Friday, September 06, 2013


This morning I did not hear my cell phone alarm. Or maybe it just didn't ring. Anyway it seemed miraculous that I was able to be in chapel by 7:00 AM. As I was brushing my teeth the light above the sink died out. "Oh, both bulbs burned out at once. Strange," I thought to myself. I switched on another light and that too went out. I turned the vertical blinds to let in the light of the eastern sky. I grabbed the small flashlight I bring with me, and keep in my own room each night.
Despite the chilly air, we propped open the chapel doors to let in some light. My flash light was to serve as light for the Mass readings and Eucharistic prayers. It was our own version of the Catacombs. The early Roman Christians used torches. Three triple A batteries did a marvelous job along with Brother John Joachim's flashlight and two candles for our Mass.
Our whole area had an electrical blackout. Thankfully by 9:30 AM electricity was flowing. Gratitude was the order of the day as we thanked the Lord for getting us out of potential problems. One of the older priests who has to use a cane stepped out of the elevator less than a minute before the blackout.
As the weather eventually warmed up, two of my sisters drove me up to Lake Erie. I say "up" since we live about one and 1/2 hours south of the Lake. On the cusp of autumn the Ohio countryside is still very lush and vibrant.. We drove through Ohio wine country where grape vines abound. We visited the Lodge at the Geneva-on-the-Lake State Park. Lake Erie was a placid deep blue. Two small sail boats broke the horizon. The landscaping at the Lodge is lovely. I am very grateful for another peaceful day enjoying the Great Lake that covers all of the northern shore of our Buckeye State. Psalm 19 expresses my feelings about today better than I can: "The heavens are telling the glory of God and the firmament proclaims his handiwork."
As the world looks at the crisis in Syria, let us join in prayer tomorrow, September 7, with fasting and prayer to obtain a peaceful solution to the situation in Syria. St. Paul was brought to Christ at the gates of Damascus. May the united prayer of Christians and all people of good will obtain the gift of peace for Syria and all nations troubled by  armed conflicts. Jesus promised, "Where two or more are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of them."

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