God is Good!

Seek the Lord while He may be found!

The Listener

Sacred Heart of Jesus, Leonhard Thoma,  Via Wikipedia

Sacred Heart of Jesus, Leonhard Thoma,
Via Wikipedia

In my Major Seminary days, (1938 – 1944), at Mundelein, Illinois, from the ages of 18 to 24, I found myself in my room at 7:15pm every evening of the school year.  The rules forbade newspapers, magazines, radios and visiting other rooms.  Each room had its own bathroom facilities so I had no excuse to leave it.  At breakfast the next morning, we broke silence.  Lights out at 9:45pm, after night prayers in our house Chapel.

The darkness and the silence of the night had their fill of hobgoblins and demons of discouragement that even Harry Potter would be challenged by.  Doctors told me that my health would keep me from the Priesthood.  In my first days there, I put a small image of the Sacred Heart on my desk.  For the next six years, this image of Christ would come with me from room to room on the Seminary campus.  On its back, I wrote: “I place all my trust in the Sacred Heart of Jesus, now when I need His Help more than ever before.”

Every night, I looked at the kind Face of Christ, gazing out at me from the image, and shared my feelings with him:  my fears, frustrations and the loneliness of the room.  In the dark corners, all kinds of demons and hobgoblins did their best to demoralize me.  “You’ll never make it for the next six years!  Give up, go home!  This life will never bring you happiness!”  The voices screamed to me each night.

As I spoke my trust in the Sacred Heart of Christ, a wonderful peace would settle my troubled heart.  The voices from the dark lost their power to influence me.  His Healing Presence came quietly to take away the loneliness of the room.  Every night we spoke with each other.  I began to look forward to this quiet time together.

In the foreword of his novel, The Listener, Taylor Caldwell, the world renowned author, wrote these words: “The most desperate need for people today is for someone to listen to them, not as patients, but as human souls.”

Jesus of Nazareth comes into our lives as the Man Who Listens!  “Come to Me.  All you who are weary and are burdened, and I will refresh you.”  In all the confusing experiences of life, with their heartaches, disappointments and painful times, Jesus assures us, His followers, of His availability, at all times, all the days of our lives!

Fr. George Mc Kenna

June 28, 2015 - Posted by | Bulletins | , , ,


  1. Thank you Father that you did not let the hobgoblins and demons scare you away from your priestly vocation. The Sacred Heart of Jesus chose you and commissioned you to “go and bear fruit that will last”. And, you have done that every day of your priesthood and you have blessed all those who have been in your presence or who have read your beautiful, faith-filled and inspiring messages on this web site.

    Thank you for your “yes” to God.

    Comment by JoAnn V. | June 29, 2015 | Reply

  2. Hi Fr George! So happy to read this post! Yes, as JoAnn commented above, thank GOD that you stayed the course, especially for all of your followers (countless people over all these years!). It must have been lonely and trying at times. We all could do better in turning to Jesus in times of distress and challenges. I too, have a Sacred Heart of Jesus picture on my nightstand and he kindly looks at me as I get ready for the day.

    It is your birthday month! (July12th). I hope that you are well and happy, Fr. George. I think of you daily and pray for you often. I have joined my church’s welcoming committee. I enjoy mass so much – it has become so meaningful to me as I have gotten older…and since you have entered my life (oh the riches that I have found through you, my dear friend! What a gift from God you are!)

    Here it is HOT. 93 in Seattle yesterday, a record and 20 degrees above normal! Very dry and hot here and I worry about fire dangers with the fireworks. I hope that people are smart about lighting them, but that would be a new thing this year! I worked hard yesterday to clear dried grasses from near my garage as they said on TV to do that to lower home fire risk. I wish we could have some of the cooler temps and the rain that your area is experiencing and I’m sure that your area wants our heat and sunshine.

    Yesterday I was treated to lunch with my friend Beth for my birthday and we ate near the water on an outdoor deck and I looked up and a bald eagle was flying by! That’s such a wonderful sight!

    Happy Independence Day to you, my dear, dear friend! I love you, Fr. George!! I’ll call you soon!


    Comment by Nancy Kolember Westvang | July 3, 2015 | Reply

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