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Make Your Home A Suburb Of Heaven


My brother Frank and his bride Anne
on their Wedding Day, October 13, 1956

Several years ago, I received a surprise letter from a woman whose marriage I had witnessed twenty years earlier.  I remember a line I had spoken in the homily at her Wedding Mass. . . “Make your home a suburb of Heaven”. . . the first time I had ever used this idea.  A year later, she came back to me and said, “We have tried to make our home a suburb of Heaven.”  Usually, brides and grooms seldom hear anything the priest says at their Nuptial Masses.  My letter writing friend went on to say, and I quote exactly . . .

“I remember a sermon you once gave while I was at St. Barnabas, which I carry with me and repeat to myself and to others, and to my children (no adults), often.  On a Sunday, set aside as a Day of Prayer for World Peace, you proposed a question, ‘Why would not God grant such a prayer?  After all, peace is something good for which to ask?’ . . .

. . . Your answer is what stuck in my head, and what has influenced my behavior for years.  You said that perhaps God could not grant such a prayer, because peace is something which each individual person must make a part of his/her life, in the way which he or she addresses life and (addresses) those who cross his  or her path.  You said that love, forgiveness, reconciliation, a desire to meet the challenge within each individual is necessary to make peace. . .

. . . You said that God did not keep peace from us, but, that we, each and every one, kept peace from our lives in our inability to reconcile the differences that separated each of us from some other. . .”

How pleasant to have yourself quoted after a period of twenty years.  Evidently my friend made peace a prized goal in life for herself and her family.  The prophets called Jesus, the Prince of Peace, since peace made up His chief Ministry.  By dying on the cross, He reconciled all people to His Father.  He brought harmony to earth with His Words, “Love one another as I have loved you”. . . “Love God with all your strength and your neighbor as yourself.”

Of all gifts of God in life, peace ranks first.  A heart free of ill will, resentments, unresolved angers, hatreds, provides a perfect breeding ground for the virtues that make for holiness like love, gentleness, patience and joy.  When a nation enjoys peace, all works of the spirit thrive and flourish, paintings, sculptures, writings and works of charity.  A home filled with gentle words, forgiving attitudes and true love makes a “Suburb of Heaven”, because peace abides there.

Fr. George Mc Kenna

October 6, 2012 - Posted by | Bulletins | , , ,

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