God is Good!

Seek the Lord while He may be found!

Emmanuel – God Is With Us

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly took this photograph of a moonrise over the western United States.  A reminder that God continues to provide us light in our dark world.

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly took this photograph of a moonrise over the western United States. A reminder that God continues to provide us light in our dark world.

In my first year in Major Seminary, at the age of 18, I experienced homesickness, difficult to describe. Away from home and family for the first time, far out in the countryside in Mundelein, I felt terrible emptiness and loneliness of spirit. This went on for some weeks. I wrote a letter to my mother saying that I was coming home – a letter I never mailed. My father had died two years previously. Even though I lived in ideal conditions, I couldn’t smile or laugh; tears were always close to my eyes. I went through the daily schedule like a robot, with no interest or enthusiasm.

The words of Isaiah the Prophet . . . “Emmanuel, God with us” . . . saved me from giving up my hopes for the priesthood. I said to myself, “God is here with me. I must search and find Him!” So, in our Chapel, I stood before Christ and persevered day after day in pouring out to Him the miseries of my heart. The words of my prayers tasted like dust in my mouth. Gradually, the darkness lifted and a peace rushed into my heart. My worst bout with low spirits ever, came to an end.

Some of our readers are experiencing the same loneliness, even though they may live in a loving atmosphere of family and friends. Their zest for living has left them. All their feelings of love and caring have dried up. Perhaps, someone has written a letter, as I did, announcing the end of a marriage because the future looks too bleak to go on. In a household, a long term sickness of a family member has almost exhausted the strength and spirit of the caretakers. “How long can I continue to live like this”, these worn out people say.

This weekend, in our first reading, Isaiah again brings us inspiring words, “Anguish has taken wing, dispelled is darkness: for there is no gloom where but now there was distress. The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone.”   Last month, we celebrated a Child coming from Heaven to share life with us! Emmanuel, God is with us! In these sessions of unhappiness and bewilderment, when all appears lost, I encourage our readers to follow my strategy – search for the Lord and let Him know the darkness of your spirit. Perhaps we can barely get the words of prayer out of our mouths, so choked up are our emotions – but persevere!

No matter where I am, a smile comes to me when I hear the song “Let There Be Peace On Earth”, the theme song for all peace groups across the world. Jill Jackson formed the words for this piece, and her husband, Sy Miller, the music. Failure in her career and a broken marriage, she had seen the darkness. She is known to have said she wrote this song after experiencing “life-saving joy of God’s peace and unconditional love.” She made a resounding comeback because of Emmanuel!


Fr. George Mc Kenna

January 22, 2017 - Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , , ,


  1. Once again, thank you Fr. McKenna, for your timely and inspirational words.

    Martha Martin Maggiore

    Comment by Anonymous | January 22, 2017 | Reply

  2. Such power in your words Fr. George, in reminding us so lovingly He is with us, His Love, His Peace…I lector this day, assigned this first reading…now and always I shall remember your words of hope and perseverance…you instruct us, His sheep, so very well…we are so grateful for your priesthood! God Bless you! Love, Marianne

    Comment by mcs | January 22, 2017 | Reply

  3. Thank you for these inspiring words, Father. As one currently in seminary formation, these words console my heart.

    Comment by TheAspiringCatholic | January 22, 2017 | Reply

  4. Even in your 98th year you still bring comfort and instill hope with love of Christ as your crutch in life…Amazing

    Comment by Anonymous | January 22, 2017 | Reply

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