November 8, 2008 – Every Precious Moment

This past week was a week when it first began that I was sort of dreading.  I knew my schedule was going to be full this week with different errands, work duties, etc., plus a meeting thrown in this morning, and I thought to myself – “Boy, will I be glad when this week is over.”  It was the very next day I believe that I tore the page off of my daily spiritual calendar and it said something to the effect of “You have 24 hours in a day: Did you take even one minute to thank God.”  I think this was a reminder to me that even during those times when we are busy, or have to do things we don’t necessarily want to do, that our life here on earth is precious, and that we should not take any day for granted.  Or, as God is probably telling me – STOP WHINING!

I did not have the opportunity to attend the funeral Mass for Fr. Gene’s mother due to the meeting I had this morning, but I was able to attend the visitation on Friday evening, and was relieved to find Father in good spirits.  The meeting I had this morning was with the Deanery Reflection Group, which is a group that meets on occasion to discuss issues in the diocese and to share ideas that may benefit our parishes.  One of the things we talked about was how fortunate most of our parishes are to have dedicated priests who are there for us in our time of need.  Fr. Gene is certainly one of those priests, and I know that our parish community will be there for him in his time of need also when he returns in a couple of weeks.

The reflection group is usually a small gathering, but the discussion is always good.  There is not a parish that is not dealing with its own share of problems, but it is reassuring in a way to know that many of the same things we deal with as a parish are being dealt with in many other parishes – things such as declining attendance, effects of the economy, participation of our youth, etc.  This does not mean that we shouldn’t continue to work on these things, but it is good in a way to know that there are many other parishes riding in the same boat.

This Sunday the church celebrates the feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome.  This is the Cathedral Church of Rome, and therefore, the Pope’s own church.  It is an amazing structure.  You can learn more about it and see photos of it by clicking this link below:

www.sacred-destinations.com/italy/rome-st-john-lateran.htm

We as a parish are blessed to have a unique, historic church building with beautiful windows and accents.  But what if the church were destroyed?  What if Mass were celebrated in a gym or in the park?  Would it be the same – of course not.  But a building itself does make up our “church” – it is the people in the building that make up our church.  This is what Jesus points out to us in the gospel – we need to respect and care for our church and our buildings, but it is a mistake to believe that it is THE most important thing.  It is the community of a parish coming together to worship and celebrate our faith that is the most important thing.  And if we are able to do that, everything else will fall into place.

Well, our election has now come and gone, and we are preparing for President Obama.  I have heard mixed reactions to the results, but I have heard few people say that they hope that the next administration cannot get things accomplished and that they cannot help those who need it.  He and his advisors obviously have a difficult road ahead, and we certainly need to pray that God provide them wisdom and guidance.

Finally, I received a comment a while back that many times I had mentioned the Cardinals in the blog, but that I had not mentioned the St. Louis Rams.  Well, here is my response to that: Aren’t things bleak enough?  We need to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative.  Or as I continue to hear that voice in my head – STOP WHINING!

Peace.

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