Monday, November 24, 2008

My Thanksgiving

It started just shy of 7 a.m. on Tuesday, November 24, 1998.

It ended just shy of 7 a.m. on Wednesday, November 25, 1998.

Ten years ago, during this 24 hour period, my sacramental return to the Catholic Church unfolded.

After being away 11 years, those 24 hours changed me forever, literally. I entered it one way, and left it profoundly transformed into a new person - one who thought differently, spoke differently, and ultimately, through the grace of God, acted differently.

And none of it had anything to do with me. It was all God’s grace.

My thanks are to God, my parents for praying for me, my wife for her conversion, Fathers Bill and Paul for their ministry, and the wonderful people at 6:30 a.m. daily mass at St. Ann's parish all these years for the ongoing demonstration of their faith.

November 25. It’s my second birthday, and I’m honored to share it with my good friend Dale. I’ll never have a more memorable day in my life.

Blessings and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Don’t Hide Your Talents

Today’s gospel focused on two servants who applied and grew the talents that they’d been given, and one that didn’t. One of its messages is to look at and share your blessings and graces for the benefit of others.

Think about all the blessings and graces you’ve received. Take a few moments to list them.

Go back through the list and select at least a few that you’d consider to be hidden, i.e. you haven’t necessarily developed or shared them with others. Concentrate on how you can start to unhide them and incorporate them in ways that will help others.

This season, make sure to unwrap and unhide some talents to help others.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Concession Speeches

It’s fascinating that in so many instances, concession speeches tend to be when political candidates come across as most personal and what may most be like their true selves. You can’t help but wonder why the tone displayed in a concession speech so rarely surfaces during an election.

It would be interesting to see the fate of a candidate running a campaign whose tone was conciliatory, bridge building, humble, and grateful in nature. Would that connect with people or would the candidate get chewed up and spit out in the fields of Iowa?

We’ll likely never know. And that’s truly a loss for this country and its people.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Q. What Should We Do? A. Read & Live these Verses

This is an excerpt from the second chapter of St. Paul's letter to the Philippians (verses 3 & 4). It was the first reading at Mass today:

"Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, each looking out not for his own interests, but (also) everyone for those of others." - Philippians 2:3-4

Next Tuesday will include this excerpt from the letter to Titus, my favorite Bible verse. It's only read every two years on the 32nd Tuesday in Ordinary time. Unfortunately, I'll be away and won't be able to be the lector for that Tuesday Mass. So, I share it with you here:

" yourself as a model of good deeds in every respect, with integrity in your teaching, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be criticized, so that the opponent will be put to shame without anything bad to say about us." - Titus 2:7-8