Showing posts from 2009

Saints and Veterans - What do they have in common?

Happy Veteran's Day!!  I especially want to wish my brother John a great day.  John served in the Vietnam War in the late 60's, early 70's.  I was merely 5 years old when he returned (thank God) to us, and a good thing he did!  He has been such an asset to this country, not just in his service, but as a citizen as well.  John is my oldest brother, someone I have always looked up to and has never let me down.  Thank you God for my brother John!  In honor of my brother I thought I would share this story with you.  It is a story of courage AND faith. Last Thanksgiving my nephew had come home for a holiday visit and was all excited to tell us about his new girlfriend (by the way, they are now engaged).  As we were sitting around the rather large dining room table surrounded by cozy decor and music, my nephew mentioned to me that even though he still considers himself Catholic he doesn't really "believe in all the Catholic stuff."  "Like what," I asked?

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Advent is a time of hopeful anticipation.  Christmas is a time for Celebration!  I would like to write to you today about the Nativity of our Lord Jesus and the role Joseph played in this life-changing event.  There are very few times that Joseph is mentioned in the bible.  In fact, almost the only times he is mentioned is in the story of the birth of our Lord.   Let's take a look at Joseph.  He was a man who was literally blind-sided by his fiance.  In his mind he chose Mary because she possessed those qualities and virtues that he thought he wanted in a wife, then she hit him with the big news!  Now I'm sure today nobody would even bat an eye at the situation, but in those days, people were very proud of their faith and virtue.  Finally, an angel appears to Joseph in a dream and tells him not to worry, that Mary's story is true.  From that moment on Joseph dedicates himself to his new wife and child.  They become inseparable.  Mary chooses to travel with her husband to

New Opportunities Requires Change

One thing that I have grown very familiar with, is change.  Change is the one thing a person can absolutely count on when they are committed to serving Christ and doing His will.  If you read my last blog you will remember that I had decided to commit myself to giving more...even if it seemed impossible.  Well Jesus, who has an incredible sense of humor by the way, has decided to put me through the ultimate test this holiday.  On December 8th, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, my pastor came into my office to give me an early birthday present.  He explained that in light of our parishes difficult financial situation the Finance Council recommended that he tell me that I was a "luxury they just can not afford right now."  Luxury?  I was stunned!  I have always felt my work was a necessity not a luxury!  But, our Finance Council saw it differently.  Mostly because they have never sat in my office or walked in my shoes.  They literally have absolutely NO idea what I eve

"Thanks in Giving"

In case you haven't noticed, my blog site is titled "Live to Give," which I think is an oppropriate title for the upcoming holiday.  Why live to give?  Because I believe the only way a person truly experiences life is though giving.  When we give, our spirit is awakened and our soul truly comes alive, because in some strange way humans are not really human without giving.  The holiday Thanksgiving is usually associated with giving thanks, but I ask you to study this word more carefully, it's spelled, "thanks" "giving".  I don't think it is written that way by accident either.  Yes, it is a time to be thankful.  Yes, it is also a time for giving thanks.  But just as import, it is a time to be giving!  We always emphasize the thankfulness of the day and rarely remember the giving significance.  This year I ask each of you to remember that the word Thanksgiving is a combination word where both parts are equal.  How many times do we really give

Serving the Poor?

Today I am writing about something a little closer to home for me, but farther in distance, poverty.  For years I have been in love with the idea of helping God's children who are financially less fortunate than I.  My journey has taken me to many different places.  I starting my ministry several years ago when I began helping a priest build a transitional home for orphans who were too old to live in the children's orphanage in Bolivia.  I sent him money to support these older students and in turn the students gave back by helping at the children's orphanage.  He would send me letters (hand written via regular mail) and update me on how the kids were adjusting.  When my own parish priest went to El Salvador to serve the poor there I was privileged to participate in his ministry by at first sending women to college and then later in many other ways.  When God asks me to do something I certainly don't want to let Him down so I gave that ministry all that I could!  My hu

Everyday Miracles

Dear Readers, I have many friends who struggle to see God working within their life.  They ask, even beg for signs, run from one prayer group to another seeking the miraculous.  Sometimes I sit back and just watch the frustration.  Still, for me I see miracles...actual miracles everyday right before my eyes!  I know these miracles are not for me alone and that others can see them too if they just stopped to look.  I would like to share one that happened to me a few years ago and then another that happened just the other day.  About 5 years ago a good friend of mine yelled at me enough to convince me to go and get an annual mammogram (I had never had one before that).  So a few days after my 40th birthday I went in for a routine exam, exept it wasn't routine.  They asked me to wait a while and then they took more intense x-rays and asked me to sit and wait again.  I started to get suspicious when they told me to get dressed and that the doctor wanted to speak to me.  So I did.

Givers and Takers

I've learned a lot about people and myself over the years, one of the most interesting observations I have made is realizing that there are really only two kinds of people in this world...givers and takers.  That's right, there are those who feel compelled to give and others who are obsessed with taking.  Granted, they may not know this about themselves but in the end we know who they are.  We learn this when we have been taken for granted or when we find ourselves isolated and alone because people start to avoid us.  I believe there is good in everyone and that if people really knew the effects of their behavior they would stop the behavior.  How do we know if we are a giver or a taker?  It's easy, look at your life.  Do find that people don't call you anymore or don't want to work with you, or do you spend every opportunity thinking about how you can make someone else happy or better off?  If you are the ladder, you are a giver, if you are the former, you're

The Will of My Father

Each person was created for one purpose and one purpose only, to do the will of his Father.  Now I'm sure there are a great many people who really don't believe this is the case because if they did they'd have to do something about it.  For those of us who do believe we have one eternal do God's will, the question becomes, "what is God's purpose or will for me, and how do I figure that out?"  For non-believers this question is moot, they live their lives acquiring what they can, or making ends meet but at the end of the day when lying in bed those last few moments before falling asleep they reflect backwards.  As Christians we are expected to live in the present, not lamenting over the past or worrying about the future, but instead we are to do the best with what we have right now.  I believe the will of our Father can be found in these present moments, the now moments of our life.  "What is God asking of me right now?"  Maybe it is

The Foot of the Cross

     I thought I would give my readers some food for thought.  I'm sure every good Christian understands "love thy neighbor" and all that that entails, but the question is, how?  The Bible tells us that it is easy to love those who are good to us, aka our friends, but if we love only those who love us what merit is there in that for us?  Something that I have always found to be very interesting is that Jesus had good friends, he even called 12 men to be his closest friends.  He traveled from town to town giving people a new way to live and helping them to understand what they need to do to enter the kingdom of heaven.  Many people loved to listen to him preach and they loved his message even more.  His 12 closest friends even gave up their lives to follow him!  But at the end of the day, when Jesus was forced to walk the road to Calvary and then ultimately was lifted high on the cross, what did he see?  3 faithful women and one courageous man, John the apostle.  Where wer