God is Good!

Seek the Lord while He may be found!

My Father Is The King

Statue of Louis IX, Basilique du Sacré-Cœur de Montmartre.
Photo by Larry Johnson, via Wikipedia

In 1220 A.D. a young prince lived in the Royal court of his father, the reigning Catholic King of France, Louis VIII.  As in all royal courts of that time, corruption and evil made the days of the youngster filled with dangers to his morals.  When the nobles encouraged the lad to give into the evil example of the court, the prince would cry out, “No, No!  I cannot sin.  My father is the King!”

The boy went on to take the title of King Louis IX of France.  So well did he keep his ideas that the Church canonized him St. Louis IX, some thirty years after his death.

One may say, a simple story, but this true take influenced my life for the last 86 years.  At the time of my Confirmation, about the age of twelve, I took the name Louis, because of my admiration for his way of life.  Through the years, I couldn’t forget his story so that when temptations came, I found myself crying out, “No, No!  I cannot sin.  My Father is the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords!”  This battle cry motivated me to hold on to my ideals.

In saying these words, I reminded myself that I was a child of God.  In creating us, God, our Father, put a spark of His own Divine Self into our lives.  We have the high responsibility as sons and daughters of this Great Father, to keep goodness in our hearts.

Many people suffer from the sickness of low self-esteem.  They consider themselves of little value because of ordinary gifts in school work, in sports ability, in physical appearance, or in the social positions in life.  All gifts such as personal beauty, big salaries, popularity, and social success eventually pass away.  Our true worth lies in the fact of our being sons and daughters of the Father, brothers and sisters of Jesus, and of having the Presence of the Holy Spirit within us.  These gifts never leave us.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells us, “Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me.  And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.”  What a wonderful promise! With everyone facing temptations to sin, all could draw strength to resist evil from the words of the young prince, “No, No!  I cannot sin!  My Father is the King, the King of Kings, the All-Holy One!”

Fr. George Mc Kenna

May 22, 2017 Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Happiness Only Comes From Within

Christ and the Samaritan Woman by Stefano Erardi
In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells the woman at the well
where she can find eternal happiness.

For the first 25 years of my Priesthood I served the Chicago Archdiocese as a full time teacher of youth. It all began at Maryville Academy in Des Plaines, at the time a year round home for 850 children, ranging in age of nursery age toddlers to high school seniors: aptly named, “The City of Youth”.   After a five year assignment there, I went on to 20 years as a teacher at Quigley Seminary, the training ground for future priests. I never foresaw all of this!

Immediately I chose St. John Bosco, the Apostle of Youth, as my favorite Saint. I read and re-read every biography of his life that I could find to help me in the difficult work of helping young people grow into living images of Jesus Christ. In his time in Turin, Italy, (a northern industrial city, Don (Father) Bosco took boys off the street and prepared them for life. In his daily talks to his children, Don Bosco often repeated his favorite maxim . . . “There is no happiness in sin.” I traveled to Turin a number of times!

I found myself repeating his words to the youngsters I taught! We are always seeking happiness. Each choice we make, whether we realize it or not, is based on our pursuit of happiness, fulfillment and contentment. Some examples of these choices could be, the food we buy, the work we choose to do, the man or woman we take as our spouse, the school we attend.

In life, the world, the flesh, the devil – all offer us many choices, many of them against God’s Will for our lives: dishonest money, broken vows, and addictive drugs. If we accept these forbidden things, we bring much unhappiness into our hearts. Cry out . . . “There is no happiness in sin!” I personally found this saying a powerful means of turning from these attractive and alluring choices. The true picture of my search then becomes evident.

Happiness comes from within! It’s an inside job! Happiness isn’t found in our big house, the cars in the driveway, a fat bank account or the companionship of other men and women. Happiness springs from our heart! My favorite Beatitude: “Happy are they who hunger and thirst for holiness, They shall have their fill.” What a helpful custom to say this to ourselves often!

If we are unhappy, discontented with life and despairing – refuse to blame this on someone or something that we do or do not have. Remember – Happiness comes from within! Perhaps we are making the wrong choices, putting emphasis on the wrong things. There is no happiness in sin. I always pray that my former students are using this in their search for peace!

 

Fr. George Mc Kenna

March 19, 2017 Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , , | 6 Comments