These weren't the exact words that were used, but the message was clear "...you're wasting your life." This came from a person who has the power to make me listen, who probably knows me as well as any, so listen, and consider I have. It has weighed heavily on me all year long.
I was talking to Brianne about this on Sunday, and she asked a question that I hadn't quite managed to consider on my own. What is 'wasting' your life? A large portion of me thinks that this should be a very easy question to answer, but I'm struggling coming up with anything that makes sense on the subject. The first thing to figure out is who is actually qualified to judge whether I am wasting my life or not.
Well certainly my mother thinks she is qualified ... but the actual answer is that God is the decider as to whether or not I have wasted my life. So in that regards, I can probably back off feeling bad about myself and concentrate on doing the best I can to follow the will of God. How is this accomplished? We have the scriptures, the example of the lives of the saints, the church, prayers, our friends, and our personal relationship with God to rely on to help us.
That makes it sound a lot better. God has planned ahead, and He will make sure that I will have things to do that are important to Him. All the tools I need have been given to me, the thing that is up to me is to choose what to do. Will I choose the world, or to prepare myself instead for God's kingdom? As I've said before, I don't have a plan B, I'm aiming for Heaven (thank you Marcus). As for my friend with the harsh words? That person got me thinking, and I'm thankful for both the thoughts, and the conclusion.
Lord, guide me into a life spent in pursuit of you and your Kingdom, not just for me, but for all.
We probably could have grabbed at least *one* more person to get in the photo with us, but here we are: Frank, Joe, Ron, Patrick, Teri, Jen, Me, Brianne, Lindsay, and Frank.
Location and Architecture:
Saint Margaret Mary, 6116 Dodge Street, Omaha. Where it all began... I like night Masses. Well, I like day Masses too, but I think it's enjoyable to see a church all lit up on the inside at night. Saint Margaret Mary is a beautiful church. It has many of the elements that I love in a church. All kinds of nooks and crannies, wood and stone everywhere, and good lighting.
The tower at sunset.
Looking south from the altar.
Details of the church.
I like when I can capture exactly what I want to capture in a picture, now we can argue if it's art or not.
The first one of these I have seen with Marcus on it, also Kevin is in there too.
I took plenty of shots, including some from the parish festival. You can see all of my pictures of Saint Margaret Mary's parish here.
As I said last week, I went home to Chicago. It was a good time, I visited with my mommy, did some Mass Chaos worthy things, and on Wednesday I took the train down to Chicago. I met with one of our FOCUS missionaries, Shannon.
We met at the Ghirardelli ice cream and chocolate shop near the Water Tower and walked to Oak Street Beach. I experienced an ice cream tragedy when my cone broke and the ice cream plummeted to the pavement. It was my first chance to talk to Shannon one on one, and she is a quite impressive person, I am more and more certain we made the right choice in supporting her and Amy.
I had a few minutes between dropping Shannon off at the subway and meeting my friends for dinner, so at her suggestion I dropped by Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago. It was very nice split in my day, the quiet of the church versus the busyness of walking all over downtown. The Cathedral itself was very impressive, stone columns supporting an ornate wood ceiling. As I told Shannon, I had never been there, because during the time I was living in Chicago, I was not interested in my faith. I feel like I missed out on so much, fortunately, I won't be missing out any more.
Shannon clued me in to look for the Tabernacle. Unfortunately, it's the only picture that came out well.
On Friday, I went to church at the parish closest to my mothers house, Holy Apostles. This is a 'new' church, i.e., it was not there when I was growing up and going to Marian Central, the only Catholic high school in McHenry County. It is a rather uniquely designed church, the closest I've seen here in Omaha is Saint Vincent de Paul, but it wasn't that large. Mass was in the chapel, but afterward, I took a few pictures.
"But Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them.'"Luke 16:29
I believe this is one of the quiet, but pivotal items in the Gospel's. Jesus says here, through Abraham, that God has already given us every tool we need for passing judgment and entering Heaven. The way that I see this passage is that there isn't going to be much use in standing before God and saying "I didn't know" ... well, yes you did.
I know it's not quite politically correct, but a little fear is a really good thing. I don't know if I fear God, but I do fear what He is capable of doing. God can pronounce judgment on us, and I for one do not wish to be eternally separated from Him. Even if the thought of eternal separation from God doesn't scare you, even if you think hell is only a concept, please notice that the rich man in the story (Luke 16:19-31) has no name. God has dismissed Him so completely that not even his name matters.
As we have learned in the last few weeks, God wants us to be with us, and will go to illogical lengths, like in the parable of the lost sheep, to make sure that happens. It is my fondest hope that He brings us all to His Kingdom, but why leave it to chance? God has provided every tool you need to make it to Heaven, more than just Moses and the prophets, use what God has given you, stretch yourself in living a God filled life, choose Heaven, I can't wait to see you there.
Heavenly Father, remember my name.
Please pray for:
Tom who is being deployed to Afghanistan, and his wife and two daughters.
Amy and Shannon for protection on their missions.
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.
My friend M., who is pregnant, please pray for her and her baby.
My friend S., who has been ill and fears it might be something serious.
Me, I applied for a new job.
Saturday, October 2 @ 5:00pm at Mass: Saint John the Baptist Parish, 215 North 13th Street, Fort Calhoun.