Monthly Archives: September 2009

“Fears, Frustrations, & Potential”


Happy Hump Day (Wednesday):

Today’s Meditation, again from Pope John XXII:

Consult not your fears but your hopes & dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfilled potential. (Pope John XXIII)

There is a great movie that was out a few years ago called, “The Bucket List.”  It was about two men, from two different sides of the tracks, who are brought together in a hospital with diagnoses’ of terminal cancer.  They developed a list of things they wanted to do before they “kicked the bucket.”  These items ranged from very minute wishes, to climbing Mount Everest.  Needless to say, the two of them worked together, and completed everything on the list.  The movie was inspirational, hilarious, and at certain times, extremely emotional.

 They did not allow their fears and frustrations get in the way.  They plowed ahead with their plan, even after family and friends put up road blocks in their paths.  They chose to look at the future, no matter how short that future was, and to live in the moment.  In their journey, they purged themselves of their negative virtues, and found LOVE.  They opened their hearts to the potential of trust, love, empathy, and especially giving of self for others.

I believe once you find your potential, fear and frustration take a back seat.  Without fear and frustration, you open yourself to God’s graces, and unlimited love and potentials.

 

First (1st) Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order:

The Franciscan family, as one among many spiritual families raised up by the Holy Spirit in the Church, unites all members of the people of God–laity, religious, and priests– who recognize that they are called to follow Christ in the footsteps of St. Francis of Assisi. In various ways and forms but in life-giving union with each other, they intend to make present the charism of their common Seraphic Father in the life and mission of the Church.

 

October is going to be dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary.  If anyone has a favorite short meditation, please send them to me at dehalley@hotmail.com.

 

Thank you for following my page:

Pax et Bonum

Dan Halley, SFO

“Journey with Christ – Watch You Step”


 Great Morning.  Happy Feast of the Holy Angels.  Did you know my mother always called me her little angel.  Actually, she said, “fallen angel”,  but I hardly ever fell!  Oh well, here is today’s meditation:

Christians must lean on the cross of Christ just as travelers lean on a staff when they begin a long journey. (Pope John XXIII)

 The road to heaven is not the straight and easy path as that wide, smooth path to hell.  The road to heaven is uneven, rocky, jagged, narrow, and full of obstacles that at times seem insurmountable.  One traveling that path will definitely need the assistance of a good walking aid – a staff – as to navigate the way to heaven.

The walking staff needed is made of the wood of redemption that God christened with the blood of HIs Son, Jesus.  Leaning on Christ through His unselfish love for us, to the point of giving up His earthly life, is the only way to salvation.  Jesus gave up His life for us, and we must give up our lives to Him!  We must share in the redemptive qualities of His cross, and at times, we must suffer in imitation of Christ.

But, at the end of this nearly impossible journey, on this ridiculously hard path we are glorified in a, yet to be truly understood, glorious eternal life with the Godhead and others that have succeeded as well.

Pax et Bonum

Dan Halley, SFO

“Prayer – Not Me”


Thank God its Friday Monday.  Weather is Great here today!

Today’s meditation:

He prays best who does not know he is praying. (St. Anthony)

 Prayer is an interesting process.  It can be very formed and formal, or it can be “off the cuff” and extremely casual.  It can be a monologue, or some believe a dialogue.  Prayer can be to God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit, as well as to saints, angels, loved ones in heaven already, etc.

To me, all prayer is, is a form of communication.  And, communication itself comes in various forms.  Mental and spiritual prayer, to a physical form of prayer.  In reality, everything we do or think is a prayer, in the simple fact that we have God in us and thus, we are in constant communication with Him.  Kind of a scary thought – isn’t it?!

Pax et Bonum

Dan Halley, SFO

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Franciscan Saint of the Day:  Bl. Innocent of Berzo

There is not much information on the childhood of Innocent except that he was born in a poor family. After being ordained as a Diocesan Priest and was pastor in Berzo, he felt the call to join the Capuchins at the age of 30. He was a good preacher and a good confessor. He was devoted to Christ and the Cross and liked to meditate the Passion of Our Lord. His devotion in saying the mass, meditation and zeal to the Blessed Sacrament, touched so many people’s hearts. The prayer was his full joy and he was a man of prayer. He died in 1890 when he was only forty five year old. Pope John XXIII added his name to the Blesseds on Sunday November 12th, 1961.

(From http://www.franciscan-sfo.org website)

“Who’s Talking”


Good Sunday to all.

Today’s Meditation:

Happy is the man whose words issue from the Holy Spirit & not from himself. (St. Anthony)

After reading the 1st Reading, and the Gospel for today, this meditation is a “God Wink”, since it is about the same thing.

The Holy Spirit, more so than not, works very mysteriously.  How often have we said to ourselves that something done or said was the perfect thing for the situation, and wonder how you came to say those words, or did that particular thing.

One of the most unnerving and stressful things to do as a paramedic is to tell loved ones that their beloved is dead.  I firmly believe that this is a time when the Holy Spirit is with us, and helps us to interact with the living members of that persons “family.” 

I remember having to write a speech on “Evangelization in the Catholic Church” recently.  Those that know me, knows I have the gift of gab, but I in no way can coherently talk about this subject at any length.  Or so I thought!  I sat at my kitchen table with a pen and a legal pad with no idea how to start, and what to say. 

I finally said (I believe out loud), “OK Lord, if you want me to give this talk, you need to help me write it as well.”  Suddenly, a trivial thought came to mind, and I started writing it down. Then another, and another, and so on.   When I was done, I had a lecture that was over an hour long.  I only had a maximum of 45 minutes for my talk, so I had to delete material that I really did not want to get rid of for this talk.

These are only two examples of how I believe the Holy Spirit has helped me, but there are many more – most of which I believe were done without my knowledge.  All you have to do is allow Christ to live in you, and allow the Holy Spirit to work through you.

 Pax et Bonum

Dan Halley, SFO

“Flaunting Knowledge?!”


Good Day:

Went to a SUPER mass today, with recitation of the rosary prior to, and Divine Mercy Chaplet after mass.  Followed this gift from God with our weekly fellowship among ten or so other catholics from Church at our “Corporate Headquarters”, known by others as the local McDonald’s restaurant.

The Meditation for today:

It is useless for a man to flaunt his knowledge if he undermines its teaching by his actions. (St. Anthony)

  I worked with a paramedic that newer paramedics thought was the “King of Paramedics” because this person would not hesitate to perform extreme procedures at the drop of the hat.  This person WAS good at his skills, and had a large knowledge base.  The problem was that he KNEW he was good, and liked to make sure everyone knew of his capabilities. 

To the nurses, physicians, and more seasoned medics; they saw a person who liked to take too many chances, and was TOO willing to do risky procedures at the expense of the patient.  I was in administration at this time, and had to discuss his professional behavior and actions at work with him.  The individual actually told me that he was starting IV’s on  patient’s with his left hand, because “he was too good with his right hand, and wanted a challenge. ”

Needless to say, this individual soon left our employ.  Thankfully, this individual has “mellowed with age” and is still employed as a paramedic at another emergency service.  He is an excellent paramedic, but I believe pride and authority was hard to handle, for a time, early in his career.  

How many times have we all flaunted something?  I am an extrovert and have a tendency to jump instead of walk into situations.  For this reason, I have developed a taste for my feet, since they frequently are in my mouth.   Taking the servant role has never been a role for me.  I love the challenge, but it definitely is a CHALLENGE.  This has been one of the hardest things for me to learn in my Franciscan discernment and daily conversion of faith.  The one thing I can do is remember the above story, and learn from it.

Have a blessed Saturday.

Pax et Bonum

Dan Halley, SFO

“Actions”


Daily Meditation:

“Actions speak louder than words; let your words teach, & your actions speak”  (St. Anthony)

“Do as I say; not as I do!”

How often have we heard, or even said this statement? I am guilty of blurting out this sentence when caught by my children telling them to do something I did not do.  In reality, we learn by observation far more than by reading about a subject. 

When it comes to religion, this is  also true.  I love when my children are complimented about their behavior in church.  My reply: “They better behave in church.”  I have been told by a neighbor that my “kids were too polite.”  Too Polite? – To me, it makes me wonder about what other parents are teaching their children.

St. Francis’ famous quote, “Preach the gospel, and sometimes use your words” is so true.  When a parent is seen drinking to excess, or smoking interesting home made tobaccos, the young see this not only as normal, but also as what is excepted.  When parents don’t go to church, they are telling their children that Jesus and religion are not important.  

Every dysfunctional family that I know of (and sadly I know of many said families) have no faith, or an extremely limited and poor religious belief system.  Whoever quipped the saying “Families that pray together, stay together” I believe has it right. 

We need to remember that our actions have a direct effect on others.  Parents, and for that matter everyone, need to be diligent about fostering morality and following moral lives, as well as showing  faith as a necessary part of living. 

No one can walk in my shoes, but my children will definitely walk in my footsteps.  Let’s make sure we keep on the correct path regardless of how bumpy or jagged it is. 

Thanks & God bless you today. +

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Please keep a dear friend of mine in your prayers.  Ray is a young firefighter/paramedic that was involved in a horrible accident, and is in critical condition at a trauma center hospital.  He is a fighter, but he, and his family,  definitely needs the prayers.  

 

Pax et Bonum

Dan Halley, SFO

“Compassion & Pity”


 Meditation of the day:

“Men who exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion & pity, will deal likewise with their fellow men.”  (St. Francis)

 In my younger days, while camping in the beautiful country of the Ozark hills, I remember being awaken by a rooster making the most awful noise at 6 o’clock in the morning.   I also remember being so upset that  I found myself chasing that rooster across a field swinging a hatchet.  Thank God that I did not succeed in my goal of quieting the “rooster from hell.”

The way we treat God’s creatures we deem subservient to us does have a direct relationship on how we treat our peers.  How often have we heard about the rapist or murder who started out as a child harming animals.  In today’s society of immorality do we see disgusting animal abuse cases involving “puppy mills.” 

This meditation also includes humans.  How often have we subjectively made a decision based solely on first looks and/or preconceived notions of others.  Have I ever looked at someone begging for money at a corner with ill repute?  YES!!  I need to personalize St. Francis’ action and “hug and kiss the leper.”  Everyone is made by God – and all God’s creation is always good! 

Pax et Bonum

Dan Halley, SFO