God is Good!

Seek the Lord while He may be found!

A Glorious Vision Of Life

The Resurrection by Carl Heinrich Bloch, 1881 via Wiki Commons

The Resurrection by Carl Heinrich Bloch, 1881
via Wiki Commons

I will tell a simple story, one that could change our way of living. The July 26, 1996 Chicago Tribune article entitled, “Count Your Blessings”, told of a young woman, recently recovered from a serious illness, quoting her, “When I recovered my health, I embraced life as never before. I smelled the flowers.  Every person, everything, was special, was wonderful.  But then, I forgot.”

The Tribune writer then went on to describe what had happened to this woman. The realities of living squelched the glorious vision that this now healthy woman had for a short time.  The kids tracked dirt on the kitchen floor.  The rent was due.  The car wouldn’t start.  The boss was bellowing.  The dog had fleas.  The laundry had to be done.  The list seemed endless.

I cut this article out for my own use and put it into my daily journal. At that time I was recovering from an illness.  Like the woman above, I was smelling the flowers and embracing life as never before.  Every person, everything was special, wonderful.

I told myself that I would not allow the realities of living take away this glorious vision of life. In those days to come, I planned to read and reread this treasured article.  These words often came to my lips . . . “I have tasted the sweetness of this higher way of life.  I will not let it go . . .”

Easier said than done. Now, twenty years later, my everyday ups and downs are threatening to bring me back to my former drab way of living.  With God’s help I will not allow this to happen.  Perhaps, without realizing it, our readers have fallen into this trap.  We are allowing the realities of life to cheat us out of a glorious vision of life.

Our way of life has become one of endurance, just putting in time at home, at work, carrying on a series of dull relationships with others. We are not smelling the flowers.  But starting today – this Glorious Easter Sunday – we can have an outlook in which we see life, each day of living, as a precious gift from God.  We can see, hear, and have mobility to get up each morning.  We can count our blessings!

In our gifts of mind and will, we have the power to learn things and choose our life styles. God has made our hearts capable of falling in love with Him and other human beings.  Today, we grow conscious of how realities of life can cripple this sparkling way of living.  Will we lose out on this soaring way of living?  Or, will we look at the miracle of today – Jesus’ rising from the dead, fulfilling the scriptures and giving us the hope of eternal life – and choose to live each day as a special gift from God?

Fr. George Mc Kenna

March 26, 2016 Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , , | 5 Comments

A Day In Paris

Basilique du Sacré-Cœur, Paris. Photo by Ana Paula Hirama Via Wiki Commons

Basilique du Sacré-Cœur, Paris.
Photo by Ana Paula Hirama Via Wiki Commons

On a Wednesday, some 14 years ago, I went to the Montmartre District in Paris by Metro. This section of Paris lies on its highest level. At the Abbesses Station, I climbed 150 steps to get to the surface.  At every 5th step, I stopped and said a Hail Mary.  As I stood there on Montmartre, the whole City of Paris lay before my eyes.  Montmartre means, “Mountain of Martyrs”.  During the French Revolution, 1800’s, many died for their faith.

On this rainy day, I searched out the Church of St. Peter of Montmartre, over 500 years old. In its silent, dim interior, I thrilled to knell at the Blessed Sacrament altar.  Within these sacred walls, St. Ignatius of Loyola, (1491 – 1556) was accustomed to bring his young student, St. Francis Xavier, (1506 – 1552) to attend Mass.  Ignatius, the founder of the Jesuits, was grooming Francis for his missionary work in the Far East.  As I sat there, I was hoping to hear things Ignatius spoke to Francis.  The hour passed too quickly.

Next door to St. Peter’s stands the splendid Basilica of the Sacred Heart (Sacre Couer), built in the early 1920’s, In the dim interior, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament goes on throughout the day.  On the entire back wall of the sanctuary,

I spent two hours within the Church of Reparation with my prayers, always, for a rededication of my Priesthood to His Sacred Heart. All through my Seminary years, in my darkest hours, I had confided in His Sacred Heart.  Now, on this raining, dark day, I was asking, in this great house of prayer, that He help me finish the race with my Priesthood intact.

The best gift we can ask of the Sacred Heart is humility. In my long life, the people with the most influence for my good lived humble lives.  They were kind, gracious, friendly, non-judgmental and unselfish.

Jesus shows us all these characteristics in every page of the Gospels. I left the Basilica with fervent thanks for His gift of faith to me!

Fr. George Mc Kenna

March 19, 2016 Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , , | 6 Comments