Monday, November 30, 2015

Saint Andrew

The crucifixion of St Andrew at San Andrea della Valle, Rome
Sibling rivalry is not often mentioned in the Gospels, but we know that John and his brother James were always trying to impress Jesus, while their mother spoke in their regard so that they get preferential treatment in heaven. Then there was Peter who had his brother Andrew close to him, both fishermen, but Jesus had the soft spot for Peter, while Andrew stayed in his shadow.  Andrew became a disciple of the great St John the Baptist, but when John pointed to Jesus and said, "Behold the Lamb of God!" Andrew understood that Jesus was greater. At once he left John to follow the Divine Master. He was actually the first apostle Jesus called at the Sea of Galilee.
At first the two brothers continued to carry on their fishing trade and family affairs, but later, the Lord called them to stay with Him all the time. He promised to make them fishers of men, and this time, they left their nets for good. It is believed that after Jesus ascended into Heaven, St Andrew went to Greece to preach the gospel, as well as along the Black Sea. He is said to have been put to death on a cross, to which he was tied, not nailed. He lived two days in that state of suffering, still preaching to the people who gathered around their beloved Apostle. Various countries have chosen St Andrew as their patron saint, among them Russia, Ukraine, Romania and Scotland. In fact Scotland has incorporated his X-shaped cross in their flag, repeated again in the Union Jack, the British flag.

Another painting in San Andrea della Valle, Rome
Relics of the Apostle Andrew are kept at the Basilica of St Andrew in Patras, Greece; the Duomo di Sant'Andrea, Amalfi, Italy; St Mary's Roman Catholic Cathedral, Edinburgh, Scotland; and the Church of St Andrew and St Albert, Warsaw, Poland. There are also numerous smaller reliquaries throughout the world.
The two paintings reproduced here were paintings in the famous church San Andrea della Valle in the heart of Rome. Thankfully they allowed photography in the church, and I was able to take a few photos in May 2012. The church is featured in the first act of the opera Tosca by Giacomo Puccini.

Sunday, November 29, 2015


A popular custom that has become part of our liturgy is the blessing of the Advent wreath in churches, as well as homes. The tradition comes from the Scandinavian countries, which experience very short days and long dark nights, and so they bring all their farming equipment inside their homes for the winter months. Some of the folks started to decorate the wheel of their carts with green bows and then attached candles to them. The idea developed to introduce a similar custom in churches, with the four candles to symbolize the 4 Sundays of Advent. Three purple candles and a rose-color candle are lit on the Sundays, respectively for the color of the vestment the priest uses. On the third Sunday a rose-color or pink vestment is used to symbolize joy. Some churches leave the Advent wreath throughout the Christmas season and add a white candle for Christmas. 
Each Sunday of Advent has a theme which is frequently highlighted by just one word.
First Sunday: WATCH, 2nd Sunday: PREPARE, 3rd Sunday: REJOICE, 4th Sunday: BEHOLD, Christmas: CELEBRATE.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Malta Pine Crucifix

Trees grow in various shapes and sizes. The majority are normal healthy trees and they grow for decades until they may be cut down to be used for wood. Other trees become deceased after a few years and they eventually decay and die. It is incredible how so many millions of trees grow by themselves, watered by rain, and nature takes care of them without any fanfare. Then there are trees that grow in a very unusual way, like a pine tree in Malta that grew up in the shape of a crucifix. It is located on a main road that leads from Attard uphill to Rabat. One can easily see the contortioned figure of Christ with head and arms extended, with the twisted body and and legs on the vertical part of the pine tree. 
I don’t know if it’s still in existence, but until a few years ago, it was still in perfect shape, and when I took this photo in the 1980s, it was mostly unknown to many. Someone went a little bit too far and stained it, which probably caused its disappearance. I am not sure about its present state, but the last time I was in Malta, I could not find it. People started also putting holy cards around it, garnering more attention, and soliciting a prayer, which I will repeat here: We adore you o Christ and we praise you, because by Your Holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.

Friday, November 27, 2015

More from snowy Bend

The snowfall we received two days ago blanketed the entire Central Oregon with a spectacular display of a winter wonderland. For today I share with you just a few photos I took as I drive from one church to another, as I glimpse icicles everywhere, snow-covered trees and icy roads which are causing many accidents with drivers who drive faster than expected. It is sunny over the next few days, but temperatures dipping at 6 degrees Fahrenheit overnight (15 degrees Celsius.)

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thank you to some special people

The main altar decorated for Thanksgiving at St Francis, Bend.
As we celebrate Thanksgiving Day, may we all take this opportunity to thank a few special people this year, for doing so much . . . .
…the patient people at Department stores who line everything up neat and tidy, for us to mess them up.
. . . the salesgirls and boys who work overnight in Foodstores, freshening everything up, and making sure there’s enough of everything.
…people who deliver our mail, who rain or shine do their round and have to tackle narrow mail-boxes, barking dogs, and gates that are hard to open.
…all those moms and dads who stay up late at night until all their children are home safely, and those who would not sleep until everyone is tucked in bed.
…those people who invented the Computer, E-Mail, the Internet and those buttons entitled copy and save, highlight and paste.

…for those who listen to us when we talk to them, and for those who talk to us when they realize that we may be lonely.
…the many farmers who grow all the vegetables and fruits we eat, and those who take care of cows, sheep, pigs and goats who give us cheese, milk, meat and butter.
…those who work all night long to prepare newspapers for us, so that we can simply pick them up from our front door in the morning and read them sipping a cup of coffee.
…those who clean our streets, pick our garbage, and make sure we have a clean environment, and also for those who patiently pick up millions of leaves at this time of the year, bagging them neatly.

…those who risk their lives in reporting news from far away countries, especially where there is so much hostility and opposition to their presence. 
…for the heroes who in the past months have left families, friends, security, sleep, safety to help those in need, especially fire-fighters, police officers, nurses and doctors, search-rescue teams, etc.
…for those who give you a hug when you’re not expecting it, and for those who give you a phone call just to say “they missed you.”
...for little brother and sister who play with you, for your friends and teachers who help you with homework, and last but not least, for God Almighty, who keeps us going and going.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Dreaming of a white Thanksgiving

This is what Bend Oregon looks like this morning. We received close to 10 inches of snow yesterday, a snowstorm that hit us hard and quick, causing many drivers to slip and slide, especially those who did not have studded tires on. With today regarded as the busiest day of traveling for many Americans, the outlook does not look very good for those who have to travel around the northwest. Safe travels and drive slowly and cautiously. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

My first Thanksgiving

My first Thanksgiving in 1981 was a memorable one, as I went to watch Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City. It was a glorious day with thousands of people watching the floats of Snoopy, Spiderman, the Smurfs and Kermit float by in the cold autumn air. I thought I would spend the rest of the day visiting some stores in Manhattan, but everything was closed! So I headed back to New Hyde Park where I joined one of the families in my parish for a delicious turkey dinner. Things have changed as this year some stores will open in the evening to beat the Black Friday rush of customers storming the stores for early Christmas shopping. But it’s a shame that commercialism and materialism has tarnished this otherwise religious and meaningful holiday. But even as we watch the balloons, football games and enjoy a turkey dinner, as well as some pumpkin pie(at least for those who like them) let us also be thankful to God for giving us another year of blessings and graces.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Nativity figures on display

Yesterday, our parishioners had the opportunity to see the new Fontanini figures for the Nativity in our new church. A group of generous parishioners sponsored them and with the exception of two shepherds, all the figures were on display yesterday in one of the rooms, as you can see from these few photos. All standing figures are 18 inches in height. The stable will be erected this weekend by Rick and Lupita Wesseler in front of the main altar, and a few characters at a time will be placed in the stable, starting with the cow and donkey and a few sheep on the first Sunday of Advent. More will be added on the following Sundays, until baby Jesus arrives on Christmas Eve.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Christ the King

The Solemnity of Christ the King is celebrated on the last Sunday of the Liturgical Year. It’s a day to honor our Savior as King, who leads us with love, kindness and compassion, unlike many other ruthless Kings and Emperors who lead with tyranny, oppression and cruelty, many of whom were deposed by their own people. The image of Christ the King has always been presented to us as if sitting on a glittering throne, with a scepter in hand and golden crown on his head. In actual fact, his throne was the cross on which he was crucified, the scepter were the nails driven through his hands and feet, and the crown was made of sharp thorns that were pushed on his head. The feast of Christ the King as we know it now was introduced in 1925, 90 years ago, to counteract the start of Communism in the world. The Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 had taken the presence of Christ from the hearts of people, and the Church wanted to bring Him back into the center of their lives. The feast was celebrated on the last Sunday in October until 1969, when Pope Paul VI shifted this feast to the last Sunday of the Liturgical Year, usually towards the end of November.
Christus Vincit, Christus Regnat, Christus Imperat (Christ will win, Christ will reign, Christ will rule)

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Feast of the Presentation of Mary

The feast of the Presentation of Mary seems first to have appeared in Syria, but later rose to prominence in Jerusalem. A basilica was built near the ruins of the Temple in Jerusalem, and the Gospel of James and other apocryphal works (not included in the Bible) told the story of Mary's presentation at the Temple at the age of three. In gratitude for being granted a child after years of infertility, Mary's parents, Saints Joachim and St Anne had vowed to dedicate Mary to the service of God at the Temple. When they presented her at the Temple at the age of three, she stayed willingly, showing her dedication to God even at that young age, attending the temple regularly, similar to what children do attending their Religious Education classes.
The Gospel or Protoevangelium of James is the source of many details of Mary's life that became universally accepted by the Church, including the names of her parents, the story of her birth, her age at her betrothal to Saint Joseph, and Saint Joseph's advanced age and his status as a widower with children by his first wife. It also played a large role among Christians, both Eastern and Western, in recognizing Mary as the new Temple, the true Holy of Holies. When Mary left the Temple at the age of 12 after her betrothal to Joseph, she remained pure and chaste, and at the Annunciation God came to dwell in her.
 The Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary first made its way to the West through monasteries in Southern Italy in the ninth century; by the 11th century, it had spread to other locales, but was by no means universally celebrated. Under the influence of a French nobleman, Philippe de Mazières, Pope Gregory XI began celebrating the feast during the time the Pope was living in Avignon, France. Pope Sixtus IV first placed the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary on the universal calendar in 1472, but in the Tridentine reform of the calendar in 1568, Pope Pius V removed the feast. It was restored 17 years later by Pope Sixtus V, and remains in the Roman calendar today as a memorial.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Watch what you write!

"Sure is hot down here"....What!
Our wonderful technology is amazing and we are now communicating with such ease and efficiency that makes typewriters, note-pads and even fountain pens and ink obsolete. But it’s wise to remember how easily this wonderful technology can be misused, sometimes unintentionally, with serious consequences. 
Consider the case of the Illinois man who left the snow-filled  streets of Chicago for a vacation in Florida.  His wife was on a business trip and was planning to meet him there the next day.  When he reached his hotel, he decided to send his wife a quick e-mail. Unable to find the scrap of paper on which he had written her e-mail address, he did his best to type it in from memory.   Unfortunately, he missed one letter and his note was directed instead to an elderly widow whose husband had passed away only the day before. When the grieving widow checked her e-mail, she took one look at the monitor, let out a piercing scream, and fell to the floor in a dead faint.  At the sound, her family rushed into the room and saw this note on the screen:

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Three Prayers

Grant me o God, a mind to know you, a heart to seek you, wisdom to find you, conduct pleasing to you, faithful perseverance in waiting for you, and a hope to finally embracing you. Amen. (St Thomas Aquinas)

Jesus, open the eyes of my heart, that I may hear your word and understand and do your will. Open the eyes of my mind to the understanding of your Gospel teaching. Speak to me the hidden and secret things of your wisdom. Enlighten my mind and understanding with the light of your knowledge, not only to cherish those things that are written, but to do them. Amen. (St. John Chrysostom)

Helper of those who turn to you, light of those in the dark, creator of all that grows from seed, promoter of all spiritual growth, have mercy, Lord, on me and make me a temple fit for yourself. In your great mercy, in your boundless compassion, wash away my sins, through Jesus Christ our Lord, your only child, the truly holy, the chief of our souls’ healers. Amen
(An early Christian Prayer)

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Basilicas of St Peter and St Paul

Barely a week ago, we commemorated the dedication of the Mother Church of the Catholic Church, St John Lateran. Today we commemorate the dedication of two other major basilicas combined together, St Paul outside the walls and St Peter’s basilica, known as the Vatican. These dedications are important because they symbolize in a way the birth and baptism of each edifice.
When the early persecutions ended in 313 AD by King Constantine, he later built a basilica over the tomb where St Peter was buried. It lasted almost a thousand years, and the reconstruction of the original building started in the 14th century. The present Basilica, an ingenious structure built with the collaboration of Michelangelo, Bramante, Carlo Moderno, Giovanni Pannini and Bernini was officially consecrated on November 18 1626 by Pope Urban VIII. It is by far the most imposing and impressive church in all of Christendom, where major celebrations, elections of Popes, funerals, Canonizations etc, are held.

The Basilica of St Paul was started by Valentinian II on the Via Ostiense in 386, on the place where St Paul was buried. It was subsequently modified by Pope Gregory the Great in the 6th century. It has a graceful cloister that was built in the 13th century. Of all the churches of Rome, it had preserved its primitive character for 1435 years.
However a negligent fire destroyed it in 1823 and the new and present Basilica was built in the 19th century and consecrated on December 10, 1854 by Pope Pius IX. The whole world contributed to its reconstruction. The Viceroy of Egypt sent pillars of alabaster, the Emperor of Russia the precious malachite and lapis lazuli of the tabernacle. The work on the principal facade, looking toward the Tiber, was completed by the Italian Government, which declared the church a national monument. Pope Pius IX ruled that both Basilicas will have their dedication celebration together, on November 18. Both churches are majestic in appearance, but also very imposing in their stature as two of the 4 major basilicas in Rome.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Saint Elizabeth of Hungary

St. Elizabeth was born in Bratislava, a Kingdom of Hungary in 1207, the daughter of Alexander II, King of Hungary. At the age of four she was sent for education to the court of the Landgrave of Thuringia, and within a few years she was betrothed to his son, Ludwig. As she grew in age, her piety also increased by leaps and bounds. In 1221, aged 14, she married Ludwig of Thuringia, the same year that he was crowned Ludwig IV, and the marriage appears to have been happy. In 1223, Franciscan monks arrived, and the teenage Elizabeth not only learned about the ideals of Francis of Assisi, but started to live these ideals. Ludwig was not upset by his wife's charitable efforts, believing that the distribution of his wealth to the poor would bring eternal reward; he is venerated in Thuringia as a saint, though not canonized by the church as his wife is. In spite of Elizabeth’s position at court she began to lead an austerely simple life, practiced penance, and devoted herself to works of charity. 
Her husband was himself much inclined to religion and highly esteemed her virtue, encouraging her in her exemplary life. They had three children, Hermann, Sophia and Gertrude. Then tragedy struck - Ludwig was killed while fighting with the Crusaders. After his death, Elizabeth left the court, made arrangements for the care of her children, and in 1228, renounced the world, becoming a tertiary of St. Francis. Her family wanted her to re-marry, but she made a vow of celibacy and never married. She built the Franciscan hospital at Marburg, Germany and devoted herself to the care of the sick until her death at the young age of 24 in 1231. St. Elizabeth is frequently pictured distributing bread to the needy in her community, and thus is the patron saint of bakers, countesses, the homeless, nursing services, widows, and young brides. She was canonized in 1235, just 4 years after her death.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Photos from the Christmas Faire

Another successful Christmas Fair was organized, coordinated and set up in our parish Community Center this past weekend. These photos show some scenes from this annual event. Thanks to Sherry Rice and all her helpers who worked indefatigably around the clock to present a well-organized event.
Sherry Rice, the coordinator of the Christmas Faire
Three of my paintings raised $500, $250 and $250 in the silent auction

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Solidarity with France

Newspaper front page - Eiffel Tower as a sign of Peace
Let us pray for and remember.....
The 129 victims of the terrorist attack in Paris, France.
We pray that all forms of violence and terrorism will be eradicated from this earth. 

We pray that all terrorists will be brought to justice. 
We pray that human beings everywhere will be allowed to live in peace and harmony.
We pray for the people of France, whom we join today in solidarity and support. 

We are with you, Paris!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Cross at Ground Zero

You may have seen this image of a metal cross at Ground Zero. It was dug out of the mountains of debris that collapsed from the Twin Towers. It was saved a few days after the tragedy and the picture of a Franciscan monk blessing it became well-known around the world.
The World Trade Center was built using prefabricated parts which were bolted or welded together at the site. This process dramatically reduced construction time and costs. Using this process, t-beams and other types of cross beams were created and used in each of the World Trade Center buildings. When the Twin Towers collapsed, it sent debris down onto Six World Trade Center, and gutted the interior of that building; the intact cross beam later found in 6 World Trade Center's debris is believed to have come from the North Tower.
Following the terrorist attacks, a massive operation was launched to clear the site and attempt to find any survivors among the rubble. On September 13, 2001, a worker at the site named Frank Silecchia discovered a 20-foot cross of two steel beams among the debris. Those with access to the site used the cross as a shrine of sorts, leaving messages on it or praying before it. After a few weeks within the cleanup site the cross was an impediment to nearby work, so it was moved by crane on October 3 and installed on October 4, where it continued as a shrine and tourist attraction. The cross has remained during reconstruction, and Father Brian Jordan OFM, a Roman Catholic Franciscan priest, has been trying to preserve the cross since April 2006, and it was eventually moved to St. Peter's on October 5, 2006. On July 23, 2011, the cross was blessed by Fr. Jordan during a short ceremony before being loaded on a flatbed truck, moved back to Ground Zero and lowered into the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.

Friday, November 13, 2015

St Francis Xavier Cabrini

St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, was born in Lombardia, Italy in 1850, the youngest of thirteen children. Two months premature, she remained in delicate health throughout her 67 years. As a young girl, Francesca was taken care of by her older sister Rosa, because her mother was 52 when Maria Francesca was born.
At 13, she was sent to Arluno to study under the Daughters of the Sacred Heart at the Normal School, and in 1868, at 18 she was certified as a teacher. Four years later she contracted smallpox. When she tried to enter into the Daughters of the Sacred Heart, Mother Superior refused admission, even though she saw potential in her, because of her frail health. She helped her parents until their death, and then worked on a farm with her siblings.

One day a priest asked her to teach in a girls' school and she stayed for six years. At the request of her Bishop, she founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart to care for poor children in schools and hospitals. Although her lifelong dream was to be a missionary in China, Pope Leo XIII sent her to New York City on March 31, 1889 with six other nuns. There, she obtained the permission of Archbishop Michael Corrigan to found an orphanage, which is located in West Park, Ulster County, NY today known as Saint Cabrini Home, the first of 67 institutions she founded in New York, Chicago, Seattle, New Orleans, Denver, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and in countries throughout South America and Europe, especially Italy, England, France, Spain. Filled with a deep trust in God and endowed with a wonderful administrative ability, this remarkable woman soon founded schools, hospitals, and orphanages in this strange land and saw them flourish in the aid of Italian immigrants and children.
She died in Chicago, Illinois on December 22, 1917. In 1946, she became the first American citizen to be canonized by Pope Pius XII. St. Frances Xavier Cabrini is the patroness of immigrants. Her beatification miracle involved the restoration of sight to a child who had been blinded by excess silver nitrate in the eyes. Her canonization miracle involved the healing of a terminally ill nun. She is buried in Washington Heights where a shrine is also dedicated to her.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Valletta Summit

Group photo of all the EU and African leaders
All eyes were on Malta today as a historic Summit was held in the capital city, Valletta to discuss the issues  of migration. All the European Leaders heads of state were present, along with many African leaders to discuss what they can do to minimize the influx of migrants into Europe and the stop the exodus of thousands of people escaping their countries. A staggering $1.8 billion were pledged to help African countries. The Final Declaration and Action Plan include the launching of projects in Africa by the end of next year aimed at reintegrating returning migrants into the community and labor market. The discussions took place amid growing disgruntlement in Europe that little is being done to address the migratory crisis and influx of refugees in member states. 
The Palace of the Prime Minister and flags of nations projected on wall

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Veterans Day

They are the men and women who live every day in pain. Physical pain from their wounds, lost limbs, or maybe it's the shrapnel they still carry. Emotional pain from being separated from their families for long periods of time. For missing the birth of their child, or death of a parent. Mental pain for what they have seen and what they had to do. They are the ones who make life-long friends. They know how precious life is and they never forget the ones who didn't make it back. Never. That is why you will see Veterans at the cemetery on Memorial Day walking around and silently thanking the ones who are buried there. They don't have to know them personally to know the sacrifice each one made.
They are not the ones who are loud and boisterous. They are the ones who are quiet.
They are the ones who shivered in the foxhole, trying to keep the enemy at bay.
They are the ones who crawled through sand when the temperature was 126 degrees.
They are the ones who carried their buddy to safety.
They are the ones who sometimes drink too much, trying to keep the memories from haunting them.
They are the ones who carry the flag with the honor and respect it deserves.
They are the ones who wear their military uniform with pride and still have it in their closet 30 some years later.

They are the ones who don't ask you to go out of your way for them.
They are the ones who have gone out of their way for you.
They are the ones who spent many nights awake on guard duty so you didn't have to.
They are the ones who helped keep our shores safe while you played video games.
They are the ones who missed their birthdays, anniversaries, and other important dates.
They are the ones who got shot and got sent home, but felt guilty because their buddies were still there.
They are the ones who followed orders even when they didn't want to.
They are the ones who had enough love and pride in their country to do a job many others couldn't do.

They are the ones who cried when they were alone in their tent.
They are the ones who flew planes, drove tanks, worked a ship, and armed the missiles.
They are the ones who had moms at homes praying for them every minute of every day.
They are the ones who made it safe for you so you could go to school or work.
They are the ones who missed ordering pizza, the movies, the shopping trips, and all that you take for granted.
They are the ones who asked to take a friend's deployment because that friend had a family.
They are the ones who gave their girlfriends a lock of their hair to keep as a promise of their return.

They are the ones who wanted to come home.
They are the ones who didn't return.
They are the ones who waited months for a letter.
Let us pray and remember them, and never forget what they did for our country.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


There are treasures in life, but owners are few
Of money and power to buy things brand new.

Yet you can be wealthy and feel regal too,
If you will just look for the treasures in you.

These treasures in life are not hard to find
When you look in your heart, your soul, and your mind.

For when you are willing to share what's within,
Your fervent search for riches will end.

The joy and the laughter, the smile that you bring;
The heart unafraid to love and to sing;

The hand always willing to help those in need;
One's quick to reach out, to labor and feed.

So thank you for sharing these great gifts inside;
The caring, the cheering, the hug when one cried.

Thanks for the energy, encouragement too,
And thank you for sharing the treasures in you.

Monday, November 9, 2015

St John Lateran

Today is the anniversary of the dedication of the Lateran church in Rome, the mother church, which was dedicated on November 9, 324 AD. King Constantine had built the original church on a plot of land owned by the Laterani family. It was pillaged and attacked and desecrated over the years, but it survived. However, an earthquake in the 9th century destroyed it completely. The Lateran Basilica along with the Palace adjacent to it have been rebuilt and rededicated twice. Pope Sergius III dedicated them to Saint John the Baptist in the 10th century, while Pope Lucius II dedicated them to Saint John the Evangelist in the 12th century. Two destructive fires in 1307 and 1361 ravaged the Palace and Basilica, but the Avignon Papacy sent money for their reconstruction and maintenance. However they never regained their former splendor, until Pope Clement XII launched a competition to design a new facade. 
Over 23 architects took part in the competition and the winner was Alessandro Galilei. The majestic facade as it appears today was completed in 1735. I was fortunate to visit the Basilica in May 2012 and took quite a few photos, 3 of which are accompanying this post. I was especially impressed with 12 massive statues of the 12 apostles situated inside the basilica, sculpted by the best sculptors in Rome in the early 18th century: Rusconi, Moratti, Rossi, Mazzuoli, Ottoni, Monnot and Le Gros. An elaborate baldacchino stands above the main altar, surrounded by various paintings and an intricate mosaic in the apse. 
St Matthew statue in the Lateran

Sunday, November 8, 2015

God's work

1. Be ye fishers of men. You catch them - He'll clean them.
2. Coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous.
3. Don't put a question mark where God put a period.
4. Don't wait for 6 strong men to take you to church.
5. Forbidden fruits create many jams.
6. God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.
7. God grades on the cross, not the curve.
8. God loves everyone, but probably prefers "fruits of the spirit" over "religious nuts!"
9. God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage.

10. He, who angers you, controls you!
11. If God is your Copilot - swap seats!
12. Most people want to serve God, but only in an advisory capacity.
13. Prayer: Don't give God instructions  - just report for duty!
14. The task ahead of us is never as great as the Power behind us.
15. The Will of God will never take you to where the Grace of God will not protect you.
16. We don't change the message, the message changes us.
17. You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage him.

18. You do your best. God will do the rest.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

It is Jesus



Jesus had no servants, yet they called Him Master.
Had no degree, yet they called Him Teacher.
Had no medicines, yet they called Him Healer.
He had no army, yet kings feared Him..
He won no military battles, yet He conquered the world.
He committed no crime, yet they crucified Him.
He was buried in a tomb, yet He lives today.
I feel honored to serve such a Leader who loves us!