It doesn’t happen very often, but every once in a while, I complain directly to God about something that’s bothering me. Last week, my frustration with an ongoing issue finally got to the point that one of my thoughts went up to God in the form of a question: Why can’t you just have an angel appear to me in a dream and tell me what to do? I’m tired of playing these cat and mouse games where I’m always struggling to try to figure out what I should do.
Last week, after a mentally deranged gunman killed 26 people in a church in Texas, Paul Ryan, the Catholic Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, sent out a tweet that said, “Reports out of Texas are devastating. The people of Sutherland Springs need our prayers right now.” Several other individuals sent tweets that also said that their thoughts and prayers were with the families of the victims.
If you pay attention to the news, you know about the wildfires in California. I’m writing this article on Friday, October 13, 2017. There are currently several fires that are burning out of control in California. Firefighters have not been able to contain any of the fires. So far, more than 5,700 buildings have been destroyed and 34 people have died as a result of the fires.
Last weekend, after Mass at St. Philomena Church, a young woman in her 20s approached me and asked if I would write an article about what it means to show praise and thanksgiving to our Lord. The celebration of the Mass had been in honor of Christ the King and she felt that the upcoming Thanksgiving and Advent seasons provided a perfect opportunity for us to praise and thank God for what he has done for us.
During the spring semester of my junior year in high school (1974), I organized a barbershop quartet. I recruited three of my friends who were in the music program with me at the high school. We started out by practicing at the house of one of the guys in the quartet. We continued practicing throughout the summer and started performing in the fall.
Imagine you are driving on University Street in Peoria and in the distance you see a large crowd of people gathered in a parking lot. As you drive closer to the crowd, you see a man who you have met before tied to a telephone pole. To your horror, you see two young, well-built men taking turns at beating the man with leather whips that have sharp pieces of metal attached to the ends of each whip.