God is Good!

Seek the Lord while He may be found!

A Special Time In My Week

After I “retired”, and moved into my own apartment in Evergreen Park, my Laundry Day had taken on a new meaning for me! Every Friday morning, I would bundle my soiled clothes into the washer and dryer for a much needed cleansing.  After an hour and a half, my laundry came back with me to my apartment, only a few feet away, clean and warm.  As I held my clothes to my face, I would feel their soothing warmth.  Yes, doing my laundry brought peace and contentment to my whole being.  I had made something clean and renewed!

In the perfect quiet of the morning, I would tell my remorse to Christ for my spiritual shortcomings of the past week. The memory of my selfishness, often thinking of only my own needs and comforts, forced me to say, “Lord, have mercy”.

Other frequent failings would come to mind: my luke-warmness in doing the Lord’s work; looking at this vocation as a job to finish as quickly as possible, instead of a conscious sign of my Love for Him! Christ have mercy!

Another point of unhappiness for me came with the thoughts of how often I would say prayers mechanically, with little thought of God’s Love for me! Lord, have mercy!

During this season of Lent, a sudden inspiration has come to me. This would be a good time to present myself before the Lord of Mercy and ask for a cleansing of my spirit.  The Loving Christ could wash away all the spiritual dirt uncleanness acquired during the past week.  Just as I had poured my Tide liquid soap on my dirty clothes to cleanse them, so the Merciful Lord could anoint my heart with his forgiving oil of Mercy.

This Lent, our washers and dryers could become our altars and a place of prayer. “Lord, create in me a clean heart”, one of my favorite prayers in Scripture, could be used to transform a daily task into a conversation with our Lord.  We can ask ourselves, what soils our hearts and spirits and makes them less beautiful and receptive to God’s Graces?  A look inside our hearts and minds could show how easy it is to show ingratitude toward God through our careless attitude toward the health of our inner life.  Prayer time in the Laundry Room could change that way of living.

I have complete confidence that if we use this Lenten Season to use our weekly Laundry as a makeshift altar, the Lord of Mercy will cleanse our hearts. We will feel the purifying oil of His Loving Forgiveness flowing down over our spirits into our innermost beings.  We will feel clean and refreshed.  Our hopes will rise, just as the sun does each day. 

Fr. George McKenna

February 24, 2018 Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Way Of The Cross

Jesus Carrying the Cross
by Rapheal, 1516, via Wikipedia

One Sunday afternoon in the Old City of Jerusalem, I walked from my living quarters, the Franciscan Hospice, the Casa Nova, to the chapel of the Flagellation. This Chapel marks the beginning of the Via Dolorosa, the Sorrowful Way, the road Jesus took to Mount Calvary.  All scholars agree that in this Chapel area, the Roman Soldiers lashed Jesus with whips.

On coming out of the small Chapel after praying in its dark interior, I stepped out into the narrow street. Some fifteen feet wide, with high walls on either side of it, the road winds uphill for three blocks to Holy Sepulcher Church, the place of the crucifixion.  As I did so, a plaque on the side wall caught my eye.  On it, a message printed in four languages announced to all passing by, “Jesus is searching for someone who will humble himself as He did and lovingly bear his cross as He did.  Will you be his disciple?”

As I began to copy these words in my notebook, I heard a tapping sound coming from the other end of the deserted road. A lone blind man, in full Muslim dress, was approaching me; his white cane making the tapping sound.  I stood back so that he could walk by.  He came between me and the plaque on the wall.

Just as Jesus had done, this man carried his cross on the Via Dolorosa in the 20th Century.  Perhaps the blind man’s cross of a white cane did not equal the weight of the heavy wooden cross of the Lord.  Still this man’s suffering spread over many years amounted to a heavy burden.  I marveled at the quick step of the man, the certainty of his stride, the look of serenity on his face.

The timing of the blind person coming upon me at the start of the Way of the Cross startled me. The Lord gave me a perfect example of the kind of person He was searching for: one carrying his cross in a loving way.  No one searches out suffering.  Life brings its share of pain and hardship without our volunteering to bring the cross into our lives.  Jesus looks to see if His disciples will bear with this pain in a creative and submissive way.  As we begin this Season of Lent, how can we use our fasting, praying and almsgiving to draw closer to Our Lord?

Fr. George McKenna

February 18, 2018 Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , | 3 Comments