God is Good!

Seek the Lord while He may be found!

The Power Of Encouragement

Jim Haas (left) arranged for Billy Casper(middle) and Clebe McClary (right) to meet  at Augusta National. Picture by Julia Cervantes via Golfweek

Jim Haas (left) arranged for Billy Casper(middle) and Clebe McClary (right) to meet at Augusta National.
Picture by Julia Cervantes via Golfweek

The Latin word, “cor” translates as “heart”.  The French have “Coeur” for heart.  So, the word, “encouragement”, means putting an uplifting word of hope into the heart of another human being.

The other day I heard a good story.  One time, while in Japan, Billy Casper, a top ranked golfer in the 60’s and 70’s visited a US Military hospital, then one of many in Japan.  These hospitals received wounded military personnel, torn in body and spirit, from the ongoing Viet Nam War.

Billy approached a Lt. Patrick Clebe McClary, suffering from losses of left eye and arm.  He heard the man say, “I want to die.”  Casper gave him a warm hug and said, “God wants to use you.  Don’t give up.  God bless you.”  Overnight these words changed McClary’s total outlook on life.  Today, in June, 2014, he has visited all 50 states, giving motivational talks, especially to disabled veterans.  Encouragement can work small miracles.  By the way, McClary has these words on his business card, “I’m a nobody, but I want to tell everybody about Somebody who can save anybody.”

In May, 2014, a friend of many years ago wrote and told me of two words I encouraged her to say.  Rita, a single mother with three small children at the time, felt desperate about life.  The words were “Dio Basta”, meaning in Italian, “God is enough.”  Rita kept this battle cry on her lips for years.  Her children are now outstanding successes!

In the present recession, with its many stresses on family life, its fewer employment chances, its denial of God’s presences in life are making many people say, “I want to give up on life.”  In our own simple ways, we can reach out to these people, our family members, neighbors, coworkers and school mates and give them a hopeful word about life.  St. John Paul II told the Polish people in their desperate years under Nazism and Communism, “Don’t Be Afraid.”  He repeated these words time and time again.  We can tell them of the Battle Cry, “Dio Basta”.  The words could remind them of God’s willingness to save anybody.

A favorite story of mine: On the last day of the school year, a young collegian was walking along with his arms filled with books.  Suddenly they slipped out of his arms and fell to the pavement.  A passerby, another college student, stopped and helped him.  Not a word was spoken.  A few years later they met and the young man with the books told this to the other man, “I was on my way to end it all, but your kindness gave me a new vision of hope for the future.”

Our thoughtfulness, our silent help can oftentimes touch the hearts of despairing people.  Since I played golf for 75 years, I hold Billy Casper in much esteem as a golfer and a man.

Fr. George Mc Kenna

June 28, 2014 - Posted by | Bulletins | , , ,


  1. Thank you Fr. George! Your words and the stories you share inspire all…every step of the journey for each day!
    Thank you for keeping Him close in our hearts with your faith-filled wisdom! God’s Blessings, Love & Grace, marianne

    Comment by mcs | June 30, 2014 | Reply

  2. Hi Fr. George! What a nice collection of thoughts and stories to read on this last day of June. Yes there are so many instances where we might have helped someone without even knowing it (like your story of the young man dropping his books). It would be wonderful if all of us were just SO kind to everyone, without sniping, judging, criticizing, etc… the world would be a much nicer place. I, too, am guilty of those things but reading your blog puts a spotlight on the good behaviors and helps me to realize that I need to work on the bad ones! And to go often to confession, where I can always get a clean start! Hope you are well, Fr. George… lots of storms there lately – which I do NOT miss at all! Here we are enjoying glorious sunshine, high 70’s and cool 50’s for sleep – the best two months of the year are upon us now! Will call you soon, my friend! Love you! Love, Nancy

    Comment by nancywest22 | June 30, 2014 | Reply

  3. Dio Basta – so true, but at times our faith is so weak we don’t realize the strength, the power and the love God has for us, if we only ask with faith.

    Comment by Anonymous | July 2, 2014 | Reply

  4. You are held in much esteem as a golfer and a man of God, truly inspirational! The world is a better place because of you. Hope you are well. D, Hurley

    Comment by Anonymous | July 7, 2014 | Reply

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