God is Good!

Seek the Lord while He may be found!

My Father Is The King

Statue of Louis IX, Basilique du Sacré-Cœur de Montmartre.
Photo by Larry Johnson, via Wikipedia

In 1220 A.D. a young prince lived in the Royal court of his father, the reigning Catholic King of France, Louis VIII.  As in all royal courts of that time, corruption and evil made the days of the youngster filled with dangers to his morals.  When the nobles encouraged the lad to give into the evil example of the court, the prince would cry out, “No, No!  I cannot sin.  My father is the King!”

The boy went on to take the title of King Louis IX of France.  So well did he keep his ideas that the Church canonized him St. Louis IX, some thirty years after his death.

One may say, a simple story, but this true take influenced my life for the last 86 years.  At the time of my Confirmation, about the age of twelve, I took the name Louis, because of my admiration for his way of life.  Through the years, I couldn’t forget his story so that when temptations came, I found myself crying out, “No, No!  I cannot sin.  My Father is the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords!”  This battle cry motivated me to hold on to my ideals.

In saying these words, I reminded myself that I was a child of God.  In creating us, God, our Father, put a spark of His own Divine Self into our lives.  We have the high responsibility as sons and daughters of this Great Father, to keep goodness in our hearts.

Many people suffer from the sickness of low self-esteem.  They consider themselves of little value because of ordinary gifts in school work, in sports ability, in physical appearance, or in the social positions in life.  All gifts such as personal beauty, big salaries, popularity, and social success eventually pass away.  Our true worth lies in the fact of our being sons and daughters of the Father, brothers and sisters of Jesus, and of having the Presence of the Holy Spirit within us.  These gifts never leave us.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells us, “Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me.  And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.”  What a wonderful promise! With everyone facing temptations to sin, all could draw strength to resist evil from the words of the young prince, “No, No!  I cannot sin!  My Father is the King, the King of Kings, the All-Holy One!”

Fr. George Mc Kenna

May 22, 2017 Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Lourdes, France – May 2005

Jennifer Jones –
She played the part of Bernadette
The Song of Bernadette (1943)
Via Wikipedia Commons

Notes and reflections from my journal 12 years ago.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005. . . Our American Airlines jet plane, a Boeing 767, lands smoothly at Charles D’Gualle Airport in France after an eight hour flight from Chicago’s O’Hare Airport.  A nearby train brings me the 15 miles to the Port Royal Station in the heart of Paris, just 200 yards away from my residence, the Redemptorist House. 

Wednesday, May 11 . . . In the Montparnasse Station I board the TGV train, capable of speeds exceeding 185 mph, for the 700 mile trip to the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes.  The trip takes five and a half hours.  In the next two days, I offer Mass in a Chapel overlooking the Grotto where Mary appeared to little Bernadette.

To reach the Chapel required a tough uphill walk on a steep, winding roadway.  As in all times, since 1858, the sick, the lame, the handicapped have come to Lourdes to pray for help, not necessarily for miracles, but to realize more deeply Mary’s loving presence in their difficult lives.  After witnessing the many afflictions that can beset our physical bodies, I resolved to never complain about any of my troubles.

Thursday, May 12 . . . A rainy morning.  An unusual happening took place in my hotel yesterday in my first moments there.  As I stepped out of the elevator on the fourth floor, I faced complete darkness.  Suddenly a sensor picked up my presence and lights went on everywhere: a new experience for me.  I tied this happening to everyday life.  At times, darkness fills my mind.  The Holy Spirit (Our Divine Sensor) picks up my prayer for help.  Then a light goes on in my mind and I see the way to peace!

From my first days in the Major Seminary (1938 – 1944), little Bernadette has always inspired me to a deeper love of the Virgin Mary.  One night in the Seminary, in 1943, we seminarians saw the movie, “The Song of Bernadette”.  Bernadette’s humility and patience in her on-going sickness took hold of my heart and has never left it. (To this day, in my old age, she still inspires me on a daily basis!)

Friday, May 13 . . . As the TGV train speeds through the countryside of Paris, I have much quiet time to think of the shortness of life, and the wisdom of serving God.

Mary, Our Mother – is an inspiration to all of us.  A very Happy Mothers’ Day to all those women who have given us life – ours AND theirs!

Fr. George Mc Kenna

May 15, 2017 Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , , , | 4 Comments