32 years ago today I did something that I will regret the rest of my life and something that I will take pride in the rest of my life.
So what is it that I’m most proud of…my wife Sarah and I made our covenant with the Lord on this day in 1987. I promised to love her, honor her and accept children lovingly from God. I pray she thinks I’m batting 1.000. I love her more today and will love her more tomorrow. I smiled when my father spoke these words to us 32 years ago…”What God has joined let no man divide.” Amen. Happy Anniversary Sarah. I love you very much.
So what is it that I regret from this day? I missed a 2ft putt 18 and bogeyed the hole. Are you thinking “He played a round of golf on his wedding day?” And I am answering with – Family Tradition. I had an early afternoon wedding, so we tee’d off at 6AM. Almost lost a brother in law (Brett) after one of my brothers – won’t mention his name but the initials are John Clifford – jokingly hit a golf ball back into our group at about 150 miles an hour just missing Brett’s head. Ah, the memories.
Do something great for our Lord today – tell your spouse how much you love him/her.
God’s will, not mine, be done.
Be not afraid; just have faith.
Jesus, I trust in You.
He must increase; I must decrease.
And finally, after 51 long years, the Blues have finally gotten off the goose egg and are now 1-13 in Stanley Cup Final games. Let’s Go Blues.
I received a text yesterday that kinda of took the wind out of my sails for a bit. Somebody close to me revealed that he is fighting prostate cancer. It is his hope that they (the doctors) caught this soon enough and knowing him, I know he has the “bullheadedness” necessary to fight this. Nevertheless, I hear the words “I have cancer” and it takes my breath away. His message to all he shared this with was to make sure that we had been checked for this recently. I have; have you? I don’t have permission to share the name of this individual, but I do have permission to ask that you all pray for him and his family as he prepares to meet PC head on…and I am not referring to Political Correctness.
My prayer for him this morning stems from our Gospel. I pray that the Holy Spirit is able to guide this man and his family in all the decisions they will have to make regarding this illness. I pray that the Holy Spirit gives him the strength and the courage to endure. I pray that the Holy Spirit will give healing to him; patience and understanding to his family. Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of this family; enkindle in them the fire of Your Love.
I have found also music to be a great source of comfort in times like this and when thinking about all that is going on with this friend, this good man and his beautiful family, it was this song that came to mind…
Do something great for our Lord…ask for the gift(s) of the Holy Spirit to guide us in all that we do. Pray that all we do today is in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Friends, once again in today’s Gospel Jesus promises to send us the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is the fuel of the Church, the energy and life force of the Body of Christ. And we can’t get him through heroic effort. We can only get him by asking for him. That’s why, for the past two thousand years, the Church has begged for this power from on high.
Jesus told us that the Father would never refuse someone who asked for the Holy Spirit. So ask! And ask again! Realize that every liturgy is a begging for the Holy Spirit. Fr. Hesburgh of Notre Dame once commented that the one prayer that is always appropriate—whether one is experiencing success or failure, whether one is confident or afraid, whether one is young or old— is “Come, Holy Spirit!”
He’s right, for this is the fundamental prayer of the Church. Mind you, we pray it, as the first Apostles did, in the presence of Mary and with her support. In the Hail Mary, we say, “Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.” What are we asking her to pray for but the Holy Spirit? Bishop Robert Barron – 5/28/19.
Do something great for our Lord today – simply say these three words to guide all of your actions…Come Holy Spirit. Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, enkindle in them the fire of Your love. Come Holy Spirit – renew the face of the earth.
I know I’ve said this many times throughout the life of this blog, but the whole purpose was to try and bring good, just men at my parish back to an active life in the faith. I was saddened that a number of men, for whatever circumstances, were not as active in the faith as they once were. I was hoping that a daily message that they could read and not have to commit additional time away from home would be the best way to achieve this. Since the beginning, I’ve relied on the guidance of the Holy Spirit to bring that message to them through my daily posts. Today’s readings, in my interpretation, are the inspiration to do this.
The works and words of Paul have always been a source of inspiration; in our psalm we are taught the Lord takes delight in All His people and in our Gospel, Jesus tells us to rely on the council of the Holy Spirit to stay true to our testimony; He also warns us that not everyone will accept this truth – His Truth – and will persecute us in professing this Truth.
It is my hope that this blog continues to grow and reach people who are in need of a spiritual “booster shot”. It is not my glory that I seek but God’s. It is not my mind that people need to understand but my message and that message is that God loves all of us. There is no sin, no wrong that anyone may have committed that cannot – that WILL NOT be forgiven by our Father in Heaven – but you have to seek it out. Please, if you are struggling with your faith, please find the strength to ask the Holy Spirit for guidance back to it. You are a beloved child of God – come back to His loving arms and find rest.
I will continue to send a post this week but will be taking a “holiday” through the month of June. My schedule will have me away from my house throughout most of the month. I will spend time with my Mother, I have a pressing deadline at work that requires extensive attention and I will end the month with my daughter in California. I will always find time for prayer and I will use that prayer to ask the Holy Spirit to inspire more stories and reflections on the Gospel/readings of the day. I will also try to make the sight more “user friendly” while with my daughter in CA. I hope that you enjoy and find inspiration these next few days and I ask that you keep me in your prayers.
Do something great for our Lord today – remember and pray for all those who gave of themselves fighting for our freedom. God bless those who fought for our Country; God bless those who served in our military; God bless those who gave their lives protecting our freedoms. God bless America.
Family •Parents, Julie and Joel; brothers, Frank, Keith and Kurt; sister, Claire
Parish • Mary Queen of Peace, Webster Groves
Education • Mary Queen of Peace School in Webster Groves; Saint Louis University High School; bachelor’s degree in engineering, double major in chemical engineering and physics, Vanderbilt University; one year of teaching at De Smet Jesuit High School (2013); studies in philosophy, Cardinal Glennon College; bachelor’s degree in sacred theology, Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome; currently working on a licentiate in biblical theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University.
First Mass of Thanksgiving •9 a.m. Sunday, May 26, at Mary Queen of Peace Church, 676 W. Lockwood Ave. in Webster Groves
The call to the priesthood • “I remember wanting to be a priest when I was in fourth grade, 10 years old. It seemed like the kind of “imagination” that kids have when growing up — firefighter, pilot, astronaut — but it never went away, and it settled into a kind of “that’s what I want to do when I grow up.” I was especially drawn to the Mass. I loved to serve Mass. I would sign up for funerals and other Masses that servers were not scheduled for. I started going to daily Mass on some days before school when I was in seventh grade, which I kept up through high school.
“All through high school I expected I would go to seminary when I graduated — I figured I would go to the Jesuit novitiate. But my mom wanted me to go to university. So I applied to different schools and ended up with a great offer at Vanderbilt. We had a fantastic chaplaincy, and I am very grateful to the chaplain, the FOCUS team, and the rest of the staff for the good place they helped to create at Vanderbilt while I was there.
“I attended a Jesuit Come-and-See weekend at Saint Louis University, and it became clear to me while I was there that I was not supposed to apply to the Jesuits. So I applied to Kenrick-Glennon, and I’ve been very happy and confident that I am in the right place ever since. It’s great finally to have reached the end!”
I want to take a few minutes to say congratulations to Stephen – will will be ordained this morning as a priest for the Archdiocese of St. Louis. I “borrowed” the article above from the St. Louis Review. Stephen has a beautiful aura about him that makes him a perfect fit for the vocation he has chosen. He is probably the second smartest person I know – good look guessing on who is the smartest – but even with all his book smarts, he knows how to relate to the regular people like myself. He has a constant smile on his face; I believe this is from knowing full well he has accepted his call from God to be a priest for God. The only time I can honestly say I’ve seen him stressed out was after losing an annual Turkey Day soccer game and having to watch his cousin Richard receive the MVP award (as voted on by his cousin Richard).
One quick shout out to Stephen’s family. His parents Joel and Julie, although no longer together, both deserve full credit for shaping Stephen into the man he is today. They pushed, they supported, they praised, they loved, they traveled but I believe most of all they provided him a strong foundation in the Catholic faith that has led Stephen to this most special moment today.
Stephen – God bless you for choosing this vocation. May God be with you on this journey that begins today. The only words of wisdom I will offer you comes not from me, but from today’s Gospel…taken from the optional readings for the Memorial of St. Gregory the VII, Pope, Religious…
When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
Stephen – today you will become “in persona Christi”; you will now have the authority to act in the power and place of the person of Christ himself. I pray that you do not take this responsibility lightly because this call came from the mouth of God Himself. Again, may God bless you on this day and everyday of your life lived for the Church.
Do something great for our Lord today – say a prayer for Stephen; say a prayer for the 6 other gentlemen who will be ordained with Stephen; say a prayer for Joel and Julie who’s yes to God brought Stephen into this world. Finally, say a prayer of thanksgiving to our awesome God for this beautiful day today.
Sometimes, just giving it to you straight from the mouth of the Lord is the best message I can offer…
Jesus said to his disciples:
“This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
No one has greater love than this,
to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
You are my friends if you do what I command you.
I no longer call you slaves,
because a slave does not know what his master is doing.
I have called you friends,
because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.
It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you
and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain,
so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.
This I command you: love one another.”
Well, maybe I will share just a one thought. I have been very busy at work and feeling the stress of numerous deadlines coming fast – one of which is the 31st and things weren’t looking good for me finishing the bid. So I did what Christ told me to do. I said a prayer on my way into work yesterday for God to offer some assistance – any assistance in trying to get it done, remembering this line that has been repeated a number of times this week…so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. I had already missed one deadline on this project – any technical questions regarding the scope of work were to have been submitted by May 22nd. Here it was May 23rd and I had a list of questions I was gathering but I had not finished reviewing the entire specification so I delayed submitting the questions. On my way into work yesterday morning, during my daily rosary, the thought came to mind to submit immediately the questions I had and to add one additional question – will GM grant a bid extension. (I have come to realize when I have thoughts like that during prayer – it is from the Holy Spirit, so I do what the Spirit inspires me to do.) It was about 5 AM when I sent the questions in for review/response. A few hours later I was talking to my general foreman (at the GM plant) and as our conversation was ending he made a comment along the lines of I bet you were happy that they extended the bid date, eh? I was a bit surprised by his question because I had not received any emails to that effect. He forwarded me a group email sent yesterday to everyone involved with the project (I eventually found mine in the junk email) stating that the bid date would be extended to June 7th. Needless to say, I smiled rather extensively yesterday afternoon. I asked in the Lord’s name and the Father granted me my request. I’m sure you will all join me in prayer this morning – in Jesus’ name – Father, what are the winning lottery numbers for this week?
Just joking, I think I’ll try this response instead…
R. (10a) I will give you thanks among the peoples, O Lord.
My heart is steadfast, O God; my heart is steadfast;
I will sing and chant praise.
Awake, O my soul; awake, lyre and harp!
I will wake the dawn.
R. I will give you thanks among the peoples, O Lord.
I will give thanks to you among the peoples, O LORD,
I will chant your praise among the nations.
For your mercy towers to the heavens,
and your faithfulness to the skies.
Be exalted above the heavens, O God;
above all the earth be your glory!
R. I will give you thanks among the peoples, O Lord.
Do something great for our Lord today – ask, receive graciously, then praise God unceasingly – for it is from God that all blessings (and bid extensions) flow freely.
I don’t know if Mother Church does this on purpose, but I found humor in the way the first reading finished and the Psalm that was chosen for today. Take a few minutes to read our passages for the day.
To paraphrase from a an old Christmas carol – “Do you read what I read?”
Some who had come down from Judea were instructing the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the Mosaic practice, you cannot be saved.”
Circumcision? To an ADULT male?
But some from the party of the Pharisees who had become believers
stood up and said, “It is necessary to circumcise them
and direct them to observe the Mosaic law.”
I have ask the question of all the adult men reading this, would you have done this? I gotta ask myself – would I have gotten a circumcision as an adult? I gotta think at this time you are all wondering – what the heck is so funny about this?
There is one last line in the first reading…The Apostles and the presbyters met together to see about this matter. We go from that line to…Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord. That is what I found funny – I don’t think any of the Gentile men were ready to go rejoicing to the house of the Lord after being told they would have to be circumcised when they got there. If i was told that news, I’m would be thinking about the passage that referenced wailing and grinding of teeth!
There is good news ahead for them; stay tuned to tomorrow’s readings.
There is also great news given to us by Jesus in our Gospel. We are told today that Christ is the vine and we are the branches and all who live in Him will bear much fruit. We are physically a part of this holy vine, we are truly a part of Christ. But we must maintain that faith; we must stay faithful to Christ or we will wither and be pruned and thrown out. So if my choice is to remain faithful to Christ and in doing so…If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you. By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples. Or the other option is…Anyone who does not remain in me will be thrown out like a branch and wither; people will gather them and throw them into a fire and they will be burned. With that in mind, the words of a Kathy Troccoli tune come to mind…I will choose Christ, I will choose Love, I choose to Serve. I give my heart, I give my life, I give my all to You. Amen.
Do something great for our Lord today – be that vine off of His branch; be fruitful; be a disciple for the Lord.