“The Golden Rule, But Me First!” – Mt 7:7-12

Charlie is being buried today.  I would like all to take a moment to pray for his souls.  Charlie saved many people in his long EMS & fire service.  He lived the golden rule every day of his life.  It is now time to return the favor for this local hero.

It is 10 months to Christmas.  Is it too soon to start counting?

The Golden Rule is my reflection today.

Quote or Joke of the Day:


Smile at each other, smile at your wife, smile at your husband, smile at your children, smile at each other — it doesn’t matter who it is — and that will help you to grow up in greater love for each other. — Mother Teresa


Today’s Meditation:


“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.  Which one of you would hand his son a stone when he asks for a loaf of bread, or a snake when he asks for a fish?  If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him.   “Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the law and the prophets.” (NAB Mt 7:7-12)


Prayer, Prayer, Prayer:  We need to communicate with God CONTINUOUSLY throughout the day.  Prayer is not just saying some words to an almighty deity somewhere in the spirit world.  Prayer is a constant communication and exchange of thoughts and actions between you and God: directly or indirectly.  Remember, God is always literally with you, and not “in the spirit world.” 

Prayer can be those rote memory prayers we all learned in religion class, or from our parents.  Prayer is our spontaneous utterances we exchange with Him “in the air” when frustrated.  Prayer is the smile given to the person that appears sad or depressed.  Prayer is the gentile squeeze when holding your young child’s hand.  I can go on, but it is prayer when we think about God, or when we have an interaction with another of His creations.

This particular Gospel reading from today’s Mass suggests an unreflective sin on the part of those listening to Jesus this day.  Today is an interesting mediation reading, as it seems to expand and unfold the longer I meditated and researched this reading.

The second sentence seemed really bizarre to me.  In my research and meditation, it could be that there is a resemblance between a stone and a round loaf of bread; and between a snake and a scale-less fish called a “barbut.”  I’ve eaten rattlesnake before, but never a rock.

The Golden Rule, [Trivia time – this saying has been named this since the 18th century] is found in both positive and negative form in both pagan and Jewish writings.  It had a long history before being spoken here.  It emerged in the 5th century B.C. in Greek history, and the same phrase can also be found in Luke 6:31. 

The Golden Rule comes at the end of the sermon.  It is a summary, in much simpler terms.  Our retributions and morals need to be balanced and controlled by a notion of the good for that individual , and for society as a whole.  A sadomasochist would cause some major problems, and wreak havoc with this rule!

“Lord, help me to always think of you in all my actions.  The only way to salvation is through you, and through your creations of this earth.  Please help me to always do what is right for others , and myself.  Amen.”


Pax et Bonum

Dan Halley, SFO




Catholic Saint of the Day: St. Tarasius


St. Tarasius was subject of the Byzantine Empire.  He was raised to the highest honors in the Empire as Consul, and later became first secretary to the Emperor Constantine and his mother, Irene.  When being elected Patriarch of Constantinople, he consented to accept the dignity offered to him only on condition that a General Council should be summoned to resolve the disputes concerning the veneration of sacred images, for Constantinople had been separated from the Holy See on account of the war between the Emperors.  The Council was held in the Church of the Holy Apostles at Constantinople in 786; it met again the following year at Nice and its decrees were approved by the Pope.  The holy Patriarch incurred the enmity of the Emperor by his persistent refusal to sanction his divorce from his lawful wife.  He witnessed the death of Constantine, which was occasioned by his own mother; he beheld the reign and the downfall of Irene and usurpation of Nicephorus.  St. Tarasius’ whole life in the Episcopacy was one of penance and prayer, and of hard labor to reform his clergy and people.  He occupied the See of Constantinople twenty-one years and two months.  His charity toward the poor was one of the characteristic virtues of his life.  He visited in person, all the houses and hospitals in Constantinople, so that no indigent person might be overlooked in the distribution of alms.  This saintly Bishop was called to his eternal reward in the year 806. His feast day is February 25th.

(From http://www.catholic.org/saints/ website)


Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) Rule #25:


Regarding expenses necessary for the life of the fraternity and the needs of worship, of the apostolate, and of charity, all the brothers and sisters should offer a contribution according to their means. Local fraternities should contribute toward the expenses of the higher fraternity councils.


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