Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Pointy Hats and Robes

Pointy hats and robes - startling to see - mean different things to each of us. In Monday's post I discussed the beginning of Holy Week - all the activities and celebrations to be observed during this holiest week of the year. To make a point - to startle - to open eyes - the celebration photo I selected showed a group of people clad in various colored robes - white - red - purple - all wearing pointy head coverings. As an American - at first sight - some would think that was a photo of a group that many in America find very un-Christian. That is not who those are - shown in the photo - these are people from Spain - celebrating - Semana Santa - Holy Week. Those in the garments - men who belong to various Catholic brotherhoods - deeply spiritual men - observing a tradition that dates as far back as the late 1100's - penitents - wearing the nazareno - penitential robe - consisting of a tunic - hood with a conical tip - capirote - used to hide the face of the wearer - often with a cloak. Dating from medieval Spain - this tradition continues today - a very serious - holy time of year for the men who belong to the different brotherhoods. Processions - led through the towns - often with large statues - paso - on the shoulders of the penitents - some in chains - offering a public act of penance.

Salamanca, Spain

During this week - Jesus asks us - as individuals - to seriously reflect on our relationship with Him - to contemplate the sacrifice He made for each of us. He does not demand we wear robes - nor chains - only to change our hearts - to be Christ like. He asks that we honestly consider - the precious gift of salvation - at no expense to ourselves - paid in full - by the price - of His blood.

Deacon Dale 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Holy Week

Holy Week began with Sunday's observance of Palm Sunday - Passion Sunday - the Passion of Christ - now on Monday - we contemplate the mystery - the reason - the significance. One could spend a lifetime - trying to wrap their head around - understand - comprehend - what had happened. In a lifetime - not one of us would ever fully understand - instead - we spend a week steeped in prayer - contemplation - meditation - in an effort to see where we fit into the bigger picture. This week - filled with significant ceremonies - the Chrism Mass - Holy Thursday - the Last Super - washing of the feet - Good Friday - anguish - pain - blood - fear - Holy Saturday - the waiting - Easter sunrise - Resurrection - victory - salvation. How this is possible - how this was orchestrated???

Jesus calls each of us - in a special way - to walk even closer with Him this week - to experience through His eyes - ears - all that will be laid before us - for ourselves as individuals - for the larger us - as a community. With hands outstretched - He waits for us to discover - Him.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday - the beginning of Holy Week - the holiest week of the year. Today the joyful entry into Jerusalem - gathering with family - fiends - to celebrate- Holy Mass - palms waving in the air - blessed with sprinkled water - red vestments - the reading of the processional gospel - the passion - dismissal - to go - to love - to serve the Lord.

What started as a cheerful event for Jesus - turned bad - all too quickly - the dinner - Last Supper - the kiss - the betrayal - judgement - abuse - death - not a happy ending. Holy Week shocks us to the realities of life - all is not fair - all is not just - all is not plentiful - beautiful.  Sometimes life - leaves a lot to be desired - a bad taste in our mouth - unpleasant memories. As we walk this journey with Jesus - the Via Dolarosa - the agony in the garden - those final steps - we are called to remember. To re-member - to put back together - the pieces - the fragments - of our faith - into the one loving sacrifice of Our Lord. WE are called - each of us - to walk this week in the sandals of Jesus.

Deacon Dale 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Common Core

Just the mention of Common Core - enough to start a battle between those for - those against.  The Common Core State Standards Initiative details what kindergarten through twelfth grade students should know in English language arts and mathematics - revised systems - methods - in implementing the teaching of these subjects.  Most people seem to agree that what is suppose to be common - just the opposite. I have seen primarily the mathematics systems - not necessarily understanding the logic - defies common logic - causes much outcry. Bottom line - in my humble opinion - is attempting to change the way we educate children - to teach them - to think - not parrot back answers. Too true - many seemingly bright people - children and adult - know the answers - do not understand how they arrived at the answers - cannot comprehend the systems used to determine the answers. My proof - cashiers do not know how to make change - they  only follow what the system tells them to do - swipe card - hand out money - ask if there is anything else they can do for you - when requested - at a loss for the answer. Second proof - the degradation of the common English language - forget - Ebonics - slang - rap - look at - your - you're - there - their - they're - all abused daily at the finger tips of young and old alike.

Jesus came to Earth - to show men - women - youth - adults - that God has no preference - no favorites - no teacher's pet.  In the eyes of God - all are equal - all deserving His love - forgiveness - acceptance. With God there is a common core - one body - one humanity - One Love.  (Gal 3:28) There is neither Jew or Greek - male or female - slave or free - Jesus calls - to each of us - as we begin the holiest week of the year - He calls us to pray - fast - enter into the presence of His Father's love - the very common core of His existence - that you may live - have life to the fullest - no prejudice - no discrimination - tolerant of all - down to the common core.

Deacon Dale 

Friday, March 27, 2015

Let down?

If you spend any time on the Internet now a days you will often come across headlines that want to astound - surprise - draw you deeper into the article.  "Man opens can and what he finds???" - not as big a surprise as one might expect - often the lure - leads to an empty line - no hook at the end - no meat with the potatoes - disappointment.  Everyone is working hard to attract readers to their commentary - article - blog - competing for their attention.

Jesus faces the same issues - He wants our attention - competing with the attractions of  the World - things that assault our senses - filled with empty promises. Once in a while truth wins out - the false attractions - fail to satisfy - what is real - stands head above the crowds. With Jesus - no disappointment - no let down - no false stories. What you see - what you get - His love - compassion - healing - forgiveness - New life - fresh air - renewal. As we end this week of Lent - seek the truth - that is Jesus.

Deacon Dale 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Spring Break

Spring Break - time away from work - studies - daily obligations. For most a well deserved time of respite - relaxation - travel - visiting new places - enjoying a holiday. Everyone deserves respite time - time for themselves - away from routine obligations - time to think - play - spend time with family - friends - staying home - a stacation - traveling away - a vacation. Some people - mostly younger adults - carry the spring break time to excess - traveling to the shores - warmer climates - time to lose themselves - their maturity - for the sake of excessive drinking - games - losing control - of morals - making bad decisions. For the beach communities - invaded by youth - out of control - a serious issue - for police - residents - those who exercise restraint. Spring break - originally a break from routine - never intended as a break from common sense - morality.

God wants us to enjoy our lives - His creations - the beaches - the lakes and oceans - the warm climate - fresh air - within reason. Even too much of a good thing - may become bad. Gathering in groups - nice - too many forming a group - uncontrollable mob. As we continue our Lenten exercise - here at home - away on spring break - Jesus asks us - in all things - moderation - consideration for others - reasonableness in our activities.  There is nothing wrong with good clean fun - as long as it remains - good - clean - fun - not at the expense of other's comfort. Taking a break from daily routine - highly approved by God - taking a break from morals - good manners - never approved. Jesus stands and watches - each of us - what will He see this spring break?

Deacon Dale  

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


Roundabouts - fairly few in America - very popular in Europe - a traffic flow pattern designed to eliminate numerous issues with the standard intersection. With a roundabout - traffic flows constantly - no stop and go lights - no queuing up to wait your turn at the intersection. The standardized design was perfected in England.  America has approximately 3500 roundabouts - France has approximately half of all known roundabouts at about 30,000. I like roundabouts - many dislike them.  With so many American drivers failing to come to a complete stop at traditional intersections - roundabouts would answer those "rolling" stops.

God sent His Son to His people to teach them in a manner they could understand - most common - the parables - a roundabout way - to draw people into His stories - to inform - educate - inspire - warn.  Jesus' stories were to the point - not necessarily in a straight path - bending to meet the needs of His audience - easy to understand - comprehend.  Over the years the same message - spoken - over and over - God loves - forgives - cares - about all of us. Jesus seeks us - to come to Him - He calls us by name - waits for us to respond - directly - to Him - often - in a roundabout way.

Deacon Dale 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Shrines of Italy

Shrines of Italy is a pilgrimage scheduled for November 3 - 13, 2015.  This pilgrimage is a spiritual travel experience combined with international travel and led by myself and my wife. We are pilgrimage specialists - leading spiritual travel in Israel - the Holy Land - Poland - Italy - Spain - sharing our faith with fellow pilgrims. The sights and wonders - the opportunities for prayers - Holy Mass - meditations - in special spaces around the world - provides opportunities for deep spiritual growth. We are ecumenical - leading Christians of many denominations - Catholic based - Christ centered - God focused.  Our current trip has room for thirty participants - currently about half full - plenty of space for additional couples - singles. Deadline to register is May 1st.  Complete registration information is on our web page at www.deacontravel.org

The opportunity to encounter Jesus in Italy is everywhere. There is an abundance of churches - shrines - holy sites - available to all. On a pilgrimage the participants have the opportunity to see - experience the awesome artwork present in paintings - statues - buildings.  In one way or another - everyone will feel the presence of Christ - traveling with them - surrounding them with His love. Right now the Euro is almost equivalent to the US Dollar which makes travel to Italy very affordable.  The opportunity will not last forever - time is short - opportunities like this do not last forever. Jesus waits - quietly - for you.

Deacon Dale 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Treasure Found

In Matthew 13:46 a man found a treasure buried in a field - bought that field - returned to claim his prize. In life all of us - will have opportunities - to find hidden treasure - not in a field - not pearls - gold - diamonds - rather - people. People come - go - in our lives. Many - ordinary - not memorable - others - a few special - people you never forget. The other day we came across old friends - memorable - special - from the past - here in Arizona - snow birds - like us. What joy - excitement - a chance to reconnect - to gather - to visit.

In everything that Jesus did - He tried to impress upon people - the value of fellow humans. Like pearls in the field - gold - diamonds - in the hand - treasure of greatest value.  True friendships never die - reunited - life rekindled - renewed.  As we walk this week of Lent - may each of us - find - rediscover - the friend we have in Jesus.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, March 22, 2015


It takes a specific skill to be a good negotiator - not all are qualified - able to view both sides of a discussion - argument - to control - not dominate - to bring opposing sides together - to create common ground - to achieve positive results. Labor unions - management - one eyed visions - tunnel vision - self serving.  Contracts often come to a halt - no movement either way - no progress - loss on both sides. To negotiate well - sensitivity - to both parties - vision for union - fairness the goal.

As ministers of the Gospel - God expects - Jesus - demands - His disciples - to fairness - to openness - vision - for unity.  He looks for a common union - a communion - of hearts - souls - spirits. On this Fifth Sunday of Lent - we are called to a New Covenant - a change in hearts - to create for ourselves - others - a better world - to love - to live.  Jesus call us to the bargaining table - different - the same - will you come? 

Deacon Dale 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Game Time

Game Time - time to start - let's play - play ball - batter up - on the ice - ready - set - go! The energy that one feels as any game is beginning to start - the anticipation - first point - first goal - first run - let it begin. Everyone loves sports - individual - team - the excitement - cheering - shouting - high fives. Early wins - overtime - quick wins - slow loses - adrenalin flows.
When Jesus was selecting His disciples - game time - time to learn - time to  commit - time to go the extra mile. His disciples - enthusiastic - full of energy - looking for results. Jesus had to calm - get under control - inform.  When we first felt our call to serve Him - ready - too quick - to jump in. As neophytes we need to become well grounded - allow our roots to sink deeply into His soil of knowledge - love - to empower us to enter the game - well prepared - for ministry. Lent is a training period for all Christians - ordained - lay - a time to regroup - to pray - to study - to listen. Time is running short - game day - soon upon us. Jesus - waits - watches - calls us - to join - His first string.

Deacon Dale 

Friday, March 20, 2015


Taxes have been around since the earliest days - the price for protection - community development - getting rich off the poor. I am in the process of doing my income taxes - early for me - usually left until early April. The hard part - gathering records - income - expenses - deductible - not deductible - digging up obscure receipts - depending on memory. I hate doing my taxes - will not farm the work out - hardest part - getting the necessary information - easiest part - filling out the forms. For those who have already filed - received refunds - congratulations - for those like myself - good luck.

When Jesus was asked if it was right to pay taxes - whose image on the coins - who was in charge - who ran the government - pay the man. As unpleasant as it was - paying taxes the norm. Give to Caesar what is Caesar's - give to God what is God's.  God does not want your money - the Church wants your money - for ministry - evangelization - paying its own way. No - God does not want your money - He wants your heart - not ten percent - not 20 percent - rather - one hundred percent. He wants your love - your attention - your life - to love Him - to serve Him - to help Him make this world better for everyone.  In this Lenten season as you pray - fast - give alms - remember - first - to give your heart - your love away - to God.

Deacon Dale 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Rain in Spain

The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain - a song from the musical - My Fair Lady - originally published in 1956. The song was a turning point in the plot of the musical in which Professor Higgins and Colonel Pickering had been incessantly drilling Eliza Doolittle with exercises to correct her speech - to break her Cockney accent. When my wife and I were preparing to walk the 500 mile El Camino de Santiago de Compostela in Northern Spain in 2013 - we read - studied - devoured - all the information we could find - walking conditions - weather probabilities - equipment needed - proper use of trekking poles - availability of food - language issues - everything.  One major concern was rain - the mud - humidity - wet boots - wet socks - wet clothes.  We were blessed in many and numerous ways - the one special blessing - one rain day - the last day - the easiest day. It rained in the mountains - the plains - the high lands and the low lands - it did not stay in the plain.

As the saying goes - into every life - a little rain must fall.  It is inevitable - unavoidable - a definite possibility. Where there is life - there will be heat and cold - dry and wet - snow and rain.  Rain nurtures - cleanses - revitalizes - people - plants - animals. Without rain - we would not have water - we would cease to exist.  For all of God's people - His blessings are poured upon us - daily - every day. We are showered with His love - His forgiveness - His acceptance. As rain falls from the sky and waters the ground - so does His love rain upon us to fill us with all His promises. When God sends His rain - do not run inside - to avoid - stay outside - let His blessing pour upon you - receive His Spirit - His love.  As we continue to contemplate our Lenten journey - dance in the rain - with Jesus.

Deacon Dale 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Rock of Ages

The home we bought in Arizona was previously a rental home - ignored - abused - bare minimum - little maintenance.  Before it could be placed on the market for sale - a lot of work had to be done to make it clean - updated - marketable.  If we had seen it - would not have bought it.  Months later - a crew of twenty plus - hours of sweat - transformed - freshened - renewed - given new life.  What we saw when we viewed it - not at all what the neighbors described. The interior of the house was not all that was ignored - the landscaping - a jungle - the decomposed granite - decomposed - the jungle was cleared - the granite left as is - dust unto dust - very biblical. We bought it as is - potential to make it our own - huge. In the transformation of the back yard we bought rock -  lots of rock - twenty-eight tons of rock. One inch by the new pool - 3/8 inch for the main yard - 1/4 minus for the bocce court. The community where the house is located is ruled by an HOA - homeowners association - two hundred sixteen pages of rules - covenants - restrictions. Change the color of the house - ask the HOA - change the size or color of the rock - not without HOA approval. Jumping through hoops - part of belonging to an HOA - rules - mostly fair - for the benefit of all. Approval received - the old - aged - dusty - rock - upgraded - new color - less dust - bigger stones - looking good.

Jesus wanted a leader to help Him lead His disciples - to proclaim His Gospel message - to reach the mass of people. His search led Him to Simon - Shimon - Simeon - who He named Cephas - Peter - the Rock. As He told Peter - you shall be known as Cephas - the Rock - upon whom I shall build my church - a Rock that has stood as the first leader of Jesus' Church. This Rock - this Peter - the original Rock of Ages - the same Rock who three times denied the Lord - this man known for putting his foot in his mouth - stood - solid - following Jesus - even into death. Jesus does not ask us to die for Him - He did that once - for all.  He does ask us to be solid - rock solid in our faith - to be firm in our belief in Him - to be a peg fixed firmly in place - as we seek to deepen our relationship with Him - with God - as we serve Him and His people.  Jesus asks - we respond - He hopes - we will be - rock solid - for all ages.

Deacon Dale  

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Just A Kiss

A kiss - never just a kiss - meaningful - affects - effects - many. Some would say a kiss is nothing - a simple action - no consequence - not worth discussing. Others - quite different - very meaningful - impacts - changes - aftermath. Kissing - sign of affection for most - often shared frivolously - no meaning - no intent.  Most people contemplate - consider - who to kiss - when to kiss - how to kiss. Recently it was reported that a casual kiss - given an infant - led to death - sadness all around - a cold sore - herpes virus - infection - hospital - second infection at hospital - baby too weak to survive. 

When Jesus was betrayed by Judas - with a kiss - well intended - planned - arrested - condemned - crucified - died - the world shuddered. When Jesus asked Judas - you betray me with a kiss? - the thoughts through his mind - what he had done - the consequences - like the infant - innocent - no future. Even though He was betrayed - Jesus - loved - Judas - the world - enemies - critics - you - me - all of us. His love has no end - for God so loved the world - all in the world - all of the world - He sent His only Son - Jesus - to die - from a kiss - for all of us. Would that we could meet Jesus - face to face - to offer Him - our kiss.

Deacon Dale 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Stunted Growth

According to Wikipedia stunted growth refers to a reduced growth rate in human development presenting as a manifestation of malnutrition and repeated infections such as diarrhea and parasitic worms. The world is filled with people who suffer with stunted growth - for the most part - most fare pretty well - with shorter height being one of their least concerns in life.  Short people are all around us - not all necessarily victims of stunted growth.  Height is not only a nutrition issue - genetics - ancestral history - playing a large role in growth patterns and height of individuals.  In reality the height of a person is nothing compared  to what resides inside - in the mind - the heart.

Jesus- Himself - not a giant of a man - somewhat short by today's standards - in physical 
characteristics - a giant - spiritually - ethically- morally. Through Him - God showed the true merit lies inside the person - how they think - what they think - how they act - what they say - do - believe.  God asks all of us to  put aside pre-conceived ideas about the value of others - to look with His eyes - to hear with His ears - to love with His heart.  Do this and your Lenten journey - will bear much fruit.

Deacon Dale

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Laetare Sunday

The Fourth Sunday of Lent - Laetare Sunday - celebrated by most western rite liturgical churches - Roman Catholic - Anglican - some Protestant churches - Laetare - translated from Latin - to rejoice. What is it about this particular Sunday of Lent - a period of purple - sadness - reflection - penance - that we see rose - pinkish colored vestments - told to be happy - rejoice.  Is it more than the fact that we are half way through LENT - looking forward to celebrating - Easter - resurrection - new life.  On this Sunday -- God - the Church reminds us - not all is bad - not all is sad - not all needs forgiveness.  There is natural joy in the world - in people - friends - animals - plants - joy that never leaves.

Jesus told us that He came to set a fire on the earth - a fire  in the hearts of men -women - adults - children - a fire to burn brightly - to illuminate lives - to warm hearts - to shed light where there is darkness - to reveal hope for the lost - the lonely - the sick. In Lent - as we reflect on all that Jesus taught - we repent of the times we  failed to acknowledge - celebrate the joy of life.   Jesus shows us the way - He stands at the door - waiting for a knock - from you.

Deacon Dale    

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Time Change

Many parts of  the world just recently went through a time change - moving the hands of the clock forward - one hour - offering one additional hour to work - play - enjoy - more sunlight. Not every country participates - not every US state - participates. The usefulness often questioned. The origin - thought to benefit farmers - incorrect - originally proposed by a New Zealand entomologist in 1895 - later by by an English builder - who disliked ending his golf game early - due to dusk - in 1905 - first implemented by Germany in April 1916 - as a means to reduce use of coal during World War I.  For some areas - Arizona - daylight saving time - a detriment - increasing use of air-conditioning - increasing use of electricity. 

God sent Jesus to mankind when - time change - seriously needed.  People were going astray - not observing God's plan - doing their own thing - not living the lives He had in mind. Jesus asked - told - begged - people to listen - open their ears - eyes -- to the wonders of God - life available - as a disciple. His message the same today - preached from every pulpit in the world - time for change - time for accountability - time for love - time for being better.  He stands - watch in hand - waiting - watching the time - looking for a change - in you.

Deacon Dale 


Friday, March 13, 2015

Full Coverage

Full coverage - as in home owner's insurance - everything is covered by insurance - the house - the contents - the out buildings - the swimming pool - in clothing - not revealing - much more than minimal - complete - entire.  We love full coverage - knowing that all has been included - appropriate - done to completion. Full coverage - ensures - peace of mind - comfort.

Jesus not only offers us a full life with Him - also - His Father - His Holy Spirit - nothing left out - nothing additional to add.  When you allow God to enter your life - completely - without reservation - you receive all that He has to offer - His love - healing - forgiveness - acceptance - assurance - everything.  Like an insurance policy - you are covered completely - no premium to pay - Jesus has paid the price - the cost - His life - on the Cross - for you.  As we continue through Lent - remember Jesus is waiting - offering full coverage - for you.

Deacon Dale 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Money In The Bank

Money In The Bank is an annual professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by the WWE.  In 2014 the main event was a Ladder match for the vacant WWE World Heavyweight Championship won by John Cena.  Money in the bank - also -  according to the Urban Dictionary - is a phrase used to express generally positive feelings - used to praise - commend - compliment.  Adding an awesome player to the team - Money in the Bank.

When God sent His Son - Jesus - to mankind - He sent - Money in the Bank - His guarantee - to each of us - acceptance - forgiveness - assurance - His commitment - for all ages.  His promise - 2000 years old - as good today - as first spoken.  Jesus is a treasure - a gift from God - available to all - available now. To take your share - no withdrawal slip need - only your word - your promise - like His - to follow Him - to serve your brothers and sisters. Jesus waits - for your word - your acceptance - with interest.

Deacon Dale 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Where's the Beef?

Many years ago one popular fast food chain ran a very successful ad focused on the tag line - where's the beef.  Its ad - challenged competitors - size of the beef patty - small - compared to their own. Their claim to fame - we have the beef - lots of it!  That commercial ran for a long time - increased that chain's sales some thirty percent. Customers loved that ad - in your face challenge - put up - shut up.  From that ad grew others - not related to food products - evolved to mean - give us some real substance - give the people something they can literally - figuratively - sink their teeth into. Even one politician challenged his rival - where's the beef?

When seeking a relationship with Jesus - what you see is what you get. You get all of Him - not just one bit or piece. Nothing remains hidden - His life an open book - easy to digest - easy to assume into your own life. With Him - you receive the greatest - biggest - best available. For modern disciples - we should offer as much - our complete selves - our complete focus - on serving Him - His Father - to the best of our ability - serving Him - His people with one-hundred percent of our energy. Would that  all of us could make that claim - not half hearted - but with complete devotion.  Jesus calls each of us - to a renewed conversion - mind - heart - soul. We pray that He says - well done good and faithful servant - not - "where's the beef?"

Deacon Dale 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Back to Back to Back

Visiting with friends today - afternoon at Spring Training - Cubs versus Indians - fun in the sun. Losing zero to four - Cubs at bat - home run - repeated - repeated - back to back to back. Of course - fans excited - cheering - screaming - three home runs in a row. Everyone loves back to back homers - wins - success. A special accomplishment - pride of accomplishment.

Wandering alone in the desert of life - often one wonders who has their back - who is there to offer guidance - support - encouragement - protection. Each of us is responsible for our own relationship with God - nobody can do this for us - we alone - are respoosible - for our decisions - our future. The only one who can help us - guide us - assure us - each step of the journey - Jesus. He alone - has our back - He alone stays with us constantly - He alone - no one else - only Jesus - again and again and again - back to back to back.

Deacon Dale 

Monday, March 9, 2015

Safety Net

Typically when thinking about a safety net - one will think of high wire acts - tightrope walkers - aerial performers. Anyone working in any capacity at great heights - danger of falling - would be advised to use some type of safety net - protection from serious injury - death. Construction workers - roofers - telecommunication crews - all put themselves in danger - working at extreme heights. Safety vests - netting - rope systems - webbing apparatus - all provide a level of security - safety from injury - death.

In life there are very few safety nets - when really needed - unable to know for sure when danger will occur. Our spiritual life - as unsure as any other part of life - no guarantees - nothing we can do to ensure - heaven - salvation. For Christians - Jesus - our safety net - no ropes - no life vests - only His promise - His guarantee - life eternal - if we believe in Him - hold tightly to our faith - trust in Him - not ourselves. As we ponder - wander though life - Jesus stands waiting - safety net in hand - offering safety - salvation - for you.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Living Water

If you read this blog regularly - you will know that we have been constructing a new swimming pool - in Arizona. After delays - solid rock - rain - yes - even in Arizona - acid wash - filling the pool - now it is almost ready. Who would think you would fill a 13,000 gallon pool with a garden hose - twenty-four hours later task finished. The pool is filled - water - blue - looking good - final step - tomorrow morning - balancing the pH - adding chemicals - starting the pump and filter. In perhaps twenty-four hours - ready for swimming - living water - energized - ready for relaxation - exercise - enjoyment.

When Jesus met the woman at the well - in today's Gospel - He offered her living water - water that would quench all thirst - fill her with the Holy Spirit of God - bring her life to fulfilment. She pondered how that would be possible - the well was old - deep - Jesus - no bucket. She did not realize that she was talking with the Promised One - the Messiah - the Lord. The living water He promised - salvation - new life in Christ. Today the Church celebrates the first of three scrutinies for the Elect - the focus on water - baptism - cleansing of sins. As the Elect ponder the prayers prayed over them - we - along with them - also ponder this wonderful mystery of God. How does He do this - why would He want us - what does the future hold.  Jesus - smiles - maybe even laughs - the promise of life with God - unfathomable - waiting - waiting for a response - from you.

Deacon Dale  

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Acid Wash

The final step in the construction phase of building a swimming pool is the acid wash. After everything else has been completed - the excavation - plumbing - rebar - electrical - shotcrete - sculpting - curing - decking - acrylic layer - interior finish - is the acid wash. The step through which the interior is scrubbed clean - prepared for the initial filling with water - start up with chemicals - turning on the pumps and filters. This last step assures that all has been done well - met multiple inspections by the city - guaranteeing safety - meeting all requirements.

When God calls you - beckons you to come to him - He accepts you - as you are - where you are. There is no requirement for you to clean yourself - no bath necessary - no acid wash - to purify yourself. The only thing He asks of you is an open mind - a willing heart - to draw yourself into His presence - to commit yourself to Him - to become a disciple. As you make this commitment - on your own - you will rid your life of anything that is wrong - impure - unhealthy - for a proper relationship with Jesus - with God. All you have to do is to say YES - Jesus stands - arms open wide - waiting - for you.

Deacon Dale 

Friday, March 6, 2015


It seems as if everyone is constantly having to justify - their actions - decisions - thoughts - actions. We live at a time when almost everyone is guilty of judging others - being judged themselves - explaining their actions. We have become a country where the operating code is - political correctness. Nobody is allowed to make a statement about anything without another calling them to task for what they said - how they said it - why they spoke in the first place. If the spoken word fails to meet every one's expectations - not justified - not correct - declared wrong - insensitive - thoughtless - out of place. As a nation - we walk on eggs - overly careful - to not misspeak - state the obvious - fear repercussions - for thoughts - serious - silly - moments of speaking without thinking. 

God speaks to humankind in various and interesting ways - not always accepted - often at the wrong time - inconvenient - not fitting into our idea of proper timing. In the Temple - Jesus did not ask to speak to the person in charge - instead - overthrowing the money changers' tables - driving people out of the Temple with a whip of cords - not politically correct - insensitive - what was He thinking - what drove Him to action.  God calls each of us to accountability - to Him - to ourselves - to our community. We are bound by His commands - to act - to do - His bidding. The money changers still exist - the wrong people crowd the Temple steps - we stand idly by - watching - fearful - to act. Jesus calls us - as His modern day disciples - to walk boldly - to speak the truth - to live with conviction - to be examples to the lost - the uninformed. It is we - you and I - called to share His Divine love with others - wherever we go - at work - school - shopping - on vacation - wherever.  Jesus speaks - He watches - observing how we live our call - watching - waiting - for you.

Deacon Dale 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Play Ball

Opening Day at Mesa, Arizona - the first Chicago Cubs game of 2015 at Spring Training - the crowd of loyal Cubs fan was there - the two of us among them - excitement - fun - smiles - adults - kids - men - women - young - old - sporting blue Cub shirts - hats - cameras. A festive atmosphere - happy - enjoying the warm weather - sun - food - drink. The first game anywhere - always fun - always interesting - filled with hope - expectation - praying for a win. Today's score - tied - 2 to 2.

Jesus calls all of us to join His Father's team - to play ball with Him - to enjoy ourselves - each other - life. His plan - health - happiness - joy - comfort. All will celebrate - the good times - leave the bad times behind - looking forward to a future of endless joy. No try outs for God's team - no anxiety - no practice games - no cuts - no losers - no ties - everyone plays - everyone wins. Jesus invites everyone to join His team - this Lent - everyday - sign up is now - He stands - waiting - for you.

Deacon Dale 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


Anger - defined by Wikipedia is an emotional response - related to one's psychosociological interpretation of having been threatened. There are many - various - forms of threat - physical - psychological - real - imagined. As a person interprets input from various sources - people - animals - weather - controllable - out of control - they have the ability to select a proper response. When threatened - the decision to act - react - up to the individual. An active response to defend - a passive response to ignore - within the control of the individual. When a person states - you made me angry - they are wrong - they should state - instead - I chose to become angry - in response to your - words - actions. Although admirable - anger is not the easiest thing to control - driven by emotions - sometimes low level - others highly driven. Call me stupid - easy to ignore - easy to avoid anger - insult my spouse - my child - my God - not as easy.

Jesus was the gentle prophet - walking through deserts - strange villages - through harsh terrain - to share God's story of love - acceptance. A simple message - delivered in love - with concern for others - to benefit others - not Himself. His message of living a good - moral life - angered many. They chose to react - not in love - with hate. He - attempting to spread peace - faced - unrest - scrutiny - fear. Even today He attempts to reach the lost - people on the fringe - the outcasts - meeting with anger - often. People fearing to allow Christ into their life - fearing conversion - angered that they are asked to change their life - for the benefit of themselves. Anger does not come from God - anger comes from fear - with Jesus - nothing to fear - with God - nothing to be afraid - except of your self. Giving up anger - the decision to be unhappy - yours. Waiting to help you cast your anger aside - to give you the inner peace you seek - Jesus - waiting - for you.

Deacon Dale 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015


One of the routine events held during Lent in many churches is the Parish Mission - a time of gathering outside of Holy Mass to discuss in greater detail some aspect of spirituality. The Mission may be presented by a priest - deacon - sister - brother - Catholic educator - evangelist. The format usually combines the weekend homily at all Masses with afternoon or evening sessions for an additional three or four days. The Mission typically ends with a period of reflection and confessions and a Mass of celebration. Through this time of intense study - prayer - reflection - meditation - renewed vigor for one's faith is attained.

Jesus' life was one long Mission - every day seeking the lost - confused - sick - alienated - on the fringe of society. His constant message - love - forgiveness - healing - redemption - salvation. He came for all - not all accepted - He preached to all -not everyone listened - He offered healing to all - not all were healed - refusing to accept the graces He offered - skeptical - not trusting - God. Today the message is the same - God works through His instruments of choosing - Holy men and women - speaking truth - love - exactly as Christ did. Today - through these people - Jesus offers everything to all - acceptance - not by all - waiting - for you.

Deacon Dale 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Search Light

A searchlight - spotlight - is an extremely powerful source of light used when looking for an object - person - place. Most often the search is for one - something - lost - at risk of danger. A lighthouse will operate very powerful searchlights to seek out boats in danger of running into hidden dangers in the water - helicopters utilize similar searchlights - seeking to locate the search object from the air - police - fire fighters - rescue teams - use those same handheld lights to assist them in their efforts to locate - save - rescue - apprehend - people. It is the size of the light beam - the luminescence generated by the power of the unit - which provide the light needed to see deeply - to seek what is lost. 

Jesus may be considered the original searchlight - seeking the lost - lonely - sick - forsaken - confused. As the source of all love - the light of His heart - more powerful than any man made searchlight. Strong enough to pierce into the heart - the very soul of people. Jesus came to seek - to search - for those who had lost their way - confused by worldly wisdom - unsure of God's plan - for their life. He began His search over two thousand years ago - seeking disciples - followers. His search has never stopped - still seeking - still calling - still lighting the way - to His Heavenly Father. Even now He calls - waiting - for you - to step into His light.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, March 1, 2015


When most people hear the word kindle - they immediately think of the e-reader sold by Amazon - originally designed as a convenient way to read and to promote sales of books in an electronic format - today a full fledged tablet with functionality similar to Apple's iPad and other tablet devices. The official definition of kindle means to ignite or set on fire - arouse - inspire - awaken - to bring one to awareness of new and awesome possibilities. As we celebrate the second Sunday of Lent - Holy Mother Church seeks to kindle a renewed love of God - Jesus - the Holy Spirit - within each of us. As the catechumens and candidates in the RCIA process experience today - at Holy Mass - the first of a series of scrutinies - deeper observations of them - their intent - their desire to become Catholic - each of us in the pews - serving at the altar - needs to also look at our intent - desire - to deepen our personal relationship with God. Through prayer - through inspiring homilies - through gestures and responses - through each other - we pray that we are inspired to become the people God intended us to be.

When Jesus said that He came to light a fire on this Earth - He meant a fire in our hearts - minds - souls. He wanted each of us to be completely inspired by Him - the teacher - the healer - the preacher - so that we could attain all that God had promised His people throughout the ages. Many have said yes - been inspired - many - wait - unable to make a decision - a commitment. Over the span of two thousand years - that fire - kindled by Jesus - still burns brightly - still arouses - still inspires. Jesus stands waiting to kindle that fire in your heart - waiting - for you.

Deacon Dale