God is Good!

Seek the Lord while He may be found!

My Favorite Hymn

My First Blessing
Ordination Day – May 6, 1944

The hymn I treasure most is Come, Holy Ghost: “Come, Holy Ghost, Creator blest, and in our hearts take up Thy rest.  Come with Thy grace and heavenly aid to fill the hearts which Thou hast made, to fill the hearts which Thou has made.”

On weekday mornings, when I would celebrate Mass in neighboring parishes, I would always begin with Come, Holy Ghost.  Certainly hearts in this context does not refer to our physical hearts, but rather to our inner spirit, our soul, the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit.

Often, each day, I whisper a prayer: “Create in me, O Lord, a clean heart” – words taken from the Psalms.  Let us treasure our hearts!  My heart is the seat of all my emotions: joy, peace, love, kindness, forgiveness.  From my heart proceeds my ideals, my hopes, my ambitions.  How priceless a possession I have in my heart where the Holy Spirit lives in glory and everlasting Beauty!

If I saw the Holy Spirit in my heart, I would die of intoxicating joy.  This Beauty outshines all beauty of Nature as the sun outshines the light of a candle.  In life, we face an array of powerful enemies – the world, the flesh, and the devil – determined to deface our hearts and rob them of their holiness.  Television, the great communicator, pours a torrent of pagan ideas and ungodly messages into our front rooms all hours of the day.

In the Gospels, we hear of even Jesus being tested by the devil.  Jesus had prayed for 40 days in the desert just before these temptations, so He had quick answers to the wiles of the devil.  How encouraged we should be that Our Savior showed us the way to deal with temptations.  Our weapons of defense lie in prayer, the Eucharist, and the help of the Blessed Mother.

Years ago, at a Priests’ conference, a nationally known priest speaker made these amazing remarks to 600 priests: “We priests would do much better ministry for the Lord if we worked four days a week, spent another two days in study and prayer, and then took a day off . . .”

Prayer was to hold the top place in the priest’s daily life.  Whatever my vocation in my life, prayer and vigilance will enable me to keep a clean heart in all my temptations!

If I keep my heart pure and unspotted from the world, then my thoughts, my ideals for life, and my holy ambitions will flow from an unpolluted source.  Peace, only the kind of peace that Jesus can give, will possess my being.  Use my favorite prayer often . . . “Create in me, O Lord, a clean heart.”

 

Fr. George Mc Kenna

May 27, 2012 Posted by | Bulletins | 3 Comments

A Bishop Leaves Me With An Inspiring Thought

My First Mass – May 7, 1944
St. Columbanus

In early June, 1994, I joined with 550 other Chicago priest for a four-day series “Convocation Days” at Pheasant Run in nearby St. Charles, Illinois.  Part business and part social, the “Days” provide us priests with a chance to spend time together, celebrate a joyful Mass each day and listen to some speakers.  I thoroughly enjoyed this relaxing experience offered by late Cardinal Bernardin.

Of all the words I heard from homilies and lectures, I most remember one line, spoken by Bishop Untener of Saginaw, Michigan.  This talented man, still a hockey player at the age of fifty and with one foot missing, spoke these words one morning.  “Do not allow your prayers to dead end in Jesus.”  I had never heard this idea put into these words!

Yes, certainly continue prayers every day to Lord Jesus; but also, go beyond Jesus to God, the Father and God, the Holy Spirit.  The Bishop was saying that the full picture of the Kingdom includes not only Jesus, but also the Father and the Spirit.  Since that day the Bishop spoke, I have, as never before, been more conscious of all Three Persons in my daily prayers, with a resultant increase of appreciation and love for Them.  A new excitement and enthusiasm had entered into my pursuit of God and His Love!

Years ago, I found myself out on a golf course in the middle of a heavy rainstorm, standing with others in a shelter.  God, the Creator, provide me with an exciting mediation on His Greatness and Genius.  In the sky above, threatening dark clouds paraded their beauty, accompanied by booming music of thunder and the dagger-like thrusts of lightening.  In the cascading rain, I could smell its sweetness, as it washed clean the countryside.  “What a Great Person the Father is!” I cried out to myself.  All these spectacular happenings of Nature reflect in a small, infinitesimal way His Creative and Loving Mind.  I want to know This Person better!

Yes, the words of Bishop Untener were working in me.  “Don’t allow your prayers to dead end in Jesus.”  Consider the marvelous truth that the Holy Spirit lives within each one.  Wherever we see love in the world, we know the Spirit is close at hand.  Every weekend, in Midway airport, I would notice blind travelers with their “seeing-eye” dogs.  How devoted and concerned for the safety of their owners these wonderfully trained animals are as they guide their sightless masters to their planes.

The Holy Spirit has infused into their hearts the power to serve their blind masters until death.  Each day, I am more conscious of begging the Spirit to work miracles of love in my poor, human heart.  Thanks, Bishop Untener!

Fr. George Mc Kenna

May 19, 2012 Posted by | Bulletins | 2 Comments