“Roll the Highlight Reel!” – Good News for June 17

17 06 2010

Matthew 6:7-15

Jesus said to his disciples, “In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“This is how you are to pray:

‘Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.’

“If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.”

The Daily Path: You’ve likely heard someone say “My life flashed before me.” Have you ever experienced your transgressions flashing before you? I can’t say that I’ve had the entire reel play in my head, but I have had some highlights. Not a pretty picture.

I do hope those whom I have harmed in some way during my life have or will eventually find it in their hearts to forgive me. They act as a reminder that I have no business holding back forgiveness – even if it is difficult because the wound still lingers. Although not a film I enjoy watching, seeing my transgressions in re-runs can serve a useful purpose… just as long as the network doesn’t decide to bring it back to prime time!





The Prayer Sprinter – Good News for February 23

23 02 2010

Matthew 6:7-15

Jesus said to his disciples, “In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“This is how you are to pray…

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

“If you forgive men their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive men, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.”

The Daily Path: Growing up Catholic and attending parochial school left me with some lasting perspectives. Broadway comedies have made a fortune recounting similar perspectives from a period when the system created “good little Catholics” by the thousands. The system had a lot of flaws and those days still bring a chuckle, or ten. They also provide common ground for conversation with many who left the Church but now, later in life, find themselves back on the spiritual journey. In these conversations I often find the question being asked most often is: “What were they thinking?”

I’ll share some of my memories of GUC (growing up Catholic) over time. Perhaps these reflections will provide travelers with food for thought as they pause here at the on-line rest stop. One of my GUC experiences related to prayer…

The good sisters would provide us with ample opportunities to memorize all the formal prayers that were part of being Catholic. We would repeat these words time and again during many hours engaged in “solemn prayer” activities. During my training in the art of prayer, I became highly proficient at sprint praying, a skill I found very useful for enduring the rigors of being a kid in a very Catholic sphere.

When I’d go to confession (to have the truly heinous sins of an eight-year old forgiven) the priest would tell me to say five “Our Fathers” and five “Hail Mary’s” for my penance. Once that gun sounded I was off to the finish line saying the words as fast as humanly possible. I was a world class pray-er in this regard. I never really stopped pumping my arms and legs long enough to listen to the sounds coming out of my mouth or understand what was blasting down the linear excelerator of my mind. Praying the “Our Father” became the binaural beat of a mantra taking me around the track to Olympic gold! Get it done, climb the podium, and get on with living.

A great number of Olympiads have come and gone since my days as a prayer sprinter. I’ve evolved into more of a long distance runner. Now I try to embrace every word slowly and carefully. I want to “hear” the words in my heart. Once they are inside, I want their meaning to linger. Sometimes I change the words of formal prayers, like the Lord’s Prayer, that were committed to my young sprinter memory decades ago. In doing so I feel the conversation moving out of my head and into my heart where I know God will hear.





Daily Bread – Good News for October 7

7 10 2009

Luke 11:1-4

Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.”

He said to them, “When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name, your Kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread and forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us, and do not subject us to the final test.”

The Daily Path: Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of my “career” as a blogger. However, I prefer to look back at October 6, 2008, as the day I made a conscious effort to begin each day with God. I’ve already commented on how starting the day by reading the Gospel and reflecting on its meaning has had miraculous results for me.

I have been blessed with incredible and radical grace during this year. The Holy Spirit has inspired me to write things that were once impossible for me to even imagine, let alone put to words. My morning’s with Christ have been a time for great personal healing, as so often my anger has been transformed into peace and compassion. This time has also bolstered my faith and provided courage during a period when I have been so afraid. It has been my daily bread.

Thank you for being part of my journey.

Room to Chat: Father in heaven, hallowed is your name. Thank you for the grace and blessings you have bestowed on me each morning over the past year. Help me to continue hearing your voice and seeing your hand in all things. Thank you for the new friends you have brought into my life and the opportunities to share my journey home with so many. Bestow your love on each of them just as you have touched me.

our_lady2





THE Prayer – Good News for June 18

18 06 2009

Matthew 6:7-15

Jesus said to his disciples, “In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“This is how you are to pray…

‘Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy Kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.’

“If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.”

The Daily Path: Last evening I received a wonderful message from Our Lord. Yes, I heard the Him speak directly to me as clear as the crack of thunder on a late summer afternoon. The following is what I heard:

With God, ALL things are possible

That’s been firmly planted in my head for the past 10 hours and I hope it will remain there, imprinted forever. This was a message that I desperately needed to hear. Once again, it was delivered right on schedule at the very moment it was needed most. This morning I feel refreshed like a new man.

My friends, I’m not a crazy man. However, it would appear that I have been given a great gift to be able to step back and observe what is happening in my life. To see and hear signs. At the moment, things may seem out of our control (they are) and darker than dark for you (and me). But don’t lose faith. Believe with all your heart that NOTHING is impossible for God. 

Thank you, God, for talking with me last night. You ARE amazing!

Room to Chat: Find a few extra seconds each day to pray as Jesus asked us to… with The Lord’s Prayer.





Quiet Storm – Good News for March 3

3 03 2009

Sanctuary found!

Matthew 6:7-15

“In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“This is how you are to pray:

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy Kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

“If you forgive men their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive men, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.”

The Daily Path: Last evening, I attended a beautiful candlelight Mass at St. Monica’s. Our pastor, Fr. Wayne Campbell, brought all the parents of this year’s First Communion class together around the altar for an intimate Eucharistic celebration. 

I watched the faces around me, lit only by the flickering candles. Each one had a most noticeable look of peace about them. A piercing inner quiet seemed to lock out all of the individual worry and chaos. (From all their distress God rescues the just) Sanctuary found!

It struck me that this is how God works. Through silence. He doesn’t shout at us in a thundering voice (although He has on occasion). Yet His voice still booms in a perfect calm, like the eye of the hurricane. As I think about it, that’s when I heard his voice calling me back home. Amidst the quiet, not the noise.

Room to Chat: We just received today’s prompt… the Lord’s Prayer.





How To Score – Good News for January 7

7 01 2009

John 4:11-18

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another.  No one has ever seen God. Yet, if we love one another, God remains in us, and his love is brought to perfection in us.

This is how we know that we remain in him and he in us, that he has given us of his Spirit.  Moreover, we have seen and testify that the Father sent his Son as savior of the world. Whoever acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God remains in him and he in God.  We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us.

God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him. In this is love brought to perfection among us, that we have confidence on the day of judgment because as he is, so are we in this world.  There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment, and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love.

The Daily Path: Want to score a goal in your daily living? Here’s the perfect play according to John’s gospel: “… if we love one another, God remains in us…”

How simple is that?

Room to Chat: Do you sometimes get stuck while performing a task? Frustrated because something won’t quite fit, or perhaps you have a creative block? What a great time to step away for a moment, take a deep breath, and have a quick chat with God. A short prayer? Perhaps an Our Father ? 





Stewardship – Good News for January 6

6 01 2009

Ephesians 3

If, as I suppose, you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for your benefit, (namely that) the mystery was given to me by revelation as I have written briefly earlier. which was not made known in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit, that the Gentiles are coheirs and members of the same body, and copartners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

The Daily Path: If our primary purpose is to love God and each other, why is so much energy spent on finding fault with “other” religions? Whether Muslim, Jew, Christian or Catholic, aren’t all of these faiths rooted in the God of Abraham? It seems to me that our time is better spent in the stewardship of God’s love and mercy than searching for some difference that divides. 

Room to Chat: Have you ever considered a traffic stop light as God’s little trick to give you an opportunity to say hello to Him? You can sit there and grumble for 60 seconds, or you can use that short time to have a little conversation with God. “Father, I’m stuck at this stop light in your kingdom on earth, but your name IS great and I want to do Your will today…”