God is Good!

Seek the Lord while He may be found!

Teach Us To Pray

Uncle George wrote this about 32 years ago.  It’s a fitting entry for today – the 31st Anniversary of the establishment of the Chicago Midway Airport Chapel on July 24, 1988.  The unmentioned priest in this story is Monsignor John Hayes.  Uncle George picked good heroes to emulate.  As you read this story, those of us who loved Fr. McKenna, could argue that the sentiments he had for Monsignor Hayes are the same we still hold in our hearts for him: #1 hero, he possessed a spirit of peace and kindness, he is the inspiration of a lifetime, and I thank him every day for his influence on my life.
God’s Peace to all.  Joe.

A young Seminarian

One late afternoon, some 54 years ago, as a 1st year student, I went into the magnificent Gothic Style Chapel of Quigley Seminary on the North Side.  In the semi-darkness of twilight, a young priest, then a member of the Seminary Faculty, knelt in prayer, his head bent down.  Seeing him praying so quietly and peacefully, made me think . . . “This is a good idea, to talk with God and bring some of His Goodness into my life.  I want that young priest’s peace.”

The next year, In 2nd year, this same priest, whose name I withhold because he is still living and active in Chicago at 80 years of age, entered our classroom to teach us Latin.  This closeness to him on a daily basis increased my admiration for him and helped me to set him up as my #1 hero in my 5 years at Quigley.

Everything he did in the classroom possessed that spirit of peace and kindness, which undoubtedly, came from his practice of prayer and union with God.  Nothing ruffled his daily life with us, oftentimes rough and unthinking youngsters.  The passing years have not lessened my reverence for him.  He still remains my #1 hero, the inspiration of a lifetime.

The spirit of prayer which Jesus constantly practiced made Him an appealing person to His followers.  All the actions of Christ possessed those qualities of peace, fearlessness and gentleness.  Seeing his style of life, His friends begged Him to teach them how to pray.  Rightfully so, they concluded that prayer gave Him that special calmness and courage in the face of suffering.

Like the Apostles, beg the Lord for this spirit of prayer.  Above all the gifts of life, the possession of tranquility and inner harmony ranks first.  A faithful follower of Christ, in admiration of His life, can raise up one’s heart joyfully in short aspirations.  Nothing will bring a person peace more quickly than a willingness to share one’s fears, doubts, and happenings of the day with the Lord.

Prayer engenders a courageous spirit in the personality of the one who prays.  People will begin to ask, “How do you make it possible to act they way you do?”

When I meet my former Latin teacher of yesteryear, I tell him thanks for his influence on my life.  He quietly smiles.

Fr. George McKenna

July 24, 2019 Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , , | 9 Comments

Two Travelers Along The Road

Mary and Joseph Seeking Refuge by Simon DeVos
Via WIkiCommons

Two people are traveling along a lonely country road. Mary and Joseph make their way to Bethlehem to register for the census.  Mary rides a donkey; Joseph guides the little animal over the rough road.  The trip will take four days, a long tiresome journey in those times.  Mary is with child and her time is close at hand.  She is at peace with herself and God.  She knows that she carries the Savior of the World.  She, like Joseph, does not know what lies ahead at this strange town of Bethlehem.  She faces this uncertain future with courage; knowing that God will arrange for everything.

 As the silent Joseph walks along, he thinks of the many unsolved problems on his mind, but he too, relies completely on God’s guidance.  As many rich caravans push past them, Mary and Joseph stand off to the side of the road with no bitterness in their hearts.  This holy couple sleeps in the inns along the road.  Here they take their ordinary meals.  Notice their courtesy to each other!  Joseph has kind concern for his wife; in every way he tries to ease her journey. 

About both of them is the spirit of prayer. Mary and Joseph are praying to God for help and courage in carrying out their calling.  What heavenly peace seems to follow them along the way.  No sharp words are spoken to each other; they make no complaints to God for having brought them out on this long, monotonous trip during the rainy, wintery time of the year.

With two days until Christmas, what lessons can we learn for ourselves from the travels of this couple from two thousand years ago? We can bring their spirit into our daily living.  Let us imitate their spirit of prayer . . . move along these last two days of Advent in an unhurried pace . . . do not let haste and a frenzied hurrying rob you of a realization of the Presence of God in your life . . . leave your worries behind and have trust in God. 

The future looked dark for Mary and Joseph, but their confidence in God never weakened. They traveled slowly, and left the details and all their difficulties in the safe hands of God.   Keep Peace in your hearts like Mary and Joseph.  Whatever happens along the way, God will be there with you.

          Fr. George McKenna

December 22, 2018 Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , , | 8 Comments