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Showing posts from November, 2011

The Pulpit of Human Imperfection

"The appropriate word you left unsaid: the joke you didn't tell; the cheerful smile for those who bother you; that silence when you're unjustly accused; your kind conversation with people you find boring and tactless; the daily effort to overlook one irritating detail or another in those who live with you...this, with perseverance, is indeed solid interior mortification."- St. Josemaria Escriva from The Way (173)
Life is difficult, very difficult. Living and getting along with people even more difficult.  So what is it about us humans that makes it so difficult to live and get along with each other?  It's simple.  Human beings although inherently great are imperfect.  It doesn't make a difference what religion one believes in or what country one is from, all sane humans acknowledge this fundamental fact.  "To err is human..." Benjamin Franklin once said.

I have been thinking much about this reality especially in my workplace where I literally deal w…

Black Friday Eve aka Thanksgiving

Today is Black Friday.  Why is it called that?  Because the day after thanksgiving is the official start of the holiday shopping season, so black Friday indicates the day that retailers begin to turn a profit and are in “the black.” It’s a wonderful thing, especially in a poor economic climate. Of course we want merchants to do well.  We all benefit from a thriving economy.
The “black Friday” concept goes sour when it gets elevated to a high holy day status. Sorry mom and dad.  I know Thanksgiving only happens once a year but we can’t stay for pies and cider tonight. We need to pitch a tent at Walmart so we can be the closest to the doors when they open at 10pm.  After all, little Jimmy is four years old now and he needs his X-box.
Our bellies haven’t even digested the mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce before we are swiping our debit cards at Kohls. When did we decide to put shopping for material goods ahead of the one holiday that really promotes family togetherness, gratitude, wa…

So what are we grateful for?

Since it is Thanksgiving today I decided that I would create a gratitude list. Before I begin my gratitude list I wanted to attach Abraham Lincoln's Thanksgiving address of 1863.  What makes this address so moving is the fact that it took place while our country was mired in the Civil War.  But despite the terrible sufferings of the nation Lincoln still found compelling reasons to remain grateful.  It is a must read. Here it goes:
"The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added which are of so extraordinary a nature that they can not fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God.
In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign…

Seek First To Understand

There is a famous line in St. Francis of Assisi's prayer that goes, 

O Divine Master,grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;to be understood, as to understand;to be loved, as to love. Lately I have been thinking a lot about understanding, what it really means and why it is so important to do so to others.  So why do we as humans need to understand one another?

I know that many philosophers, psychologists, and theologians have written extensively about this.  I am not trying to reinvent the wheel here. I am merely reflecting on the importance of understanding.

So-why this need to be understood? I think that the reason is that we all crave to be valued. When someone shows that they understand you, they are in essence telling you that you are important and they want to enter into your world.  If I am to be successful in my marriage, in my relationships, and as a Christian I need to seek to understand others before myself.

Sometimes there is reluctance to se…

The Five Most Terrifying Civilizations In History

Since today I had no time to write anything substantial I decided to post this interesting article that I found.  It is titled, The Five Most Terrifying Civilizations in History.   To see which civilizations made the list click here.

Beautiful Soul

Last night I had an encounter with a wonderful soul.  It wasn't supposed to happen.  The only thing that I was expecting was a normal visit to my mom's house.  But the Lord in his wisdom decided to use that planned visit to witness unexpected greatness.

My sister in law decided to bring home a boy from her work. I introduced myself and he did the same.  His name was John.  Immediately when I saw John I knew that he had Autism. What I didn't expect was how much John would impact me that night.

It all began by him showing me the cupcakes that he had made.  Then he told me how he was so excited to have potato dumplings with bacon. ( a Slovak specialty)  However, nothing could conceal the joy that he had when my brother came home.  He had waited the entire time just to get a chance to feed the dogs.  That made him the happiest kid in the universe.

I then bonded with him through music. We began jamming out together and there weren't even any  instruments.  I just provided …

No Umemployment

There is much talk about unemployment these days.  Just turn on the news, listen to the radio, go on the Internet, or simply have a conversation with a friend, co worker or relative. Unemployment is very much in our public consciousness.  Everyday we are bombarded by dire economic news.  Fear dominates as we all struggle to stay afloat.

I know that during these difficult financial times it is tempting to despair, to view these moments as lost time.  However this pessimistic point of view is not compatible with our faith.  Last week (when I was in the bathroom) I began reading the day's reading from God Calling.  These are the lines that stopped me in my tracks.  Figuratively of course:

"If he has not work let him make himself a conquering force, beginning with the conquest of all evil in himself...There are no idle hours in My Kingdom.  Waiting may seem a time of inactivity, as far as the outer world is concerned, but it can, and should, be a time of great activity in the in…

The Greatest Injustice

There is a lot of talk about injustice in our world today.  Injustice against the poor, injustice against immigrants, injustice against racial groups, injustice against religious groups, injustice on Wall Street, injustice in the corporate world, injustice in politics.  However, hidden from all these legitimate injustices is the greatest one of all...injustice against God.

Justice simply defined in this context is giving God his due.  Our society I am afraid has lost sight of this injustice.  So why does one need to be just towards God?  The answer is simple, God created everything.  Not giving God is due would be equivalent to a child not acknowledging that it is alive because of its parents.  Sure the child can deny this fundamental fact, but to deny this would be in essence to deny itself.  Because as humans we are not created in a vacuum we are created by other humans.  So by not acknowledging God and giving him his due we are denying ourselves.   The cost of this injustice is fai…