugar that went in it..
Fortunately I had a backup jug in the fridge that I picked up the night before.
All was not lost !
Now your asking yourself…. This guy has gone off his rocker.. and what does this have to do with this reading ?
stick with me.. it will become clear.
I sat and pondered what it is that I could do so as not to waste any of this milk that had gone sour..
There did not appear to be enough to make cheese with.. at least not enough to make it worth the effort.
It is important for us not to waste any gifts that we are given.. As part of the Franciscan spirituality we try to do
as much as we are able with the blessings we have, so that in turn they may be blessings to others.
We are after all only stewards of the blessings we recieve, not owners, and stewards for the benefit of others.

After doing a bit of research I came across a recipe for cookies that are made from Soured Milk.
I gave it a try, and after a little bit of quality control, ( A very necessary part of any kitchen)  I deemed them giftable, and
so blessed the neighbors with some of these wonderful cookies.

Now, to the reading….

In this readings ELijiah is running away from his life, and mission, his job.. He is most decidedly unhappy..

He runs away from it all.. and finds himself a nice secluded spot.. and decides that he has had enough of his life and
is ready for the Lord to take him home.. He is unhappy with his lot in life, he really just would prefer if the world would stop
so that he could get off !  ( Does this sound familiar ? ).
So he falls asleep and an angel comes down and wakes him up and tells him to eat and drink… and he does, and then goes back to sleep.  The angel comes again.. same thing.. wakes him up and tells him to eat and drink … He does, and then after having regained his strength, he got up and went on a journey for another 40 days and nights to the mountain of God.

Everyone at some time or another desires to get off the carosel of life even for a while, some downtime is necessary for the gathering of our thoughts, to step back and assess where we are, where we have been, and where we are going.

The problem is sometimes, the need to stop, turns into a desire to escape, not unlike poor Elijiah, there is the desire to stop and say, OK Lord, I have had enough, I am not any better than I am ever going to get, so I am getting off this journey !

At times, to need for rest might turn into something different, where we no longer desire to pick up the cross we have been given.
Instead of saying I need a rest from my labors, it becomes ” I am putting down this cross, its not for me, and I dont want it, so I am leaving it there”.

There is a paradox here.  God has a plan.  Even if you put that cross down, there is another cross in the path your running to.
When you get to that cross, you must again come face to face with the journey that God has in store for you.  You again come face to face, with yourself, and with God.

Just because you reject the cross you have, does not mean that God will not be there, again, and again.. You will come face to face with what ever your cross is.. the question becomes, will you pick up the cross that is yours…

Making Soured Milk Cookies is like that.   In the beginning, you might not see your cross.. you sit with great anticipation of that thing, that work, that part of life that you enjoy.  Then you experience something unexpected.. the milk of life you were drinking has gone a little off.  You might throw it out.. and you will have wasted the opportunity to learn something new or diffrent.  There is still the idea that you will have to get other milk.. another cross, another journey…

Or you can rest a bit, get some perspective, and then pick up the cross.. and try something different, learn something new,and in the process you become a better steward of the spiritual gifts, the journey, the blessings, that you have recieved.
May God give you the gift of His peace !

Work…. Its Use and Abuse…

April 18, 2015

Work, Its use, and abuse…

“Finally, renumeration for work should guarantee man, the opportnity to provide a dignified livelihood for himself and his family on the material, social, cultural, and spiritual level to correspond to the role and producivity of each…. ”

(Rerum Novarum p. 649 )

In the United States an interesting thing is occuring people have been going on strike for and in one case in Washington State passed a law requiring higher wages for all employees.

There are so many viewpoints about why this is or is not a good thing.  There are many opinions about why this move would be bad for the economy of the country.

The interesting thing about this scenario is that it has forced people who stop to consider and expore their feelings and beliefs about work and what is means, on the personal level and how it effects them.

The issue centers around a job working at a fast food restraunt and their workers who are demanding higher wages.   This job, working in fast food has historically been the domain of high school children.  Viewed as lowly, entry level jobs used by kids to use as money to enjoy time with their friends. This is certainly not a “real” job for any responsible adult, and certainly just a job to learn about the “real world” when those employees are sent into a job where what they are doing really matters.
There are several issues with this viewpoint. First in a work environment where the ecomomy is thriving, jobs are plentiful and there are companies who treat their employees with dignity and respect, then the idea that these are ” lower level jobs for young kids” might be justified.

Like many other things, in an economy that is not thriving, and the jobs are not plentiful, we are forced to look at our perspectives in a new and different way. These jobs are taken on by hard working,  people who are trying to survive on what little money they make.  In many cases they are the elderly, those who have fallen on hard times,   Some of them who might have made poor choices in life and are starting over.

In a somewhat larger lens, the questions involved are more about why it is that we look at these employees as “less”.  Not just in  these fast food locations, but there is a larger problem where companies view their employees not at people, but as machines or commodities.  There is a larger issue where companies engage in a de-humanization of the person.  Like any other piece of machinery or commodity, we can throw it out once it nears the end of its expected use.  We can use it for things it was not intended to do with cheaper parts and objects and since there are so many other parts just waiting to be used, we will just toss this one and get another.

The use of threats and fear, unreasonable expectations and policies that cause unneccesary anxiety and stress.

Then there is where we need to also look in the mirror.  Our society has created this view of some people as being “less” than others, worth less, need-less, use-less, and just plain inferior.  They seem to us “less” because of how they speak, or their level of education, their job title, their relationships, what family they belong to, or because of the work they do.

My mother used to say ” THere is dignity and honor in every job.”  This simple statement taught my brother two things.  That we should take some pride in the job we are doing, and that job is worth having because it fills a need.   THe second thing was that  no matter who it is that no matter what business you enter, or utilize, that every person deserves honor, and respect no matter what job it is that they do.

Work fills a certain spiritual need.   Work ( provided correctly) provides dignity to the human person.  It should provide a means  for a person to provide for themselves and their family.  It should provide for enough surplus that they can participate in the life of their own society, and the needs of their spiritual lives.    It should provide time away from their job not only for relaxation, but for their spiritual lives.
Work should not only provide for but demand, provide for,and protect the respect and dignity for every single employee it has regardless of their job title.  THis, because the Christ in each of us may be the only Christ that person sees or has seen.  Because that person is in the in dwelling of the Holy Spirit and because they are the neighbor, we are supposed to be loving.

May God give you the gift of His peace…

Which Way Do I Go, Lord ?

March 28, 2015

Which Way Do I Go , Lord ?

Work. It is a necessity. It is what it is that we are raised to want, to desire, and to excel at.

It starts in elementary school and lasts our entire lives. In High school, there is a push for indications of what it is that we want to DO with our life’s work, what direction we are going in, and indeed, how we plan to excel at that life’s work .

Decisions need to me made, actions need to be taken to insure that with all possible certainty, you perform above grade. You need to be successful and you need to gain a solid financial foothold that you should hold on to and even advance in status, finance, and possessions.

There is a point where you may find people who, once they obtain that status, position, or level in one area of their lives that things are good and they are happy but things could be better in other areas.

Particularly in the area of work more than not, people are generally unhappy not so much with the work that they do, but the circumstances within which they do it.

I find it interesting that most people who attend college, never really stay within the field that they originally went to school for. Life and circumstances change and the opportunities cause a change in that time and tide.

Economic circumstances, physical challenges, life changes all come to bear on the things that we find to do, simply to survive, and make our way in this world we all live in.

Faced with situations where we are not really happy with the circumstances we find ourselves in we begin to pray about the situation, and what it is that the Lord wants from us. We ask for direction, for wisdom, for knowledge, for some clue or indication about it is that we are doing in this situation and what it is that the Lord has in mind for us !

Many people look for the burning bush, the big sign, the “flash and smoke” that are those definitive signs that come about to show us what it is that we are really supposed to do. Some of us might feel like we are not really good at reading those signs that are small and subtle. We really need something HUGE that will be so obvious that it is impossible to miss.

One young man came to me and said ” I just wish He would either take it all away, or show me what I am supposed to do “.

First thing is this … Psalm 46:10… ” Be still and know that I am God…”

In all things God has a plan for every single one of us. In putting on the mind of Christ, we can see that it really does not matter so much what happens in our lives, as long as we are faithful. As long as we are people who know, love and serve God and His will, then we know that it does not matter because His will, will be done in our lives because HE is God.

We should gain peace with this knowledge, because as long as we are faithful to God, then we will help to bring about His will, His kingdom here.

Now, the question becomes this. If, the prayer is not answered. Then the answer to the question might not be NO.. The answer might not be NO, but instead might be, NOT NOW.

This is sometimes a hard answer for us to take. Particularly because the rather human response is WHY ? Why can’t I have this thing I a praying for.

There are several possible reasons why this might be true. It might be that what ever happened to you in your life was because there was some particular thing that God needed to teach you, in order that you were prepared for what is to come. That thing, might be anther circumstance, or another opportunity.

Consider Moses. He was a prince of Egypt, then became a slave, exiled and finally became the perfect tool that God used to accomplish His will. This is the same thing for each of us. This does not mean we are all going to be Moses, or great in the eyes of the world. It means that while we are faithful, we will be the tool God uses.

This brings out another idea that many people forget. The thing that you are going through at this moment, that change, that difficulty, that circumstance, is possibly NOT ABOUT YOU. Well, OK.. So if its not about ME, then what is it ? Possibly it is that you are the tool God uses to teach, to effect, to show others what His will is for them !

We should also pray to be the instrument that God uses to bring about His will.

We know that God loves each of us, His children. So in that love He also wants what is best for each of us, and so he will not leave us to our own devices. If we ask, He will make changes in us, He will use us, and He will lead us to the place where we fulfill our purpose.

The hard part is that we might not know what His will is for us in a particular circumstance. Sometimes, we will not know until after we have passed through that particular part of the journey we are on, and then we might be able to look back with the eyes of faith and see where God’s hand was in it. At times, we may never be able to see what the end result was or what God had in mind when this or that happened. Ultimately, it’s all about faith. We just believe that when we reach Heaven, all will be revealed.

May God give you the gift of His peace!

Picking Up Your Cross Daily….

February 7, 2015

The Picking Up Your Cross Daily..

Matthew 16:24 .. “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,* take up his cross, and follow me”

In Matthew Chapter 16 there are big things happening.. Jesus is prepping the disciples for Ministry.. for his Passion and Death and the Resurrection.  There is the institution of the Papacy with Peter being the first Pope and sacrament of Reconcilliation.

All this in just a few short paragraphs.

In our own work-a-day world for the average person, the person who gets up, goes to work every day, trudges through the day, and comes home.. maybe gets a couple of hours to relax and then does it all over again.. seemingly on this one giant tread mill of life.  It can be easy to miss the spiritual, world to place that on hold after Saturday evening or Sunday Morning Mass.

In the Franciscan Charism we have something we call ” The Journey and The Dream”..

There is THE DREAM part, where we have an ideallic goal, where we have this utopian existence, everyone (mostly ourselves) lives our Rule of Life, and we live in peace and harmony with everyone and all creation.  We are as close to sinless as we can manage to  be, and Our Father in Heaven is most pleased with the things on Earth.   Our Communities are places of mutual respect, and love and everyone works together for the benefit of the whole, and world lives at peace.

Then there is THE JOURNEY.. The journey is that nasty, dirty, very humanness of the Church and the world.  Where not everyone has the same vision, where not everyone has the same plan of how to achieve THE DREAM.  It is filled with our own failings and sinfulness and those of our brothers and sisters.

It is filled with the circumstances of life and the effects of sin and degradation.  Greed, envy, lust, and pride and every other kind of sin imaginable.  Any one of which comes to effect those who do their very best in the struggle to live good and holy lives.

No life, no geographic area, no occupation, no vocation, nor any other kind of person is immune to the effects of sin who live in the world.   So, whats a poor soul to do when faced with this seemingly overwhelming place where things seem so inescapable ?

We turn to God, to our faith, to our Church, to our families and friends, to those who are people of faith who share this journey.

In our daily lives we are faced with so much.  This much is true but we are also GIVEN SO MUCH !

Anyone who works in any kind of ministry will tell you that its a tuff row to hoe.   It is very human work, There are great sadnesses and great joys.  Just as any other kind of work. It’s all very human.

For people of faith, who are entrenched in the battle to conquor their own minds, hearts, and bodies.  Who are battling to tame and control the evils that lurk around in their own persons, it is so very easy to see failings.

If you go to work, and someone is trying to help you, and from the sheer frustration of the day, you growl at them in sheer frustration. Later it occurs to you that you failed to control your tongue or your emotion, and you feel not only sorry for the fact that you let things get to you, and you took it out on them, but you also feel like you failed in your efforts to win that battle, over that moment.. or that day.

You apologize to the person and ask their forgiveness and maybe you go to Reconcilliation and you feel worn down by the failings.
Maybe that list is long.  Maybe not…

Do you ever wonder why it is that Priests, Deacons and Religious Brothers and Sisters have the requirement of praying the Liturgy of the Hours every day ?   It is an anchor.   It is a renewal.   To pray every morning and every night and to make your entire life a prayer and to get your life centered in the life that is not of this world.

I have friends at work who look at their jobs and they are not happy.  Their lives are not happy and the job is a major component of that life.  They would like not to have to work, or would like more of this or that.

My mother used to say “Life is a matter of perspectives”.  It was usually something she pulled out when my brothers and I were not happy about something or we were attempting to figure out why someone would behave this way or that way, or we just disagreed with someone in our own way.

In traveling the road of faith you will eventually find that you may find yourself in one situation or another that is not exactly what you planned, and indeed may not be extremely pleasant.  This usually means that one of a few things is true.  Either, there is something there that you are supposed to learn, OR  ( and I know this might be a shock to some ) ITS NOT ABOUT YOU !   You might actually be there because you are the tool that God is using to bless someone else who is in need.   It may be that God is using you as a function to bring about His Kingdom and teach someone else.

In both these cases, it is up to us to pick up our cross daily, and follow Christ in faith, because in faith we know that He loves us, and wants what is best for us, and we are His Body here on Earth and what ever small sufferings we have are nothing compared to the glories and bounty of the Kingdom of God !

May God give you the gift of His peace !

Are You Thinking That God Hates You ?

October 29, 2009

This mornings Gospel is taken from Romans ( Rom 8:31b-39 )

Just in case you were having a bad day, or that things are not going your way and maybe in your frustration you look up and think to yourself that God must hate me to put me through all this stuff.

A quick read through this part of scripture should give you a clue.    God loves us so much that he sent his son to die in reparation for our sins.   He allowed his son to  take the fall for you and me.  He loves us so much that after man kind had repeatedly blew him off, he is still out there, waiting and watching for us, asking us to return to a relationship with Him.    Throughout our history, this has been the case, God has been faithful and loving beyond human understanding, wanting only good for us.

If God was willing to give us his son, then is there really anything He would not give to us ?  Is there really anything at all, as long as it was not something bad for us, that he wouldnt give us ?

Adding to this there is Christ Jesus, who was given to us, rejected by us, and being God still loves us all the more.  So much so that he pleads for us, and intercedes for us with God the Father.

Let me give you another thought to consider.  Do you remember when it was that you first felt the touch of the Holy Spirit ?  Do you remember the rush you felt, maybe an indescribable fire of the soul ?   Did you feel unbridled joy, did you feel like you would have difficulty explaining that to another person ?  What ever it was, THAT was a great feeling.  The feeling that God loves you.

For those of you who might be married, there are certain parallels in our relationship to God, and our relationship to God within the context of our lives.  We love God, we relate to God, and we may get busy during the day and He is not in the forefront of the mind, but He is always there..    Our human lives are not perfect.  We fail in our trials, and there are times when this human existance can really stink.  Still God is there, and he still loves us , he still gives us our brother to intercede for us.  He is still faithful..

Sometimes You Just Have to Ask …

October 25, 2009

This mornings Gospel is from Mark  ( Mk 10:46-52 ).    St. Mark relates the story of  Bartimeus who calls out to the Lord and asks for Jesus to restore his site.  There are several parts of this story that will prove helpful in our day to day relationship with God.

First, Bartimeus is sitting on the roadside and he hears Jesus coming.  He cries out to Jesus, ” …have pity on me”.   He is asking the Lord for pity, for mercy.     For those who spend their days out of the conscious thoughts of God, calling on the Lord is something that occurs to them about the time that there is a crisis in their lives.    The crisis passes and then they return the status quo.    Bartimeus recieves his healing, and goes about his way.   We are not told what happens to Bartimeus after the healing he receives.   Relieved of his suffering from blindness he would have had the ability to lead a more productive life.   Consider this, he was already an adult,  he was begging before his sight was restored, Did that mean his troubles were over ?  Of course not, he had to learn a trade, struggle to be a productive member of society, one could even take the view that his life might have been “easier” if he were left to beg in the streets.      Bartimeus could have been mad at God for curing his blindness but making him struggle to learn to live on his own.    God will bless us with what our needs are, and will grant our prayers if they are beneficial to our souls.

The second thing that is interesting, is that Bartimeus is calling out to the Lord, and the crowd that is present rebukes him and basically tells him to shut up.    Is this different from where we are in todays society ?  If you go into the public square and talk about God, at least you will probably be chastised or something worse.  Our Society has be silent about God for so long that it is now acceptable to trash God in the government buldings, in school, nearly everywhere.     We as Christians can not afford to be silent in our communities about our beliefs.  We must, like Bartimeus act on our faith.

The last part of this that you may find interesting is that Christ asks Bartimeus ” What is it that you want of me “?    Jesus is God he already knows what Bartimeus wants.  So you may ask yourself, ” Why does Jesus ask what he wants if he already knows”?

What we can consider is that he just wants to be asked.  This is exactly the same situation we have today.  Jesus already knows what we want, and what we need.    We simply need to ask Him for what we need.  He wants to help us and give us everything that is good for our souls. but we need to ask for what we need as a matter of praise and ackowledgement that he is God.

Jesus then lets Bartimeus  go telling him to go on his way, his faith is what cured him.  We find Jesus making this statement to a few people through the Gospels.  Their faith is what he was looking for in them, and it is what he looks for in us today.

My Father, The Man, The Musician, The Servant.

October 20, 2009

For those who have been following this blog, you have most likely noted a gap in my postings.  The reason for this gap was the passing of my father from this life, to join in the Communion of Saints.   It has taken me a while to get to the point where I was ready to write, but this is somthing that speaks volumes about him.

Todays Responsorial Psalm is Psalm 40 and in part verses 8 and 9.  It reads as follows :

In the written scroll it is prescribed for me,
To do your will, O my God, is my delight,
and your law is within my heart!”

This short little portion of the Psalms says alot about how my father lived his life.    He was a man of great faith and deep convictions.    In many ways my father and his sister, were like Saint Francis and Saint Clare.    He left his family farm to gain a perspective of the world, while my aunt stayed at home and cared for my grandmother.  My father very active, my aunt very contemplative.   Both of them prayed constantly.    My fathers love of music took him around the world.  My aunt stayed in the convent of their home praying for us all.    My father shared his gift with all who asked.    I read a story one man posted on the internet, when this man was a boy his parents could not afford either a horn or lessons.  My father bought him a horn to use, and gave him lessons after school.

My father used his gifts, as a prayer, as a channel for his faith.   He was totally transparent in his faith life both on and off stage.   A good deal of my fathers performance time was spent in churches as he loved to play to the Glory and Honor of God.      My father, taught me a great deal about my faith life.   As he made mistakes, as he struggled, he was constant in his faith, in his love of God.    He never gave up in his efforts to keep us in church, and to share parts of his faith experiences.     In childhood many things were a mystery, and I walked a wide path of faith.   In my adult life, I got to share that faith with him.

My father spent the last 35 years of his life being a Eucharistic Minister and, a little less time, being a lector in his parish.   He wanted to serve God, and the people of God as much as he could.  For many years he went to the local Hospital, and when he could no longer walk those floors he contented himself with just serving the people of the parish who were home bound.   There was one lady I met at his funeral who told me that my father had served her family for 30 years.  Going to their houses when her mother, her father, and then her husband all had become homebound and eventually went to be with God.

My father was a very well known musician, and teacher, the world knew him that way…  As for me, he was just Dad, who filled those other roles away from home.     He took pleasure from the simple things in life.  Listening and playing great music, the love of Family and friends, the appreciation of God’s creation, and the taste of the one single  bourbon he had every night right after work with a handfull of peanuts or chips.

In all things he would echo this Psalm…. In the written scroll it is prescribed for me,
To do your will, O my God, is my delight,
and your law is within my heart!”

Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord, and may the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace.

Amen !

Which sister are we ?

October 6, 2009

This mornings Gospel of Luke retells the story of Marth and Mary.  Martha who is going just slightly nuts running here and there and trying to get things in order and see to everyones needs and basically working herself silly trying to make sure that everything is done.  Then there is Mary, who is sitting listening attentively and taking in all the wonders of the day.  Listening to the Lord and basically being engaged in the happenings.

In our daily lives, and with the people I talk with, I see a majority of folks who are Martha.  We work hard, we play but not enough.  We spend nearly every waking moment chasing after work, and kids, and projects, and the kids projects, and their spouses projects, and this meeting and that group, and all the other things that need to be accomplished in the 20 spare minutes we didnt have to begin with.

Now, there is the other side of the coin !   We get exausted in the chase of things and we try to engage in things that should be relaxing but forces us to get OUT and visit with others and engage in some other activity and the next thing you know there you are back in the work of trying to not work.   On top of that, some other person who is engaged in the Mary side of this, who is seamingly sitting around when you are attempting to get something else done REALLY makes you an unhappy camper.

Another side of Mary is that she is listening to Jesus.  In the course of our busy day to day lives, while we are busy being Martha, we need to remember to take the time to also be Mary, to listen to Jesus in the mix.  This is going to take some time.  The first few moments of most peoples conversations with God  are jam packed with all the prayer requests for friends, family, or self.   Sometimes, we need to take the time to just be quiet, stop asking for stuff and listen to what it is that the Lord is trying to tell you, but cant because you are too busy still asking for stuff, or you allow enough time to get in all the requests but dont allow the time for the Lord to respond.    Imagine being a parent to the entire world.
Dad.. I need, Dad.. I want,.. Dad  I have a problem,, Dad I need to.. Dad Help me with this..

Now being God, he can handle all this but you need to give him time to answer.  Sometimes he just wants some quality time with you !

The prescription for the day.  Find the balance between the Martha and Mary in your life, and make some time to spend some quality time with God.    Have a great day !

The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few.

October 1, 2009

Today we have read how the Lord has sent disciples out to spread the good news, two at a time, along with instructions on how to proceed.  At the beginning of these instructions he says :

“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest. ”

Generally speaking this particular verse is usually reserved for missionaries, clergy and religious.   After taking some time in pondering this passage, consider how this applies to each of us.

It is true that in many groups, the work is usually done by about 10 percent of the total of the group, and the rest do not help.  They are busy, or tired, or have something else to do.   OK maybe that doesnt apply to you.. What about our neighbors ?     Do we really look out for our neighbors ?  Our community ?  Do you know who your neighbors are ?    Can you be Christ to those who you do not know ?  In certain situations, you can, but more and more, our society is becoming more and more isolated from itself.   People no longer know their neighbors.  They know more about the latest video game than they do about their neighbors.   We don’t talk to them outside of maybe a ” Hello” in passing.

Do we volunteer to help if we see they are working on a project ?  Do we invite them over for parties, or dinner ?   One of those sage pieces of advice my mother used to say when I was young, was ” If you want a friend, you have to be a friend”.    This is true in our spiritual walk as well.  We tend to look at our friends a bit more closely than we do others.  We spend time with them, and more importantly they look at us.    When they look at us, what do they see ?   Well, if we are doing those things we are supposed to, they see Christ in us.  They see what we do and how we act.

We dont have to go to the ends of the earth to be missionaries.  We can be Christ to the people we meet right in our own communities.   We can spread the Gospel message of love,, by saving someone else a little bit of labor or grief.  Like the instructions that Jesus gave the disciples,   We can go on our daily paths, the work we do, the lives we live, and spread the message of peace to those we meet.

In a day and time where there are people who seem all too eager to spread hatred and violence, I would like to challenge you to run against the tide, be different, actually LIVE your Christian values…