Friday, April 25, 2014

Yes Viriginia - There Is A Heaven

Many people know without a doubt that heaven exists - no questions - no arguments - others - quite the different opinion - varying from questioning its existence - to outright denial. Obviously none of us have seen heaven - the proof of its reality - only in testimony - in Holy Scripture - only in Near Death experiences. The Majority of people hope there is a heaven - pray that it is real - disappointed when some refute its reality. Near Death stories support believers - are fodder for those who chose to ridicule. Evidence supporting its existence does tend to conflict from witness to witness - the one common aspect is the sense of peacefulness - serenity - comfort. As we read and listen to stories - it appears that heaven is more of a personal experience for each person - one person's heaven may be similar to others - yet still different.  Christians are not the only ones to believe in heaven - other religions - have similar beliefs of a special place where one receives  their eternal rewards after leaving this life.

Jesus promised His disciples - Us - that heaven does exist. In John 14:12 Jesus tells that his Father's house has many rooms and that He goes before to prepare a room for us. If we who believe in Jesus - believe in His promises - then there is no question for us - no doubt - no fear. Jesus says to you - to me - to Virginia - yes there is a heaven.

Deacon Dale 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Easter Frenzy

It is now four days after Easter Sunday - four days in which I have been decompressing - coming down from the activities of Holy Week - The Chrism Mass - Holy Thursday - Good Friday - Holy Saturday - Easter Sunday - planning - scheduling - meeting - rehearsing - making phone calls - recruiting - emailing - a one man show - attempting to make Holy Week and Easter special for all who would participate.  It was not my plan to undertake all of this - on my own - it was not my plan to attempt all that had to be done - on my own - it was the reality of being told that it was my job - one week prior - that I was expected to arrange Holy Week - on my own.  In the past - others have been in charge and I have willing helped - this year those same people - for various reasons - could not help - did not want to help - so I did it - on my own.  I will never repeat that error - again.  I was there - I attended every service - I planned and led every rehearsal - I did the extras - the Holy Saturday blessing of Easter food baskets - the final rite for those in RCIA - I even bought the special candles and certificates for our RCIA participants - because that also fell through the cracks - on my own. My sole help - my sole support was my wife - who helped where she could - who allowed me the time - to make all this work - without a single heartfelt thank you.  I know I was serving God - serving His Son - my only real regret is that I failed to spend any quality time worshiping Him - my saviour - this past week.  My prayer is that He forgive me for allowing myself to be so unbelievably busy during the holiest week of the year - that I was caught up in such a frenzy organizing - that I failed to worship. This week - I pray that in some small way I can make it up to Him.

Jesus had a lot more disciples - followers - than the dozen we commonly hear about. They came from all over to see him - to listen to him - to worship Him - to touch Him.  At the end - with hundreds and thousands of followers - He ended up alone - walking the final step - on His own - enduring the punishment - on His own - hanging on the cross - on His own. Nobody else could have done what He did - nobody else could suffer the way He did - it was His - His alone to do - on His own - for you - for me - for the world.  As we continue our celebration of the Easter season - each of us needs to realize - if we were the only one worth saving - He would have still died for us - on His own - for us - alone.

Deacon Dale 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Season

Easter is such a monumental event that one day does not do it justice - therefore - Easter season - 50 days - which lasts all the way to Pentecost - the Christian Church celebrates Christ's victory over death and sin. The victory is so important - so grand that one day is not long enough to honor the significance of this victory. In this season we are affirmed in our belief - in Jesus - in God - in the promises of New Life for ourselves. Jesus was the first - we are to follow one day - assured that He has gone to His Father to create a room for each of us.

Jesus is the same today as yesterday - His promises as valid today as when first spoken -  He calls each of us - daily - to come to Him - to accept His offer and promise - of New Life. In these 50 days - He waits for you to respond.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter - Resurrection - הַלְּלוּיָהּ

Easter - the Big Day - Christ is Risen - He is Alive - Resurrection - Birth to New LIfe. Today we celebrate the most often recorded - and debated - event of all history - the resurrection of Jesus - the Christ.  Around the world - in as many languages as there are people - the one word most often spoken - that universal utterance - known by almost all - Alleluia - Hallelujah - a transliteration of the Hebrew word הַלְּלוּיָהּ - halleluya - a two part word meaning praise (you) + the Lord. On this day Christians of all denominations celebrate - rejoice - in this one act - the raising from the dead - of Jesus.  A statement - in fact - if God can raise Jesus - what can He do with us? Can we truly be saved from our sins - from a sinful world - from sinful people - from those who would harm us - those who would deny us - those who would seek our personal destruction? In Jesus' resurrection the answer is - YES - without a doubt - no challenge - to a God who is not only - the Author of Life - but the Guardian of Life - The One who Is - the One who will Be - the Source and Summit of our existence.  

On this day Jesus - celebrates with all people around the world - He came for all - but not all will accept His gift - He offers New Life - many will accept - some will reject. For those of us who believe - we place our trust in the promises of God - we rejoice - we proclaim alleluia - praise the Lord.

Deacon Dale 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Triduum - Holy Saturday - The Mother of all Vigils

Our third day of the Triduum - this morning we blessed Easter food baskets - for that Easter meal which breaks the Paschal fast - we blessed our catechumens as they recited the creed - a time of instruction for tonight's vigil Mass - server training - back home to rest and prepare for tonight's Vigil Mass - the longest Mass of the year. Tonight we bless fire - the new Easter Candle -the water in the font - for those who will be baptized - received - confirmed in  the Church - as they prepare to celebrate their First Eucharist - Holy Communion with the parish family. Mass will last more than two hours - time filled with darkness and light - Holy Smoke - as we incense the Easter candle - the altar - the people. We listen attentively to a string of seven readings from Holy Scripture - as the Litany of Saints is sung - prayers spoken - hearts lifted - as we wait- anticipate - Easter morning.

The vigil for Jesus - quite different - betrayal - darkness - violence - ridicule - dropped into a cistern over night - waiting in darkness - waiting to see what the morning would bring - crucifixion - hanging on the cross - death - lying in the tomb - waiting - for resurrection.  The First Son waiting for the first sun - morning - new life - a new world. Tonight - we remember - we recreate - we too wait for the First Son - for Jesus - to enter our lives.

Deacon Dale 

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Triduum - Good Friday - Nails in the Pail

Today - Good Friday - a somber day of the year - a very somber day of the Triduum. Today we commemorated the Passion and Crucifixion of Jesus - we read the Passion - again - we listened - again - to the reason - the justification of Jesus' atoning death. After listening - we walked - slowly - to the Cross of Christ - we knelt before the Crucifix - kissed the cross - the feet of Jesus - this year - with square head nails in hand - dropping the nails - our sins - in a metal pail - at the foot of His cross - giving to Him - our sins - our sorrows - our disappointments - the sound of the nails in the pail - resonating throughout the sanctuary - drawing us closer to His Passion - onwards to communion - where we shared in Eucharist - from last nights Holy Mass - walking away in silence - walking away - in sorrow - to meditate - to contemplate - to pray - awaiting Holy Saturday - the Vigil Mass - Resurrection

Jesus could not walk away - He had no options - He was submissive to His Father - allowing Himself to be nailed to a cross - for US. He committed no sins - carried Our sins to the cross - our sins - the metal of the nails that pierced His skin - His hands - His feet - for us.  Jesus died that we might live - tonight we wait - we pray - ready to celebrate - resurrection.

Deacon Dale 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Triduum - Holy Thursday - The Pope Deacon

Today marks the beginning of the Triduum - the three holiest days in the Christian calendar. Holy Mass tonight will focus on three very important aspects of Catholicism - the Priesthood - Holy Eucharist - Service to our neighbors. At the beginning of Holy Mass the Oils blessed by the Bishop at the Chrism Mass this past Monday will be presented to Reverend Father to be placed in the parish ambry. In his homily tonight we will hear how - at the Last Supper - Jesus took bread and wine - blessed them and shared with His disciples - the origination of Holy Eucharist - the First Communion for His disciples and the institution of the priesthood as He told them to do likewise in remembrance of Him. And as they sat at table He - the First among Priests - the Son of Man - removed His outer garment - tied a towel around His waist and knelt in humility before each of His disciples as He washed their feet. Explaining to them - in this first - of ordination rituals - that they were to be the servants of all - to minister to all in charity - in love. Deacons first - servants of all - priests second - to confect the Eucharistic elements. As I watched a video of Pope Francis at His Holy Thursday service in Italy today - it struck me - at the foot washing ceremony - he removed his chasuble - wearing his alb and a deacon stole - proceeded to wash the feet of the twelve selected - to highlight the concept of Diaconia - service - to brother and sister - our Pope - deacon and priest - Bishop of Rome.

Jesus was the first - is the first - will always be the first - to serve - all - in humility - in charity. He is truly the Alpha - the Omega - the beginning - the end - the circle of life - summed up in one person - one God. As we celebrate His gift to us - His gift of salvation - His gift of Church - His gift of community - we - unworthy though we may be - celebrate Jesus.

Deacon Dale 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Camino Finale

The last day of our Lenten Camino - the walk is over - our destination reached! It is hard to believe that we are at the end of Lent - on the doorstep of the Triduum - the three holiest days of the year. Our Camino has had ups and downs - false starts - successes - happy moments - moments of sadness - in all these moments - a Divine presence. We have prayed Rosaries - Divine Mercy chaplets - the prayers of the Church - Lauds - Vespers - prayers of our hearts. We have meditated - contemplated - sat in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament - wondered - pondered - the significance of ourselves - our lives - during this Camino journey. The journey ended - a new journey to begin in the morning - Holy Thursday - the Triduum.

As Jesus came to the end of His journey - as He prepared for His time remaining with His disciples - He wondered - contemplated - prayed. We join Him now in prayer - as we look forward to the next three days - we join Him - as never before - in solemn prayer.

Deacon Dale 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Two Days Away

One of the exciting things about walking the Camino de Santiago was finally getting to the point when there were only two days left to walk to the Cathedral at Santiago. It was a time of excitement and concern - what would we do now that we were so close to finishing - would we actually be able to walk the distance remaining in only two days? At that point we had been walking for almost 30 days - feet were tired - we were tired - we wanted to be done - we wanted the experience to continue. Emotions were all over the place - excitement - sadness - joy - anticipation - you name it - we felt it.

As Jesus was drawing closer to His Last Supper - knowing full well what was going to happen - wondering if it would happen as expected - He was filled with emotions as well. He had to be confident that all would go as planned - yet - as a man - he had his concerns - enough that he would sweat blood. As we finish our last two days of Lent - we take time to pause and wonder - where have we come from - have we walked far enough - will we be ready for the Triduum?

Deacon Dale 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Chrism Mass

Tonight we had the privilege of attending the annual Chrism Mass with the Bishop. At this Mass the oils used throughout the year - Oil of the Sick - Oil of Catechumens - Holy Chrism - were blessed - distributed to each parish in the diocese. Oil is a very important sacramental used in the various rites in the Roman Catholic Church - anointing of the sick - infant baptism - confirmation - blessing of altars - at the initiation rites at the Easter Vigil. Oil is something that can be touched and felt and in Holy Chrism - smelled. Through the imposition of these oils - people are brought closer to God - in a tangible way. At this annual Mass - the priests of  the diocese - reaffirm their promises made at ordination - to serve the people of God as holy men - to be obedient to their bishop. The congregation affirms  the bishop and his priests as they say their own amens to pray and support all of them.

In various rites and celebrations that will be observed this week - Holy Week- everyone - parishioners - priests - deacons - bishop - are drawn more deeply into the mystery of God. Each of us has an important part to play - words to say - prayers to be offered - as we draw closer to the Triduum - the three holiest days of the Christian year. Our Lenten Camino has brought us very close to the end of Lent - two more days and Lent ends and we walk into the Triduum - we walk knowing we have done well this Lent - we walk encouraged by our accomplishments - we walk as children of God.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Walking to Jerusalem

One of the really awesome things when we visited the Holy Land was walking to Jerusalem - up and down stone stairs - past merchant shops - greeting people everywhere we went. Jerusalem is an interesting city as is all of the Holy Land. A once-in-a-lifetime trip done twice - each visit a little different than the other. Traveling with different groups of people - ordained clergy - everyday folks. Taking in the sights and sounds - trying to remember all the special sites we visited - Sea of Galilee - Tiberius - Western Wall. Memories of very enjoyable visits.

When Jesus entered Jerusalem - greeted by the people waving palms - calling His name - a special moment - a time to celebrate acceptance. Having walked for the majority of the time He was preaching His Gospel message - this time riding in on a donkey - a colt - a change of pace for this Man of God. His time walking not only through the sand and desert - but into the hearts - minds - souls - of those who stopped - listened - took Him into their lives. We all have a journey to walk - our Lenten Camino - moving one foot after another - growing closer to Jesus - to God - on a daily basis. Seeking the One - who fills our hearts - minds - with His presence. This week as we walk towards Jerusalem - through the various liturgies - the Chrism Mass - Holy Thursday - Good Friday - Holy Saturday - the Easter Vigil - we join Jesus - walking to Calvary - to resurrection.

Deacon Dale 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Grand Entrance

Many people looking for new houses are seeking homes with a grand entrance - a large entry foyer - wide - expansive - welcoming. The concept is making guests feel that the entry is their personal space - a place to remove coats - get comfortable - as they continue into the homeowners house. Those who can afford to purchase homes with this particular feature - impress their guests - make a statement - we are prepared - waiting for you - to welcome you into our private space. There is nothing like a grand entrance to welcome people.

When Jesus entered into Jerusalem - masses of people standing to greet Him - waving palms - shouting His name - He had to be impressed. Being welcomed into the city - all the smiling faces - shouts of joy - hosannas - children running around Him - everyone trying to be near Him. Yes a grand entrance - leading to a grand let down. Who would have guessed that in a few short days - He would finish His journey - in such a drastic way. As we wind down on our Lenten Camino - we wave palms at Holy Mass this weekend - celebrating Jesus - walking slowly to the end of our Camino - slowly to Holy Week - slowly to the Triduum - slowly to His Cross.

Deacon Dale 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Heart Bleed

Heart Bleed is the name of a virus that was recently discovered that undermines - weakens -computer password security. It is currently receiving a lot of attention since those systems affected were previously thought to be completely secure and safe. For those of us who have critical data on various online sites - this is a valid concern. Thankfully fixes are being quickly implemented and within a week those software patches will be in place at which time passwords may be updated and security restored. Luckily major financial sites were not affected - so for many people the only heart bleed they need to be concerned with are those people who are serious gardeners and tend their colorful plants known as bleeding hearts - when to plant - how to cultivate.

For Christians everywhere the one bleeding heart they focus on is that of their saviour - Jesus - who freely shed His blood to atone for their sins. We are now one week away from Good Friday  - when the crucifixion of Jesus is commemorated - the day He died - that we might live. As Christians around the world flock to their local churches - all are reminded in special ways that this next week - Holy Week - is the most special week above all others - including Christmas. It is this week - when we allow ourselves to join our hearts with that of Jesus - it is in this next week when all of us will share - in His redeeming - heart bleed.

Deacon Dale 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

In Your Eye

When somebody tells you - in your eye - they are usually referring to doing something good - right in front of you - that you thought was not possible. Basketball players are known to use this phrase - particularly when another player is in their face defying them to attempt a shot at the basket - and they do - right - in their eye. There is something magical about the eye - often called the windows to the soul. We just returned from a two day pilgrimage to Wisconsin - one site we visited was the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help. Everyone agreed that the most outstanding feature of that visit was viewing the Statue of Mary at the site of the apparition. What made that so memorable was the statue itself - particularly - the eyes. Most statues are void of eyes - rather - eye sockets or plain globes fill the socket - as it is very difficult to reproduce the human eye in a statue that look real. In this case the artist not only captured an exact essence of the human eye - but a gaze from the statue that pierces the soul of the observer. Gazing upon this statue of the Blessed Mother - gazing down at those kneeling before her - has an unbelievable effect on everyone who kneels there to pray. It is difficult to explain - one of those occasions when words fail - you have to experience for yourself.

Jesus was known for His piercing gaze - looking into the souls of those who looked at Him. He was able to see the lies as well as the truth - the disappointments as well as the hope - the failures as well as the potential. Two more days and we will be celebrating His entrance into Jerusalem - looking at those who celebrated His arrival - those who feared His presence - His eyes that loooked into their souls. As we wave our palms this Sunday - we focus on our eyes- what we see - what we will see - what affect - it will have on us - as we begin the holiest week of the Christian year.

Deacon Dale

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Senior Moments

For the next two days we will be traveling with a bus of seniors for a two day pilgrimage to Wisconsin. Traveling with seniors is always fun - they are just like younger people - except most of them have done it all - so their experience means less hassle and stress - more time for open sharing and laughs. This is a spiritual journey - visiting two shrines - time for prayer - Holy Mass - meals - being together - sharing God's blessings. If this is what people refer to as "senior moments" then I want more of them. The other senior moments - times of forgetfulness - we will just ignore - because the moments we remember are the ones we value.

Jesus calls all of us - seniors as well as youth - to follow Him - to share in His gift of salvation - love - acceptance. Taking time to journey with Him on our Lenten Camino - on foot - in a bus - leads us down the path designed for us by His Heavenly Father. All are called - all are drawn - not all respond. Each of us needs to keep our ears open - to hear Him - calling - our name.

Deacon Dale 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Taxing Times

Life is beautiful - grand - enjoyable - full of surprises - accomplishments - rewards - most of  the time. Then there are those moments - hopefully few - when life kicks you in the back side - becomes unpleasant - troublesome - filled with concerns - taxing. Everyone has these moments - unavoidable - hard to escape - inevitable. It is one week away - income taxes are due - many - like myself - put off until the last week - placing pressure - stress - on ourselves to gather and complete that annual task. It will be done - on time - accurately - a sigh of relief at the end. Why do we do this to ourselves - why create a taxing scenario - year after year? The reality - it is a challenge - we place upon ourselves - like a sport - knowing that we will do well - waiting until the final bout - the championship match - going for the gold - we are enlivened by the challenge. Stressful - yes - taxing - yes - long hours - yes - but it is the knowledge - of success - final completion - doing a job well done. It is sport - and we love sports.

God offers us life - life in the fullest. Jesus said He came that we might have life and live it to the fullest. Notice He said might - not would - His promise of the potential - if we accept His challenge - to go for the gold - to grab the brass ring - to compete well - to run with the bulls - soar with the eagles - to seek what is offered - to find what is hidden. Doing so could be stressful - taxing - but in the end - well worth the effort. God has laid all this out before us - it is we who need to make the effort to take - to conquer - to enjoy - to rejoice - in His gifts. Our Lenten Camino continues to take us to places where we are encouraged to walk a little farther - to go the distance. The journey is not over yet - so we continue daily - prayers in hand - as we seek a deeper relationship with Him - the Author of Life.

Deacon Dale 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Hot Air

Hot air is great in the winter and colder months - it keeps you warm - comfy - happy. Those who fly hot air balloons - major necessity for hot air - to stay afloat. In mid-summer - hot air - not appreciated. While walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain last year - hot air - especially on the meseta - desert area - not wanted - uncomfortable. Sitting next to a group of peregrinos - talking loudly - trying to impress each other - unwanted hot air. Bragging and boasting - not desirable - anywhere.

When Jesus spoke to the crowds - to individuals - to the people in the temple - no hot air - no bragging - no boasting. His words - words of encouragement - words of hope - words of forgiveness - words of healing. As we draw closer to the end of this Lenten Camino - springtime - new life - warmer - not hor - air - welcomes us. In these last days we focus not on the greatness of those around us - we focus on the simplicity - the truth of Jesus. As we walk this Camino - we focus - on Jesus.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Dead Wrong

Dead wrong - completely wrong - no possibility that you might be even slightly correct. Most of the time when we get information that is tainted - not completely true - flawed research - we will be wrong - but only partially wrong. When all the information is bad - the research done very poorly - the data transmitted frivolously - chances of being correct - very very slim. When we realize that we have errored - we can only admit the error - move on - seek new data - accurate information - come to a new and better conclusion.

The disciples were told that their friend Lazarus was dead - dead and buried - in the grave four days - bought the farm - kicked the bucket - pushing up daisies -  said his final farewell. Lazarus' sisters thought the same - as did the towns people - all dead wrong. Jesus - frustrated at their lack of faith - in Him - in His Father - in His promises - wept. Wept for  their lack of faith - not because Lazarus had died - wept for their disappointing reaction. Jesus knew He would raise Lazarus from the dead - His disciples should have known that He would perform a miracle - but they doubted - failed to trust - did not believe. We have the benefit of the facts - the records of history - documented evidence - so we do believe - we understand - we trust - we hope in His promises. We trust that like Lazarus - we too will have life forever - in God's Kingdom. This Lent if we learn only one thing - we learn that we can trust the promises of God - the words of Jesus. If not - we will be - dead wrong.

Deacon Dale 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Debit Cards

Debit Cards - also known as bank cards - check cards - are plastic cards used to pay for goods or services via electronic access to financial institutions. Some cards have a stored value which allows payment - most send a request to the cardholder's bank to withdraw funds from a designated bank account. The card - where accepted - may be used instead of cashIn many countries - debit cards have become so widespread that their volume has overtaken or entirely replaced checks/cheques - in some instances - cash transactions. Unlike credit and charge cards - payments using a debit card are immediately transferred from the cardholder's bank account. Debit cards usually also allow for instant withdrawal of cash - acting as the ATM - cash card  - for withdrawing cash at ATM machines - Bancomats - Telebanco stations. While walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain - we found large cities accepted both types of cards. On the Camino - itself - in small villages and towns - which comprise perhaps 90 percent of the Camino path - only cash is accepted. Those walking the Camino need to be aware that in those remote areas of Spain - it is strictly a cash economy - for beds - bars - food - groceries. Paying in Euros - instead of a card - was actually liberating in a sense. You selected - paid in Euros - transaction completed. Simple - easy - no stress - the way of the Camino - direct and immediate payment - in full. 
When Jesus died on the cross - for you - for me - He paid our debit - for the sins committed - past and future. He did not use a credit or debit card to pay the price - nor did He use cash - rather He paid with His life - His blood. Nobody had to coerce or beg Him to do that - He did it freely - of His own will - for one reason and one reason only. His love for us - each of us. If I were the only sinner in the entire world - I know He would still have died - just for me - because that is in God's plan. Salvation for all - male and female - rich and poor - black and white - young and old - for all. As we walk these last weeks of Lent - as we continue our Lenten Camino - may we constantly keep in our minds what Jesus did for each of us - and why. We owe Him a debt - for paying once - for all - for our sins - in full.

Deacon Dale 

Friday, April 4, 2014


Waymarks - signs placed along a route - to help travelers follow the route. They may be intended for travelers on foot - bicycle - horse - in a vehicle - any mode of transportation. Milestones -  common in Europe - are a form of waymark - along the Camino de Santiago - numerous different waymarks - all intended to show people the correct path to follow as they seek to journey to a final destination. While walking the Camino in Spain - waymarks became your best friend - reassuring each time you discovered the next one - telling you that you were walking the correct path. Without waymarks - completing the journey - very difficult. 

As we walk our Lenten Journey we are given signs - from God - that we are on the correct path. Scripture that speaks to the heart - prayers that stir emotions - sights and sounds - that move the inner spirit - all waymarks - reassuring us that we are headed in the right direction. Moving through Lent - we encounter the presence of God - in others - in special moments. We experience moments of grace - peace - love - assurances we are on the correct path. 

Deacon Dale 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Ground Floor

Starting on the ground floor is where most people start - ground level - easy access - no elevation - smooth and easy. Moving anywhere on the ground floor - no major effort required. Attempting to rise above the ground floor - energy necessary to progress - desire to move upwards. Walking up a flight of stairs - starting low - seeking height. Entry level job - intern to CEO - seeking status and wealth. All of us have begun a project - started a job - on the ground floor - seeking to improve - to achieve - to greater challenges - bigger successes. It is the story of life - moving from inception towards a grand conclusion.

When we were brought to the temple - to church - presented to the high priest - to be baptized - to begin our initiation into a life with Christ - we began on a spiritual ground floor. As we age and mature - other sacraments celebrated - Eucharist - Confirmation - as we progress upwards on a life long journey towards God. Walking our Lenten Camino we started on a path - right where we were - over these past weeks - walking closer to Jesus - trekking a spiral path - upwards - closer to Him. Each day of our Camino - we move one spiritual foot after another - along the path of life - towards the Cross of Christ - towards Easter.

Deacon Dale 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

True Value

When a person considers making a purchase - paying for a service - contributing to a common cause - consideration has to be made as to the true value of that transaction. All too often goods and services are intentionally overpriced - to allow room for negotiation - bartering - quick and excessive profit. As long as the final consumer realizes the difference between what is asked and the real value -  and is able to freely negotiate a fair price - all is well. That is the free market system - supply and demand - want and need - fair pricing for both parties involved. In some parts of the world - bartering - negotiating - is part of  the culture - nobody is expected to really pay the quoted price - a game - a social interaction - money being the common game piece. When the game becomes a lie - falsehoods professed - an uneven playing field created - injustice occurs. It is up to everyone to heed the warning - buyer beware.

Jesus offers each of us true value - honesty - God's Word - proclaimed freely for all - no strings attached - no hidden clauses - no fine print. What He says - True - what He promises - True - what He proclaims - True. The life He offers - the healing - the acceptance - reconciliation - True. Continuing on our Lenten Camino - what we see is what we get - all True Value - guaranteed by God.

Deacon Dale 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April Fools

April Fools is an informal holiday celebrated every year on April 1. Popular since medieval times - the day is not a national holiday in any country - but is widely recognized throughout European cultures and celebrated as a day when people play practical jokes and hoaxes on each other - called April fools. Hoax stories are also often found in the press and media on this day. It is not unusual for the media to report outrageous stories in early news - only to be retracted - with an apology - later in the day - for the hoax. Everyone needs at least one day in the year - when they may laugh - have fun.  Except in very rare cases - all is done in good humour - offending very few if any. Nobody enjoys being called a fool - except on April 1st - when everybody becomes a fool.

Christians - in good humour - are often called fools for Christ - living lives contrary to the way the world lives. To be Christian - is counter cultural  - living as Christ commanded - doing things that others think are foolish. Those who walk with Christ are His - living good Holy lives - those who reject Him - those who deny Him - those who close  their eyes and ears to His invitation - are the real fools. As we continue our Lenten Camino - each of us walks as a fool - a fool for Christ.

Deacon Dale