Week of 6/10/2018
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 self-righteous 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 approach summer, 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.
Last weekend we celebrated Corpus Christi, and a very special thanks to so many who contributed
to that great day: our fabulous choir, led by Carolina Flores and Aymeric on the organ; our great
Sons of St. Joseph and Knights of Columbus who provided a great lunch, and hundreds of
parishioners who participated. Also, please pray for the repose of the soul of Sr. Joan Flynn,
who passed away last week. She worked at St. Theresa for 25 years, giving so much compassion
and assistance to so many parishioners, with leading our health care ministry and guiding the
seniors group, while helping so many other ways. She served with great dedication the Good
Lord for over 60 years as a bride of Christ. May the Good Lord welcome her to the glory of heaven
forever. Requiescat in Pace.
God love you,
Fr. Brian Gannon