Saturday, February 12, 2005

A gift from God

What if God were to say to you, "I have been preparing a gift for you from eternity. It is precisely tailored to you needs at this moment. With the exception of my Son and His presence in the Eucharist, it is the greatest answer to all your innermost desires for a gift from me."?
Every person you encounter today is that gift. If you treat him any less than as a precious gift from God, if you don't seek to find within him a message of love and grace for you from God, you are committing a sin of sacrilege. It doesn't matter whether you like the person or not, are attracted to him, whether you find him to be ignorant, frustrating, a waste of your time, beneath contempt, your enemy, evil, or anything else. Fr. Spitzer points out that it is especially difficult to do this if we are stuck seeking happiness through ego gratification, because then we perceive other people as obstacles to our advancement in knowledge, power or prestige.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Are you a carrot, egg, or coffee?

Sounds like one of thos Quizilla quizzes, but it is not. I got this in an e-mail today. If you can get past the hokey factor, there is a pretty good message here.

Carrot, Egg, or Coffee??A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling.It seemed that just as one problem was solved, a new one arose. Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word.In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me, what do you see?""Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg. Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, "What does it mean, mother?"Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity ... boiling water.

Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water."Which are you?" she asked her daughter."When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?"Think of this:

Which am I?

Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level?How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy.The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way.The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can't go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling.Live your life so at the end, you're the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying.You might want to send this message to those people who mean something to you; to those who have touched your life in one way or another; to those who make you smile when you really need it; to those who make you see the brighter side of things when you are really down; to those whose friendship you appreciate; to those who are so meaningful in your life.....I JUST DID

What is God up to, anyway?

You know, if where sin aboundeth, grace aboundeth all the more, why would we be surprised that we have the pope that we have?

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Also from today's day of recollection

Fr. Krebs told the story of a a woman who was renowned for having personal conversations with the Lord. She was considered so holy and was so venerated among the people that she became a source of irritation for her bishop. To test her the bishop asked to to ask the Lord what the greatest sin of his most inner, hidden self was. On the date appointed she returned to the bishop. He asked her if she had asked the Lord what his greatest, most intimate sin was. She said, "Yes." He said, "So, what did the Lord say?" She said, "He said, 'the bishop's greatest interior sin? Tell the bishop I'm sorry, but I forgot.'"

We hold onto our sins long after the Lord has rendered them completely irrelevant.

The source of St. Thomas's erudition

During the day of recollection at the seminary today Fr. Donald Krebs of the Crookston diocese relates the statement by St. Thomas Aquinas that he learned more from 15 minutes a day on his knees before his crucified Lord than he ever did (or could) from all the erudite conversation with learned men he engaged in.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

See me also at HMS Weblog

For the next few days I will be a guest blogger over at my old home, HMS Webblog. We will be discussing in what way the Church is a family. I may still post here occasionally on other topics (my mind is swimming with topics, but my calendar is full of duties, so who knows when I will get to it?)

Monday, February 07, 2005


Attributed to C.S. Lewis: ""We all want progress, but if you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive."