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Lord, make me an instrument of your peace . . .

27 December 2013

Christmas 2014 - some random thoughts

We have just celebrated Advent and Christmas for this year.  We are now in the Christmas Season.  What kind of impact has this celebration had on your life?  For me, it has been a time on wondering and prayer: wondering if I am really in love with God first and prayer that I find the way of understanding and knowledge to re-direct my life in the way that God wants me to live.  

Reflecting upon the four weeks of Advent, I realize that our society really needs to re-tune itself to God's ways.  The four principles of Advent that form the four weeks of reflection are Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love.  But modern man believes that hope is the "I wish", peace if the "absence of violence", joy is the "general happiness", and love is "sensual".  O how can we explain the reality of these four principles of our faith and help people to understand how far they have journeyed from the reality of God?!  Hope is a deeper understanding of a future of service, not just a "what's in it for me" selfishness.  Peace is the recognition that when one rests in God, there is a resolution of that inner conflict that is precipitated by modern desire and selfish gain.  Joy is the realization that God's peace brings an inner joy that is expressed  sincerity and a concern for the other.  Love is the looking outside of oneself to help the other and love God beyond all else.   

The essence of our life in Christ is getting outside of our own selfish needs and desires and becoming more centered upon the others'.  When we do that, we realize that this is more satisfying and rewarding that all of the accumulated things of this world:  goods, trinkets, power, position, and wealth.   When we do this, we become the Love that God is and transform the world around us.

May God Give You Peace this Christmas Season.  May His Love so burn in your heart that your life is transformed!

01 December 2013


Well, listening to what's been going on in Washington, D.C., one would surmise that our government is essentially non-functional due to a vacuum of leadership from all concerned.  All those folks do is argue about who's right and which party's ideas are relevant to the discussion (a term I use in its most sarcastic sense).  I thought that the point of representative government is for our "leaders" to represent the home district's wishes, desires, and needs, and then to work with other representatives to find a solution that is good for the entire country; not, draw a line in the sand and just say "NO" to every idea that comes along no matter how good or bad it may be.  Also, I thought that many of these folks (the entire D.C. crowd) claim to represent a faith of some sort, in many cases, Christian.  Somehow I find it really hard to believe that this is really true.  

It seems from the writer's view, that the DEMs require one to staunchly believe in abortion and redefining marriage and the GOP want to cut any spending designed to help the poor and give all the "goodies" to their already rich friends.  I am beginning to seriously question whether our two-party system is actually working or even good for our country any more.  The Party Line has become more important than solving the problems of the people in our nation.  Litmus tests abound and no real solution to the country's problems are apparent.

A while back I wrote about an idea to dissolve the party system in favor of a no-affiliation primary system and election compressed into a much shorter time span.  I still think this idea merits discussion. (See the October 4 posting.)

Moreover, I believe that we really need to concern ourselves with selecting what is known as "servant-leaders" for our representatives in our legislatures and in Congress.  A servant-leader isn't concerned for his or her re-election so much as solving the real problems facing our society today.  A person with this style of leadership would possess these qualities:
  1. Listens;
  2. Is aware;
  3. Heals;
  4. Transforms;
  5. Works for growth in people;
  6. Builds community; and
  7. Reaches out to help others.

If the leader claims to be a Christian or other person of faith, I suggest that they look at Matthew 25 and 1 Corinthians 13 and make a real, honest evaluation of their conformance to these values.  Although I'm not as familiar with other faiths' scriptures, I'm certain that they have similar tenets in their sacred texts and saying.  The point is that people who want to be our leaders need to take a step back and re-evaluate their reason for being in that position.  And, we who elect them need to demand a higher standard for their service.

13 October 2013

Prophetic comments

Well, here we are again.  Just been wondering about a few things since the last post.  I've been reading some of the Old Testament Prophets as a part of the daily readings.  So, I have formulated a few comments on today's society (maybe not original, but anyway thoughts about today):

  • You kill your children and call it choice.
  • You hoard all the money and call it free enterprise.
  • You cut benefits from the poor, homeless, and children and call it balancing the budget.
  • You return fathers to Mexico breaking up families and call it Immigration reform.
  • You provide generous payments to companies already raking in the cash and call it economic necessity.
  • You create violence and exploitation and call it artistic expression.
  • You act like petulant school boys and call it representing your constituents.
  • You call people nasty names and blot their reputation and call it campaigning and truth.
You are hypocrites and self-indulgent egotists.  You need to look at yourselves and stop being so self-serving.  You need to figure out how to serve the needs of others first and put your own selfish desires at the very bottom of the list.  Think of yourself last and others first.

The Great God Creator of the Universe loves and protects the poor.  You who are rich have your reward.  All of us are sinners - we controvert the will of God - and turn against the Good that is in all people.  When we concern ourselves with our own desires first and only, we are missing out on the total freedom that could be ours.  We must learn to think of others first and foremost - but it must be out of the love for God that is the origin of this service and selflessness.

May God Give  Us Peace!!

29 September 2013


We are a very rich country.  Even some of our most poor folks are richer that many people in other parts of the world.  Naturally, I'm talking about money.  That seems to be the big thing in today's world.   I read a while back that we are in the greatest inequity of income since 1927.  And, everyone wonders why the economy isn't performing so well.  Well, when a small  percentage of people hoard the item, in this case money, there just isn't much left for anyone else.  Kind of like if I go buy all of the Crunchy Peanut Butter at all the grocery stores in town, nobody else can have any.  Besides that, when someone sinks a company and then walks away with $10 or $20 million, something is really wrong!

I wonder if it is just coincidence that the scriptures for church over the last several weeks refer to the rich having a hard time with the Kingdom.  Of course, the rich think that they have it made with all of their possessions.  Interestingly, however, when they die, all of that stuff doesn't go into the casket.  Yes, they may have a nicer casket than I will (I'm planning on a pine box from the brothers near Dubuque) , but they are buried the same depth as the rest of us.  Today's  Gospel is especially instructive about this situation.  If you are reading this and don't go to church or use the standardized lectionary, today's Gospel was about the rich man and poor old Lazarus.  Both end up in the afterworld, but Lazarus gets his comfort at the feet of Father Abraham and the rich man, well you guessed it, already had his comfort and now "enjoys" the fires of the other place.

I am more and more convinced that to turn around this country, we need to start with the basics.  When I was growing up in the 50's, it seemed that people helped each other out no matter who they were.  I remember my dad telling stories of how, during the depression, even the "bums" could get a decent meal at the back door.  Today, the poor, homeless, and so on are much like Lazarus in today's Gospel - they sit at the doorstep of the rich man, but are completely ignored like they don't even exist.  We really need to get out of this "me, me, me, me first" mode and begin thinking about what we can do every day to make some else's life a little easier to live.  Sacrifice ourselves for someone else's comforts.

The essential message of the scriptures has been from time immemorial - take care of the widows and orphans and be kind to the alien.  Boy, you don't here much of that bantered about in the Halls of Congress these days.

With Congress essentially stuck in cement, I'm thinking my idea of abolishing political parties is sounding more and more inviting each day.  Does anyone know how we get a message to all of those folks in D.C. that they will listen to?  I'm kind of tired of the good old form letter about how important my feedback is followed by a lesson in whatever topic I'm writing about.  Do they really think that I'm that unknowledgeable about the topic I just explained in great detail what I would like them to do?

Perhaps, we need to insist on that set of plans passed about the internet last week - a list of actions attributed to Warren Buffet that effectively makes Congress follow the same rules that the rest of us do - you know insurance, taxes, retirement, medical plans, and the like.

All I know is that I don't have the answers, but it surely feels like little old me can't have an impact at all to start getting those folks out there to work together for the good of the country instead of making political points so that they can stay in office.

24 August 2013


An interesting title perhaps - perhaps not.  Schedule does not permit a continuous posting like many other blogs, however, I've been wondering about some things these last several weeks and thus the title. 

Why do people who have acted immorally believe that the best way out of their fix it to act immorally again?

Why do people wonder why others always seem to have it "in" for them, yet all they do is worry and talk about their own selfish desires?

Why do "Christians" believe that others should just stay where they are? "We don't need them here!"

Why do "Christians" believe that killing a criminal is "justice"?

Why do "Christians" believe that the poor deserve what they have?  "Why should I have to help them? They're just lazy and no-account anyway."

Why does this government dictate what and how I must do to live out my Catholic faith?  I thought that the point of the First Amendment was to NOT establish a religion, but it surely seems that is exactly what the government is doing when it says that I must pay for things that I do not believe are moral activities. Yeah - secularist agenda - secularist humanism.

Why do people believe that there is no true moral value, that everything is just relative?

If a company can make personal contributions to a political campaign, why can't they be held accountable, not just as a company, but individually, for the bad choices they make that cause catastrophic problems, e.g., bank failures, oil spills.  Why don't the leaders of the companies get criminal charges for these heinous acts?

Boy, I think that old Jeremiah and Isaiah would just have a ball today trying to explain why everything is all messed up.

I think that it's really time for this country, yes, even the world, to really try the true Christian principles out for a while.  You know, love of others, caring for the poor, the homeless, the widow, the orphan, the alien.  These concepts are thousands of years old, yet we seem to have the same Medieval attitudes about collecting wealth in small circles and everyone else are the peasants.  I mean, let's really try to consider some other persons problems before worrying about our own condition.  Let's really serve the other persons needs before our own.  Let's really go out of our way to help another person no matter what the sacrifice is to my own well being.  I just wonder what would happen if an entire community, or county, or state did this.  Hmmmmm!