Invisible Man – Good News for February 21

21 02 2009

Hebrews 11:1-3, 6

Brothers and sisters, Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen. Because of it the ancients were well attested. By faith we understand that the universe was ordered by the word of God, so that what is visible came into being through the invisible.

But without faith it is impossible to please him, for anyone who approaches God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

The Daily Path: I cannot see God as I see my wife, children and friends. He doesn’t knock on my door, enter my house and put food in my refrigerator. I won’t see Him walking into the bank, greeting the teller, or depositing funds into my account so that I can pay the mortgage. 

Even though I can’t see God do any of these things, He’s doing them. I believe that God is responsible for all the blessings that have come my way. Today I can say that I have complete faith in God as the master architect in my life. Although invisible, He’s revealed himself to me. Not in the same way He did with Peter, James and John up on a mountain (Mark 9:2). Instead God has revealed Himself in the face of others who enter my life and the unseen groundwork that enables me to find true abundance.  

I wish I could do a better job of explaining faith. All I can tell you is the more I stay connected to God, the more He reveals himself to me. Though invisible, I have faith that God exists.

Room to Chat: Yesterday afternoon I had the opportunity to stop at St. Monica’s Church for some quiet time with God. While I was there, an elderly woman came into the chapel. She had a respiratory ailment of some sort and could barely breath after the short walk from the parking lot. She sat down trying to catch her breath. Then the woman began to pray. Although she intended to pray quietly, because of her difficulty breathing, her words became audible to those of us in the chapel. The first thing she said to begin her prayer was “I love you, Jesus.”

Wow! How is that for a prayer?

Do You Believe In Miracles? – Good News for February 2

2 02 2009

Luke 2:22-32

When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, Mary and Joseph took Jesus up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, just as it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord, and to offer the sacrifice of a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons, in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord. 

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying: “Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in the sight of all the peoples: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.”

The Daily Path: Yesterday, two parents followed the tradition of Mary and Joseph by presenting their children to the Lord. My wife Anne and I joined so many other parents who have asked God to welcome His children and hold them close through Baptism.

On this Feast of the Presentation, I want to thank God for making that possible. As recently as a year ago, I couldn’t have seen this day being so close. I’m grateful to all those who prayed that these children, and their parents, would set out on the path to God. Especially my own parents who presented me so many years ago and never stopped praying that I would return. And to all who have gone out of their way to welcome our family into the Catholic community and stand by us, I send my sincere and  heartfelt thanks. 

February 1, 2009 was the day that an entire family came together and was presented to the Lord. Do you believe in miracles?

Room to Chat: Find an opening in your day to let God talk to you. All He needs is the tiniest crack. Seconds you won’t miss, and can’t afford to miss.

The Next Voice You Hear – Good News for February 1

1 02 2009

Responsorial Psalm for the Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time

If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

The Daily Path: It’s a joyous day! 

Today three of my children will be baptized at St. Monica’s Catholic Church. Today they will hear God’s voice and the Holy Spirit will fill them with His grace. 

A father’s prayer for his children on this day:

May the hearts of Donovan, Kelly and Carly never turn away from Our Lord. Instead may they always be filled with His love.  May their ears always hear His voice. May their eyes always be open to find Him in all things. May God work through me to keep them close as they grow to adults. May God hear my prayer. Amen.

My Story – Good News for January 27

27 01 2009

Psalms 40:2

I have waited, waited for the LORD, and he stooped toward me. Drew me out of the pit of destruction, out of the mud of the swamp. Set my feet upon rock, steadied my steps. And he put a new song into my mouth, a hymn to our God. Happy those whose trust is the Lord.

Sacrifice or oblation you wished not, but ears open to obedience you gave me. 

I announced your justice in the vast assembly; I did not restrain my lips, as you, O LORD, know. Your justice I kept not hid within my heart; your faithfulness and your salvation I have spoken of; I have made no secret of your kindness and your truth in the vast assembly.

Here am I Lord; I come to do your will.

The Daily Path: Wow! This IS my story… and I’m sticking to it.

Here’s the best part: It can be your story, too. When God stoops down to pick you up, allow yourself to be held. 

Room to Chat: If you have children find more opportunities to just sit back and watch them from a distance. Take off your parent lenses and just watch these amazing little gifts from God.

Keep It Simple – Good News for January 15

15 01 2009

Hebrews 3:7-14

The Holy Spirit says:

Oh, that today you would hear his voice, “Harden not your hearts as at the rebellion in the day of testing in the desert, where your ancestors tested and tried me and saw my works for forty years. Because of this I was provoked with that generation and I said, ‘They have always been of erring heart, and they do not know my ways.’ As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter into my rest.’

Take care, brothers and sisters, that none of you may have an evil and unfaithful heart, so as to forsake the living God. Encourage yourselves daily while it is still “today,” so that none of you may grow hardened by the deceit of sin. We have become partners of Christ if only we hold the beginning of the reality firm until the end.

The Daily Path: Since the active return to my Catholic faith, I have been increasingly conscious of what a daily partnership with God means. It’s the genesis for  this blog and many other daily activities as I attempt to draw ever closer to God. My objective is to always keep it simple. Although we are surrounded by daily opportunities for sin to “harden our hearts”, we are also surrounded by even more chances to feel God’s love and live it. “Oh, that today you would hear his voice…”

Keep it simple, but keep Him close.

Room to Chat: My wife and I prayed last night with some friends of ours who are members of the local Presbyterian congregation. We didn’t actually say a formal prayer, but we did have a very spontaneous chat about our respective spiritual journeys. What a complete surprise that was! One minute the topic is youth sports, the next… God. This completely unexpected but delightful conversation about God in our lives was in essence, a prayer of thanksgiving.

Life Long Learning – Good News for January 13

13 01 2009

Mark 1:21-28

Jesus came to Capernaum with his followers, and on the sabbath he entered the synagogue and taught. The people were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes.

In their synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit; he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are–the Holy One of God!” 

Jesus rebuked him and said, “Quiet!  Come out of him!”

The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him. All were amazed and asked one another, “What is this? A new teaching with authority. He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him.” His fame spread everywhere throughout the whole region of Galilee.

The Daily Path: Last night I asked members of our parish mens spirituality group to share with me some of the milestones they have experienced along their own spiritual journey. While reflecting on what they shared I see how this path is the ultimate life long learning experience. None of us have all the answers or know enough to make the journey easy. We all stumble and fall. Some get back up. Others don’t. We can’t even expect to achieve plateaus where the walk becomes easy. There will always be challenges born of our human nature. 

The good news is that we have a teacher who never tires of sharing the lessons. An example that never falters or fails to reach down and pick us up when we ask him for help. Sometimes even when we don’t ask. And, if we look around, there are many other students who are also struggling on the daily path, yet glad to lend their support along your journey. Listen to the lessons they have learned and grow stronger for the experience.

Room to Chat: Appreciate beauty, for in its creation exists the hand of God. To my mind, that which recognizes God is a form of prayer.

Blubbering Man – Good News for January 2

2 01 2009

Psalms 98:3

All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.

The Daily Path: Anyone who has read Good News To-Go! over the past months will understand that I have come to find great comfort in God. I’ve experienced some wonderful moments in prayer and have been especially touched at Mass. While I never stopped having conversations with God, I viewed going to Mass as an obligation that I did not necessarily  enjoy fulfilling. Yesterday’s Mass demonstrated how much my perspective has changed.  

Almost from the moment I knelt down in the pew to prepare my mind and open my heart before the start of Mass, I was moved with great emotion. I suddenly felt Christ’s love all around me. Something that I can only describe as an incredible swell of joy overcame me. To someone who has not experienced this before, you might think that I’m just a whack-o. I assure you I’m not. As I fought back the tears people around me may have wondered what was the matter. I think I was wondering myself. 

During his sermon, our pastor shared something that I found to be quite profound. It really applies to me and what I was experiencing yesterday and throughout my renewal. His point was this, Mary didn’t fully understand everything that was happening in the time surrounding the conception and birth of Jesus. The gospel of Luke 2:19 reads: “And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.” Like Mary, I don’t fully understand how and why God is working in me. But I accept that He is and trust in Him. I know that my conversations with God and Mass make me joyful and I believe that joy is a true sign of God’s presence… the saving presence that we are all called to witness.

The next time you see the blubbering man in church, don’t be alarmed. He may just be feeling the joy.

Room to Chat: If you still read a morning newspaper in print, why not say an Our Father as you walk outside on your way to pick it up?