2 Roads. To 2 different Places.

(Give This to a 20/30 Something)

Just west of Des Moines, Iowa, Interstate 80 hits a fork in the road. If you’re going to San Francisco you keep on I-80 heading west. If you want to go to Houston you bear south on I-35. Two roads heading to two different places. Where do you want to go?

It’s like life. Where you want to go determines which road you take. But here’s where we get caught. We don’t know what to think about life. “Look,” we say, “I just want to be happy”. “Whatever makes me and my loved ones happy, that’s what I want.”

Okay. But what does our real happiness consist in? Not surprisingly I suggest our key to happiness is God. Not that we chose Him . . . rather He has already created us to be His children. We are Children of God. Let’s start there.


The God Factor is critical in how you experience life. Things go off in two very different directions depending on what you believe about God and whether this God has a purpose for your life. See what you think…

Here’s what happens if there is no God

(or if there is a God, one who is indifferent to human history).

  1. Nothing means anything. Everything is up for grabs as to what is important or valuable or worthy of caring for. There is no goal or standard by which any thing can be judged as “good” or “bad”. It doesn’t matter what you think, there’s no final truth to any thing.
  2. Since there is no supreme or ultimate goodness that guides our actions, then “lesser goods” will compete for our attention. (Money or possessions of course. Leisure and pleasure are pretty attractive too).
  3. We become potential “threats” to each other if what you and I both want is in limited supply.
  4. Things like sickness or poverty or tragic happenings can only be seen as absurd (something like a bad joke). Flee these things. Pity those who encounter them.
  5. Any longing or fleeting feeling that our lives have ultimate meaning is an illusion and should be treated like Santa Claus with our children. (However let these continue as long as it keeps them happy).
  6. The noble sentiments that we do have (patience, generosity, brother/sisterhood) leave pretty quickly when life punches us in the nose. Kindness evaporates when you’ve been robbed or lied to.
  7. Our best hopes for our children would be that they were skillful hunters in getting what they want in a world that doesn’t care.
  8. About the best thing we can wish anybody is “Good Luck”.

Pretty grim wouldn’t you say? Yet that is the way of the human heart without God. You see we humans were MADE FOR God. Made to enter into relationship with Him and without Him . . . . we lose our purpose for existing. We become, as renowned theologian Romano Guardini put it, “clever animals”.


But there is a God and he does have a purpose for you with your life.

Here’s what happens when you discover God in your life.

(These follow 1-8 above)

  1. Everything means something. The fact that something “is” gives it purpose in the plan of God.
  2. The “lesser goods” become what they were intended to be—joys of life that point to a loving God who wishes our happiness.
  3. Loved by God (and revealed in Christ), we become brothers and sisters to each other NOT “threats” or rivals.
  4. The hard things in life (sickness, etc.) have been redeemed. They too now serve God’s purpose. (We only know this by Jesus Christ who took suffering and death to himself as part of God the Father’s plan of salvation.)
  5. Longing for peace or fulfillment in life is a grace put there by God to remind us of our true home. “Our hearts are restless until they rest in thee Oh Lord.” St. Augustine.
  6. Noble sentiments for humanity again are graces from God calling us to ACT on behalf of our common good as Children of God.
  7. Our best hope for our children is that they would grow to be good and kind and happy in “doing what is right and just”. And that they too would come to know the presence of God in their life.
  8. Our best wish for someone? “Go with God”?

Sooo…Go with God!

Fr. Tim


Public Policy Issues

In February our diocese reminds us of the need to continue to educate ourselves about public policy issues. Each year an issue is thoughtfully presented to area Catholics to consider in light of our rich faith.

Legislation has been introduced in New York State that would authorize assisted suicide by allowing doctors to legally prescribe a deadly dose of pills at the request of a patient with a terminal diagnosis. This would allow the direct and intentional taking of a human life. There will be petitions at all exits of the church this weekend. These petitions will be hand delivered to our representatives urging them to focus on palliative care and pain management for all those who are terminally ill. Please consider signing this important petition as well as reading more about this issue at www.dor.org


CMA Wrap Up: 1,489 No Shows.

So here are the numbers. Bishop Matano asked Holy Trinity Parish to give $142,500 for this year’s Catholic Ministry Appeal. 589 households (down from 596) have responded by so far pledging $132,400. This leaves a little over $10,000 to go to make our goal.

Lastly, 28.3% of the parish participated in the CMA. (That’s lower than the diocesan average for parish participation which is 33%)

Our goal ($142,000) is determined each year using a diocesan formula that considers, 1. The number of registered families in the parish, 2. Average mass attendance, 3. Average Sunday collection, 4. Average yearly household income in this region.)


But those are just numbers. The Catholic Ministry Appeal is about people, people in need. We can’t solve all the needs in the diocese here at Holy Trinity. But together, we can make a huge difference in the lives of people we may never meet. Once again, can I show you where your contributions go?

** Seminarians study for priesthood. (yearly tuition averages over $40,000 times 13 sems! That’s $520,000 needed per year.)

** La Casa, safe housing for migrant workers in Wayne/ Ontario Counties

** Food and clothing shelters throughout the 12 counties of our diocese

** Pro-life ministries helping expectant mothers find alternatives to the tragic choice of abortion by providing counseling, medical assistance, baby needs, and support along the journey.

** CYO (coaches and “CASE” training to insure safety for minors)

** Maintaining professional staffing at the Pastoral Office to help parishes with expertise in building maintenance, religious education programs, Youth and campus ministry

** Provides help to college campus ministries to insure a Catholic presence for young students far from their home parishes.

** Financial aid for tuition assistance for Catholic schools.

And much much more!!


So what do we still need? Holy Trinity needs about 100 households from the 1,489 who have not yet stepped forward to lend a hand in this huge parish responsibility. If you’ve read this so far and have not contributed . . . won’t you please help? It might begin with a conversation with your spouse or children, something like “what shall we give to help the spiritual and physical needs in our diocese?”

But then what? How much do we give? Each of us must decide. We priests need to give more for two reasons: 1. we know better than you all the good the CMA does – so we have to help. 2. I get free room and board at Holy Trinity (thanks to you!), so I’ve got some money to give to those who don’t have it quite so easy.

How about you give what one month’s cable TV costs you? That would be a sign to God that the needy are as important to you as watching your favorite TV show.

In the end I know you will do what you are able. God has blessed us with so much. As always (this giving thing never ends!) We need to give back in proportion to what each has received.

This is such a generous parish. I have no worry that we will do our duty.

Bless you each day.

Fr. Tim


2017 High School Retreat “Mercy and Grace”

High School RetreatCamp Stella Maris
Friday, March 24, 7:00 pm. – Sunday March 26, with closing Mass at 11:30 am.

Take a weekend full of laughter, learning, lots of food and recharge for Spring!
Registration forms can be found on the parish website and in the parish office. Cost for the weekend is $75.00 and includes overnight accommodations and meals. Registrations are due to Mrs. Sleeman by Sunday, February 26th.

If you have any questions about High School Youth Ministry, please contact Helen Sleeman at hsleeman@dor.org

College Care Packages

Care PackageDo you know a college student who could use a mid-winter pick-me-up? Would you like them to receive a box full of goodies from their parish family? Registration forms are available on the parish website and in the Parish Office.

Registration includes a request of $5.00 to cover shipping costs and are due to Helen Sleeman by Sunday, February 26th. On that date, the youth group will be getting packages ready for shipping! What a great way to share some love this February!


Lord I want to see. (Again!)

I think I was around 12 yrs. old when mom and dad took our family on one of our rare family vacations. We went to Monmouth Cave in southern Kentucky. It is a magnificent cavern deep deep in the ground filled with stalactites and stalagmites with beautiful crystalline gems flashing brilliant colors.

There are many memories I have of this trip. One which sticks out the most, and one that still speaks to me fifty years later, is the sight of a school of brown trout swimming in an underground stream that flowed through the cave. Generations of these fish had lived on the floor of this darkened cave – – – dark as in pitch black.

The park service had installed lights along a portion of the underground stream allowing visitors a brief glimpse of the fish who otherwise lived in total darkness. Over time something very strange had happened; with absolutely no light penetrating the cave these fish had lost their eyes.

How strange it was to see that milky white membrane over what should have been a dark round fish eye. Over the generations of darkness, nature had seen the futility of sight and basically closed up shop. Use ’em or lose ’em!


You see, of course, the analogy to faith here, right? Faith is a way of seeing how God is present and acting in the world and my life. When we were children it was easy to see God’s handiwork.

Remember?. . . snow flakes, (not one of them the same), the stars at night, the ocean, thunderstorms, babies, kittens, flowers, ice cream, clean sheets, stories at bedtime, Christmas Eve, strong parental arms around them . . . all these wonderful experiences lead a child to know there is a God (most times through you, but sometimes from the Holy Spirit himself.)

A child is a lover of God by nature. It’s what they do. (“Unless you receive the Kingdom of Heaven like a little child you shall not enter.”) Lk 18:17.

But then . . . well, you know. We grow up; get “real”. We see and hear things that shake us, changing the way we view the world. Along with this we discover a part of our- selves that can do bad things. We look around and see a world that doesn’t pause when we stumble and fall. Good people we’ve known have fallen prey to lies and tricks and been changed in the process . . . they’ve “toughened up”.

And God sort of disappears. We can’t see him for the darkness around us. In fact, like the fish we can lose the eyes to see. The sentiment of faith becomes a distant childhood memory of our First Communion or setting up the Nativity Scene. We’ve let darkness put a membrane over our eyes.


So what do we do? Why not do what the blind man did in Luke’s gospel. “He called out, ‘Jesus, have pity on me!'” Lk. 18:35ff. And Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man answered “Lord I want to see again.” To which Jesus replied, “See again! Your faith has saved you.”

It’s really that simple. Acknowledge the fact that you’re blind to the things of God. You can’t see anything but the world and its cynical message—“Good Luck Pal.”

The next step can sometimes feel like falling off a cliff. When, from the center of your being, you gag forth the words, “Lord I want to see again.” Lord help me see you in my life and in my spouse and in my work and in my child and in my trials and . . and . . and.”

God cannot resist this prayer. In time – – – persist! You will hear the Lord, “See Again.”

You are an irreplaceable image of God’s goodness.

Fr. Tim


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19 to 2110

We’ve often mentioned the different states in life that contain their own special vocation: the single life, married life and consecrated religious life (priesthood/sisterhood/brotherhood). Each “state” in life presents different ways of living out the one vocation we all have – – – to bring the love of Christ to the world.

Here at Holy Trinity we’ve kept careful record of the different vocations God has called forth from the people. So let’s see . . . in the last 80 years, 19 men and women from our parish have been given the vocation to the religious life as a priest (6) or sister (13). (5 men have also been called to the diaconate.)

Guess how many men and women have been called by God to the married life? Over 2,100. Why so many more married persons than religious life? God wants more families. God wants more children in His Kingdom! And that means He wants more husbands and wives.

Marriage has to happen before there’s anybody to even think about become a priest or a sister!

Marriage is the state in life that suits most people. It is the life that touches the deepest longing of the human heart — where we learn to love and be loved. Here we receive the wonderful gift of family which gives us that necessary human experience of ” belonging”. (I’m so glad my mother and father followed God’s plan for their life. My life was given to me because of it.)

It is a personal consolation to me to know that my life as a priest was the result of an invitation from God. I hope and pray that our young people here at Holy Trinity will begin to see in their fiancé not just a beautiful, nice, fun person, but see in them God’s gift. And to take strength and courage that it is God’s idea that they love each other and live their lives together.

This is the strength that comes to us in our “vocation”. It’s not just our personal choice of how to live life — it is God’s invitation to share life with someone hand picked by the Holy Spirit for you. This trust in God’s intention for a married couple can strengthen them when life proves difficult.

Do you begin to see the strength that our faith brings to a marriage? Girls, look for a young man who goes to mass. Boys, the mother of your children could well be in line for communion ahead of you.

Lastly . . . young people . . . pray for your future spouse . . . that God will keep them safe up to the day you meet them for the first time!

I imagine God asking husbands and wives at the gates of heaven. “Did you love her?” “Did you love him?” “Like I showed you in my Son?”

God loves you more than you know.

Fr. Tim


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Date Night . . . Remember?

Most married couples will remember a time early on in their courtship and marriage when it was actually painful to be apart from each other for more than half a day. No other relationship, work project, hobby or sports team could match the desire you had to be with that person.

Remember that?! Some would say those were the “Good Old Days”. But now that you two have married, children, mortgages, health insurance, and credit card debt can take most of your attention and efforts.

Your spouse “will understand”, you say. “After all, we’re a team. We want the same things.”

Okay. But every once in a while “The Team” needs to take a break. You two need to take time to remember what you saw in your spouse. To remember what told you that she (he) was “The One”.

So guess what? . . . Holy Trinity is throwing a date night. We’re calling it the “Art of Marriage”. Here’s what’s going to happen.

Saturday evening, February 4th, (after the 4pm. Mass) all married couples are invited to a cocktail hour and catered dinner in Murphy Hall. (We’ll make it nice — it won’t look like a gym!).

At the table (sit with friends if you’re coming as a group) you’ll find some questions about your “Good Old Days”. How you met? What was your first date? What did your proposal look like?

Everybody has a story! There’ll be a chance to hear others and (if you wish) share yours. The conversation is a blast. Really. It just sort of starts rolling, and story after story gets told amidst much laughter.

A wise seasoned married couple will close the evening with a few words of wisdom and encouragement for us all. Finally, we’ll ask for your advice about future events for the Art of Marriage.

Married couples, young and old (but especially YOUNG), please come for dinner that night. It’s going to be fun. You may meet up with the one you fell in love with back then!!

We need you to register for the event. Check inside this bulletin for directions. Oh, I almost forgot. The whole night: food, drinks, fun . . . $20 a couple!!


Breathing Space . . . For High Schoolers. Tonight!!

You heard last week about Breathing Space for high school students.

It’s a once a month get together of teens to hear presentations and have conversation about some of the pressing issues young people face at this time of life.

Tonight’s topic ——————- God, where are you? (finding God in my life)

Fr. Paul English will share how he found God as a young man and give you some pointers on how you can find the Lord too.

We’ll say some prayers for you and then . . . . PIZZA!!

Come join us tonight. Bring a friend.

Fr. Tim


Light a Candle . . or . . Curse the Darkness?

There is a prayer league called the Christopher’s who have as their motto, “It’s better to light one candle than to curse the darkness”. What a wonderful motto. I bet you can explain its meaning without much coaching . . . spread the light, not the dark.

But what does that mean in practical ways? It means there is a choice to be made in many of our human activities, a choice between goodness and meanness, or truth or lies, or generosity and selfishness.

There are of course “neutral choices” or choices of preference (the soup you eat or the toothpaste you buy) that don’t spread light or darkness. But think for a minute how many times in the day we are confronted with opportunities for goodness or evil in the twinkling of an eye.

Do I:

Say something positive about a person or join in the litany of faults that others enjoy telling?

Watch something funny or human or beautiful on TV or search out programming with ultra violence, fear or lewdness?

Try to find something hopeful in a difficult situation or enjoy describing how terrible things are?

Do I wait for the smallest opportunity to “be offended” or do I take any personal slights as coming from someone whose day is probably harder than mine? Someone who needs my patience.

Do I take the old comfortable path of minimal effort or do I try to make something beautiful or excellent?

Do I give a person the benefit of the doubt or do I presume their motives are small and mean.

Do I enjoy getting angry and being hurt? or do I try (not always successfully!) to ignore or forgive?

Do I grab that parking spot or let someone else have it?

Do I enjoy a whining (“It’s just not fair!”) or do I try to point to what’s wrong in a way that people are invited to correct (“Why don’t we try this? Let’s try to make this better”)


Did you know that the light is more powerful than the dark? (Sometimes we wonder, don’t we?) Think about it though – what is darkness but the absence of light. Darkness is removed by lighting a light. Try that at home. Wait till dark. Make sure all the lights are out in the room. Then light a single candle. The entire room catches the light however dimly. See it flicker on the wall! Darkness has no power over light . . . so long as it shines.

“Dear God, help me to learn to love your Light. Help me to learn that I carry your Light. Oh God, use me to spread your Light.”

Bless you always,

Fr. Tim


Friendship with Jesus. Got One?

I remember a long time ago, part of my seminary preparation sent me to a summer chaplain school in a county hospital in Dallas, Texas. There were 13 in our chaplain class. 12 Southern Baptists/Assembly of God and one Catholic (me).

We would meet daily for intensive meetings about the patients we were working with and then we’d break for lunch. It was during our lunches that we’d learn more about each other and what our personal faith traditions taught. You can imagine the attention the Catholic guy got!

Comments like: “You Catholics like statues!” Or “You worship Mary.” Or “the Pope is as important as Jesus.” Or “Just go to mass and you go straight to heaven right?” But the one question that we spent most of our time on was “Do Catholics accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior?” “Did you accept him Tim?”

It really made me step out of my Catholic world to see what these Baptist classmates knew in their bones as little children . . . “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” A real, living, present person . . . my friend Jesus. “Yes”, I said, but they made me dig deep inside to realize this
friendship.

Many Catholics are a little slow to answer “have I accepted Jesus into my life”? “Do you mean, do I love God? Of course I do. I go to mass. I say my prayers. I try to live right. Does that mean I have a personal relationship with Jesus?”

I would say “yes”. You’ve got the basics covered there. . .loving and serving a God we cannot see. However, I think the question goes a bit further than that, asking in a sense, is this relationship with Christ PERSONAL? Does it bear the signs of a relationship? Is there a familiarity with Jesus that one would have in a dear friendship?

Is there at times an emotional level to your speaking with God? (For example: “Lord you know I can’t stand the thought of losing my friend, (neighbor, associate, job etc.)” Or “Please help me today, I just don’t know what to do to help my child.” That’s a personal relationship.)

What if I don’t recognize these feelings in my relationship with Christ? Have I accepted Jesus as my personal Savior? Don’t be too hard on yourself. Remember, you HAVE a relationship with Christ GIVEN to you in baptism. You are a child of God and you are invited to call God your Father. It’s a gift. Accept it.

The other personal feeling stuff comes naturally to anyone who loves God and tries to do what is good. If my chaplain friends had asked me “do you always FEEL Christ’s friendship?” I would have to answer “no”. Feelings come and go. There are times when we are filled with affections toward those we love. At other times things feel dry and everyday. There is nothing wrong with that. It’s just how life is.

But there is one infallible way to determine whether we have a personal relationship with Jesus – – – – how do we treat our neighbor in need? Why is this the measure (and not some spiritual feeling)? Because Jesus said so.

“As often as you (fed, clothed, visited, comforted) these little ones, you did it for me.” MT. 25:31ff. And, “Whoever has not loved a brother/sister whom he has seen cannot love God who he has not seen.” 1 John 4:20. In other words Christ takes it PERSONALLY when we care for our neighbor. Kindness to them is kindness TO ME says the Lord.

Loving our neighbor is essential to having a personal relationship with Jesus as Lord and Savior. God has a grace for you to know his friendship. Ask for it.

God bless you in these Christmas days.

Fr. Tim


What Child is This?

Somehow in my youth I thought it would all work out. I mean good people, working together for the common good, would make this world a happy place.

Surely, if we just put our minds to it, we can solve the problems that cause so much pain in the world. Hunger, poverty, war, hatred – are all fixable if we just work together.

I don’t believe that anymore. Even on our best days, with everyone on their best, there’s just something in the human condition that causes us to mistrust, to cheat, to bully, to steal, whatever. As the cartoon character Pogo said some time ago, “We have met the enemy; and he is US.”

Others, coming to this same conclusion about humanity, have turned to an anxious life of getting what they can. The more tender hearted of us tend to despair.


But something outrageous has happened today.

God, who created this world and saw it to be “good”, has come to make “all things new”. He has seen how deep the wound is in the human heart (a self-inflicted wound) and provided the most fitting remedy imaginable.

The short of it is, God is going to give us a new heart. He’s going to give us a heart like His. How will this happen? (Here’s the mind boggling part). God became a human being. God took a human heart (God’s human heart .. think of it!) when he was born of Mary. His human name is Jesus. Today we celebrate his birth.

He has the only remedy that seems deep enough and true enough to break the chains of the selfishness that grips the world and each one of us. You see this God baby came to this world to die.

Why will he have to die? Because God the Father wanted his Son’s heart to take all the sickly, selfish, violent stuff of humanity into itself and die. So that sin has finally met its match – – – a love that is willing to die at the hand of the hater for the purpose of revealing the love of God for humanity.

He “became sin for us. He who knew no sin.” (2Cor. 5:21) And he took sin and death down with him when he died. Death died in Christ. It’s a kind of love never seen before.

God of course will raise this noble heart of Jesus to a new life in the Resurrection. And here’s where humanity gets a new heart. We now are reborn by the grace of God. By adoption we become Children of God and begin a life “in Christ” seeking God’s will to do.


This changes everything. There is something really new here. Now there is Hope. Hope that, with Christ (ONLY with Christ- – – we’ve tried everything else!) . . . with Christ we are reconciled to one another since we have all been loved and saved by the blood of Christ. He lives in you. He lives in me.

We are brothers and sisters in Christ who loves us all. Let’s let the world know.

But first, on this Christmas Day, we gather at the manger to hear the baby’s sweet breath and touch his little toes. Too soon he’ll be taken from Mary to walk the Mount of Calvary.

There he will open the heart of God for all to find their home.

A blessed Christmas to you and your loved ones.

Fr. Tim


You’re in my pew . . .

Let’s get ready. Let’s make this place shine. You see there’s going to be a great celebration. Everyone in Webster and beyond is invited. Let’s celebrate Christmas here in our house at Holy Trinity. Let’s make it a total GIFT to everyone. We’re going to need everyone’s help to make this a proper celebration

So how shall we get ready?

  • Music? Monica, are the choirs ready?
  • Church decoration? Beautiful!
  • Lectors, Eucharistic Ministers, Greeters, Ushers . . . ready?
  • Fr. John, Fr. Tim do you have something to say for the homily? Check. (We hope!)

How about you? Are you ready to welcome 3,000 people to the Christmas masses? This is your home. These are our welcomed and honored guests. Holy Trinity needs you to be ready to host this great event. What’s your role? You are the voice and smile and handshake of our parish. Sooooooo . . .

What NOT to do:

  • Glare at people whose children are fussing and cranky. We’ve all been there.
  • “You’re sitting in my pew,” is not the way we want to welcome people.
  • Make people climb over you so you can keep the aisle seat. (No, move in! It’s a gracious way of saying “glad you are here.”)
  • Roll your eyes when people’s talking bothers you.
  • Feel superior when something happens that lets you know “these people never come to mass”. Give them a look that tells them “I’m here every week and you’re NOT!”
  • Leave church right after you receive Holy Communion. Chew the host in the parking lot. (No, stay with us.)
  • Be in a hurry to get out of the parking lot. (It’s Christmas! Take your time. Enjoy even the inconveniences of the day).

What TO DO:

  • “Merry Christmas!” is totally appropriate before mass begins. Say it to everyone, not just your family.
  • Expect total strangers to be sitting all around you. Think of them as your cousins whom you’ve not seen for a while. Let them know somehow how glad you are for their being there. Compliments before and after mass . . . “Oh, your children look wonderful. What a nice family you have.” Or more general, “That hat! Christmas come early?” . . . you’ll think of something.
  • Give up on sitting for mass. That’s right, let someone take your seat . . . a Christmas gift to a total stranger. It’s what we do.
  • Expect things to be a little different than a usual Sunday at Holy Trinity. More people (yea!), more congestion, more standing, more of everything. It’s Christmas!!
  • As was said, be the face of Holy Trinity for those around you. Your smile, your handshake, your readiness to give up your pew, and your singing are all part of the gift this parish wants to be for those who join us that day. Who knows what your kindness might begin in them.
  • We want people to experience Christ. Chances are it may be through you.

So ready, set, here we go.

God bless you very much this week.

Fr. Tim


Gaudete . . . Means “Joy”.

Webster defines joy as “a very glad feeling.” Theologians, as usual, complicate things by splitting joy in two: sensible joy and intellectual (spiritual) joy.

Sensible joy is easy to describe. Think of finishing your favorite meal done just the way you like it. Or hearing your favorite song by the original band; the smell of lilac on a sunny spring day. Joy may be either the action itself (the tasting, seeing, feeling) or the pleasant state that ac- companies the achieving of this good thing (. . . how’s that for over analyzing?!)

Spiritual joy is different. It may have similar feelings attached to it (gladness, cheeriness) but it goes deeper than something pleasing to the senses. It has its origin in an awareness of a “Good” that has been obtained through virtuous action.

For example a swimmer exerts themself for months to train for the big meet. They experience joy when they see their efforts have paid off with their best time ever. The joy is in the awareness . . . “do you see what you have done? Your hard work has really paid off. You really are a fine swimmer! Let’s celebrate!!”

OR, you stuck with someone who was going through a hard time. Everyone was down on this person and anyone who hung out with them (you). You resisted all urges to run away and you never wavered in your friendship. Suddenly you both realize that this is what friendship really means. This is a joy!
Spiritual joy usually comes with some effort of the will, some “doing the right thing”. With little effort there is little joy.


So what are your moments of joy? Of laugh out loud happiness? A sense of wonder at this world’s beauty so strong it makes you choke up? Here’s a few of mine. What are yours?

Moments of Joy:

** High School Senior year. Beating previously undefeated Gilmore Academy in triple overtime. I didn’t play one second of the game but the joy it brought on the bus ride home showed me God is real and present.

** 21 yrs old. Standing on the 17th tee at Durand Eastman, suddenly knowing that Rochester is where I wanted to live my life.

** Handel’s Messiah. Pure joy. Also Samuel Barber’s “Adagio”. I can die in peace.

** A dream I had about God a long time ago. I can still feel what it was like.

** The change of seasons brings joy (and a sweet sadness sometimes which is a weird kind of joy too).

** Many memories of friends and their great kindnesses.

** The times (there have been many) of uncontrollable, fall on the ground, close to tears, laughter.

** Being a priest and seeing God touch people’s lives.

** Watching children be children.

** Knowing (because Christ said so) that it’s all going to turn out all right. Love wins. Darkness and hatred are on the losing team. Let’s spend this life doing the things He asked of us. This purpose in life brings joy.

Of course all moments of joy are simply a foretaste of the joy the Lord created us to experience . . . . the vision of the limitless beauty and goodness of God.

“Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has it entered the mind what God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Cor. 2:9

Two weeks to go ……………… wait ……………. Pray.

Fr. Tim