Thursday, February 26, 2015

Center, Hamtramck, Michigan USA

Daily, almost without exception, the word, center, comes to mind.

Listening to others and myself, moderation is at that center of self, one's soul.

It is.

Moderation.

Philosophers always speak of balance, moderation, center.

And, like the balancing "teeter totter," praying some, working some, socializing some, eating some, greeting some, giving, and forgiving. . .

Life is about the center.

That's what life seems to be about in the interfaith center I just opened in Hamtramck, Michigan where 42 per cent of the residents are from Yemen, Banladesh, Africa, Poland, Bosnia, and more.

Keeping centered with moderation beyond extreme poles of behaviors is key in such a diverse town.

Moderation.

Balance.

Center between the two poles of the extremes where one best not go in his or her activity.

Now, for some still time.

For balance beyond a frenetic pace.

Moderation.

Praise God for this way of being always.

All ways.

So be it.

Amen.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

SUNDAY'S SERMON FOR LENT: JESUS THE BELOVED

Genesis 22: 1-18    Psalm 116       Romans 8:31b-34             Mark 9: 2-10

Beloved son.

Listen to him.

Jesus knows.

Jesus knows about dying and rising.

He knows about death.

These 40 days of Lent we walk his sorrowful way of the cross.

We do.

We meditate on death.

Our own death also.

Joining our eventual death with that of Jesus' dying.  We mark that on Good Friday.

When thinking about death - my own - I change.  Things change.

Relationships change.

Some are for a reason.

Others for a season.

And, some for a lifetime.

With God, my connection with God lasts forever.

With some other relationships, some were for a moment in time.

They passed.

Death has a way of  putting what matters in perspective.

What maters most comes to mind.

Things pass and are not forever.

However, my walk with God lasts long.

Forever.

It does.

Today's Gospel changes my entire attitude about life, death, and what matters most.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

From Ashes . . .



From ashes to Easter.

Christians, particularly, Catholics, mark the "springtime" season of Lent, an Old English word, and, a forty-day period of penitence, fasting from food, and more, and intense charity of giving, (for)giving, and outreach.

For me, personally, this Lenten time through the beginning of the Mass of the Lord's Supper at the Gloria on Holy Thursday, the day before Good Friday, will be morphing and mending.

To track progress, I intend to write down in a journal how grateful moments each day fill the life of others, and, myself, for example.

After all, an attitude of gratitude is a pure prayer.

That was noted on a plaque in my boss' office at Sacred Heart Rehabilitation Center in Memphis, Michigan where I was an assessment and addictive behaviors counselor.

An attitude of gratitude.

I like that.

Thanksgiving is what Eucharist, from the Greek word, "eucharistan" means.

We become who we receive, the body of Christ, according to Augustine of Hippo, present-day Africa.

And, Lent  is enhanced by my fasting, daily praying of Liturgy of the Hours, and, other devotionals, and of course, the source and summit our the Christian life, the Mass, as the second ecumenical Vatican Council II, notes.

Bring on Lent.

Only to be outdone by Easter rising of Jesus the Christ!

Thanks be to God!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Hamtramck, Michigan

Caniff Street.

At I-75.

Interfaith Center.

2231 Caniff, 48212.

People.

Awesome.

Engaging.

Yemen.  Bangladesh.  Bosnia.  Polish.  More.

Diverse.

Engaging.

An encounter each day at Pope John Paul II Park on Jos. Campau.

More.

Be enriches.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Sunday's Sermon (Homily) on the Word of God and Cleansing, Renewal and God Purifying Leprosy, More

A story in contrasts.

That's what rests in Leviticus 13 and today's Gospel from Mark (1:40).

The disease is identified in Leviticus 13 in order for the leper to be declared "unclean."

That means the leper is ritually impure and excluded from the worship of God.

Lepers "dwell apart, making his abode outside the camp."

Disease does not fit with the ideal of purity in Leviticus 13.

However, Jesus does not simply identify impurity but becomes the source of purity.

Unlike the priest, Jesus has the power to make the leper clean and regenerate him back into the community of Israel, thanks be to God.  (The Greek word for Eucharist, what we do here at Mass, like Jesus at his Last Supper, is "eucharistan," meaning, "thanksgiving.")

Jesus invites the leper to show himself to the priest.  His role is reaffirmed so as to ID the difference between purity and impurity, thanks be to God.

Yet, Jesus' role and mission is higher, that is, to heal and bless with wholeness and holiness in order to be part of God's beloved community again.

Sin is like that.  It "misses the mark."

God's standard as told in the Ten Commandments and the laws of love of Jesus the Christ.

We Catholics, Christians, believe that in the sacrament of baptism, Jesus does for the leper what he does for us.

We are healed of spiritual infirmities to be placed among the People of God again, a phrase the second Vatican Ecumenical Council (1962-65) repeatedly calls parishioners, Christians, the flock fractured as it is in so many ways today in one's own heart where all dissension and sin starts.


"I will do it.  Be made clean,"   Jesus affirms that to each of us with the faith to ask for forgiveness and freedom from the enslavement of sin and death.

Like perhaps the most faithful follower of Jesus, Mary, mother of God, points the way and steers us to the Way, Truth and Life in the abundant life.

Now, let us go our way always submitting like her and the leper with a faith deep enough for Jesus to heal sin and  make  us whole.


Thanks be to God.

For our help is in the Name of the Lord!








Friday, January 30, 2015

Town Hall Hears about Global Alliance to Terminate Al-Queda

They came.

They listened.

And, the crowd heard about the Global Alliance to Terminate Al-Queda.

That is, G.A.F.T.A.

Hamtramck, MI., Police Chief Maxwell Garbarino was on hand to take questions, and, like others, to learn about G.A.F.T.A., among other issues residents raised about the 2.2 square mile enclave situated between Highland Park and Detroit, MI.

Five gentlemen from Dearborn Heights, MI., arrived to tell all about G.A.F.T.A..

Their aim with education and awareness is to end Al-Qaeda and ISIS.

For ever.  For good.

Impassioned they were as they fielded questions.

And, although their aims seemed to be small with the insurmountable force they intend to contend with, determination filled the presenting volunteers who go to colleges, and, elsewhere to talk to anyone who will listed.

Hosted by the VENT-Line Interfaith Center for Coaching and Counseling, the Care of the Soul and Companions All-Faiths Festival that is based at 2231 Caniff in Hamtramck, MI., 48212, another Town Hall is planned for March, 2015.

They came,and, they  listened to the audience, and, they are deeply troubled by the demonic deeds of ISIS and Al-Quea.   Google GAFTA form more, or, to be a member of the growing, global initiative.


Saturday, January 24, 2015

MARRIAGE MENTORING, MORE

The Delite Deli and Cafe in Hamtramck, MI., will host a gathering of engaged and married young adults on Valentine's Day, February 14th from 5 pm.

Join me.

They need our support and encouragement as clergy, among others, enhance their communication skills, tach them how to resolve conflict, and more.

Call me at (313) 530 2777, or visit me at the Vent-Line Interfaith Center for Coaching and Counseling, 2231 Caniff, Hamtramck, MI., 48212.

Then, make plans now to join me at Celina's Polish Kitchen in St. Clair Shores, on Tuesday, March 17th, from 12 noon - 6 pm,  the feast of Saint Patrick, for a good ole Irish party.  All are welcome but I do need reservations since the place comfortably holds about 20 people, although people will come and go those hours, OK?

It will be fun!

And, fun in the middle of Winter is welcomed.

For sure!