Thursday, April 30, 2015

Carry Tiger To Mountain

Carry Tiger To Mountain - one of 108 Tai Chi moves - the peaceful form of exercise developed by the Chinese - practiced by people of any age. Through the practice of tai chi - relaxation - development - peace.  Jane Moss - a Tai chi instructor affiliated with Harvard Medical School offers tai chi moves that can bring down stress level and enhance your immune response. Click here for full article. Anything that can help a person to reduce stress in their life has to be good.  Stress is one of the major killers of Americans.  I love the various names of the tai chi moves - thus - Carry Tiger To Mountain.

When people come to Christ for the very first time - things change in their lives - drastic changes - bringing peace - rest - calm.  For many - stress quickly flows out of their life - in its place a new sense of purpose - a regeneration of their inner spirit - a new view as how life is to be lived. Just as God raised Jesus from the cross - so will He raise us up - not just at the end of our days - also as we grow closer to Him. He - the author of life - will carry us to any mountain we need to climb - to any height we seek - as long as we keep our eyes - focused on Jesus.

Deacon Dale 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Dirty Secrets

Dirty secrets may mean lots of different things - nasty little tid-bits nobody knows - hints and tips on how to manage dirt removal - tricks of the trade - especially for landscapers and lawn care specialists. Recently we finally finished our landscaping at our new home in Arizona. Landscaping here is very different from Illinois - the basics are the same - good soil - proper planting techniques - water.  Some things are very different - using a pick axe to dig a hole in solid rock  instead of a shovel in soil - to create a new home for your plant.  Raking rock - decomposed granite - instead of grass - irrigation systems in front and back yards rather than using an above ground sprinkler and hose.  Our lawn care specialist is a funny young man - always a smile on his face - always ready for a challenge - even if it means using a small jackhammer to run irrigation lines - all in a days work - no secrets -  just part of the job.

With Jesus - no dirty secrets - everything He did - an open book.  No falsehoods - no misdirection - no false assumptions - just honest - straight forward words.  His love for mankind - His Father's love for mankind - His plan for the world living in harmony - peaceful - honest - open. As a disciple of Jesus - each is called to live their life in an honest and open way - just as Jesus did.  We are called - He expects us to follow - no secrets to hide - simply sharing the gift we have received.

Deacon Dale 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Home Security

Home security is a big business today - alarms - cameras - sirens - wireless - glass break sensors - everything to help us feel more secure inside our homes - protecting us - our property. When away - alarm systems guard our empty homes from smoke - fire - flooding - home invasion - safety issues. Newer systems can be monitored - controlled by newer smart phones - providing peace of mind.
When God sent Jesus to the world - His message - to rest secure - knowing that He would take care of all the people - protecting - nourishing - nurturing them. As a child of God - we have the best security available - on the job - 24/7 - no downtime - no system failures. The system is free - Jesus paid the price - on the Cross - for each of us.  

Deacon Dale 

Monday, April 27, 2015


Everybody has some sort of network these days - people in similar fields - sports - activities - communities - electronic devices. Our community in Arizona recently joined a new network - - a private social network with a limited number of homes in a designated area. The idea is to help involve neighbors with each other - finding lost pets - promoting school projects - looking for reliable trades people - searching suggestions for interesting entertainment - helping neighbors with needs - wants - security.  The network has only been active for a few months but already has over 300 members - people reaching people.

Jesus had His own network - His twelve disciples - other followers. Even though they had no modern  technology - they were still able to get His message out - word of mouth. One person reaching one other - who reached one other. Because of His message - how it impacted daily life - His message spread rapidly - considering the times. With the advent of the printing press - radio - television - Internet - His message is now broadcast and shared hundreds of thousands times a day. The technology has changed - the message has not. Jesus loves you - God has a plan for your life - you are important.  The next time you check your email - Facebook - Twitter - remember - you have been called to share the most important message you have ever received - God loves you.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Feeling Sheepish

Everyone of us has had that moment - a time we would like to forget when we felt sheepish - embarrassed - bashful - having done something silly - wrong - foolish.  Trying to get that special person - to notice us - pay attention to what we were doing - hoping to impress. On other occasions - opening our mouth - putting foot in mouth - wrong on all accounts - embarrassed - sheepish. It is only human nature - to want to excel - to show off - to impress - family - friends.  It is all a part of growing up - becoming a mature individual.

Jesus - the Good Shepard - the One who loves us - cares for us - directs our lives - along paths of peace - joy - asks us to be like sheep. To follow - without question - to comply with His requests - to live as He asked. Not all comply - Peter - with head hung low - after denying Jesus on the Cross - asked three times - do you love me? Three times - told by Jesus - feed my sheep - feed my people. As a shepherd cares - loves - his sheep - so does Jesus love each of us. Not all will respond to His offer of love - His offer of healing - His offer of peace.  Most will accept - come into His fold.  A few - turn away - reject His offer - leaving them - only later to realize the gift they threw away - leaving them - to feel - sheepish.

Deacon Dale 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Rocky Times

We are veteran hikers - to some degree - not experts - experienced - long walks - blisters - wrong turns - lost trails - sore feet - legs - backs. It all comes with putting oneself out there - lost in nature - no distractions - no crowds - smelling roses - creosote plants - fresh rain. As romantic as it sounds - not always romantic - sometimes - tiring - cactus needles - in legs - feet. The other day on our hike - trail disappeared - in the mountains - searching for paths - none to find - crawling over rocks - looking for footprints - signs of other hikers - alone by ourselves. Our hiking partner had a sense of where to head - she had never trekked the path previously - just kept walking - in dried up river beds - the last traces of the previous monsoon gone - rocks bleached white from non existent waterfalls - boulders to climb - watching for steps carved by the sands and waters of previous ages. It was the hardest trek we have ever attempted - eight hours - too long - too soon - sore feet - tired legs - rest not an option. Tired - exhausted - we completed the hike.

White Tank Mountains - Arizona

Coping with the crowds - the people - the curses - ridicule - Jesus had to face very rocky times. His path - down the hallways of people's hearts - through their souls - over the mountains of sins - into the fleshy - loving part of their beings. His strength - the Holy Spirit - the love of His heavenly Father - the support of His disciples - friends. Along every path that we may walk - God is constantly with us - helping us - protecting us - guiding us - according to His plan - not ours. Jesus calls each of us to walk with Him - to face the rocks - the boulders - in our paths - to victory - with Him.

Deacon Dale 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Trail Mix

When most people think of trail mix - they think food - fruits and nuts - mixed together - snack food - party mix - energy food for hiking - outdoor activities. When I think of trail mix - I think of hiking trails in the mountains - desert - winding paths - uphill - downhill - through river beds - over boulders. Today my wife and I hiked the White Tank Mountains in Arizona - one trail after another - after another. There was a lot of ascents - descents - walking in sandy river beds - climbing over rocky boulders - seeking the trail path. On a number of occasions - sure we were lost - trail markers - few and far apart - not completely clear on the correct direction. After a lot of switch backs - trail reversals - trekking over lots of rocks in the path we finally finished. About 10 miles - over the course of 8 hours - much slower than we normally hike - stopped frequently so look at desert plants - observe the surprises and beauty - the desert holds.

When Jesus walked His trail - town to town - village to village - over rocky terrain - through sandy deserts - He experienced a lot of switch backs - changes in direction - in people lives. As He shared the Good News - lives transformed - paths - trails - mixed - altered - changed. As His disciples today - we are called to walk that same trail - to mix peoples lives with the goodness of God - the blessings of Jesus - to  share the wonders of life - to reveal that even in a personal desert - there is beauty - surprises mixed in the sand - mixed in lives. Jesus calls each of us - to mix it up - to become trail guides - leading others - to Christ.

Deacon Dale  

Thursday, April 23, 2015


Waiting is very much under rated - it builds character - provides time for other things - balancing your checkbook - following up on Twitter - Facebook posts - verifying your winning lottery numbers. In truth - nobody likes to wait - for anything. We are impatient - seeking instant answers - immediate results. Waiting stops forward movement - it is the boulder in a roadblock. While it may - at times - prove beneficial - most people are not big fans of waiting.
Jesus told His disciples that He would return - take them to His Father's house - to a place filled with peace and harmony. For most - still waiting - still seeking - that final gift. The issue has to do with the concept of time - God's time is not our time - one day with God - like a thousand days in our lives - a minute - like a lifetime   God has promised - God will honor that promise - in the meantime - we need to learn patience - we need to learn how to wait - the value of waiting. For true believe we know it will happen - in God's time - for now - we encourage you to just wait - a minute.

Deacon Dale 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Did It Hurt?

Did it hurt - a line used by men - women - when trying to introduce themselves to someone they wish to meet. When asked - did what hurt - the response - when you fell from heaven - indicating - that the person who asked the question thought the other person was beautiful - handsome - heaven sent. It is a funny line - has to make one laugh - a compliment paid - to create interest in the one asking. 

In Holy Scripture we never read if anyone asked Jesus - did it hurt. They knew - common knowledge - scourging - crucifixion - hurt - very painful. His disciples questioned Him - how was it possible that He was alive - how did He survive - never - did it hurt. Modern disciples - rarely ask - did it hurt. We know - we understand - we realize the pain Jesus endured for each of us. That is why we believe - why we worship - why we adore Him - the One who took all our sins upon Himself - who accepted death - death on a cross - for each of us. Because we know - we proclaim His death - His resurrection - His promises - to all we meet.

Deacon Dale 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Pilot Light

A pilot light is a small gas flame which serves as an ignition source for a more powerful gas burner. Originally - kept permanently alight - now - more common to light a burner electronically - only when needed. As a child when we entered a room and smelled gas - we knew the pilot light had gone out - needed to be safely re lit. With electronic ignition - the gas does not constantly flow - only when intentionally turned on - conserves gas - saves lives from unlit free flowing gas. Like many natural resources gas has the power to be friend or foe. It is up to us to see that it is used wisely - for the benefit of ourselves - others.

When God sent His only Son - Jesus - He intended Him to be His pilot light - the spark to ignite the fire of His love among His chosen people. Jesus came to start the fire - to fan the flames of faith - to draw the embers - growing dim - together as one body - in Christ. Just as kindle that has lost its flame - flickering itself into extinction - when mixed with other kindle - draws on the heat - the fire inside - to once again - glow with the light within - to become a fire burning brightly - so does Jesus draw us together - Christians around the world  - into one family of believers - creating a fire that cannot - will not be extinguished. We - the believers of today - are that flame - that fire - our flames burn brightly - to spread His message to the world. You are called - to burn brightly - to harness the power of God that is inside you - to radiate His love - to all you meet.

Deacon Dale 

Monday, April 20, 2015

On Target

One of the hardest things in life to do is to stay focused - on target - with long - difficult projects. Almost all - consume time - energy - create tension - become exhausting - stressful. A clear vision - good planning - creating the correct team - assembling materials - implementing - demand focus. Any distraction has the potential to drastically effect the project. A good project manager - necessary for successful completion. 

Jesus calls each of us to an active part in His ministry to others - as His - eyes - ears - voice - heart. We must be His hands and feet - listening with an understanding heart - moving into action when necessary. There is no need for special skills or tools - we only need - faith. Through faith we have been healed - through faith we have been empowered - through faith we have all that is needed to minister in this day and age. With our eyes on Jesus - staying connected through prayer - we can stay - on target.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Lost and Found

When I made the decision to live in Arizona for the winter months I knew that I would not be able to continue my diaconal ministry while in Arizona. The process to receive faculties - to function as a Catholic deacon - involves red tape - lots of red tape. The Church moves slowly when approving ministers from outside their boundaries - giving permission to function when visiting - relocating. For four months I have been the - man in the pew - observing other deacons - praying along with the local community.  This weekend - I visited a brother deacon in California - invited to serve Holy Mass at his parish - welcomed by his pastor. It felt very good to proclaim the Gospel - announce the prayers of the faithful - distribute the Body of Christ at communion. It felt like home - serving the people of God - at the altar - a ministry lost - newly found - hope regained.

The primary mission of Jesus - seeking the lost - those who had strayed - drifted away from His Father. In three short years He not only located the lost -attracted thousands away from lives lived poorly - to relationship with Him - with God. This Easter - Jesus again found new hearts to bring into His Church - new souls to save. As we continue our Easter celebration - we rejoice that we who were once lost - have been found - that others still - in this day - may also be found - for a new life in Christ. 

Deacon Dale 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Go West

Go West! - The opportunities are in the west - chances for a new start - begin over.  When life seems stuck - not going where we thought it would - time to pick up - start over. A friend of mine felt very frustrated a few years ago - with job - location - future possibilities - going nowhere quickly. Sharing his frustration with his employer - new opportunity laid before him - in front of his eyes - to go west. Fulfilling a life long dream to relocate to the west coast - a reality - definite possibility. Within months - plans finalized - move implemented. A visit with him recently - at his new home - found a very happy person. 

Jesus calls us to be alive - mobile - ready to spring into action. It is not just our spiritual life - also our daily life - where He wants us to be happy. Too often opportunities are laid before us - we miss - ignore - avoid - refuse to believe are possible. As people of faith - God expects - wants us to seize the day - the opportunities - for ourselves. We need to keep our eyes - ears - open to the possibilities before us. We need to walk in faith - knowing that God - calls us - to new adventures - with Jesus. 

Deacon Dale 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Barking Buddies

There is a discussion currently going on in our community in Arizona in regards to dogs - people who own dogs - dogs who bark - people who allow their dogs to bark - telling dogs not to bark. Just as any other animal - including humans - needs to communicate - so do dogs. Dogs need to tell us when they are hungry - need to go outside - when danger is approaching - when the neighborhood cat is trespassing - among other important things. Dogs bark - at - to - other dogs - cats - birds - people. Depending on the tone - intensity - we know if they are welcoming or threatening. It is completely natural for a dog to bark - yet some - usually people with too much time on their hands - complain about dogs who bark. I am sure there is an occasional midnight howler who disrupts some body's sleep - but in my opinion - the exception - not the rule. Tolerance - is called for by all - especially those who do not have dogs in their home.

That is one of the most important things that Jesus tried to get across to the people - tolerance - acceptance - not throwing stones - building bridges instead. He never promised a rose garden - but declared it a possibility - if we would become more Christ like. It is not only our actions - also our reactions - that determine the person we will be - the effect we will have - in - on - our neighbors. Jesus asks all to walk proudly - but speak - with a tolerant bark.

Deacon Dale 

Thursday, April 16, 2015


Rations - fixed allowances of provisions or food - especially for soldiers and sailors - civilians - during a shortage. Most people will never experience a time of rationing - a time of lack of enough for all. Some - in special circumstances - in wars - in natural disasters - will go without - receiving only the minimum of supplies - water - necessary to sustain life. During times of disaster - rationing done only until normal supplies are replenished - normal routes of delivery resumed. 

When God sends His blessings upon His people - no rationing occurs - His blessings - flow freely - upon all - whether they accept them or not. Renewed energy - healing - joy - peacefulness - comfort - poured freely - for all. Many will reject these blessings - refuse to acknowledge God's presence - failing to accept what is offered. For those of us who do acknowledge and receive - a burden placed upon us - to share the Good News - to proclaim to all - Jesus is Lord - God loves all - blesses all - enough for everybody. When asked how much He loves us - Jesus spread out His arms - and died.

Deacon Dale 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


In an effort to learn more about the native inhabitants of Arizona we visited the Gila River Indian Community HuHuGam Heritage center in Chandler, Arizona. This site is a repository for photographs - oral histories - historical documents and artifacts - relating to the pre-historic Huhugam and the Akimel O'odham - Pima - and Pee Posh - Maricopa - Native peoples.  The building sits by itself in the Arizona desert just off the I-10 highway. In photos and artifacts the story of  these people is told - how they went from a thriving community - to a struggling group - because of the diversion of the Gila River and their precious water supply.  Like many communities that suffered changes - due to development - housing projects - new people with modern methods - the natives had to cope with a quickly changing environment.  In the community where our Arizona house is located - the natives - those here for ten or more years - constantly comment - complain - about changes to the people - businesses - moving into the community - making changes. Nobody likes development that changes the way one lives.

Jesus found out first hand - people do not like change - happy with the status quo - even when it is not healthy - bad for them. Many preferred that He leave well enough alone - they were comfortable as was - with taxes - being ruled by others - being pushed around. He told them life could be better - they didn't want it. He told them they had a Father in heaven that loved them - they rejected the concept. Much of what He shared with them - they did not want. Same old - same old - comfortable - even with low quality of life - happy to not - rock the boat - become invisible - leave well enough alone. Jesus offered so much more - their life - back as intended - their heritage - as the promised people. Today He still makes the same offer - to you - to me - take what has been offered freely by His Father - take what is rightfully yours - accept His salvation - your heritage.

Deacon Dale 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Back In The Saddle

Years ago - more than I like to think - we owned horses - an appaloosa for me - a pinto for my wife - and a Shetland pony and a small mixed breed pony. Every day we mucked the stalls - feed the horses and ponies - shoveled manure - brushed and groomed them - on occasion - rode  them. Those were good days - good memories. Last week - while my son and daughter-in-law and grandson visited us in Arizona - we went horse riding - the first time for my grandson. Everyone had a great time - everyone - casual riders - did well - stayed in the saddle - none fell off their horse.  Afterwards - my legs - killing me - not as limber as when I was younger - not as flexible.  My legs spoke to me - for days - telling me - I am out of shape - no longer a young horseman. 

Returning to church - after an extended absence - as a Catholic - similar to riding a horse. The Catholic Church - moves slowly to make changes - an absence of years - hardly noticeable by most - lack in regular attendance - return to Holy Mass - back in the saddle - an easy adjustment. No major pains - no major adjustments - faces different - songs similar - Scripture unchanged - same old - same old. Jesus welcomes all - regular worshipers - casual Christians - to visit Him - often - the empty saddle - waiting for you.

Deacon Dale 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Holy Year of Mercy

Having just celebrated Divine Mercy Sunday - it is only fitting that we focus today on the Holy Year of Mercy - proclaimed by Pope Francis this past March - in which he announced that he is convoking a jubilee year to be called the Holy Year of Mercy. The year officially begins December 8, 2015 - a special year - a jubilee year - to receive blessing and pardon from God and remission of sins. Typically jubilee years are called every twenty-five or fifty years and on occasion also called on special jubilees years - the last jubilee year was held in 2000 - declared by Saint Pope John Paul II. The jubilee year will close on November 20, 2016 - the feast of Christ the King.

Those who have experienced God's Divine Mercy - celebrate His Mercy daily in their lives - a normal part of their life. Their obligation - to share their stories - how God acted in their life - their experience of Mercy - His Divine intervention.  This celebration should be an integral part of every one's daily life - not only on one day or in one year. Jesus has shared all with all - not all respond - but all should. As a committed Christian - we who have shared this gift - called to proclaim daily - in our lives - in others - God's Divine Mercy.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Divine Mercy

Mercy - the lenient or compassionate treatment of a person - group - community. When God is the One showing mercy - Divine Mercy - divine treatment. Today the Church celebrates - Divine Mercy Sunday - a day proclaimed by Saint Pope John Paul II on the Second Sunday of Easter in 2000 - the same day He elevated Sister Faustina Kowlaska to sainthood. In the last fifteen years the Divine Mercy devotion has grown immensely in the Catholic and some Anglican communities. Praying to God - praising Him for His unbelievable Mercy - thanking Him for prayers answered.

When Jesus walked this Earth - He shared with the people God's Good News - His love - His forgiveness - His healing - His reconciliation - His Mercy. It is hard to believe that His message was rejected by many - ignored - laughed at. To those who did believe - to those through the ages - to those who today still trust in Jesus' message - blessing upon blessing. To all who have accepted Jesus as their personal savour - to all who call God their Father - grace has been given - received - enjoyed. On this Divine Mercy Sunday of 2015 - each of us offers to Him - our faith - our belief -  Jesus I trust in you.

Deacon Dale 

Saturday, April 11, 2015


Tornadoes have been in the news again - in the Midwest - causing destruction - grief - loss. The recent Illinois tornado reminds us of the power behind wind - natural forces of nature. Unfortunately - at times - life - property - security - is lost. There is no prevention - only precaution - recovery efforts - sympathy for those involved.

One would wonder why God - creates - allows - tornadoes - hurricanes. There is no simple answer - acceptable to most - uncontrolled energy - unleashed upon the world. The Holy Spirit - the Holy Wind - of God - not an element of destruction.  Through the power - energy - of the Holy Spirit - healing - creation - recovery - life. It has to be hard for Jesus - God - to stand by and watch the forces of nature run wild - out of control. Luckily - although on a grand scale - the personal impact on most - minimal and in those lives - God works His miracles. Alongside the stories of destruction - death - stories of miracles - unbelievable moments - when people were spared - life preserved. Jesus is there - constantly helping each of us to weather all the storms in our lives - personal - natural - looking to grant us His safety - protection - peace.

Deacon Dale 

Friday, April 10, 2015

It Is Done

It is done - words to bring a smile to any one's face - involved in a long project - composing a musical score - writing a play - filing their taxes. Nothing is sweeter than speaking those three words - it is done. Shout for joy - throw hands in  the air - break out in dance - swing your partner - child around the room - it is done!  A sigh of relief - the tension gone - a sense of accomplishment - relief.  We have all been there - done that - everyone understands the concept - the feeling of relief - the absence of pressure - life looking good again.

When Jesus exclaimed - it is done - finished - sacrifice completed - stress gone - peace following. The difference between Jesus and ourselves - He was giving up His life - not a project. His suffering on the cross - over - ended - completed. As much as we enjoy the relief of stress being eliminated from our lives - Jesus could only enjoy the approval of His Father - the obedient Son - salvation guaranteed for the lost. When we contemplate all Jesus did for us - in this Easter season - we proclaim with sincerity - it is done.

Deacon Dale 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Black is White - White is Black

I am in the process of erecting a fence around my swimming pool equipment - to protect from the elements - to soften the noise - to create a more appealing view around the pool. As part of this project - after installing the poles and connecting lumber - we painted with a white primer - then applied a black finish coat. That got me to thinking about about my physics classes and how light is reflected and refracted. To make this easy - objects either absorb certain colors of the spectrum or they reflect certain colors of the spectrum. In other words when an object appears red - it is reflecting the red color back to your eyes and not absorbing that particular color - so what we see as red is really not red at all. With that in mind - we note that white contains all the colors of the spectrum while black is the absence of all colors - when you see a white object you are seeing all the colors reflected back to your eyes  - appearing white - when you see black - no light is being reflected to your eyes - so an object that appears white has no color and therefore is black and the object that appears black has absorbed all colors and reflects no color back - thus the object is white. Thus black is white and white is black. 

Understanding Jesus - God - is easier than understanding the physics of black and white color and for most people is as clear as - black and white. God is the supreme being - the center of our lives - the reason we exist - without God nothing exists - and all exists in God. Jesus is the human manifestation of God - the Son - who with the Holy Spirit makes up the Holy Trinity - three persons - three manifestations - of the One triune God. It is to God that we owe our devotion for all that God is - has done - will do - in our lives. There is no reason to question God's existence - it is as clear as - black and white.

Deacon Dale 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Writer's Block

Writer's Block - the feared enemy of anyone who writes for a living - that stuck in the mud - cannot get anywhere - brain dead - desperately seeking inspiration - my God what is happening to me - feeling. We have all been there - writers - authors - public speakers - priests - deacons - pastors - bloggers - everyone who communicates with others on a daily basis. Using material from someone else - not appreciated - criticized - unethical. Frustrating - does not even touch it - hard to explain to others - words cannot describe. With over 525 posts to date one would never guess that I would be at a loss for words - especially those who know me well - who can talk for hours - about almost anything. Truth be told - words are worthless - unless they are heard - digested - appreciated - consumed with interest - move another to action - educate - inform - inspire.

When Jesus spoke - people listened - reacted to His message - hearts were moved - motivated - to improve their lives - lives of people around them. Not all were motivated for good - a few - maybe many - hostile to His message - fearing condemnation of their own lives - actions. Even today - not all are inspired - not all react positively to the Good News - some mock - make little - of God and His love for mankind. In spite of this - God - every day - sends His messengers - His ministers out to proclaim the Good News. To those of us who have been called to serve - ordained or not - we are the mouths that speak His truth - we are the hands that type His words - we are the ones - to carry on the works of Jesus. With Holy Scripture - no writer's block - the Word - clearly laid before us - our one task - to share the Good News - with all we meet. 

Deacon Dale 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Mighty Acts

There are acts - things accomplished - routine - normal - sometimes - not so normal - unusually cleaver - awesome - mighty acts - things beyond expectations. For the majority - expectations are that any task will be done - as usual - not out of the ordinary. Once in awhile - unexpected results surface - impressing almost everyone. The majority of the time we see what is routine - good works - done well - not outstanding - business as usual. To impress us would take an act of God or something else highly unusual.

Being told that you have been healed - cured of an incurable disease - a mighty act.  In today's scriptures Peter does just that - tells a cripple to get up - walk - go about life - healed - surprised the cripple - surprised everyone. As we journey through this season of Easter - we read scriptures from the Act of the apostles - acts done in the name of Jesus - acts done through confidence in God - not just acts - mighty acts - miracles. Today those mighty acts still happen - here and now - through faith in the risen Christ.  

Deacon Dale 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter Day #2

Yes - Easter - Day #2 - not one single day - an entire season - celebrating the miracle - mystery of Easter. Unlike Christmas - when Christians celebrate the birth of the Christ - a miracle - not unlike our own birth - each a miracle - special event in its own right - Easter - a celebration of resurrection - none - except - Jesus - known to have raised from the dead. This miracle - this mystery - so great - 50 days - to contemplate - celebrate - this unbelievable event . In the end - none - will ever really understand - except through the eyes of God.

In these 50 days - Jesus continues to reveal Himself - His message - His love for all mankind - no single person - group - over looked.  Just as the butterfly goes through changes to become a beautiful new creation - we also change - into new creations - life filled - filled with life - beautiful in the eyes of God. Just as Jesus called us closer to Him during Lent - He now calls us to live a closer relationship with Him in New Life.  50 days - to celebrate our own rebirth - to make a permanent commitment to Him - forever.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Easter Joy!

Happy Easter - Buona Pasqua - Boas Pascuas - Wesołego Alleluja! - Frohe Ostern - ¡Felices Pascuas! - ஈஸ்ட்டர் நல்வாழ்த்துக்கள் - in any language - the greeting for this Sunday - from believers and non-believers alike. Like Christmas - Easter has evolved from one of the most significant religious holy days - to a secular holiday. Attend early morning sunrise services - early tee time - hunting for colored Easter eggs - all these and more - rolled into one day of festivities. Easter in this day and age - more about the gathering of families - friends.  People celebrating - life.

For the believer - the Celebration - Celebration of New Life - Life in Christ - Life Redeemed - Life Saved - Forgiveness - Resurrection.  Resurrection not only of Jesus - one day - our own - His promise - to believers - a share in His Heavenly Kingdom - peace - healing - comfort - eternal joy. This Gift - from God - offered to all - available to all - offered at no price - no personal sacrifice - no judgement - free for the taking. As the World celebrates Easter Joy - may each of us - join in that celebration - for ourselves - our family - our friends - for the lost - the saved - for all. As His disciples - may each of us - share this Good News - with all.        Buona Pasqua!

Deacon Dale 

Saturday, April 4, 2015

The Third Day

Today - Holy Saturday - the Third Day - confusing for many who do not understand how we connect Holy Saturday with "rising on the third day". In the time of Jesus the day ended at sundown - work stopped - daily chores completed - the last meal of the day finished. Somewhere in the darkness of one day and sunrise of the next the new day began - thus on Holy Thursday at dusk - the Last Supper - in the dark - Jesus betrayed - His Passion began - in the darkness of Holy Thursday began the first day - and on that day - trial - condemnation - rejection - crucifixion - laid in the tomb - in the darkness began the second day - a day of mourning - a day of prayer - a day of lost hope - a day of laying in the tomb - in the darkness began the third day - sunrise - resurrection - meeting the women - Easter Glory - the Good News - joy - hope - reclaimed. Today we count the days differently - counting as they did in the time of Jesus - makes complete sense.

As we walk through this Holy Saturday - we celebrate the preparation Rites - the Blessing of Easter food to be enjoyed Sunday - Easter Sunday - the final Rite of the Elect - called to profess their faith this morning - last minute instructions for the Vigil tonight - at dusk - in the early twilight - the beginning of the Easter Vigil - the Mother of all Vigils - the Holiest Mass to be celebrated in the entire year - the litany of readings and psalms - the prayers - litany of saints - the reception - baptism - confirmation - First Eucharist - all in preparation for Easter Sunday - the Third Day.  Jesus welcomes all - saints - sinners - believers - unbelievers - His heart has room for all - for you.

Deacon Dale 

Friday, April 3, 2015

What's So Good About Friday?

Good Friday - what makes the day of Christ's death "Good" - according to some the "Good" is an early English translation also meaning "Holy".  From Wikipedia we read that the etymology of the term "Good" in the context of Good Friday is contested - some claiming it is from the senses pious - holy - of the word "Good" - others contending it is a corruption of "God Friday" - the Oxford English Dictionary supporting the first etymology - meaning "of a day or season observed as holy by the Church - as an archaic sense ofgood - similar to ofgood tide meaning Christmas. In non-English speaking countries it is more commonly called by other names. 

No matter what anyone calls it - Good Friday - commemorates the day that Jesus - willing accepted death - death on a cross - that action usually reserved for criminals and serious offenders - for you - for me. The Gift of Salvation - made available to all - demanded that one offer a sacrifice - an ultimate sacrifice - for all of mankind. No one person - would be able to do this - so God's only Son - Jesus - accepted His Father's request to be that sacrificial lamb - offered once - for all. To all who accept Him - as Lord - Savior - we remember with sadness - that anyone should die for another's sins - in joy - we celebrate this awesome gift - freely offered by Jesus. Day two of the Triduum - we continue in this most holy trilogy of days. 

Deacon Dale 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Holy Thursday

Today the Church begins the Triduum - the three holiest days of the Christian year - Holy Thursday - Good Friday - Holy Saturday with the Easter Vigil. Three days in which we are asked to spend extra time reflecting on our personal relationship with God. Today the focus is on the beginning of the priesthood and Holy Eucharist. Two very significant events in Christian history. The celebration focuses on Holy Thursday Mass - held in the evening - parishioners gathered with pregnant expectation - the washing of the feet of the twelve - an inspiring homily in which the faithful are filled with the joy and wonder of the mystery of the Triduum.

Jesus continues to call each of us - closer to Him - closer to His Father - closer to the Holy Spirit. Time is running short - celebrate and rejoice tonight - tomorrow - a day of sadness - guilt - repentance. How will you spend these three Holy Days?

Deacon Dale 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

April Fools

April Fool's Day - the first day of April - a day filled with pranks and hoaxes - jokes played upon friend and foe alike. Although not an official holiday - celebrated around the world - Italy - India - England - France - Australia - Brazil - Canada - the USA. A day for individuals - businesses - to prank each other - in good spirits - for fun - for laughs. The custom of marking one day - April 1st - as a day of harmless pranks - recognized everywhere - early observances - the Roman festival of Hilaria - the Holi festival of India - the Medieval Feast of Fools.

The fact that April Fool's Day falls during Holy Week - a contradiction of beliefs? How can one be frivolous and somber - spiritual at the same time?  The joke - to rejoice in - the defeat of all that is good and holy - evil pranked - April Fool - Jesus is ALIVE!  His death not a joke - His ressurection - the reality. Through GRACE - each of us - given the strength to walk this Holy Week - heads up - not down - our Saviour LIVES! 

Deacon Dale