For it is love that I desire, not sacrifice, and knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.

Take a second to read Today’s Gospel.  Done?  How many of you know that guy that Jesus speaks of in His parable today?  I know quite a few of them.  Really, really good men who don’t praise themselves but praise God for all of their blessings.  Men who are humble, men who are holy, men of God that I want to be around because they show me how to be happy but more important than happy, holy in humility.  Let me list a handful of them that I’ve fashioned my life after.

My father, first and foremost.  For most of my youth my father worked multiple jobs in order to pay the bills, put food on table and put us through a private education.  As busy as he was, he never missed Mass on a Sunday morning and he NEVER worked his job on Sunday.  Sunday was for his family (and for his nap) and some of my fondest memories growing up occurred on Sunday’s with my family.

My father-in-law.  How could I not love my father-in-law?  It was his yes to God that brought me the love of my life – my wife Sarah.  He was much like my father in that he worked hard for his family, but never on Sunday.  He was a very generous man who gave willing to many charities and with any of his children who needed a boost financially.  I will always think of him whenever the 139th Psalm is proclaimed…Behind and before you encircle me and rest your hand upon me.  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, far too lofty for me to reach.

The priests who have fashioned and shaped me.  I have been blessed to have been surrounded by so many God fearing, holy men, ordained to proclaim the Gospel to all of God’s flock, my entire life.  let me start with my Dad’s brother, Fr. Bob Dorhauer.  Uncle Bob has influenced me from the start.  He baptized me and has been sort of a “spiritual” director for me since.  Since my father’s passing, we have tried to meet with each other on regular basis, sharing meals together, sharing memories together, sharing God’s love with each other.  Another priest I have known my entire life is Fr. Bernie Wilkins.  My dad, my Uncle Bob and Fr. Bernie were all close friends in their youth.  Fr. Bernie has got to be one of the “coolest” priests I’ve ever met.  But more than that, Fr. Bernie’s love for God and the truth of the Gospel have a great influence on my life and my spiritual journey.  I was blessed to work for him for 8 years.  He hired me to be his Music Director at St. Mary Magdalen when I returned home from Decatur, a position I am grateful to still be doing to this day.  Fr. Kollross, Msgr. Costello, Msgr. Callahan, Msgr. Witt, Msgr. Ramacciotti, Msgr. Morris, Fr. Martin and of course, my current “boss”, Fr. Jack Siefert.  Deacon Martin, Deacon Weiss, Deacon Preiss, Deacon Jack Hofmann, Deacon LePage (better known to his family as Bert) are all great examples of humble men who follow the way of Christ.  God bless each one of them (and so many more not mentioned here).

I could keep going with this list – but I want to specifically mention one other man who influenced me greatly.  My first Chief Estimator when I got in the business was a man named Chuck Carter.  When I met Chuck he would be the first to tell you he was NOT a religious man.  He would tell the story of the a preacher who gave a homily when he was very young; the preacher prayed for famine and strife to strike “his” flock so that they would become more dependent on the church they were attending.  Chuck swore from that moment on he would never “profess” any faith.  But that didn’t make him an unholy man; Chuck was one of those rare men who didn’t profess a faith but who’s life was a beautiful example of how humility should be lived.  He was hard working; he was easy to go to with questions about estimating and how to approach any variety of project that needed estimated and priced out – he made you feel at ease with your questions but would be very demanding in his expectations of you – almost what you would expect when a father pushed his son to do their best.  He was also a very devoted family man.  For a man who never went to Church services his entire adult life, he was a man that lived like a man of God anyway.

Do something great for our Lord today – spend time in humble pray  thanking GOD for all of your blessings; praising GOD for all His love for you.

God’s will, not mine, be done.

Be not afraid; just have faith.

Jesus, I trust in You.

He must increase; I must decrease.

Lord, if you wish, You can make me clean.

But you man of God chose righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience and gentleness.  Compete well for the faith.

Eternal God, in Whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion – inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us so that in difficult moments we may not despair or become despondent but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself.

 

 

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