In Defense of Mother Church

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carrycross
There may be days when you get up in the morning and things aren’t the way you had hoped they would be.
That’s when you have to tell yourself that things will get better. There are times when people disappoint you and let you down.
But those are the times when you must remind yourself to trust your own judgments and opinions, to keep your life focused on believing in yourself.
There will be challenges to face and changes to make in your life, and it is up to you to accept them.
Constantly keep yourself headed in the right direction for you. It may not be easy at times, but in those times of struggle you will find a stronger sense of who you are.
So when the days come that are filled with frustration and unexpected responsibilities, remember to believe in yourself and all you want your life to be.
Because the challenges and changes will only help you to find the goals that you know are meant to come true for you.
Keep Believing in Yourself!

mary with child jesus 2

When the Good Lord was creating mothers, He was into His sixth day of overtime when the angel appeared and said ”You’re doing a little of fiddling around on this one.”

And the Lord said”Have you read the specs on this order?”

She has to be completely washable, but not plastic;

Run on black coffee and leftovers;

Have a lap that disappears when she stands up;

A kiss that can cure anything from a broken leg to a disappointing love affair;

And six pairs of hands.

The angel shook her head slowly and said “six pairs of hands ... no way.”

“It’s not the hand that are causing me problems,” says the Lord.  “It’s the three pairs of eyes that mothers have to have.”

“That’s on the standard model?” asked the angel.

The Lord nodded. “One pair that sees through closed doors when she ask, ‘what are you kids doing in there?’  when she already knows. Another here in the back of her head that sees what she shouldn’t but what she has to know, and of course, the ones here in front that can look at a child when he goes up and says, ‘I understand and I love you’ without so much as uttering a word.

“Lord” said the angel, touching his sleeve gently, “come to bed. Tomorrow...”

“I can’t” says the Lord, “I’m close to creating something so close to Myself. Already I have one who heals herself when she is sick. Can feed a family of six one one pound of hamburger... And get a nine-year-old to stand under a shower.”

The angel circled the model of a mother very slowly.  “It’s so soft,” she sighed.

“But tough!” said the Lord excitedly.  “You cannot imagine what this mother can do or endure.”

“Can it think?”

“Not only think, but it can reason and compromise,” said the Creator.

Finally, the angel bent over and ran her fingers across the cheek.  “There’s a leak,” she pronounced.  “I told you we were trying to put too much into this model.”

“It’s not a leak,” said the Lord, “it’s a tear.”

“What’s it for?”

“It’s for joy, sadness, disappointment, pain, loneliness and pride.”

“You’re a genius,” said the angel.

The Lord looked somber.  “I didn’t put it there.”

   Erma Bombeck

jesus wounds in hands

One day, I woke early in the morning to watch the sunrise.  Ah the beauty of God’s creation is beyond description. As I watched, I praised God for His beautiful work. As I sat there, I felt the Lord’s presence with me. He asked me, “Do you love me?” I answered, “Of course, God! You are my Lord and Savior!”

Then He asked, “If you were physically handicapped, would you still love me?” I was perplexed.  I looked down upon my arms, legs and the rest of my body and wondered how many things I wouldn’t be able to do, the things that I took for granted. And I answered, “It would be tough Lord, but I would still love You.”

Then the Lord said, “If you were blind, would you still love my creation?” How could I love something without being able to see it? Then I thought of all the blind people in the world and how many of them still loved God and His creation. So I answered, “Its hard to think of it, but I would still love you.”

The Lord then asked me, “If you were deaf, would you still listen to my word?” How could I listen to anything being deaf? Then I understood. Listening to God’s Word is not merely using our ears, but our hearts. I answered, “It would be tough, but I would still listen to Your word.”

The Lord then asked, “If you were mute, would you still praise My Name?” How could I praise without a voice? Then it occurred to me: God wants us to sing from our very heart and soul. It never matters what we sound like. And praising God is not always with a song, but when we are persecuted, we give God praise with our words of thanks. So I answered, “Though I could not physically sing, I would still praise Your Name.

And the Lord asked, “Do you really love Me?” With courage and a strong conviction, I answered boldly, “Yes Lord! I love You because You are the one and true God!” I thought I had answered well, but God asked, “THEN WHY DO YOU SIN?” I answered, “Because I am only human. I am not perfect.” “THEN WHY IN TIMES OF PEACE DO YOU STRAY THE FURTHEST? WHY ONLY IN TIMES OF TROUBLE DO YOU PRAY THE EARNEST?” No answers. Only tears.

The Lord continued: “Why only sing at fellowships and retreats? Why seek Me only in times of worship? Why ask things so selfishly? Why ask things so unfaithfully?” The tears continued to roll down my cheeks. “Why are you ashamed of Me? Why are you not spreading the good news? Why in times of persecution, you cry to others when I offer My shoulder to cry on? Why make excuses when I give you opportunities to serve in My Name?” I tried to answer, but there was no answer to give.

“You are blessed with life. I made you not to throw this gift away. I have blessed you with talents to serve Me, but you continue to turn away. I have revealed My Word to you, but you do not gain in knowledge. I have spoken to you but your ears were closed. I have shown My blessings to you, but your eyes were turned away. I have sent you servants, but you sat idly by as they were pushed away. I have heard your prayers and I have answered them all.”

“DO YOU TRULY LOVE ME ?” I could not answer. How could I? I was embarrassed beyond belief. I had no excuse. What could I say to this? When the tears had flowed, I said, “Please forgive me Lord. I am unworthy to be Your child.”

The Lord answered, “That is My Grace, My child.” I asked, “Then why do you continue to forgive me? Why do You love me so?” The Lord answered, “Because you are My creation. You are My child. I will never abandon you. When you cry, I will have compassion and cry with you. When you shout with joy, I will laugh with you. When you are down, I will encourage you. When you fall, I will raise you up. When you are tired, I will carry you. I will be with you till the end of days, and I will love you forever.”

Never had I cried so hard before. How could I have been so cold? How could I have hurt God as I had done? I asked God, “How much do You love me?” The Lord stretched out His arms, and I saw His nail-pierced hands. I bowed down at the feet of Christ, my Savior.

And for the first time, I truly prayed.

old work truck in snow
Jake the rancher went one day to fix a distant fence.
The wind was cold and gusty and the clouds rolled gray and dense.
As he pounded the last staples in and gathered tools to go,
The temperature had fallen, the wind and snow began to blow.
When he finally reached his pickup, he felt a heavy heart.
From the sound of that ignition he knew it wouldn’t start.
So Jake did what most of us would do if we had been there.
He humbly bowed his balding head and sent aloft a prayer.
As he turned the key for the last time, he softly cursed his luck
They found him three days later, frozen stiff in that old truck.
Now Jake had been around in life and done his share of roaming.
But when he saw Heaven, he was shocked — it looked just like Wyoming !
Of all the saints in Heaven, his favorite was St. Peter .
So they sat and talked a minute or two, or maybe it was three.
Nobody was keeping’ score — in Heaven, time is free.
‘I’ve always heard,’ Jake said to Pete , ‘that God will answer prayer,
But one time I asked for help, well, he just plain wasn’t there.’
‘Does God answer prayers of some, and ignore the prayers of others?
That don’t seem exactly square — I know all men are brothers.’
‘Or does he randomly reply, without good rhyme or reason?
Maybe, it’s the time of day, the weather or the season.’
‘Now I ain’t trying to act smart, it’s just the way I feel.
And I was wondering’, could you tell me what the heck’s the deal?!’
Peter listened very patiently and when Jake was done,
There were smiles of recognition, and he said, ‘So, you’re the one!’
That day your truck, it wouldn’t start, and you sent your prayer a flying,
You gave us all a real bad time, with hundreds of us trying.’
‘A thousand angels rushed, to check the status of your file,
But you know, Jake , we hadn’t heard from you in quite a long while.’
‘And though all prayers are answered, and God ain’t got no quota,
He didn’t recognize your voice, and started a truck in Minnesota’!
IT’S BEST TO KEEP IN TOUCH!
Jeremy was born with a twisted body and a slow mind. At the age of 12 he was still in second grade, seemingly unable to learn. His teacher, Doris Miller, often became exasperated with him. He would squirm in his seat, drool, and make grunting noises. At other times, he spoke clearly and distinctly, as if a spot of light had penetrated the darkness of his brain. Most of the time, however, Jeremy just irritated his teacher.
One day she called his parents and asked them to come in for a consultation. As the Forresters entered the empty classroom, Doris said to them, “Jeremy really belongs in a special school. It isn’t fair to him to be with younger children who don’t have learning problems. Why, there is a five year gap between his age and that of the other students.”
Mrs. Forrester cried softly into a tissue, while her husband spoke. “Miss Miller,” he said, “there is no school of that kind nearby. It would be a terrible shock for Jeremy if we had to take him out of this school. We know he really likes it here.” Doris sat for a long time after they had left, staring at the snow outside the window. Its coldness seemed to seep into her soul. She wanted to sympathize with the Forresters. After all, their only child had a terminal illness. But it wasn’t fair to keep him in her class. She had 18 other youngsters to teach, and Jeremy was a distraction. Furthermore, he would never learn to read and write. Why waste any more time trying?
As she pondered the situation, guilt washed over her. Here I am complaining when my problems are nothing compared to that poor family, she thought. Lord, please help me to be more patient with Jeremy. From that day on, she tried hard to ignore Jeremy’s noises and his blank stares. Then one day, he limped to her desk, dragging his bad leg behind him.
“I love you, Miss Miller,” he exclaimed, loud enough for the whole class to hear. The other students snickered, and Doris’ face burned red. She stammered, “Wh-why that’s very nice, Jeremy. N-now please take your seat.”
Spring came, and the children talked excitedly about the coming of Easter. Doris told them the story of Jesus, and then to emphasize the idea of new life springing forth, she gave each of the children a large plastic egg. “Now,” she said to them, “I want you to take this home and bring it back tomorrow with something inside that shows new life. Do you understand?”
“Yes, Miss Miller,” the children responded enthusiastically-all except for Jeremy. He listened intently. His eyes never left her face. He did not even make his usual noises. Had he understood what she had said about Jesus’ death and resurrection? Did he understand the assignment? Perhaps she should call his parents and explain the project to them.
That evening, Doris’ kitchen sink stopped up. She called the landlord and waited an hour for him to come by and unclog it. After that, she still had to shop for groceries, iron a blouse, and prepare a vocabulary test for the next day. She completely forgot about phoning Jeremy’s parents.
The next morning, 19 children came to school, laughing and talking as they placed their eggs in the large wicker basket on Miss Miller’s desk. After they completed their math lesson, it was time to open the eggs. In the first egg, Doris found a flower. “Oh yes, a flower is certainly a sign of new life,” she said. “When plants peek through the ground, we know that spring is here.” A small girl in the first row waved her arm. “That’s my egg, Miss Miller,” she called out. The next egg contained a plastic butterfly, which looked very real. Doris held it up. “We all know that a caterpillar changes and grows into a beautiful butterfly. Yes, that’s new life, too.” Little Judy smiled proudly and said, “Miss Miller, that one is mine.” Next, Doris found a rock with moss on it. She explained that moss, too, showed life. Billy spoke up from the back of the classroom, “My daddy helped me,” he beamed.
Then Doris opened the fourth egg. She gasped. The egg was empty. Surely it must be Jeremy’s she thought, and of course, he did not understand her instructions. If only she had not forgotten to phone his parents. Because she did not want to embarrass him, she quietly set the egg aside and reached for another. Suddenly, Jeremy spoke up. “Miss Miller, aren’t you going to talk about my egg?” Flustered, Doris replied, “But Jeremy, your egg is empty.” He looked into her eyes and said softly, “Yes, but Jesus’ tomb was empty, too.”
Time stopped. When she could speak again, Doris asked him, “Do you know why the tomb was empty?” “Oh, yes,” Jeremy said, “Jesus was killed and put in there. Then His Father raised Him up.”
The recess bell rang. While the children excitedly ran out to the schoolyard, Doris cried. The cold inside her melted completely away.
Three months later, Jeremy died. Those who paid their respects at the mortuary were surprised to see 19 eggs on top of his casket……. all of them empty.

Palm Sunday image for website

A mom whom I respect very much recently told me about an incident with her teenage son. Her son, rather uncharacteristically (he is a good kid) was lashing out at her, spitting out the most awful invectives, screaming “I hate you” over and over again. She tried to reason with him in a calm voice but his anger only intensified. “So I just grabbed him and held him as tight as I could, not saying a word, while he screamed. And after a while, he started crying. He was crying like a baby in my arms. It was awful, but the only way to respond to that much anger is to take it until it disappears.”

I thought of this story as I worked through the readings for Palm Sunday. I’ve never noticed the prominence of the theme of non-resistance to evil.

The theme is introduced in our first reading:

I have not rebelled, have not turned back.

I gave my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who plucked my beard;

My face I did not shield from buffets and spitting. . .

I have set my face like flint, knowing that I shall not be put to shame.

The theme continues in the gospel, both explicitly and implicitly. For example, when Peter tries to defend Jesus with the sword, we read,

Then Jesus said to him,“Put your sword back into its sheath, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.”

Jesus’ non-resistance is seen at the table of The Last Supper where He refuses to defend Himself against Judas, before Pilate when He refuses to defend Himself, in front of the crowds who cry for Barabbas, and on the cross while He suffered innocently.

Why doesn’t Jesus do something to defend Himself, to respond to His attackers? The answer might be seen in part in the answer my friend gave: the only way to respond to such awful anger, such intense violence, was to accept it.

Morally, this answer creates problems. When non-resistance is embraced as normative, it can make us negligent in our responsibility to work for justice, to defend the innocent and vulnerable. Women who are being abused by their husbands, or children by their parents, or students by their teachers do not need to hear to “take it.” But then again, we don’t want resistance, even proportionate resistance, to become normative either. The witness of the cross, of the suffering servant is too powerful. One critical task in the Christian moral life is to determine when non-resistance, when the way of the cross, is most appropriate.

Fights with loved ones often provide such opportunities. When a loved one lashes out in anger, especially uncharacteristic anger, often this is coming from a place of fear or hurt. Responding with anger or injury often serves to exacerbate the situation, not resolve it. Refusing to respond or to resist can help to resolve the situation by refusing to perpetuate the cycle of anger and violence.

Other opportunities present themselves online, especially with social media. Why is it that people feel comfortable hurling insults or unfriendly criticism online in a way that they would never do in person? It is tempting to respond but often this does more harm than good. Sometimes non-resistance is the best way to undermine the violence and meanness of an angry Facebook or blog comment.

For the Christian, the key to such moments of non-resistance is not to ignore the injustice, but rather to place our hope in God to resolve what we know we cannot.

The great spirituality writer Ronald Rolheiser uses Mary under the cross as another example of appropriate non-resistance. In his book Sacred Fire, he writes

In essence, what Mary was doing under the cross was this: her silence and strength were speaking these words: “today, I can’t stop the crucifixion; nobody can. Sometimes darkness will have its hour. But I can stop some of the hatred, bitterness, jealousy, and heartlessness that caused it—by refusing to give it back to kind, by transforming negativity rather than retransmitting it, by swallowing hard in silence and eating the bitterness rather than giving it back in kind.”

Had Mary, in emotional and moral outrage, began to scream hysterically, shout angrily at those crucifying Jesus, or physically tried to attack someone as He was driving the nails into Jesus’ hands, she would have been caught up in the same kind of energy as everyone else, replicating the very anger and bitterness that caused the crucifixion. What Mary was doing under the cross, her silence and seeming unwillingness to protest notwithstanding, was radiating all that is antithetical to crucifixion: gentleness, understanding, forgiveness, peace, light, and courage.

May we have the grace to have the prudence to know when also to not respond in kind.

boy baseball

Two 90-year old guys, Leo and Frank, had been friends all of their lives. When it was clear that Leo was dying, Frank visited him every day.

One day Frank said, "Leo, we both loved playing baseball all our lives, and we played all through high school. Please do me one favor: when you get to heaven, somehow you must let me know if there's baseball there."

Leo looked up at Frank from his deathbed and said, "Frank you've been my best friend for many years. If it's at all possible, I'll do this favor for you."

Shortly after that, Leo passed away. A few nights later, Frank was awakened from a sound sleep by a blinding flash of white light and a voice calling out to him, "Frank.. Frank '......

"Who is it?" asked Frank sitting up suddenly. "Who is it?"

"Leo-- it's me, Leo."

"You're not Leo, Leo just died."

"I'm telling you, it's me, Leo," insisted the voice.

"Leo!. Where are you?"

"In Heaven," replied Leo. "I have some really good news and a little bad news."

"Tell me the good news first," said Frank.

"The good news," Leo said, "is that there's baseball in heaven. Better yet, all of our old buddies who died before us are here too. Better than that, we're all young again. Better still, it's always springtime, and it never rains or snows. And best of all, we can play baseball all we want, and we never get tired."

"That's fantastic," said Frank. "It's beyond my wildest dreams!   So what's the bad news?"

"You're pitching Tuesday."

bird protecting young

After a forest fire in Yellowstone National Park, forest rangers began their trek up a mountain to assess the inferno’s damage.  One ranger found a bird literally petrified in ashes, perched statuesquely on the ground at the base of a tree.

Somewhat sickened by the eerie sight, he knocked over the bird with a stick. When he gently struck it, three tiny chicks scurried from under their dead mother’s wings.

The loving mother, keenly aware of impending disaster, had carried her offspring to the base of the tree and had gathered them under her wings, instinctively knowing that the toxic smoke would rise. She could have flown to safety but had refused to abandon her babies.

Then the blaze had arrived and the heat had scorched her small body, the mother had remained steadfast….because she had been willing to die, so those under the cover of her wings would live.

He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge.

(Psalm 91: 4)

old man smilingJerry was the kind of guy you love to hate. He was always in a good mood and always had something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, “If I were any better, I would be twins!”

He was a unique manager because he had several waiters who had followed him around from restaurant to restaurant. The reason the waiters followed Jerry was because of his attitude. He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Jerry was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation.

Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up to Jerry and asked him, “I don’t get it! You can’t be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?” Jerry replied, “Each morning I wake up and say to myself, Jerry, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or you can choose to be in a bad mood.’ I choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the positive side of life.”

“Yeah, right, it’s not that easy,” I protested.

“Yes it is,” Jerry said. “Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people will affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It’s your choice how you live life.”

I reflected on what Jerry said. Soon thereafter, I left the restaurant industry to start my own business. We lost touch, but often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it. Several years later, I heard that Jerry did something you are never supposed to do in a restaurant business: he left the back door open one morning and was held up at gunpoint by three armed robbers. While trying to open the safe, his hand, shaking from nervousness, slipped off the combination. The robbers panicked and shot him. Luckily, Jerry was found relatively quickly and rushed to the local trauma center. After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Jerry was released from the hospital with fragments of the bullets still in his body. I saw Jerry about six months after the accident. When I asked him how he was, he replied, “If I were any better, I’d be twins. Wanna see my scars?”

I declined to see his wounds, but did ask him what had gone through his mind as the robbery took place. “The first thing that went through my mind was that I should have locked the back door,” Jerry replied. “Then, as I lay on the floor, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live, or I could choose to die. I chose to live.”

“Weren’t you scared? Did you lose consciousness?” I asked. Jerry continued, “The paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the emergency room and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read, ‘He’s a dead man.’ I knew I needed to take action.”

“What did you do?” I asked.

“Well, there was a big, burly nurse shouting questions at me,” said Jerry. “She asked if I was allergic to anything. ‘Yes,’ I replied. The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply… I took a deep breath and yelled, ‘Bullets!’ Over their laughter, I told them, ‘I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead.”

Jerry lived thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude. I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully. Attitude, after all, is everything.

By Francie Baltazar-Schwartz

Let this really sink in - then choose how you start your day tomorrow.

 finish strong quote
Fast from judging others;
  Feast on Christ dwelling in them. 
Fast from emphasis on differences;
  Feast on the unity of all life.
Fast from apparent darkness;
  Feast on the reality of all light.
Fast from thoughts of illness;
  Feast on the healing power of God.
Fast from words that pollute;
  Feast on phrases that purify.
Fast from discontent;
  Feast on gratitude.
Fast from anger;
  Feast on patience.
Fast from pessimism;
  Feast on optimism.
Fast from worry;
  Feast on God’s providence.
Fast from complaining;
  Feast on appreciation.
Fast from negatives;
  Feast on affirmatives.
Fast from unrelenting pressures;
  Feast on unceasing prayer.
Fast from hostility;
  Feast on non-resistance.
Fast from bitterness;
  Feast on forgiveness.
Fast from self-concern;
  Feast on compassion for others.
Fast from personal anxiety;
  Feast on eternal truth.
Fast from discouragement;
  Feast on hope.
Fast from facts that depress;
  Feast on verities that uplift.
Fast from lethargy;
  Feast on enthusiasm.
Fast from suspicion;
  Feast on truth.
Fast from thoughts that weaken;
  Feast on promises that inspire.
Fast from shadows of sorrow;
  Feast on the sunlight of serenity.
Fast from idle gossip;
  Feast on purposeful silence.
Fast from problems that overwhelm;
  Feast on prayer that sustains.
 

elderly couple holding hands

 Michael Duduit

 A nurse shared this story of faithfulness: It was a busy morning, approximately 8:30 am, when an elderly gentleman, in his 80’s, arrived to have stitches removed from his thumb. He stated that he was in a hurry as he had an appointment at 9:00 am. I took his vital signs and had him take a seat, knowing it would be over an hour before someone would to able to see him.

I saw him looking at his watch and decided, since I was not busy with another patient, I would evaluate his wound. On exam, it was well healed, so I talked to one of the doctors, got the needed supplies to remove his sutures and redress his wound.

While taking care of his wound, we began to engage in conversation. I asked him if he had a doctor’s appointment this morning, as he was in such a hurry. The gentleman told me no, that he needed to go to the nursing home to eat breakfast with his wife. I then inquired as to her health. He told me that she had been there for a while and that she was a victim of Alzheimer Disease.

As we talked, and I finished dressing his wound, I asked if she would be worried if he was a bit late. He replied that she no longer knew who he was, that she had not recognized him in five years now.

I was surprised, and asked him. “And you still go every morning, even though she doesn’t know who you are?”

He smiled as he patted my hand and said. “She doesn’t know me, but I still know who she is.”

desert bird

There was a bird who lived in the desert; very sick, no feathers, nothing to eat and drink, no shelter to live and kept on cursing his life day and night.

One day, an Angel of God was crossing from that desert. The bird stopped the Angel and inquired “where are you going?” The Angel replied ” I am going to meet God”.

So the bird asked the Angel ‘please ask God when my suffering will come to an end?’ The Angel said ” sure, I will” and bid good bye to the bird. The Angel reached God’s place and shared the message of the bird to Him.

The Angel told Him how pathetic the condition of the bird is and inquired when the suffering of the bird will end. God replied “For the next seven life times, the bird has to suffer like this, no happiness till then”.

The Angel said when the bird hears this, he will get disheartened. Could You suggest any solution for this?

God replied: Tell him to recite this mantra “Thank you God for everything”.  The Angel met the bird again and delivered the message of God to the bird.

After seven days, the Angel passed the same path again and saw that the bird was so happy; feathers had grown on his body, a small plant grew up in the desert area, a small pond of water was also there, the bird was singing and dancing cheerfully. The Angel was astonished as to how this happened, ‘God said for seven life times, there is no happiness for the bird’… with this question in mind, He went to visit God again.

The Angel asked his query then God replied: “Yes, it was written there will be no happiness for the bird for seven life times but because the bird was reciting the mantra “Thank you God for everything” the situation has changed”.

When the bird fell down on the hot sand, it said “thank you God for everything”. When it could not fly, it said “thank you God for everything”. Similarly, whatever the situation, the bird kept on repeating “Thank you God for everything” and therefore the seven life times’ karma got dissolved in seven days”.

I adopted this mantra in my life. Whatever the situation I faced, I started reciting this mantra ‘THANK YOU GOD FOR EVERYTHING’. 

It helped me to shift my view from what I did not 

have to what I have in my life.

fainting

A couple were going on vacation but his wife was on a business trip so he went to the destination first and his wife would meet him the next day.

When he reached his hotel, he decided to send his wife a quick email.

Unfortunately, when typing her address, he mistyped a letter and his note was directed instead to an elderly preacher’s wife whose husband had passed away only the day before.

When the grieving widow checked her email, she took one look at the monitor, let out a piercing scream, and fell to the floor in a dead faint.

At the sound, her family rushed into the room and saw this note on the screen:

Dearest Wife,

Just got checked in. Everything prepared for your arrival tomorrow.

P.S. Sure is hot down here.

baby with bubbles

Michael Duduit

If you took the same excuses that people use for not going to Church and apply them to other important areas of life you’d realize how inconsistent we can be in our logic.

For example: Reasons Not to Wash.

1. I was forced to as a child.

2. People who make soap are only after your money.

3. I wash on special occasions like Christmas and Easter.

4. People who wash are hypocrites — they think they are cleaner than everyone else.

5. There are so many different kinds of soap, I can’t decide which one is best.

6. I used to wash, but it got boring so I stopped.

7. None of my friends wash.

8. The bathroom is never warm enough in the winteror cool enough in the summer.

9. I’ll start washing when I get older and dirtier.

10. I can’t spare the time.

bear on bridge

Problem Solving...

A bear was walking across Rainbow Bridge (Old Hwy 40) at California ‘s Donner Summit, when two cars also crossing the bridge scared the bear into jumping over the edge of the bridge. Somehow the bear caught the ledge and pulled itself to safety.

Authorities decided that nothing could be done to help that night so they returned the next morning to find the bear sound asleep on the ledge.

After securing a net under the bridge the bear was tranquilized, fell into the net, and lowered, then woke up and walked out of the net.

There is a moral to this story, you know. This bear made a wrong move and found he was hanging by his nails. Somehow, he was able to pull himself up onto the ledge, where he saw he was in a very bad, impossible situation, so, what did he do? Yep, he took a nap and sure enough, the situation took care of itself while he was asleep.

The moral of this true story: When confronted with a bad situation , sometimes, the best solution is to --- take a nap.  So, the next time you see me asleep in front of the TV, or anywhere else, just remember: I could be problem-solving!!   So don’t disturb me!!

country sunset
 
One day a father and his rich family took his son to a trip to the country with the firm purpose to show him how poor people can be. They spent a day and a night in the farm of a very poor family. When they got back from their trip the father asked his son, “How was the trip?
 
“Very good Dad!” replied his son. “Did you see how poor people can be?” the father asked. “Yeah!” “And what did you learn?” The son answered, “I saw that we have a dog at home, and they have four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of the garden; they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lamps in the garden; they have the stars. Our patio reaches to the front yard, they have a whole horizon.” When the little boy was finishing, his father was speechless. His son added, “Thanks Dad for showing me how poor we are!”
baby girl with mom
 
A worried woman went to her gynecologist and said: ‘Doctor, I have a serious problem and desperately need your help! My baby is not even 1 year old and I’m pregnant again. I don’t want kids so close together. So the doctor said: ‘Ok and what do you want me to do?’ She said: ‘I want you to end my pregnancy, and I’m counting on your help with this.’
 
The doctor thought for a little, and after some silence he said to the lady: ‘I think I have a better solution for your problem. It’s less dangerous for you too.’ She smiled, thinking that the doctor was going to accept her request.
 
Then he continued: ‘You see, in order for you not to have to take care 2 babies at the same time, let’s kill the one in your arms. This way, you could rest some before the other one is born. If we’re going to kill one of them, it doesn’t matter which one it is. There would be no risk for your body if you chose the one in your arms.
The lady was horrified and said: ‘No doctor! How terrible! It’s a crime to kill a child!
 
‘I agree’, the doctor replied. ‘But you seemed to be OK with it, so I thought maybe that was the best solution.’
 
The doctor smiled, realizing that he had made his point. He convinced the mom that there is no difference in killing a child that’s already been born and one that’s still in the womb. The crime is the same!
 

One time in 1949 Padre Pio was talking with a certain doctor who was very close to him.  They were discussing prayers for the dead.  Padre Pio said to him, “Maybe you don’t know that even now I pray for the happy death of my great-grandfather!”  But the doctor remarked that he has been dead for many, many years.  Then Padre Pio explained, “For the Lord the past does not exist.  Everything is an eternal present.  These prayers had already been taken into account.  And so I repeat that even now I can pray for the happy death of my great-grandfather!”Padre Pio Stigmata

Maria Valtorta, POEM OF THE MAN-GOD, Chapter 34.

…Mary is sitting with the Child in Her lap and Joseph is standing near Her.  But She also gets up and bows when She sees the Magi entering.  She is all dressed in white.  She is so beautiful in Her plain white dress which covers Her from Her neck down to Her feet, from Her shoulders to Her slender wrists.  She is so beautiful with Her head crowned with Her blond plaits, Her face more rosy for the emotion, with Her eyes smiling so sweetly while Her mouth gives a greeting: "May God be with you", that the three Magi stop for a moment, completely astonished.  They then proceed and prostrate themselves at Her feet…

…The three Wise Men contemplate the Child, Who I think must be nine to twelve months old.  He is so lively and strong.  He is sitting on His Mother's lap and smiles and prattles with a shrill voice like a little bird.  He is all dressed in white like His Mother, with tiny sandals on His little feet.  His dress is a very simple one: a small tunic, from which His restless feet protrude, and His plump little hands which would like to get hold of everything, and above all, a most beautiful little face in which two dark blue eyes shine, and a pretty mouth with dimples at the sides shows its first tiny teeth when it smiles.  His pretty little curls are so bright and soft that they seem gold dust.

    The oldest of the Magi speaks on behalf of them all.  He explains to Mary that one night the previous December, they saw a new star of an unusual brightness appear in the sky.  The maps of the sky had never shown or mentioned such a star.  Its name was unknown because it had no name…

   They had seen it and had striven to understand its meaning.  They were happy to give up the little sleep they usually granted themselves and forgetting even their food, they devoted themselves entirely to studying the zodiac.  And the conjunctions of the stars, the time, the season, the calculation of the hours passed and of the astronomic combinations had told them the name and secret of the star.  Its name: "Messiah".  Its secret: "The Messiah had come to our world."  And they had set out to worship Him.  Each of them unknown to the others.  Over mountains, across deserts, along valleys and rivers, traveling by night they had come towards Palestine, because the star was moving in that direction.  Each of them unknown to the others.  For each of them, from three different points on earth, it was going in that direction.  And then they met beyond the Dead Sea.  God's will had gathered them there, and they then proceeded together, understanding one another, notwithstanding that each spoke his own language: by a miracle of the Eternal Father they were able to understand and speak the language of each country.

   …And they had come towards Bethlehem and as soon as they left the Holy City, the star had reappeared to them, and the night before their arrival in Bethlehem its brightness had increased;  the whole sky was ablaze.  Then the star had stopped over this house engulfing all the light of the other stars in its ray.  And they had understood that the Divine New-Born Baby was there.  And now they were worshiping Him, offering their gifts, and above all, their hearts, which never cease thanking God for the grace granted to them;  neither would they ever stop loving His Son Whose holy human body they had now seen.  Later they intended to go back to king Herod, because he also wanted to adore Him…

   …She lays Him in the arms of the oldest one, who kisses Him and receives His caress, and he then hands Him over to the other two…

     …The three Men go down the steps.  The caravan is already there waiting for them.  The horses' studs shine in the setting sun.  People have gathered in the little square watching the unusual sight.

     Jesus laughs clapping His hands.  His Mother has lifted Him up on the wide parapet of the landing and is holding Him against Her breast with Her arm so that He may not fall.  Joseph has gone down with the Magi and is holding the stirrup to each of them while they mount their horses and the camel.

     Servants and masters are now all on horseback.  The starting command is given.  The three Men bow down as low as the necks of their mounts in a final gesture of homage.  Joseph bows down.  Also Mary bows and then She guides Jesus' hand again in a gesture of goodbye and blessing…

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