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05-25-2011 10:37 PM
Be able to do more today by expanding your vision of what you can
accomplish. Lord, help me realize that my limits are beyond what I
think and fill me with motivation to reach higher.
Scripture for the day:
"No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us,
and his love is perfected in us." ~1 John 4:12
Meditation for the day:
Spiritual power is God in action. God can act through human beings.
When ever we, however weak we may be, allow God to act through us,
then all we thank and say and do is spiritually powerful. It is not
us alone who produce a change in the lives of others. It is also
God's spirit in us and working through us. Power is God in action.
God can use us as a tool to accomplish miracles in people's lives.
Prayer for the day:
I pray that I may try to let God's power work through me today. I
pray that I may get rid of those blocks which keep God's power from
Greetings to you all! Hope you've all had a great day today! Here it was under 60 degrees - and the wind was cold. It was a huge blessing that our neighbors invited me in their home to watch when the showing was ended so I could go home. Even Sammy was invited in their house. He sure was a good boy! When I got home, I think it was time to watch Oprah, but I never thought of it, and when we entered the house, Sammy went on a barking spree because he smelled some strangers were in our house! He went into every room barking! Wow!Didn't know that would affect him so much! So I missed Oprah's last show, I hope they'll have a re-run on it sometime that I can catch. I hear it was very moving.
Another blessing - Linus has off for 5 days! Monday Fr. Matthew is coming for Breakfast - and a new Seminarian that is there for a few months, too. So we'll get to meet him.
It'll be healthy pancakes again! Monday after Mass Fr. Matthew thanked everyone who brought over cookies and sweets over to the rectory, but said both he and Fr. Vince are trying to eat healthy so they'll live a long time yet, and would like the sugar treats to stop and more healthy foods in place of that, I remember when he was here, how he mentioned how he loves to eat healthy and he loves our healthy buckwheat apple pancakes.
Homily of the Day
May 24, 2011
Let Him Tend your Garden
by Monsignor Dennis Clark, Ph.D.
Acts 15:1-6 / Jn 15:1-8
Not everyone has a “green thumb” and most of us can’t even keep a house plant alive and happy for more than a few months. But there is something wonderful about watching a talented gardener at work, snipping, pruning, watering, fertilizing — nurturing something alive and helping it to thrive. “I wish someone could do that for me,” we may hear ourselves sigh.
Jesus answers that silent wish in today’s gospel. He tells us that God our Father is the one who wants to do precisely that for all of us. What better mentor could we have than the Loving One who sees all and knows all and who dwells permanently at the center of our being? He speaks to us through the silence, from deep within. And for those who have learned to listen and to trust Him, wisdom, peace, and joy await. At every juncture, He will guide our hand to the good, and will show us the way to draw forth the good even from evil.
Let Him tend your garden. Let Him be your mentor. It will change your life.
Walking through the forest, a seasoned hiker came upon a broad, slowly
moving river. He stopped to gaze over the waters, appreciating the
beauty, when suddenly he heard a faint cry coming from upstream.
Looking in the direction of the noise, he saw an obviously drowning
man floundering in the river and drifting slowly toward him.
The hiker was stunned momentarily, but he sprang into action when he
saw the man disappear beneath the waters. Throwing off all of his
cumbersome gear, he dove into the river and swam like a madman toward
the spot where the man went under.
Upon reaching the spot he plunged below the surface and frantically
hauled up the helpless man. He then laboriously towed the victim to
shore. Heaving the lifeless body up on the riverbank, the hiker
attempted to revive the man, who eventually spit up water and began to
Relieved, the hiker paused to catch his breath. But no sooner had he
done so than he heard another voice out on the water. Another drowning
Once again he swam out and pulled the person to shore, a little more
slowly this time. As the hiker-turned- lifeguard revived the second
victim, he heard yet another cry for help.
All day long the hiker worked, rescuing one person after another as
they came drifting down the river. There seemed to be no end of
drowning victims, and the hiker didn't think he could keep it up.
Just when he was about to collapse from exhaustion, he spotted another
man walking rapidly beside the river, headed upstream. "Hey mister!"
he cried out. "Please help me! These poor people are drowning!"
Amazingly, the man kept walking upstream. The astonished hiker called
out again. Without even acknowledging the cry, the man kept going.
Indignant and angry, the hiker leapt to his feet, ran toward the
uncompassionate man, stood directly in his path, and in a loud voice
demanded, "Sir! How can you possibly walk past all these drowning
people? Have you no conscience? Must I force you to help me save these
The stranger stopped, looked at him for the first time and said with a
calm, focused voice, "Sir, please get out of my way. I am headed
upstream to stop the guy who is pushing all these people in."
Each of us has a role to play in rescuing those who are drowning in
sin. Some of us pull people from the water and resuscitate them with
counseling, food and shelter, a rehabilitation program, a support
group, or financial aid. Affirm those doing these important
Others of us find our place of ministry upstream, opposing the one
pushing people into the river. We do this by introducing those people
to Jesus Christ. Knowing Christ sets a person free from sin and
releases them from Satan's power over them.
By itself, pulling people from the water isn't enough.
We need to help people deal with the problem of sin at its source.
THE PROCESS OF FORGIVENESS
Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who
curse you, pray for those who mistreat you (Luke 6:27, 28).
Here are 12 simple steps you can use to walk through the process
of forgiving someone who hurt you in the past.
1 Ask the Lord to reveal the names of the persons who offended
you and the specific wrongs you suffered.
2 Face the hurt and the hate. If you are going to forgive from
your heart, you must let God search the depths of your heart.
3 Acknowledge the significance of the cross. It is the cross of
Christ that makes forgiveness legally and morally right.
4 Decide that you will not retaliate by using the information
about the offender's sin against them (Luke 6:27-34).
5 Decide to forgive. Forgiveness is a conscious choice to let
the other person off the hook and free yourself from the
6 Take your list of names to God and pray the following: "I
forgive ___(name)___ for ___(specifically identify every
7 Destroy the list. You are now free. Do not tell the offenders
what you have done. Your forgiveness is between you and God
unless the offenders have asked you for forgiveness.
8 Do not expect that your decision to forgive will result in
major changes in the other persons. Instead, pray for them
9 Try to understand the people you have forgiven. They are
10Freedom is a result of forgiveness in you. In time you will
be able to think about the people who offended you without
feeling hurt or anger.
11Thank God for the lessons you have learned and the maturity
you have gained.
12When appropriate, accept your part of the blame for the
offenses you suffered. Confess your failure to God and to
others (1 John 1:9) and realize that if someone has something
against you, you must go to that person (Matthew 5:23-26).
Lord, teach me how to love unconditionally and forgive quickly
those who hate me, curse me or mistreat me.
You can learn a lot about life by watching a tree. If you don´t
believe me then take a look at one yourself. Trees teach us about strength as they grow solidly and
powerfully towards the sky.
They also teach us about compromise, though. Even the strongest tree
is not afraid to bend to the stronger wind. Trees teach us about peace. There is nothing more
calming and relaxing than lying under a tree on a warm summer´s day. They also teach us about
energy and vitality, however. Anyone who has seen a tree go from being barren and leafless
to having thousands upon thousands of bright green leaves in just a few months can attest
to that. Trees teach us more than just these few things, of course. Trees
can teach us patience.
Chewed by bugs, pecked by woodpeckers, and even scarred by lightening
trees continue to quietly grow and live. Trees can also teach us about being beautiful
and vibrant. If you have ever
seen the leaves of Autumn trees with their golds, oranges, yellows, and
reds then you will know
what I mean.I think the most important thing that our friends the trees teach
us, however, is about oneness with God.
If you have ever wanted to feel the spirit of God all around
you then go into a grove
of trees and sit quietly for an hour. In their quiet, beauty,
patience, strength, energy, humbleness,
and joy trees share with us the very spirit of our loving God.
Trees are one of our greatest gifts. They not only provide us
with oxygen, wood, shade, food,
and medicines but also provide us with many lessons on how to live.
Let us not neglect the gift then but care for it and cherish it forever.
-- Joseph J. Mazzella
"I Don't Fit In"
A friend of mine witnessed what I am about to tell you.
Several years ago, a well dressed older gentleman entered an elevator in a tall office building, apparently consumed with whatever business he was taking care of that day.
It was mid-afternoon of the work day, and there were only three people on that elevator -- the gentleman, a middle-aged woman and my friend -- all being transported down to the street level.
Out of the blue, the woman starts crying. Taken aback, the gentleman and my friend didn't know what to say or do.
"I'm sorry. I'm making a spectacle of myself," said the woman, sobbing and searching her purse for a handkerchief.
The gentleman offered her his. "Thank you," she said, "I just don't know anymore. I'm usually not like this, but I just don't know anymore."
"I'm sure everything will turn out fine -- don't you worry, Miss," he said.
"No. No. It's not that. I have so much to be grateful for," she said as she shook her head. "It's not what you think."
Not wanting to pry, her elevator mates stood speechless.
"It's just that I don't fit in. I've never fit in. I do everything I'm supposed to do, but I don't feel like I belong," she said, wiping the tears from her eyes.
The elevator continued its downward journey as the distraught woman tried to compose herself.
"I'm so embarrassed. You'll have to pardon me. Things have just caught up to me," she said.
"Miss, I have something I want to tell you, if you have just a minute," the old man said.
The elevator opened as they reached the lobby.
"Oh yes, please, I need to get my mind focused on something," she said.
They left the elevator and walked into the busy lobby. The old man turned to my friend, and invited him to join them. By this time, my friend's curiosity had got the best of him.
The old man's face had some well worn lines. His gray hair bespoke of his experience, and his dark eyes peered over his bifocals, lending confidence to his words.
"I don't know what your situation is Ma'am," he said politely. "However, I was in the same boat many years ago. And while I was in my little personal crisis, I felt the same way. Moreover, I came to find out that everyone, sooner or later, feels like they don't fit in."
"Sometimes it happens early in life in school. Teenagers are thrown together with strangers and told to fit in. It's almost an impossible situation. Then, the same thing happens at work, or with your neighbors at home. You always feel like you are the odd man out. Everyone else seems to be happy. They look comfortable. They look like they belong, and you always feel like you are an intrusion. I know all about that," said the old man.
"I know exactly what you're saying," the woman said as she nodded in agreement.
"A lot of people avoid those feelings by limiting contact. Watching television, or reading books, or sitting in front of a computer provides a comfort zone, and if you can afford to do that, I suppose that's fine if that's what you want to do. However, for many of us, the real world cannot be escaped. We have to work. We have to make a living. And we have to interact with relatives and strangers in settings everyday. And, Ma'am, this is what I want to tell you..."
"You see, it's all in how you look at it. Some people face those feelings and settings with a sense of adventure. Others face the same situation with dread. Yes, we all have different personalities and some of us are more sensitive and vulnerable than others. However, if you can remember just a couple of things, it will make your life a whole lot easier," he said.
"Do you work in this building?" he asked.
"Yes," she said.
"Well, this is my first time here and I had no idea where I was going, and had never met the person I was going to see. Now, who is the one who feels like they don't fit in?" he asked. "But, somehow, I got through it, and I'll be walking out that front door in a minute without a scratch."
She and my friend chuckled.
"You can safely assume that the people you are interacting with feel as out of place as you do. So, you simply practice the Golden Rule and make them feel as comfortable as you can. They don't teach the Golden Rule in school, so this is something you have to pick up along the way. Suffice it to say, if you make others feel comfortable, they will reciprocate."
"Second, remember that in order to sense that feeling of belonging, you have to feel you belong to yourself. In other words, if you aren't settled and comfortable with yourself first, you'll be a fish out of water. Be confident about what you believe. Be true to your feelings. You don't have to pretend to be someone else. Just be yourself and let the world appreciate what you have to offer. Everyone is good at something, including you. Offer what you are good at, and who knows, maybe the world might even pay you for it!", the old man said as he started to laugh.
"You're not alone," he said as he patted the woman's shoulder.
"Don't go nuts trying to force yourself to fit in. There are too many holes and too many pegs out there to even try. Just have a little faith in yourself, associate with people who lift you up, and you'll soon find folks coming to you for help. And when you get lost in helping them, you won't even think about fitting in. At that point, you won't be looking at life, you'll be a part of it."
"Oh, thank you," she said, as the old man walked toward the street.
My friend just stood there, not saying a word. At that split second of awkwardness, the woman and my friend extended their hands and shook.
"Nice to meet you," they both said at the same time. And then, just as quickly and simultaneously, they said, "Have a nice day," as they both went in different directions.
While they never knew each others' names, it was an encounter they would never forget.
- Author Unknown
I want to thank you for what you have already done.
I am not going to wait until I see results or receive rewards, I am thanking you right now.
I am not going to wait until I feel better or things look better, I am thanking you right now.
I am not going to wait until people say they are sorry or until they stop talking about me, I am thanking you right now.
I am not going to wait until the pain in my body disappears, I am thanking you right now.
I am not going to wait until my financial situation improves, I am going to thank you right now.
I am not going to wait until the children are asleep and the house is quiet, I am going to thank you right now.
I am not going to wait until I get promoted at work or until I get a the job, I am going to thank you right now.
I am not going to wait until I understand every experience in my life that has caused me pain or grief, I am going thank you right now.
I am not going to wait until the journey gets easier or the challenges are removed. I am thanking you right now.
I am thanking you because I am alive. I am thanking you because I made it through the day's difficulties. I am thanking you because I have walked around the obstacles.
I am thanking you because I have the ability and the opportunity to do more and do better. I am thanking you because you have not given up on me. I am thanking you because you have brought me from a mighty long way.
God is just so good, and he's good all the time. Send this message to friends, and continue to THANK HIM . Amen
Good night everyone - Sweet dreams to all - May God grant you many blessings tomorrow - they will be there! Enjoy the Gift of God's Day!
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