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I Accept Whatever Comes My Way

Rembrandt's The Storm on the Sea of Galilee, s...

Jesus Calming the Storm

Some time ago, I read a life-giving message in a magazine.  Since then, my life changed for the better.  Allow me to share it with the reader.  The author, an American, tells of his ten-year stay in Thailand, the Land of Smiles.  From the beginning, he was amazed at the attitude of acceptance found in the Thai people.  Without show of emotion, they simply accepted the difficult happenings of life, death, pain, lack of food and family mishaps.  The Thai people smile and work for a solution.

I’ve taken this message to heart much to my happiness and peace of heart.  What basis in the Gospels of Jesus do we have for such an attitude of acceptance?  One Sunday in the Liturgy, the Gospel spoke of Jesus falling asleep in the boat on a stormy sea.  The Apostles, in the boat, shake Jesus awake out of fear for their own safety.  In response, the Lord rebukes them for their lack of trust in Him.  I believe our Savior wants me to believe in His care for me!  By accepting whatever comes into my life, I show trust!

On a Wednesday afternoon, as I pulled into the Oak Lawn library parking lot around 3:00 pm, I heard a loud noise, the result of my tail pipe dragging on the asphalt.  Rattle, rattle!  Boom, boom!  Did I cry out in frustration?  No!  I saw an opportunity to accept this troublesome happening with a smile as the Thai people would do.  To myself, I said a number of times, “I accept this.  I accept this.”  During my hour of reading in the library, I didn’t even think of the unpleasant situation awaiting me outside.

On pulling out into the rush hour traffic of 95th Street around 4:00 pm, I decided to go west.  Moving slowly, close to the curb, with great sounds, I saw to my right, after a block, “Meinecke Muffler Shop.”  Glory!  Alleluia!  In 20 minutes, I had a new muffler and tail pipe, and I was minus $80.00.  I congratulated myself.  I had kept my composure, my cool.  My attitude of acceptance had brought me much peace of heart.

I encourage all to take this message of acceptance from Thailand, the Land of Smiles.  Whatever lies before us, sickness, failures, money worries or marital trials, we accept!  In the past, like many of us, my mind often centered on future, unhappy possibilities: “What if I get sick?  What if I fail in my work?” And on and on.  Now, I answer all these troubling questions with, “I accept whatever comes my way.”  I find myself laughing as never before.

I picture myself in a little boat on the sea of life.  Sometimes, the sea is stormy and dangerous, sometimes calm.  The Lord Jesus, a close Friend, is with me in the boat as my passenger.  Now and then, He sleeps, but He never oversleeps.  Always, He stays with me to care for me because He loves me!  That is why I can say, “Acceptance! Acceptance!  I accept whatever comes!”

Fr. George Mc Kenna

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November 26, 2011 Posted by | Bulletins | 3 Comments

God Loves Me

St. Anthony of Padua (1195-1231) adoring the C...

St. Anthony adoring the Christ Child

In Paris, across the Seine River from the Notre Dame Cathedral, stands the ancient Church of St. Severin.  Built at the same time as the Cathedral, about 1200 A.D., St. Severin serves as the Parish Church of the neighborhood, with seating for about 300 parishioners.  To enter St. Severin is like walking into Heaven, with its semi-darkness and silence, its atmosphere of prayer, its history as a Church for 800 years.

While visiting there for prayer one day, I came across an unusual piece of statuary.  Usually St. Anthony stands straight and tall as he holds the Christ Child close to himself.  In this case, in St. Severin, the Holy Childs sits on a block of stone, with St. Anthony on the floor, asleep, with his head and arms resting on the knees of Christ.  As the Child looks down tenderly at the Saint, His Face shows love and care.  Never before or since have I seen such an imaginative work of an artist that portrays so well, God’s Love for us.  We can never out love God.

We hear often how we should love God with our whole heart, soul and mind.  Too seldom people speak about God’s Love for us.  If we understood God’s caring for us we would find it easier to love God in return with all our being.  His love surrounds us and supports us, much as water envelops the fish in the sea.

Most likely, we had the blessing of growing up in a loving home atmosphere.  Our fathers and mothers showered love and attention on us throughout our days.  Never for a moment did we doubt that we meant the world to them.  Complete love like this makes possible the best growth conditions for us as human beings.  We mature into loving, compassionate, responsible people!

Appreciate the Love the Father, Son and Holy Spirit have for each one of us!  God cares for us as individuals, not just as a part of a big glob of humanity.  Look about and see evidence of God’s concern for us: the food on our tables, the beauty of the world about us, the friendship of people close to us, the variety of the Seasons.  God’s everlasting affection for us creates the ideal climate for growth in the spirit!

I look upon this discovery of the statuary in St. Severin Church as a singular blessing from God.  In many dark times, the memory of St. Anthony and the Holy Child helped me to fall at the knees of Christ and gaze upon His Face – alive with love for me!  I bore my trials with new strength!  This helped me to persevere.

November 19, 2011 Posted by | Bulletins | 2 Comments