FROM THE PASTOR…..MY DEAR PARISH FAMILY, one of the responsibilities that Deacon Dave and Diane have undertaken for the diocese is to conduct MARRIAGE PREPARATION SESSIONS. These sessions are a requirement for anyone planning to be married in our church and diocese. I am very pleased with the response the couples give after going through the session. However, I am putting out the request – are there any other couples interested in helping Deacon Dave and Diane with the marriage prep, either as a sponsor couple that would assist a single couple at a time, or be part of the Marriage Prep team that leads a program for about 20 couples on three Thursday nights in June? With some couples retiring from giving these programs, the need is there for couples who would like to help out with this process. If this might be something you would like to do, please contact Deacon Dave or Diane for more information.
As you know, I often quote St. Therese many times in my homilies. She has become my favorite saint. Right now I am reading a book written by Fr. Joseph Schmidt, FSC entitled “Everything is Grace, the Life and Way of THERESE OF LISIEUX.” As far as I am concerned it is one of the most informative books on St. Therese and the teaching of her Little Way. So often as we travel our path of spirituality we can become discouraged with our lack of progress or a wrong image of our God. These things St. Therese also struggled with and to overcome. Maybe the words of Fr. Schmidt might help us: “She recognized that the way in which she was being led flowed from Jesus’ teaching on the quality of a person’s loving relationship with God, with oneself, with one’s neighbor, and with the world. Jesus’ teaching did not concern itself essentially with a person’s willful attainment of a certain level of asceticism and prayer, nor with the gift of visions, not with the achievement of a level of perfectionism. Therese understood that Jesus’ teaching of holiness was not driven by fear of a wrathful and vindictive God waiting to entrap the weak; nor were spiritual accomplishments necessary to win divine approval. She saw that the gospel way of holiness had to do essentially with love: God’s primary and continual love for us and our reciprocating in willing love.” I hope when you read these word, they offer you a bit of comfort as we struggle on this earth in hopes of being with God in heaven. The bold and underline are mine to stress the primacy of God’s love for us and our love to Him as a response.
A thought as we begin ORDINARY TIME in the liturgical year. “What happens in our churches every Sunday is the fruit of our week. What happens as the fruit of the week past is the beginning of the week to come. Sunday, like all sacraments, is simultaneously a point of arrival and departure for Christians on their way to the fullness of the Kingdom. THIS IS NOT ORDINARY AT ALL. This is the fabric of Christian living.” This quote, taken from the Saint Andrew Bible Missal, reminds us that with God, nothing is ordinary. With God all things are extraordinary and we should never lose that fact.
HUMOR FOR THE WEEK - Two college basketball players were taking an important final exam. If they failed, they would be on academic probation and not allowed to play in the big game the following week. The exam was fill-in-the-blank. The last question read, "Old MacDonald had a ________." Bubba was stumped. He had no idea what to answer. But he knew he needed to get this one right to be sure he passed. Making sure the professor wasn't watching, he tapped Tiny on the shoulder. "Pssst. Tiny. What's the answer to the last question?" Tiny laughed. He looked around to make sure the professor hadn't noticed then he turned to Bubba. "Bubba, you're so stupid. Everyone knows Old MacDonald had a FARM." "Oh yeah," said Bubba. "I remember now." He picked up his No. 2 pencil and started to write the answer in the blank. He stopped. Tapping Tiny's shoulder again, he whispered, "Tiny, how do you spell farm?" "You are really dumb, Bubba. That's so easy. Farm is spelled E-I-E-I-O."