Thursday, July 17, 2008

TGIF - July

David the Psalmist once asked: “What return can we make to the Lord for all his abundant goodness to us?” He answered saying: “I shall call upon the name of the Lord and praise him with all my heart.” Yet, you might wonder, if you are anyone like me, doesn’t God get tired of our repetitive words, distracted prayers and empty praises? Besides, how can anyone sufficiently and adequately praise God at all?

Given Mystery-Presence’s self-disclosures to us over the millennia, that is to say, God’s revealing the I Am to his people, He would very likely answer this way. You can best praise me by:

1.Taking notice of and showing appreciation for my creation, since I did a good job with it and did it for you, don’t mess it up.

2.Caring for each other, that’s why I gave you each other, to love not wound, to live together and work together, not in isolation, to share the fruits of the earth with all creation and not hoard them.

3. Creating opportunities to build and improve creation. I gave you – fire, air – earth - water, and you did it with some wonderful things like these: telephones, beepers, fax machines, computers, satellites, refrigeration, ice cream, microwaves, airplanes, cars, boats, space ships,
medications, x-rays, laser optics, electricity, Now, praise me with so much more.

4. Giving to each other as I give to you, but only what you wish to receive since you can be sure to get more of it.

5. Loving life because there is no other, so don’t wait for something else to happen while squandering the living you have.

6. Being part of everything that is, since everything that is, is part of you.

7. Dedicating as much time, energy and resources to just ‘being’ as you do to doing, since your value and worth are not determined by what you do but rather who you are, and you are of me.

This TGIF weekend, as nature unfolds its beauty in summer, take dynamic steps to step out and take charge. Be co-creators, for all that you create is a legacy of thanks to me, your Creator, Savior, Divinizer and an inheritance for others to come.

Celebrate your life!
Fr Ron

Friday, July 11, 2008

Thank God It Is Friday

Blessed TGIF to Family and Friends!

Have you noticed how easy it is to get comfortable and feel secure with life’s routines, plans and schedules? They offer a certain predictable rhythm in daily living. But LIFE is not that way at all. Life is a process of ebb and flow, give and take, change and rest, joy and sorrow, up and down.

Perhaps the Divine Artisan deliberately fashioned the creation with this unpredictable movement, change and process. Otherwise, humans might seemingly “know” or take hold of not only of creation but also the Creator as “known”, grasped, exhausted.

All of life, like the Master Designer, has contained within itself MYSTERY – the ineffable, the inexhaustible, the unspeakable, the uncontainable. This virtual dimension makes life and living a thrill for some and a curse for others.

What is clear, regardless of your ‘take on life,’ interpretation of events, is that all life is changing.
Without the ability, agility and flexibility to change, people “crack”, species of animals disappear from the earth, and steel buildings collapse. Resistance to change, like a skyscraper unwavering to high winds, results in disaster. For most of us over the past 10 years, change is an operative principle, a way of life, a given in daily care.

The Mystery of life also suggests that change is necessary for growth. In change the process of becoming is fostered and new beginnings occur. The caution to all of us is ‘don’t resist change;
flow with the process.’

This delightful story makes the point for flexibility.

A helmsman of a ship underway noticed on the horizon a bright light. He notified the captain, who upon arrival at the bridge, ordered communications to send a message to the oncoming vessel that it should make a “10” degree course change.

Within seconds a return message read: “You make a 10 degree course change.” The captain of the vessel became upset and ordered back: “You make the needed course correction. I am an Admiral of this 6th US Navy Fleet!”

A short courteous reply read: “I’m a 2nd Class Ensign, and I still advise you make the 10 degree change.” That was enough to enrage the Admiral who replied: “I, Sir, am an aircraft carrier and will not alter course.” “ Very well Admiral,” read the Ensign’s response, “I am a lighthouse; safe sailing!”

This is a good lesson for us all; never think, say or believe you can’t change. The consequences are dangerous, for the process of life’s becoming is arrested.

So this TGIF weekend, look back on the many ways you are always changing, adjusting, and even letting go of old ideas, feelings and ‘things’ as you evolve into a better human being. Then live the changes by embracing them with vision, courage and hope.

Friday, July 4, 2008


Peace to you in the Lover of humankind!

Here is a reflection on prayer. Most of us do it frequently but rarely do we reflect on what we are doing when we do it... pray that is....

So ask yourself.....What does one do when one prays? Why is that prayer and not something else? And what is prayed for? Over the past 25 years there has been more written on prayer than in the last century or millennium. Clearly the quest and hunger of the human heart speaks of a deeper desire to know, encounter and see God.

In the Syriac Maronite spirituality, the oldest of the 22 traditions of the Catholic Church, prayer is best understood as ‘being in the presence of God who is always present’. To pray is to make sense of reality and life experiences as disciples of the Divine One. Since the Divine speaks and enfleshes his/her words in the acts of creation - “let there be light, and there was light”, etc, to encounter creation and humankind is to meet and embrace God.

Prayer becomes the process of making oneself present to God as God presences the divine self to us in every moment of existence. This privilege of being aware of the Holy One, being in the divine presence, and called (divine vocation) to reciprocate presence is the working of the Spirit. The life of prayer is simply then to realize God’s presence with us as Mystery-Presence and as Lover of humankind.

All the various forms of prayer in all of the faith traditions are ‘tactics,’ which provide means to and icons of God. Since God is eternal presence, meaning never comes or goes, we never wait for God to come to us since God is always with us. Conversely, Mystery-Presence waits for us to make ourselves present to God.

Praying then is knowing, seeing and believing we are ‘living’ in the presence of God, and are engulfed and imbued by the divine mystery.

For the believer faith become the clearest vision one has of reality. Here prayer is coming face to face with God who dwells in creation, and responding to his invitation to live in communion with God and all creation.

Faith becomes the tool that penetrates the hidden abode and silence of God. However, we should not be contented with images, reflections and symbols of the divine even though God wants to be known through ‘the things that he has made”, as St Paul says.

For the person who can really see there is no single moment, no act in life, which is not prayer, and each is a reflection of God’s presence dwelling in all things, all places and all moments. Note well, prayer here is not an escape from the life and work entrusted to us by God, rather prayer allows us to live life as experiencing all things by transfiguring them.

Life and all activities become holy because all we do falls within the realm of mystery, and there is no way that we can place outside of the Mystery-Presence. As Zorba the Greek reminds us in his portrayal of life, life is the ‘stuff’ of prayer, and prayer is the ‘stuff’ of life. Hence life leads to prayers, and prayers expresses life.

So this TGIF 4th of July weekend, turn all your thoughts into conversation with God or prayer. Don’t just think about God or talk to God, but lead all your thoughts – conscious and unconscious, day dreams and night dreams - out of fearful isolation into loving communion with God.

Fr Ron

Friday, June 27, 2008


Peace and love in the Giver of life!

Angels Dancing

A successful musician struggled for several years with an addiction of buying/spending. After acquiring help and changing his life through a 12 Step Program, the musician accepted an Interview on Larry King Live, hoping that his story might inspire someone struggling with similar problems.

During the interview a mother watching the show at home found her 4 year old cuddling up into her lap. While the mother was intensely focused on the musician as he told his story, the child announced to her mom: “Mommy, look there are angels dancing all around that man.” The Mom welled up in tears and experienced deep gratitude.

Weeks passed and the woman read about a feature concert performance of that musician at the local civic center. Finding some connection to the musician she decided to buy tickets for her daughter and her to attend.

During intermission at the performance she sent a note backstage expressing a desire to introduce her daughter to the famous singer …saying, “my daughter saw you a few weeks ago on Larry King and said she saw angels all around you.” The singer sent a message to drop by after the show.

While the mom and child made their way to the dressing room of the singer they held hands and remained silent. As they entered the room and upon seeing the singer the child burst out: “Look, Mommy!” “This is the man with all the angels dancing around him!” The began to weep and said to the singer – “this is a miracle.” “What do you mean said the performer?”

The Mom went on to say, “You see, my daughter is autistic.” “In all her life there are only two times I have heard her speak – and this is on of those two times… with the words “Mommy, I see angles dancing around that man.”

Life’s miracles are all around us, but they can only be seen through the eyes of the heart. So this TGIF weekend, live in love and forgiveness and see the angels among us.