Finding His Will on the Backstreet

Lovettsville, Virginia….the Backstreets

Here we are just finishing our third month in our new home of Lovettsville, and we’re starting to venture out a bit here and there. This adventure took a Dad and five kiddos on a walk down the backstreet where my mind went right into our Lenten lessons….

If you told my wife and I we’d be moving eleven times, escorting six kids through life, work our way through five miscarriages, enduring some long term illnesses, and I’d have an overall mediocre professional life twenty years ago we’d be surprised and overwhelmed. We had our plans, and we were going to follow them!

This Lent we listen and read lessons from our Good Catholic series created by the Catholic Company. The main focus is to help us understand God’s will, live in his will, find happiness in his will, and then endure the hardships of a fallen reality on the way to our final judgment. One key lesson they harp on again and again is our main sources of stress come from our personal choices to deviate from God’s will in our actions.

Outside of the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes, God’s will for my life is pretty hard to discern. I have no outstanding talents. I have far too much pride. I will never rise to the top of my daily profession. I have no idea how I will work my next profession….and all this leads to stress over “what is the right course of next actions.”

Thankfully Father had a reminding us (paraphrasing a bit): “ The past cannot be changed, the present is where we are now, and the future is not here yet. God gives us enough grace to survive the present, so stay in the present. Make each present decision in accordance with his instructions, and it will all work out in accordance with his will.”

So as I walked one of the little backstreets of our little remote Loudon County town, I just enjoyed the moment. My pains disappeared, the sky seemed a little nicer, the cold winds didn’t cause me to shiver, and I enjoyed the laughs of my children a little more. Somewhere out here, in what the world would call a backstreet, God’s will called and I listened to it.

I have to walk the backstreet a little more with an even better attuned ear.


Missing Pride for our Flag

    As a child I'd never believe one day Americans would have to live in fear about flying the flag of the United States from the own property.  I'd never think there could be a moment of doubt who'd you'd root for in an international sports match.  I'd never believe if someone raised here would tell told me this flag was a symbol of oppression while they spouted socialist tyranny as the way I must live.  In too many ways the world is upside down, mostly from a lack of education rooted in natural law.

  Yes I am missing pride in our flag and the ideals of valor, unity, balancing self interests, and reach for the goal of being one with God it clearly enshrines.


And so it begins...the Triduum

    The commisioning of priests and institution of the Eucharist...two great gifts

    The commisioning of priests and institution of the Eucharist...two great gifts

    The beauty of Holy Thursday never escapes me  Last night as even more beautiful because of the lessons taught to me by so many God seeking people over the last year. Lessons from people who past over 1800 years ago, and lessons from those living amongst us now filled my mind, heart and warmed my soul as we heard the liturgy of the word and celebrated the liturgy of the Eucharist

   Father Tri, of St Brigid Catholic Church, reminded us the story of each life is what makes the church breathe the world. The story each life brings to the church helps pass on its's lessons and beauty from generation to generation  These stories allow the priesthood of the family to connect with the priesthood of the Church.  To make this occur we all must listen, observe and react to the wisdom of God as it works its way into our lives throug everyone around us. 

   The Holy Eurcharist is the foretaste of heaven, the perfect mana, needed to nourish our souls with the grace to navigate e challenges of a fallen world.  When taken in concert with reconciliation it enables us to stay on the path to heaven.  It keeps Christ within our very blood...commingling a bit of heaven with our life here on we go about our day.  So when we say take Christ with you wherever you go, if we partake of this holy nurishment we can do exactly that.  No other God before or since offered such a gift to mortals.  In fact no other God offered to make lowly man part of himself, and join in perfect communion in heaven, for all eternity if we choose to do so.

   Pray for our priests that they may lead all souls to heaven.  Pray for our priesthood in the family, that each man will be willing to lead their family to the best of their ability to the altar of God.  Pray each mother makes their home a place where the stories of old, new and the future will enable The word of God to reach fertile ears and move those souls to Christ.  Pray for the religious, that by their concerted life they make offerings the rest of us cannot for the salvation of the world.

   So let us begin our Triduum journey, and honor the sacrifices made to bring us all the way to heaven.




Kalen helping bring the gifts forward with our Decon in formation Randy Ortiz

Kalen helping bring the gifts forward with our Decon in formation Randy Ortiz


Fall and Hope



  Each fall I get very reflective on my mortality.  I see my passing life like the leaves.  I hope and pray my colors will be strong and bold for the Lord when my time comes to pass to the next phase of life.

    God does things mysteriously to us mere mortals.  This week I witnessed a testimony of faith from men and women of amazing power as we lifted up others in prayer.  I felt the sting of arrows of despair when evil crossed my path.  I heard the wisdom of the Lord written down over a period of three thousand years from his disciples across the ages, and found hope to deflect the disparaging arrows in the Divine Office.  I also received a gift to help my discernment on future missions to advance the Lord's intentions with the gifts he entrusted to me.

        The week still has time to go, but it is giving me much to ponder and wonder about in the awe of his Grace.  God is good all the time.  I hope my ability to see his works, and those of evil trying to tear us apart, will help my colors shine brightly for him all my days here and the hereafter.