Saturday, August 10, 2019

Sometimes ya just gotta

Welcome visitors!
This will only come as news to those among you who have been away for the past month, or who come and go by way of University Boulevard.  To you who use the Woodmoor Circle entrance, you already know.  We re-paved the ramp!
Well, to say we “re-paved” does not quite do justice to the job; we replacedwhat had fairly disintegrated under snowplow pounding and above ground that was so waterlogged it shifted and slid.  As some parishioners pointed out to me, it had become urgent.
Originally the contractor had scheduled the work for this week – Friday, the day after the Holy Day.  But something in their schedule changed and with two days notice, they came in mid-July.  It was the day I left for vacation.  
The pavement grinder chews up what was left
of our old ramp and puts it in the truck for removal.
Before I left, I went out to greet the workers and take some pictures for you.  Then somewhat delayed, I loaded my car and climbed in just as the pavement-grinder was leaving the site on its flatbed truck.  The low bed scraped and stuck on the hump in front of the carport, and there I sat, trapped in my running car with this heavy machinery between me and my vacation.  You can imagine what went through my head.
But the driver liberated the flatbed and even got it over the hump at the front of the driveway, but in the process did damage that got us a brand-new speed bump, too, all the better for moms in their Catholic Assault Vehicles to “catch air” over as they race their precious cargo to drop-off.
The finished product -
can you resist speeding on it?
The finished product is smooth as glass, and glorious. Imagine what a whole parking lot of such pristine pavement would be like!  But to “keep it real,” you should know that the driveway work cost just shy of $20,000.  Now, mentally calculate two things: first, how many driveways worth of work are there in our paved lots?  And second, how many weeks of your weekly offerings would it take to pay for just this driveway?  As the nice man says on the radio: not a sermon, just a thought.  
It’s still steamy summer and urgency is blessedly absent from most of our days, but don’t neglect the Holy Day this week for the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Just as it falls to kids to remember their moms’ birthdays, and spouses to observe their wedding anniversaries, so does it fall to us to keep holy this day the Lord has made so by the great things he has done for His Holy Mother, and for us.  We freely offer love, which when ordered toward God is called worship, to Him who has revealed what our bodies and our lives are for, in His plan: glory.  Look at it as our freshly-paved ramp – to heaven.  See you Thursday!
Monsignor Smith

Saturday, August 03, 2019

Powerhouse

Find the clean energy source in this photo.
Don’t you hate it when someone else is minding your business?
It is such an intrusion, an invasion, an uninvited insertion of someone else’s expectations into our lives and our privacy.  Few things are more galling and few things are less welcome.  Always true and universally recognized, this is something we can all agree on.  
Until we need help, that is.  Funny, isn’t it, how welcome someone else’s interest becomes only when we decide we want it?   But so often we are unwilling or unable to communicate our needs, to ask for assistance, or to find the people who could help us.  This, I am pleased to let you know, is precisely why this parish exists: to mind one another’s business!
It could hardly be more appropriate if, instead of a spire, atop our church we had a towering brick smokestack straight out of the industrial revolution; and if, somehow, the work of prayer were to emit visible exhaust  (non-polluting, of course); then, we would be able to see our prayers rising before the Lord, like clouds of radiant smoke billowing heavenward, spreading across our community at all hours of the day and night.
This parish is a factory of prayer, a union of mutual effort and energy, roaring with the good and generous exchange of spiritual strength, and welded together by our communion in Christ.  Whether you or I realize it at any given moment, whether we have asked for it or not, whether we know the names of the people or not, whether we want it or not, people of this parish are praying for us, for me and for you.  
More effective than the common currency of the European Union, the sacrifice of prayer is a shared medium of work and wealth that binds us together in spirit, and gives us the strength we need to function in the face of adversity or uncertainty.  These prayers absorb some of the impact of pain and punishment on us, and magnify the good and the grace that nourishes our joy.  Never seen or handled, much less taxed, prayer has no expiration date, but neither can it be hoarded.
As manager of this operation, I get to point this power-production in the direction where it is most needed.  When people tell me they’re praying for me, I thank them, and tell them to keep it coming – because I burn them fast!  I try to bring every intention of which I have been told, or that I have observed, or that I can only guess, to prayer – my own, and our common prayer of the Sacred Liturgy.  
Still, there are the entrepreneurial souls out there who persist in praying on their own, or in small groups.  They too direct their exertions toward brothers and sisters and their needs and intentions, whether they know of them directly, or not. Rooted in Eucharistic unity, these dedicated pray-ers can sense and respond to circumstances and situations that are fully known only to the mind of Christ.
These people are messing about in your business and in mine, in the most powerful and productive way possible.  Thank God!  Let us pray for one another – Oremus pro invicem– and keep these fires burning.
Monsignor Smith