Twists and Turned

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I drove a few hours to visit my daughter, and support her in an event she was involved in.  I missed a turn, and thought, “I should just turn around, but instead I followed the car’s GPS, still thinking this will lead me back to the highway.  After a few minutes, as I started to wind around hills, and the roads became narrower, I realized my GPS had chosen an alternate, shall I say more “scenic”, route.  As sights like cow pastures, farm equipment, small towns became the view, I abandoned hope of a highway. My previous “fifteen minutes early” arrival time was now slowly inching toward ten minutes late.  I thought, you have two choices here.  You can be frustrated and angered, by your loss of time, for thinking about things weighing heavily on your mind that a leisurely highway trip would have facilitated, or you can relent, and see what this “road less traveled” can teach you.” 

Knowing the “right” decision, I relented.  That’s not to say that frustrated and angry didn’t make an appearance from time to time, and I was still pining for the possible highway at the next turn.

My first epiphany was that a deep red car was truly not for me.  My new car color was the correct one.  Hey, I know that this was not a life changing realization, but after following four  slooooooow red vehicles for half an hour, then having three more in a row come, from an opposite direction, in the middle of nowhere; I concluded that I personally would have tired of that color.  Ha, this is good, we were getting somewhere, progress.

It was a cloudy, sometimes rainy trip, but I did begin to appreciate the green landscape, farms and even the old half fallen barns, as I imagined exploring them as a kid.  It made me remember my dream of country life, as a young adult…the house we once built in a rural area, and how life has its twists and turns.  Small towns and sprawling countryside had me appreciating their simplicity, and made me long for that life I had dreamed of………an hour later….

Oh look, a highway, hooray!  I can make up some of this “lost” time.  Lost, really?, I had to rethink that.  Now what was that pressing burden, I wanted to ponder…  the burden that I just set down on that long and winding road  Oh, I’ll think about that on the way home. Look at the countryside.

God likes those twists and turns, for me at least.  Maybe the simple life isn’t a place, but a mindset, a choice.  I can make a whole lot of things complicated. I do have to address my burden, but maybe a caveat to simplicity will give me some clarity. 

On the way home…

“Yes highway all the way!…  why is the GPS taking me this way?… I think this is the wrong way… I should be on a highway soon…maybe that next turn… awe, what a nice farm…”squirrel”! ……..

Thank you Lord

Inspiring Thoughts

For our military, each fold of the American Flag has meaning. 

  1. The first fold of our flag is a symbol of life.
  2. The second fold signifies our belief in eternal life.
  3. The third fold is made in honor and tribute of the veteran departing our ranks, and who gave a portion of his or her life for the defense of our country to attain peace.
  4. The fourth fold exemplifies our weaker nature as citizens trusting in God; it is to Him we turn for His divine guidance.
  5. The fifth fold is an acknowledgment to our country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur, “Our country, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right, but it is still our country, right or wrong.”
  6. The sixth fold is for where our hearts lie. It is with our heart that we pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
  7. shadow of death, that we might see the light of day, and to honor our mother, for whom it flies on Mother’s Day.
  8. The ninth fold is an honor to womanhood, for it has been through their faith, love, loyalty, and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great have been molded.
  9. The 10th fold is a tribute to father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense of our country since he or she was first-born.
  10. The 11th fold, in the eyes of Hebrew citizens, represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon and glorifies, in their eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
  11. The 12th fold, in the eyes of a Christian citizen, represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in their eyes, God the Father, the Son, and Holy Ghost.
  12. The last fold, when the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost, reminding us of our national motto, “In God We Trust.”
  13. The seventh fold is a tribute to our armed forces, for it is through the armed forces that we protect our country and our flag against all enemies.
  14. The eighth fold is a tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the

Memorial Day

Graduation St Francis de Sales 2015 - 0244 - Version 4This day we honor those who have died to protect us.  It will be full of American standards: cook outs, family gatherings, and hopefully thoughts of gratitude.  War is such a disturbing thing.  

My father fought in WWII.  He went in an 18 year old boy determined to do his part.  He came home a man forever changed by what he experienced. He wouldn’t talk about it much, but he lost part of himself there. He witnessed men dying beside him, but still had to keep his post.  He watched a massacre on a beach, then had to go up that beach himself.  He walked through the streets of Paris to the sounds of boos. His body was a host to parasites, physical strain and absolute fatigue. 

My father came home with his life, but a part of himself was left there.  Today, I mourn those losses too.  I pray for those, who made the ultimate sacrifice, for their families, for their legacy.  I pray that we may never lose sight of what these young men and women are prepared to do, to keep us safe, and that they are safe themselves.  I am grateful for these fallen heroes, who gave their lives that I might have mine.

I wish you all a Memorial Day of gratitude, appreciation and humility…that we may celebrate these heroes with the honor their ultimate sacrifice merits.

Inspiring Thoughts

“What tongue, human or angelic, may ever describe a power so immeasurable as that exercised by the simplest priest in Mass? Who could ever have imagined that the voice of man, which by nature hath not the power even to raise a straw from the ground, should obtain through grace a power so stupendous as to bring from Heaven to earth the Son of God?”

St. Leonard of Port Maurice

Anointed Fiats

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Recently I was told that a priest, who was very helpful to me in my youth, died.  I thought back to my younger years, before marriage and children, when I was barely an adult, and he was fresh out of the seminary, a newly ordained priest, and I thanked God for his anointed hands, and for his life dedicated to the priesthood. Although A young man, he spoke to me with inspiration, wisdom, and the dedication of God’s appointed shepherd, a spiritual guide, a priestly father.

This is the time of year for Ordinations, and anniversaries of the same. Celebrating these men, God’s Anointed, for their fiats.

Many holy people have touched my life that is certain.  So, what’s so special about a priest?  Here it is, in my opinion… because God is the Creator , and He said we need priests.  He should know, right?

I change the oil in my car, when the the maintenance indicator tells me to, because the manufacturer says that’s what it needs to run efficiently.  Well I kind of think of a priest as the mechanic of my soul.  Our Creator set up a maintenance plan, Baptism, Confession, Eucharist, Confirmation, Anointing of the Sick, then gave our priests special hands capable of keeping us spiritually in tune.  We though, are very precious to our Father, so He ordained  that these “mechanics” had to be holy, compassionate and faithful. They had to love us as He does, like children.  It is their gift and burden.  It’s not a burden forced upon them.  On the contrary, it is a grace, very tenderly offered, and selectively given. It is the fiat of a man, lovingly requested.  Thus the birth of a Priest, forever, in the line of Melchizedek.