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Do We Have Anyone For Tennis?

Guido Reni's archangel Michael tramples Satan. (in the Capuchin church of Santa Maria della Concezione, Rome) via Wikipedia

Guido Reni’s archangel Michael tramples Satan. (in the Capuchin church of Santa Maria della Concezione, Rome)
via Wikipedia

I have an English priest friend, the Pastor of the Parish that encompasses the famous Wimbledon tennis courts, just outside London, England.  My friends Parish has an unusual name, Our Lady and St. Peter, about 20 minutes from London.

One September evening, after our supper, we left the Rectory to walk through his Parish to these world renowned tennis courts.  For several weeks every year, the attention of the world centers on these courts where the best players in the world compete for the Wimbledon title.  In the setting sun, the seats of the stadium stood empty, with not a sound to disturb the twilight peace of the complex.

What splendid victories and heroic struggles had taken place on these grounds where we stood.  Within our own spirit stands a playing field – picture it as a tennis court.  Unlike Wimbledon, used only a few weeks for the grand tournament, this court in our spirit sees action every day of the year!

As we step out onto the court for the contest of the day, we see to our dismay, across the net at the other end, world class players – The World, The Flesh and The Devil!  All the publicity in the newspapers tells of the artistry and the skills of these talented athletes.  We stand and watch with sinking hearts as these strong, youthful players send cannon-like shots across the net at us (150 miles an hour!)

Almost on the verge of running back into the locker room, we think of our Sponsor – God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit!  Across the front of our shirt Their Emblem announces to all Whom we represent.  Only God can help us win this seemingly impossible struggle against these slick players, The World, The Flesh and The Devil.

While the overflowing crowds in the stands, numbering all the saints in Heaven, shout encouragement to us, we take to the court with supreme confidence.  With almost unbelievable dexterity, we return the rifle shots of our enemies of the spirit, and close out the game with thrilling victories!  “If God is for us, who can be against us?”

Fr. George Mc Kenna

August 29, 2016 Posted by | Bulletins | , , , | 2 Comments

The Number One Destroyer Of Family Life

Gari Melchers (1862–1932} Mural of Peace. Photographed in 2007 by Carol Highsmith

Gari Melchers (1862–1932} Mural of Peace. Photographed in 2007 by Carol Highsmith

Some 20 plus years ago, I attended Sunday Mass in St. Anselm’s Church in a suburb of London, close to Heathrow Airport.  As always in visits like this, I sat with the congregation to enjoy the Mass and the homily.  What astounded me this Sunday morning was the topic of the priest’s homily: “Husbands stop battering your wives.”

Beforehand, I would have thought that this form of domestic violence would be a rare happening in the Christian community.  Evidently, the wife battering had come to the priest’s attention so often that he considered it worthwhile to devout his whole homily to it.

For all sociologists, experts in the study of family living, anger stands as the number one enemy of family peace and happiness.  Uncontrolled anger, through cutting words or violent actions, seeks to harm others in the family circle.  Police dread answering the call of domestic violence because they generally are entering into a no-win situation where family members are throwing insults and blows at each other.

Anger is a terribly difficult emotion to handle. Even when anger is used in a proper way, the results can turn out poorly.  All people would be better off if they rarely used anger to solve family situations.  Have little or nothing to do with this very powerful emotion.  Hearts suffer greatly from harsh expressions of correction and criticism.

In a household where a constantly angry person lives, the other people living there never know what to expect for the day ahead.  Will the angry person be in a good mood or in a bad mood?  What kind of violence will the angry person do in acts or words?  Sinful anger poisons the air of the household.

All people are filled with more angry feelings than they realize.  Things don’t go one’s way with a resultant desire to get back at others who caused this lack of success.  In traffic situations, an honest person will admit to many angry impulses to get even with other drivers.  To be a person of peace at home, one would do well to throw cold water on these hot flashes of violence.  Cool Down!  No one can love a hot head.

Fr. George Mc Kenna

August 20, 2016 Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , , | 4 Comments