Friday, December 29, 2017

Christmas Season

Contrary to common belief - Christmas is not only one day out of the year. In the Church Christmas is a season that lasts from the Christmas Vigil until the Celebration of The Baptism Of The Lord on January 8th.  In some locations Christmas season goes until the Epiphany celebrated on January 6th.  Throughout these days we celebrate the fact that God sent His only Son into our world.  In my family we begin our Christmas celebration on Christmas Eve with immediate family - Christmas Day finds us with extended family - cousins - aunts - uncles - in the evening the group gathers again -  a bit smaller - we with our children - grandchildren for part three of our celebration. The day after - again finds us with family - relaxing and continuing our acknowledgment of God's blessings. In the days following - the celebration continues with friends and those whom we do not see often - through New Years Eve into New Years Day and beyond praising God for all He does for us. For us Christmas is a very joy filled time of year - extending as long as possible - rejoicing in the spirit of Christmas.
In Christmas God celebrates with us - reminds us that He loves us - as we are - where we are - close to Him - far away - His love everlasting - always there for each of us. In the busy days which have now passed - His presence should be even more visible - as we continue this holy season into the new year - anticipating the extended celebration - finalizing with the celebration of the Baptism of the Lord - inspiring us to be constantly vigilant seeking the presence of God in our lives.

Deacon Dale

Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas Joy

It is a wonderful day today - celebrating Christ's birth with family and friends - experiencing the joy of all.  Last night we celebrated the Polish Vigilia - our daughter-in-law provided us with an awesome 9 course meal - which kicked off our annual Christmas celebration. All the family is home so that makes it even better.  This morning - Holy Mass with a large group of people at church and for the afternoon - gathering with extended family - cousins - to continue celebrating God's gift to the world. We love family gatherings - it is always a joy to catch up on everyone's life and activities. Family is one of God's best blessings - having people with whom to share life's adventures. We love all the smiling faces - the excitement in the eyes of the young children and adults alike.

We pray that on this very holy day - that everyone has an opportunity to experience - the joyful moments of this holy day.  We rejoice - share the joy - of God's gift in Jesus - Jesus' gift in His love - The gift of the  Holy Spirit - which fills the world today with Joy.

Merry Christmas
Deacon Dale 

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas Magic

The wonder of Christmastime - snow in the air - snow on the ground - - a white Christmas - adding to the magic that springs forth from this awesome season. The preparations for Christmas ending soon - ready or not - this evening - Christmas Eve - the vigil begins - waiting for the arrival of the baby in the manger - reindeer hoofs on the rooftops - the arrival of Santa Claus. Everyone - religious - spiritual - or not - finds something special in this season - best described as - Christmas Magic. Those normally grumpy - tend to smile - people who quickly pass by others - slow their pace - if only to smile or offer a quick greeting.  Happy Holiday - Merry Christmas - Feliz Navidad - Buon Natale - Bah Humbug - in one way or another - acknowledging the special feelings all around. The majority - in good spirits - welcoming - greeting - sharing with others - family - friends - strangers - Christmas joy.

For God so loved the world that he gave His only Son - to us - to all - that we might have life and live it to the fullest. To all He came - many accepted - rejoiced - but not all - for reasons unknown. He came to bring us Good News - most listened - accepted - for some - words falling on deaf ears.  The greatest gift of all from God - besides His Son - Jesus - the gift of free will. The ability for each of us to accept or reject - Him - His Son - the Good News. The choice is ours - to accept - reject - without judgement. Perhaps those in time who do not - may change their minds - that is not for us to worry about. Our duty - to rejoice and celebrate God in our lives. We leave the others in God's hands - to His Divine Mercy. Today - this evening - tomorrow - Christmas Day - we who believe - believe in Christmas Magic.

Buon Natale
Deacon Dale

Friday, December 22, 2017

The Christmas Dance

It is now three days before Christmas - that special time of year when all rational thought - actions - plans are down the drain - gone. Today marks that special time of year when logic fails - tempers flares - Christmas Spirit - fades into - frustration - feelings of despair - the Christmas Dance begins.  Not to worry - this is what happens yearly when the true meaning of Christmas begins to fade - replaced by last minute races to complete everything previously planned.  Office parties - cookies to be baked - pierogi to be made - final decorations - last minute shopping - wrapping of gifts - all in an effort to have a perfect Christmas. Somewhere - in the background - tossed into a corner - Jesus - His birth - the significance of the season - the reason for the celebration - clouded by us - seeking that perfect Christmas Day.

Time to stop - take a very deep breath - gather our wits about us - realize that there is absolutely nothing we can do to create a perfect Christmas. Something always goes wrong - gifts get misplaced - given to wrong person - wrong size - color - item - dinner runs late - turkey gets burned - not enough food - too many guests - babies cry - adding to the confusion. No matter how well - poorly we plan - Christmas arrives on time - in a rush like a team of galloping horses over the finish line - prepared or not.  In all this confusion we know - trust - believe that Jesus Christ Himself is the leader - conductor of the Christmas Dance. He is there with us now - not as an infant in a manger - rather as Lord of our lives. He brings to each of us His Love - His Peace - His Joy - as we celebrate Life - given freely to us by God Our Heavenly Father. The pace of the dance may be fast - hectic - always led by God Almighty. Through it all we realize that the First Christmas - that Night when Christ was born - was the only Perfect Christmas we will ever know.

Merry Christmas
Deacon Dale 

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Fatima - Lourdes Pilgrimage Recap Video

It took me awhile to get this done - surgery on the hip got in the way of creating this video memory for those who recently joined us on the pilgrimage to Fatima - Burgos - Lourdes - Montserrat - Barcelona. I am posting it now to share with all of you. Included are video highlights of the shrines - Holy places - that we visited while on pilgrimage - praying ourselves though Portugal - Spain - France. This was the first time that we had visited Portugal and France and found both to be great places to visit. Of course - visiting while on pilgrimage - traveling with people of like minds - similar spirituality - made this an awesome experience.  I do not get the opportunity to preach frequently these days - on pilgrimage - I typically share preaching with our spiritual director - so this pilgrimage I had three opportunities to break open the words of Holy Scripture with our pilgrims.  I do not remember anything I preached - being led by the Holy Spirit - but I do know that in some small way - everyone was touched by the few words I was called to share.  In the video highlighted - there are no no words spoken - let the photographs and music speak to your heart instead - enjoy!

Deacon Dale 

Thanks For Giving Blessings

I am not the first to use the phrase - thanks for giving - very popular this year - at Thanksgiving time. Even now as Black Friday - Cyber Monday - Giving Tuesday have faded from the media - that phrase still lingers on - as it should. What should be normal - done throughout the entire year - only highlighted at years end.  It is not only at Thanksgiving that people should be in a thankful mood - rather - we should all appreciate every blessing that we receive anytime in the year. Whenever a gift is received - we should  thank and then pay it forward. Anyone can be the giver - as well as the receiver - at any time - any day. I recently read a story about a homeless person who was offered a bag full of breakfast bars - who immediately offered one to his donor. There are many who would have accepted the gift and walked away - this person - without hesitation - wanted to immediately return the favor.
God blesses each of us constantly - so often that too many take His blessings for granted. Today when you receive - and receive you will - pay it forward - share freely what you have received with others. You will be surprised how your blessings become multiplied.

Deacon Dale 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Pilgrimage Miracles

Miracles are not a thing of the past - they happen everyday to so many people that it would be impossible to track all of them. Very often what is seen as an occasional bit of good luck - is in fact - a miracle. People of faith - recognize miracles for what they are - those without faith - miss them entirely. When our group of forty pilgrims began our journey to Portugal - Spain - France in early November - we were hopeful that somewhere along the journey one of us might experience a miracle. Unknown to any of us - we were to be granted that wish before we even got to Portugal - our first destination. Our flight plan took us from Chicago to Madrid, Spain where we met up with three of our group flying out of Philadelphia. As we waited to board our connecting flight to Lisbon, Portugal - we learned than one of our group was missing her purse - containing her passport - credit cards - money. Anxiety gripped the group - attempting to locate the purse - considering what to do if her passport could not be found - leaving her behind in Madrid - figuring out how to contact the U.S. embassy to expedite a replacement passport - who to contact - where to go - what to do. Speaking to the least likely person for help - a lady who transports travelers with disabilities - she immediately understood - despite limited English language skills - the urgency of our concern. She started helping the lady - searching possible places where the purse might have been left - contacting security people where luggage is inspected - abandoning her post - against the advice of her co-worker - to help. In the meantime - Father Michael asked the group to join in prayer to Saint Anthony - finder of lost articles - for assistance.  Within fifteen minutes we were informed that the purse with passport and credit cards - minus the cash - had been found - at the security check point.  In spite of being told that they would not hold the plane for us - with only minutes to departure - the lady was transported to security where she retrieved her purse and made it to the departure gate minutes before final boarding was completed. Our first miracle!  - Even before arriving at Fatima and officially beginning our pilgrimage tour. Some would say this was just a happy turn of events - no miracle.  When you consider the timing - forty minutes before the plane was scheduled to depart - a confused older passenger - a local lady with limited English skills - a gate agent who refused to delay our departure - yet - in the end - the entire group was able to board our second flight and depart on time - as scheduled. Yes - a miracle.

Saint Mary - the Mother of Jesus - Our Lord - is God's messenger - bringing us God's reassurance that He loves us and cares for us. At home - on pilgrimage - always performing miracles for us - even when we are not aware of them. This Thanksgiving remember to thank God for all the blessings - miracles - He has given you.

Deacon Dale 

Friday, November 17, 2017

Pilgrimage Recap

We are back!  After ten days of traveling through three countries and visiting numerous shrines - all forty of us returned safely home. Coming from five different states - Illinois - Indiana - Wisconsin - Utah - Philadelphia - we came together as one big family for the spiritual adventure of a lifetime. Seven men - thirty-three women met in Madrid, Spain and began this journey heading first to Lisbon, Portugal to visit the Shrine at Fatima. Surprising the  group - three of our men were asked to participate in the nightly procession - carrying the statue of Our Lady of Fatima. Father Michael Callea, MIC - our spiritual adviser and Deacon Dale Metcalfe were also selected to actively participate in two afternoon Masses in addition to Father Michael being selected to fill in for a missing priest for the nightly procession. From there we moved on to Burgos, Spain then to Lourdes, France, Montserrat, Spain and finally Barcelona, Spain before the return flight home. We celebrated daily Masses - prayed Morning Prayer - numerous Rosaries and Divine Mercy Chaplets and listened to many meditations provided by Chaplain Arlene Metcalfe. In the evenings we relaxed together at dinner and during quiet hours - often wandered the fresh night air as we explored on our own the wonders of the countries we visited. New friendships were made - old ones renewed - forty people of different backgrounds - moving as one giant body - one family of Christians.

2017 DeaconTravel Pilgrimage Group

It would be a miracle if the entire world could experience what we did in those ten days - sharing - bonding - helping - caring for each other as if we had known each other for a lifetime instead of a few days. There were no differences that could separate us from the group - all focused on God the Father - Jesus the Son - Mary the Mother of Our Lord. On pilgrimage this happens every time - when offered the opportunity to join a pilgrimage group yourself - jump at the opportunity - you will not regret it.

Deacon Dale

Monday, October 30, 2017

Quando Sei Qui - Sei Famiglia

Translated this means - When You Are Here - You Are Family. I have heard and read this phrase at some Italian restaurants in America - in Italy I have been told that one of the main reasons restaurant staff in Italy say this phrase is because they actually mean it. The idea is that when you come to their restaurant - it is the same as if you came into their home to visit - share conversation - eat and drink  - have an enjoyable time. 

When you attend Church - you should have the same feeling - whether an old timer or a first time visitor. We are all children of God - brothers and sisters - in the Lord.  One Lord - One God - One Family. As God calls us to weekly worship - He calls us not as a group of strangers - rather as cousins of one giant family.  We worship together - we pray together - for each other - we rejoice - face issues - together - as family. The minute you enter the parking lot - walk through the door - all of us gather as family - coming together - with similar likes and dislikes - with similar needs - wants - concerns - to support each other as we worship God.  This weekend join the rest of your family - at church - Jesus waits at the door 

Deacon Dale 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Donde Ha Pasado El Tiempo?

Literally - where has the time gone - a phrase spoken by almost everyone. All of us - at one time or another - has had one too many irons in the fire - too many tasks to accomplish - all at the same time. Invariably - something suffers. In my case my daily blogging has become bi-weekly at best. It is not that I forget - or that I am too tired - rather I have been too busy - occupied with many other things.  And - this coming from a person who is retired!  Yes - Virginia - even in retirement - days become filled with too many tasks to accomplish. Retirement is not all breakfasts with other seniors - days on the golf course - casually hiking over numerous mountain tops - enjoying the newest book. Life goes on after retirement - just as it has done all ones life - the only difference - work - for pay - no longer gets in the way of the more enjoyable tasks of life. The month of September flew by faster than a speeding bullet - family reunion - annual apple picking - chili cook-off - tending to the lawn only to be greeted by an even busier October. The primary task - remodel one of the bathrooms. When you live in a house constructed sometime in the 1860's - always a surprise - two by fours that actually measure two inches by four inches - studs placed in random locations - joists not where they should be - the pains of previous amateur attempts at construction - remodeling with which to be contended. Demolition almost always goes easy - it is the reconstruction - correcting previous errors and oversights - making things fit around misplaced studs and joists - creating space that meets current codes - that is the  challenge. Craftsmen being the artists they are - manage to find a way to turn a sow's ear into a silk purse - and eventually a new creation rises from the ashes of the old - liked the fabled Phoenix - into a new shining creation.

We approach God much like we do when remodeling our homes. Many - from various lifestyles - experiences - as old worn down and worn out messes - needing to remodel our lives after Jesus and His Mother Mary - into the sons and daughters He intended us to be. Before we can be made new - we must first remove all the old - the clutter that has our lives in disorder - anything that is preventing us from being the person we were designed to be. Through this process - Jesus - will be with us constantly - in the rough times - in the joyful times - until God has completed His transformation. With God all things are possible - and even we - batter and bruised - unworthy - may be made new - recreated into His work of art - a person to behold. It takes time - but God has all the time in the world - for each of us. Today - invite Jesus into your life - let the Carpenter begin the renewal process in your life.
Deacon Dale 

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

To Kneel or Not To Kneel

Freedom of speech - freedom of religion - freedom to make your own decision - that is what makes America great. In America - everyone - men- women - children - black - white - yellow - brown - gay - straight - no matter what your ethnicity - all are given the right - constitutionally - to exercise freedom of speech. You may or may not agree with what is said - how it is said - when and why it is said - but as Americans we must honor everyone's right to speak their mind - in whatever way they choose. We will never - ever - get everyone to agree on any subject - never. To deny anyone their right to free speech - would be - un American. Yet - this country is being divided over exactly this issue. The biggest issue - confusion over what certain symbols - mean - represent. As a nation - we have been guilty of putting our own interpretation on certain American symbols - why they were developed - how they were developed - how they have been re-interpreted over the years - original meaning - understanding - evolving into new meanings - understandings. It happens - a normal course of evolution - involving all things. Nothing stays the same - everything evolves.  As a child - cool meant a temperature - not hot - not quite cold - just cool. Today cool - evolved to refer not just to a temperature - also an adjective meaning - neat - divine - nifty - marvelous - swell - dandy.  Any intelligent person understand this - accepts this change in meaning. Yet - that same person - failing to keep up with changes in attitude - use in a more modern manner - fails to comprehend - accept that other meanings may have also evolved. Barriers - issues that deal with language - comprehension - are the major problems with good communication among people. As a nation we have failed ourselves - our neighbors - in being open to new meanings - understanding - holding too firmly on old - often wrong meanings. It is definitely time to push the stop button - to stop making rash decisions - rushing to wrong conclusions. Intelligent people have learned that both sides of an issue must be completely investigated before making any decision. Cooler minds must prevail - calmer voices must be spoken to educate - inform others - to avoid conflicting and incorrect commentary - to stop the mass hysteria we are currently experiencing.

Satan loves confusion - dissension - misinformation - heated arguments. Letting emotions run wild never helps any situation.  Deep slow breathing - keeping a cool head - looking at the larger picture - inviting God into the conversation - will lead to peaceful solutions.  Prayer is the way to start - using your freedom of speech to speak - love - acceptance - tolerance - is the answer. It does not make a difference if you kneel or stand - as long as you do it for the right reason.

Deacon Dale 

Friday, September 8, 2017

Tanti Auguri

Tanti Auguri - loosely translated from Italian - many wishes - the common expression in Italy when wishing someone a happy birthday. Today I received many - well wishes - as I celebrate my birthday. It is fun - with internet access - to receive birthday wishes from around the world. America - many different States - Italy - Scotland - wherever I have friends - relatives. In spite of the critics who see only bad from internet use - there is a lot of good that is spread.  Birthday wishes - sharing accomplishments - posting photos from vacations - weddings - the list goes on and on. In cyberspace more good exists than evil. The real evil - lives in the hearts and minds of unhappy people unfortunately.

In the Catholic Church - Today September 8th - we celebrate the birthday of Saint Mary - the mother of Jesus - the mother of us all. We celebrate all the goodness that she is and represents. We celebrate her strength in saying - Yes - to the angel - when he shared God's desire for her to bear His son. We celebrate her willingness to stand by her son at Cana - Do whatever He tells you - and her acceptance at the foot of His cross as she watched Jesus being crucified. To Saint Mary we proclaim - Tanti Auguri - many blessings - for all that you have done for mankind.

Deacon Dale

Monday, September 4, 2017

Ball Ball

Saying - ball ball - does not make any sense and yet that is exactly what people are saying when they mention they are going to play bocce ball.  You see in Italian bocce is the plural form of ball - balls. If you are in Italy you wold hear them say - let's play bocce - never let's play bocce ball. The confusion arises because the game of bocce is a game involving balls. We would never say basketball ball - baseball ball - yet when we say bocce ball - that is exactly what we are saying. After a little bit of education - most people learn the correct term. When you think about it - the language - how we use it can be confusing and amusing.

When Jesus spoke in parables - a similar situation existed - in an attempt to make His explanations easier - people sometimes became confused and took His words - phrases - to be literal. Even today there are those who do not understand what Jesus was saying - instead try to explain His words in complicated theological terms. How many ways can God - Jesus - say - love - acceptance - forgiveness - compassion - tolerance. One would think that love would cover all - but in an attempt to simplify - many tend to complicate His simple message of love. The Bible is filled with God's love - an extremely long love letter to His people - yet all too many miss His simple message. Rather than dissect - analyze - study - ponder - one has to simply understand that God's love is just that - love in the extreme form - nothing less. God loves us all - period. Not love love - not love in capitals - just simply love and all that the word contains and implies.Today - let God - Jesus - love you.

Deacon Dale

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Ties That Bind - Love Knots

We all have connections - family - friends - people we work with - those we worship with - long distance connections - Facebook friends. Many of these connections are fairly superficial - especially - Facebook friends of friends of friends - people whom you have never met face to face. The others - people we actually have met - talked with - in an actual conversation - know their story - their families. Those are people with whom we have a true viable tie. Some ties are weak - others very strong - these are the ties that bind - hold us together - through good and bad times. Immediate family members - close friends - aunts - uncles - cousins - connections - ties that bind us together - everlasting - through thick and thin.

God calls each of us into His family of believers - related by blood - not familial blood - rather through the shed blood of Jesus - His Son. As adopted children - we are connected more strongly than many realize. It is our common faith - that ties us together - into bonds of love - God's love. These ties - once developed - last throughout our lives - love knots - binding us firmly into God's family. All are invited - all are welcome - come join us - in Jesus' love knot - the true tie that binds,

Deacon Dale 

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Hidden Talents

In Today's Gospel reading we heard the parable of the talents - the land owner goes away on an extended trip and places money (called talent) in the hands of three loyal workers. Two use the money given them to double what they received - the third - being fearful - not trusting the system - buries his money - only to return to the land owner on his return - exactly as received - no gain - no interest earned. Obviously this parable is not about money - rather the gifts - skills - given to us by God. It is a parable about sharing - no matter how insignificant you might think your talent - skill - might be - if used properly - may benefit others. Another comparison might be the ostrich who buries his head in the sand - hoping that what is going on around him - just goes away - not getting involved - holding tightly to a false safety net. If I close my eyes - the issue no longer exists - if I plug my ears - I cannot hear of another's need - being uninformed - justifies my non participation.

God created each of us - one by one - everyone special to God - no duplicates - even twins - different in one way or another. Like our fingerprints - voice patters - no two persons - the same. Each has been called - each is asked to use their individual talents - skills - to produce an abundant harvest in the garden of God. What you think is minor - to others - might just be what the situation calls for. We have been called - brush off the dirt and dust - from your talents - share with your brothers - sisters - all that God has given you.

Deacon Dale 

Friday, September 1, 2017

Holy Land Pilgrimage 2018 - Staying Focused

I've been pretty quiet on this blog for a month now - lots of irons in the fire. Biggest thing consuming my time has been visiting doctors and resolving my leg issues. Solution - surgery. Yes - scheduled for hip surgery after we return from our November pilgrimage to Portugal - France - Spain. Once home - instant cure - I wish.

In other news I have been working on our October 2018 pilgrimage to the Holy Land.  Just today I received news that we are being offered additional discounts to help keep those costs lower so more people can afford this once in a lifetime experience.

If anyone is interested - our travel dates are October 24 - November 1, 2018.  We already have nine people signed up for this pilgrimage and have room for another thirty.  You may click the link below to take you to our information page.

Now that school is back in session and Labor Day is lurking just around the corner - we can start to breathe a little easier and take some time to focus on ourselves - while the young ones are in school. This is not being selfish - it is important that as adults we keep ourselves in good shape - physically - mentally - spiritually - so that we can be the best we can be - for ourselves - our families.  Taking time for ourselves helps keep us focused on the important things in life.

God blesses each of us every single day - blesses us with so much that we miss - ignore - many of His blessings - in the busyness of coping with daily life.  All too often we become so focused on the big picture that we forget about - small things - like self.  To be able to do all that He asks us to do - we must first and foremost - make sure that we keep our eyes focused on the Lord - all that He asks - all that He gives.  Looking straight ahead - eyes and mind - focused - renews us - energizes us - for all tasks at hand.

Deacon Dale 

Saturday, July 22, 2017

When Tongues Fall Silent

Tears - sobbing - crying your heart out - hugging anyone with in reach - all expressions of love - especially at the time of death - wake service - funeral. When words fail - as they often do - physical gestures - speak volumes - when tongues fall silent. So many times we are placed in a situation where we find ourselves at a loss for words - where the words we do find - seem inadequate. Many people experience this - in response - choose to be absent - avoiding contact - fearing that uncomfortable silence - when words refuse to materialize. Luckily for all involved -  the heart knows what the mind does not. The ability of the heart to feel - compassion - sympathy - hurt - loss - a gift from God.

God knows our heart better than we do ourselves. He knows when we are happy - sad - elated - depressed - angry - looking for answers. When we are unable to express - in words - He reads our hearts - knows - our needs - wants - desires. Conversation with God does not have to be verbal - sitting in silence - just being present to Him - is all one has to do. Try it today - place yourself in a quiet place - then let God read your heart. You just might be awed  with the conversation you will have with Him - when tongues fall silent.

Deacon Dale 

Friday, July 21, 2017


Duolingo or dual lingo - linguistics - speaking in more than one tongue - language. Whenever we travel to another country - on vacation - on pilgrimage - we always try to learn a little bit of the language of the country that we will be visiting. Whether it is Spanish - Italian - Polish - French - Portuguese - always helpful getting around - getting directions - ordering off a menu - locating the closest bathroom facilities. As an American who - all too often - has heard the remark - why can't they learn English - our language - when people from other countries visit or relocate here - I strongly believe that the reverse should be observed when English speaking people visit foreign lands. It not only helps increase the comfort level of travelers - also increases our images as ambassadors of our own country when we travel - showing respect for people of different languages and cultures. One program that I find helpful is called - DUOLINGO - a FREE program available on your computer - smartphone or iPad. It is not just a list of vocabulary - rather it teaches you sounds - speaking - writing - sentence structure. I have used it to increase my skills with Spanish - Italian - Polish. Learning a second language requires both speaking and listening. One failure of survival language courses is that they teach you what to say - failing to teach you what to listen for - how to interpret the response. There is no value in asking directions to the closest toilet if you do not understand - left - right - straight ahead - five blocks and lower level. Speaking - listening - comprehension - all very valuable in communication.

When we talk to God - very often - many people only speak out their prayers - failing to stop and listen. The most common complaint I hear from people - in regards to prayer - is that they don't feel that God - listened to them. My response - did you stop speaking and listen to God?  He may not answer immediately - it might take sitting in quiet - to hear His response. The next time you think God is not listening - go to a quiet place - sit peacefully in Adoration - open your mind - heart - ears - to hear what He is saying. You might be surprised to learn that He does talk to you. Sometimes He will speak directly to you - often times - in another language - through another person - in a vision - in dual languages. God speaks to us in so many different ways - we have to learn - multiple ways to communicate with Him. There is no app - no computer program - only silence - patience - to open the lines of communication with Him.

Deacon Dale 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Family Vacations

Family vacations - hit or miss - something to look forward to - something to be avoided. When talking about an entire family vacationing together - a double edged sword. For years I have tried to encourage our sons to travel with my wife and I to Europe. We offered up different suggestions - England - Poland - Italy - their choice. For years we discussed and debated the pros - cons of making this happen. Conflicting schedules - the biggest obstacle - the age of  the grandchildren - ability to tolerate long distance travel - cost factors - interest levels of many different personalities and ages. To our pleasant surprise - last October - we were gifted with their decision to finally make this happen - a visit to Italy. Finally after years of excuses - everything fell into place - we were all free at the same time to make this happen. Adding extended family - a boyfriend - in-laws - a  group of fourteen was organized. Having traveled extensively on pilgrimages - working with large groups of people on various international journeys - I was selected to arrange the details. It was a task that took a lot more work than I expected - in the end - everything worked out. Thankfully - my sons and their wives - accepted the challenge and gave me a lot of help in making decisions - leaving the actual task of bookings up to me. Would I do it again?  In a heartbeat!  The issues that arose during the trip - minor - the blessings received - beyond imagination. Visiting Venice - staying in a villa along the Adriatic - spending time with Italian relatives - wandering Eternal Rome - truly a great experience. The highlight - a gathering of extended family from the USA - India - Germany - Italy - 40 people gathering in the name of Family.

Very often God calls us to travel with extended families - friends - parishioners - as we journey closer to Him. Often we do not select those with whom we travel. Frequently issues arise - conflicts in expectations - disappointments in the realities of the moment.  Through all of this - God is always with us. In the good - bad - times - He is always there - helping us handle conflicts - celebrating the joyous moments. On this trip we celebrated our oldest son's birthday - his wedding anniversary and our granddaughter's engagement which happened while at the villa. Yes - a very awesome journey - many people and with Our Lord - enjoying every moment along the way. When you travel - invite God to travel with you - He is your willing travel companion. 

Deacon Dale 

Monday, June 26, 2017

Holy Land Pilgrimage Announced

Greetings everyone!  It is my pleasure to announce our 2018 pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Travel dates are October 24 - November 1, 2018.  This is a once in a lifetime experience for singles - couples - families. Walk where Jesus walked - visit the site of His birth -  immerse yourself in the baptismal waters of the Jordan - pray at the site of His crucifixion. The Bible comes alive as you travel through Israel with our professional guide. Daily Mass in places you have only read about. Deacon Dale and Chaplain Arlene are pilgrimage specialists who will make this trip the highlight of all your travels.

View the itinerary here >> Please Click Itinerary 

For complete information and registration forms visit our web site >

Deacon Dale 

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Lazy Days

I have to admit it - I am being lazy. This summer is different from most summers as I have really taken a back seat to active pursuits. Maybe it is my older age - maybe it is the limitations I have been experiencing with my one leg - maybe I am just at a point where I realize that there are others standing in the wings - waiting to be involved. I do admit that working on any project is more fun when working with others. Doing the "Lone Ranger" thing is very much out of fashion. Group events - planning sessions - all are more enjoyable when you are able to share the fun -hard work - with others. For the past few months I have been working with family members to arrange a large family trip to Italy. Although I have lots of experience with foreign travel - this is the first time - involved in making all the arrangements. Needless to say - a labor of love - the rewards to be experienced - far exceed the work involved.

When we consider our spiritual lives - it is similar to planning any group event. You first must take into consideration where you - as an individual - stand - then once you know your position - limitations - abilities - may you move forward to involve others. Before you can be successful in drawing others to God - you must first - foremost - be near Him - yourself. First hand experience - the best tool in encouraging others to follow you - to do the same. Summer is not a time to take a vacation away from God - rather an excellent time to wander outdoors and experience Him in the warmth of the day - the beauty of the blue skies - the calmness of farm fields bursting with new life. This summer allow yourself to be drawn deeper into the arms of Our Lord - to find Him - waiting for you.

Deacon Dale 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Summer Projects

This is the time of year when thoughts turn to warm weather - longer days - annual vacations - summer projects. After spending the winter huddled in the house - trying to stay warm - now is the time to begin those outdoor projects.  Landscaping - cleaning up the flower beds - freshening up the outside - all worthy objects of attention. Everyone who owns a home has these thoughts on their mind.  Hopefully - no projects so grand that time to enjoy the warm weather - time with family - is diminished by an over abundance of tasks. Just as we need to allow time to spend with family - we need to make time to focus on our inner person - the spiritual side of ourselves.  What better way to do that - enjoying the opportunity to be outside in God's creation - praising Him for the beautiful blue skies - warm summer breezes - new growth in the yard and garden.

In all seasons - we need to make time to spend with God. He is as available to us outside in nature as He is in churches and chapels.  Always there - waiting for us to stop our busy lives - making time to be with Him - His desire. It doesn't matter if we are working on the lawn - playing a game of golf - swimming in refreshing water - we can praise and thank Him for all that He has given us.  Now is not the time to take a vacation away from God - rather - in our summer activities - now is the best time to appreciate the world He has prepared for us. 

Deacon Dale 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

May Flowers

It has been three weeks since my last post - no I did not fall off the face of the Earth. In these three weeks we have traveled from Arizona back to Illinois - back to the Midwest which had a lot of rain these past few months - back to a an acre of grass that needs tending - back to lawn equipment that refuses to run - work properly - back to a rush of obligations at church - in other words - life. In Arizona - we relax - no family in that area - here in Illinois - plenty of family.  It might be daunting to some - but my wife and I thrive on it. That is what keeps us young - being active. Yes April showers did bring May flowers - and weeds - and over growth - and other issues with maintaining our home. In addition - we were blessed with my - nephson's - nephew + son - wedding - which was a very blessed event. I sat as a stand-in for my deceased twin - the father of the groom and my wife sat in for his deceased mother. That was the only sad moment during the celebration of young love - a beautiful couple - starting life freshly as a couple. To us their marriage - a flower in God's bouquet. 

Life is interesting when you sit back and reflect. All of us have tasks to accomplish - many things that we take for granted - maintaining our homes and property - keeping a social calendar - holding ties to family and friends tight and close. In the midst of these - the sadder events of life - visiting friends whose mother passed away - another family - getting together in the final days of a life - soon to be extinguished. In all  these events - happy - sad - God is so clearly present. As we continue in this Easter Season - we continue to celebrate the Easter Event - the Resurrection of Christ - the resurrection - of our own lives. In time we pause and reflect - with Jesus at our side - always there for each of us.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Divinely Merciful

For many - Easter - one day - nothing more - nothing less. For those who understand the Church and its Liturgy - Easter - a Season - Fifty days to celebrate - pray - contemplate the Mystery of Easter. So much happened around the First Easter - unable to really understand - comprehend all that occurred. The Second Sunday of Easter - Divine Mercy Sunday - proclaimed by Saint Pope John Paul II in 2000 when Saint Faustina was canonized. The Church speaks about God's Divine Mercy - few understand the scope - depth of God's mercy - exactly what that means.

Jesus - I Trust in You - God's mercy - the forgiveness - acceptance - promise - hope - healing - offered by Jesus to all who have ears - all who will hear -eyes - all who might see - the wonders God has done. In His Divine Plan - God offers everything to each of us - it is up to us - to accept - His Divine Mercy.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, April 16, 2017

He Is Risen!

Those three words - how can anyone follow that up? What more is there to say. Jesus Christ is risen Today! Alleluia!

Happy Easter

Deacon Dale 

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Now What?

Holy Saturday - time of waiting - Jesus crucified 3:00PM Good Friday - in the pit - a quiet day - day for reflection - waiting - what is to come. For the majority of people - routine Saturday activities - shopping - cleaning the house - preparing for Easter Sunday - a busy day. For a few - prayer - preparation rites - RCIA - the elect - the final scrutiny - waiting to be baptized - confirmed - Holy Eucharist - for the first time - tonight at the Vigil. In between - quiet. Those involved with those in the RCIA - prayer - reflection - looking forward to the Vigil. No Mass yesterday on Good Friday - no Mass Holy Saturday - until after sundown - the Vigil - in the dark - waiting for - New Light - the Candle Service - Blessing of water in the font - lots of readings - music - inspiring homily - Baptism - Confirmation - Eucharist. All happening tonight - in the new day - the anticipation of Resurrection - Easter. 

In the time of Christ - nightfall signaled that time between one day and the next - in the darkness - time ceased to exist - a void - emptiness - sleeping - with the hope of another day of light - resurrection - new life. Today Jesus lies in the Tomb - like us - waiting. Waiting - like us - to see what great things God has planned for each of us. Today - Holy Saturday - we wonder - in Faith - now what?

Deacon Dale 

Friday, April 14, 2017

Holier Than Thou

So I was cruising the net - looking for some input for today's blog and came across an article and a blog that was highly critical of Holy Mass being celebrated in maybe Portugal - maybe Italy. Not sure - as I am not familiar with what was being sung - I didn't recognize the language. If a person with reasonable intellect would stop and look at the video you could see that #1) it was a large celebration #2) definitely foreign #3) crowded church  complete with full staff of musicians #4) lot of servers along with numerous priests. I can not believe the holier-than-thou criticisms. It appears that all those holier-than-thou critics thought they were witnessing Adoration. To almost anyone who knows a few things about Catholic liturgy - easily recognize that it was the end of Holy Mass - Adoration to follow - the celebrant carefully placing the large host which was just consecrated at Mass into the Monstrance - as with the end of any good liturgy - a dismissal song - complete with youth clapping and finger gestures - perhaps signing for hearing impaired. From my viewpoint - a happy celebration of God - very Christ focused. The complaints - musicians with back to altar -  unfortunately with limitations of space - forces musicians to be able to see each other - to perform well - beautiful music honoring God - not first choice - but in Rome. Other complaints - the signing - referred to - as looks like  the chicken dance - maybe those critics needed to learn signing and the local language - the last complaint - two Monstrances being prepared - one to remain on the Altar - the second - presumably for the priest to carry to another location - perhaps to disabled people in the back of the church or perhaps to an overflow crowd in an annex. My thoughts - who are these self righteous people - including some priests - that even judge a video based on a few minutes of run time. I would be the worlds greatest fool if I dared to comment on such small data. As I saw it - what was available - very mediocre video - a celebration - honoring our God - Jesus His Son.

Today Good Friday - the day commemorating when those who thought they knew God - people who were  holier-than-thou  crucified Jesus. He did nothing to deserve it - proclaimed Love - Forgiveness - Acceptance - Tolerance. Here we are some two thousand years later - still burdened with - small minds - self righteous - holier-than-thou people. Many stuck in the past - highly critical of The Church - the language used - which Missal - where to place  the altar - what songs appropriate. Jesus did not die for this - did not die - because of the color of your hymnal - did not die - for what music is selected - did not die - for how many handicapped parking spaces you have. He did not die for any of this. He died because you - I - are sinners. He died because we judge - we criticize - we refuse to help - the untouchable - the outcasts. This Friday when you attend services - when you look at Him on the Cross - remember that it was you and I who put Him there - and still do. Today just might be a Good Friday - if we repent - ask for forgiveness - change  the way we think. Today might be a Good Friday - if we commit ourselves one hundred percent to God.

Deacon Dale 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Three Peat

Three-peat is a term used primarily in American sports to refer to winning three consecutive championships. In a similar vein a hat-trick is when a player - usually in hockey or football - scores three goals in a single game - not necessarily consecutively. According to NBC Sports the term hat trick invented back on January 26, 1946 when Alex Kaleta of the Chicago Blackhawks - needing a new hat - unable to afford one - struck a deal with Sammy Taft - a Toronto haberdasher - for a free hat if he scored three times in one game. Kaleta went on to score four goals - thus the hat-trick was born. Today - in hockey - spectators throw their hats onto the rink when a hat trick accomplished. The hats - given to charities - the player - or put on display.  Today begins - The Triduum - the three-peat of the three holiest days of the Christian year. Today Holy Thursday - tomorrow - Good Friday - Saturday - Holy Saturday - the Easter Vigil - the mother of all vigils.

In these three holy days - the Church - gives us time to seriously reflect on the Gospel message of Jesus - God's Love - Forgiveness - offer of New Life. Tonight's Holy Thursday Mass celebrates the institution of the Priesthood - Eucharist - Ministry to others. Flowing out of Jesus' declaration that His disciples would do as His did - serving others - the creation of the diaconate - ministry to  the home bound - feeding the hungry - clothing the naked - caring for widows and orphans - preaching  the Good News to all who would listen. As ordained clergy - our duty to do as listed above - no more - no less - the rest in God's hand. All of us - ordained or not - called to do the same. Today begins our call to ministry.

Deacon Dale 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Can't Complain

How many times have you asked somebody how things are going and they respond - can't complain. Does that mean life is going well - all is good - or perhaps - cannot complain - nobody will listen - life is rough - who wants to listen to anyone complaining. Complaining is an unconscious incompetency - something that is done without thinking - creating an air - lack - of positive energy. My oldest son speaks frequently about - individual strength - taking responsibility for self - warrior self. My youngest son - also sees complaining as a waste of good energy - directed wastefully - accomplishing nothing. My wife and I have been discussing this lately - bottom line - I am a complainer - not to the public as such - rather to family - close friends. Although I have been in denial - I have to admit that they are correct - I need to change. Everyone complains - I have been doing it to excess - unhappy with my leg issue for which I have been seeking answers - for the past fifteen months. In public I hide my discomfort - privately - with family - in particular with my wife - I complain. I complain that I am on my seventh doctor - at the end of the month I will have completed seven months of physical therapy - having received only minor relief. My real complaint - that this might become a permanent disability of which I want no part. I have been active all my life and not being able to walk comfortably - my complaint. Time to change because - I can walk - although slowly. Other than my issue with walking I am fairly healthy - for my age. I have blessings poured upon me daily that I fail to acknowledge - that I need to admit are there. Turning the corner - moving from the grouchy old man - to a pleasant older fellow - in the works as I write.

God created us to live in His world - trusting in Him - no matter what our condition. He created us to be whole - not all are whole. He created us to be happy - not all are happy. He expects us to live as His people - reflecting everything that Jesus taught - accepting downturns - setbacks - without complaining - to be people of Faith.  As we wind up our Lenten exercises and begin the Triduum - the three holiest days of the Christian year - we need to enter into those days with new hearts - new hope - changed people - not healed completely - not complaining. I know I will - not complete - but on the right path - walking alongside the other wounded - hurting people - praising God for all He has done for all of us.

Deacon Dale 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Covering The Bases

Now that baseball has officially started the 2017 season we are watching a lot of games. We had the privilege of watching six spring training games with the Chicago Cubs while in Arizona. It is interesting to watch the plays - the planning that goes into the training - learning just where to throw the ball and when - where to hit the ball - how to place it exactly where you want it to go. Most of the time - executed exactly as planned - often - not - errors - dropped balls - lost games. In this third day of Holy Week - those preparing to join the Church at the Easter Vigil - now going through the plays - what to do - where to be - what to say - everyone a winner - all will complete the play - become full initiated into the Church.

When God set the world in motion - He had all the bases covered - people in the right places - everything planned out. Then things happened - had to deal with - Free Will. In spite of those who chose to ignore Him - He is still in control - covering all the bases for us. He is there - especially as we celebrate Holy Week - to give us special opportunities to touch the Divine - to catch the spiritual blessings - He throws at us. It is up to each of us if we participate fully - give it our best effort - to catch - accept - everything sent our way.

Deacon Dale 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Oil Change

Changing oil is recommended periodically to keep many tools - vehicles- in proper working order. Oil is a lubricant and facilitates the smooth operation of moving parts - protecting them from wearing out - extending their usable life.  In earlier days - athletes would rub oils into their skin - to strengthen - aide them in competition. Many people use oils daily to aide in their health - cod liver oil - olive - canola - corn - peanut - safflower - soybean - sunflower - in cooking - preparing foods. Oils are used in religious services to anoint as in baptism - confirmation - ordination. During Holy Week - in the Catholic Church - the Bishop blesses new - fresh oil - in a special Chrism Mass. These oils to be used throughout the following year - replenishing the supply for all the parishes - around  the world. 

In Holy Week the Church gives us special opportunities to experience the Divine. At the annual Chrism Mass the Bishop not only blesses the three oils to be used while celebrating the sacraments - also celebrates his priests and deacons - together - all renew their promise to serve the Holy People of God - the Church - to the best of their abilities. Attending the annual Chrism Mass - with all its pomp - reminds each of us - how much God loves us - lavishes His love upon all - anointing each of us - with His Love - Blessings - daily.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Fingers Hands and Palms

When discussing the anatomy of the extremities - one must obviously include - the fingers - hands - palms. All three are very important parts of the body - used to accomplish a multitude of tasks. Individually they have their own function - combined - still more. The fingers allow us to accomplish tasks such as typing - keyboarding - playing musical instruments - the hands - hold - carry - throw objects - baseballs - stones - rocks - the palm - the cradle of the hand - the pocket - received - carries various objects. When considering the palm with center area - fingers -  thumb - outstretched - looks very similar to a palm leaf - tree. This Sunday - Palm Sunday - the annual celebration in the Christian Church around the world when we commemorate the powerful entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem. I have been to Jerusalem - twice - never greeted with palms - the way Jesus was. He - the Christ - the Anointed One - me - a pilgrim - trying to get closer to my faith roots. My internal clock - telling me - maybe - I need to return to the roots of my Christian faith - one more time. Perhaps  that is why we have our very own palm at our Arizona house - a constant reminder of our faith roots - not a crucifix.

Mediterranean Palm at Casa Del Camino

God calls all of us - especially as we begin the holiest week of the Christian year - to go to our faith roots. We are asked to open our hearts - hands - palms - to received from Him the many blessing of this week. As we celebrate the blessing of Chrism by the Bishop - the institution of the Priesthood - Eucharist - Good Friday - the Passion - Holy Saturday - the anticipation - Resurrection - Easter Sunday. There is much to absorb in one short week - a lot to behold - very worthy. We need to walk into this week - eyes wide open - ears listening for His words - hearts - hands encompassing - every blessing sent our way.

Deacon Dale 

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Little Things

Everyone gets excited when grand - exciting things happen in their lives. Big surprises - lavish - over the top presents - unexpected windfalls. While those are exhilarating - rare - not frequent enough. In my lifetime I have experienced a few of those moments - the most significant - not what you might think. As I grow older -  reflecting on the joyful moments of my life - more often - the little things. Our youngest son had planned on flying out to Arizona for a short three day visit. He had to work and was not able to take time off while my grandson was on spring break - had to miss a week in Florida with his son and wife - visiting her parents. Luckily - he was able to get a day free which allowed him a long weekend to visit us. As planned - we picked him up at the airport - after putting his luggage in the car - had to dash back to pick up other luggage - our grandson!  In a surprise move - he was able to bring our grandson with him for these three days. This little blessing - an awesome gift that we least expected.

God works in strange and mysterious ways. So many people miss the everyday - little things - God does for them - looking constantly for grand - outrageous blessings. Here in the Sonoran Desert flowers are fairly rare - at certain times of the year. Most people think of the desert as a bunch of rocks - sand - lizards. When you take the time - in the right season - the otherwise boring green saguaro cacti - among others - produces a beautiful flower on its head. Even more interesting is when you see a bird sitting atop this cactus loaded with very sharp needles. You would never touch a saguaro - yet - a bird - sits comfortably on top. It is these little things - to be appreciated - contemplated. Why did God make this possible - what is the reason - who will benefit from such beauty - tucked away in a desert. Like a surprise visit from a grandson - God is full of surprises. If this surprises you - time to get to know God better.

Deacon Dale  

Friday, April 7, 2017

Grand Son

If a person is blessed with a son who is polite and considerate of others - might refer to him as a good son - nice person. Every parent hopes that their sons - daughters - will grow into fine young mature adults. The bonus when those sons - daughters - become parents themselves - bless their parents - with their own children - grand sons - daughters. In my particular case - blessed with two sons - not good - rather great - grand. God has blessed my wife and I with two sons who have grown into very respectable - grand persons. Both have families of their own - similar - different - always interesting - never boring. Being around our sons - grandchildren - always a grand moment.

When God created man and woman - His design - holy families. Families of men - women - children - grandchildren - living in harmony - peace - challenging each  other - always in love. God's plan - healthy men - women - families - not perfect - not angels - rather people coping with the everyday issues of life - complete with successes - failures. It is in the family - that we support - love - help - grow - in appreciation of our own lives - their lives - the lives of other families around us. It is in the context of family that we journey through these last days of Lent - seeking spiritual growth - for ourselves - our families.

Deacon Dale 

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Looking For Love

Everyone that I have ever met has been looking for love. Little children - seeking to be affirmed by parents that they are loved - teens - looking for the - first love - of their lives - young adults - seeking to find that special partner - the love of their life - mature adults - looking for love - lost - never found. Animals - love - at least we think they love us - some sort of attachment - curling up in our laps - sitting by our sides - tails wagging when we return home. Defining love - difficult - an intangible - unable to hold - touch - yet we say we feel - loved -in love - lost love.
God so loved the world  that He sent His only Son into  the world to share His Love with us. To teach us how to love - to feel love - to be love. Many people feel unloved - alone - abandoned. In Lent we drive deeply into our self - to exam who we are - what we are - to seek - the depth of the love - buried inside. Unfortunately - many - feel - no love. Truth be told - we are loved - period. God - His Son - Jesus - has loved us from the beginning of time - even before we were created - born - They loved us - still do. Going against common wisdom - we need to understand that first of all - we must love ourselves. No matter what we have done - how we have lived - love - ourselves. God created us in His image - to be good - not God - to be the love that He has for us. Understanding that we are the physical embodiment of His Love - we know then that we are Love. Start with yourself today - then start loving others - in doing so you will find the love you seek - need.

Deacon Dale  

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Dining Alone

Recently it was reported that the Vice-President of the USA has a rule about dining alone with a female that is not his wife. He has been criticized by people on both sides of the debate - respecting his wife - not trusting himself with other women. I can understand that he does not want people to speculate his motives for dining with a woman - not his wife. What about not dining with a man - not his father - brother. The argument could go both ways - these days. So many gay men - out of the closet - openly dining with their partner. Same with two women. Bottom line - just who really cares? If I chose to meet a female - male - friend for lunch - I could care less who would see me. Speculating about - the deacon - dining with a young man - could be my son - nephew - grandson - a young lady - niece - granddaughter - co-worker. It is really none of anyone's business - nor what the relationship is. Better that - they - focus on their own lives - how they live - their life - leave others up to their own.

Jesus does not judge us - that is for His Father - on judgement day. Until then each of us is called to live honorable lives - treating ourselves - others - as God wants us. In Christian charity - loving relationships - caring for each other - helping others. In Lent we give up the task of judging others - leave those concerns at the Cross of Jesus - just where they belong. We can dine with whomever or whatever we wish - it is our choice - nobody else's.

Deacon Dale 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Cranky Franky

We have all experienced people like - Cranky Franky - people who are always in  a bad mood - complaining - ill tempered - no fun to be with. They drive cars and blow horns at everyone - overload their shopping carts - then complain it takes too long to check out their purchase - impatient - always in a rush - living life one curse after another. It is easy to pick on the Cranky Frankies of the world - not knowing them - what is going on in their lives. The man whose wife is slowly dying in the hospital - the lady who just lost her job three years before retirement with no hope of finding affordable health care - the fat kid who never gets picked for any of the teams - even after losing fifty pounds in the last six months - the girl whose life is miserable and wants to commit suicide because she can't deal with her recent rape. Yes - these are some of the Cranky Frankies in the world - others for many other reasons.

God loves all of us - even the Cranky Frankies of the world. His love is not only for the lovable - also for those that are miserable. Often those - more loved - because they need it more. God calls each of us to love - as He loves - not making judgments - rather loving when loving is very difficult. To show God how much you love Him - find a Cranky Franky today and show them His love - through your love.

Deacon Dale 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Home Management

A very important part of managing a home is seeing that various systems are properly maintained - electrical - plumbing - heating - security - to name a few. It is important that all homeowners periodically inspect the different systems in their homes to avoid major issues. Verifying that electrical circuits are not overloaded - hot water tanks are periodically flushed - water softeners disinfected - furnaces checked for cracked heat exchangers - security - contacts - batteries all functioning. Marking a calendar to remind to do an annual inspection - one very good tool in the process. One reminder that is published for the public yearly is to check smoke - fire alarms to make sure batteries are fresh - time to replace units over ten years old. We recently had one of our smoke alarms go off - inspecting that one unit in our Arizona home alerted us to the fact that it was time to replace all the units. Reviewing Phoenix building codes we learned that all hard wired units - which the majority of homes have - now required to be replaced with a sealed unit with a ten year lithium battery. Replacing the units involved a slight re-wiring issue but it was simple to do and new units now meet current building codes - home in good shape. 

Many areas of our lives are regulated by rules - regulations - codes - for personal safety - for community safety. There are those who hate these codes - guidelines - ignore every chance they get. Most others - follow the rules - regulations as listed by reliable authorities. The most common signs we see - traffic signs - lights - informing us when to stop - go - how fast we may travel. In Lent the Church sets down guidelines for us also - specifying fast days - days of abstinence.  Although many do not understand - most comply with these regulations. It is for our benefit that all these rules are posted - everyone informed. As we continue into this fifth week of Lent - these regulations now very familiar - not an issue. No longer on our minds - focusing instead on how well we manage our spiritual homes - our relationship with God. Happily for us - with God - all things possible. 

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Lent 105 - Camel Jockey

The Fifth Sunday of Lent - celebrating New Life. In today's Gospel we hear about Jesus raising Lazarus of Bethany from the dead. My first thoughts - I have been there - in Bethany - my wife rode a camel there! We laughed as we watched the camel try to give her a kiss. What a memory - modern day - happy times. Anytime the Scriptures mention places in the Holy Land where we have visited - it brings back many great memories. Today's Gospel should bring all of us to similar happy memories. We have been told countless times - those who believe that Jesus is Lord will never die - our own resurrection - foretold by Scripture.

This Sunday in the Church - around the world - the Third Scrutiny is being celebrated - final examination of the Elect - preparing to join the Church at the Easter Vigil. The last three Sundays have been baptism liturgies focusing on the three elements of Water - Light - New Life - all which is experienced on Holy Saturday at the Easter Vigil. God does not call us to ride camels - resurrect from the dead - anything else. He simply asks that we approach Him with honest open hearts. Honest as to who we are - what we have done - good - bad - open to Him - to accepting Jesus as Lord - receiving all that He has to offer in the initiation rites to be celebrated at the Vigil. For those already members of the Church - we are asked to walk with the Elect - to pray for them - as they pray for us - that all may be one in Christ.

Deacon Dale 

Saturday, April 1, 2017

No Fool

At this stage in my life - no use for April Fools. Been there - done that - the need to pull pranks - make people feel foolish - no longer a necessity. Although most April Fools pranks are done in a spirit of fun - too many today - mean spirited. Too often I see things that get people's hopes up - only to cause major disappointments afterwards. On occasion some pranks intended strictly to embarrass - ridicule - others. I do not understand why some have to be involved with that - not mature - not being a good Christian. 

Nobody is against good clean fun - when everybody can share in the laughter - games - joyous moments. Making another person look dumb - the fool - gains nothing - for anyone. Often those who pulled the prank - later regret their actions. Unfortunately there is a ripple affect - for each and every reaction - an equal and opposite reaction results - according to Newton's Third Law. Most often we never know just who we affected - how far it went - who was built up - torn down. Lent asks us to reflect on those moments - originally thought to be light hearted - reality - not so much - hurtful. In Lent we pray - search for forgiveness - to purify our hearts - minds - that we may be the people God intended us to be.

Deacon Dale