God is Good!

Seek the Lord while He may be found!

A Sure Fire Secret For Joyful and Stress-Free Living

I wish to share a secret for happy and care-free living! In recent times, this Secret has brought me much peace of heart and freedom from fears and anxieties. My policy has always been to never offer any program for living that I haven’t tried myself over a long period of time. Using this Secret consistently, the reader will be building life on a solid foundation of sound mental health. A soul free of worries can make a quantum leap into a closer union with God.

The Buck Moon – July 13, 2022, peaking through the leaves of my neighbor’s oak tree.

I found this Secret many months ago. It’s so simple that a child can use it. LIVE IN THE NOW. By living in the Now, we avoid allowing our thoughts to dwell on the past or the future in a sick way! Few people live in the Now! Be one of the few! In following this Secret, we will bring ourselves back to the present moment many times each day. “I am eating bacon . . . Today is Mary 20, 1997 . . . I am driving west on 95th Street . . . “.

In the lives of those embracing it, the Secret can work minor miracles. The perennial worrier finds himself so occupied with present activity that no time can be given to the past or the future in an unhealthy manner. In my own experience, I have tasted the simple joys of daily life as never before. “I’m tasting coffee. . . I see clouds in the sky. . . I am talking to my friend. . . “.

In following this program, Living in the Now, we find ourselves standing on a bridge looking at seething waters below. These waters make up our fears and anxieties. But we aren’t part of that whirlpool below because we are centering our lives on the Now! Result. . . Peace of Mind!

Do I have to keep coming back to the present? This crucial part of the Secret might dismay good-hearted people. “Just too much”, they might say. Believe me! This practice turns out to be a joy! In following the Secret, we throw ourselves into the ordinary delights of living, instead of attending to them in a “zombie-like” fashion.

With a little practice, we become aware that our thoughts are dwelling morosely on the past or are taken up with future, possible difficulties. We shift gears quickly and bring ourselves to the Now, and those thoughts and worries leave us – it’s as easy as that.

At times, we must think of the past or look ahead to the future, as when we are planning for retirement, or a vacation. But when we do this in a healthy way, there is no problem. Give the secret a good try! Refuse to put it aside as a new gimmick or a passing fad! Peace of mind guaranteed!

Fr. George McKenna

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Uncle George used the message above in his Bulletin for the Midway Airport Chapel in April, 1997. I can vouch for his opening comment about trying various programs. After he moved out of his apartment and into the Bishop Lyne Residence for retired priests, many of his belongings found a new home in my basement. Among these belongings were many books and tapes on the power of a positive attitude, living a devote life, and self-improvement. Yes, Fr. McKenna lived in the present moment, a trailblazer, if you will, in this movement.

Today, you can find many a book, blog or presentation on this aspect of life, and the benefits it can bring to you. I can’t say that I follow it religiously, but there are certain things that bring me to the present moment in an instant. A clear sky and a full moon coming over the horizon – to me, it is the closest I feel to God, and on numerous occasions, when I see the full moon in the sky, I will bring my 6-year-old granddaughter out with me to see this wonderous site – spring, summer, fall, the dead of winter, we will gaze up at the night sky and be awed by one of the most beautiful creations God has given us as a reminder of His presence, His power, His Love.

Another is the rainbow! The night before my oldest son was born, a rainbow appeared in the eastern sky, and I have always associated rainbows with him, and with blessings. Three years ago this August, that same son, was blessed with a son of his own. Luke was born premature, and lived on a few days, his circulation just not robust enough to carry him through and he passed from this life to the next. I had the fortune to meet young Luke and to hold him. Days later, when we were going to the airport to travel back to Virginia for his funeral, a double rainbow appeared in the western sky over O’Hare Airport. A present moment that meant the world to me. As I gazed at this beautiful sight, I thought of Luke, I thought of my son, and I thought of the message that God was sending me. Luke is fine, your son and his family will be fine.

Follow Uncle George’s advice. There are miracles happening each day, if we stay in the present moment, we have a better chance of witnessing these great mysteries. Truly, God is Good!

God’s Peace, Joe.

July 24, 2022 Posted by | Reflections | , , , , | 8 Comments

The Sun Is Coming Up Tomorrow

I want to start this with a disclaimer. I am acting as a guest blogger for Uncle George this week. I’ve said here many times, that the writings I put out find me, I don’t find them. Fr. McKenna’s writings are vast and wonderful. But today, I came across something on TV, that made me think – if Uncle George saw this, I’m sure he’d have a story to tell. So, please, indulge me in a sidestep in time, as I share a viewpoint, that I believe, in my heart, Fr. McKenna would write about if he was still with us.

A sunrise from last July, looking from my back porch

I just finished watching Four Falls of Buffalo on the NFL Network. It is a documentary of one of the greatest teams of the 1990’s that never won a Superbowl. Eight members of these 4 teams are in the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. No team in the 90’s won more games in 4 consecutive years than these four teams. Yet, since they came up short in the “Big Game”, there are many who would label them the perennial losers of Pro Football. But their stories are amazing, and I want to share one of those stories with you. It is a story of a man, and of a part of humanity that I think we may have lost in the last 30 years.

Superbowl XXV was played on January 21st, 1991, in Tampa, Florida, pitting the NFC Champion New York Giants against the AFC Champion Buffalo Bills. Over 73,000 fans packed the stadium, and another 79 million fans watched these two teams battle it out for four quarters of back-to-back football. The score changed 8 times, and with 8 seconds left in the game, Buffalo, down by one point, 19-20, brought the ball to the Giant 27-yard line, stopped the clock and set up a 47-yard field goal to win the game.

Onto the field comes 30-year-old Scott Norwood, a six-year veteran with the Bills, was an undrafted kicker who played college football and soccer at James Madison University. During the season he had made 69% of his field goal tries, 60% from this range of 47 yards. The ball was placed in the middle of the field, the conditions where dry, the snap was good, the hold was good . . . and the ball drifted to the right of the uprights. A game winner for Buffalo, turned into a game winner for New York as time expired on the clock.

The next day, the team traveled back to Buffalo, and to their surprise, 35,000 fans showed up to greet them in the city. During the celebration, chants began, “We want Scott, We want Scott, We want Scott”, and a humble Scott Norwood, that same person who had missed that Superbowl game winning field goal, came to the podium, and was met with a thunderous roar and applause from the crowd. Scott’s Lou Gerhig-ess message: “I’m struggling, but right now I’ve never felt more love than I do right now. The sun is coming up tomorrow”

I cried – I do that sometimes in sentimental movies, but don’t know if I ever had during a sports documentary. I cried because, today, the humanity that those 35,000 fans showed Scott Norwood seems to be missing today. Too often we hear about customers going rogue over a wrong order of fast food, or a shooting on an expressway because someone was cut off, or a public figure berating an airline attendant because he missed his plane, or a thousand other reasons, that are no reason at all for acting in a way contrary to how the Carpenter from Nazareth commanded us to act – Love God, Love one another.

This story, though 30 years old, gives me hope in humanity. If football fans can not only forgive but love a kicker who missed the Superbowl game winning field goal, and continue to love, not only him, but those 3 additional teams that lost the next 3 Superbowls, then, I think we still have hope.

I think Uncle George’s message would be: No matter what the circumstance, the sun will come up tomorrow. Have faith in God, Trust in Jesus, and love your fellow human being, especially when she or he is struggling!

God’s Peace – Joe

July 14, 2022 Posted by | Reflections | , , , , , , , | 9 Comments