George A. Sprecace M.D., J.D., F.A.C.P. and Allergy Associates of New London, P.C.
www.asthma-drsprecace.com
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Physician-Patient Spirituality Topics

SOME GREAT HEALTH ADVICE FROM MOTHER TERESA.
"The greatest disease in the West today is not TB or Leprosy; it is being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for. We can cure physical diseases with medicine, but the only cure for loneliness, despair and hopelessness is love. There are many in the world who are dying for a piece of bread, but there are many more dying for a little love. The poverty in the West is a different kind of poverty. It is not only a poverty of loneliness but also of spirituality. There's a hunger for love, as there is a hunger for God."
From "A Simple Path".
SO: REACH OUT AND CARE ABOUT, CARE FOR AND HUG SOMEONE.

GS


A BREACH IN MORALITY IS LIKE A SERIOUS CANCER.

It easily and diffusely metastasizes.

GS

Boudewijn Chabot, “Worrisome Culture Shift in the Context of Self-Selected Death” (translation) - Trudolemmens.WordPress.com

Rapid Response for WEDNESDAY, June 7, 2017

"WHO DECIDES WHEN A PATIENT CAN'T?  STATUTES ON ALTERNATE DECISION MAKERS".
New England Journal of Medicine, April 23, 2017, p1478.

A few facts:
1) About 50% of a patient's health care costs are incurred in the last 6 months of his/her life.
2) Over 70% of people agree with the desirability of having a "Living Will / Advanced Directive" and a designated Health Care Advocate.
3) Only about 20% of people actually have taken these actions while they still can.
IF YOU WANT THE ABILITY, AT SOME POINT, TO SAY "STOP THE WORLD; I WANT TO GET OFF", YOU HAD BETTER GET OFF YOUR BUTT NOW!

GS

Rapid Response for FRIDAY, January 6, 2017

RR#1

FORGET THE "BUCKET LIST" AND THE BUCKET.
Empty it now - and keep it empty!

GS

AND THEN IT IS WINTER....
 
THIS IS RIGHT ON THE NOSE. .......READ IT SLOWLY... I DON'T KNOW WHO WROTE IT, BUT I AM GUESSING IT WAS A SENIOR!!! I FIRST STARTED READING THIS EMAIL & WAS READING FAST UNTIL I REACHED THE THIRD SENTENCE. I STOPPED AND STARTED OVER READING SLOWER AND THINKING ABOUT EVERY WORD. THIS EMAIL IS VERY THOUGHT-PROVOKING. MAKES YOU STOP AND THINK.

AND THEN IT IS WINTER
 
You know. . . time has a way of moving quickly and catching you unaware of the passing years.
 
It seems just yesterday that I was young, and embarking on my new life. Yet in a way, it seems like eons ago, and I wonder where all the years went. I know that I lived them all. I have glimpses of how it was back then and of all my hopes and dreams. But, here it is... the winter of my life and it catches me by surprise...How did I get here so fast? Where did the years go and where did my youth go?
 
I remember well seeing older people through the years and thinking that those older people were years away from me and that winter was so far off that I could not fathom it or imagine fully what it would be like. But, here it is...my friends are retired and getting grey...they move slower and I see an older person now. Some are in better and some worse shape than me...but, I see the great change...Not like the ones that I remember who were young and vibrant...but, like me, their age is beginning to show and we are now those older folks that we used to see and never thought we'd be.
 
Each day now, I find that just getting a shower is a real target for the day! And taking a nap is not a treat anymore... it's mandatory!  Cause if I don't on my own free will... I just fall asleep where I sit!
 
And so...now I enter into this new season of my life unprepared for all the aches and pains and the loss of strength and ability to go and do things that I wish I had done but never did!
 
But, at least I know, that though the winter has come, and I'm not sure how long it will last...this I know, that when it's over on this earth...it's NOT over. A new adventure will begin!
 
Yes, I have regrets. There are things I wish I hadn't done...things I should have done, but indeed, there are many things I'm happy to have done. It's all in a lifetime.
 
So, if you're not in your winter yet...let me remind you, that it will be here faster than you think. So, whatever you would like to accomplish in your life please do it quickly! Don't put things off too long!
 
Life goes by quickly. So, do what you can today, as you can never be sure whether this is your winter or not! You have no promise that you will see all the seasons of your life...so, live for today and say all the things that you want your loved ones to remember...and hope that they appreciate and love you for all the things that you have done for them in all the years past!
 
"Life" is a gift to you. The way you live your life is your gift to those who come after. Make it a fantastic one.
LIVE IT WELL! ENJOY TODAY! DO SOMETHING FUN! BE HAPPY! HAVE A GREAT DAY!
 
REMEMBER:....
"It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.
"LIVE HAPPY IN THIS YEAR AND EVERY YEAR!
 
LASTLY, CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING:
TODAY IS THE OLDEST YOU'VE EVER BEEN, YET THE YOUNGEST YOU'LL EVER BE SO - ENJOY THIS DAY WHILE IT LASTS.
~Your kids are becoming you......
~Going out is good.. Coming home is better!
~You forget names.... But it's OK because other people forgot they even knew you!!!
~You realize you're never going to be really good at anything.... especially golf.
~The things you used to care to do, you no longer care to do, but you really do care that you don't care to do them anymore.
~You sleep better on a lounge chair with the TV blaring than in bed. It's called "pre-sleep".
~You miss the days when everything worked with just an "ON" and "OFF" switch.
~You tend to use more 4 letter words ... "what?".."when?"... "what?" . ???
~Now that you can afford expensive jewelry, it's not safe to wear it anywhere.
~You notice everything they sell in stores is "sleeveless"?!!!
~What used to be freckles are now liver spots.
~Everybody whispers.
~You have 3 sizes of clothes in your closet.... 2 of which you will never wear.
~But Old is good in some things: Old Songs, Old movies, and best of all, OLD FRIENDS!!
 
Stay well, "OLD FRIEND.

It's Not What You Gather, But What You Scatter That Tells What Kind Of Life You Have Lived.

Pope at Audience: ‘Tears Can Generate Hope’ - Zenit.Org

Grief in Many Disguises - PsychCongress.Com

Pope Says He Keeps Track of Death Anniversaries as Reminder Time Is Passing - Zenit.Org

Pope’s new point man on life muses about death - CruxNow.Com

Rapid Response for
SATURDAY, August 22, 2015

ON ABORTION AND EUTHANASIA: 'Can You Hear Me Now?"

GS

20 years later...A look back at John Paul II's encyclical, Evangelium Vitae (Video) - Zenit.Org


Rapid Response for THURSDAY, August 6, 2015

FROM THE BEGINNING OF HUMAN LIFE AT CONCEPTION TO ITS END, IS THIS THE OTHER "SILENT HOLOCAUST"?

GS

Pope Francis: Medical Science Cannot Replace Family's Affection - Zenit.Org

Rapid Response for  SUNDAY, June 14, 2015

Celebrating Our 1st Christmas With Alzheimers Disease: Laughter Allowed -Zenit.Org

Rapid Response for  SATURDAY, March 28, 2015

NOW FOR A BRIEF BUT VITAL PHILOSOPHIC INTERLUDE:

"LIFE IS NOT A JOURNEY TO THE GRAVE
WITH THE INTENTION OF ARRIVING SAFELY
IN A PRETTY AND WELL PRESERVED BODY,
BUT RATHER TO SKID IN BROADSIDE,
THOROUGHLY USED UP, TOTALLY WORN OUT,
AND LOUDLY PROCLAIMING:
'WOW! WHAT A RIDE'"

(author unknown, but very wise)

Rapid Response for TUESDAY, March 3, 2015

A very large percentage of health care takes place in the last 6 months of a person's life. Is that what you want?

GS


No living will? What you must know about end of life documents - Yahoo! Finance

Rapid Response for SUNDAY, December 22, 2013

A BOOK REVIEW:

"Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey Into The Afterlife", by Eben Alexander, M.D., Simon and Schuster, 2012.

Herein is proof that Dr. Alexander experienced what he describes in great detail. Here is evidence that many others have had similar experiences, all related to the innate and generally unreachable powers of our brains. Here are demonstrations that such experiences can make believers in the Spirit out of the most barnacled among us.

But it is NOT "proof of Heaven".  That reality will have to await the culmination of what we were taught in first grade by the Nuns: that life should be all about Faith, Hope and Charity.  Faith that there is One Supreme Being creating and embracing all; Hope that each of us, individually, is held within that embrace; and Charity as our means of realizing that Hope.

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HEALTHY NEW YEAR.

GS


Hubble Telescope
, GS

For our analysis and discussion of many current ethical issues facing us, individually and as a society,

please refer to the offerings entitled "Point and Counterpoint", GS

The following is a recently published book that advances the basic premise of this section:
"SPIRITUALITY IN PATIENT CARE: WHY, HOW, WHEN, AND WHAT", by Harold G. Koenig, 2nd edition, Templeton Foundation Press, 2007.  ISBN-13:978-1-5994-7116-7.
GS

Rapid Response Posting for January 11, 2009, GS

Regarding "When Jesus Came To Harvard: making moral choices today", GS

St. Paul, the Apostle: The mortar for St. Peter's "Rock", GS

Spirituality, GS

More Relevant Offerings:

25th Annual White Mass Sermon, Deacon Gerald Shaw


There was a young woman who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and had been given three months to live. So, as she was getting her things 'in order,' she contacted her Pastor and had him come to her house to discuss certain aspects of her final wishes.

She told him which songs she wanted sung at the service, what scriptures she would like read, and what outfit she wanted to be buried in.

Everything was in order and the Pastor was preparing to leave when the young woman suddenly remembered something very important to her.

'There's one more thing,' she said excitedly..'

'What's that?' came the Pastor's reply.

'This is very important,' the young woman continued. 'I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand.'

The Pastor stood looking at the young woman, not knowing quite what to say.

'That surprises you, doesn't it?' the young woman asked.

'Well, to be honest, I'm puzzled by the request,' said the Pastor.

The young woman explained. 'My grandmother once told me this story, and from that time on I have always tried to pass along its message to those I love and those who are in need of encouragement. In all my years of attending socials and dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, 'Keep your fork.' It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was coming...like velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie. Something wonderful, and with substance!'

So, I just want people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder, 'What's with the fork?' Then I want you to tell them: 'Keep your fork...the best is yet to come.'

The Pastor's eyes welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the young woman good-bye. He knew this would be one of the last times he would see her before her death. But he also knew that the young woman had a better grasp of heaven than he did. She had a better grasp of what heaven would be like than many people twice her age, with twice as much experience and knowledge. She KNEW that something better was coming.

At the funeral people were walking by the young woman's casket and
 they saw the cloak she was wearing and the fork placed in her right hand. Over and over, the Pastor heard the question, 'What's with the fork?' And over and over he smiled.

During his message, the Pastor told the people of the conversation he had with the young woman shortly before she died. He also told them about the fork and about what it symbolized to her. He told the people how he could not stop thinking about the fork and told them that they probably would not be able to stop thinking about it either.

He was right. So the next time you reach down for your fork let it remind you, ever so gently, that the best is yet to come.
Friends are a very rare jewel . They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. Cherish the time you have, and the memories you share. Being friends with someone is not an opportunity, but a sweet responsibility.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

A NICE STORY...NEVER OLD.

As we were taught in first grade by the Nuns, life should be all about Faith, Hope and Charity: Faith that there is One Supreme Being creating and embracing all; Hope that each of us, individually, is held within that embrace; and Charity as our means of realizing that Hope.

GS

A little girl went to her bedroom and pulled a glass jelly jar from its hiding place in the closet.

She poured the change out on the floor and counted it carefully. Three
times, even.. The total had to be exactly perfect... No chance here for mistakes..

Carefully placing the coins back in the jar and twisting on the cap, she
slipped out the back door and made her way 6 blocks to Rexall's Drug Store with the big red Indian Chief sign above the door.

She waited patiently for the pharmacist to give her some attention, but he was too busy at this moment.

Tess twisted her feet to make a scuffing noise. Nothing. She cleared her throat
with the most disgusting sound she could muster. No good. Finally she took a
quarter from her jar and banged it on the glass counter.. That did it!

'And what do you want?' the pharmacist asked in an annoyed tone of
voice. I'm talking to my brother from Chicago whom I haven't seen in ages,' he
said without waiting for a reply to his question.

'Well, I want to talk
to you about my brother,' Tess answered back in the same annoyed tone.. 'He's
really, really sick....and I want to buy a miracle.'

'I beg your pardon?' said the pharmacist.

'His name is Andrew and he has something bad growing inside his head and my Daddy says only a miracle can save him now. So how much does a miracle cost?'

'We don't sell miracles here, little girl.  I'm sorry but I can't help you,' the pharmacist said, softening a little.

'Listen, I have the money to pay for it. If it isn't enough, I will get the rest. Just tell me how much it costs.'

The pharmacist's brother was a well dressed man. He stooped down and asked the little girl, 'What kind of a miracle does your brother need?'

' I don't know,' Tess replied with her eyes welling up. I just know he's really sick and Mommy says he needs an operation. But my Daddy can't pay for it, so I want to use my money..'

'How much do you have?' asked the man from  Chicago .

'One dollar and eleven cents,' Tess answered barely audible.
'And it's all the money I have, but I can get some more if I need to.'

'Well, what a coincidence,' smiled the man. 'A dollar and eleven cents---the exact price of a miracle for little brothers.'

He took her money in one hand and with the other hand he grasped her mitten and said 'Take me to where you live. I want to see your brother and meet your parents. Let's see if I have the miracle you need.'

That well-dressed man was Dr.  Carlton Armstrong, a surgeon,
specializing in neuro-surgery. The operation was completed free of charge and it
wasn't long until Andrew was home again and doing well.

Mom and Dad were happily talking about the chain of events that had led them to this place.

'That surgery,' her Mom whispered.. 'was a real miracle. I wonder how much it would have cost?'

Tess smiled. She knew exactly how much a miracle cost...one dollar and eleven cents...plus the faith of a little child.

In our lives, we never know how many miracles we will need.
A miracle is not the suspension of natural law, but the operation of a higher law.

I know you'll keep the ball moving!

Here it goes. Throw it back to someone who means something to you!

A ball is a circle, no beginning, no end. It keeps us together like our Circle of Friends. But the treasure inside for you to see is the treasure of friendship you've granted to me.

Today I pass the friendship ball to you.

Pass it on to someone who is a friend to you.

MY OATH TO YOU...
When you are sad.....I will dry your tears.
When you are scared.....I will comfort your fears.
When you are worried.......I will give you hope.
When you are confused......I will help you cope.
And when you are lost...and can't see the light, I
shall be your beacon...shining ever so bright.
This is my oath.....I pledge till the end.
Why you may ask?....Because you're my friend.

Signed: GOD

On Life in Eternity - Zenit.Org


Dear brothers and sisters, hello!

This Sunday’s Gospel presents us Jesus contending with the Sadducees, who denied the resurrection. And it is precisely on this topic that they pose a question to Jesus to give him trouble and ridicule faith in the resurrection of the dead. They propose a hypothetical situation: “A woman had seven husbands, who died one after the other,” and they ask Jesus: “Whose wife will she be after her death?” Jesus, always meek and patient, first of all responds that life after death does not have the same parameters as life on earth. Eternal life is another life, in another dimension, where, among other things, there will be no marriage, which is linked to our existence in this world. The resurrected, Jesus says, will be like angels, and they will live in a different state that we cannot experience or imagine now. And this is how Jesus explains things.

But then Jesus, so to speak, launches a counterattack. And he does this by citing Sacred Scripture with a simplicity and an originality that fills us with admiration for our Master, the only Master! Jesus finds the proof of the resurrection in the episode about Moses and the burning bush (Exodus 3:1-6), where God reveals himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The name of God is connected to the men and women to which he binds himself, and this link is stronger than death. And we can also say of God’s relationship with us, with each one of us: He is our God! He is the God of each one of us! It is as if he bore our name. It pleases him to say it, and this is the covenant. This is why Jesus says: “God is not the God of the dead but of the living, because everyone lives for him” (Luke 20:38). And this is the decisive link, the fundamental covenant, the covenant with Jesus: he himself is the Covenant, he himself is the Life and the Resurrection because, with his crucified love, he overcame death. In Jesus, God gives us eternal life, he gives it to everyone, and thanks to him everyone has the hope of a life still more true than this one. The life that God prepares for us is not merely an embellishment of this present life: it transcends our imagination, because God continually awakens wonder in us with his love and with his mercy.

So, what will happen is precisely the contrary of what the Sadducees expected. It is not this life that illuminates eternity, the other life, the one that awaits us, but eternity – that life – that illuminates and gives hope to the earthly life of each one of us! If we look at things only with human eyes, we are brought to say that man’s journey runs from life to death. This is obvious! But this is only the case if we look at things with human eyes. Jesus stands this perspective on its head and says that our pilgrimage runs from death to life: to fullness of life! We are on a journey, on pilgrimage toward the fullness of life, and that life is what enlightens us on our journey! So, death is behind us, at our backs, not in front of us. Before us there is the God of the living, the God of the covenant, the God who bears my name, our name, as he said: “I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,” also the God with my name, with your name, with your name..., with our name. God of the living! ... Before us is the final defeat of sin and death, the beginning of a new time of joy and of light without end. But already on this earth, in prayer, in the Sacraments, in fraternity, we meet Jesus and his love, and in this way we can have a foretaste of the risen life. Our experience of his love and his fidelity lights a fire in our heart and increases our faith in the resurrection. In fact, if God is faithful and loves, it cannot be for a limited time: fidelity is eternal, it cannot change. God’s love is eternal, it cannot change! It is not for a limited time: it is forever! And to go forward! He is faithful forever and he awaits us, each of us, he accompanies each of us with this eternal fidelity.

Lord Walk With Me, by Reverend Joseph Castaldi


And Then it is Winter


Rapid Response for
SATURDAY,
April 27 2013

PEACE. GS

Pope Francis: Prepare Your Hearts For the Heavenly Homeland


Cardinal Sean O'Malley Lauds Defeated Suicide Bill, ZENIT News Agency

When an old man died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home in an Australian country town, it was believed that he had nothing left of any value.
Later, when the nurses were going through his meagre possessions, They found this poem. Its quality and content so impressed the staff that copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital.

One nurse took her copy to Melbourne. The old man's sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas editions of magazines around the country and appearing in mags for Mental Health. A slide presentation has also been made based on his simple, but eloquent, poem.

And this old man, with nothing left to give to the world, is now the author of this 'anonymous' poem winging across the Internet.

> Cranky Old Man
>
> What do you see nurses? . . .. . .What do you see?
> What are you thinking .. . When you're looking at me?
> A cranky old man, . . . . . .not very wise,
> Uncertain of habit .. . . . . . . .. With faraway eyes?
> Who dribbles his food .. . ... . . And makes no reply.
> When you say in a loud voice . .'I do wish you'd try!'
> Who seems not to notice . . .the things that you do.
> And forever is losing . . . . . .. . . A sock or shoe?
> Who, resisting or not . . . ... Lets you do as you will,
> With bathing and feeding . . . .The long day to fill?
> Is that what you're thinking?. .Is that what you see?
> Then open your eyes, nurse .you're not looking at me.
> I'll tell you who I am . . . . .. As I sit here so still,
> As I do at your bidding, .. . . . As I eat at your will.
> I'm a small child of Ten . .with a father and mother,
> Brothers and sisters .. . . .. . Who love one another
> A young boy of Sixteen . . . .. With wings on his feet
> Dreaming that soon now . . .. . . A lover he'll meet.
> A groom soon at Twenty . . . ..my heart gives a leap.
> Remembering, the vows .. .. .that I promised to keep.
> At Twenty-Five, now . . . . .I have young of my own.
> Who need me to guide . . . And a secure happy home.
> A man of Thirty . .. . . . . My young now grown fast,
> Bound to each other . .  .. With ties that should last.
> At Forty, my young sons .. .have grown and are gone,
> But my woman is beside me . . To see I don't mourn.
> At Fifty, once more, .. ...Babies play 'round my knee,
> Again, we know children . . . . My loved one and me.
> Dark days are upon me . . . . My wife is now dead.
> I look at the future ... . . . . I shudder with dread.
> For my young are all rearing .. . . Young of their own.
> And I think of the years . . . And the love that I've known.
> I'm now an old man . . . . . . .. And nature is cruel.
> It's jest to make old age . . . . . . . Look like a fool.
> The body, it crumbles .. .. . Grace and vigour, depart.
> There is now a stone . . . Where I once had a heart.
> But inside this old carcass . . . . .A young man still dwells,
> And now and again . . . . . My battered heart swells
> I remember the joys . . . . .. . I remember the pain.
> And I'm loving and living . . . . . . . Life over again.
> I think of the years, all too few . . .. Gone too fast.
> And accept the stark fact . . . That nothing can last.
> So open your eyes, people .. . . . .. . . Open and see.
> Not a cranky old man.
> Look closer . . . . See .. .. . .. .... . ME!!

Remember this poem when you next meet an older person who you might brush aside without looking at the young soul within. We will all, one day, be there,  too!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Do No Harm? Should Patients Still Trust Their Doctors?, ZENIT News Agency (w/ Intro. from GS)

Carrying Out End-of-Life Refusal Orders in a 'Culture of Refusal', ZENIT News Agency (w/ Intro. from GS)


Dealing with Death, ZENIT News Agency


Church Billboards

"THIS PIECE HAS A GREAT DEAL OF RELEVANCE TO THE LAITY AS WELL"

What's Right with the Catholic Church #57, GS

"When we walk with Jesus, we never walk alone", Rev. Joseph Castaldi


"Pope: Nothing to Fear About the Future", ZENIT News Agency


"Pope Offers Joy of Heaven", ZENIT News Agency

God's Rosebud, Unknown

Pontiff Notes What's New in New Commandment, Zenit

Michael Gartner Story, Michael Gartner

Gotta Love this Judge, Unknown

Just Stay, Unknown

What's Right with the Catholic Church #22, GS

Too Busy for a Friend, Unknown

Rick Warren Interview, Unknown

Aging, Unknown

Life After Death, Various

Where God Wants Me, Unknown

A Christmas Blessing
, Unknown

Forwarded Jokes, Unknown

The Power of Gratitude, ZENIT News Agency

The Language of Love, ZENIT News Agency

Cherokee Indian Legend, ZENIT News Agency

The Best of Everything, Unknown

Having Fear But Not Affraid, ZENIT News Agency

Two Glasses of Wine, Unknown

Devil, ZENIT News Agency

The Light of Death, Nancy Gibbs

The Wise Old Man
, Unknown

No Time to Wait in Accepting Death, Says Bishop, ZENIT News Agency

Irish Blessing, Unknown

Shout Christmas, Unknown

God in School, Unknown

Sea Prayer, Unknown

George Carlin Message, Unknown

Sand and Stone, Unknown

Jesus and Heaven, Rev. Joseph Castaldi

Three Holy Men & A Bear, Unknown

The Present, Unknown

Physicians View Religiosity as Factor in Patients' Health, Judith Groch, Senior Writer, MedPage Today
Father Cantalamessa on Calming the Storm, ZENIT News Agency

Document Deals With "Family and Procreation"; Echoes Teachings of "Humanae Vitae", ZENIT News Agency

Some of the mysteries of Fatima now revealed..., ZENIT News Agency

The Longer You Look, The More You See", Unknown
Pastor's Prayer, Joe Wright

"Love", Various

Bioethical Principles of Medical Practice Provided by the Linacre Institute of the Catholic Medical Association

"Here's a useful prescription from our Holy Father on how to deal with this materialistic 'mad, mad, world'."
Pope Warns Catholics Against Risks of Accumulating Material Riches

Famous Prayer, Reinhold Niebuhr

“Hope", Father James Keller, M.M.

“WHEN WE WALK WITH JESUS, WE NEVER WALK ALONE,”
Homily by Rev. Joseph Castaldi, Pastor of St. Joseph Parish, New London, CT, Sunday, July 6, 2003

The $20 Bill, Unknown

"Care for the Spirit," from Hospice of Southeastern Connecticut

Healer's Prayer

Prayer

HOW TO PLANT YOUR GARDEN FOR DAILY LIVING, (Author Unknown)

1) Plant three rows of peas: peace of mind, of heart and of soul.
2) Plant four rows of squash: squash gossip, indifference, grumbling, selfishness.
3) Plant four rows of lettuce: lettuce be faithful, be kind, be patient, really love one another.
4) Plant turnips: turnip for meetings, for service, to help one another.
5) Plant Thyme: thyme for each other, for family, for friends.

Water freely with patience and cultivate with love.  There is much fruit in your garden!  You reap what you sow.

"Life, long or short,
Is a journey towards Paradise;
There is our fatherland,
There is our real home;
There is our appointment!
Jesus is waiting for us
   In Paradise!
Never forget this supreme
and consoling truth."
        Pope John Paul 11 (June 14, 1979)
 

"We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love another."
        Jonathan Swift, "Thoughts on Various Subjects", from "Miscellanies" (1711)
 

"Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction."
        Blaise Pascal,  Pensees, No. 894 (1670)
 

"I have learned...toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet strange I am ungrateful to those teachers."
        Kahlil Gibran, "Sand and Foam" (1926)
 

The following is a thought from Ronald Reagan:

"A young man whose father is a carpenter grows up working in his father's shop. He has no formal education. He owns no property of any kind. One day he puts down his tools and walks out of his father's shop. He starts preaching on street corners and in the nearby countryside. Walking from place to place preaching all the while even though he is in no way an ordained minister he never gets farther than an area perhaps 100 miles wide at the most. He does this for three years. Then he is arrested, tried and convicted. There is no court of appeal so he is executed at age 33 along with two common thieves. Those in charge of his execution roll dice to see who gets his clothing -- the only possessions he has. His family cannot afford a burial place so he is interred in a borrowed tomb. End of story?

No, this uneducated, propertyless young man who preached on street corners for only three years who left no written word has for 2000 years had a greater effect on the entire world than all the rulers, kings and emperors, all the conquerors, the generals and admirals, all the scholars, scientists and philosophers who ever lived -- all put together. How do we explain that?

...Unless he really was what he said he was."


The following is a reading from "Toilers of the Sea,"  by Victor Hugo:

"I am standing upon that foreshore.  A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean.  She is an object of  beauty and strength,  and I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come down to mingle with each other.  Then someone at my side says "There!  She's gone!"  "Gone where?"   "Gone from my sight, that's all."  She is just as large in mast and spar and hull as ever she was when she left my side; just as able to bear her load of living freight to the place of her destination.  Her diminished size is in me, not in her.  And just at that moment when someone at my side says "There!  She's gone!" there are other eyes watching her coming and other voices ready to take up the glad shout "Here she comes!"  And that is dying."
REMEMBERING
Go ahead and mention my child,
   The one that died, you know.
Don't worry about hurting me further.
   The depth of my pain doesn't show.
Don't worry about making me cry.
   I'm already crying inside.
Help me to heal by releasing
   The tears that I try to hide.
I'm hurt when you just keep silent,
   Pretending he didn't exist.
I'd rather you mention my child,
   Knowing that he has been missed.
You asked me how I was doing.
   I say "pretty good" or "fine".
But healing is something ongoing.
   I feel it will take a lifetime.

AMEN


A thought to live by:

"God does not call us to do great things, but to do small things with great love."
        Mother Teresa (1901 - 1997)


A Promise:

"Do not let your hearts be troubled.  Believe in God, Believe also in me.  In my Father's house there are many dwelling places.  If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?  And if  I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also.  And you know the way to the place where I am going."  Thomas said to Him, "Lord, we do not know where you are going.  How can we know the way?"  Jesus said to him,  "I am the way, and the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me."
        John 14:1-6

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