God is Good!

Seek the Lord while He may be found!

Struggle Brings Strength

Brompton Oratory nave, looking north towards the altar. Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0

Brompton Oratory nave, looking north towards the altar.
Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0

Many years ago, in the mid-afternoon, I entered a huge cathedral like Church in London, England, call Brompton’s Oratory.  Here the saintly John Cardinal Newman worked and lived in the 19th century.  The organist was practicing a difficult piece of music on the Church’s mightly pipe organ, pouring forth glorious sounds.

Now and then, he would stop and repeat himself so that he could perfect his execution of a certain score of notes.  He wasn’t satisfied with himself.  I could see the organist, high in the balcony, hunched over the keyboard and exerting much effort to touch all the notes.  He was truly struggling with this masterpiece of music to bring out its true beauty.

So too, we struggle with our unruly nature to make ourselves masterpieces of God’s creation, fully mature people with our lives patterned on the Life of Christ.  The big victory in life lies in the conquest of our own very selves.

In our hearts, we find the battlefield where we wrestle with our selfishness and weaknesses.  If I yearn to be a better person, more Christ-like, then the soil of my heart will be excellent ground for God’s messages this coming Eastertime.

When I was younger, I thought that, at my present age, life would be wrapped up in neat little packages.  However, I find  that I am still struggling with my own selfish tendencies.  But, this has been the most exciting part of life; to fight to make myself a better person, one capable of offering glorious music to the world.

A woman, about to give birth, struggles to bring forth the child within her, but how rewarding for herself, her family, the world.  “Create in me a clean heart, O’ Lord.”  Read the lives of great people and how they became geniuses through hard work and daily effort.

That afternoon, in the Brompton Oratory, convinced me I could only find victory over my unruly inclinations through daily prayer and closeness to the Risen Christ.

Fr. George Mc Kenna

March 7, 2015 - Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , ,


  1. Such beautifully simple yet profound insights, as always. Thank you for being such an inspiration. Please never stop!

    Comment by Donna | March 7, 2015 | Reply

  2. Love this message….it reaches into my heart and tells me there is hope for me to help me become what our Lord wants me to be. I will remind myself to keep trying and never give up. Thank you for all you say and do, you are truly a messenger from God to show us His ways!
    God is SO good!

    Comment by Dorothy Burkard | March 7, 2015 | Reply

  3. Hi Fr. George! Sorry for the delay in writing, twice I tried to post comments and it said it could not be. I’m hoping this one works! This blog is always so rich with inspiration. To hear that even you, a priest for so many years, struggles with things – well, it certainly gives me hope! I naively thought, for a long time, about priests differently. But then once I had a realization, in a prayer that is for priests – that it said to pray for the priests in Purgatory – that was mind-blowing to me… that a priest could even BE in Purgatory! Maybe some of that stemmed from the way we were brought up, and that priests were somehow ‘different’. It made me realize that even though priests are God’s messengers on earth and can forgive sins like Jesus did, that you are all only human as well, with the same thoughts and tendencies as others. But, you my friend, you are a very class act! There probably are not too many priests like you, and I can hear your humility now… denying that! 🙂 ok, well, there might be lots like you, but we are lucky enough to hear from you weekly on this blog – and we learn so much from you every day! I carry your messages with me all the time! And you are in my heart, dear friend!

    I love going into all the huge cathedrals in Europe – something about their incredible size and design just speaks to me! I always kneel and say a prayer and have even attended masses in Italian and French! I was able to be in Notre Dame on Pentecost Sunday one year – with all the superb red vestments! The cathedral was packed and even though my French is very limited, just having the mass said, with the same design as we have here in the States, I was able to follow along. A beautiful moment that I’ll never forget!

    More to come, on the next post! Love you, dear friend!


    Comment by Nancy Kolember Westvang | March 14, 2015 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: