Death should never be seen as a thing far off. It makes sense, then, to keep asking, “Am I living in such a way as to enter into eternal life with God.
St. Thomas More
I died last night
This is a thought that merits thought because one day when you are in your next existence, looking back over your shoulder, this will be a fact. In the meantime, it can be a jolting meditation for the first thing in the morning. When you find it’s not true and you realize you still have time to live, what do you think about? For me, it sharpens my focus on what I intend to be and to do.
I like to call on the Holy Spirit to increase my appreciation of the multitude of gifts bestowed on me, beginning with my conception when my name was called at the gene pool and two compatible cells responded. My thanks can focus on my family, friends, possessions and my overall physical and mental wellbeing. I often ask for a fresh awareness with awe of the mysteries of each day, ranging from our sun, 93 million miles away, to the veins on a leaf.
Then I like to tune into Jesus, our God-man, Man-God, and ask what He wants me to do with the rest of my life. I trust that He knows best.
Many years ago, the lead song in a musical I wrote was “One Day Closer.” The lyrics began with “I wake in the morning thrilled with the thought that I’m one day closer to Paradise” and ends with “I’ll go when He calls for me, for I have a place in Paradise. Every day it’s clearer I’m one day nearer to Paradise!”
Now let me know how this thought grabs you. firstname.lastname@example.org
A good funeral is one that gets the dead where they need to go and the living where they need to be.
Thomas Lynch Poet and undertaker in Milford, MI
And from this song by Jacques Brel, the noted Belgium singer, who died in 1978.
After my last supper I want everyone to leave
And finish their feast elsewhere than under my roof.
After my last supper I want them to install me
Seated alone like a king, greeting his vestal virgins.
In my pipe I’ll burn my childhood memories,
My unfulfilled dreams, the remains of my hope.
The idea of a rosebush and a woman’s first name.
Then I will look at the summit of my hill
Which dances, which changes and finally becomes dark.
And in the midst of the scent of flowers which will soon wither
I know that I’ll be afraid, one last time.
“It takes three spaghetti dinners to get to know someone.”
My barber-philosopher, Tony Campanaro
When asked about the decrease in number of Christians, Mike Huckabee replied, “I would obviously like to see an increase, but if that decrease is reflective of authenticity, I’d rather see 75% authentic Christians that 90% in which half of those don’t really mean it.”
And what are a few of your favorite sayings? email@example.com)
The Church in tight straits…
In these difficult financial times, realize the pressure on the Church to meet the cries for help. For example, 70% of Catholic agencies have had an increased demand for food stamps, 85% increase for rent and mortgage assistance and 42% increased request for counseling.
During a December wedding ceremony in Maryland, the new husband interrupted the priest by pulling out his phone and sending a Twitter and Facebook update “Gotta go, time to kiss my bride.” (Comment, I hope the bride prevented him from taking this device on their wedding night)
From the London Telegraph
Writer Oliver Marre introduced his new evidence that Shakespeare was a secret Catholic.
The Evolution of God, by Robert Wright, is an ambitious account of man’s materialistic and innate searching for a “god”. I would have found it more appealing if the subject had been a spiritual study of how God has made Himself known to man. Also, the book would be more readable if its 587 pages were edited down to 200 pages.
The first to send the right answers to firstname.lastname@example.org will receive a gift copy of Light Reading for Good and Wayward Catholics.
1. After the tax collector, Levi, son of Alphaeus, became a disciple, what was his name?
2. In what year did Constantine, Emperor Rome legalize Christianity?
3. How many years have the Swiss Guards been serving the Popes?
Over 300, 400, 500, 600 years?
I think Bishop Andrew Sample goofed when he cancelled the scheduled talk of Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, retired auxiliary of the Detroit archdiocese. He didn’t want his parishioners to hear the views of a Church leader who speaks his mind about being anti-war, and one who has sympathy for same-sex marriages and women in the church. Shame on you, Bishop Sample!
In your “Crank Up For Your Day” blog, I enjoyed hearing from someone else who remembers having to swing your own prop. I also was the first woman to fly “the Ercoupe” plane. Ah, those were the days!
(And let me hear from you readers via email@example.com)
There is the story of a woman who had a near-death experience during an operation in a London hospital. She saw herself in Heaven and heard a voice telling her she would survive the surgery and live for another twenty-five years. She did recover and was so elated by the prospect of long life that, while still in the hospital, she had a tummy-tuck, face lift, additional hair implanted and lippo-suction.
Six weeks later, when she left the hospital looking like a teenager, she was struck and killed by a truck. In Heaven when she questioned what had happened, an apologetic voice said, “I bloody well didn’t recognize you.”
My favorite religious layperson
The special honoree this week is 7-year-old Jonathan Slack of Orland Park, Ill. Before the Christmas holidays he saw a destitute woman on a street in Chicago and was moved to tears. He wrote a letter to those in his neighborhood, requesting help for the homeless. Ten days later, he received four truckloads of good and toys which he delivered to the Su Casa Catholic Worker Homeless Center in Chicago.
And let me know about your favorite Catholic priest, layperson or organization that is making a difference. Share this with our many Joyful Catholic members.
Special Intentions List
As you pray with a broad brush, please include these loved ones, who have been submitted by our readers. You, too, are invited to send me names of your special persons who are in need of prayer. My address is firstname.lastname@example.org. They will be on the list for 60 days. At the end of that time, if prayers are still needed, you merely have to renew the name.
Juanita Caldwell, David Abbey, Amie Ellis, Linwood “Skip” Williams, Gerry Paradiso, Nick DeCarlo, Tom Medved, Bob Haines, Eileen Grotsky,
Roseanne Somlock, Nicholas Gallagher, Tom Lewis, Donald Whitcomb,
Violeta Zepeda, Rev. Joseph Healy, John Aylor, Rev. Joseph Marini, Enrique Portillo, Sharon McPike, Joe Berger, Tom Ryan, Joseph Normile, Jim Quimby, Russell Edwards, Mary Darwish.
As you note, because of miraculous healings, several names have been added to our Deo Gratias list.