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Scenes from my first Christmas

Yes, this is my First Christmas.....as a Deacon of course. Fr. Andrew reminded me and the entire congregation of that, along with the story ...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

How are you going to do it?

Tonight, I'm sitting back and reflecting on what has been happening in the last few days. On Sunday I was preparing to head to the hospital for weekend Ministry when I met up with Fr. Mark who asked me to come with him to the prison instead. I thought for just a moment and said sure, I guess I shocked him by the response and he said he was just kidding. If I haven't mentioned it before Prison Ministry is something that challenges everything inside of me. I have been in there before and I've seen the cold hard stares that just pierce right through you, despite that I guess it was the fact that I could go with someone I respect greatly that made respond yes so quickly.

The time spent in the hospital was again, awesome. I met people that I knew and respected and just being there for them was a gift to me. This was probably my shortest stay there and even though it was, it was as special because of the faith that I could see and feeling the Presence of Our Lord.

Monday was a normal day spending time early in the morning with my son, taking him to meet up with his ride to work. We talked about work, sports, and people, it was nice. I received some tough news that a friend battling cancer had passed away. He was a man with many talents and passions and shared those with many youths in our community. His love and inspiration will never be forgotten and will be deeply missed. Rest in Peace my friend. I worked hard to get our deliveries done so I could leave early and spend more time with Terry who was off that day. We had supper with family, and just being with people you love is such a tremendous gift.

Today I worked alone, I have my assistant out of work until next Tuesday and we have been very busy in the store. I had a customer who is also a parishioner come in to pick up paint and he asked me "how are you going to do it?"  Are you going to quit your job? That question doesn't ever seem to go away. I assured him that I love my work and that I need to work to support my family. Now to answer his question, I told him that for many years I have volunteered in many organizations and that the commitment for a Deacon is to serve 10 to 12 hours a week. Again he asked, "but how?" He also mentioned that there was so much to do and he felt that it should be a full time job. I had to pause and reflect and assure him that with the help of the Holy Spirit and mostly if God is willing I will serve to the best of my talents. I realize that the need is great, but I've learned that balance must be in order to serve willingly, faithfully, and joyfully. I realize that there maybe times I spend more than the hours required, but I also know that we all need to do it together.

Thinking about this a little more, the next time I think I will answer....................."How are we going to do it??"

Adieu et Bonsoir mes Amis,


Sunday, June 26, 2011


I have been keeping a journal since the start of the year and I have been enjoying and faithful to it for the most part. Writing a journal has become a regular part of my day that at many times I can't wait to jot down what is stirring inside of me. This week I wrote down "Ch,ch,ch, changes" reflecting the changes that Our Lord is working through me in prayer, in Scripture, and in my everyday life.

Last night I celebrated the graduation of a young man along with all of my friends and his family. I was told the news that our Associate Pastor Fr. Steve was moving away soon to be Pastor in another parish. This morning I got up early to do Morning Prayers in the Chapel and Fr. Steve joined me before Mass for reflection and confirmed that he would be leaving soon. I told him we would miss him, but I was also happy for him to meet the newest challenge in his life. I also thanked him for the support that he gave Mike and I in the past year. As Candidates we are so blessed to have had the tremendous support of everyone in our community.

After Mass there was a little discussion on Fr. Steve leaving and it dawned on me that there is only one constant in our journey, and that is the Love and Presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ. So today ironically on the Feast of Corpus Christi I am reminded that we are all One no matter where we live.

Adieu mes Amis,


Saturday, June 25, 2011

"Where have you come from and where are you going???

This week has been very interesting to say the least. My assistant manager is out recuperating after her surgery and will be out for a few weeks and so mental fatigue is setting in because of trying to get everything done in the store.  Prayer time in the morning has been my time to settle down and pace myself a bit for the week.  Thursday morning I began by reading the Scriptural passages for the day. I began with Genesis 16: 1-12, 15-16 and I didn't get very far before I put down the Bible and had to reflect on what I read. Our class in Old Testament brought out a new love and appreciation for our roots in faith. Surprisingly this was a passage that I had read before but didn't appreciate it as much as I did on Thursday. The Lord asked Hagar " Where have you come from and where are you going?"  I'm still reflecting on this as I write this posting, and it speaks to me and stirs my heart. Even though our group of men are now candidates I feel that we are aspiring to be more, to know, to love, and to want more. Any time I have struggled I have always gone back to the basics from where I came from, and even today I have to sit back and think of where am I going. Am I ready to face what will come before me, and am I ready to trust in the Spirit? I know I can't do this alone!

Friday was extremely special for me. As usual I began the day in prayer and this day being the feast of St. John the Baptist so much was about to hit me. Again, as usual I began with reading the Scriptural passages for the day and then I read the Word Among Us. The reflections from the WAU would open my heart and my mind again to something that I have overlooked. I read about Zechariah and how "He still needed more training in faith so that his light could shine brightly!"  Once again as I read this line I had to pause and reflect on how this also applied to my journey and for all of us aspiring to be Deacons. For all those times where people have asked why does it take so long, this line opened up everything inside of me and the journey and the training is needed so that we through Our Lord can also shine brightly!

I have been able to recite the Canticle of Zechariah for almost a year now by memory, and now after really understanding the immensity of this Canticle I was brought to tears as I could feel how Zechariah felt and that his first words after being silent for some time was a prayer to God and a prayer to his son St. John the Baptist. These words will no longer be words that I can recite, they will always remind me of a man who through his struggles finally realized the Love that only God can give us.

That morning I got a call from one of our customers to give him a quote on some materials that he will need. He then asked me if I am enjoying my free time off of the school board, and I told him that I am now studying to be a Deacon in the Church. He asked which Church and I told him the Catholic Church. He mentioned that he came back about three years ago and he didn't like a few things, a talk of collections and how much to give, and the Priest telling him how to vote. I couldn't really remember at any time this happening but this is what I said, first of all you are always welcome to come back, and then remember we are there celebrating Jesus who died for us and that is why I celebrate with our brothers and sisters. Unfortunately I was busy and alone in the store, so I left the rest in God's hands as I said goodbye.

That evening I drove over to the Church to say Evening Prayers in the Adoration Chapel and there were two gentlemen there praying and alerted me that the Chapel and the Church would be locked up in 15 minutes. I said it shouldn't be a problem and even though it went quickly I enjoyed so much being in the Presence of Our Lord. Together we said some prayers and then we sang the Tantum Ergo, one of the few Latin hymns I enjoy. It was very nice in a small group praying and when we left we had a discussion on our faith and the Church. The gentlemen visited a shrine in Quebec and loved it except for the Mass, which he questioned whether it was a Mass. He also mentioned that the Church has not been the same since Vatican II. One of the three present just said goodnight and I was left with the man who questioned these things. I shared with him that I honestly believe that the Mass was valid, and that I felt that Vatican II actually is bringing us closer to God and the Early Church. I had to respectfully again disagree with him and leave it that I believed this was God's will.

Yeah I know, did this all happen in just two days? You bet!

This week I'm trying to leave it all into His Satisfaction!

Adieu mes Amis,


Monday, June 20, 2011

"According to MY Satisfaction"

I was recommended by a friend to read "The Examen Prayer, Ignatian Wisdom for Our Lives Today by Timothy M. Gallagher, OMV" I have mentioned in the past that I really don't like reading too many books, but I was moved to order it. I have had this book for several months and wanted to wait until our first year of studies were over. Needless to say it was time to get going. I have just started, and it isn't a book I want to rush through and say here is another book done! No, I'm just reading a little at a time and when something hits me, and it usually does I just stop and reflect.

Well, today is the day and something very appropriate for me moved me. I have also said that at times I'm struggling with Evening Prayers, so today I got out early from work and stopped into the Adoration Chapel to pray and be in His Presence. After completing my prayers I continued my reading of the Examen Prayer and thus we have the title of this posting "According to MY Satisfaction".  The MY isn't written the same way in the book but looking back it is probably the way at times in my life that I see it written. I want to know, I want to feel, I need answers, and all according to MY satisfaction. When I'm in the MY time of my life, I get impatient, frustrated, and I'm sure you all know what I mean.

I couldn't continue reading any further, as this thought from St. Ignatius was drawing me in to reflect on my life. I'm a driven person, who looks for answers and finds ways to solve problems. I also couldn't help but think about what Steve had said in one of our classes that at times we like to package up the Lord and try to figure HIM out.

For the rest of this week I'm going to try to slow down, relax, let the Spirit in and then wait for the Lord to move "According to HIS Satisfaction!"

Bonsoir et Adieu mes Amis,


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sunday...A day for Fathers.... And How does the Spirit Move YOU?????

Today is a very special day for me the Church and especially all fathers. First I want to congratulate all fathers out there. May God continue to bless you and may you always be an example of Christ's Love out there.

A couple of weeks ago I was asked to be lector at today's 9 am Mass and I was glad because, Terry had a Mass said for her Dad. Fr. Mark was the Celebrant and once again he has such a wonderful way to reach out to all of us. He reminded us about how important it is to recognize our first basic prayer... In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit on this celebration of Trinity Sunday. He mentioned that many years ago after Vatican II there were changes made by some to God the Creator, the Redeemer and the Vindicator. He mentioned how these words were describing an action and not the Person of God. He then focused on something he (Fr. Mark) has spoken to me before. He said..." I'm sure most of you have had something happen in your life that you looked back and wondered how you were capable of doing this! This could have happened in something you said, something you did, or just being there or present for someone." I just get so much out of his homilies and to even hear this again hasn't bored me at all. There it is again, the ministry of Presence. A very basic ministry that we are all called to do with the gifts that we are given.

It seems that whenever I attend Mass at St. Anne's Church the parishioners are always reaching out to me after Mass. They offer their support, they call out to me and want to talk, I get to share in the grief of a lost one, and most of the time I realize that the Holy Spirit is moving me to answer God's call to be there for someone. Today all of these events occurred and again I just let the Spirit move me.

 After Mass as a family & friends we all traveled to Jackson to the Red Fox Pub for Sunday Brunch. We were 12 people celebrating Fathers day, but most of all being there for each other.

Looking back at this day I know ask you...... "How did the Spirit Move YOU today?

Bonsoir et Adieu mes Amis!


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Back to Ordiary Time!

With the Spirit of Pentecost still with us all, we now move into ordinary time. Are your lives ordinary? I know my life isn't, as we all deal with daily issues that are far from the ordinary. This week has been an emotional roller coaster for me. I am finally getting over the sinus infection and enjoying the outdoors again, I celebrated the graduation of my niece and nephew last Friday by handing their diplomas to them, Terry is working again, my Bruins won the Stanley Cup, and then Friday came.

Yesterday my emotions were all over the place. I started the weekday like I have been since Holy Week, morning prayer in the Adoration Chapel. My partners didn't join me so I prayed alone and that was good. We then move to work where my assistant will be on leave for surgery to help her hear better. We were fine most of the day but the fear of the unknown lingered. I trust in my Lord, but like Peter I worry too. My sister called and asked for prayers for my brother in law who has prostate cancer. I ask all of you to please remember these two people in your prayers.

Then my best friend called me and shared two events, the death of a mother of a very dear friend in RI and also that her daughter was giving birth to her first grand daughter. Wow, this day was far from ordinary at all.

So how do you change things up when it gets tough? Well, Terry said let's have a fire and invite people over. We started a fire and that helped, next my buddy and his wife showed up and then his children popped by to say hello (the graduates). It was great just being with people.

This morning I got up, cleaned up a bit, and headed to the Adoration Chapel to do Morning Prayers and just be with the Lord. Morning Prayers have not been the issue for me, Evening Prayers pose many challenges. Life gets busy, issues come up, and fatigue is one of them. One night this week I remembered either reading or hearing from someone how Evening Prayer is a challenge. I had one night that I convinced myself that I was too tired, and then a thought came to mind to just do it! I relaxed and said my prayers and really enjoyed the time. I still feel challenged as this morning I did both last nights and this mornings prayers.

I guess that's the way it is in Ordinary Time!

Adieu mes Amis,


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

" And you will reap a harvest of Transformation "

Something has been lacking in my life this spring, something I really enjoy doing with Terry. Allergies have prevented me from working anywhere near the garden. Other than the perennials, the weeds, and Terry's Begonias it is rather wild  in my back yard. So with relief finally on its way I will be spending some time in the garden this weekend, attacking the weeds being first on the agenda. Yeah, you hear it all the time that there is something magical about working the soil, and it is also a hot topic in the Bible.

This morning as usual I gathered with my friends for morning prayer. I have been getting up earlier and I have been there to spend some time reading the Bible and also the Word Among Us. Today's reflection (I'm sure you have already guessed) was about sowing and harvesting.  One phrase got me to stop and reflect "and you will reap a harvest of transformation!" Wow! There was a flood gate open with so much rushing inside of me. All I could think of is this all starts by planting a tiny seed.

No wonder Our Lord would use this to describe so much about our faith. I was thinking about how much work is needed just to prep the soil, plant, nurture, weed, a seasons worth of effort to produce something special. In typical fashion when harvesting came around I would always share my good fortune with joy.

The Lord plants the seed of faith in us and through his graces we can, and will receive this harvest of transformation. Think about your lives and how much you have changed by working your faith, nurturing it, weeding out the bad habits in our lives, and then look back and see the results. Then we need to share our good fortunes and joy with everyone we meet so they can harvest a transformation in their lives.

This reflection had me all pumped up today. I really couldn't wait to share this with all of you. At work I have been weeding out some attitude adjustments that were needed. The retail world has changed and will continue to change, it can get frustrating if you let it or you can embrace the change and be happy. Today I embraced change and I was definitely better for it.

Bonsoir et Adieu mes Amis,


Sunday, June 12, 2011

" Et avec votre Esprit "

Yeah, I know two in one day! Just call it the power of the Spirit moving me. The Roman Missal as we are well aware of will be changing later this year. For some of us the changes will be drastic and yet for those who are bilingual in the Latin or Romantic Languages the changes will not be so drastic.

As you all I know I grew up in a French Canadian parish in Berlin and the Mass was offered in both languages. While growing up there were more French Masses than English. So when the Celebrant said "Le Seigneur soit avec Vous, our response was et avec votre Esprit!" In english we would respond "The Lord is with you, and also with you!" And now we will be responding "and with your Spirit!" This is an excellent translation from the french language.

So in this time where we are focusing on the Holy Spirit the new Missal came to mind and also how the Spirit is moving me. Yesterday I received a call which was a little bit about business but mostly a call to congratulate me on the Rite of Candidacy and he offered his prayers and support. He encouraged me to persevere in my journey and to remember that I must be reliant on the Spirit to carry me along. I was so moved by his love and support that I realized that I really need everyone to carry me along this journey. My family, friends, parishioners, and the entire Church is carrying me and all my brothers along this journey. Needless to say this call was very emotional and moving for me.

I wish you all a Blessed Pentecost today and let's us all remember to be ready for that wind, and fire to enter into us and moving us along!

Adieu mes Amis!


"....And the flames grew dimmer!"

Today as we celebrate Pentecost I wanted to prepare myself for Mass and discovered that the Holy Spirit will come to you in different ways. Today I took my Mom and Dad to Mass at Holy Family Church in Gorham. My folks love to go at 11 am Mass to break up the day. I prepared for Mass by using the Lector's workbook to review the readings and look over the commentaries. The commentaries have really opened up my eyes to new insights into the Word of God. For those of you who have not done this in the past, you're missing out on something special, and for those who are you know what I mean.

Fr. Mark my Pastor was the Celebrant and he never disappoints in his homilies. Today in my opinion he recalled a story that hit a home run with me. The story goes like this......
"There was a man who was very, very active in his parish and was extremely well respected by everyone. One day he stopped going to Church, something was said and something wasn't done that he thought should have been done. Soon the Pastor of the Church noticed he hadn't been attending and asked someone why? They said, something was said and something wasn't done as he thought it should have been. The Pastor decided that he would go to see him. It was a cold and crisp fall afternoon and he knocked at his door, and the man invited the Pastor in. They both sat in the living room by the fireplace that was burning brightly. They didn't exchange any words at all at first and then the Pastor stood up and walked to the fireplace and pulled one log away and placed away from the fire. He then returned to his seat, again without exchanging any words. The fire was noticeably not burning as bright without the additional log. The man finally said "OK, I understand I'll be back to Church in the morning!"
This is a typical method for Father to reach his parishioners, and today I know he got me. You all now how much Terry and I love fires and the symbolism was exceptional. When we are all one, and truly one in the Lord our hearts and our spirit burn brightly and shines for all to see. We are many parts and each one of us is necessary to let Our Lord burn brightly in this world. When we lose one, we lose so much!

Finally one more exercise for all of you. This again I took from today's homily. Breathe in, breathe in deeply the Spirit and then breathe out. Let's get out there and let the Spirit that burns in our heart shine out there!

Adieu mes Amis,


Friday, June 10, 2011

"And who do you say I am?"

This will be my final reflections of the final retreat of the year. This day was a complete day for me from start to finish. Getting up early to see that another beautiful day was on tap, and what a day it would be. We begin with Morning Prayer and this is how our life should be, waking up and being in His Presence.

Next on the agenda is our final session with Dean & Sue. This one for me personally would even top what happened on Saturday. Deacon Arnold was the person chosen to be the experimental subject. The question was raised " who thinks they really know Deacon Arnold? " We had I believe five volunteers to go up and look at Deacon Arnold and tell him what they thought of him, what were his unique talents. The moment was as humbling for me as it was for him. Wow! Two comments came back afterwards, Deacon Arnold said "my wife told me, you better not doubt yourself ever again," and then Steve mentioned that this event reminded him of when Jesus asked the Disciples "Who do you say that I am?"

We were then instructed to break down in small groups and do the same with each other. You know what? It's really awesome to be able to tell someone you care about exactly what you love about them, but it isn't very easy to receive it. It honestly wasn't very hard sharing what what I  thought of each of them. Jim mentioned how as a group, this was the right time to do this. In a years time we have formed a very unique bond, that remains strong. Tears were flowing, choked up feelings, and there was just an indescribable warmness in the air. We are very close to getting rid of the name tags, except that our leaders who come to help us, really need them to recognize each one of us. Like a family we easily recognize each other and we love spending time with each other.

Finally, the Rite of Candidacy! I remember three times in my life that I had the same feelings,when I received my Eagle Scout Award, when I graduated in 1978 from High School, and the day of my wedding. I was alive and I wanted to take it all in. I just couldn't get enough of each moment and Jim reminded me that I was smiling throughout the Mass. I generally don't hide my emotions very well, when I am excited every one will know it. Deacon Greg was beaming and his smile stood out for me. Each and every person there made this day special, getting to meet the families, friends, and sharing this with my brothers and sisters ( all of you!)

We are no longer "Aspirins", we have publicly announced and committed our selves to this journey. Let the good times roll!

That evening my family gathered at Olive Garden in Concord to break bread and celebrate this amazing day. We even saw Eric and his wife after we left!

The ride home was quiet and reflective, again just taking in what happened that day. This is it, and let us all allow the Holy Spirit to continue to guide us on our path!

Many thanks to my Brothers and Sisters in Christ, all who have contributed to this Blessed Day in their own way, those who made this journey just to be there for us, the prayers, the kind words, and just the Love of Christ that is so strong.

Adieu mes Amis,


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Let me take you on a journey!

Another reflection of this past weekend and we are at day two of the final retreat. We all awaken to such a wonderful and beautiful morning. Living in a solar challenged region of the state I can't help but enjoy a very beautiful sunny day. The day will even be better when I will be joined by my love!

There are a few highlights of this day, the weather, a campfire that evening (pictures available later), and a unique exercise that I had never done. Dean and Sue separated the men from the women and we were told to bring whatever we wanted to relax and be comfortable. Some brought pillows, a few joked around that maybe some of us would fall asleep, and I think as far as the men were concerned we all found a comfortable spot.

We were asked to close our eyes and listen to the music playing softly, we were then asked to tighten up each and every limb and gradually relax them, and then the guided journey began. We all traveled to the Holy Land and met with Our Lord and Peter, and I also thought of St. Paul. We were asked to gaze out and imagine being with them talking with them. We were then asked to look at moments in our lives both pleasant and very unpleasant. We were asked after each time to face Our Lord and look into his eyes and speak with Him.

I know that I was extremely moved with many emotions including tears; both of joy and of remembering the times I was hurt. Several times I had to wipe away the tears and the best moments was sharing them with Our Lord. My relationship with Jesus was brought to a new level and it seems that every time we gather as a group I come away with something special. This day didn't disappoint at all.

Terry and Elise joined us later that afternoon and I'm sure Mike felt the same way that I did, "we are now complete." I have been so blessed to have someone so special that loves to share this journey with me. She really loves to gather with us all, and I sense a very strong bond with the ladies. When I arrived on Friday I kept hearing "Where's Terry?"

Well Saturday night several groups of people gathered in their own way, some sitting and sharing time, others playing cribbage, and some of us gathering at a campfire and having Reese's Smores. Yeah, they are awesome, and you'll all have to join us the next time to find out how great they are. Terry and I were very excited and loved sharing time with those who gathered with us.

Well tomorrow will wrap up the reflections of the weekend. I will do my best to post my final reflection tomorrow, as I have a graduation to attend and I will be handing out my final diplomas to my niece and nephew as a former member of the Berlin Board of Education.

Adieu mes Amis,


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

First Night!

Friday night was a first for a few reasons for me. First of all it would be our first night of our weekend retreat and there definitely was excitement in the air when each and everyone arrived. This first Night would be special and also cause some anxiety to me. I was scheduled to lead our group in evening prayer. I have been doing morning and evening prayer for some time now, but evening prayer wasn't something that I have done regularly. Actually the only time I have been doing evening prayer has been when we gather in community.

So during the week I was going through my book to get directions on what was going to happen that evening. I looked through the guide and put ribbons on the pages necessary, and I was hoping for the best with some anxiety.

Prior to the start of the prayer I talked to Deacon Greg and he told me that Jay would be helping everyone with the selections of hymns, he actually said " I think it's time we hear something else besides Holy God We Praise Thy Name!"  I said " great, because that's exactly what you would have heard if I had to choose the Hymn!"

Terry wasn't there to help me that night, so Mike volunteered to help me out. Thank you Mike! Deacon Greg has strategically placed himself in front and like a great coach, he was there to help out and guide us to make the experience as painless as possible. Painless it was, as the experience turned out to be great. So for those of you who have not lead a prayer yet and are nervous at all I have one word "Relax". We have a great coach to offer pointers and guide us through this, and the experience was great!

The first night went well and afterwards, looking back the anxiety was needless. Will I ever worry about something again? You bet! I'm just that way and I'm sure I'm not alone in this.

The first session for our retreat was lead by Dean & Sue from Maine who were just another wonderful group of people who are helping us on our journey. They offered some great points that Terry and I need to discuss, number one would be retirement. What will I be doing when I retire. We haven't discussed this yet, but it will soon be a hot topic.

The first night and our last weekend before our formal and public commitment to be Candidates for the Permanent Diaconate.

Adieu mes Amis,


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

We are One!

This Day was just Awesome!
We are 23 and yet we are all One in our Lord!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Let's get busy!

What I love the most about being on vacation is not having to worry about time, especially having to keep a tight schedule. Every morning our small group gathers to reshape our lives and gather to pray to get our lives in order. Mike joined us this morning and I couldn't help but think about the movie Of Gods and Men. I was thinking how often we would see the monks in prayer and those moments were the focal point of their lives. Prayer time gets me going and communal prayer is just so awesome. I would recommend everyone to gather regularly with a few friends.

I attended Mass with my folks early today with plans to visit my daughter later. Fr. Mark was the celebrant and he has such a remarkable way of getting the Good News across to all of us. He spoke about people with their heads in the clouds and those who were well grounded. He talked about how the Apostles were just staring into the clouds after the Ascension of Our Lord. Not only is he verbally skilled in his homilies, he demonstrated much to the amusement of the congregation. He reminded us that some people look back at the Church of 50 years ago, and some worry about what the Church will be in 50 years from now. He then said we must learn to trust in the Holy Spirit like the early Church did and let the Spirit move us today and keep ourselves moving towards the Lord and grow the Church.

He really got me, because this was one of the issues I wrote about in my last paper. That there are many things we can worry about, dwindling attendance, abuse problem, moral relativism, money, etc., but we must not lose focus on getting our work done by keeping ourselves busy in the Lord. We need to look to today, take care of today, not be so nostalgic nor worry too much of the future, we need to let God's plan unfold through the Holy Spirit. The time is now.......

"Let's get busy!"

Adieu mes Amis,


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Ministry of Presence!

I've spent the last two days trying to get ready for this coming weekend. It begins again with morning prayer at 6:15 am and it is part of our time to get spiritually fit. Yeah, spiritually fit. We are only three men but the thought of being the one to miss out really motivates us to gather together. After morning prayers we recited the rosary together and now our day truly begins. I'm really loving this vacation week, where I don't have to rush to get anywhere at all.

I then stopped by to see my mechanic (a brother knight)  and asked if I could get the oil changed in my car, it was a little overdue. They gave me a ride home and he would call me when it was done. I then called to see a doctor asap to work on my health, allergy, congestion, lack of sleep. The office scheduled me that day with Dr. Cardenas (a brother knight). We got the call from the mechanic and we took all three dogs for a walk to pick up the car. Terry went in to pay and asked if I had already paid. I said "no", and she said that the bill was marked paid and he told her to put the check book away.  The knights have been awesome helping me out this year, I guess this was just another measure of support that he could provide. God Bless you!

Soon it was time to go see the doctor. After I registered I met a friend who is also a parishioner and spoke with her for a while about her upcoming move. I told her I was happy for her but also sad to see them leaving Berlin. It was great just being there for her and offering her some support in this time of transition. As I sat down to reflect on this, all I could think of is how often and without notice that this has been happening to me. It also reminded me of what Fr. Mark called "Ministry of Presence" that just happens when you just don't expect it to.

I met with Dr. Cardenas and the appointment went very well and I'm already getting some relief from the sinus infection that I have and allergies. I picked up Terry after the appointment to get the medications prescribed and we walked around the store waiting for them to be filled. While waiting I couldn't help but think about the Book of Sirach that speaks of Doctors, Nurses, and those who dispense and provide us with the medications to heal our bodies. These are all gifts from God and we need to learn to trust in them. I usually procrastinate from seeing the doctor and as I look back I definitely wasted a week of suffering that was needless. I guess I need to read that passage again.

Today we have already recited our morning prayers, I had reflection time and I attended mass this morning. I love to wear bright colored clothing (Terry hates this) and as Fr. Mark was heading back to the Sacristy he touched my shirt and said " Does this have batteries?" You got to love a priest with a sense of humor. I met with him afterwards to light up the room, congratulate him on his anniversary, and pick up an alb for Sunday. 

I'm back home and next thing is to get ready for a long overdue hair cut. Tomorrow I plan to see my daughter in Portsmouth to wish her a happy birthday and then come home and get ready for this weekend.

Enjoy the day and be ready for anything that comes your way!

Adieu mes Amis,