God is Good!

Seek the Lord while He may be found!

A Story That Never Goes Away From Me

I wish to share a story of much importance in my life!  Jimmy jumped up and down with excitement.  The circus was coming to his town, his first experience with the Big Top.  By saving his newspaper earnings, little Jimmy bought his ticket to the circus on the last night of its showing.  As he wandered through the thrilling world in tent city, he saw the tallest man in the universe, a fire eater, the magician, and a host of spellbinding happenings.

When he came home that night, tired and mind boggled, his father asked him about the center ring, the place of the greatest attraction in the circus.  Sad to say, Jimmy knew nothing about the goings-on under the Big Top because he had spent all his time in the side shows.  Now the circus was gone.

In my past years, oftentimes I would give myself so much to the Lord’s work that I would forget the Lord behind the work.  Yes, I would wonder why I was lacking in peace of heart, so short tempered and despondent.  Then this story came to my mind and with it, the answer to my wonderment.  I was in the side shows of life and missing out on life’s main event in the center ring – Jesus of Nazareth.

While living in the side shows of life, innocent as they were, the Face of Christ became a blur to me.  He no longer was a commanding Presence that I often turned to in prayer.  In some mysterious way, He retreated into the background and lost His influence over me.

Like a good friend, my little story above reminded me to bring the Lord back into my close friendship; to give Him my direct attention before all other happenings in my daily life.  Jesus of Nazareth came alive for me as I realized how much He deserves my love and dedication.  What were the side shows compared to Christ, the Messiah?

Why do we pray and sacrifice during Lent?  Simply, we don’t want to get so lost in the side shows of life – family matters, social activities, our work that these daily activities make us miss out on the best experience of life: Jesus, the young preacher from Nazareth.  What a tragedy it would be to discover this on Judgement day!

During these last weeks of Lent, we can turn our hearts, our minds and our souls towards Jesus with three simple vows: To Follow Christ more nearly, to Love Him more dearly and to See Him more clearly!  Yes, time and time again, the story of Jimmy and the Circus has been a light of wisdom on the glory road for me.

Fr. George McKenna

March 10, 2018 Posted by | Bulletins | , , | 1 Comment

A Special Time In My Week

After I “retired”, and moved into my own apartment in Evergreen Park, my Laundry Day had taken on a new meaning for me! Every Friday morning, I would bundle my soiled clothes into the washer and dryer for a much needed cleansing.  After an hour and a half, my laundry came back with me to my apartment, only a few feet away, clean and warm.  As I held my clothes to my face, I would feel their soothing warmth.  Yes, doing my laundry brought peace and contentment to my whole being.  I had made something clean and renewed!

In the perfect quiet of the morning, I would tell my remorse to Christ for my spiritual shortcomings of the past week. The memory of my selfishness, often thinking of only my own needs and comforts, forced me to say, “Lord, have mercy”.

Other frequent failings would come to mind: my luke-warmness in doing the Lord’s work; looking at this vocation as a job to finish as quickly as possible, instead of a conscious sign of my Love for Him! Christ have mercy!

Another point of unhappiness for me came with the thoughts of how often I would say prayers mechanically, with little thought of God’s Love for me! Lord, have mercy!

During this season of Lent, a sudden inspiration has come to me. This would be a good time to present myself before the Lord of Mercy and ask for a cleansing of my spirit.  The Loving Christ could wash away all the spiritual dirt uncleanness acquired during the past week.  Just as I had poured my Tide liquid soap on my dirty clothes to cleanse them, so the Merciful Lord could anoint my heart with his forgiving oil of Mercy.

This Lent, our washers and dryers could become our altars and a place of prayer. “Lord, create in me a clean heart”, one of my favorite prayers in Scripture, could be used to transform a daily task into a conversation with our Lord.  We can ask ourselves, what soils our hearts and spirits and makes them less beautiful and receptive to God’s Graces?  A look inside our hearts and minds could show how easy it is to show ingratitude toward God through our careless attitude toward the health of our inner life.  Prayer time in the Laundry Room could change that way of living.

I have complete confidence that if we use this Lenten Season to use our weekly Laundry as a makeshift altar, the Lord of Mercy will cleanse our hearts. We will feel the purifying oil of His Loving Forgiveness flowing down over our spirits into our innermost beings.  We will feel clean and refreshed.  Our hopes will rise, just as the sun does each day. 

Fr. George McKenna

February 24, 2018 Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , , , | 5 Comments