Thursday, May 17, 2018

Deja vu All Over Again

When I last wrote on these pages, I was thanking everyone for helping me to get through a benign brain tumor and the surgeries involved.

Then I went silent for the next year and a half.

While my friends and colleagues know what happened, many of you do not.

Simply stated - I had two more tumors and two more brain surgeries to remove them. The second surgery was on May 25, 3017. The third occurred on February 2, 2018. Following the third operation, I lined up to have six weeks of radiation. I am in week five and almost finished.

By God's grace, I have kept the office open and have been working half days.

I thank everyone for their prayers and support during this time of continued healing. While my vision remains seriously compromised, I am thankful for everything and especially my wife and my family.

Hopefully soon I will be back at writing down my thoughts and ideas.

Till then, God bless you all.


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Staying Engaged

If anyone is still actually reading this blog, then they will have realized that there have been no posts since March of this year. Now the reasons are multiple. Facebook has definitely interfered with my blogging and posting not just on my site but others as well. Then there was the little matter of my hospitalization at the end of April and throughout the first two weeks of May to remove a brain tumor. Lots of fun. The convalescence included my not driving for six weeks. Not to completely out of the woods, another event required my visit to the Barrow Neurological Institute over at St. Joseph's Hospital in late July for almost a week.  Recovery continues but ....well ... no need to be maudlin. The simple joy of being alive knocks everything out of the room. Events like these remind you that God is good and always watching over you.

My wife and the family were (and remain) wonderful.  My brother, sister and Dad were there throughout all of this. Three of my young men went to Krakow for World Youth Day and came back very refreshed and kinder to one another. They are now, with the exception of the college student, playing football ( the varsity won their first two games) although Anthony injured himself during practice and is scheduled for surgery on Friday.

My sincere appreciation goes to the doctors, nurses and staff who cared for me.  Thank you and may God continue to guide you in the very important work you do.

Finally, please pray for the repose of the soul of my aunt Dorothy Jakubczyk who died this week. Her husband John passed away a few years back. Her children will also need your prayers during this time of loss.

I managed to speak at the sixth annual Sidewalk counseling Symposium in New York (Staten Island) in early August. I have been giving counsel to many on a one-to-one basis. The elections are on everyone's mind but I will hold off on any comments until later.

Again thank you for your prayers. God bless you all.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Keeping one's head in turbulent times

If you can keep your head when all about you   
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,   
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;   
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise: 
    I could not help but think of Kipling's poem given the current events of the day. When one opens the newspaper or turns on the computer, ones sees so much angst and frustration over the failures of government, the statements of politicians, the articles on the media, the rudeness and discourtesies on social media. It is not unusual to simply want to throw up one's hands and scream.

Then I think again of the lines in this poem;
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;   
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;   
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;   
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
    A lot of people are mourning the "death" of the "conservative" movement. Some are proclaiming its demise with gleefulness.  Others are perplexed and do not know what to to. Again the poem offers a way of thinking that gives one a direction that is neither depressing nor foolish.

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,   
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’ 
 Now is not the time to quit. now is not the time to give up. Now is the time to demand accountability and honesty from those who would claim the role as leaders and policy makers. You and I have the responsibility to demand them to act consistent with the promises they have made. As for those who would abuse the system, ask a simple question. Is this the way my mother would want ME to behave?  Now presuming your mother was not Ma Barker, the answer is pretty straight forward. Yet for many years now people have ignored this simple test for behavior. Then again the other question is, are your actions something you can live with and come judgment day explain to the Judge of all.  

It brings us back to the final stanza and what we are all called to be.
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,   
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,   
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,   
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
note: no disrespect intended toward women - obviously we are all called to be the persons God intends us to be and so such direction applies also to everyone.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Today's Widows and Orphans and What to Do

In the Scriptural readings for this Sunday in the Catholic calendar, there is a great discussion about the law. However, rather than comment on the obvious admonitions presented in the gospel,  I would draw your attention to the second reading taken from the Letter of St. James (1:17-18, 21b-22, 27).

James reminds us that all good things come from God. He calls us to welcome the Word of God and be "doers" of the Word and not hearers only.

Then he explains what "religion," that oft times picked on word, truly is in the eyes of God.

                        To care for orphans and widows in their affliction 
                        to keep oneself unstained by the world.

Now I do not intend to go into a discussion on the origins of the word "religion." There is an interesting commentary on the subject one may find here.  For my purpose in writing is to focus on the point and purpose of living out ones religion, that is our concern for our neighbor and specifically identified in the widow and the orphan.

God calls us to love him with our whole heart, our whole mind and our whole soul. Christ explained that this was the first and greatest commandment. He then explained that the second is to love our neighbor.  James reminds us that religion "that is pure and undefiled" before God is caring for the widow and orphan.

So who are today"s widows and orphans?

Who are the women and children abandoned by the men in their lives?

Who are the women and children being told their relationship is of no consequence?

The unwed mother and her unborn child.

For the last 42 plus years, our society has told women that their relationship to their child is only important if someone says so. For the last 42 plus years, the culture has thrown women "under the bus" and told them to handle the "complications" that happen after intimacy. Fro the last 42 years women have been told they have a right to "choose" but are never reminded that the "choice" means death to their child and death or damage to their own soul.

And we as a society are obsessed by our smartphones, the latest fads, the most recent scandal..

So what to we as believers do?

How do we practically help the modern day widow and orphan?

Here are so very practical things one can do NOW.

1.   Join your local pro-life or right to life group.
2.   Once you join, offer to help.
3.   Learn the arguments that support and explain why the law should protect unborn children. These will be based upon biology (science) and logic. Natural reason compliments Divine revelation (the gospel). however using religious arguments will not impress skeptics and non-believers. Stick with science and reason,.
4.   Help out at your local pregnancy resource center.
5.   Participate in pro-life protests, demonstrations, pickets.
6.   Know where the candidates stand on the issue and ONLY support pro-life candidates.  If they cannot pass over your threshold of being pro-life, then you do not even consider them. once they pass the threshold,  then you should examine everything else, i.e. elect-ability, etc.
7.   Donate. These organizations cost money to operate. Find a few that are being good stewards and supports them.
8.   Contact your legislator and thank them if they are pro-life and if they are not....explain what they should be..
9.   Ask your minister, priest or religious leader to preach on the subject.
10. Learn about post abortion groups and organizations that offer help and healing to women, men and others who have been affected by abortion. Pass the word. support their efforts.
11. Talk about current events such as the planned parenthood scandal use such events as teaching moments to promote the Gospel of Life.
12. PRAY ALWAYS.  There is a phrase "Ora et Labora." Pray and work.  We need to be in union with the Lord's will and give our best efforts.

These are practical ways to help the widow and orphan.

Now let us begin  (or continue as the case may be).