Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Midlife Crisis

 Midlife crisis used to mean that people who had reached the half way mark in their life cycle were coping with changes that caused abnormal amounts of stress.  One source that I found (NeuroSpa) states the symptoms are: feeling unfulfilled in life; intense feelings of nostalgia, chronic reminiscence about the past; feelings of boredom, emptiness and meaninglessness; impulsive, often rash actions; dramatic changes in behavior and appearance; marital infidelity or constant thoughts about infidelity.  Added to those natural feelings - now coping with a pandemic that has become a political football loaded with tons of misinformation - conspiracy theories - wrong statements - misstatements - retracted and redacted statements.  It is no wonder that people of all ages are coping with unnatural crises - in their lives.  Unfortunately we live in a time where information - both true and false - is easily spread with the click of a button - in emails - social media - mainstream media.  In all this - one thing we all share - stress.  Stress is a killer - ending the enjoyment of life - time after time. 

To avoid this stress trap - one has to disengaged - unplug - escape the constant stream of data.  Now would be a great time to turn off your devices - go sit on the back porch and listen to God in the wind - the sounds of nature - the birds - squirrels - crickets - the natural world around you.  If you don't have a back porch then head to the nearest park - forest preserve - beach - anywhere where you can be alone without that which distracts from the greatest gift - your relationship with He who created you.  In that stillness - open your eyes and ears to Him - soak in the fresh air - His Spirit - be calm and know that He is with you - calming your fears and doubts.  In the stillness - know that there is a lot more than all the hype thrown at you via the various sources we call media - in His presence - experience life as intended.

Peace Be With You

Deacon Dale  

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Our Mother In Heaven

Today we celebrate the Assumption of Mary into heaven.  Unlike her son - Jesus - who ascended into heaven under His own power - Mary was taken up into heaven by God's power.  This is important to note this difference - going to heaven on your own - being taken up to heaven by God.  Because Jesus is the Son and God at the same time - He used His own power to ascend.  Because Mary was His Mother - He chose to take Mary to be with Him.  For each of us - like Mary - if we live holy lives - we also - like Mary - may be taken up to heaven when the time is right.

Just being Christian - just being Catholic - just being a member of any other religion that recognizes Jesus as the Son - does not guarantee that we will automatically end up in heaven.  Just being baptized does not guarantee anyone heaven - one has to work for it.  Salvation is a gift from God - a gift that we acknowledge and accept.  Accepting this gift requires that each of us has to do something in return in order that we may receive the full benefits.  First - we must be a person of Faith - secondly we must accept that we do not deserve this gift because all are sinners - all have fallen short of the Glory of God.  We must admit our sinfulness - ask for forgiveness - be reconciled to our Lord.  Thirdly as we confess - acknowledge that we are sinners - be open to receive His Holy Spirit.  Having been baptized with water - we now accept the baptism of the Holy Spirit - become Born Again.  Moving forward - renewed - we spread His Gospel message - become modern day disciples - act like the people God expects us to be - accepting - sharing - becoming His gift to others that we meet.

Only in God can we ever become complete

Deacon Dale 

Monday, August 2, 2021

Just Another Monday

Just another Monday morning - or is it?  This morning as I wake I am surrounded by two special guests in the house - Kimura and Titan - our youngest son's pet dogs.  Yes - babysitting pets while they take a week off for vacation.  When you are retired - empty nesters - no children in the house - you get use to the quiet - adding in two small energetic dogs - breaks the silence.

So many times when we try to talk to God - bury ourselves deep into prayer - nothing but silence - no winds - no flaming visions - no chariots on fire - no doves flying above - just silence. Silence is great - until that is all you get - longing for that sudden rush of wind -  sweet smell of lavender - rainbow in the sky.  Yet - nothing.  Sometimes it makes you wonder if you are all alone - all by yourself - you and - nothing.  Then your mind snaps you back to reality - you remember a scripture verse you heard last Sunday - I AM the way - I AM Who AM - God with US - always.  Then peace settles in and you rejoice in the stillness that is God.

Deacon Dale 

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

One Hundred and Counting

 Finally - one hundred cycling excursions accomplished - it took longer than I expected but here we are in July 2021 with an opportunity to add more biking trips.  In 2020 I decided that we would complete 100 biking trips between our time in Arizona and Illinois - cut short due to knee issues and total knee surgery.  This year - once in Arizona for the winter - we were able to accomplish 81 trips.   Back home in Illinois with weather that cooperated with us - we were able to add 19 outings to get us up to trip #100.  It is early July - now to see how many more decent days we will have to continue adding to that number.

As I get older - it is a little harder to get things done - too many things get in the way - projects that pop up - needing my immediate attention - distracting me from personal goals.  It is similar to keeping my attention focused on my spiritual growth.  Best intentions - distractions pull me away - tugging at my heart - mind as I try to focus - develop my relationship with God.  Thankfully - Jesus is patient - giving me the space - time to be with him.  This summer I have been drawn outside to sit on the deck and watch the beans growing in our fields - appreciating the miracle of life - the cycle of life from bare soil to the first buds of green - to the full grown plants that look like a huge sea of green.  The view is peaceful - just as the sky when it is calm and blue with wisps of clouds dancing across the sky.  This summer has been good so far - now that the pandemic is quieting down - able to gather with friends.  I see hope everywhere I look - just as I hope you do.  With God all things are possible.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Fire and Flames - Pentecost

Holy Flames Batman!  And that my friend sums up the Fire that was poured down on the apostles at Pentecost by God - by Jesus. For the first time sealing the covenant of a Trinitarian God.  God the Father who Wills it - Jesus the Son who Speaks it - the Paraclete - The Holy Spirit that Does it.  

As Disciples of Jesus this event should excite all of us - just the knowledge that on that day - in a single remarkable event - God manifested Himself in a very visible manner - revealing Himself not just to the Apostles - also to everyone within shouting distance.  For us - significant that God is constantly repeating this event over and over - sometimes in similar manifestations - other times in not as dramatic ways - however - just as powerful.  For those who call themselves Christians - all should pray that God send His Holy Spirit down upon them - pray for a release of the Power of the Holy Spirit - in their lives - that they too may bring others closer to Christ.  For new Christians - Graduation Day - Empowered with His Spirit to go out into the world - to Baptize in His Name - to Proclaim His Gospel.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, May 9, 2021

One Long Easter

Yes - believe it or not - it is still Easter! The average person thinks that Easter is a one day event - the reality - Easter is a Season in the Catholic Church that lasts for 50 days. In Western Christianity - Eastertide is the period of 50 days, spanning from Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday. It is celebrated as a single joyful feast called the "great Lord's Day". Each Sunday of the season is treated as a Sunday of Easter. Why so we spend so many days celebrating Easter and not Christmas? On Christmas we celebrate that day when God came down - to appear to the peoples of the world - as a man. All of mankind - has done as much - in our own births. However - with Easter - none other than Jesus - has resurrected - none besides Him - has come back from the dead - that deserves special recognition. This Sunday we celebrate the Sixth Sunday of Easter - another Sunday when we focus our attention on what is called the Easter Event - when one man - rose from the dead - that event which gives hope to everyone - that we too may rise from the dead and continue our own existence in the next life.

Every day we should thank God for another day of life - another day to correct our mistakes - another day to do better - another day to get it right - whatever that right maybe.  As long as we live - as long as our lungs take in another breathe of air - is additional time to leave this world a better place than we found it.  With Jesus at our side - we will do that 

Deacon Dale 

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Blog Updates

 Recently I received a notice that those who have been getting my blog by email will lose that function this July.  If that happens to you please return to this main page for an update fix.

Thank you

Deacon Dale 

Monday, April 5, 2021

El Camino - The Way #48

Last Things 

Divine Mercy Sunday

April 11, 2021

It would be impossible to end my Lenten Reflection series of posts without mentioning God's Divine Mercy. On Good Friday we began the Divine Mercy Novena - 9 days of prayers celebrating Jesus' Divine Mercy - His love given freely to mankind - young & old - male & female - everyone.  God - Jesus - the Holy Spirit - does  not limit His love - forgiveness - to any one group of people.  He is all for all - period.  With this novena - we celebrate and honor our Lord with all that is Divine and good.  The Chaplet of Divine Mercy is prayed daily at the 3 o'clock hour by many.  In a series of revelations to St. Maria Faustina Kowalska in the 1930s, our Lord called for a special feast day to be celebrated on the Sunday after Easter.  Today, we know that feast as Divine Mercy Sunday, named by Pope St. John Paul II at the canonization of St. Faustina on April 30, 2000. 

Deacon Dale 

Chaplet of Divine Mercy

Sunday, April 4, 2021

El Camino - The Way #47

Easter Sunday

Happy Easter!  

We pray that this day is filled with true joy and happiness and everyone gathers and celebrates in their own way.  Thank you to those who followed this blog for part of their Lenten reflection.  Thank you for your comments.  In this blog I showed select photos from the Camino pilgrimage that we walked in fall of 2013.  At your request I am posting the link to a video that is on YouTube from our Camino.  This will include our entire video file and comments that were posted daily as we walked those almost 400 miles   You are invited to get a drink and a snack and sit back and enjoy the video - it runs about 34  minutes.  Enjoy! 

Deacon Dale 

Click this link or copy & paste the link below into your browser


Saturday, April 3, 2021

El Camino - The Way #46

Holy Saturday

A day of waiting 

Tonight the Easter Vigil - the Mother of all vigils.  This - not Christmas - the greatest celebration in the Christen Church.  Yes - celebrating the birth of Jesus - very important - the day when God came to earth as Man - Easter - even more important - celebrating Resurrection - the day Jesus rose from the dead - giving hope to everyone that they will one day share in that resurrection - life in Heaven.  Although apparently quiet and abandoned early in the day - a lot of activity going on inside.  In my parish - the early morning Blessing of Easter baskets - an ancient tradition celebrated by the Polish and other Slavic peoples - followed by the final instruction and blessing of those who will be baptized and received into the Church at tonight's Vigil.  The Art & Environment crew removing signs of Lent - the purple banners and replacing with signs of renewal - Easter flowers - white banners - all signs of hope.  After sunset - the faithful gathering - marking the beginning of the Easter liturgies. 

This day on the Camino we finalized our pilgrimage - walking almost 400 miles - by ourselves - not alone - carrying cremains of my two brothers and my deceased sister-in-laws' rosary with us.  This day we head to the farthest point in Finisterre, Spain where we will say prayers and commit those cremains and rosary to the depth of the Atlantic Ocean. Jesus we trust in you - we trust that you are always with us - in life and in death - will always be with us on earth and in heaven - always.

Please do not drive your car off the edge - we are walking 

Heading to the edge 

Our goal in sight 

Up the stairs and to the left please 

At the end of the earth 


Arlene tossing the rosary into the ocean - RIP Susan - Miss You 

Dale tossing the cremains into the Atlantic - RIP Dennis and Dean - Miss you

And on that day God shined His love on His Ocean of love 

As we celebrate Resurrection tomorrow on this Easter Sunday - we rejoice in the fact that no matter who we are - where we are - what we have done - have not done - God loves each and every one of us.  For those who believe - for those who do not believe - for those who question - Jesus is always there.  Just as we wait this Vigil night with prayers - Jesus waits with His Love.

Deacon Dale