Sunday, May 22, 2022

And In The Meantime.......

 Well it has been almost a month since my last post.  In that time we returned to Illinois - went to The Netherlands - back to Illinois - now back to our routine of mowing the lawn - living life in Illinois.  To say the least - it has been busy - very rewarding - looking forward to summer.  A quick recap on the traveling - no issues to cope with - some minor delays - being patient a big help.  Doing a Covid test to return to the States - very easy - negative results - no surprise.  The Netherlands was a pleasant distraction from all the crazy things going on back home in the States - good food - friendly people - an easy place to navigate.  We celebrated Mothers Day while there with a wine and cheese canal cruise in Amsterdam with a bunch of friendly tourists from all over the world.  If you have considered visiting The Netherlands - we definitely recommend - would return if the opportunity presents itself.

Keukenhof Botanical Gardens   Lisse, Netherlands

As Easter Season is rapidly coming to an end we count our blessings - the gift of life - the gift of love - family - friends - new opportunities - exciting challenges ahead. Walking though this life - with Jesus at our side - outstanding.  The thousands of tulips we saw at the Keukenhof gardens definitely made us stop - think - how beautiful life may be - if only we focus on the beauty that life offers us - rather than focusing on sad - unhappy things - events.  God is good - He calls each of us to receive the blessings He freely sends to us - every day of our lives.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Divine Mercy Comes and Goes

In February of 2000 in Chicago, IL - the Pastor of the Parish of St. Stanislaus Kostka - Father Anthony Bus - was interested in building a perpetual adoration chapel dedicated to the Divine Mercy.  He called Mr. Oscar Delgado his parishioner - who was very devoted to propagating the message and the devotion to the Divine Mercy - to help him in this project. Mr. Delgado had been involved in the establishment of a few adoration chapels and he agreed to meet to help to achieve this project.  This Parish is located right next to the Kennedy Expressway in Chicago. Hundreds of thousands of cars pass by every day, right next to the Parish. Mr. Delgado looked and said to Father Anthony - “By the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, I would like to commission a very large statue of the Divine Mercy and put it next to the Parish - so that millions and millions of people will see the statue of the Divine Mercy.”  So he called a famous Mexican sculptor - Gogy Farias - to make the statue of the Divine Mercy. It was made in Mexico City, Mexico in bronze - weighing 2 tons. It is 16 feet tall. He had the statue sent to Puebla, Mexico - so that it could be blessed on May 18th, 2000 in that city - because that was the site of the first foreign trip made by Pope John Paul II. It was blessed on May 18th - Pope John Paul’s birthday - by a special delegate from the Vatican. It was then transported to Chicago and it arrived on the feast of Corpus Christi in Chicago in June of 2000 - during the Great Jubilee Year.  It travelled to different parishes around Chicago and Illinois for three years. However, for various reasons, the statue was not to be permanently placed in Chicago.  On September 8th of 2003, Mr. Delgado gave the statue to our Blessed Mother - on her birthday and he put her in charge of where she wanted the statue of her Son to go.  At this time - during the International Congress of the Marian Fathers on the Divine Mercy in Poland - two Fathers said that the best place for the statue would be in Kibeho in Rwanda - where they were founding a Marian Formation Center. They proposed putting the statue of Jesus on a hill - about a mile from the Shrine of Our Lady of Kibeho.  They consulted with Mr. Delgado and  after he prayed about it - he agreed to send the statue of Jesus to Rwanda - forever. It came to the country of a Thousand Hills in the month of August,  2004 and it was installed in Kibeho, on the hill of Nyarushishi - on November 13, 2004. The official enthronement was celebrated on December 8, 2004 - the closing of the Jubilee of the 150th Anniversary of the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.  A few weeks prior to shipping that statue to Rawanda - Arlene Metcalfe - who was Head of the Worship Commission at St. Patrick Parish in Yorkville, IL at that time - made a phone call to the Chicago parish and was able to arrange for the statue to be brought to St. Patrick parish although public viewing had been stopped - where it sat on display outside the church for one week.  The local newspaper - the Beacon News - promoted this event by stating on the front page of their newspaper - Divine Mercy Comes to Yorkville.  That headline brought thousands of visitors to the parish for the week it was on display.  The simple act - attracted much attention to the parish - as well as introducing Divine Mercy to thousands.  St. Patrick Parish is staffed by the Marians of the Immaculate Conception - promoting the Divine Mercy devotions is one of their primary ministries.  
Jesus I Trust In You

On April 30, 2000 Pope John Paul II canonized St. Faustina Kowalska and that same day instituted the Second Sunday of Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday.  St. Faustina - in her diary - had written exclusively of Jesus' Divine Mercy. Her diary records over - over again how God's Divine Mercy is available to all - the littlest to the greatest - the most sinful to the holiest. In everyone's life God has revealed His awesome Divine Mercy.  Parishioners at St. Patrick very willing share the fact that they are a Divine Mercy Parish - hundreds have shared how they have personally experienced God's Divine Mercy.  Jesus promised to all - where two or more are gathered - He will be in their midst - listening - healing - offering His Divine Mercy.  At St. Patrick - the gift of Divine Mercy - experienced - freely shared with all.  In HIs Name what comes around goes around - no limits to His Divine Mercy.
Deacon Dale 

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Eggs-spectations

The Easter eggs are all gone - decorations put away - time to move on.  Today we do our best to make this an excellent day - today - always a good day - for a good day.  In this day we do our best - minor disturbances put aside - to make of this day what we will - what we can.  Making plans for tomorrow - part of today's plans - remembering - tomorrow never comes.  There is only - yesterday - what was - today - what is - tomorrow - never comes.  Although we have our expectations - often - many never materialize - occur - modified in their reality.  


God says to you - me - make of today what you will - tomorrow - may never come.  Do not put off for tomorrow what you can do - today.  Starting today - making plans for many tomorrows - some will come - others will not.  Travel plans underway - getting ready to leave this place - traveling back home - packing for an adventure in the Netherlands.  Blog posts will be on hold for a few weeks - God willing - they will return.  Eggs will come and go - but hope is eternal.  God has promised us - Jesus has told us - Hope is forever.

Deacon Dale  

Monday, April 18, 2022

Easter Monday

Today - Monday after Easter - fortified by yesterday's celebrations we begin Eastertide.  For the next seven weeks - daily - reminded - of His accomplishment - opening the gates of heaven for all.  All are invited - not all will respond - Free Will - an awesome gift - too often used to make wrong choices. 


God knew full well what He was doing when He gave us Free Will - knowing full well - some would make wrong choices.   We just celebrated the Triduum - Easter - for the majority - a great experience - for some - Easter eggs - jelly beans - bunnies.  Nothing wrong with those in addition to a spiritual experience - a few - Easter - very secular - non religious event.  This year we celebrated Good Friday - Easter Vigil with a community that is 98% Hispanic.  To hear their responses spoken at Mass - the energy - enthusiasm -  the excitement - far exceeding any prior times in our experience.  The energy shared by the priests - especially the Pastor - as he delivered his homily in both Spanish - English - stirred a full congregation - to Easter joy.  As he shared Jesus' victory over Death - as he baptized - confirmed - some thirty people - adults and youth - met with standing ovations - applause - an Easter celebration to be remembered.  Praying that this Easter joy - stays with all who attended - with all - who around the world - experienced similar services - the joy - that Jesus is Risen - that all carry that joy into the entire 50 days of Easter season and beyond.

Happy Beginning of Eastertide
Deacon Dale 

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Easter

Easter Sunday - New Life - New members in the Church - the Family of God - now larger.  This is truly the Day - The Lord Has Made - Let Us Rejoice - Be Glad In It.  For the Faithful - Easter a lot more than bunnies - colored eggs - dinner tables overflowing with food - drink.  Easter to acknowledge - God is Good - Blessings received every day of our lives. Today we celebrate - around the world - Jesus' victory over - Death - Satan.  In His resurrection - attained for all of us - Our chance to gain Heaven - when our time comes. 


Today - Easter Sunday - marks the beginning of Eastertide - 7 weeks of the - Easter Season. For the next 50 days we celebrate Christ's victory at Easter - until Pentecost.  Similar to the 6 weeks of Lent - when we prepared ourselves to celebrate Easter - now 50 days to celebrate - share in His victory.  Fortified by this victory - easier for us - to be very active disciples - to share His story - message.  As always - Jesus - God - constantly with us - guiding - leading us to - Holiness.

Deacon Dale 


Saturday, April 16, 2022

Holy Saturday

Holy Saturday - the third day of the Triduum - on this day the Triduum comes to an end.  In the early part of the morning - in Churches around the world - families gather with their Easter baskets - filled with bread - meats - drink - flowers - for the annual Blessing of Easter Foods.  Food that will be prepared - consumed - on Easter Sunday - with family - friends - after attending The Easter Vigil Mass - Holy Mass on Easter Sunday.  This day typically spent in Vigil - prayer - waiting for the One Who Is To Come - to Rise from the Dead.  The day - spent in solemn silence.


The Vigil Mass on Holy Saturday - waits until after sunset - the beginning of the new day - in darkness - the faithful gather.  Steeped in prayer - the lighting of the Easter Fire - the Dressing of the Paschal Candle - Procession to the altar - prayers - multiple readings from Holy Scripture - Words of encouragement in the Homily - Baptism - Confirmation - of the new members - Holy Eucharist - Final blessing - Dismissal.  The Vigil ended - all sent - to the four corners of the world - to Proclaim the Gospel message of Jesus.  In their words - speaking from their own life experience - sharing in Truth - Jesus Is Lord - Our Savior.

Deacon Dale 

 

Friday, April 15, 2022

Good Friday

Good Friday - the second day of the Triduum - the day that humanity put God on trial - could not find any reason to punish Him - forced by the people - giving in to political power - calling for Jesus to be crucified.  


On this day in history - humanity rebelled against Him - the Author of Life - the One who Created - Heavens - Earth - All that exists - their very being.  As thinking creatures - blessed with intellect - language - free will - ability to achieve anything - they chose - Death.  Death on a Cross.  When the spear was plunged into Jesus' side - when the blood - water - life - flowed out of His mortal body - all time stopped.  In that one instance - at the very moment He breathed His last - as a human - all life - all movement - everything came to a stand still.  In that moment - God gasped - held His breath - checking in His emotions at what the world had done to His Son.  In an instant - all that happened - nothing - Silence.  Then - as in a rage - the Heavens opened up - the tears of God fell - like a rain storm - the veil of the Sanctuary - was ripped from the top - where it touched Heaven - down to the Earth - that drank the Blood of His Son.  This is what happened on Good Friday - God Friday - when anyone else would have torn their enemy limb from limb - yet - God cried - in HIs Divine Mercy - Forgave those who ended His human life.  As we spend this day - alone - with others - however we chose - we pause - and hear the voice of Jesus - deep within our hearts - souls - Father Forgive Them - They Know Not What They Do.

Deacon Dale 

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Holy Thursday

Holy Thursday - the first day of the Triduum - the Three Holiest Days - before Easter.  Tonight at Holy Mass - significant events celebrated - the initiation of the Eucharist - initiation of the Priesthood - the Foot Washings - model of service to others. How Christians are called to live a life of holiness.


At the Last Supper Jesus took bread - wine - said - "do this in memory of Me" - the first Eucharist.  When He instructed His disciples - Do this - created the priesthood - washing the feet of others - showed His disciples first hand - Ministry of Service.  As His modern day disciples - we are called to do the same - as non ordained - specifically - service to others. One does not have to be ordained to practice - live a life - as a Christian - Christ follower.  God has called all our names - not all hear - fewer respond to that call.  Today we celebrate the beginning of Christianity.

Deacon Dale 

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Last Things

Today is the final day of Lent - almost.  Lent officially ends with the celebration of Holy Thursday evening Mass - so a few more hours left - still time.  Today is the day we pick up all our spiritual pieces - the things that we have gathered about ourselves over the last forty days - yes - it is actually more than forty days - we already discussed that issue - here we are at day #43 with our Lenten posts - Sundays have been included -  another three days to go until Easter.  In these last hours of Lent - we rearrange - clean - our spiritual houses - preparer ourselves for the three holiest days of the Christian calendar - the Triduum.  Holy Thursday - Good Friday - Holy Saturday.  In those three days we will focus on three special aspects of the Christian year - how it prepares us to joyfully celebrate the Resurrection - Easter. 

Getty Images 

Jesus has been with us throughout our entire lives - every day - walking next to us - guiding - sending angels - people - to help us on our journey.  Even when we were down - out - when we drifted away from Him - He was never far away from us.  We may abandon Him - we may lose faith - He - always there - hard to believe - that is who He is - what He does.  As we enter the Triduum - may we empty ourselves of all our worries - concerns - turn them all over to Jesus - declare to Him - Jesus I Trust in You.

Deacon Dale 

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

T.A.C.O. Tuesday

Take - Accept - Christ - Openly - Be not afraid - now is the day the Lord has made - accept - rejoice - He Loves You.  Tuesday - today - tomorrow - then Lent is over for another year.  Now is NOT the time to stop - we are near the finish line - have not crossed it - yet.  Still time for our final prayers - sitting on the back porch - meditating on what this Lent has meant to us - as a group - as individuals.  Did we just cruise through these forty days - getting minimally involved - or - did we jump in feet first - attempting to do everything suggested - coming close to spiritual burn out.  Bottom line - whatever one did - only that individual - God - knows - nobody else's business.  Developing one's spiritual life is not restricted to a forty day experience - each of us - every day of our life - should be talking with God - Jesus - improving our relationship - every single day of our life. If you have not - accepted Jesus into your heart - as Lord - Savior - still time.  The stories are endless - the witnesses - plentiful - sharing what life in Christ - all about. 


Jesus will come to you when ever - where ever - you want. He stands - waiting - time after time - you have been told - still - He - waits. Will today be the day you - Take - Accept - Christ - Openly - Let this Lent end on a positive note. One more day...

Deacon Dale