Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Next Step

Is this the final straw that breaks the camel's back - the recent report on yet more clergy abuse?  It is not surprising that many are completely sick and tired of these disclosures.  We do have to remember that the majority of these are over 50 years ago.  That does not mean they aren't important - yes they matter - however - the majority of abusers as well as their victims are either very old now - or dead. Although this report is very disturbing - the important thing is to make sure that this does not repeat itself. None of us can sit by and ignore the reality that abuse has happened and possibly could happen again - unless we open our eyes and ears - and take positive action ourselves. Evil will enter our lives unless we act now to keep it at bay and help to eliminate it.  We may not hold the keys to the kingdom - we do not have to hold the door open for evil to enter.  The leaders of the Church have failed - now is the time for all members to accept responsibility to open our eyes and be on watch for any and all warning signs.  Those who do not belong need to be removed as quickly as possible - those who deserve our support must be encouraged to stay firm even though their credibility has been called into question. 
As unhappy as we are about this situation - God is even more upset.  This is not what Jesus planned when He began the Church - peace - harmony - trust - truth.  All of us need to stay firm in our faith - we have endured trials before and in the end God will provide.  Leaving is not an option - the Church needs its people to remain faithful - in spite of a few bad apples - God will make all things right. 

Deacon Dale 

Thursday, August 2, 2018

If It's Not Broke - Why Fix It?

We all know the saying - if it is not broke - why fix it?  The issue here is that with many things in life - too often - people have no idea that something is broke.  Too often we hear the title of this post - why bother - nobody is complaining.  The issue here is that many are complaining - on deaf ears.  Those in control too happy - too comfortable with the status quo.  Even when those in control recognize that something is wrong - unwilling to invest the time and energy to fix the issue.  Those who try - too often run into constant roadblocks - usually those who either are clueless or too tired to care. When trying to implement change - almost always a struggle - confronting challenges along the way.  For the few who work at change - who accept the struggle - stay the course - eventual success will finally happen.  The church is not immune to this issue - across denominational lines - different beliefs - all share in a spiritual lethargy - loss of  parishioners - members - who really understand what their faith is about - who have committed  themselves one-hundred percent to the daily practice of their faith.  It is not unusual - when talking with people -to hear - that is my parent's faith - not mine.  Sadly too many young adults who were baptized into the Christian faith - Catholic or Protestant - are noticeably absent from the weekend liturgies - services. One no longer has to worry about not finding a space in the pews - what was once precious real estate - now freely available - as attendance dwindles.  As society evolves and changes - so must the churches.  Young adults - those who are the absent ones - have new ideas of church - what it should be - what they need to hear.  Luckily at our parish - this trend has been acknowledged - action has been taken to adjust - modify - to make comfortable what was previously perceived as uncomfortable. We are still Roman Catholic - we follow the liturgical rubrics prescribed by the Bishops.  The difference - primarily - making it a point to talk with the shy - lonely - unchurched - to deliver homilies that not only teach but inspire - to help all understand that church matters and is relevant to life.  

When God sent His Only Son - Jesus - He did not want it to be a one time experience.  He laid the plans for the life of the world - for all times.  When Jesus ascended - He sent us His Holy Spirit - to remain with us forever - to help us - guide us -inspire us - to become one-hundred percent committed to loving - serving - worshiping Him - by the way we live our lives - how we help each other - the actions we take.  Weekly attendance at church - one of the primary ways we observe God's commandments - being open and honest - freely sharing our faith with others - inviting them into the community of believers where miracles can and do happen.  Developing a personal relationship with Jesus - God - to live a faith filled life - the goal.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, July 15, 2018

City City Bang Bang

City City Bang Bang is my version of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang  a 1968 British musical fantasy adventure film. Last week my wife and I took a  road trip to the Denver, Colorado area to participate in the wedding of a young lady we have known from birth.  The adventure during the trip - in many different cities - provided by the various states we drove through and their departments of transportation - easily translated as - road construction.  The best diversion provided by the State of Illinois and the 113 mile construction zone on I-88 which restricted travel to 45mph.  An inconvenience to be sure - thankfully nothing more than extended travel time.  With that thought it brings to mind many who have various types of road blocks that appear in their lives as they attempt to negotiate their way from one issue to another.  For some the journey through life is a veritable breeze - never experiencing any problems or issues with which to cope - others - just the opposite.  We all know people like that - one problem after another - issue upon issue - forcing them to take their attention away from living to constantly coping - coping with illness - money issues - relation problems - job concerns.  

Many blame God for the problems in their lives - refusing to accept the fact that often things just have a way of happening - unfortunately - more to some than others.  It is in those times of problems - distractions - that we should turn towards God - not away from Him. God does not play games with our lives - although He does not micro manage - rather allows things to happen and watches how we cope.  He is always there - waiting to help - if we ask for it.  When faced with the various issues of life - God is only a prayer away - ready to step in when invited.  The next time you are facing any issue - rather than complaining - turn to God in prayer - He is waiting to hear from you.

Deacon Dale   

Friday, June 29, 2018

Back To The Future

Recently I have had a few questions about our experience on the Camino.  I usually give people the URL for this blog - but it automatically takes them to the most recent - not the original first post.  To that end I am providing the link that should take readers back to our first post - http://dalenarlene.blogspot.com/2013/02/the-journey-begins.html

Buen Camino 

Sunday, June 24, 2018


You know the saying - engage brain before speaking - warning that one has to stop - think a moment - before saying something - inappropriate - ignorant - making one look and appear ignorant.  The same goes before committing to any action - failing to plan - planing to fail - doing something without considering the affect on others - self.  I just did that - guilty as charged - now regretting my stupidity. In an effort to be quick - smart - cute - did not think out my action completely before committing the act - hurting the one I love most - with an action that should have been thought out first.  Reconsidering what I did - yes - not my best moment - hurting the one I love most. Hopefully - in time - forgiven.

Many of us - guilty as charged - not taking the time to clearly think through our actions or words.  When done innocently - a forgivable action - done intentionally - not as easy to forgive or be forgiven.  Fortunately - even those done intentionally - cam be forgiven by God if we honestly confess and ask for His forgiveness.  A repentant heart and mind - all that is required to wipe the slate clean.  With God all things are possible - even forgiving us bad actions done intentionally.  Forgiveness as close as God. 

Deacon Dale 

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The Grace Of God

As intelligent life forms each of us is capable of many varied and awesome things. The skills - knowledge we have acquired in the process of growing into mature adults are so varied that I could never list them all. Even if I could name them all - tomorrow - somebody would discover a new and awesome skill not discovered by another.  Each of us - in our own way - is a very specialized creation of God. Yes - we seem to look alike on the surface - that is only our exterior - it is the "stuff" underneath that makes each of us so special.  None of us is identical - even my twin and I were very different in so many ways.  We looked identical - that is where it ended.  We shared many similar interests - to different degrees - to different levels of interest - abilities. All peoples are created in the image of God - all are cut from the same mold - both men and women share that one common fact - beyond that - many differences exist.  Besides the obvious - the "stuff" under the skin - who we are - what we do - how we do it - fantastic variations.  This past weekend the Church ordained men to the priesthood - all of them from different backgrounds - ethnicity - languages.  Now ordained for ministry to  the people of God - one new facet fills each of them - the Grace of God.  None of them capable on their own to fulfill the demands of ordained ministry - The Grace of God - enabling each of them to begin their new positions among His people.

Too many people take the Grace of God for granted - do not understand what it means to experience His Blessings - to be filled with His Graces.  His Grace is what gives us - the ability - strength - energy - to actively serve Him.  Those steeped in prayer - those with a personal relationship with Jesus - also experience the gift of God's Grace - empowering them to be active disciples of our Lord.  All of us - ordained or not - share the responsibility of sharing that gift with all we meet - to the glory of God Almighty.

Deacon Dale 

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Staying Connected

Connections - probably one of the most important factors in any relationship. Staying connect these days almost too easy via social media.  Facebook - Twitter - Instagram - and so on - ability to immediately post whatever is happening with us - sharing with friends - in real time all of the events in our lives.  Not always a good idea - often things shared that would be better kept private - arguments - sickness - employment concerns - better given time for things to calm down - kept to oneself.  For the most part - the ability to immediately connect a definite positive. 
Connecting with God - always an instant connection - no dropped signals - overcrowded lines - instant on - always on.  Jesus told us that He is the vine and we the branches - always connected to Him via His Holy Spirit - always there to help - forgive - encourage - inspire - to live lives filled with God's peace and joy.  Check your connection today - Jesus is waiting for your call - text - tweet - today.

Deacon Dale 

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Easy For A Camel - Hard For Men

Luke 18:25  "For it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”  As the Gospel tell us it is very difficult for a man to enter heaven - the joke - among some women - of course - men fail to ask directions.  As true as the scripture is - there is a map for all persons to follow - it is called  the Bible.  The Bible not only maps out the way - but the why - how to follow Jesus by listening to His message - following Him towards our future glory.  All have fallen short of the glory of God - but with the help of Jesus - each of us can make that trip - reach our final destination.  All is takes is a bit of humility - acknowledging that we cannot do it on our own - only with the help of God.

Chaplain Arlene Metcalfe - Holy Land Pilgrimage 2012

Once baptized and received into the Church - imperative that we continue to grow in our faith - to learn about our history as Christians - where we came from - the good and the bad - side steps taken - wrong paths selected - always with God's help - brought back to center - placed back on the correct path. As we continue in this Easter Season - we continue our journey - always forward toward God.  When you tire - when your feet fail - when your heart is troubled - stop and refresh your soul - your spirit - in His Holy Scripture  praying constantly - never stopping.  He knows - He hears - the prayers of your heart.  Walk on in His Spirit - then you may pass through the Eye of the Needle. 

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Good Shepherd

The Fourth Sunday of Easter - we listened to scripture that depicts Jesus as The Good Shepherd - an image used in the Gospel of John 10:1-21 in which Jesus is modeled as One who gives up His life for His sheep.  One might wonder why anyone tending an animal would willing die for that animal - until they realize that the sheep referred to in the Gospel means mankind.  Yes - simply put - we are His sheep - He our master.  He cares for us like He would anyone - any animal - with tender loving care - seeing to our needs - safety - feeding us not only with food and drink - also - His Word - Holy Scripture - seeing that we develop into well formed people.  

When one understands how much God - Jesus - loves us it should be easy for each of us to do likewise.  We - in turn - should nurture all those around us - seeing to their care - well being - sharing the message of Jesus' Gospel - freely with them.  We should - many do not - selfishly keeping His message for themselves. This is one gift from God - which is no gift - unless freely shared with others.  What benefit to anyone who receives freely and does not share?  All the gifts we receive from God - never for our personal benefit alone.  When we receive His blessings - those same blessings poured upon others in the act of sharing - in turn our blessings multiplied.  Today a good day to share a blessing with others.

Deacon Dale 

Friday, April 20, 2018

Stick It!

While watching some gymnastics - it is often heard that the person flying through the air attempting to make a perfect landing - stuck it.  Teammates call out during the attempt to - stick it - landing with both feet well planted on the mat - no wobbling - staying exactly in place - no false steps - gaining major points for their effort.  That phrase - stick it - applied to other attempts in various ways - meaning - goal achieved - accomplished.  Whenever anyone attempts anything - especially something new - very happy when they - stick it - on their first try.  Today I was attempting to adjust some irrigation lines on the yard plants - attempting to get better control on how much water is used keeping the plants alive and healthy.  We have one particular plant that we planted about a year ago - started as a baby - three small paddles - today much bigger - showing a lot of new growth - some flowers - others - additional paddles.  In my attempt to make sure more than enough water would reach the roots so the blossoms and paddles will do well - my hands and arm brushed lightly against some paddles unknown to me.  It was only a matter of minutes later when I realized that the plant managed to - stick it - to me.  After removing about 200 tiny needles about 1 millimeter long I regretted not wearing gloves and a long sleeve shirt.  

God is much more patient than any of us - offering time after time the opportunity to come to know Him in a personal way.  Many are able to develop that special relationship instantly - to stick it - firmly in their hearts and minds.  Many others - for numerous reasons - unable to stick it - wandering in the desert for long periods of time - before they finally experience that special relationship.  First try - second try - hundredth try - makes no difference - as long as one eventually is able to accept Jesus as Lord of their life - to make it permanent - to become a faithful follower of Christ - to stick it.

Deacon Dale