Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Who Is In Control?

We like to think that we can lay out our day, with a time for this and time for that, but at the end of the day, we see how muddled the plan ended up.  Yes, we might have gotten some things done, but so many others are pushed to "tomorrow", a tomorrow that comes weeks later, or never comes.  Rather than allow living in such incompleteness to frustrate us, we might just look at it this way:  God is in charge, his plan is better than any we can devise.  He is committed to protect and guide us.  We need only give him a loving heart and a grateful spirit and he will work indescribable wonders in and through us.  As Mary said, ""Yes, I see it all now:  I'm the Lord's maid, ready to serve./ Let it be with me just as you say." (Lk 1:38) --The Message  And the world has never been the same since.
Bro. Rene

Monday, September 1, 2014

The Call to Work

Americans pause this Labor Day holiday to enjoy family time, but also to reflect on the gift of work. First of all, to have the health and skills to work is a blessing.  Yes, we train, we work hard at being able to work, but in the end, it is a blessing, more noticeable when we hear of illness that has taken people from their jobs.  In an economy which is still precarious, it is a blessing to have work.  So many have experienced losing their jobs, watching age-old, rock solid businesses just melt away.
But above all, work is a command from God..."by the sweat of your brow"...(see Genesis 3:19).  Jesus himself came to do the "work" of his father as so often mentioned in the Gospel of John,  And in today's Gospel from Luke (4:16-30), he gives us his "job description":  "to bring glad tidings to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives, recovery of sight to he blind, let the oppressed go free and proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord."  (Lk 4: 18-19).  Jesus lifts work to the dignity of service to the Father, a call to all of us to realize that there is a holiness in work, one which can be buried under stress which then makes work a drudgery.  Perhaps our reflections today might help us regain this outlook and help us to approach our jobs with joy, loving them, and finding pleasure, satisfaction and fun in them.
Bro. Rene

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Our Protectiveness

The epithet, "Helicopter Parent", has reached the point of becoming trite and overused, but when introduced several years ago, it seemed like the perfect title for the "interfering parent".   I first heard it in reference to parents of grammar school children, but now I'm told it extends even to college students and graduates, whose parents do all they can to maneuver their offspring into a lucrative job. It's a natural instinct to want to protect the young and innocent, especially our own, or our friends.  Today's Gospel describes a "helicopter Peter". who rebukes Jesus  for predicting his passion and death.  Peter was trying to interfere with a plan he couldn't fully understand at the moment, and is sharply rebuked by Jesus who said to him, "Get behind me, Satan. You are an obstacle to me. You are not thinking as God does, but as human beings do." (Mt 16: 23).  Interfering with God's plan is  truly Satanic, but don't we find ourselves doing just that...looking for human solutions, trying to resolve problems for others instead of simply accompanying them through a process that will lead to their growth?  We don't like to see others suffer, true, well and good, but there is a value in suffering that will be lost unless the suffering is experienced.  We really can't go through life jumping the puddles for others.  They have to learn to do it themselves.   Let out prayer bring us closer to the mind of God, and the addition of fasting and self-sacrifice (e.g. holding back the urge to take charge of someone else's life) might be that added dimension we need to accept God's plan more completely.
Bro. Rene

Saturday, August 30, 2014

When the Game Stands Tall

I apologize to our readers in Russia for they may never have a chance to see the moving film, WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL, but if it does show up there, they will see from this slice of bread that I highly endorse and recommend it.
Rarely does a film combine truth, values, action and pathos in such a convincing way.  Overtly, the film is about a still unbroken winning streak of 151 high school football games, but it goes far beyond the football field to the field of life.  Winning is costly...to the coaches and their families, and  to the players who may suffer physical injuries, or inflated egos, but it can also work toward developing mature citizens who will know how to deal with the challenges and ups and downs of life.  The process of growing up is clearly visible in this film which can serve as food for thought and discussion. 
The Silver Screen is a powerful teaching tool, and with the story of  De LaSalle High School's many time championship team, iit scores a powerful victory for good.
Bro. Rene

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Passion of John the Baptist

Note:  I had to publish the statistics on our global outreach separately.  The number of hits yesterday was 88; for the month so far,over a thousand, and since our beginning, 51,500!  Way to go, Holy 
Spirit!

Today's Memorial, more commonly known as the Beheading of John the Baptist, calls to mind the infamous "Dance of the Seven Veils", but in light of recent events, this traditional name is still very appropriate. The word "passion"  suggests both suffering, as in the Passion of Jesus, but also carries the meaning of "energy", drive and love...as in having a passion for hiking or a passionate relationship.  St. John, certainly had a passion for his mission and did not hold back in "preparing the way of the Lord."  He told it "like it was" to all who came to hear him, and certainly did that to Herod in denouncing his adulterous relationship with Herodias, his brother's wife.  His passionate outcry cost him imprisonment and later, his life, and as such, he  became a model for the martyrs of yesterday and today.  And a model as well  for us to stand up and live our beliefs without compromise no matter what the cost to reputation or job or "popularity"  May he bless us with his courage and strength of conviction and enable us to speak out when we are challenged or when circumstances demand it
Bro. Rene

Going Global!

 United States
88
Russia
71
Ukraine
21
Turkey
18
Poland
7
Germany
3
United Kingdom
2
Ireland
2
Australia
1
Canada
1    These are the current figures on the global outreach of our Daily Bread. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Mastering the Will

Augustine of Tagaste, a city in northern Africa,  was an intelligent, strong-willed young man, who for years searched for Truth, and finally found it as a result of his mother's prayers, the dead-end roads he took with philosophy and some of the heretical movements of his time, and the convincing sermons of another strong-willed man, Ambrose, Bishop of Milan. These two met head-on, but along with the help of God's grace and his own "travel fatigue" Augustine "broke" when he picked up the scriptures and read, "Let us then throw off the works of darkness [and] put o the armor of light; let us conduct ourselves properly as in the day, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in promiscuity and licentiousness, not in rivalry ad jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the desires of the flesh." (Rm 13:12-14) Augustine  knesw these verses spoke directly to him and from that moment, bent his will towards baptism.
When he returned to Tagaste he established a kind of community of prayer and study, and soon after was, by popular acclaim, made Bishop of Hippo, where he turned his strong will and intellect to refuting the heresies of his day and serving the pastoral needs of the Church for 40 years.  His writings continue to influence the Church and challenge Christians to master their wills by turning them away from what fails to satisfy to the TRUTH!
Bro. Rene