God is Good!

Seek the Lord while He may be found!

A Better Way To Live

A winter scene of a church in Weissenbach an der Triesting, Lower Austria Photo by Nait lem, via Wikipedia

A winter scene of a church in Weissenbach an der Triesting, Lower Austria
Photo by Nait lem, via Wikipedia

Some years ago, I was stationed as a priest in St. Eulalia Parish in Maywood, Illinois, a suburb close to Chicago.  Another priest and I lived in a bungalow next to the Rectory where two other priests lived.  My bedroom was in the porch area of the bungalow with only the windows between me and the weather.

One night, in a fiercely cold winter, the heat went out in my bedroom.  In my desperation, I felt as if I were freezing to death.  I said to myself, “I don’t have to stand for this!”  Then, I made a bold decision.  With amazing determination (for me), I jumped up and took the bed apart.  I brought it into the inner part of the house, the dining room, to warmth and comfort.  After putting the bed together again, I slept well.

Perhaps we are living in unhappy conditions, caused by ourselves or others.  The coldness of our surroundings and the lack of love are making us bitter and disenchanted with life.  Like my bedroom with no heat, we may find ourselves living in a symbolic room filled with hatreds, resentments, unforgiving spirits, fears, and anxieties of all kinds.  That symbolic room could be our mind.

Without a joyful spirit, I will see little beauty in life.  With a heavy heart, I will have no desire to change my life style.  Why am I so gloomy and critical?  Is there a better way to live?  One writer wrote, “When you are through changing, you are through.”  Refuse to be satisfied with a so-so marriage, a dull relationship with God, a never ending struggle to survive.  There must be more to life than this!

John the Baptist cries out today, “Reform your lives.  Make straight the way of the Lord.”  As in my bungalow story, we can make a firm decision and say, “I don’t have to stand for this.”  Then move on to a new set of conditions.  In this different “room”, we begin to experience peace and warmth.

In these precious days of Advent, we can take stock of our lives.  In the process of moving from a dark room of darkness and coldness, we can center our thoughts on the coming of the Messiah, the Holy Child of Bethlehem.  The Savior is coming to save us from a deadly way of living.  Hold on to the hope of the Christ Child, and tell him our hopes for a better way of life.

Fr. George Mc Kenna

December 6, 2015 - Posted by | Bulletins | , , , ,


  1. Father, once again you are on the money. You always seem to know exactly what to say. God bless you.

    Comment by Bartholomew Timm | December 6, 2015 | Reply

  2. Beautiful!

    Comment by Nan Brennan | December 6, 2015 | Reply

  3. Thank you for this message, I find myself sometimes settling for something less, because I am afraid of confrontation. Hesitant to speak up and make my feelings known. Hesitant to take responsibility for my thoughts, my words and my actions. A line on a recent Christmas show caught my attention – “Happiness is not a destination, it is the journey”. Reminds me of another “Happiness is a choice”. Thank you Fr. McKenna for continuing to illuminate our hearts and souls with your inspiring words.

    Comment by GT | December 7, 2015 | Reply

  4. Father, you always have words to say that comfort and inspire. Thank you for taking time to help us all on our journey. As our society becomes more and more difficult please continue to take time for us. We are listening. Merry Christmas and God bless you.

    Comment by Anonymous | December 7, 2015 | Reply

  5. God bless you for your faithfulness in ministering to us who are in such need of this encouragement. A true disciple of Barnabas, the Apostle of Encouragement!

    Comment by Anonymous | December 7, 2015 | Reply

  6. Try to find an see the tiny beam of light even in a room with full darkness.An you will be blessed.

    Comment by Alexey | December 7, 2015 | Reply

  7. Great story, it really resonated with me! Why don’t we just improve our lives instead of suffering – and a lot of the times, it is self-imposed suffering like you mentioned! Jesus is just a thought away, if we only remember to include Him in our lives, what an immediate improvement that would be! Always good to read your blog, such easy and simple advice, but yet, without the reminders, we don’t even think of these things to do! Thank you for your many years of guidance in my life – you have made such a wonderful difference for me and for many others. How blessed we are to know you!! I know I AM!

    Love you, dear friend!

    Comment by Nancy Kolember Westvang | January 7, 2016 | Reply

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