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Seek the Lord while He may be found!

Prayer, The Key To Holiness

The Lord’s Prayer, by James Tissot, Via Wikipedia

Years ago I had lunch with a priest friend, a Father John, a man of my own age.  Born in Yugoslavia, Father John had spent over 3 years in a Russian Siberian prison camp, his only crime being that he was a Catholic Priest.  Prison rules forbade possession of anything religious, such as rosaries, prayer books and pictures.

Not able to offer Mass, still the priest enjoyed the freedom of raising his mind and heart to God oftentimes each day.  When he came out of Siberia, he was in excellent spirits, despite the miserable food, the inhuman treatment and the harsh cold.

At lunch that day, Father John said to me, “I saw many prisoners give up on life because they refused to turn to God, or they didn’t know how to pray.  Prayer”, he went on, “made the difference between life and death for me.”   I remember thinking to myself that day, “Here sitting across from me is a living example of the power of prayer.”

Through the years, I have found the practice of prayer to God the best of all adventures.  Through this conversation with our Creator, weak, human beings bring His Power, Goodness and Beauty into their lives.  Every man, woman and child can life their minds and hearts to the Lord.

Temptations to evil constantly make us conscious of our human weaknesses.  Only by prayer to the Lord and His Mother Mary, can we succeed in turning away from alluring attractions.  In such time, I say, “Lord Jesus, and Mary our mother, help the poor, the sick and they dying.”  I distract myself from the evil by asking help for others.

Prayer makes the difference between despair and a strong hope in the beauty of life.  Father John, the ex-prisoner of Siberia, helped me to believe in the power of prayer.

Fr. George Mc Kenna

August 11, 2017 Posted by | Bulletins | , , , | 1 Comment

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