It is an absolutely beautiful day outside. temperatures are going to be in the balmy 40 degree range, and kids are in school. Had a great time at my councils Knights of Columbus meeting last night. It was nice to get back in the groove with these fine men.
Quote or Joke of the Day:
Some people are kind, polite, and sweet-spirited until you try to sit in their pews.
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to uproot the plant. (Ecclesiastes 3:2)
We have absolutely no control of the first two, and very little control over the second two verbs in this verse.
After I married my beautiful wife, Jeanine, we wanted to have children relatively soon after our marriage. We attempted to get pregnant almost daily, for a long time. Now, don’t get me wrong: we had fun attempting to get pregnant, and I for one, rather enjoyed the process. We also had those humorous moments such as when Jeanine would basically stand on her head to help facilitate the process, after we were ‘done.’
All of this “trying” had no success. After a couple of years, we just kind of gave up, and said, “God, it is up to you. When you know we are ready, give us children.” Jeanine and I forgot one large aspect of praying to God: His sense of humor!! Not only did she get pregnant almost immediately after we had done this; but she stayed pregnant! We had four ‘large’ baby boys in 4 years and 9 months.
Now, let’s change to the other end of life. Being a retired paramedic, I had seen hundreds, if not thousands of death and dying in my career. It is so true that we have little control over our inevitable demise. I have had the priviledge of seeing beautiful deaths of those in hospice. These people had control, and had their loved ones near them as they left this world, to be with Jesus in heaven. I have also witnessed gruesome deaths of drug dealers, and those ravaged by their sins. I can still remember the horror in their eyes.
I think the plant and uproot portions of this verse have not as much to do with vegetation as it does with our relationship to each other, and to our faith. There is a time when we have to take responsibility for ourselves, and for our relationship with God. There is a time when we have to say yes or no to what is given or thrown at us in this life. We have to know when to stand our ground on issues, and when to bend to societal norms. As Catholics, most of us are brought up in the faith, from the cradle. Our faith, when young, is basically just “assumed.” At this time, we are Catholics because our parents were, and that is just the way it was! In the teen years, there is the typical apathy and unhappiness with anything paternal – including religion. The teen, is uprooting his/her parental shell. He or she now has to plant his/her own faith, and most likely will continue with the Catholic faith, but on their own sense of faith.
“Lord, help all of us to live a life that is so precious to you. Please be with us at all times, and especially in those times of doubt and despair. Let me see your light of redemption and salvation as I tread the rocky and twisting path of this life. Amen.”
Pax et Bonum
Dan Halley, SFO
Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) Rule #13:
As the Father sees in every person the features of his Son, the firstborn of many brothers and sisters, so the Secular Franciscans with a gentle and courteous spirit accept all people as a gift of the Lord and an image of Christ. A sense of community will make them joyful and ready to place themselves on an equal basis with all people, especially with the lowly for whom they shall strive to create conditions of life worthy of people redeemed by Christ.