God is Good!

Seek the Lord while He may be found!

God Answers All Prayers

prayerOne day, back in 1933, Sister Angelista, CSC, our 8th Grade teacher at St. Theodore’s School brought five of us boys down six flights of stairs to the Church. Sister, not a youngster, placed us in different parts of the Church and told us to pray about our poor conduct in class. In the time give us, I mulled over my selfishness in bringing Sister Angelista up and down those long stairways. When Sister came back, I was still praying on my knees asking God to give me some sense. I consider those minutes a watershed experience in my life, an occasion of change of outlook on life. Prayer took on preciousness for me. Sister Angelista came to my First Mass.

We need prayer as much as we need food, drink and air. I treasure prayer, conversation with God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit as the best of all gifts. In speaking to God, I enter into the presence of these Three Holy Persons, and share my thoughts and hopes with Them. Oftentimes people lose interest in prayer because it seems to them that God has turned a deaf ear to their prayers.

Let the word go forth that God answers all prayers. This is not a matter, on God’s part, of picking and choosing from all the prayers that rise to Heaven. Perhaps a few examples will make this good news clear. Suppose I have been praying for peace in the world? Nothing appears to be happening. Unknown to me, in a home down the street from me, where every day, loud and angry voices spill out hateful words, a sudden stillness comes. The members of the family begin to respect each other. A lasting peace has come to a little part of the world. God has answered my prayer!

Many of God’s people suffer pain, exhausting sicknesses. Their please to God begs the Almighty to take away all this discomfort, but many times, the sick conditions stay as they are. Has God refused to hear their prayers? No! One morning, a new attitude of acceptance comes into the mind of the distraught patient . . . I will bear with this pain for the Love of God! . . . Peace and courage fill the heart! These new insights come as an answer to prayer.

I, speaking for myself personally, find this truth about God hearing and answering all prayers most consoling! When I am experiencing dark nights of the soul, I cry out, “Jesus, Help me!”, again and again. How helpful to believe that those few words are flying into the Face of God! Gradually, peace and light fill my once disturbed spirit. In other words, no prayer is ever wasted – thanks, praise, sorrow, petition.

Many times in 8th Grade, Sister Angelista encouraged me to think of the Priesthood, but only in the final days of the school year did that way of life look inviting. Was Sister praying for me all year?

Fr. George Mc Kenna

October 23, 2016 Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Totally Yours, O God

With my dear mother on the day of my Ordination. May 6, 1944

With my dear mother on the day of my Ordination.
May 6, 1944

Our former Pope, and now beloved Saint, John Paul II, had these two Latin words, “Totus Tuus” (Totally Yours), on his coat of arms.  As a young man, preparing for the Priesthood in an underground Seminary in war torn Poland, he knelt before Christ in the great Cathedral in Krakow and consecrated himself to the Lord of the Gospels.  From that time on, he never looked backward or watered down any of his original commitment to the Master.

On the mornings of my receiving the three Major Orders (the Sub-deaconate, the Deaconate and the Priesthood), I rose early and went to the main Chapel, in the center of the Seminary Campus at Mundelein, Il.  A space of five months elapsed between the receptions of each of these Orders, the last – Holy Orders – 71 years ago on May 6, 1944.  Each time I meditated on the appearance of the Risen Lord to His Apostles at the seashore in Galilee.  At this visit, Jesus called Peter aside and asked the knelling Apostle, three times, “Peter, do you love me?”  Peter had denied his Lord three times.  The Gentle Christ used this way of questioning to bring peace to Peter’s heart.  “Yes, Lord, You know I love You”, said Peter, each time.

On these three historic mornings, I pictured myself kneeling before the Lord, with Him asking me the same questions, three times, “George, do you love me?”  I placed my hands into His Hands and said, “Yes, Lord, I do love You!”  Down through these last 71 years in the Priesthood, I found the memory of these mediations immensely helpful and consoling.  I say to myself, I started out with a “Totus Tuus” (completely Yours) attitude in the Priesthood; with God’s help I will finish in the same way.

Only God knows how well or how poorly I have kept this initial consecration up to the present time!  In His public life, Jesus said to a number of people, “Come, follow Me.”  Many gave excuses for not following immediately: “Lord, let me bury my father”, “Allow me to go home and say goodbye to my family.”  Jesus was not happy with these responses.  “No one putting his hand to the plow and looking backwards is fit to be my disciple.”

Our teachers in the Seminary told us that a total commitment to God makes the work of serving Him that much easier.  In times of temptations of all sorts, we will answer quickly, without hesitation, “I will serve only the Lord, my God.”  If I am only half committed, I could dilly-dally with my response and end up compromising my ideals.

Each day, kneel in spirit or actually before the Lord and tell Him that you are a “Totus Tuus” disciple of His, with no other desire in your heart than to serve Him faithfully until death.  The attractions of the world lose their strong appeal in the face of such dedication to God.  An immense joy will fill your heart.

Fr. George McKenna

May 2, 2015 Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , , | 12 Comments