November 18, 2011 – Truly Thankful

Getting to the blog a little late this evening .  Had a ton of errands to run after work today – drugstore, shopping, etc., etc.  While scurrying up and down the aisles at Wal-Mart I was thinking about what I was going to write about this week.  My thoughts kept turning toward the news this past week, and how it seemed that every day there was some type of tragedy or event that broke your heart.  From the child abuse scandal at Penn State, to the tragedy of the mother in St. Louis County taking her 13 month old son’s life, to this morning when I heard that the women’s basketball coach at Oklahoma State University and one of his assistants died in a plane crash while on a recruiting trip.  This is the same school that lost part of its men’s basketball team about 10 years ago in a plane crash. 

When you hear these kinds of stories every day, lots of thoughts go through your head.  You wonder how a seemingly well-respected former coach could be performing these horrible acts with children in very public places.  You wonder how a mother could turn against a child whom she brought into the world and nurtured for over a year.  You wonder what the next day could possibly bring after all of this.  And also, for at least a moment, life in your little corner of the world doesn’t seem so bad after all.

We all have those days like I did today that we kind of dread.  We know that it’s going to be a long day.  Work, then running here and there after work.  Just a day that there is nothing in particular to look forward to.  However, after processing all of these tragic events this past week, and as we approach Thanksgiving, I realize that on top of my list of things to be thankful for this year is for those days that the unexpected does not happen.  There are many people that I’m sure would like to be experiencing life as I know it, even though it may seem mundane at times.  To be able to wake up in the morning with a roof over my head.  To know that I don’t have to worry about where my next meal is going to come from.  To know that I have a steady job to go to every morning.  To know that I have a nice vehicle that will get me where I need to go.  I am thankful that this past year I didn’t have to experience the “unexpected”.  Life stayed on a steady course, and for this I am truly thankful, as mundane as it may seem at times.

I am also thankful that my health has been good this past year.  I certainly could not say this a couple of years ago at this time.  I am thankful that I have been able to do the things I truly enjoy.  I am thankful that my Cardinals showed the resolve to hang in the pennant race and make an incredible run to the championship, even though it did leave me sleep deprived during the month of October.  I am again thankful to you for reading this blog each week and for continuing to use our website.  Little did I know four years ago that our website would not only still be in existence, but would be flourishing.  The number of visitors continues to increase little by little.  To sum it all up, I  am thankful that as I look at things with my eyes, I am content with the hand God dealt me this past year, and I pray that things continue on course in the coming year.  And I pray for those whose lives were turned upside down by unexpected events this past year, that they may experience God’s healing and comfort in the coming year.

A few other things that caught my eye this pat week.  Under the “another good reason to be a Cardinal fan”, Archbishop Robert Carlson of the Archdiocese of St. Louis and Bishop Vann of the Diocese of Fort orth made a little wager on the World Series.  Of course Archbishop Carlson won, so Bishop Vann presented the Archbishop with a Stetson hat and a check for $680 to donate to Catholic Charities ($10 for each run scored in the Series).  Below is a photo of this “blessed” moment:

Also, this past week at the fall meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, a memorial for Blessed John Paul II in the U.S. liturgical calendar was approved.  Certainly well deserved, and certainly a figure that all Catholics, older and younger, can emulate. 

You are probably familiar with the “Hour of Power” telecast that was filmed at the Crystal Cathedral in California, and its long time pastor, Robert Schuller.  The ministry has fallen upon hard financial times, and was forced to declare bankruptcy.  The Crystal Cathedral was then put up for sale, and in an interesting twist, is being purchased by the Catholic diocese of Orange County, California.  The Diocese is in need of a cathedral, and it is estimated that they can purchase this property for about one-fourth of the cost of building a new cathedral.  Here is a link to the story:

www.npr.org/2011/11/18/142518963/future-of-ministry-uncertain-after-cathedrals-sale?ps=cprs

Well in about a week, we will begin using the 3rd edition of the Roman Missal for our responses during Mass.  I have heard concern from some people saying that they are afraid that they will still blurt out the old responses, even though we will have pew cards with the new translation.  My piece of advice is not to be concerned.  it will take all of us some time to get used to the new translation.  And if during the first few weeks, some of us still say “The Lord be with you” instead of “And with your Spirit”, well that’s just part of the process.  Christmas Masses will probably be challenging when the “poinsettias”, or those who only appear at Christmas and Easter, pop in and have no idea that changes have taken place.  Again, so it be part of the process.  We will get used to it in due time.  If you have not heard a lot about the changes, or just feel you need a last minute refresher course, the USCCB website has some great short videos on the new translation.  Go to this link, www.usccb.org/media/video/index.cfm, and click on the “Roman Missal” tab.

I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving, and I hope you have a wonderful celebration with your family and friends.  And if you are going to Wal-Mart or one of the other Black Friday sales at midnight after Thanksgiving, well, what can I say, you are on your own!  You are beyond help!  Enjoy your $300 TV, and I’ll be enjoying my tryptophan-induced sleep.  Have a great week.  Peace.

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