Sunday, July 29, 2012


When we decide to make something different we change it - we switch from one identity or designation to another. It is interesting that my initial request on Google immediately brought up change of address. There were multiple hits involving changing ones address. Although useful - that was not the change I was seeking. What I wanted was what we refer to as "change" or different instruments of monetary negotiation. When we take a large bill of currency and switch it into smaller amounts - particularly coins - we refer to these smaller units of currency as "change". Actually this is a misnomer as we switch dollars for coins and each coin has its own identity - thus in the USA change would refer to pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters and half-dollars. In Europe or the mid-East - we would be using Euros, Zloty, Shekels, etc - and each different monetary system would have "change" - smaller monetary units to use. I find when I travel - that I have to adjust how I buy and sell - using foreign currency. It is interesting - challenging - perhaps a little difficult - never impossible.
When Jesus comes to us - He is offering us the currency of God's Love.  God's Love - which is so much more valuable than all the monies of the World. It does not have larger or smaller denominations - His Love comes in one size for all  peoples - for all cultures - all races - all tongues. His Love is larger than the highest mountain - wider than the largest continent - deeper than the deepest ocean. Like water - His Love flows around and in us - it fills us - it consumes us - it  brings life - healing - refreshment - nourishment. Even in the deserts of the World - you are never without this ocean of Love - you are never left stranded - you are always "at sea" with God. If your life is lacking God's Love - all you need to do is make "change" - change your mind - change your heart - change your attitude - change the way you see others - change the negative thoughts - come to Jesus and ask Him to enter your life - to fill you with God's Love - ask for His Divine Mercy to flow around you - with God change is never impossible.

Deacon Dale

Saturday, July 28, 2012


In physiology and medicine, dehydration (hypohydration) is defined as the excessive loss of body fluid. It is literally the removal of water from an object; however, in physiological terms, it entails a deficiency of fluid within an organism. Dehydration of skin and mucous membranes can be called medical dryness. There are three types of dehydration:depending on the relationship of how much water and or electrolytes (salt) is lost. Sometimes dehydration is good - as in dried fruit - meant to preserve and prolong its usefulness. Some common liquid antibiotics such as amoxicillin are first produced as liquids and then the water is removed to prolong the life of that  product - in a dry state it has a shelf life of years - once reconstituted - when water is added back - the antibiotic is only good for two weeks at which time the potency begins to rapidly degrade and becomes useless. When humans do not drink enough liquids or have excessive diarrhea - the body may rapidly lose fluids and create a medical emergency - infants and small children may become critical in less than twenty-four hours - adults within a few days - or in certain situations - such as  the excessive heat wave that we have been experiencing - in a matter of hours. The obvious answer is to not let yourself become dehydrated in the first place by maintaining proper body fluid levels. The cure is to replace lost fluids - in extreme cases - through intravenous fluids administered by medical personnel.
When we wander from God - when we turn our back on Jesus - when we focus our attention on anything other than His divine presence - we lose an essential element of life - we can say that we are de-God -drated. Sometimes this is intentional - when a person denies the existence of God - other times is may be accidental - when life throws so many curves at a person that they become disorientated and lose focus on the essentials of life. Although we may deny God's existence - He never denies ours - although our focus may be easily taken off God and His presence in our lives - His attention is never taken off of us. If you have been wandering in the desert - if you have been experiencing extremes in life - confusing you - spiritually drying you out - you can correct all this by approaching the waters of re-generation - that is Jesus. To drink in His presence - to fill your body with His life giving love - to accept Him back into your life. Jesus is the waters that refresh - Jesus is the cure for all that ails you.

Deacon Dale

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Happy Anniversary!

Don't you love it when people celebrate anniversaries - special times of the year when all sorts of things are celebrated and remembered. Your first job - the birth of a child - your birthday - wedding - buying your house. We celebrate those things that are very important to us. These are markers in our lives - they say a little about who we are - where we are going - what type of individual we are -what is important to us - they are a piece of each of us. When you have a special day to remember - I say celebrate in style! On this day - I pause and say to my best friend - my wife - Happy 43rd Wedding Anniversary! I love you more today than I ever have.
When we attend daily Holy Mass - we remember that day that Jesus gave His life for us. Each Mass we participate in is a special celebration and an anniversary of that awesome act of giving His life - for our salvation. We do not give Jesus cards or gifts - we offer to Him our love - our appreciation - our devotion. Today celebrate that gift as if it were the only anniversary you could ever celebrate!

Deacon Dale 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Fear Factor

Fear is a negative emotion induced by a perceived threat that causes animals to move quickly away from the location of the perceived threat and sometimes hide. (Wikipedia) Fear is also a defense mechanism that is utilized by humans as well as other animals. When we fear something - we tend to avoid it - we shy away - walk around it - turn our backs and go in an opposite direction. Then - of course - there are those who face their fears head on - to prove to themselves and others that the fear was not justified. That was the concept for the television show - Fear Factor - in which people attempted various stunts to prove that they did not fear whatever the task was. Some stunts had a danger factor attached to it - others were more of a repulsive factor - such as eating very strange foods and insects. In the end fear is a valuable emotion to be utilized.
In Holy Scripture we often read words similar to Proverbs 1:7 "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline." The word fear used in this manner does not imply that anyone should be afraid of God - most often fear is used to imply respect. When you insert the word respect in place of fear the scripture makes more sense. In early times respecting and fearing were understood as being the same thing. In our days the words have evolved to mean different actions. Fire fighters have learned over the years that fire is not to be feared - but respected. In order to respect something you have to know it - you have to learn how it acts - what it wants - its characteristics. Only when you have learned that - are you able to extinguish fires that are not wanted - that are running wild. Learning about God - who He is - what He wants - brings us closer to Him - brings us away from fear - to respect. Once you respect God you begin to love - love Him - love His Son - love His Holy Spirit. To fear the Lord is to love the Lord. 

Deacon Dale 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Gusty Wind

Very early this morning I was awaken by some very serious gusts of wind and rain - it was so powerful that it sounded like somebody was outside with a fire hose spaying water directly on the side of the house. I knew that there had been predictions of rain overnight - but I had not been warned about the high winds.  Since I was awake - I decided to look out the windows to see if we had lost any trees or large branches that would require my immediate attention.  Seeing none - I managed to get back in bed and fall back to sleep. When I woke up later - I went outside to check out the rest of the property. To my surprise - and dismay - I saw my flag pole laying on its side across a bunch of bushes. As I inspected it to see what happened - it became obvious that one of those giant gusts of wind had created so much torque on the flag - that the flag had acted as a sail and the multi-part pole had been separated - thus allowing the remainder three-quarters to fall to the side. With a little bit of handiwork I was able to correct the problem and the flag once more is proudly flying.
As a mature Christian - when we come to an adult decision to accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior - we experience many different things.  Some emotional - some spiritual. On the spiritual side many report that they experience a "baptism in the spirit" in which - for perhaps the first time in their life - they know that God has and is filling them with a new outpouring of His Holy Spirit - a giant gust of new Spirit - filling their soul. This is the "born again" experience that so many people speak about.  Nicodemus asked Jesus about this very concept - "was it possible to be born over again'? Jesus replied that unless that happens one cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven. (John 3:4-8) For those of us who have experienced that gust of God's Holy wind - we can testify to that truth - to those who have yet to share that experience - simply pray in earnest to God - come Holy Spirit come - fill my life with your heavenly gust of holy wind - that I too may enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

Deacon Dale 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Three Days

Three Days - the magic number before we leave with our group of thirty-six pilgrims to visit the Holy Land in Israel.  As we go through our final countdown and double check that we have everything ready for departure to experience the Land that Jesus walked - we pause and take time to reflect on what we are about to do. Who are we that we dare think that we are worthy to walk in the footsteps of Our Lord - and yet - that is exactly what we will be doing. Visiting His royal birthplace - the home of His mother - the Fortress where He was questioned - the hill where He was crucified. None of us is worthy - and still - we will walk in His footsteps. Through the country side.- wading in the Jordan River - in the desert where He was tempted - on Calvary where He breathed His last breath.  All this and more is what we will experience.
Walking the Via Dolorosa - Holy Mass daily in special places - time for silence - meditations on the Sea of Galilee - eating the same foods that He would have eaten.  Yes - we will dare to follow in His footsteps. We will dare to imagine what it was like - we will dare to become more like His first disciples.  We will - through the Grace of God - we will!

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Heat Wave

I enjoy hot weather - anytime it is over seventy degrees I feel very comfortable. Normally I would say the hotter the better - as long as it is not high humidity - when your skin feels sticky and tacky. Even these past few weeks with the higher temperature - there is something that I like about the sun beating down on my body. Maybe I am part plant - I feel that the bright hot sunshine is actually good for me. Mentally I come alive - I spread my arms out and soak up as much of the hot rays of the sun as I can. There have been a few occasions in the past two weeks when I was working outside that I did get slightly uncomfortable. When you begin to perspire and the water is shedding off your forehead and face like a water faucet - then maybe it is a bit too hot - even then the feeling that your pores are been washed out and your body is eliminating toxins is still a good feeling.

As the Son of God - Jesus is like the sun - constantly sending His warm rays of love upon each of us. As we rejoice in God's presence in our lives - we ask Him to send the power of His Holy Spirit down upon us - like rain from the heavens. As we sense the rays of His Son coming upon us and flooding our bodies with His warmth and presence - we know without a doubt that we have found favor with God. The next time you go outside and feel the warm rays of the sun upon your body - stop and ask yourself if it is the sun in the sky or the Son of Man who is making you feel warm and loved. 

Deacon Dale 

Saturday, July 21, 2012


Buddies - everyone has at least one good friend that they would call their buddy.  Buddies are special people - they are always there to bring a smile to your face - to help get you out of unhappy moods - to hang out with and help you relax and enjoy life.  Today many parents call their little children - both boys and girls - buddy.  Constantly you hear them telling these little people "good job buddy".  My grandson tells me all about his buddies from school - his soccer teammate buddies - neighborhood buddies.  Not everyone qualifies as a buddy - he tells me that some are only friends - at six years old it is interesting that he discerns between buddies and friends. He obviously realizes that buddies are very special friends. 
In Jesus we have a very special friend.  Although I don't think we can properly call Jesus a buddy - we should be able to call Him a friend - a very special friend - not a buddy - but so much more!  Like a buddy - He is there to get you out of unhappy moods - to put a smile on your face - to hang with you so that you can truly enjoy life and live it to the fullest. If you need a special friend - if you are looking for someone who will listen to you for hours on end - who will not judge you - but accept you for who you are - that is Jesus - better than a buddy - the best friend you could ever hope for!

Deacon Dale 

Friday, July 20, 2012

WOW! Factor

WOW! is a word that expresses wonder - amazement - surprise. Almost anything may have that WOW! factor. A special dress for that once in a lifetime occasion - a shinny new car loaded with options - A spectacular accomplishment - a hole-in-one - a home run - a surprise ending to an outstanding movie - an outstanding gourmet dinner. It is not that frequent that we are able to experience things or events that have a WOW! factor.  When we do - we know that something very special happened. When these special occasions do occur - we are very pleased - with life - with ourselves. We rejoice and look forward to more of those times.
God revealed himself to Moses in the Burning Bush - an unexpected and awesome event. If Moses had spoken English - he might have said WOW!. If we were to encounter God in a burning bush - we would definitely say WOW! As it is - our encounters tend to be more on the everyday or mundane side. We attend church - we pray - we follow our devotions - day in - day out. We seek comfort - peace - joy.  Jesus offers us His promise - that He will always be there for us - always ready to help - always faithful to us - even when we are not faithful - that alone should make us shout - WOW!

Deacon Dale 

Counting Down

There are many times and places that we use a count-down clock or calendar. Getting ready to leave on vacation - preparing for an exciting event - marking off the days and hours to our wedding or ordination - counting the minutes until a special birthday.  As the time becomes shorter and shorter - our excitement grows - until finally the final hour - the last minutes. It is time!    Let's go! Start the party! Celebrate!  Counting down the time helps us to make important and significant events in our lives - memorable.
When we were children - studying our catechism - we anticipated that day when we would be able to receive Holy Eucharist - to be Confirmed - to celebrate our first Confession. All those events were significant - and for most - very memorable. As an adult - learning about your faith - your relationship to God - to Jesus - to Mary - all became significant memories - when you finally grasped that which eluded you as a child. Thank God for memories and the special moments in our lives - praise Him for being patient with us - glorify Him for His awesome love - thank Him for not counting us out.

Deacon Dale 

Thursday, July 19, 2012


Decisions rule our lives - every day we have to make decisions - when to wake up - what to wear - where to go - who to call - how to do - one decision after another. The problem with making decisions - is that sometimes they are wrong. We judge poorly - we speak wrongly - we act hastily - we rush our decisions.  In the end - we have to accept that we will make wrong or bad decisions - having discovered our error we move on - we make new decisions.  That is one of the beautiful things about making decisions - we can always change them!  Very few decisions are cast in stone - most decisions can be altered and changed.  What a gift to be able to correct a poor decision.
When we were first introduced to religion and the worship of God - our decision on how and when to worship - for the most part - was made for us by our parents.  We automatically followed what they did - questioning nothing and accepting everything. Then we matured - grew up and became adults ourselves - and started questioning.  We wanted answers to questions previously unasked - hearing the answers we decided to accept or reject. For many of us - rejecting the faith of our parents was a given - we were better informed - more enlightened - or so we thought.  Drifting in an ocean of confusing theology only made the decision process more difficult - so we continued drifting until the Island  that is God - was so far away - that many gave up - drowned in that ocean of confusion. Thankfully for us - although we left God behind - He never abandoned us. All our lives Jesus has been there - walking with us - patiently waiting for us to make our decisions - holding His breath when we chose poorly - clapping with joy when we chose well.  Today Jesus is still there - waiting for you - waiting for your next decision - waiting for you to walk His way.

Deacon Dale 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Real-time is a modern designation of time in which the event or action taking place is happening at the same instant that you are reading or participating in that event. Attending a baseball game - sitting in the stands - watching the action as it evolves - is real time.  Watching a video or pictures of that same event at a later time - a few hours - days - weeks - is past time. With today's technology we are able to participate in numerous real-time activities that were not available in the past. Many services that previously had to be delayed - waiting prior approval - are able to be done almost instantly because of the availability of real-time computer processing. Real-time has made life easier for those of us who both use and work with those systems.
Jesus has and always will be available to us in real-time.  We do not have to make a request through a prayer of petition and wait hours or days for that request to be submitted. The second it leaves our hearts - our minds - our lips - it is received by Him. He is available to us 24 hours a day - 7 days a week - 365 days a year. Getting an answer to our prayers - is not always as simple - although He receives our requests in real-time - He answers in His time.  Sometimes His answer is No - Maybe - Not Now - Later.  What ever His answer - it is His answer - not ours - and how He answers may not be what we expected - but it is always for the best.  In His time - according to His will - not ours - in His way.  Jesus waits for you.

Deacon Dale 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Maps are very helpful documents - they are most often used to show geography - cities and states - entire countries and places around the globe. Pirates were famous for their treasure maps - leading people to vast treasures of silver and gold. Today we have the technology to do brain mapping - DNA mapping and even extraterrestrial mapping.  Maps show us where we are and how to get to where we want to be. They may be global - providing an entire world view - or highly detailed - showing streets and individual homes. Modern computer technology allows us to even view mapped locations in real time views.  Without maps many people would not have any idea how to get to their destination. 
When God inspired humans to write down His words - to share with others - He was designing the first written map - a map on how to live our lives - how to relate to Him and to each other. His map - the Bible - is a story of God's love for us throughout the ages. His map takes us from the creation of the world - to the birth and death of His Son - to our future lives with Him in Heaven. If we follow God's map - we will see clearly where we are on this Earth - we will see clearly how we are suppose to react and travel with those around us.  He will show us the paths to avoid - the danger spots - the places of great joy - the location of our final home. Jesus is the guide who shows us how to read God's map - Jesus is the One who walks this journey with us - Jesus is the Son who shows us the way home to God's eternal treasure.

Deacon Dale 

Monday, July 16, 2012


Babysitting is probably one of the most charitable things that you can do for another person. Often the caregiver just needs some time away from the daily grind of taking care of their children - patient - spouse or whomever they care for. There is nothing wrong in admitting that you have been worn thin and need some assistance. Everyone who cares for others will come to a point in time when they have had enough of the pressure of being a caregiver and needs some respite - time away from their responsibilities - time to collect themselves - mentally and physically - so that they may return to their duty as primary caregiver with a renewed sense of mission. This does not apply only to parents with young children - but to persons who take care of the aged - ill and infirm. All of us have a limit to how much we can handle - and it is the smart person who knows when they have reached that limit and asks for help. For those of us on the helping end - we need to also realize how stressful care giving can become - and willingly offer our time to allow caregivers respite time.
Life - as lived in today's modern world - can become very stressful and we may often find that we need to escape the daily obligations - to give ourselves a rest. To escape from the pressures that surround us - to wander in the valley of quiet - could be one of the best things we can do for ourselves.  It may mean wandering away from the crowd - to a  secluded beach or park or even the back porch - anywhere where everyone else is not. In our search for healthy down time we seek peace and quiet.  When life becomes too much for you to cope with - you need a caregiver who can offer you that respite you seek - Jesus is that caregiver - He can take the burdens from your shoulders - He can lighten that load - He can offer you the peace you seek - all you need to do is ask.

Deacon Dale 

Saturday, July 14, 2012


An eyewitness is valuable in so many situations - they give credibility to statements of fact that would be difficult to verify otherwise. If you made a hole in one playing golf and were playing by yourself - who would believe you - without an eyewitness? If you set a Guinness World Record and wanted your accomplishment recorded as the new record - who believe you without an official eyewitness? If you were charged with a criminal act and wanted to prove your innocence - where would you stand legally with or without an eyewitness? Having another person - of record - who would be willing to speak out - is necessary when verifying unsubstantiated information and claims.
When Jesus rose from the dead - the event would have gone unnoticed if numerous eyewitnesses had not stepped forward to verify the truth of the statements.  If there had been none - or if nobody was willing to speak up - the way we worship and who we worship would possibly be very different from what we know.  Because humans are inherently good - people do step forward and tell about the events they have eyewitnessed - they share the details - the excitement - the sadness - the joy - the miracles of life. Jesus calls each of us to witness to others that we meet about how He has worked in our lives - to share the Truth that He is.

Deacon Dale 

Riposa In Pace

Riposa In Pace is Italian for Rest In Peace - a statement made at wakes and funerals after someone has passed away. Very often you will see these words in one language or another inscribed on funeral markers and headstones. But what does it mean?  Depending on your personal beliefs - it may mean something or nothing at all. The majority of people would probably take it to mean that the living are wishing a peaceful time in the here-after to the one who has died. Depending - again on your own beliefs - that may mean either total darkness - nothing at all - or a rebirth to an eternal existence - either in Heaven or Hell. Obviously - Rest in Peace - would be expecting an eternal life in Heaven - because everyone knows that there is no peace in Hell.
To Rest In Peace in Heaven - means enjoying the promises Jesus made to His disciples and to us - who believe in Him as Lord and Savior. A life away from this existence - and in a new and much better life - where there is no pain or suffering - no sin or temptation - no arguments or anxiety - no pills - no frustrations - only peace and harmony - celebrating all that God is - all that is good and wonderful. Sound too good to believe - people are just dying to find out!

Deacon Dale 

Thursday, July 12, 2012


Today it is all about networks and networking. To be able to connect with other people with similar interests either for leisure activities or for your job - makes it very nice to have the input you desire from others. The team concept - working with multiple people - rather than independently - removes a lot of the stress that normally comes with projects. Being able to maximize your personal skills - while allowing others with different skills manage other facets of the project - means maximized efficiency - with a lot less stress than you would have if you were doing it all on your own. Efficiency and economy of resources is the major benefit of networks.
When we come to God in prayer it is typically an individual experience. There are times - when networking with others who share the same faith perspective - is a bonus. Asking God for special blessings in intercessory prayer - is always better when you network with others who are willing to add their prayers to yours for special intentions. The same concept of shared prayer - networking - is what communal prayer at Holy Mass is all about - as we gather as a family of faith - and add our separate voices - to give life to prayers for others as in the prayers of the faithful - is the best example of our faith in action. God - Me - We!

Deacon Dale 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Mary Mary

Today marks blog entry #200 and it is only fitting that I begin the next set of one hundred entries by focusing on Mary. Throughout history there have been many famous women named Mary - Mary  Queen of Scots - Queen Mary I of England also known as "Bloody Mary" - Mary Magdalene - Mary of Clopas - and more. The most famous Mary has to be the Virgin Mary - Mother of Jesus. As the Mother of God incarnate - she is the most popular Mary spoken or sung about. A simple Jewish girl selected by God to bear His Son - catapulted her to a position of importance in both Christian and Muslim religions. It is interesting to note that there is more written about Mary in the Qur'an than in the Bible. While Catholics, Orthodox and Muslins hold a special place for Saint Mary - Protestants - in general - pay little attention to her - only acknowledging that she is the mother of Jesus. Many people misunderstand the place of Mary in Catholic and Orthodox theology - where she is honored and venerated - but NOT worshiped - as she is fully human and not divine. It is because of lack of education that some think that Catholics and Orthodox "worship" Mary as divine - which is not true.  To gain a better understanding of Mary - click this link:  Saint Mary for a video that explains this.

As we worship God - we acknowledge Him as the One God in three persons - Father - Son - Holy Spirit. As we worship Jesus - the Son of God - or God Incarnate - the God with flesh - it is only fitting that we honor and recognize the mother of Jesus - the young Jewish girl who had the guts to say "yes" to the angel - when asked if she was willing to bear God's child. As a twelve to fourteen year old girl - Mary had to make a very adult decision - to risk ridicule and expulsion and even possibly death - with her approval. You have to respect her just for the courage that she exhibited - you have to honor her for her level of commitment to God - you have to venerate her as the one human on earth who opened the gateway of Jesus' entrance on Earth - you just have to love her!

Deacon Dale  

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Praying the Hours

All ordained men in the Catholic Church - Bishops - Priests and Deacons are obliged to pray the "Official Hours" of the Church.  Known as the "Liturgy of the Hours" or "The Breviary" - the Hours are comprised of five different sets of prayers which are prayed throughout the day. These prayers originated in the Jewish community and are for the most part based on the Psalms. The day begins with the "Office of Readings" which includes Holy Scripture and Apostolic Writings and prayers. Next is "Lauds" or Morning Prayer which includes Holy Scripture and prayers. Daytime prayers follows which has three sections - Mid-Morning - Mid-Day - Mid-Afternoon.  Next is "Vespers" or Evening Prayer which again consists of Holy Scripture and prayers. The day ends with "Compline" or Night Prayer.  Throughout the day - throughout the World - somewhere - someone - is praying the Liturgy of the Hours.  Bishops and Priests have committed to praying as much of the entire set as their day allows. Deacons make a promise to their Bishop at ordination to pray Morning and Evening Prayer.  Religious communities of Brothers and Sisters also pray the Hours according to their specific guidelines established by their respective Order. Something new - is the involvement of Lay people praying the Hours. These people pray the Hours either privately or in groups.  At our parish - the practice has begun in which - Adorers - people attending Adoration - pray Morning Prayer - Evening Prayer and Night Prayer with fellow Adorers.  Beyond that - the practice is growing. The effect is that the Holy Roman Catholic Church is being prayed for every single minute of every day.  Somewhere - at any given time - someone is praying the Hours.  Making it even more convenient to pray the Hours are new electronic versions.  Where the hardbound book form requires turning many pages and jumping from one section to another - the electronic form follows a straight forward format - making it less confusing and distracting to pray the Hours. The Vatican has approved the iBreviary format for the Hours. The app is free and is available for iPhone - Android - Blackberry and iPad.
Prayer keeps us connected with God - as individuals - as Church.  God devotes His constant attention on us and the World and it is only fitting that we as a body of believers should give God the attention He deserves.  As a committed Catholic Christian you now have the tools available to you to join thousands of other Lay people participate in the Prayer of the Church. Just as many pray the Rosary daily - now you can pray along with your Bishops - Priests and Deacons.

Deacon Dale 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Under Pressure

What do you think of when you hear the words"under pressure"? Do you immediately think of your job and a rapidly approaching deadline - perhaps an upcoming date with that special girl or guy - maybe you are in the first or last hours of delivering a new baby into the world - perhaps you are sitting for a special exam for college or a job application. As you can see there are a lot of situations when the words "under pressure" applies. Recently I was opening up a carton of soda pop and I could not find the perforated lines so I decided to carefully use a knife to open the carton - I diligently felt for the space between the cans and inserted the knife - voila! - I had just cut directly into the side of one of the cans.  Under pressure has a whole new meaning when you do that - pop spraying all over the place - and you cannot do anything about it until the pressure goes away.
Unfortunately a lot of people view their religious life in that exact way. Under pressure - from their family or friends - their co-workers - their minister or priest - from God. Although many people may pressure you about how you practice your faith life - or if you are a casual or serious believer - or how frequently you attend services - God does not. Sure He wants you to worship Him - sure Jesus wants you to accept Him as your personal Savior - sure He who loved you first - before you were in your mother's womb - wants you to return His love - but never under pressure. We know that we cannot buttonhole God and push Him around - we have to wait for Him to act in His time - so why would Jesus be any different? He knows your mind and your heart - He knows what is going on inside you - and He is ever patient - waiting for you to make the next move - no pressure.  After all - He has all the time in the world - but do you?

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Lack of Faith

In last week's Gospel the people just could not get close enough to Jesus - they all wanted to be next to Him - to be healed - to feel God's love in their lives. One woman - who had been sick for twelve years - even dared to touch His garments - seeking a miracle. The Gospel was all about Faith - faith as shown by the synagogue official - Jairus - by the woman - by all pressing in on Jesus. 

Today it is just the opposite - in today's Gospel of Mark 6:1-6  in the last line we read - " He was amazed at their lack of faith."  What happened from everyone showing great faith - to no faith?  It all had to do with location. In business everyone knows that to succeed - you must be in the right location. In the Gospel - Jesus - went from the lake to His hometown - where he was met with a lot of questions and a bunch of skeptical people. Two groups of people - with two completely different perspectives. Faith and no faith.
Jesus challenges each of us daily to follow Him and walk the journey of life with Him. It is not an easy journey - it is not without its challenges - it requires a lot of strength - it takes faith. Faith in Jesus - faith in God - faith in other people - faith in yourself. At the end of the day you have to ask yourself - will you be more like the people in last week's Gospel or this week's - will you have faith or no faith?

Deacon Dale 

Saturday, July 7, 2012


Here is an interesting article I just came across - as posted in the Catholic News Service. 

"Anglican communities in California find 'new home' in Catholic Church
SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif. (CNS) -- Two Anglican communities from Southern California are now in full communion with the Catholic Church. Members of the St. Augustine of Canterbury and Blessed John Henry Newman communities, based in Oceanside/Carlsbad and Santa Ana respectively, were received into the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter during a July 3 liturgy at Mission Basilica San Juan Capistrano. Established by Pope Benedict XVI, the ordinariate is essentially a diocese for former Anglicans throughout the United States who wish to be fully Catholic while retaining their rich Anglican traditions and liturgical practices. Bishop Tod D. Brown of Orange was the presiding celebrant at the liturgy. His concelebrants included San Diego Coadjutor Bishop Cirilo B. Flores, his former auxiliary bishop; Msgr. Jeffrey N. Steenson, a former Episcopal bishop who heads the ordinariate; and Father Andrew Bartus, a former Anglican priest and administrator of the Blessed John Henry Newman community, who was ordained to the Catholic priesthood in the same liturgy. In addition to ordaining Father Bartus, Bishop Brown also received and confirmed members of the Blessed John Henry Newman community, including Father Bartus' wife, Laura. Bishop Flores similarly received and confirmed members of the St. Augustine of Canterbury community. In his homily, Msgr. Steenson reflected on the ongoing challenge "to be people -- men and women -- of communion." While noting the significance of their reception into full communion, he reminded the former Anglicans that their pursuit of unity must continue. He explained that all Christians must spend their lives working toward an ever deeper sense of communion with God and one another."
As a Catholic deacon I love reading about people of similar faith expressions who are able to be included under the rich traditions of the Roman Catholic Church.  Jesus came to call all of us to worship and honor His Heavenly Father.  Over many years what started as one body of worshipers grew into a multitude of different groups.  When we are able to reunite groups under the same umbrella of faith -to witness movement from difference to closeness -  then it means that we - as Catholics - are doing something right. As a Church - as individuals - we need to pray daily - "come Lord Jesus" - unite us as one!

Deacon Dale 

Friday, July 6, 2012


I was recently doing some work around our back deck and noticed that the stairs needed repair. The one stairway needs minor work but the second set was structurally damaged and needed to be replaced which meant that I could correct a design flaw in the original stairway. A simple project - one that many do-it-yourself people would not shy away from. Building a stairway is not a simple task - so I have learned. After doing the proper research - I was able to decide on how I should proceed. The hardest part - making the stairway stringers - was easily solved when I discovered that they were available pre-cut and matching my exact dimensions!  The rest fell into place - buying the lumber - putting in some necessary supports - and voila - a new stairway.
When you are working on your relationship with God - you are building your stairway to heaven. Luckily - when building that stairway you do not have to worry about creating any risers - you do not need a list of lumber - and there is no working in one hundred degree temperatures. As you develop your spiritual life - you add another stair onto your stairway to heaven. Getting to understand your relationship with Jesus - accepting Him as your Lord and Savior - all adds stairs.  Each spiritual step brings you closer and closer to your heavenly home. Every day Jesus stands at the top of the stairway calling your name - it is up to you how quickly you add steps and how close you draw nearer to God. Prayer is the tool - faith is the glue - start your stairway today!

Deacon Dale 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Paradise Lost

Paradise Lost was written by English poet John Milton. Originally it was published in ten books with over ten thousand individual lines of verse. The poem is about the Fall of Man - the temptation of Adam and Eve and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. When people think that they possess everything that they wanted out of life and then lose it - they too feel like they have lost their paradise. Upon closer look - often what looked like paradise - only existed in their mind and not in reality. We all know the saying that love is blind - and that may apply to anything that we love - so much that we are blinded to the reality of lack of perfection. When the "scales fall from our eyes" and we see what really exists - disappointment settles in and we become unhappy to learn that the paradise we thought we had - never existed at all. 
Jesus never promised us a paradise - a perfect world to live in - when He spoke of paradise it was only a promise of what laid ahead - in heaven. He told us that we would experience conflict in this life - that the perfect life was only to be attained in the future with His heavenly Father. Although many people may feel they have found perfection in this life - what is yet to come cannot be comprehended and will be much better than anyone has in their present life. Jesus promised - we trust and belive that one day paradise will be found.

Deacon Dale 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Independence Day..

Independence Day - also known as as the Fourth of July is very special to Americans. If you have studied American history - then you know what an ordeal it was for the original settlers to organize and then break away from the control of the British Empire.  The legal separation of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain actually occurred on July 2, 1776. The Declaration of Independence was officially approved and signed on July 4th. The significance of the signing of that document is so important that it is celebrated annually - to remind us of how precious liberty really is. One of the hallmarks of being American is the liberty and freedom that is associated with the word American.
When a person makes the decision to become a Christian their entire life changes. They do not have to get an act approved by congress and rarely is any official document needed to be signed.  The freedom given them by being baptized and accepted into the Christian Church grants them specific rights - liberty and freedom from Satan and sin. Becoming Christian opens doors - opportunities for spiritual growth are numerous and if the decision involved becoming Roman Catholic - they receive the greatest gift the Catholic Church can provide - Holy Eucharist! Another hallmark of being an American is the freedom to worship as we chose. On this day - we praise God that we enjoy that freedom!

Deacon Dale 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Doubting Thomas

I have a friend Tom - who was discussing my blog the other day. He was trying to figure out if I wrote a new blog each day or if I did a bunch all at one time. I think - in a nice way - he was trying to figure out if these are my original thoughts or if I have some source available to me that I use. First - it is almost impossible to have any real "original" thought - as almost every topic or subject that you can think of - somebody else has already written about. Secondly - I do use a resource - available to everyone - the Bible and the internet. With my basic knowledge of Holy Scripture - a solid background in Christianity -my diaconal training - and my basic love of Jesus and His people - all that - gives me more than enough material to write my daily blog. And write daily I do. On occasion - when I travel - I may prepare some articles in advance - as I did recently when I was in Poland. If I think that internet services may not be readily available - then I will write in advance - so all I have to do is go online and "Publish" a pre-written article. Otherwise what you read is written on a daily basis. The articles and titles are all mine - taken from whatever is happening in my personal life. The article about power washers - was the result of spending hours washing my deck.  You can probably go back and figure out what was happening to me the day previous if you really think and realize that my article titles actually tell a story of what is happening in my life.
So back to Tom's question - how do I manage to write daily? To me it is a gift from God - I have the ability to see God's hand at work in a lot of different and unusual situations. Where some people see only devastation - loneliness - emptiness - I see God. Where many people go for the first impression - I take a different road - and look for God hidden in minor details - that tells a completely different story. In the photo above some will see a nebula - others the eye of God. It is all about realizing that by myself - I am nothing - and only with God in my life - do I have a potential - a possibility to be - at best - average. If I can empty myself and be open to however and whenever God wants to work through me - then so be it.  Nothing more - nothing less - as I live out the words selected by my brothers in deacon formation - as our ordination motto - "To love and serve the Lord".

Deacon Dale 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Power Washer

Power washers are very helpful tools - using a gas engine or an electrical power source - it takes an ordinary stream of water and increases the force at which the water is sprayed. Power washers are used to clean cars, house siding and decks among other items. Using a power washer not only speeds up the task at hand - it also cleans deeper and with more force - with a small effort on the operator's part - to do a good deep cleaning.
Jesus does not need to use a power washer to get you clean. When you decide that you can no longer live with the stain of sin in your life - all you need to do is to go to Jesus and confess your sins to Him. He will take the sins in your life and remove them from you in a very gentle but very thorough way to completely clean you. Jesus cleans you and makes you whole - to enjoy the life that His Father had planned for you since the time of creation. If you are unsure how to do this -speak with your parish priest or minister - they will be more than happy to help you experience the power of God's cleansing in your life.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Northern European Mutt

Northern European Mutt - that is me.  This is in reference to my genealogy. Some people - like my wife - can claim to be purebred since both her parents were of Polish descent - one generation removed from Poland. My family roots are not as clear or as clean. Although my mother was pure Italian direct from Italy - my father's family history is a bit more varied as our surname of English origin is compounded with English, Irish, Welsh, German, French and Jewish ancestry. My mother used to always say we were Heinz seven varities when discussing family origins. I never did figure out the Jewish roots as that is really a religious designation.  Most Americans probably fall into the same "mutt" category as I do - with a varied mix of nationalities.  For me this has not caused confusion - rather a desire to get to know each of the nationalities that are a part of my family history.
Spiritually all Christians claim the same background - Jesus people. The difference between Christians happens when you discuss denominational lines - Protestant - Catholic - Orthodox - and then all the sub-categories under each of those.  A few of these tend to see major differences from the others and because of that - do not see people from other "lines" as brothers and sisters in the Lord.  No matter what our doctrinal differences - we are all one - under the One - the only Lord.  When people begin to really understand their religious roots as well as their genealogical roots we might actually stop the pointing and accusing and get on with the business of being Christ's modern day disciples! Jesus said "to love the Lord your God with all your heart - with all your soul and with all your mind is the first commandment and the second is to love your neighbor as yourself."  If we are to be Jesus' modern day disciples we need to give up the finger and instead offer our hands!

Deacon Dale