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I am sure many of us are familiar with the song “What a wonderful world,” made popular by Louis Armstrong.  The song extols the beauties of nature and the human spirit, and calls us to rejoice in the goodness all around us.  Our good and gracious God gives us so much…and God’s many gifts of nature and grace and life call us also to a profound sense of awe and gratitude.

So, the next time you see the “trees of green, red roses too,” remember to thank our God for the lushness of his creation.

When you experience the “bright blessed day and the dark sacred night”, remember that our days and nights provide many opportunities to celebrate life in all its fullness.

Every time we “see friends shaking hands, saying, ‘How do you do,’” let’s remember how much love is shown in the simple gestures of friendship and sharing.

And every time we are privileged to see or spend time with children of any age, knowing that “they’ll learn much more than [we’ll] ever know,” let us rejoice in the goodness and bounty of God who continues to show love for humankind in creating new life!
Let us, each day, in a spirit of genuine thanksgiving, think to ourselves: “What a wonderful world!”

 

Written by: Sr. Marie Paul Grech S.N.D.

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Are you a caring person? Consider the following CARING TEST. The following questions can be used to measure your caring ability over the past week:    Did you…

  • Lend an ear?
  • Share a joy?
  • Give encouragement?
  • Show a troubled friend you cared?
  • Ask for forgiveness?
  • –And give some?
  • Cool an anger?
  • Go out of your way to help someone?
  • Give up a grudge?
  • Discover a good point in someone?
  • –Or in yourself?
  • Open your circle of friends?
  • Enjoy a rival’s success and tell him/her so?
  • Phone to inquire about a sick neighbor?
  • Check an impulse to gossip?
  • Exchange a kindness for sarcasm?
  • Show patience?
  • Put up with someone else’s faults?
  • Pray for those in need?

Well, nobody’s perfect, but St. Paul encourages us when he says, “Love never gives up!” ( I Cor. 13:7)

Written By Sr. Marie Paul Grech S.N.D.

The end of July!  Where is the summer going?  Perhaps, like me, you might remember lazy days of summer, filled with swimming, games, carefree bike-riding, popsicles, and lots of time!  As I got older, my definitions of summer changed — although my memories have survived.  Past and present and future…we jump back and forth, in and out.  The following poem might help all of us keep time (and its passing)  in perspective.
Two Days We Should Not Worry
Author Unknown
There are two days in every week, about which we should not worry,
two days which should be kept free from fear and apprehension.                                   
One of these days is Yesterday, with all its mistakes and cares,
its faults and blunders, its aches and pains.                                                                
Yesterday has passed forever beyond our control.
All the money in the world cannot bring back Yesterday.                                                
We cannot undo a single act we performed;
we cannot erase a single word we said.

Yesterday is gone forever.                                                                                                     
The other day we should not worry about is Tomorrow
with all its possible adversities, its burdens,

its large promise and its poor performance;

Tomorrow is also beyond our immediate control.     
Tomorrow’s sun will rise,
either in splendor or behind a mask of clouds, but it will rise.

Until it does, we have no stake in Tomorrow,

for it is yet to be born.                                                                                                                  
This leaves only one day, Today.
Any person can fight the battle of just one day.

It is when you and I add the burdens of those two awful eternities,

Yesterday and Tomorrow, that we break down.                                                                                                                           Let us, therefore,

Live but one day at a time.
And in all of this, the greatest consolation is that our God has assured us:  “I am with you always….”
Written by Sr. Marie Paul Grech S.N.D
Mark Link, SJ, shares this story:  “Federico Fellini’s film La Strada opened in 1954 and became a classic.  In one unforgettable scene, a clown is talking to a young lady.  She has grown weary of trying to love unlovable and unloving people and she wants nothing more to do with them.  As the conversation ends and the young lady turns to leave, the clown says to her, ‘but if you don’t love these people, who will love them?’” 
 
What answer would I give to this clown?  How do I feel about helping people who are not particularly lovable—or even appreciative?  What keeps me motivated in reaching out to the needy?  Do I recognize the needy within my own family?  In my neighborhood?  As the months of summer pass, let us set aside some time to pray for, to be attentive to, to assist those whose needs may be right in front of us.  St. Julie Billiart tells us that “we are not asked to do all the good in the world, but just the bit that lies within our power.”
Written by Sr. Marie Paul Grech S.N.D
An old Jewish story concerns a woman who stopped going to the synagogue.  One day the rabbi went to her house and asked to come in and sit with her by the fireplace.  For a long time, neither spoke.  Then the rabbi picked up some tongs, took a glowing coal from the fireplace, and set it on the hearth.  As the two watched, the coal slowly lost its glow and died.  A few minutes later, the old woman said, “I understand.  I will come back to the synagogue.”
 
Do you know anyone who has been “away” from Jesus whom you might help, as the rabbi helped the old woman?  Or does your faith or the faith of someone you know need to be strengthened?  Jesus tells us that we can do nothing without him…that we are like a branch that will dry up if we are not “connected” to the tree.  Let us spend a little time each day “connecting” to the Lord through personal prayer, reaching out to help someone in need, and remembering the many intentions of our community, our world.

 

A young monk had questions about the order’s motto: ‘Pray and Work.’  One day the abbot invited him to row across the lake with him.  The abbot rowed first—but with one oar. As a result, the boat went in circles.  The young monk said, ‘Abbot, unless you row with both oars, you won’t get anywhere.’  The abbot replied, ‘Ah! You’re right!  The right oar is prayer; the left is work.  Unless you keep them in balance and use them together, you’ll end up going in circles.’”  What kind of balance do we have in our lives?  It has been said:  Each Christian needs at least ten minutes of prayer a day, except when we are busy.  Then we need at least twenty minutes (anonymous).

Written by Sr. Marie Paul Grech S.N.D.

During this Fourth of July week, we are invited to be grateful for the gift of our national freedoms. We should remember that we are always invited to be grateful for all the gifts we have received through the bountiful love of our God who sent his Son to bring us the ultimate freedom!

The story is told of a Navy helicopter pilot who was explaining his chopper to his parents. He said, “As complex as those machines are, their whirling rotors are held in place by one simple hexagonal nut.” Then turning to his mother, he said, “Guess what that nut is called, mom.” She shrugged. He smiled and said, “It’s called a ‘Jesus Nut.’”

I don’t know enough about helicopters to know how accurate this is, but the thought is

a good one! To what extent does Jesus hold my life together? Do I allow Jesus to be in control of my life, my choices? As we watch the fireworks displays, enjoy our family barbecues, and take some much-needed relaxation, let us think about the value of our spiritual freedom, and not take for granted all the freedoms we enjoy every day.

 

Written by: Sr. Marie Paul Grech S.N.D.