Week of 6/4/2017
Winston Churchill once noted, “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” Invariably, it is never the negativist that gets things done with business or volunteer ventures, but always the person who looks for good and first asks energetically, “What can I do,” instead of the passive copout, “What he/she should be doing.” Healthy skepticism is looking for positive ways around obstacles; pessimism is looking for ways to avoid my personal responsibility towards others; “I’m too busy/it will never work…” This tells the story not only of successful military and business leaders, but that its foundation lies in the saints who found holiness in all situations. How? In the spiritual life, which is always inseparable from our physical and mental life, every moment, no matter where or when, is an opportunity to grow closer to our Lord. The emphasis, from great Saints like Therese of Lisieux, our patroness, is always on how much love goes into the moment. Even a moment where sternness is needed, as with children needing correction, God’s love must be the guiding force.
When we approach all situations as a moment to stop, to show God’s love through encouragement, deeply listening to another, especially a spouse, through stern correction, through telling the truth not as a selfrighteous attack but as a necessary “reboot” to nudge someone closer to Christ and His Sermon on the Mount, when we emphasize Christ instead of ego, not only do we imitate Christ but we also shape ourselves towards greater inner peace. Confession and serious daily prayer are central to spiritual “reboot.”
The key is that one heart is touched, not by a fuzzy, vague love feeling of the world, but by a genuine encounter with the Lord who wishes to challenge us like a great coach to experience the joy only possible when one sacrifices for Jesus Christ. When this happens, we find our hearts turn away from the tempting negative wisecrack or response; instead we first ask ourselves, is God working through this situation that looks impractical?
The Cross is always central. The idea that God could die on the cross drew immediate negativity from the people who should have known best; we all must admit had we been alive then the chances are more than likely we would have jeered Christ. Yet, like St. Peter, even though we abandon the Lord when sinning; with sincere repentance, we are always welcome back.
As we celebrate Pentecost Sunday, let us pray for the ability to look for the need for Christ in every situation. Such a person draws others to Christ because Christian joy is rooted in the faith that declares beyond the Cross and difficulties there is always the resurrection. As I watch our marvelous, hardworking, and dedicated St. Theresa students be so upbeat, I think of them. May they always be inspired not to see the difficulty in opportunities, but the opportunity to spread Christ in every situation, to tell the world that real joy lies not in feelings alone, but in the sacrifice, teaching and encouragement we give others in the name of Jesus Christ.
Please come!!!! Corpus Christi High Mass, Sunday June 18th at 12 noon with procession of the Holy Eucharist and reception in the gym; sponsored by our great Sons of St. Joseph! Parish Picnic today, Sunday June 4th, 14pm: rides, little children games, hamburgers, philly cheese steaks, hotdogs, great desserts and camaraderie! A large circus tent with lots of shade and seating for 500!!! Join us!!
God love you, Fr. Brian Gannon