Faith 9-16-19

LUKE 7:1-10

Friends, in today’s Gospel Jesus is amazed at a Roman centurion’s faith: “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” How often the Bible compels us to meditate on the meaning of faith! We might say that the Scriptures rest upon faith, remain inspired at every turn by the spirit of faith.

Faith is an attitude of trust in the presence of God. Faith is openness to what God will reveal, do, and invite. It should be obvious that, in dealing with the infinite, all-powerful person who is God, we are never in control.

One of the most fundamental statements of faith is this: your life is not about you. You’re not in control. This is not your project. Rather, you are part of God’s great design. To believe this in your bones and act accordingly is to have faith. When we operate out of this transformed vision, amazing things can happen, for we have surrendered to “a power already at work in us that can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine.” Even a tiny bit of faith makes an extraordinary difference.

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We Remember 9-11-19

“In the midst of all the violence and corruption of the world
God invites us today to create new places of belonging,
places of sharing, of peace and of kindness,
places where no-one needs to defend himself or herself;
places where each one is loved and accepted with one’s own fragility, abilities and disabilities.
This is my vision for our churches:
that they become places of belonging, places of sharing.”
— Jean Vanier in Befriending the Stranger 

And, on this solemn day of memorial in the United States, remembering the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and the many that perished that day, may we all pray and work for unity, understanding, love and peace. 
 

If You Want To Be Successful 8-14-19

If you want to be a successful painter, you will at first fail on numerous canvases. And if you want to be a successful mathematician, you will at first fail in solving the equations. If you want to be a successful writer, your manuscripts will be rejected endlessly until one of them isn’t. But there will never come a point when you stop failing, because that’s what creativity is about. What works can only be known against the backdrop of what doesn’t—and if you’re too afraid to ever risk establishing that backdrop, personally and professionally, then you’ll never know what success is like. In the Hebrew Bible, we have the beautiful images in Jeremiah, for example, in the potter’s house where he comes to understand that even as Israel screws everything up over and over again, God—like a potter with clay in hand—is patient and allows the remodeling to take place, allows us to try again, to become the beautiful creation intended from the beginning. If we cannot live because we fear failure, then we cannot be good Christians because it is a faith predicated on being often diametrically opposed to worldly success. If you want to be successful, you need to learn to fail well.

—from the book God Is Not Fair, and Other Reasons for Gratitude by Daniel P. Horan, OFM

Even On A Bad Day Life Is Good 8-11-19

I love this quote and can certainly relate. I remember living in San Francisco. I was going through chemo treatments while living with Mephistopheles in the flesh. My life sucked. I had cancer. I was enduring treatment with zero support. I couldn’t work. I was financially challenged. In short, my life sucked!!!

My priest encouraged me to do some volunteer work in the hopes it would help with the depression and sadness I was feeling at that time. I ended up volunteering at the shelter at our church. I’ll never forget the first day I went. I was feeling sorry for myself. Life sucked or so I thought. Our guests were all waiting in line outside to come in for a warm meal. That day I met some of the kindest people I’d ever met in my life. I had never met so many people with so much gratitude. All of them were homeless living on a sidewalk, a park etc. Geez, they had nothing other than a place to go to for a warm meal. Most of these people exuded so much joy and happiness. They supported one another and were so grateful for the help they were receiving.

That day was so humbling for me. I had cancer. Life sucked yet I had a place to live in a great part of the city. I had food to eat. Clothes to wear. The list goes on. I had cancer. My partner was an unsupportive and extremely mean person. I was facing my battle all alone yet I was in better shape than the guests that were at the shelter that day. I found myself so ashamed of myself. I realized just how blessed I was yet so ungrateful. I went to the back room that day and began to cry. Sister Lois came in as I was crying. She said the same words to me me written on this quote. I had so much to be grateful for yet until that day I hadn’t recognized just how blessed I was. That day changed my perspective forever.

We all go through hard times. Life sucks sometimes. However, no matter what we are going through there is always someone experiencing something worse. Count your blessings. Sometimes it’s hard to do but if we don’t how in the world can we expect a bigger blessing? I remember hearing someone say “every morning when my feet touch the floor I know it’s a great day!” Isn’t that the truth? I often find myself feeling sorry for myself and when I do, God sends me a little reminder that no matter the circumstances I am truly blessed. We all are.

I’ve Seen All Good People 7-29-19

I was on my way home with my youngest son from an art festival on Saturday. We were listening to music. A song by the band “YES” came on. My son shared one of his favorite songs was “I’ve Seen All Good People”. I had to agree it was my favorite also. When my kids were young I would play the beginning of the song over and over. I was surprised to hear my son share a story of when he was on a trip in Oakland.

Derek shared he was at a restaurant with friends. He heard this song playing and became distracted. The owner of the restaurant was at their table welcoming the group to his restaurant. He looked at my son and commented that clearly his mind was somewhere else. Derek told the owner that he could hear this song playing. It reminded him of hearing it repeatedly when he was young. He shared it was one of his favorites. The owner began to cry. He told Derek that it was his brothers favorite song too. His brother had passed away when he was a teenager. Derek was so moved by the story as was I when my son shared the story with me.

We played the song on the way home. I have to admit, we played the beginning over and over. I told my son I was really curious to know what the meaning of the song was. We looked it up on Wikipedia and Song Facts.

I’ve Seen All Good People” is a song performed by the English progressive rock band Yes. Written by Yes members Jon Anderson and Chris Squire, it was first included on 1971’s The Yes Album and has appeared on several later albums. The first part of the song, titled “Your Move“, was released as a single. It became a top 40 hit in the United States, which helped the group build momentum

The tune uses chess as a lyrical metaphor for navigating interpersonal relationships. It has received positive reviews from several critics and has been considered one of Yes’s best-known songs, with AllMusic‘s Mike DeGagne stating that “the harmonies are resilient from start to finish” and that the track “still stands as one of their most appealing” works. Music critic Robert Christgau has also singled it out for praise.

The first part of the song, “Your Move”, alludes to the game of chess as a metaphor for male–female relationships. Examples include the phrases “move me onto any black square”, “make the white queen run so fast”, and “the goal is for us all to capture only one”.

A reference to John Lennon’s work is in the lyric “send that instant karma to me”, with “Instant Karma!” being a single released by Lennon in 1970. Also, the sentence “All we are saying is give peace a chance” is heard in the organ part before switching to “All Good People”, referencing another Lennon song, “Give Peace a Chance“. More generally, Anderson has stated that the line “’cause it’s time, it’s time in time with your time” was an attempt to say that he would “do anything that is required of me to reach God” and that he wants the listener to feel “in tune and in time with God.” Just before the three-minute mark of the song, at the final part of “Your Move”, the chorus of Lennon’s “Give Peace a Chance” can be heard in the background. – Wikipedia

This is an anti-war song. The term “I’ve seen all good people” is ALL the people, including the so-called enemy.

The line, “Don’t surround yourself with yourself” refers to self-righteous behavior; “Move on back two squares” is a chess term meaning to retreat and rethink your position. The lyrics also refer to the queen, which is the most versatile and powerful chess piece. It talks about how news is captured for use by the queen, which uses forces to take control and manipulate troops against the enemy. War is like a game of chess.

With the line, “Send an instant comment to me, initial it with loving care,” this song references “Instant Karma,” which was a song recorded by John Lennon a year earlier. Lennon was a huge influence on Yes, who covered The Beatles song “Every Little Thing” on their first album.

The lines: “Just remember that the gold is for us to capture all we want, anywhere, Yea, yea, yea” refers to the rich and powerful victimizing the weak and poor. The US was taken off the Gold standard by Richard Nixon August 15, 1971 the same year this was released. – Song Facts.

LYRICS

I’ve seen all good people turn their heads each day

So satisfied I’m on my way

I’ve seen all good people turn their heads each day

So satisfied I’m on my way

Take a straight and stronger course

To the corner of your life

Make the white queen run so fast

She hasn’t got time to make you a wife

‘Cause it’s time, it’s time in time with your time

And its news is captured

For the queen to use!

Move me on to any black square

Use me anytime you want

Just remember that the goal

Is for us all to capture all we want (Move me on to any black square)

Don’t surround yourself with yourself

Move on back two squares

Send an instant karma to me

Initial it with loving care (Don’t surround yourself)

‘Cause it’s time, it’s time in time with your time

And its news is captured

For the queen to use!

Diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit didda

Diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit didda (Don’t surround yourself with yourself)

Don’t surround yourself with yourself (Don’t surround yourself)

Move on back two squares

Send an instant karma to me (Send an instant karma to me)

Initial it with loving care (Don’t surround yourself)

‘Cause it’s time, it’s time in time with your time

And its news is captured

For the queen to use!

Diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit didda (All we are saying)

Diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit didda (Is give peace a chance)

Diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit didda (All we are saying)

Diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit didda (Is give peace a chance

‘Cause it’s time, it’s time in time with your time

And it’s news is captured

I’ve seen all good people turn their heads each day

So satisfied I’m on my way

I’ve seen all good people turn their heads each day

So satisfied I’m on my way

I’ve seen all good people turn their heads each day

So satisfied I’m on my way

I’ve seen all good people turn their heads each day

So satisfied I’m on my way

I’ve seen all good people turn their heads each day

So satisfied I’m on my way

I’ve seen all good people turn their heads each day

So satisfied I’m on my way

I’ve seen all good people turn their heads each day

So satisfied I’m on my way

I’ve seen all good people turn their heads each day

So satisfied I’m on my way

I’ve seen all good people turn their heads each day

So satisfied I’m on my way

I’ve seen all good people turn their heads each day

So satisfied I’m on my way

I’ve seen all good people turn their heads each day

So satisfied I’m on my way

After reading about the meaning of this song, I couldn’t help but love the song even more. In my opinion, we should all strive to be better. We should also strive to be closer to God. Besides the fact this song is anti-war song, it also encourages all of us to step back and reflect on our own selves opposed to judging others. I feel we have become a nation of so much fighting and pointing fingers. The lyrics also encourage us to strive for peace. Interestingly enough, I feel our current situation with our president is very similar to the Nixon era. There is absolutely no peace in this country.

I love how “YES” uses a game of chess as a metaphor to get their point across. I’m not sure why I’m sharing all this on my blog tonight. Possibly because I can really resonate with the meaning. I would love nothing more than for everyone to find a sense of peace not only in their own lives but with others. Who knows. All I know is I love this song. I love that I’m able to share that same love of a song with my son Derek. I love the beat. I love the lyrics and I love the meaning.

This tune is a classic. It was released in the 70’s. It was a hit then and in truth is still a hit in my eyes so many years later. I’d like to encourage you to listen to the song. Who knows, maybe you too might be touched and find yourself wishing for a little bit of peace too. Like the song, I’m sending a little good karma your way. Initialed with loving care and I hope you will do the same for me. ❤️❤️❤️🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

Something Wonderful Is About To Happen #2 5-3-19

The last 24 hours have been rather challenging for me. In truth, there’s a part of my heart that’s broken. However, I’ve been praying really hard for strength and healing. Sometimes life throws us curveballs that aren’t necessarily comfortable. Despite it all we still have to keep moving.

Tonight I was on my way home from a meeting. I looked toward the Cascade Mountains and found myself in awe when I saw this beautiful sunset. It reminded me of the words Father Michael once told during one of his homilies at St Dominic’s in San Francisco.

Father Michael shared that when things in our life aren’t going as planned it’s important to remind ourselves “Something Wonderful Is About To Happen”. As I looked at this sunset and took these photos those words that I have held close to my heart for several years came to mind reminding me “Something Wonderful Is About To Happen”. I can’t say for sure that something wonderful is about to happen but what I do know is God really does exist. Maybe this sunset that took my breath away was just a reminder that no matter the circumstances he’s with me and everything is going to be ok. I hope so any way

https://fiercefabulousfunny.com/2015/07/20/something-wonderful-is-going-to-happen-7-20-15/

A real Man Never Hurts A Woman 4-19-19

This is so true. I’ll never forget when I was in San Francisco. My ex had been so awful. To the point I cried profusely. I left the house and went to my church and prayed at the altar. On the way home I was angry at God. Even yelling at him. I stopped at a convenience store before going back home. As I walked in, an older man walked in behind me. As we walked towards the back he suddenly said “I want you to know God heard you tonight”. I looked at him and said “excuse me”. He said “God saw who hurt you tonight and made you cry. He wants you to know he will deal with him but he also wants you to know he has a plan for you. Everything is going to be alright”. I was so taken aback. He told me God had a plan for me. He said don’t worry about the person who hurt you. God will deal with him but as for you he has a plan and everything is going to be ok. I began to cry. This stranger put one arm around me and raised his other arm in the air and said “St Catherine of Sienna I ask you to intercede for this woman tonight. May you offer her the same gift you offered me years ago!” I looked at him and asked “Are you Catholic?” He answered “we are all Catholic”. He went on to share a story when he was in Europe and was down and out. He prayed even praying to St. Catherine of Sienna asking her to pray for him. A miracle happened. He prayed that I too would receive the same gift of a miracle he received that time.

Now you might wonder who this man was. I have no idea. He was just a business man who was lost in the city. He had google map on his iPad and wanted to ask the store clerk questions. Before he left he said “I’m so glad I walked in here tonight. God bless you.” He walked out and got in to his Mercedes and drove away.

I probably will never forget this night. They say God speaks to you through people. I have always been grateful he spoke to me through a stranger that night.