November 4 – 10, 2018
Out in the Pacific Ocean, Sam and his wife Sue, two clams, owned a restaurant that had live disco music every Saturday night. Their diner was known for some really great musicians, notably, the shrimp quartet. Bob played the guitar. Chuck played the drums, Sally sang, and Harry played the harp.
One day while crossing the street, Harry the shrimp was involved in an accident and
was trampled to death by an urchin driving an out-of-control sea horse. Everyone at Sam’s disco was devastated. Without old Harry playing the harp, the disco music just wouldn’t be the same. Even Harry, now in heaven, was sad.
He asked St. Peter if he could go back just once more and play with the shrimp quartet on a hopping Saturday disco night. St. Peter said yes and allowed him to leave heaven for one night. Harry joined the shrimp in their disco frenzy and had a great time catching up with all his old crustacean friends. When the night was over, he sadly returned to heaven. St. Peter looked at him and asked, “Harry, where is your harp?” Harry sighed, “I guess,” he paused,
“I left my harp in Sam Clam’s Disco.”
I know, I know…but I bet you did smile a bit. I wanted to bring a little light into your life. As the temperature continues to drop and the days get shorter and shorter, I did not want you to feel like you are enclosed in darkness. Darkness can be a pretty terrible thing at times. Especially if it affects our spirits.
That’s one reason why laughing and having a sense of humor is so important in life. Humor is a way of defending ourselves from life’s absurdities by thinking absurdly about them! There is always something to chuckle about. Sometimes we see it. Sometimes…we don’t. Still, the world is filled with humor. It is there when we are happy and it is there to cheer us up when we are not.
Our happiness depends on the habit of mind we cultivate. So practice happy thinking every day. Smile. Have a good belly laugh. Cultivate the merry heart, develop the “humor habit” and life will become a continual feast. Even in the cold and darkness. Because the time to be happy is now. The place to be happy is here.
Charles Plumb was a US Navy jet pilot in Vietnam. After 75 combat missions, his plane was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb ejected and parachuted into enemy hands. He was captured and spent six years in a communist Vietnamese prison. He survived the ordeal and now lectures on lessons learned from that experience
One day when Plumb and his wife were sitting in a restaurant, a man from another table came up and said, “You’re Plumb! You flew jet fighters in Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were shot down.”“How in the world did you know that?” asked Plumb. The man replied, “I packed your parachute.” Plumb gasped in surprise and gratitude. The man pumped his hand and said, “I guess it worked.” Plumb assured him, “It sure did. If your chute hadn’t worked, I wouldn’t be here today.”
Plumb couldn’t sleep that night, thinking about that man. Plumb says, “I kept wondering what he had looked like in a Navy uniform: a white hat, a bib in the back, and bell-bottomed trousers. I wonder how many times I might have seen him and not even said, ‘Good morning, how are you?’ or anything because, you see, I was a fighter pilot and he was just a sailor.”
Plumb thought of the many hours the sailor had spent at a long wooden table in the bowels of the ship, carefully weaving the shrouds and folding the silks of each chute, holding in his hands each time the fate of someone he didn’t even know. Now, Plumb asks his audience, “Who’s packing your parachute?” Everyone has someone who provides what they need to make it through the day. He also points out that he needed many kinds of parachutes when his plane was shot down over enemy territory…a physical parachute, a mental parachute, an emotional parachute, and a spiritual parachute. He called on all these supports before reaching safety.
Sometimes in our daily challenges, we miss what is really important. We may fail to say hello, please or thank you. We begin to take things for granted. Time to recognize the folks who pack your parachutes! Find them! Offer thanks.
October 21 – 27, 2018
SM Roberta Moser, Director of Mission & Values
Mission is about naming what’s there. It’s more than just programs, activities and celebrations. It’s the sum of processes, programs and relationships that serve to enhance our understanding and commitment to the tradition and values from which our ministries originated and in which they continue. It is the work of the soul. It translates into day to day language and struggles with complex decisions and brings light to significant outcomes. Mission is where God sends us. When we are who we are, do what we do, we crack open the world to God!
A story of sorts:
Jesus is excited. He shouts, “Brothers and sisters, open your eyes, open your hearts. I ran all the way over here to announce some really happy news!” Someone in the crowd asked, “What happy news?” Jesus looks out at the crowd and answers, “The Kingdom of God has arrived!” Now there’s an old guy in the crowd who moves forward. “Vague words. You’re just the son of a carpenter. We’ve had enough of your talk…miracles, miracles. We want you to do something right here and now. Go ahead. Perform some miracles to make us believe in you!”
“Everything is a miracle,” Jesus says. “What more do you want? Look around you… children of all ages are being educated in your schools and universities, your wisdom figures are being cared for, those from the streets are being nourished, their needs addressed.”
The people listened to him and it seemed as if the clay within them turned into wings. The entire time Jesus talked, if someone would have lifted a stone, they would’ve found God underneath. If someone knocked at a door, God came out and opened it for them. If they looked into the eyes of a friend or even an enemy, they saw God smiling back at them. Miracles abound.
Karl Rahner, a great theologian, was once asked whether he believed in miracles. He replied, “I don’t just believe in miracles, I rely on them to get me through each day!”
Look around you. Even in the struggles, frustrations, difficulties that may crop up on any given day, there are miracles everywhere. Our ministries make things happen. And guess what? The Kingdom of God has arrived. Ahhhh…we have become the very home of God. Wowie! True, that!
Sister Roberta Moser, CSSF
Some time ago I was watching a show on the Discovery Channel about animals in the Kalahari Desert. Amazing the many night and day creatures that inhabit this unique part of the world. I found myself smiling when I saw a mother porcupine emerge from a burrow, followed by two little miniature porcupines. Exact replicas of their mother… “Wouldn’t it be fun to have a pet porcupine,” I thought. A split second later I thought, “Are you crazy? Their little miniature tails pack a powerful wallop.”
Deeper reflection: We all have baby porcupines running around. We tolerate or indulge them because the problems they pose seem so minor. A sloppy report. A nasty remark about a coworker. A few minutes late here or there. All baby porcupines, really. They’re no big deal. But baby porcupines grow up to be big porcupines and their quills when released can be painful, if left untended.
Another image: a small leak can sink a…
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Sister Roberta Moser, CSSF
Here’s a question for you: Do you like yourself? Really, do you? Can you make a list of your gifts/talents? Would that make you uncomfortable? Usually we’re pretty good at seeing where we fall short (and if we should miss an opportunity, darn it, someone near us is often close by to point out our faults to us)! It is really important for us to see ourselves as loved and lovable. It’s quite difficult to reach out to others when we don’t see ourselves as lovable and capable.
Years ago I read a book where the author suggested that when we’re born we’re given an invisible sign that says, “IALAC.” Translated: I am lovable and capable. We wear the sign around our neck. His premise is that as we go through our day, we, and people close to us, i.e. family, co-workers, people we serve, have hole punchers and choose to use them on us. That…
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The Mystery of the Dipper and the Bucket|
Sister Roberta Moser, CSSF
We have all heard of the cup that overflows. Well, this story is about a bucket that is like that cup, only larger. Everyone has one. It is always with us. It often determines how we feel about ourselves, about others and how we get along with people. Have you ever experienced a series of favorable things that make you feel good all over for about a whole week? When this happens your bucket is full to overflowing.
A bucket is filled by a lot of things that happen. When a person speaks to you, recognizing you as a good human being, your bucket is filled a little more. If someone compliments you on a job well done, the level in your bucket goes up still higher. There are about a million ways to raise the level of your bucket.
But remember, this is a story about…
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