God is Good!

Seek the Lord while He may be found!

Christ, My Co-Pilot

Storm on the Sea of Galilee, Rembrandt
Via WIkipedia

A picture, a drawing, is worth 1,000 words.  One sketch had that effect on me.  The illustration showed a lone sailor struggling at the helm of a small sailing vessel in the midst of a storm.  Directly behind him stood the Person of Christ with His Hands on the wheel too!  With both working together, they kept the boat on a steady course.

The lesson stood out clearly.  With Christ we can weather any storm life might bring.  Some of the most significant words in the Bible: “I am the Vine, you are the branches.  Without Me, you can do nothing.”  How are we to be fruitful branches?  In 1 John, it says, “Keep the Commandments so that you may live in Me and I in you.”

Only through daily prayer can we keep the Commandments.  If I were to speak to newly ordained priests today, I would say, “Wear out your knees before your feet.”  In other words, develop a deep prayer life, otherwise you can easily become a dead branch on the Vine.  We can say this to all of us, in whatever vocation God has called us to.

Think again of the image we began with.  In union with Christ each day by prayer, Christ will be standing with us, sustaining us in all the difficulties of life.  A warning, a shot across the bow of our little ship, there are three ways of life that can easily pull us away from Christ unless we are alert to them: To be too good looking; To be too smart; To be too rich.

A person with good looks might say, “My personality will bring me success, I don’t need Christ.”  The very smart one: “My intellect will solve any problem without the help of Jesus of Nazareth.”  The rich person: “With my abundance of money, I’m a self-made success.”

Thank God if we have the above gifts, but use them wisely and through prayer, seek God’s guidance in their use.  Beware of the pitfalls connected with them if you try to go it alone.  I have always given thanks to God for just being an ordinary run-of-the-mill human being.  No looks, no scholastics awards, (golf trophies, yes), and no possessions.  Life has always been a struggle.  Because of that, I have had to fall back on Christ to survive.  I suggest you don’t do your journey of life alone.

Fr. George Mc Kenna

July 29, 2017 Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Visit To Omaha Beach

The American military cemetery in Normandy, picture taken in the summer of 2003 by Bjarki Sigursveinsson, via Wikipedia

Twenty years ago, in September, our pilgrim group of three drove 175 miles out of the city of Paris into Normandy country, to visit Omaha Beach, the D-Day invasion site of June 6, 1944. On coming into view of the American Cemetery, my friends stopped and could not speak for a long time.

Words cannot describe the row upon row of white stone crosses, stretching endlessly into the horizon, some 10,000 of them. On D-Day, these men faced withering fire from enemy machine guns placed on the bluff overlooking the shore. All young men, in the prime of their life, but called to duty, with all its dangers, superseded all other matters. The crosses represent only a small number of the members of the Armed Forces killed in the opening days of the greatest military invasion of all time.

This weekend we celebrate Memorial Day, a day to remember all those who have given the ultimate sacrifice, and to draw inspiration for life from our military dead. By their example, these fallen heroes remind us of the quality of courage and honor resting in the hearts of each one of us. The dead buried at Omaha Beach, were the young people living down the block from us, just ordinary boys. I was ordained a priest on May 6, 1944, exactly one month before this carnage took place. If I had not been in the Seminary, I could well be lying beneath one of the white crosses.

Instead, God has given me a long life with joys and sorrows found in every human existence. I give thanks for the opportunity to taste life from youth to old age, for the chance to know God better in all the happenings of life. For these men, lying there in the silence and quiet at Omaha Beach, life was just opening up for them like a fresh flower in the spring time. A cruel death cut short their dreams and hopes for the future.

In our mind’s eye, as we contemplate the all the lives of those men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom, we would do well to ask ourselves, “What will I do with my life?” God has given us many days to live. We can pass these days in a selfish, complaining manner, preoccupied with the material things in life. On the other hand, we can seize each day as a precious gift and work for God’s Honor and Glory!

Inspired by our fallen heroes, we can purify our minds and hearts of selfish attitudes, know that the greatest victory is the victory over the evil within us. In our innermost hearts, we possess courage not only to rush enemy machine guns, but more importantly to drive out addictions to evil in its many forms.

Seeing the American cemeteries in France in 1997 affected my life deeply. Call it a rich bonus I didn’t foresee from my visit to France. To this day I cannot tolerate a haphazard attitude towards life, allowing carelessness about God’s Honor to take over my days.

Fr. George Mc Kenna

May 29, 2017 Posted by | Bulletins | , , , | 4 Comments