The Note On The Dumpster

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Last night, I saw a  posting which included a note taped to a dumpster behind a restaurant. The note began: Dear person who is digging through this dumpster for food. The note then went on to include an invitation for the person to please come inside the restaurant for a free meal. The note included a comment about personal value.

We have all seen people looking for food. “Dumpster Diving” became a descriptive term. Sad, but descriptive.

The note caused me to stop and think about those in need. Those who are hungry and those of us who have so much.

I would love to meet the owner of that restaurant!

One must see God in everyone.”

– St. Catherine Laboure

My prayer is for us to talk with God about His vision and His will and His direction for our lives. Who does he want us to see? Talk about the above quote with God….how do we see God in everyone in such a divided and hurting world? Ask God to help us, like the restaurant owner to be compassionate.

Will Do

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As we approach Christmas, it gives us time to reflect on this year and the year ahead. It is a wonderful time of year to invite people to join you in church, especially those spiritually seeking and without a church home.

It is also a good time to talk with God about His will for the year ahead. Perhaps there will be a new calling or new direction for our lives. God’s whisper will guide us providing we take the time to quiet ourselves and listen, which as you know, has always been one of my personal challenges. Prayer is two-fold: praying and listening.

Understanding is the reward given by faith. Do not try to understand in order to believe, but believe in order to understand.”

– St. Augustine

Only So Many Days

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Some of the pics of people shopping were kind of scary!

My prayer for us is to not get caught up in the retail holiday and to focus on our blessings each day. It is a wonderful  time of year to begin inviting people to church.

It’s a time to reflect on the year and also look to the year ahead. Some of the most awemazing scriptures will be the topics of sermon messages this month.

I am so thankful for each of you! It’s wonderful to join you in discovering and sharing grace and being a gentle witness to those in need.

We should submit our reason to the truths of faith with the humility and simplicity of a child.”

– St. Alphonsus Liguori

Happy Blogsgiving

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Happy Blogsgiving! I would like to thank everyone for being here as we continue to discover and share God’s grace and love.

This week, God and I were talking about the phrase, “you are on my heart” and what it means. From that prayer, I believe it can mean that not only are you thinking of someone but are considering and praying for them in a loving way.

Imagine the heart of Jesus! Talk about a reason to be thankful! How humbling and awesome to know that you and I are on the heart of Jesus. We have been, we are, and we will always be with Him as never will He leave us. Let Him be on our hearts today and every day!

Thanksgiving Blessings. You are on my heart!

O Jesus, keep me under the standard of your cross. Let me not just look at you crucified but have you living in my heart.”

– St. Bernadette

No Ain’t In Saint

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During this week of Thanksgiving, the Saints provide us with many wonderful examples of a spiritual life. As I continue to read their history, I see there ain’t no ain’t in Saint.

They were all called, some very unexpectedly and all were faithful in listening and taking action to move in accordance with God’s direction.

So different, the Saints! From those who live in cloistered monasteries to those who are working with people on the street – so in need. One common theme I observe about the Saints is their reference to prayer and how important praying is for them. We know how important it was to Jesus!

From their history and works, we can be reminded of the same. To spend more time in prayer and listen for God to gently whisper to us! Where does God really want us to be and who does He want us to meet on His behalf.

Thanksgiving. A special time to step back and say thank you to God.

“Thy will be done – what a comfort and support those four little words are to my soul. I have repeated them until they are softened to the sweetest harmony.”

– St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

By George!

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Several years ago, every Friday morning, I would leave the office a half hour early for lunch. I would drive to the same chicken restaurant and order the exact same meal as the week before. I would then drive over for a quick visit with George.

As he would enjoy his lunch, we would talk about all sorts of things. He loved the stock market and he also shared quite a bit about his various jobs and careers. George lived in a very meager apartment with very little in it. Not the best of neighborhoods for his safety.

I guess he wall fall into the category of eccentric. You see, George had well over a million dollars in his bank account. Of course, eccentric is only part of the definition but I guess that does cover making good decisions.

One time George gave me a figurine. It was broken in two pieces but like he said, if I glued it back together, it would be pretty nice. Perfect analogy for us!

In the office, word leaked out about my Friday adventure and how I was buying lunch for a millionaire! The question soon became “why?”

For one, I liked George and could relate to him on some levels. I knew he had no way to go out and get lunch since he didn’t have a car. If George went anyplace, he walked. Finally, I came up with the truthful answer although it did take people by surprise and I don’t know if they understood it. When asked why I would do this, my reply became, “because he has a fish head in his freezer.”

My prayer for us today is to talk with God about the people who are or who feel marginalized in our society. Ask God for guidance if we might be the gentle witness for someone He has in mind. Also ask God to remind us how easy it is to judge people by their appearance or arrangements and to help us see the real person.

The word of God does not belong to him who hears or speaks it, but to him who puts it into practice.”

– St. Giles of Assisi

Spiritual Shape Shifting

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One of the national reality shows is conducting an “interview” with an actress. Not unusual and certainly nothing out of the ordinary. What saddens me is her condition which so indicates a need for help, not exploitation.

You could listen to any answer from her on the previews and immediately know. When asked about the death of Robin Williams, whom she worked with, her response (paraphrased)  was “oh, he’s just shape shifting, I’ve seen him and he is doing ok.”

As you know, I periodically write for the need of more awareness and funding to assist those struggling with mental illness. I have also written about the staggering percentage of mental health prisoners who at best, are receiving minimal care.

I am sad and angered. The phrase that came to mind was how our cinematic coliseum is rapidly moving in that direction. I don’t see this as an interview. I don’t see this as therapy. I see it as one word: ratings. If this type of exploitation increases ratings, we are farther down the spiral staircase than I imagined. Of course, there will be disclaimers and national toll-free hot line numbers displayed and a promise, of course, to see that she gets help.

I much would prefer that her help came first, then do a positive interview where it would be ok to show some of the answers to those questions and celebrate the improvement that she made!

I hope we will communally pray for those in need. Those without a voice, without representation. I ask  us to encourage our pastoral community to talk more about the need for the mentally ill. Every church is affected by this, yet it remains an often hushed topic. Pray for our political leaders to also recognize the need and for them to take actions that are meaningful.

Silence is a gift of God, to let us speak more intimately with God.”

– St. Vincent Pallotti