God is Good!

Seek the Lord while He may be found!

Enjoy Yourself. It’s Later Than You Think.

The view of County Mayo, from half way up Croagh Patrick My mother would have loved to visit her homeland.

The view of County Mayo, from half way up Croagh Patrick
My mother would have loved to visit her homeland.

A Dr. Loomis, a baby doctor, had worked for 21 years without a vacation.  He spent most of his time at the hospital, helping women in their heartaches and joys of child bearing.  One day he received a letter from China from a woman whose child had died at birth at Dr. Loomis’s Hospital.

At that time, he had been much consolation to her in her sorrow.  The letter to Dr. Loomis read thus. . . “I am writing from Peking, China.  Today, I saw a plaque on a wall.  It said, ‘Enjoy yourself; it’s later than you think.’  I thought of you.  When you sat at my bedside when I lost my child, your face looked so tired and worn.  I had to read this message to think of you. ‘Enjoy yourself.  It’s later thank you think!’ . . . ”

Dr. Loomis took these words to heart.  That day he visited his lawyer friend of many years.  “Shorty, let’s take a slow freighter to South America.”  Shorty answered, “I have too many things to do.”  The Doctor told him of his letter from China.  “Enjoy yourself; it’s later than you think.”  A day later, Shorty called Dr. Loomis, “I’m going with you.”

For five months, they sailed the seas and came home renewed and refreshed.  A few weeks later, a sudden sickness struck Shorty and he lay on his death bed.  His final words to Dr. Loomis were, “I’m glad we made the trip.”  This story has been told in countless number of books, magazines and in every language of the world.

This message, “Enjoy yourself; it’s later than you think”, had affected my life greatly.  In regard to my 27 trips to Jerusalem, I often said to myself, “You don’t have time to take this trip.  Too much to do.”  I would think of this message from China.  I would pack my bags and spend prayerful time in the Old City of Jerusalem.  And I would always come back refreshed and renewed for future work.

As a young Priest, at a time before I had heard of the story of Dr. Loomis, my mother and I were planning to travel to Ireland.  My mother, from County Mayo, had not seen her sisters in 50 years.  So called friends began telling us that this was too expensive for us to go.  It was not true; we could have made the cost.  Foolishly, my mother and I listened to these tellers of woe.  My mother never made this only outing of her life.  Learn from this!

Be your own master.  Try new ideas for making life more enjoyable and fulfilling.  “Enjoy yourself; it’s later than you think!”

Fr. George Mc Kenna

May 30, 2015 Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , | 2 Comments

I Am A Sculptor

Christ and the Rich Young Ruler"  by Heinrich Hofmann, 1889 via Wikipedia

Christ and the Rich Young Ruler”
by Heinrich Hofmann, 1889
via Wikipedia

Years ago, I drove to Kenosha, Wisconsin, with a friend to visit an artist, a sculptor in wood.  My friend had commissioned the young artist to sculpture a life sized figure in wood of the Risen Christ.  At our arrival at his studio, in a loft, the artisan was working with mallet and chisel on a large block of wood, in the first stages of making an image of the Risen Christ.

Chips of wood had gathered at the feet of the young man, with his smock covered with dust and shavings.  He was trying to bring to life a design he had drawn on his sketch board.  Frequently, he would stop and look closely at the drawing to make sure he was proceeding correctly.

Shortly after, during Eastertime, 1992, I saw his finished work hanging on the sanctuary wall of my friend’s Church, a source of admiration and inspiration to all the worshippers.

This first time visit to the studio of a professional artist impressed me.  The thought came, “I, too am a sculptor.  In the studio of my heart, I am fashioning an image of Jesus of Nazareth, not with mallet and chisel, but, rather, with my daily life actions.”  For my design, I keep before my mind the Jesus of the Gospel stories to help me know what I am trying to form within myself.

Each time, I live up to the values of Jesus by being honest, truthful, pure in mind and heart, loving and forgiving, I am forming the face and figure of Christ in a clearer way within myself.

The world calls a follower of Christ a “Jesus person.”  A “Jesus person” tries to live out the ideals of Christ in all issues of life.  Questions come often to such a person, “What would Jesus do in this situation?”  “How would He deal with this sickness?”

As a “Jesus person” lives out the answers to the above questions, the image of the Lord takes on a glow, a brightness, a clarity of features.  What a glorious calling we have: to follow Christ!

Fr. George Mc Kenna

May 23, 2015 Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , , , | 3 Comments