Living at Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine is like living among nature in the middle of a city. Look around and one sees chipmunks, deer, racoons, squirrels and all kinds of birds. Walking down one of the sidewalks an unusual thing happened. A bird walked with me down the sidewalk. Birds usually fly away when approached by humans.
As I was walking I noticed that this bird was on the walk with me. It kept up with my pace. When I stopped it stopped. When I looked down it looked up right at me. When I reached my destination, it looked at me swiveled its head and flew away.
What an unusual occurrence! I didn’t know that birds did that.
The experience reminded me of the children’s book Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman. I hope that you remember it. A mother bird flies away to look for food leaving her hatchling in the nest certain that the hatchling will stay in the nest. The baby bird leaves the nest looking for its mother. Having never seen his mother the baby bird even walks by his mother not recognizing her. He asks a kitten, hen, dog and a cow if they are his mother, only to be disappointed that they are not. Finally, he climbs onto a power shovel totally frustrated, asking it if it his mother. There is a happy ending. The power shovel places the little bird in his nest and he and his mother are reunited.
I believe that this is our story of our search for God the Father. We are the hatchling. We are sometimes so independent that we go in search of the happiness that the Father promises, only to find that we left the nest too soon. We need to be brought along slowly learning the lessons of the Father. We don’t recognize the Father along the way because we have not bothered to see him, to look in his eyes, to be nourished by him. We search and experience all the wrong things only to be finally frustrated and await our “power shovel” to rescue us. Where do we find our nourishment our sense of security? We find it in the “nest” of the Father. Let’s see if we can stay grounded and grow in the love of the Father in the house of the Father on his timetable. Only then can we grow to be what we were meant to be.
Bible Vs. 14: 25-28 “These things I have spoken to you, while I was still with you. But the Counselor the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you; not as the world gives do I give it to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. You heard me say to you, ‘I go away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.”
Prayer: O dearest Father, help us to love you more and more. Every time we deepen our love for you then we know your Spirit even deeper. Only then do we recognize you. Help us to be patient and learn every lesson that you wish to teach us. Remind us that we are your children and that it is so natural to run into your open arms. O, Father help us to be all that you want us to be. Amen
Spotlight: Please come to Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine and see all the nature that is here. Take some time out to pray. Also help us to keep the Shrine such a desirable place. We will be having a Pasta Dinner Thursday, June 16th 4:30 PM-6:45 PM Tickets $8.50. Also, please come to our Corpus Christi (Body of Christ) Procession at 3:45 PM on Sunday, June 18th. Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine at 21281 Chardon Rd., Euclid, Ohio 216-481-8232. COME PRAY WITH US!
The Daily Motivator message for
Deal with life
You’ll often be tempted to take the easy way out. Do your future self a big favor, and remember that the easy way is almost never the best way.
Even when you feel like quitting, you have the strength to keep going. Even when the work is difficult and demanding, you can get it done.
Cutting corners now creates even bigger problems later. Being less than honest with yourself or others only magnifies the power of a difficult truth that will eventually be unavoidable.
Success, achievement, fulfillment, and satisfaction are never reached by avoiding life’s demands. Instead, call upon yourself to fully deal with life as it unfolds.
Much of the work of living is not fun or glamorous or convenient. Yet what makes life good at its deepest level is when you rise to the challenges as they appear.
Use your strength, deal with life, and add to its rich and magnificent substance. Make yourself always thankful for the way you’ve lived each moment.© 2017 Ralph S. Marston, Jr.
There is a church on the Appian Way just outside of Rome, Italy called Domine, Quo Vadis? It is an unusual title for a church. It is a question in Latin which means Lord, where are you going? The story goes that St. Peter was fleeing the persecution in Rome and was headed out of town. Jesus appeared in front of Peter. The Lord was headed the other way back to Rome and right into the persecution. Peter asked Jesus, “Lord, where are you going? The Lord’s reply was, “To Rome to be crucified again.” The Lord then vanished and left the imprint of his feet on the road.
A church was erected on the spot with the imprint of the Lord’s feet as a reminder to all of us. Peter was chosen the leader of the new Christian Church. He was taking the Lord’s place. A leader does not abandon his flock. Peter got the message and returned to Rome. He was arrested and sentenced to death by crucifixion. Peter asked to be crucified upside down because he said that he was not worthy to die like the master.
So, what is the meaning of the story? Jesus’ shoes are very big to fill. If we follow the master then chances are we too will be asked to sacrifice as he did. Now hopefully we will not be asked to give up our lives, but there will be something the Lord will ask us to do. If humanity can treat the Son of God in that way well, how do you think it will treat the Lord’s followers? A short time ago we celebrated the holy day of Easter. Think of the joy of seeing the Master resurrected. We experienced that joy too. Now it’s reality time. This is not meant to be a downer. Just a message that helps us realize that there is more to life than the pleasures that this world offers. Lasting joy can be found with the Lord. If someone were to ask us: “Where are you going?” what would be our response. What if that person was Jesus?
Bible Vs.: John 6:67-69 Jesus said to the Twelve. “Will you also go away?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”
Prayer: Lord show us the way to go and give us the courage to follow through with your plans not ours. Help us to always remember that you give us eternal happiness. Keep our loved ones safe and always close to you. We ask this as we ask all things through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Spotlight: One of the places to find the quiet to listen to what God has to say is Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine. Come for that quiet and the word that the Lord will speak in your heart. Located at 21281 Chardon Rd. Euclid, Ohio 44117. Check out our website at www. srstrintiy.com or telephone at 216-481-8232 (shrine) or 216-481-0900 (gift shop).
OUR LADY OF LOURDES SHRINE
21281 Chardon Rd.
Euclid, Ohio 44117
Convent: 216-481-8232 Gift Shop 216-481-0900
2017 OUR OUTDOOR SEASON BEGINS SUNDAY, MAY 7TH UP TO AND INCLUDING SUNDAY OCTOBER 29TH
MASSES: 8:00 AM (IN CHAPEL)
9:30 AM (OUTDOOR WEATHER PERMITTING)
BREAKFAST: AFTER THE 9:30 AM MASS UNTIL 11:30AM
LUNCH: NOON UNTIL 2:30PM
STATIONS OF THE CROSS: 3:00 PM
ROSARY AND BENEDICITON: 4:00 PM
GIFT SHOP OPEN AFTER 8:00 AM MASS UNTIL 4:30PM
COME AND JOIN US!
The Daily Motivator message for
Monday, May 8, 2017
Live with vision
Look clearly at what is and then, look past it. Look, with eyes of wonder and positive expectation, at what can be.
See the world in all its rock solid reality and then, look a little further. Discover what good effort and strong purpose can build from such a reality.
Fall completely in love with life in this moment. Then push that love into the future and make from it a great vision.
Dare to expect the highest and best from yourself. Dare to see the good that has not yet manifest, and dare to make it be.
When others talk of trouble and toil, listen, understand, empathize. Then step forward with a great and shining vision, and make life better for everyone who lives it.
Know that the best is always yet to come. Live with vision, and live to make it happen.© 2017 Ralph S. Marston, Jr.
The Greater Abyssinia Baptist Church
Women’s Day Committee
1161 East 105th Street
Cleveland OH 44108
Need a spiritual boost? Come out to the Greater Abyssinia Baptist Church for the annual Women’s Day Pre Mother’s Day Prayer and Praise Luncheon, .
Local vendors will have booths opening atThe luncheon begins at in the E. T. and James Pitts Caviness Dining hall. The theme is "Christian Women Walking in the Path of the Lord.”
Elder Ramona Davis is our guest speaker. You don’t want to miss this dynamic speaker who is a preacher, teacher, psalmist, Student of the word and lover of God. Come and experience the power of prayer.
Tickets are $15 and are available by calling the church and at the door. The Greater Abyssinia Baptist Church is located at 1161 East 105th. Free parking is available.
The Daily Motivator message for
The path that is best
Do not wish for life to be easy. Work for life to be good, thankful for every chance to make a difference.
Do not choose a path because it is easiest. Choose the path that is best, where you can create the most real value.
When things are too easy for too long you are lulled into complacency. That complacency will eat away at the meaning and substance of your life.
The things that make you feel most vibrantly alive are not the easy things. They are things that require focus, commitment, effort, sacrifice, persistence, things that matter.
What if you could be thankful that life is not easy? What if you could just do the difficult work, bear the heavy burdens, with gratitude, cheerfulness and enthusiasm?
In fact, you can. And when you do, you’ll make life even richer and more fulfilling than you can imagine.© 2017 Ralph S. Marston, Jr.
The Daily Motivator message for
Force for good
Don’t waste a single moment of your life being outraged. Put that energy into being determined to be a force for good.
Outrage does nothing but amplify, spread, perpetuate the bad. Invest yourself in better, more useful, more creative and affirming pursuits.
Certainly outrageous things occur all the time. The best response is to overwhelm them with positive, purposeful living.
Time spent being outraged is time spent under the control of someone else’s negative actions. You owe it to yourself, to all of life, to choose a more beneficial response.
Whatever might get you outraged can also inspire you to make a positive difference. Pause, and consider all the good you can do.
You never have to let outrage eat away at your spirit. Decide instead to always show life how good it can be with kindness, caring and effective action.© 2017 Ralph S. Marston, Jr.
The Daily Motivator message for
Monday, April 17, 2017
From this day on
From this day on, you have the opportunity to live better. From this day on, you can make every choice a positive one.
By now you have learned what matters and what doesn’t. Over and over again, you’ve experienced what brings valuable results and what doesn’t.
Today, and every day after, you can put that experience to good use. Informed and inspired by the living of life, you can act to benefit yourself and your whole world.
From this day on, you can make good use of the possibilities in each moment. From this day on, you can be driven by your highest purpose.
Living at your best is never easy, and often is an extreme challenge. Yet today, and each day going forward, you realize it’s your only choice, because what you have to give is so important.
Feel yourself turning decisively away from distractions, excuses and indifference. Feel your commitment, from this day on, to make all of life the best it can be.© 2017 Ralph S. Marston, Jr.
While on vacation in Florida, I had a chance to talk with one of the neighbors, also a vacationer. We talked briefly about baseball, the beach, and getting away from the winter snow, but then the conversation became serious.
She shared with me that she had lost her son to heroin only months before. He was in his early 20’s and you could immediately tell that he was the love of her life.
“I will never get over his loss,” she quietly confided. “This trip is the first time I have left my house since his death.”
“I’m so sorry for your loss,” I replied. “I know that it is something that will always be with you.”
“Thank you!” she blurted out, “for not telling me that I will get over this. I will never get over this! Why does God let this happen?”
Haven’t we all heard that question before? Where was God in the massacres in the Middle East? Where was God in the shootings at the mall, in schools, and movie theaters? How could God let this happen?
During Lent, we heard the gospel story of the death of Jesus’ dear friend Lazarus. There is an answer to this tough question to be found in John’s Gospel. (11:1-44)
Both Martha and Mary confronted Jesus with that same question. When Martha went out to meet Jesus, you could tell by her voice that she was deeply saddened by her loss.
“If you had only been here,” she offered. “Lazarus would not have died.” It was almost as if she was blaming Jesus, even if just in the inflection of her voice.
Jesus then asked her a profound question, one that he is asking each of us, especially when we have suffered a loss:
Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise.” Martha said to him, “I know he will rise, in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:23-26
Good question, right? Do we really feel that by believing in Jesus we will never die? Do we believe that death is not the end, that we shall have eternal life?
Truth is we all will die. Some at childbirth, some after a long life, but we all will die one day. We certainly can’t resent that loss and blame God for that fact.
Mary too, asked this question.
And, what did Jesus do? Jesus, not only divine but fully human as well, did what we all do, Jesus wept! Jesus loved his friend Lazarus, and He loved Lazarus’ sisters Mary and Martha, as if they were his own.
Jesus was moved to tears. Jesus mourned the loss of his friend. It is OK to morn. It is OK to cry. It is normal, natural, and expected to have a deep sense of loss.
But, if we honestly believe that Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life, and that if we truly believe we shall never die, then we understand that our relationship and bonds with Jesus are not severed at death. Death is not the end of Jesus’ bond with Lazarus and death is not the end for us either.
The scene at the tomb has much to teach us as well.
Jesus asks Lazarus to come out of the tomb and when he did, Jesus instructed his disciples to untie him and let him go.
And, my friends, that is what we must do when we suffer a great loss. Remember it is OK to cry, to weep and to mourn. After all, Jesus did.
We understand that we are never going to get over the loss. We believe that our loved one is still united with Jesus. And, we must untie our loved one, releasing the blame and guilt and let them go to Our Lord.
For those of us that remain, there is a question in the reading for us as well.
What is the tomb of your life? What has us separated from eternal life promised by Our Lord?
Is it drugs, alcohol, sex, resentment, anger, or ego?
Then, listen to the words of our Lord and take away the stone and come out of your personal tomb. Walk away from what separates you from God and walk toward Jesus, who loves you just like he loved Lazarus, Martha and Mary.
When my conversation with my neighbor ended she felt as if a burden had been lifted. She had suffered a great loss. She knew it was OK to cry, to weep as Jesus wept and that the loss would always be with her. But, she also realized that she needed to untie her son and herself from the guilt, resentment and blame and let him go from her loving arms to the loving arms of Jesus.
How does one go from the best of friends to the best of enemies? How does one go from the wedding toast of the perfect couple to the bitter divorce and custody battle? How does one go from 50/50 business partners to rivals for the buyout? Maybe the simple answer is just plain frail humanity. Look at scripture, on Palm Sunday the people sing: “Hosanna to the Son of David, blessed is the King” to the Good Friday cries of “Crucify Him, Crucify Him.” That was a 180-degree change in a few days. So, if they did it to Jesus do you think that we are exempt?
It is not a case of will it happen, just when. The thing is how do we handle it. How did Jesus handle it? He said, “Father forgive them.” He didn’t seek revenge. He only returned hatred with love. That is a tall order for a lowly human to do, but if we follow the Master then that is the example that he gave us. He prayed to his Father to have the cup pass. Well, you know how that turned out. Jesus was hung on the cross and tortured. The up side of all this is that Jesus rose from the dead. We too will rise. Yes, we will rise as Jesus did, but also after our “crucifixion” our life will go on. Jesus wants us to be the example of his resurrection in the world. Despite the evil that befalls us Jesus asks us to forgive and live the truth. We must go on as he did.
Bible Vs: Lk. 24: 5-7 “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.” Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and on the third day rise.”
Prayer: Dearest Jesus I could never really imagine all the pain that you endured on the cross, but I would think that it must have matched the pain that you felt when the people that you loved betrayed you. You forgave them. That is really hard for me Jesus. When someone that I counted on lets me down or causes evil to befall me I want revenge. Help me Lord to be more like you. Help me to come to the point where I say and mean “forgive them.” Amen
Spotlight: Happy Easter!! Come and visit Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine. We will be having a Pasta Dinner on Thursday, April 20th from 4:30 PM until 6:45 PM. The tickets are $8.50. Come for some good food, company and helping the Shrine with its repairs. Also, don’t forget the “Outdoor Season” begins on Sunday, May, 7 with the 9:30 AM Outdoor Mass followed by breakfast in the St Ann Dining Room. At 3:00 PM we have Stations of the Cross followed by 4:00 PM rosary and benediction.
A few years ago, there was a science fiction television program called Lost. It was so popular that all kinds of computer sites sprang up trying to explain what happened in the last episode and what might happen in the next or even further in the program’s universe. Two phrases that really became popular were “spoiler alert” and “Easter eggs.” Folks would compare what “clues” the writers would intersperse in the story. Those clues might be “Easter eggs” or “red herrings.” The “Easter eggs” would lead to the spoiler alerts. If you made a mistake in your identification of the clues your interpretation of the program would be way off. If one reads scripture regularly then one can identify the “Easter eggs” or the coming spoiler alert. God really wants to make it simple for us. Our universe is not as complicated as the one in Lost, really it isn’t. Easter eggs is a really appropriate term for a Christian spoiler alert. In Lent, if we read the clues correctly, all the action points to Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection. The symbol of Easter eggs is the new life that Jesus brings, BUT (there always is one) Jesus must die before those eggs hatch. The complicated part of this is after Easter. Jesus goes back to heaven and He tells us that He has left us everything we need for a grace filled life and salvation. We, on the other hand have very short memories. We follow him on his journey and forget that we must continue with ours. We must find the Easter eggs in our life so that we can also come to life with Him. Spoiler alert: No matter what, Jesus wins in the end. Godspeed with your search for Easter eggs!
Bible Vs. Acts 1:8-11 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you: and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth. And when he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking in to heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”
Prayer: Lord, I praise you and thank you for your sacrifice for me. Help me to not forget that in order to rise I too must die. Die to sin, selfishness and all evil. Let me allow your Sprit to live in me so that I may love others as you did. Most importantly help me to find the strength to be faithful and remember that you give everlasting life.
Spotlight: Remember to visit Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine. Located at 21281 Chardon Rd. Come to pray Holy Week Services are: Holy Thursday, April 13th Mass and Washing of the Feet 7:00 PM, Good Friday, April 14th Communion Service and Veneration of the Cross 2:00 PM, Saturday, April 15th Easter Vigil Mass 9:00 PM. Our last Fish Dinner is Friday, April 7th 4:30 PM- 6:45 PM. Tickets are $8.50. Come to our Gift Shop if you would like to give someone a religious gift for Easter.
The Daily Motivator message for
What makes life good
Get good, valuable rewards for your time and effort. Invest your life in what makes life good.
Resentment doesn’t create value, nor do anger, envy, spite. Prompt yourself, when the negative urge comes up, to turn to more positive pursuits.
Love, effort, commitment, kindness, perseverance and integrity, are things that make a life worth living. You already know this throughout your whole being, and it never hurts to be reminded.
The world sometimes can make you feel like a fool for caring so much. But the world at those times is sending a false signal, for caring is always at the heart of who you are.
So let yourself care, and act in the service of all you care about. Keep your life aimed at what is good, what is true, what is right, what you know is best.
Every day you add new substance to your life, to all of life. Make it the kind of substance that truly makes life good.© 2017 Ralph S. Marston, Jr.