Friday, January 31, 2014

Don Bosco quotes

St John Bosco (1815-1888)
St John Bosco was an Italian priest who dedicated his life to the religious education of street children, and other disadvantaged children. Eventually he founded the Salesian Order, with their main focus on education of children and producing audio-visual material as well as printed material, including the Bolletino Salesiano Mensuale, a magazine that had continuous publication in over 30 languages.
"All armies are useless unless assisted by God."
"Be brave and try to detach your heart from worldly things. Do your utmost to banish darkness from your mind and come to understand what true, selfless piety is. Through confession, endeavor to purify your heart of anything which may still taint it. Enliven your faith, which is essential to understand and achieve piety."
"Do good while you still have time."

"1. A word of advice: Frequent confession.
2. A friend: Our Lord and everything associated with Him.
3. A thing to remember: Heaven."
"He does much who does little but does well what he has to do."
"Never seek advice from the proud or the inexperienced."

"Unfortunately, parents are not always good counselors because they are not always guided by what is best for their son’s spiritual welfare, but by worldly considerations...But if your parents live their faith, they are your best counselors because they know you intimately and their advice can be naught but good and well-founded. Generally, if you ask their advice properly, you will get it."
"Remember the precept that St. John the Evangelist used to give to his disciples: “Love one another.” Since it is not a mere exhortation, but a command, it would be sinful to do otherwise. Therefore, do away with insults, quarrels, envy, revenge, mockery, or bad will. Be good to one another. This will prove that you love each other like brothers."

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Human statistics

 - The average adult male shaves off 1 lb of beard per year.
 - A hard working adult sweats up to 4 gallons per day. Most of the sweat evaporates before a person realizes it's there though!
 - Men get hiccups more often than women do.
 - Nearly all boys grow at least as tall as their mothers.
 - 55,700 people in the US are injured by jewelry each year.
 - Men can read smaller print than women; women can hear better.
 - On average, people spend more than five years of their lives dreaming.
 - The average person has over 1,460 dreams a year.
 - In the course of a lifetime the average person will grow 2 meters of nose hair.
 - The average American makes six trips to the bathroom every day; that's about 2 1/2 years of your life down the drain.
 - The average American spends six months at red lights throughout his or her life.
 - By the age of 75, the average American has created about 110,000 pounds of garbage.

  - Women blink nearly twice as much as men.
 - On average, humans have 9,000 taste buds in their mouths, tongues, and throats.
 - The average person will swallow 295 times while eating.
 - In your lifetime your body will produce more than 25,000 quarts of saliva.
 - Only one person in two billion will live to be 116 or older.
 - It's impossible to sneeze with your eyes open.
 - Right handed people live, on average, nine years longer than left handed people do.
 - The average person laughs 13 times a day.
 - In an average lifetime a person will walk the equivalent of three times around the world.
 - In one day an average person will take about 18,000 steps.
 - A toothpick is the object most often choked on by Americans!
 - Most people take an average of seven minutes to fall asleep.
 - When asked to name a color, 3 out of 5 people will say red. 

 - Americans consumed 2 billion dollars worth of mayonnaise last year, and only 800 million dollars worth of Kethcup.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Welcoming Bishop Liam Cary

Bishop Liam Cary, Bishop of the Baker Diocese
As we celebrate Catholic Schools Week today, we welcome our beloved Bishop Liam Cary as he celebrates Mass for our children in St Francis of Assisi new church.
Bishop Cary was born on August 21, 1947 at Portland Oregon, and moved with his family to Prineville in Central Oregon at a young age. He attended the Ochocho Elementary schools  and the Prineville Junior High School. He then entered the Baker Diocese Seminary attending at Mount Angel High School Seminary. He pursued his philosophy studies at Mount Angel and  theology studies at Menlo Park, (California.) Having left the Seminary in 1970, he worked for a number of years among the poor and migrants in Chicago, Salinas, (California) and Eugene (Oregon.)
He returned to the Seminary for the Archdiocese of Portland, Oregon in 1987, and followed his studies at the American Pontifical College and the Gregoriana University, both in Rome, attaining his licentiate in Moral Theology in 1992. He was ordained a priest on September 5, 1992 for the Archdiocese of Portland and has since served in these capacities: associate pastor at St. Joseph's in Salem (1992-1994,) member of the Educating for Chastity Task Force (1993-1997,) Director of Vocations (1994-1998,) Chaplain of the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon (1994-1997,) assistant pastor at St. Anne parish in Gresham (1997-1998) and again assistant pastor at St Luke Parish in Woodburn (1998.) 

Bishop Cary with Pope Benedict XVI in April 2012
He was made pastor of Sacred Heart parish in Medford (1998-2011.) He was also an administrator of Shepherd of the Valley parish in Central Point (2005.) He was also Archdiocesan Consultor and a member of the Presbyteral Council. Besides English and Spanish, he also knows Italian and Latin. 
He was consecrated Bishop of Baker on May 18, 2012 precisely at the church where he will celebrate Mass for our children today. He lives in Bend but travels all around our vast state to reach his people and his priests. Welcome Bishop Cary to your second home.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

2 watercolors

Since I've been so busy in my new parish, I am waiting for a little break to start again my watercoloring hobby which I had started in 2009. But I share with you two of my recent watercolors which I did using the same technique. They are both country scenes, but I started by drawing the outline with a black felt-tip pen, and then I filled in the colors, allowing for some bleeding which created an even nicer effect. 
Many people who saw this style of painting really liked them, and I plan to do a few more in the near future. I am self-taught and other than a few tips from friends and browsing through books or some practical YouTube videos,  I just doodle and practice on my own, having finished close to 120 paintings so far. Click once on each painting to enlarge and enjoy it even more.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Papal doves attacked

Pope Francis lets free two doves with the help of two children
We are all aware of the conflict between good and evil, between darkness and light, between the positive and the negative. But no one expects this to reveal itself in front of thousands of people in St Peter’s square, just a few feet away from Pope Francis. Well, we all remember the attack on Pope John Paul II on May 13, 1981. But this was a different kind of attack. It has become a tradition that from time to time, the Pope lets go a couple of doves from his window. Sunday January 26, with the help of two young children, Pope Francis let free two doves, only to be attacked by two angry birds, a seagull and a crow. 
Showing no respect for the Holy See at all, these two birds swept in and attacked two innocent white doves, as tens of thousands of people watched in St. Peter's Square on Sunday during the weekly Papal audience. One dove lost some feathers as it broke free from the gull. But the crow pecked repeatedly at the other dove. God only knows what happened to the doves after they flew off. Maybe this is symptomatic of the way some people treat the influence of the Holy Spirit in their lives, as well as God the Father and Jesus His Son.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

A miracle of nature

Branches encased in hoarfrost on January 24, 2014 in Bend, OR
Once in a while I experience a stunning miracle that only God and nature can provide. This happened on Friday January 24 here in Bend, Oregon where all the trees became frosted overnight with spectacular results. Every tree, every branch and literally every twig was encased in hoarfrost, something that I experienced once before, in Baker City on January 15, 2009. On that occasion I was going around every corner, every street and at every possible view to get as many good photos as possible. This time I stayed in just one place, actually in the parking lot of our parish center. I took these photos at different times of the early morning, at 7 AM, when it was still dark, then at 8 AM and when the sky turned blue at around 9 AM. 

Frost is the solid deposition of water vapor from humid air. It is formed when the temperature of a solid surface is below the freezing point of water and also below the frost point. The size of frost crystals varies depending on the time they have been building up and the amount of water vapor available. Frost crystals are translucent, but scatter light in many directions, so that a coating of frost appears white. There are many types of frost, such as radiation and window frost. Hoar frost (also called radiation frost) refers to the white ice crystals, loosely deposited on the ground or exposed objects, that form on cold clear nights when heat is lost into the open sky causing objects to become colder than the surrounding air.

Enjoy these close ups of a morning that was unique, memorable and truly spell-binding, a miracle that only God and nature can provide.

Heavily frosted branches with the moon in the background

Saturday, January 25, 2014

St Paul's conversion

Caravaggio's "Conversion of St Paul"
A happy feast day today as we commemorate the day that St Paul was converted on his way to Damascus. The Lord appeared to him and asked him the question that changed his life "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?" Saul became Paul and also lost his eyesight for a while, with Ananias restoring his sight. The beautiful painting by Caravaggio represents Saint Paul in a helpless situation, stretching his arms in mercy and forgiveness, as he sees his life changing instantly. Even the horse is seen gently lifting one of his legs, not to crush his master, and remain respectful towards him. Paul's life would change completely as he embarked on his missionary voyages, writing the letters we read every Sunday, and converting many people in the process, including  the entire island of Malta, my homeland, which has remained predominantly Catholic for close to 2000 years.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Saint Francis De Sales

St Francis De Sales (1567-1622)
St. Francis de Sales was born in the Savoy district of France in 1567 and ordained a priest in 1593. Francis was sent to preach in a Protestant region near his birthplace, attempting to persuade his hearers, mostly Calvinists to become Roman Catholics. Since he was seen to be persuasive, he was appointed in 1602 to be bishop of Geneva, a Calvinist stronghold.  In 1604 he met a widow, Jane Frances de Chantal (1572-1641), and under his influence she founded a religious order of nuns called the Order of the Visitation. Their correspondence is an outstanding example of mutual Christian encouragement and support. Francis died at Lyons on December 29th, 1622.
Some quotes from his book “Introduction to the devout life.”
 - Nothing makes us so prosperous in this world as to give alms.
 - It is to those who have the most need of us that we ought to show our love more especially.
 - Let us run to Mary, and, as her little children, cast ourselves into her arms with a perfect   confidence.
 - Salvation is shown to faith, it is prepared for hope, but it is given only to charity.
 - We must fear God out of love, not love Him out of fear.
 - We are not drawn to God by iron chains, but by sweet attractions and holy inspirations.
 - Man is the perfection of the Universe. The spirit is the perfection of man. Love is the perfection of the spirit, and charity that of love. Therefore, the love of God is the end, the perfection of the Universe.
 - The highest degree of meekness consists in seeing, serving, honoring, and treating amiably, on occasion, those who are not to our taste, and who show themselves unfriendly, ungrateful, and troublesome to us.
 - Our greatest fault is that we wish to serve God in our way, not in His way -  according to our will, not according to His will. When He wishes us to be sick, we wish to be well; when He desires us to serve Him by sufferings, we desire to serve Him by works; when He wishes us to exercise charity, we wish to exercise humility; when He seeks from us resignation, we wish for devotion, a spirit of prayer or some other virtue. And this is not because the things we desire may be more pleasing to Him, but because they are more to our taste. This is certainly the greatest obstacle we can raise to our own perfection.

The above stained-glass window is from the St Francis De Sales Cathedral in Baker City, my former parish. It was crafted by the Povey Brothers of Portland in 1923, and is situated in the apse, behind the newly-erected baldacchino, which is above the tabernacle.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Don't despair - things could be much worse

I am God. Today I will be handling all of your problems. Please remember that I do not need your help. If life happens to deliver a situation to you that you cannot handle, do not attempt to resolve it. Kindly put it in the SFGTD (Something For God To Do) box. All situations will be resolved, but in My time, not yours. Once the matter is placed into the box, do not hold onto it by worrying about it. Instead, focus on all the wonderful things that are present in your life now.
If you find yourself stuck in traffic; don't despair. There are people in this world for whom driving is an unheard of privilege.
Should you have a bad day at work; think of the man who has been out of work for years.
Should you despair over a relationship gone bad; think of the person who has never known what it's like to love and be loved in return.
Should you grieve the passing of another weekend; think of the woman in dire straits, working twelve hours a day, seven days a week to feed her children.
Should your car break down, leaving you miles away from assistance; think of the paraplegic who would love the opportunity to take that walk.
Should you notice a new gray hair in the mirror; think of the cancer patient in chemo who wishes she had hair to examine.
Should you find yourself at a loss and pondering what is life all about, asking what is my purpose? Be thankful. There are those who didn't live long enough to get the opportunity.
Should you find yourself the victim of other people's bitterness, ignorance, smallness or insecurities; Remember, things could be worse. You could be one of them!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Prayer for Life

Today being the 41st anniversary of the legalization of abortion in the USA, I share this prayer for Life:
Heavenly Father, You have given us the gift of freedom to love and to follow in Your ways and commands. Some parents choose to abuse this freedom by destroying the gift of life which You have given to their offspring. Please forgive those who destroy human life by aborting their unborn babies. Give these unborn children the opportunity to enjoy You for all eternity. Assist us in being one in solidarity with Your little ones by taking to heart the words of Your Son, "whatever you did for one of these least brothers of Mine, you did for Me." (Mt. 25:40) 
 Therefore, allow us today, Father, to adopt spiritually an unborn child and to offer our prayers, works, joys and sufferings for that little one, so that child will be able to be born and live for Your greater honor and glory. Today we commit ourselves never to be silent, never to be passive, never to be forgetful of the unborn. We commit ourselves to be active in the pro-life movement, and never to stop defending life until all our brothers and sisters are protected, and our nation once again becomes a nation with liberty and justice not just for some, but for all, We pray this in Jesus' name, in union with the Holy Spirit one God forever and ever. Amen.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Noah's Ark

"The woodpecker must go!"

I heard there is a good movie about Noah's Ark coming out soon. Incidentally, everything I need to know about life, I learned from Noah's Ark...
One: Don't miss the boat.
Two: Remember that we are all in the same boat.
Three: Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the Ark.

Four: Stay fit. When you're 600 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big.
Five: Don't listen to critics; just get on with  the job that needs to be done.
Six: Build your future on high ground.

Seven: For safety's sake, travel in pairs.
Eight: Speed isn't always an advantage. The  snails were on board with the cheetahs.
Nine: When you're stressed, float a while.

Ten: Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the  Titanic by professionals.
Eleven: No matter the storm, when you are with  God, there's always a rainbow waiting.

Monday, January 20, 2014

The world and the church

On this week of prayers for church unity, I shared this reflection in yesterday's homily - and as a response to the overwhelming appreciation from many parishioners, I share it with visitors to this blog today.

For a world at its worse, we need a Church at its best.
For a world full of sadness, we need a Church full of gladness.
For a world that’s going down, we need a Church that’s going up.
For a world that complains, we need a Church that cares and comforts.
For a world full of war, we need a Church full of peace.
For a world that cries vengeance and hate, we need a Church that forgives and forgets.
For a world full of impatience, we need a Church full of tolerance.
For a world full of heartache, we need a Church that’s full of good news.
For a world that believes in “playing”, we need a Church that’s committed to praying.
For a world full of defeat, we need a Church full of victory.
For a world that’s pessimistic, we need a Church that’s optimistic.
For a world that is crying, we need a Church that smiles and rejoices.
For a world that’s out of tune, we need a Church that’s filled with harmony.
For a world that’s falling apart, we need a Church that keeps us all together.
For a discouraged world, we need an encouraging Church.
For a world that is full of compromise, we need a Church that stresses commitment.
For a world that is going through a period of darkness, we need an enlightening Church.
For a world that’s rebellious and vindictive, we need a Church that is truly compassionate.
For a world that is creating stumbling blocks, we need a Church that is placing stepping stones of hope.
For a world that is stressful or tense, we need a Church that is calm and peaceful.
For a world that insists on gossiping, we need a church that focuses on being sincere, committed and that sees everyone working together.
This is the kind of Church we all have to strive for.
This is the kind of Church we at St. Francis of Assisi in Bend are working together to be, one happy, harmonious, faith-filled and united family.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

What if ?

What if, GOD couldn't take the time to bless us today because we couldn't take the time to thank Him yesterday?
What if, GOD decided to stop leading us tomorrow because we didn't follow Him today?
What if, we never saw another flower bloom because we grumbled when GOD sent the rain?
What if, GOD didn't walk with us today because we failed to recognize it as His day?
What if, GOD took away the Bible tomorrow because we would not read it today?
What if, GOD took away His message because we failed to listen to the Messenger?
What if, GOD didn't send His only begotten Son because He wanted us to be prepared to pay the price for sin?
What if, the door of the church was closed because we did not open the door of our heart?
What if, GOD stopped loving and caring for us because we failed to love and care for others?
What if, GOD would not hear us today because we would not listen to Him?
What if, GOD answered our prayers the way we answer His call to service?
What if, GOD met our needs the way we give Him our lives???

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Strange Definitions

CHICKENS: The only creatures you eat before they are born and after they are dead.
ADULT: A person who has stopped growing at both ends and is now growing in the middle.
BEAUTY PARLOR: A place where women curl up and dye.
CANNIBAL: Someone who is fed up with people.
COMMITTEE: A body that keeps minutes and wastes hours.
DUST: Mud with the juice squeezed out.
EGOTIST: Someone who is usually me-deep in conversation.
GOSSIP: A person who will never tell a lie if the truth will do more damage.
INFLATION: Cutting money in half without damaging the paper.
MOSQUITO: An insect that makes you like flies better.
RAISIN: Grape with a sunburn.
SECRET: Something you tell to one person at a time.
TOOTHACHE: The pain that drives you to extraction.
TOMORROW: One of the greatest labor saving devices of today.
YAWN: An honest opinion openly expressed.
WRINKLES: Something other people have. You have character lines.

Friday, January 17, 2014

No more teenagers

Baby Peter in early 1994
It’s a milestone day for our family as my last nephew Peter turns 20 today, and so there will be no more teenagers in my family. He was of course born on January 17, 1994 and I baptized him a few weeks later in his home parish at Birkirkara. Peter grew up to be a very smart, friendly, happy-go-lucky, fairly independent type of person, with a charming personality that endears him with everybody who meets him . 
In 2008, myself, Julian Jr, Peter and my brother Marcel
He looks up to his older brother Julian to such an extent that he will be following the same career, having started medical school last September. And I presume he may be going through some tough exams already at this time, and so there won’t be much time for him to celebrate his passing from a teenager to an adult. And yet another milestone will be reached on January 25 when his father, my brother Marcel will turn 50, and so no more quadragenarians in our family. But such is life. Time waits for no one. Happy Birthday Peter.
Julian and Peter in 2010, both still teenagers

Thursday, January 16, 2014

How would you know?

If you never felt pain, then how would you know that I am a Healer?
If you never had to pray, how would you know that I am a Deliverer?
If you never felt sadness, how would you know that I am a Comforter? 

If you never made a mistake, how would you know that I am a forgiver?
If you never were in trouble, how would you know that I will come to your rescue?
If you never were broken, then how would you know that I can make you whole?
If you never had a problem, how would you know that I can solve them?
If you never had any suffering, then how would you know what I went through?
If I gave you all things, how would you appreciate them?
If I never corrected you, how would you know that I love you?
If you had all power, then how would you learn to depend on me?
If your life was perfect, then what would you need me for?
Love, Jesus.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Some curious facts

The first published novel "Tom Sawyer"
 - The first novel ever written on a typewriter: “Tom Sawyer.”
 - Coca-Cola was originally green.
 - Every day more money is printed for Monopoly than the US Treasury.
 - The Hawaiian alphabet has 12 letters.
 - Men can read smaller print than women; but women can hear better.
 - The city with the most Rolls Royce's per capita: Hong Kong.
 - State with the highest percentage of people who walk to work: Alaska.
 - Percentage of Africa that is wilderness:  28%
 - Percentage of North America that is wilderness: 38%
 - Cost of raising a medium-size dog to the age of eleven: $6,400
 - Average number of people airborne over the US any given hour:  61,000.
 - Each king in a deck of playing card represents a great king from history.
               Spades - King David,
               Clubs    - Alexander the Great,
               Hearts   - Charlemagne,
               Diamonds - Julius Caesar.

 - If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle; if  the horse has one front leg in the air, the person died as a result of wounds received in battle; if the horse  has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.
 - Only two people signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, John Hancock and Charles Thomson. Most of the rest signed on August 2, but the last signature wasn't added until 5 years later.
 - The name Jeep came from the abbreviation used in the army for the "General Purpose" vehicle, G.P.
 - The only food that doesn’t spoil is honey.

Q. If you were to spell out numbers, how far would you have to go until you would find the letter "A"?
A. One thousand

Q. What do bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers and laser printers all have in common?
A. All invented by women.

Q. What trivia fact about Mel Blanc (voice of Bugs Bunny) is the most ironic?
A. He was allergic to carrots.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Messages in my room

In my room in our home in Malta, a few years ago
One morning I woke up and I asked myself – what are some of the secrets of success in life? And I found the answer in my own room.
 - I looked at the fan in front of me telling me “Stay cool, don’t get hot under the collar.”
 - I imagined the ceiling telling me “Aim high!”
 - I imagined the window telling me “Open me wide and see the world in front of you.”
 - I imagined the clock telling me “Every minute is precious – don’t lose any of them idling or doing nothing.”
 - I looked at the mirror and she told me “Reflect carefully before making any important decisions.”
 - I imagined the calendar hanging on the wall reminding me ”Stay up-to-date!”
 - I could see the shower informing me “Wash off old stains, guilt feelings and move on, with a clean heart and a better disposition.”
 - I imagined the door challenging me “Push me open and start working, doing the things and projects you had planned to do and never got to doing them.”
 - I looked down at the carpet on the floor and I received the message loud and clear “Get down on your knees and pray!”

Monday, January 13, 2014

19 new Cardinals

Card Loris Capovilla, secretary to Pope John XXIII
Pope Francis named his first batch of Cardinals on Sunday, choosing 19 men from Asia, Africa, Latin America and elsewhere, including the developing nations of Haiti and Burkina Faso, in line with his belief that the church must pay more attention to the poor.
In a sentimental touch in Sunday's selections, one of the Cardinals too old to vote for the next Pope include 98-year-old Monsignor Loris Francesco Capovilla, who had served as personal secretary to Pope John XXIII. That late Pontiff will be made a saint along with John Paul II in a ceremony at the Vatican in April. 

These are the names of the 10 new prelates:
Archbishop Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State (Italy)
Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops (Italy)
Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (Germany)
Archbishop Beniamino Stella, Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy (Italy)
Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster (Great Britain)
Archbishop Leopoldo José Brenes Solórzano of Managua (Nicaragua)
Archbishop Gérald Cyprien Lacroix of Québec (Canada)
Archbishop Jean-Pierre Kutwa of Abidjan (Ivory Coast)
Archbishop Orani João Tempesta, O.Cist. of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)
Archbishop Gualtiero Bassetti of Perugia-Città della Pieve (Italy)
Archbishop Mario Aurelio Poli of Buenos Aires (Argentina)
Archbishop Andrew Yeom Soo Jung of Seoul (South Korea)
Archbishop Ricardo Ezzati Andrello SDB (Chile)
Archbishop Philippe Nakellentuba Ouédraogo of Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso)
Archbishop Orlando B. Quevedo, OMI of Cotabato (Philippines)
Bishop Chibly Langlois of Les Cayes (Haïti)

...and the three cardinals-designate over 80:
Archbishop Loris Francesco Capovilla (Italy)
Archbishop Fernando Sebastián Aguilar, CMF, emeritus of Pamplona (Spain)
Archbishop Kelvin Edward Felix, emeritus of Castries (St Lucia/Dominica)


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Our Baptism

Ending the Christmas season today we celebrate the feast of the Baptism of Christ, which actually took place when he was 30 years old, at the Jordan River by St John the Baptist. It is an ideal opportunity for us to ask ourselves a few salient questions about our own baptism.
- how proud are we with the decision our parents took for us when they baptized us?
- how faithful have we been to that decision, and did we ever regret it?
- do you know which church you were baptized in?
- do you know the name of the priest who baptized you?
- do you know the date when you were baptized?
- do you know the name of your godparents?
- how close are you to our godparents, if they are still alive?
- do you participate in baptisms in your parish, especially by renewing your baptismal vows?
- do you try to live an unblemished, pure life symbolized by the white baptismal robe you wore on that special day?
- do you follow the light of Christ symbolized by the Paschal candle which was present on that special day?
- do you commemorate your baptism day in any way?

St John's Cathedral, Valletta, Malta

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Gossip - nobody's friend - and everybody's enemy

Norman Rockwell's famous painting of gossipers

My name is gossip. I have no respect for justice.
I maim without killing. I break hearts and ruin lives.
I am cunning and malicious and gather strength with age.
The more I am quoted, the more I am believed.
My victims are helpless. They cannot protect themselves against me because I have no name and no face.
To track me down is impossible. The harder you try, the more elusive I become.
I am nobody’s friend.
Once I tarnish a reputation, it is never the same.
I topple governments and wreck marriages.
I ruin careers and cause sleepless nights, heartaches and indigestion.
I make innocent people cry in their pillows.
Even my name hisses. I am called gossip. I make headlines and headaches.

So, to avoid becoming my next victim, before you repeat a story, ask yourself:
Is it True ?
Is it Helpful ?
Is it Important ?
Is it Necessary?
Is it Kind ?

(That’s an acronym for THINK)
If it isn’t, don’t repeat it !

Friday, January 10, 2014

Hello God

Hello God, I called tonight to talk a little while…
I need a friend who’ll listen to my anxiety and trial…

You see, I can’t quite make it through a day just on my own…
I need your love to guide me, so I’ll never feel alone.

I want to ask you please to keep, my family safe and sound.
Come and fill their lives with confidence for whatever fate they’re bound.

Give me faith, dear God, to face each hour throughout the day,
And not to worry over things I can’t change in any way.

I thank you God, for being home and listening to my call,
For giving me such good advice when I stumble and fall.

Your number, God, is the only one that answers every time.
I never get a busy signal, never had to pay a dime.

So thank you God, for listening to my troubles and my sorrow.
Good night, dear God, I love you too, and I’ll call again tomorrow.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Monstrance

Our beautiful Monstrance was displayed yesterday for the first time. I used it during our school Mass and in the evening, ending our Faith Formation classes with Adoration and Benediction. I showed the children and youth up close the Monstrance, which was purchased thanks to the generosity of a few parishioners, along with two new chalices.

It has the symbols of the 4 Evangelists, as well as a symbol of the Holy, Spirit, the Lamb of Gd and the Sacred Heart. Underneath it has the Latin words, “Verbum caro factum est” - “And the word was made flesh,” a quote from the Gospel of St. John. The Monstrance will be used for perpetual adoration Monday to Friday at the historic church in downtown Bend, usually from 7:30 AM until 6 PM.