Thursday, April 26, 2018

Easy For A Camel - Hard For Men

Luke 18:25  "For it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”  As the Gospel tell us it is very difficult for a man to enter heaven - the joke - among some women - of course - men fail to ask directions.  As true as the scripture is - there is a map for all persons to follow - it is called  the Bible.  The Bible not only maps out the way - but the why - how to follow Jesus by listening to His message - following Him towards our future glory.  All have fallen short of the glory of God - but with the help of Jesus - each of us can make that trip - reach our final destination.  All is takes is a bit of humility - acknowledging that we cannot do it on our own - only with the help of God.

Chaplain Arlene Metcalfe - Holy Land Pilgrimage 2012

Once baptized and received into the Church - imperative that we continue to grow in our faith - to learn about our history as Christians - where we came from - the good and the bad - side steps taken - wrong paths selected - always with God's help - brought back to center - placed back on the correct path. As we continue in this Easter Season - we continue our journey - always forward toward God.  When you tire - when your feet fail - when your heart is troubled - stop and refresh your soul - your spirit - in His Holy Scripture  praying constantly - never stopping.  He knows - He hears - the prayers of your heart.  Walk on in His Spirit - then you may pass through the Eye of the Needle. 

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Good Shepherd

The Fourth Sunday of Easter - we listened to scripture that depicts Jesus as The Good Shepherd - an image used in the Gospel of John 10:1-21 in which Jesus is modeled as One who gives up His life for His sheep.  One might wonder why anyone tending an animal would willing die for that animal - until they realize that the sheep referred to in the Gospel means mankind.  Yes - simply put - we are His sheep - He our master.  He cares for us like He would anyone - any animal - with tender loving care - seeing to our needs - safety - feeding us not only with food and drink - also - His Word - Holy Scripture - seeing that we develop into well formed people.  

When one understands how much God - Jesus - loves us it should be easy for each of us to do likewise.  We - in turn - should nurture all those around us - seeing to their care - well being - sharing the message of Jesus' Gospel - freely with them.  We should - many do not - selfishly keeping His message for themselves. This is one gift from God - which is no gift - unless freely shared with others.  What benefit to anyone who receives freely and does not share?  All the gifts we receive from God - never for our personal benefit alone.  When we receive His blessings - those same blessings poured upon others in the act of sharing - in turn our blessings multiplied.  Today a good day to share a blessing with others.

Deacon Dale 

Friday, April 20, 2018

Stick It!

While watching some gymnastics - it is often heard that the person flying through the air attempting to make a perfect landing - stuck it.  Teammates call out during the attempt to - stick it - landing with both feet well planted on the mat - no wobbling - staying exactly in place - no false steps - gaining major points for their effort.  That phrase - stick it - applied to other attempts in various ways - meaning - goal achieved - accomplished.  Whenever anyone attempts anything - especially something new - very happy when they - stick it - on their first try.  Today I was attempting to adjust some irrigation lines on the yard plants - attempting to get better control on how much water is used keeping the plants alive and healthy.  We have one particular plant that we planted about a year ago - started as a baby - three small paddles - today much bigger - showing a lot of new growth - some flowers - others - additional paddles.  In my attempt to make sure more than enough water would reach the roots so the blossoms and paddles will do well - my hands and arm brushed lightly against some paddles unknown to me.  It was only a matter of minutes later when I realized that the plant managed to - stick it - to me.  After removing about 200 tiny needles about 1 millimeter long I regretted not wearing gloves and a long sleeve shirt.  

God is much more patient than any of us - offering time after time the opportunity to come to know Him in a personal way.  Many are able to develop that special relationship instantly - to stick it - firmly in their hearts and minds.  Many others - for numerous reasons - unable to stick it - wandering in the desert for long periods of time - before they finally experience that special relationship.  First try - second try - hundredth try - makes no difference - as long as one eventually is able to accept Jesus as Lord of their life - to make it permanent - to become a faithful follower of Christ - to stick it.

Deacon Dale 

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Pool Time

Pool time - time to get ready to spend time in the swimming pool - relaxing - getting some exercise - enjoying something different for a change.  When looking for summer vacation spots - places with a pool or swimming available - tops most people's list.  There is something almost magic about water - it draws people from everywhere. People vacation and camp - next to lakes and rivers - swimming - skiing - fishing - building houses near water.  Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that the human body is comprised of mostly water.  Water cleans - nourishes - refreshes the body to make us whole.

Water is so important in our lives that the Church uses water in special ways.  In baptism we are washed clean of our sins - water is used to bless us - especially in the Easter Season - water is used in many other blessing rituals - all showing us the new life we have in Christ. When Jesus entered the Jordan - He sanctified  the waters of the Earth - for all time.  Being brought to the Church to be immersed in the waters of baptism - immerses us also into the death of Jesus - to rise again to New Life.  If you have not been baptized - today would be a good day to ask for some pool time - with Jesus.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Breaking Bread

Breaking bread - a common expression meaning to share a meal - spend time with others. It might be as casual and short as meeting up with someone at a coffee shop for a few minutes or a full course dinner over a period of many hours. In that time - besides sharing some food and drink - time to talk - often in depth - deep personal discussions.  This experience of gathering - sharing - discussing - definitely a bonding process of sorts.

In Christian culture - Breaking Bread - refers to Eucharist - Fractio panis - the practice of breaking the consecrated bread prior to sharing in Holy Communion.  This Sunday we heard about the disciples walking along the road discussing in depth the last supper - crucifixion - resurrection events that had just happened when Jesus appeared to them - ate fish with them. Everyday day Jesus invites us to break bread with Him - to share a meal - time - to talk - in prayer - the concerns of our minds - hearts.  Everyday Jesus invites - time for us to respond.

Deacon Dale 

Wednesday, April 11, 2018


The last few days have been very windy - all sorts of things blowing around in the high winds - dust - pollen - plant debris - leaves - branches - inflatable swimming pools.  Yes - just this morning I read a post that a neighbor discovered a large inflatable pool in his backyard.  Some report things being moved by the high winds - lawn furniture - often ending up in an in-ground pool - pond.  These are all an inconvenience - the greater concern - germs - viruses - airborne - passed from one person to another - spreading illness.

Jesus - Himself - through the power of the Holy Spirit - The Holy Wind of God - spreading His Spirit - to all who willing accept.  His Spirit - blows where it will - falling on all - not all receive this special gift from God.  Some who realize that the Spirit has fallen on them - refuse - reject His Holy Spirit - most - deep believers of God's gifts - readily accept the gift of the Holy Spirit. In this Easter Season - many reports of new outpourings of the Holy Spirit - New Life among converts - those new to Christianity - freely - happily - accepting this Easter Gift. It is there for all - you only have to say Yes - to Jesus - God - to yourself.

Deacon Dale 

Tuesday, April 10, 2018


Touche - from the French - touché - a term used in fencing - to mean that an opponent has scored a point - by a touch.  Outside of fencing - touche often used to mean that one person has scored a point - made a point or witty comment in a discussion in which there is no retort or comeback.   People love to debate issues - testing their mental capabilities - intellect with others - normally in a friendly game of mental gymnastics.  

When talking with God - no need for mental - mind games.  God tell it like it is - does not beat about the bush.  Many people do not understand why Jesus spoke in parables - often think He was trying to confuse His listeners.  The opposite is quite true - He used examples that the common person could understand  relate to. Straight talk then - straight talk now.  The only time Jesus needs to touch you is when He enters your heart - touche.

Deacon Dale 

Monday, April 9, 2018


When a person breathes - inhales to take air into the lungs - exhales to expel air and body wastes out of the lungs.  Breathing is essential to all life - not just humans and animals - also to plants - other organisms.  When we open a bottle of wine - we leave standing - allowing it to breathe - to let air from outside mix with the contents of the bottle - to bring the wine to full body - alive to enjoy all the flavors hidden inside..  When construction crews work with concrete - a breathing process is followed to allow the concrete to properly cure - to breathe from the inside out - to dry solid - rock hard. Without air - life would cease to exist.

When Jesus appeared to His disciples after His resurrection - He breathed upon them - instructing them to receive His Holy Spirit.  Literally - Air - Latin derivation spirare - meaning to breathe - He told them to receive His Holy Air - Breath.  Just as breathing is essential to life - so too the Holy Spirit.  As Christians we cannot live without Jesus' Holy Breath.  When His breath is in us - we come alive - do good deeds - live lives worth of a modern day disciple.  As disciples our duty - to breathe on others - to share freely what we have freely received - the very Spirit of God.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, April 8, 2018

The Hour of Mercy

Today - Divine Mercy Sunday - we will gather at 3:00 PM - the Hour of Mercy - to pray the chaplet of Divine Mercy.  This prayer was given to Saint Faustina in the early 1900s - to be shared with the world.  This small young Polish nun - with little training - with a giant heart - love for Jesus - became the secretary of Jesus - writing a diary of her conversations with Jesus.  Today - the Diary of Saint Faustina Maria Kowalska - read around the world - complete approval by the Vatican - a book which should be read by all.  The things revealed in this diary - enriches all who take the time to read.

Saint Faustina felt the call of God at a very young age - joined a religious community as a teen - died at the age of twenty-four.  Not all are called that young - not all die that young - but all - everyone - are called.  Even though all are called - not all listen - among those who do listen - not all respond to that call. We are called to be disciples - to spread the message of God's awesome love - forgiveness - acceptance - mercy.  First we must experience His mercy - then share His mercy.  It is not a hard task - one that will bring special joy to your heart - once you confess that you are imperfect - accept your imperfections - you will know God's Divine Mercy.  Jesus stands waiting - talk with Him today - He stands at the door of your heart - knocking to come in.

Deacon Dale 

Saturday, April 7, 2018


A novena - in simple terms - a series of prayers offered for nine days.  There are many novenas available for anyone to select from - for many different causes - issues.  My wife and I have been praying the Divine Mercy Novena - begun on Good Friday and ending on the first Saturday following Easter Sunday.  On the Sunday following - tomorrow - Divine Mercy Sunday.  Throughout the nine days of prayers various issues are offered in prayer - the souls of priests and religious - all devout and faithful souls - those who do not believe in Jesus and those who do not know Him - souls of separated brethren - meek and humble souls and souls of children - souls  who venerate and glorify Jesus' mercy - souls detained in purgatory - souls who have become lukewarm.  

God loves it when we talk with Him in prayer.  He loves to hear our praises - needs - desires - concerns - especially for those of others. Jesus promised that as a community - He woudl always be with us - in Spirit - prayer.  We only have to open our hearts - mouths - to begin the most powerful conversations we will ever have.

Deacon Dale  

Friday, April 6, 2018

Praying For Mark

It is very normal for people of faith to say prayers - for themselves - family - friends - others.  In the celebration of Holy Mass - so important - prayers of the people - every time Mass is celebrated - praying for leaders - religious and secular - community - individuals - victims - dead and dying.  In particular we pray for those with special needs - very often those with medical issues - concerns.  This week - Mark - on our minds as he prepares for a cardiac procedure to place a stent.  First attempt unsuccessful - now praying that the second attempt this coming Monday - a success.  Prayers for Mark - many others - too many to name - seeking God's blessing on their situations.

Jesus told us that when two or more are gathered in His name - that He would be in our midst - He would hear our prayers - answer them.  As people of faith - we believe - trust - in His promises.  Because we believe - trust - we know that prayers for Mark - everyone - will be answered.  we praise God - Jesus - for His faithfulness - for hearing all that we ask.  In Easter joy - we celebrate all His gifts.

Deacon Dale 

Thursday, April 5, 2018

I Offer You...

On Easter Sunday - at Holy Mass - everyone given a chance to renew their own baptismal promises. In those promises - a re-commitment to follow God - Jesus as He commanded.  Even the best intents not always easy to follow.  Promises made - often promises forgotten - fallen by the wayside. The majority of people - honest - well meaning - helpful - looking out for their neighbor - as well as themselves - these are the people God asks us to be.   

When God proclaimed to His people that He would be their God - they His people - in a nutshell - He meant - do as He asked - be kind to each other - kind to yourself. Unfortunately it is often easier to treat others much better than we do ourselves.  We may forgive another in a heartbeat - yet - ages when forgiving ourselves a similar fault. For some reason - we seem to think we are the worst - unforgivable.  With the gift of Easter - we learn that we too - are as precious to God - as all the others.  To Jesus - make the commitment - I offer you - my self - my entire being - my heart and soul.

Deacon Dale 

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Eternal Father We Offer...

As one who has been born again in the waters of baptism - New Life - a reality.  A few months ago I had the opportunity to speak with a gentleman who had a spiritual experience - time when he touched the Divine.  He could not really put the experience into words - that special moment - defying common vocabulary.  Through our conversation - I could sense - feel - see in  his eyes - what he was attempting to share with me. He wanted to be baptized - following church rules - a waiting game - until the Easter Vigil.  I have not spoken with him yet - the experience to be shared at a future date when I return to Illinois - the news is Good.

Deacon Dale - Father Matt - Deacon Jerry - Commemorating Their Baptism in the Jordan River

When people come seeking God - they often find Him - in special ways.  Very often caught off guard - not expecting to touch - the Divine.  When it is real - one knows it - cannot be faked.  In the Easter Season - many opportunities to experience - again and again the real presence of God - Jesus - the Holy Spirit - in our lives.  

Deacon Dale 

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Have Mercy On Us....

Mercy - we ask for Mercy - constantly from God. All have fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) - none of us has been spared from sin - errors - mistakes. We are humans - not gods - therefore - none of us can ever expect to be perfect. Only One is perfect - Jesus - the Christ.  The One promised as far back as promises were made - salvation through God announced to His people.  In  the Easter Season - we celebrate those promises - commitment to us by God - we His people - He Our God.

God's Divine Mercy - unfathomable by many - those who either do not believe He will - has done merciful things - for His people.  It only takes an open mind - heart - to hear the stories shared by many - to realize how true those promises are. 

Deacon Dale 

Monday, April 2, 2018

For The Sake Of His Sorrowful Passion....

For the sake of His sorrowful passion -  Easter Sunday is over - gone for another year - the Season of Easter - just beginning. The Easter lilies still alive - our memories of an awesome Easter celebration - still on our lips - as we share our 2018 Easter experiences with family and friends. In the following weeks - many opportunities to live out our commitment to Jesus - to discipleship.

God calls all of us - not just the ordained - all of us - to respond to Him.  Through our baptism we have been immersed into the life of Christ - to be a modern day disciple. This should give all of us - food for thought .

eacon Dale 

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Easter Blessings

There are so many ways to say Happy Easter - Buona Pasqua - Felices Pascuas - Wesolego Alleluja - Frohe Ostern - Paskalya bayramınız kutlu olsun - to name a few. Quite often - no spoken words - rather smiles - hugs - handshakes - kisses. This is truly the day the Lord has made - let us rejoice and be glad in it. Gathering today in church with parish family - meeting in homes with blood relatives and friends - all for the purpose of celebrating life - New Life.  Children searching for colored eggs - hidden in and around the home - real and plastic eggs stuffed with jelly beans and candy. A joyous day for all.

In all these celebrations - Jesus reigns supreme - King of the Universe - Lord of All. As we gather and share our stories - we are reminded of God's love story for mankind - recorded  in the Bible - through Holy Scripture.  God - the Author of Life - every day sending His Blessings upon us - today in a very special way.

Deacon Dale