Sunday, June 10, 2012

Giving Thanks

Today is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body & Blood of Christ.

Two words stand out today from our Gospel - "giving thanks."

It wasn't a feast. It wasn't the winning touchdown of a Super Bowl. It was a simple meal with bread and wine. It was a small group of friends with their teacher. It was God showing us the way.

Give thanks.

With the economy causing many to worry and fear, with new technology to envy, with a culture of entitlement thankfulness is far from the ordinary.

Being just a week away from the first service trip, I am inundated with the administrative tasks combined with the struggle to get my personal life in order for the summer chaos (let me tell you how much cleaning, laundry, etc has to get done this week!). My mind runs through constant to-do lists and packing lists. The present moment, the blessings that are now, escape my notice.

With today's Gospel, I am reminded to sit still. See the blessings. Offer thanks.

If I cannot do this, how can I help others to do so?

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Life's Work

In honor of one of my favorite authors who passed away this week. Here's a bit of Saturday wisdom for you:

A life's work should be based on love. 
- Ray Bradbury, 1920 - 2012

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Greatest Feat

Last night I was reminded of the greatest feat for any human - listening. Really listening.

Not just catching the words so as to repeat the information, but listening to what is being said, what isn't being said, and finding the meaning of the words.

Real listening is complicated. Minds busy with worries and cares, the next meeting, whether they remembered to turn off the coffee pot can leave little room to process the words and meanings being spoken.

Pain, sorrow, joy, can cause us to be so occupied with our own voice we forget the other.

Yes, listening just might be the most challenging skill.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Lest We Forget

For those of us in the United States, this time of year offers us a few chances to remember those who have served in our military, not only to protect Americans, but to serve the greater good on behalf of the world.

We spend Memorial Day at picnics and bar-b-ques. We enjoy the warming weather and time with friends and family.  It is a holiday that we embrace for the time it gives us to relax and enjoy the important relationships.

Yesterday was the anniversary of D-Day. As the WWII generation becomes a smaller and smaller population, this day is quickly fading to a side note buried in the side columns of our newspapers and a quiz question for tenth grade history students.

Yet, this is a time of year that we are called to remember these men and women who have served and continue to serve our nation and the world. No matter what your view on the politics of war or the current policies of the government, I do ask that you respect, honor, and in your own way serve the military men and women.

Obviously I am a biased opinion. My forefather fought for the Union in the Civil War. My grandfather served in the South Pacific. My father is retired Army and my brother served in Iraq.

Also, as we are men and women in ministry, let us not forget those who serve the soldiers, airmen, sailors, and guardsmen. The chaplaincy core is a small, but integral part of the military and so very crucial to the well-being of those in service. Here is a wonderful photo-essay of one chaplain.

Next time you are challenged because you don't have the resources promised, or adequate space for your group, or are exhausted after a week of straight night meetings, remember, there are ministers serving in far more dire conditions.

For information on the military chaplains in the United States, see the Military Archdiocese.