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