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