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It is said that Christians come in three models:  rafts, sailboats, and tugboats.  First, there are the rafts.  Basically, they are Christians in name only.  They follow Jesus only when someone else pulls or pushes them.  Second, there are the sailboats.  They follow Jesus, but only in sunny weather.  When stormy weather comes, they go in the direction of the wind and the waves; in other words, they follow the crowd more than they really follow Jesus. Finally, there are the tugboats.  They follow Jesus regardless of the weather.  They go in his direction not only when the wind and waves serve them, but also when the wind and waves oppose them.  Tugboats don’t always travel as fast as some would like, but they always travel consistently. Even though some people may not consider tugboats very glamorous, they get the job done! May we all have a wonderful week, doing what we do best in following Jesus. 

 

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

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According to legend, Zaccheus arose early every morning and left his house. His wife, extremely curious at his strange behavior, decided to follow him one morning. She watched as her husband took a bucket to the well, filled it and then walked out of the town gates until he reached a sycamore tree. There he put down the bucket, cleared off any debris which had accumulated at the foot of the tree, watered the sycamore and stood in seeming awe. At this point, his wife came out of hiding and asked him what he was doing. Without hesitation, Zaccheus answered, saying, “This is where I found Christ.”

Where have you found Christ? Are there special places in your past and/or present that mean something special to you because you know you experienced God’s presence there in a unique way? Do you have a sacred space…a place you go to spend precious time with your God? In our cluttered, busy, anxious world, we all need a place of peace…times of quiet…meaningful conversation with our God who loves us unconditionally. May you make time this week to spend a little more time celebrating when and where and how you find Jesus!

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

A few thoughts:

1] Prayer is not a “spare wheel” that you pull out when in trouble, but it is a “steering wheel” that directs the right path throughout.

2] So why is a car’s WINDSHIELD is so large and the rear view mirror is so small? Because our PAST is not as important as our FUTURE. So, keep looking ahead and move on.

3] Friendship is like a BOOK. It takes few seconds to burn, but it takes years to write.

4] All things in life are temporary. If going well, enjoy it, they will not last forever. If going wrong, don’t worry, they can’t last long either.

5] Old Friends are gold! New friends are diamond! If you get a Diamond, don’t forget the Gold! Because to hold a Diamond, you always need a Base of Gold!

6] Often when we lose hope and think this is the end, GOD smiles from above and says, “Relax, it’s just a bend, not the end!

7] When GOD solves your problems, you have faith in HIS abilities; when GOD doesn’t solve your problems HE has faith in your abilities.

8] A blind person asked St. Anthony: “Can there be anything worse than losing eye sight?” He replied: “Yes, losing your vision!”

9] When you pray for others, God listens to you and blesses them, and sometimes, when you are safe and happy, remember that someone has prayed for you.

10] WORRYING does not take away tomorrow’s TROUBLES, it takes away today’s PEACE.

Have a good week…be at peace!

 

 

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

Where do we meet God? I believe we can meet God everywhere and in every situation we encounter…it is all a matter of how we look at life. A story to share…

A little girl walked to and from school daily. Though the weather one morning was questionable and clouds were forming, she made her daily trek to her elementary school. As the afternoon progressed, the winds whipped up, along with thunder and lightning. The mother of the little girl felt concerned that her daughter would be frightened as she walked home from school, so she got into her car and drove along the route to her child’s school. As she did so, she saw her little girl walking along. At each flash of lightning, the child would stop, look up and smile. When she drew up beside the child, she lowered her window and called out to her, “What are you doing?” The child answered, “I’m trying to look pretty. God keeps taking my picture.”

May God bless you each and every day as you face the inevitable “storms” of life…and may you find God present even in challenging times!

 

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

 

As September opens and autumn is around the corner (despite our CA heat!), our thoughts used to turn to the beginning of school, lunch boxes, new shoes, anxiety about new teachers, and so on….or then jump back to previous Septembers…NOW school starts so much earlier but the sentiments are similar. We “older” folks might” try to remember the kind of September when life was slow and, oh, so mellow…/try to remember when life was so tender that dreams were kept beside your pillow….” (Fantastiks) I vividly remember this time of September in 1969, the year my youngest brother was born and the year I entered the convent! Life that September was far from slow or mellow—but the dreams were very much alive! Summer had been spent converting my bedroom into a nursery and packing my trunk with the many items on my nunny-shopping list. It was an exciting summer…and I was filled with the fervor of saying YES to God’s call. Never would I have anticipated what was to follow…life in the novitiate, learning all sorts of new things (and thanking my mom for those that came easily to me), discovering the beauty and the bumps of community living, realizing that the YES in my heart needed to be renewed every day—and knowing that it was good and right for me! Eventually the month of September did mean the beginning of school—but on the other side of the desk! I loved my years of teaching…especially when I was in the English classrooms! My goal was always to teach about life in literature…to explore the meaning behind each relationship, each choice, each adventure—and to keep learning

about how life on the page gave me (and, hopefully, my students) a deeper insight into “real” life. I “try to remember” that this teacher may be out of the classroom, but the classroom is still part of me—and I am grateful! September is a wonderful time to say a prayer of gratitude for our own teachers of the past, and for those who continue this wonderful work today!

 

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

 

 

 

 

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A story for the week:

An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house-building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife and family. He would miss the paycheck but he needed to retire…they would get by. The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end his dedicated career. When the carpenter finished the work, the employer came to inspect the house and handed the front-door key to the carpenter.

“This is your house,” he said, “my gift to you.” The carpenter was shocked! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently.

So it is with us. We build our lives, a day at a time, sometimes putting less than our best in our efforts. We are the carpenters. “Life is a do-it-yourself project.” Let’s spend this week building wisely!

On this Labor Day weekend, let us remember to pray for all those who labor, all those who seek employment, and those who long to do the work to which God is calling them. Let us pray also for all military, firefighters and law enforcement personnel. May our good and provident God protect them in their generous lives of service.

 

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

 

 

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.