Thursday, January 31, 2008

Coffee or cup?

A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor. Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life.

Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups - porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite - telling them to help themselves to the coffee.

When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said: "If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups... And then you began eyeing each other's cups.

Now consider this: Life is the coffee; the jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain Life, and the type of cup we have does not define, nor change the quality of life we live.

Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee provided us."

We brew the coffee, not the cups. Enjoy your coffee!

"The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything."

Monday, January 21, 2008

Jewels of grace and virtue

"Christ made my soul beautiful with the jewels of grace and virtue. I belong to him whom the angels serve."

St. Agnes

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Simple, wise words from an amazing woman...

This is a saying that my Grandmother was known for when she was alive. I had forgotten about this until I received an email from one of my cousins that had this written at the bottom. It struck me how these very few words tell how you should live your entire life here on earth. It's how Jesus lived his life, and it sounds like words he would have said.

Thank you Grandma. You are loved and missed.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Priests need prayers...

Prefect Explains Spiritual-Motherhood Initiative

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 8, 2008 ( Priests aren't perfect, and they need help to live their vocation and mission in today's world, says the prefect of the Congregation for Clergy.

Cardinal Cláudio Hummes said this in comments to L'Osservatore Romano about the initiative launched by his dicastery Dec. 8 to promote perpetual Eucharistic adoration and spiritual motherhood to support priests.

Cardinal Hummes said in Saturday's edition of the Vatican newspaper that priests have never been perfect "because we are all sinners,” but that “recently, very serious facts have been reported.” But, he affirmed, less than 1% of priests are unfaithful to their commitment of celibacy.

Still, he said, all priests need “spiritual help in order to live their own vocation and mission in today’s world.”

“We have proposed to bishops that they promote in their dioceses authentic 'cenacles' (group of people) in which consecrated and laity are dedicated -- united in a spirit of true communion -- to prayer in the form of continuous Eucharistic adoration,” the cardinal explained.

The objective is that “from every corner of the earth, prayer of adoration, thanksgiving, praise, petition and reparation will always be lifted to God -- an incessant prayer in order to raise up a sufficient number of holy vocations to the priesthood, and together with this, to accompany them spiritually, with a type of spiritual motherhood," he added.

Mary's example

Cardinal Hummes, 73, stated that women religious have a special role to play in aiding priests: “Following the example of Mary, feminine consecrated souls can spiritually adopt priests to help them with their surrender, prayer and penance.”

The cardinal contended that the vocation to be a spiritual mother of priests is “too little known, barely understood, and because of this, rarely lived, in spite of its fundamental and vital importance.”

“Regardless of age and marital status, all women can become spiritual mothers for a priest,” he explained. He said the commitment implies praying “for a specific priest and thus accompanying him for life,” usually anonymously.*

Cardinal Hummes added, “This, as history tells us, produces great spiritual fruits for priests” who “spend their whole life, even with their limits, for God and for their neighbor […] preaching and cultivating the good, helping people.”

In a society in which the predominant culture is “very critical of" religion, and frequently acts “as if faith was disappearing,” the cardinal affirmed that all Christians are called to pray for their ministers, conscious that priests “are the greatest benefactors of humanity.”

*Emphasis mine. It takes so little time for us (women and men) to say a prayer each day for a particular priest (or priests) in our life, yet this small effort can have such a powerful impact. Why wouldn't we?! There is no excuse. Please, pray for your priests and seminarians in formation for the priesthood!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The Mayonnaise Jar and 2 Cups of Coffee

Fr. Ken did this as a homily one Sunday and I thought it was a good way of looking at things so when I got this as an email forward today I figured it would be a good one to go on the blog.

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 cups of coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous 'yes.'

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

'Now,' said the professor as the laughter subsided, 'I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things---your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions---and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.

The sand is everything else---the small stuff. 'If you put the sand into the jar first,' he continued, 'there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you. 'Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Spend time with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with grandparents. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first---the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.'

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented.
The professor smiled and said, 'I'm glad you asked.' The coffee just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.'