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A Game Plan For The Day


18th Hole approaching the clubhouse at St. Andrews Picture by Alan Stewart via Wikipedia

18th Hole approaching the clubhouse at St. Andrews
Picture by Alan Stewart via Wikipedia

Next weekend, the best golfers in the world will converge on St. Andrews Golf Course in Scotland,   competing for the British Open Golf Championship; it is the oldest of the four major championships in professional golf.  Golfers face special challenges on the “links” style courses played in the Open.  The course is stark, with few trees, landscapes of bumps and hollows and heavy, tough grass, called “gorse”, next to the fairways.

Woe to the golfer if his ball wanders into this “gorse”.  This year, an up and coming young star has emerged –  Jordan Spieth, from Dallas, Texas has won the first two majors of the year, and could be the first golfer to win the Modern Grand Slam of Golf.   In 1930, Bobby Jones won 4 majors, but that was before the Masters.  To win the “Grand Slam” a golfer has to win the Masters, the US Open, the British Open and the PGA Championship in the same year: A daunting task!  To ensure victory, Jordan will have to form a “game plan”.  He’ll need to keep his ball in the fairway, safe from the “gorse”, and the “pot bunkers” (dreadful sand traps).  You might see him using his irons off the tee instead of his big driver; he will sacrifice some distance, but will be much more accurate.  With the proper game plan, victory can be his!

As we rise each morning from bed to meet the challenges of the new day, we can imitate Jordan Spieth.  Too often, we have no “game plan”, no strategy, to avoid the “pot bunkers” and “gorse” of daily life.  We fall into the same mistakes day after day to our dismay.

Our “Game Plan” need only be a few words.  If Anger is putting us into the “pot bunkers” of daily life, our plan for the day could be, “Gentle Jesus, help me.”  If Fears and Worries are flinging us into the “gorse”, say, “Jesus, be with me.”  If we find Prayer absent from our days, whisper now and then through the day, “All for God.” And then all that we do becomes a prayer.

When our Purity of heart is being threatened, our “Plan” will be, “Mary, my mother.”  If sadness weighs us down, with no joy in our precious gift of life, sing out with zest, “Rejoice always!”

As for myself, this practice of making a “Game Plan” has worked minor miracles.  When the stress of living is tempting me to say harsh words of criticism, especially at home, my “Game Plan” for that day, “Gentle Jesus, help me”, closes my lips in silence.  Jordan has won the first two major championships of the year – he had a plan for each, and surely has a plan going into next week.  Do you have a spiritual game plan for the week ahead?

At bedside, say a prayer to the Holy Spirit, a short one, and plan the day ahead.  One day at a time.  They will add up quickly.  Remember, each day is a lifetime in itself.  Our slate is clean each morning.

Fr. George Mc Kenna

July 12, 2015 - Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , , , ,

6 Comments »

  1. George, it is great to see you reference golf as I recall that was a serious love of your life in your younger days. What a great analogy you described this morning.
    Thank you for that and your weekly words of wisdom that we all look forward to.
    May God continue to bless you.
    Jim

    Comment by Jim | July 12, 2015 | Reply

  2. Fr. George, you have shared with us a “perfect game plan” for each day in itself…a lifetime…as you so beautifully remind us, is found in those golden 24 hours! What love in such short whispered prayers! Thank you for keeping us close to Him! …and we thank Him for the gift you are in our lives! Happy 96th Birthday on this very day…we celebrate you! Blessings & Gratitude & Love, Marianne

    Comment by mcs | July 12, 2015 | Reply

  3. Hope you have a Plan for this Day … which is your 96th Birthday!! Happy Birthday, Father. Enjoy your special Day.
    Love, Steve & Joan Molidor

    P.S. You share this birthday with Julius Caesar, Henry David Thoreau, and Buckminster Fuller

    Comment by Anonymous | July 12, 2015 | Reply

  4. Fr. McKenna, your words continue to be an inspiration to me after many, many years. You have been blessed with this gift of the written word, and you have used this gift, in turn, to bless so many. I hope you know what a treasure you are to all of us! I am a little late with my wishes, but I hope you had a wonderful 96th birthday! Wishing you abundant blessings . . . with gratitude and love, Gail Siedlecki

    Comment by Gail Siedlecki | July 13, 2015 | Reply

  5. Thank you and God bless you, Fr. George, for all have done to inspire seminarians like me during all our younger days and multitudes you have touched with your wonderful words of wisdom over the decades since continuing right up to now each week on social media. Enjoy the British Open today and this weekend and I pray that this year ahead is your best ever!
    Larry K, Quigley S. ’70

    Comment by LMK | July 16, 2015 | Reply

  6. Hi Fr. George! I was SO happy to talk to you on your 96th birthday! Actually, it was the day after, wasn’t it? 🙂 We had a nice chat and I was smiling ear to ear when we hung up. Thank you for the countless ways in which you deliver God’s messages to us! You have a wonderful gift of writing and I hope that you will continue to shepherd your ‘flock’ for a long time! I love you, Fr. George! And, it is interesting that you have the same birthday as Thoreau, another great writer!

    Although not much of a golf enthusiast, I have great memories of my dad in ‘his chair’ watching ANY golf tournament on TV. He took up golf later in life (late 50’s) and in his true fashion, he became expert at it and would shoot in the high 70’s or low 80’s. But even that was not enough for him! So, what did he do? He started a home business, making golf clubs! He actually had business cards made and everything and would make single clubs and even entire sets for his customers. The only trouble was he was using very toxic chemicals to make the clubs (toluene?) and it caused him to go into aplastic anemia (it basically conked out ALL of his blood cell making capability within the bone marrow). He was going to go on a research protocol experimental drug through the University of Chicago and I prayed SO hard for him, I think it was a novena… at any rate, he went back for one final blood test before the experiment was to begin, and his counts were all coming up! He did not need the risky experimental drug after all! Yet another time when God answered my prayers! I’ve had such a wonderful life touched with many blessings from God, (despite my forgetting about HIM for years and years!).

    And, as I’ve told you before, YOU are a huge part in my returning to my faith. Thank you, dear friend, for that special gift you have given me!

    Love you, Fr. George!

    Love,
    Nancy

    Comment by Nancy Kolember Westvang | July 26, 2015 | Reply


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