God is Good!

Seek the Lord while He may be found!

Commandments For The Long Haul


St. Peter in Prayer, Matthias Stom Via Wikimedia

St. Peter in Prayer, Matthias Stom
Via Wikimedia

Father Dan Berrigan, the Jesuit poet and activist, wrote a short book with 10 commandments for living.  His wisdom touched my heart.  Six of these follow.  A guide as we bring in 2015!  The words below are Father Berrigan’s.  Read and reread!

  Acknowledge your contingency, your helplessness.  You are a creature, not the Creator.  Only God is the self-sufficient Being.  Life works when you acknowledge this, when you accept that you can’t give yourself life.  Like all creatures you are dependent and interdependent.  All is gift.  Proper living begins with the words, “I am not God.”

Pray prayers of helplessness, gratitude and praise.  Pray always!  By your Baptism, you are a priest.  Pray as a Priest.  Hold the world up each day to God.  Hold up both its wonders and its pains.  Pray in gratitude, thanking God for life itself, for this earth, for those who love you.  Pray from your weaknesses.  “Lord, hang on to me lest I slip away from you.  Do for me what I can’t do for myself.”

Welcome and accept the present moment.  Life is what happens to you while you are planning your life.  Don’t let the busyness, pressures and heartaches of life steal the present moment from you.  Only it is real.  Drink it in, with all its cares.  It’s the only place you will experience love and joy.  If not now, when?  If not with these people, with whom?  If not here, where?

Give yourself permission to be inadequate.  Both God and nature give you permission not to be perfect.  Don’t be too hard on yourself and especially others.  Everyone falls short.  God doesn’t keep you from falling and failing, but redeems you when you do fall.  You are loved as you are!

Serve the right God!  “God”, as Julian of Norwich assures us, “is completely relaxed and courteous, himself the happiness and peace of his dear friends, his beautiful face, radiating measureless love, like a marvelous symphony.”  Don’t serve any other God than this One.  Don’t bow to any molten calf, created in the image and likeness of our own tensions and bitterness.

  Be shockingly catholic . . . earthy and wine-drinking.  Bask in the goodness of life.  We have divine permission to be happy.  God invented wine.  Jesus scandalized people with his capacity to enjoy life.  He let his heart be warmed by friends.  The Baptist was the ascetic, not Jesus.

Fr. George Mc Kenna

December 27, 2014 - Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , , ,


  1. Hi Fr. George! Belated Merry Christmas and an early Happy New Year! Thank you for the wonderful post! The very first commandment for living really struck a chord with me! Gosh, how powerful! We do think SO much of the time that we are the ones in control and that we have all the answers! NOT SO! And that old adage, Let Go, Let God, fits perfectly. I had never heard of Fr. Berrigan – I will have to check our church library for his book. Thank you for being you – SO wonderful and helpful, guiding us lucky ones who follow your blog!

    We had a very nice Christmas here – Just Tim and I on Christmas Eve and then with his family on Christmas Day. One of the gifts that he got me was very interesting! You send in a sample of your saliva and then they test it for your DNA to see what your ancestry is composed of! I will let you know! My friend did this and besides being English and Irish, she was surprised to learn that she had 14% Scandinavian in her and she also was 3% Middle East. I will be very interested to learn where my ancestors were from. From a young child on, I naively always said that I was half Serbian and half Polish. The test comes in the mail and then gets mailed back and analyzed so it will take a while but I will let you know the results!

    On Christmas Day I went to mass and the priest there had quite a unique way to do his homily. For part of it, he walked around the church with a pretend bucket filled with pretend ‘magic eyes’. It was so cute – he walked up and down asking who needed them and then pretended to throw them to the people – he had us hold onto them and then as a group we screwed them in and then we could see the magic of Christmas by magically seeing the words Joy and Peace way up high in the church rafters. And he said if we lose the magic eyes or they get broken or we need a ‘new prescription’ to just stop into the church any time. It was very cute and effective!

    I will try to call you soon, Fr. George – I tried on Christmas Day but you were unavailable. I am thinking of you and praying for you daily. I thank God for His beautiful gift of your friendship and guidance. I love you! Happy New Year! Love, Nancy

    Comment by nancywest22 | December 27, 2014 | Reply

  2. Hi Fr. George, as always I enjoy your words of wisdom, even if they are not yours:) I am not God but so blessed by the gift of his son that he can live in and through me, what a wonderful reminder Christmas is, for even those who do not believe the fury of activity, gifts and goodness exchanged in his name and for those that do believe the silence of spirit within our hearts reminding us of his gift. Hope you have a very Happy New Year and will look forward to future blogs. I know your not God, but your the closest I’ve ever met. With Love,
    Deb Hurley

    Comment by Anonymous | December 29, 2014 | Reply

  3. susansanders61@hotmail.com

    Comment by Joe Harrington | January 1, 2015 | Reply

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