This past weekend was my birthday, so it was a celebration. In the past I used to try to control every aspect of my birthday, I would remind everyone months in advance, I would let everyone know what I wanted, where I wanted them to be, and how to get there. It got to be no fun in a hurry, worrying about this, that, other stuff, I'm sure I wore my friends out too.
Several years back I really felt moved by God to let go and let the birthday take care of itself. I didn't mention a word to anyone about my birthday, I didn't plan anything, and mostly I didn't worry about it. My birthday turned out to be just fine, better perhaps even, because there was no stress and worry about it. My friends may be surprised now to hear that I actually could let go completely, but I assure it's in me. I continued this for several years, and was rewarded every time.
Eventually, I took back some control over the things that happen on my birthday, but I'll never give back the appreciation for the God who provides for everything. I thank you Lord for the friends that I spent time with me last weekend, the kindness they showed me, the beautiful weather, and the opportunity to worship you with them.
Ben, Frank, Marcus, Matt, Vivian, Me, Amy, Patrick, Jen, and Joe. Many thanks to Amy for blocking the camera's view of the stain on my shirt.
Location and Architecture:
Mary Our Queen, 3535 South 119 Street, Omaha. Mary Our Queen was my home parish for years, I came back to the church there, I sang in the choir there, and I have love the comfort of the church. I have spent many peaceful hours there just sitting in the quiet ... sitting with Joseph, praying with Mary, talking with God. I love the statuary, the candles, and the sense of space. I'm also quite fond of the 11:00am Sunday choir, many of the people there, and they have a fish fry too.
You can see all my pictures from Mary Our Queen here.
This week we had the pleasure of meeting Amy Brammer (picture in the group above), who will be a FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) missionary this year at Bradley University. We have decided to support Amy and (if you read the Saint Columbkille post) Shannon as they serve on their respective campuses this year. We are excited to help about both prayerfully and monetarily. Watch this space for more about this exciting development!
"He said to them, "When you pray, say:..." Luke 11:2
According to the calendar, last weekend was the 17th week of ordinary time. You know what's not ordinary, God. The entire Gospel this week just rocks from start to finish (Luke 11:1-13). Jesus teaches the disciples how to pray. He tells them to be persistent. He tells us that God is good.
I have heard that word count for the iTunes Store user agreement is over 11,000 words. The word count for the original US Constitution is around 4,500. Jesus teaches how to pray in less than 40 words. What do we really need to say to God? God already knows. We don't pray for God's benefit, we pray for ours. When we pray the Lord's Prayer we are reminded that God is sacred, that His Kingdom is our goal, that he provides for us, that we should treat each other as we hope to be treated, and that God alone can allow us into Heaven. Everything we need, it's that simple.
My friends, pray the Lord's prayer, read about Jesus, and spend time in His presence. Exercise your faith muscle, not only will your faith become stronger, but your prayers can make the world stronger too.
Please pray for:
Tom who is being deployed to Afghanistan, and his wife and two daughters.
Amy and Shannon for protection on their missions.
Brianne who has been ill this week.
My friend R., who does not know how to change her life.
Frank who is looking for meaningful employment.
Kevin as he prepares for his final year of seminary and the priesthood.
Marcus as he has been accepted into seminary and will be discerning the priesthood.
Me for the courage to do what God is putting in front of me.
August 1 @ 1130: Saints Peter and Paul in South Omaha (36th & X)