As you study the character traits described in the Beatitudes, you can't help but realize one thing; these qualities are by no means natural to the human spirit. They are very foreign. Poverty of spirit, true mourning over personal sins against God and meekness does not come to us naturally.
Our Incarnate Lord, Jesus Christ, proclaimed "Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth." (Matt. 5:5)READ MORE
When I was a boy my pastor would read this poem when he sensed some argument that resulted in nothing getting done. We can recite it at home, school, work or at any organizational gathering.
A horse can't pull while kicking.
This fact we merely mention.
And he can't kick while pulling,
Which is our chief contention.
Let's imitate the good old horse and lead a life that's fitting;
Just pull an honest load, and then there'll be no time for kicking.
Pray always and never lose heart.
All blame is a waste of time. No matter how much fault you find with another, and regardless of how much you blame him, it will not change you.
The only thing blame does is to keep the focus off you when you are looking for external reasons to explain your unhappiness or frustration.READ MORE
During World War II, Hitler commanded all religious groups to unite so that he could control them. Among the Brethren assemblies, half complied and half refused. Those who went along with the order had a much easier time. Those who did not, faced harsh persecution. In almost every family of those who resisted, someone died in a concentration camp. When the war was over, feelings of bitterness ran deep between the groups and there was much tension. Finally they decided that the situation had to be healed. Leaders from each group met at a quiet retreat. For several days, each person spent time in prayer, examining his own heart in the light of Christ's commands. Then they came together.READ MORE
C. S. Lewis once provided a powerful image of the difference between heaven and hell.
He described hungry people sitting at a huge banquet loaded with delicious food. Every person had a meter-long fork and knife attached to their hands (that’s about three feet long).
The scene in hell was one of anger, frustration, and fighting as people scrambled to feed themselves. They could reach the food with the long knives and forks, but they were too long to feed themselves. The conflict, screaming, and unfulfilled hunger continued for eternity--that is hell.READ MORE
Most of us have now learned to live with "voice mail" as a necessary part of our daily lives. But have you ever wondered what it would be like if God decided to install voice mail?
Imagine praying and hearing the following:
Thank you for calling Heaven. For English, Press 1.
For Spanish, press 2.
For all other languages, press 0.
The great violinist, Niccolo Paganini willed his marvelous violin to the city of Genoa on condition that it must never be played.
The wood of such an instrument, while used and handled, wears only slightly, but set aside, it begins to decay. Paganini’s lovely violin has today become worm-eaten and useless except as a relic.READ MORE
I hope this week's "pastor's Pen" will give you a laugh.
A man has been lost and walking in the desert for about five days. One hot day--actually, they’re all hot--he comes to the home of a community of Irish missionary priests.READ MORE
Paul and the Philippians remembered and supported one another in prayer.
A joyful, loving, and caring Catholic Community is one which keeps each other in prayer. Oftentimes, we fail to be a joyful, loving, caring Catholic Community because we fail to remember and support each other in prayer.READ MORE
Do you remember the cartoon with Wiley Coyote and Ralph the sheep dog? I use to love that cartoon. Every morning Ralph and Wiley would meet at the time clock which was mounted on a tree. As they clocked in they would greet each other and then they would go to their respective departments.
Ralph the sheep dog went to his post on the cliff and took his position as head of the sheep protection department. Wiley, true to his nature, would slink away into the forest to plan his strategy as head of the sheep acquisition and consumption department.READ MORE
A bishop friend of mine in Ireland recently sent this to me and I want to share it with you: Ten Commandments of "Human Relations"
1. Speak to people. There is nothing as nice as a cheerful word of greeting.
2. Smile at people. It takes seventy-two muscles to frown, only fourteen to smile.READ MORE
I once read a marvelous story about a country doctor in Ireland who had a very poor practice. Although his patients would pay him in eggs, chickens, vegetables at harvest, and meat at slaughtering time, his huge ledger book would contain many names, symptoms, treatments, and prescriptions, but a lot of empty boxes or columns where nothing was paid.READ MORE
What does hope in God do for humanity?
Hope shines brightest when the hour is darkest.
Hope motivates when discouragement comes.
Hope energizes when the body is tired.
Hope sweetens while bitterness bites.
Hope sings when all melodies are gone.