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Archive for April, 2011

Many of my friends are preparing to take Final Exams next week, I wish them the very best and will keep them in my thoughts and prayers.  To that end, I have posted a couple of my favorite quotes about tests; as well as a prayer for them to keep in mind:

I didn’t fail the test, I just found 100 ways to do it wrong. – Benjamin Franklin

The difference between school and life? In school, you’re taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson. – Tom Bodett

 

Prayer Before A Test

My God, enable me to trust in the good outcome
      of the test I am about to take;
      help me to contribute my own share
      of optimism and confidence.
With your grace, my God,
      I hope to crown my efforts with success.
Keep far from me at this moment
      any presumption that it all depends
      exclusively on me.
You are next to me, my God,
      the necessary and welcome presence
      in all the moments of my life.
I will take this test, my God,
      because it is important
      for my personal development.
My God, be the source of my inspiration
      in my doubts and uncertainties,
      supporting me with your blessing.

Amen.

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Whenever I am having a bad day…I’m always assured that things will get better, and that I can control how I am feeling; thanks to a little poem by Dr. Seuss

 “I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind.
Some come from ahead and some come from behind.
But I’ve bought a big bat. I’m all ready you see.
Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!” – Dr. Seuss

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George Bernard Shaw is credited with saying that, “Youth is wasted on the young.”  Basically, he meant that young people waste their youth doing “youthful” things of little use, and those who are mature enough to do useful things have little youth remaining to do them…anyone over the age of 50 would be probably concur.  However, what I have discovered as I have grown older is reflected in a passage by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry:   “A man’s age is something impressive, it sums up his life:  maturity reached slowly and against many obstacles, illnesses cured, griefs and despairs overcome, and unconscious risks taken; maturity formed through so many desires, hopes, regrets, forgotten things, loves.  A man’s age represents a fine cargo of experiences and memories.”

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A Little Boy Explains God:

Little Boy Explains God

 This was written by an 8-year-old named Danny Dutton, who lives in Chula Vista , CA   He wrote it for his third grade homework assignment, to ‘explain God.’ I wonder if any of us could have done as well?

EXPLANATION OF GOD:

‘One of God’s main jobs is making people. He makes them to replace the ones that die, so there will be enough people to take care of things on earth. He doesn’t make grownups, just babies. I think because they are smaller and easier to make. That way he doesn’t have to take up his valuable time teaching them to talk and walk. He can just leave that to mothers and fathers.’

‘God’s second most important job is listening to prayers. An awful lot of this goes on, since some people, like preachers and things, pray at times beside bedtime. God doesn’t have time to listen to the radio or TV because of this. Because he hears everything, there must be a terrible lot of noise in his ears, unless he has thought of a way to turn it off..’ 

‘God sees everything and hears everything and is everywhere which keeps Him pretty busy. So you shouldn’t go wasting his time by going over your mom and dad’s head asking for something they said you couldn’t have.’

‘Atheists are people who don’t believe in God. I don’t think there are any in Chula Vista . At least there aren’t any who come to our church.’

 ‘Jesus is God’s Son. He used to do all the hard work, like walking on water and performing miracles and trying to teach the people who didn’t want to learn about God. They finally got tired of him preaching to them and they crucified him But he was good and kind, like his father, and he told his father that they didn’t know what they were doing and to forgive them and God said O.K.’

 ‘His dad (God) appreciated everything that he had done and all his hard work on earth so he told him he didn’t have to go out on the road anymore. He could stay in heaven. So he did. And now he helps his dad out by listening to prayers and seeing things which are important for God to take care of and which ones he can take care of himself without having to bother God. Like a secretary, only more important.’

 ‘You can pray anytime you want and they are sure to help you because they got it worked out so one of them is on duty all the time.’

 ‘You should always go to church on Sunday because it makes God happy, and if there’s anybody you want to make happy, it’s God!

Don’t skip church to do something you think will be more fun like going to the beach. This is wrong. And besides the sun doesn’t come out at the beach until noon anyway.’

 ‘If you don’t believe in God, besides being an atheist, you will be very lonely, because your parents can’t go everywhere with you, like to camp, but God can. It is good to know He’s around you when you’re scared, in the dark or when you can’t swim and you get thrown into real deep water by big kids.’

But..you shouldn’t just always think of what God can do for you. I figure God put me here and he can take me back anytime he pleases…

 And…that’s why I believe in God.’

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My wife, and I read a lot.   We both find time to read…it is enjoyable, and a great way to relax.  I always chuckle to myself when people tell me that they don’t have time to read… “Once upon a time in the dead of winter in the Dakota territory, Theodore Roosevelt took off in a makeshift boat down the Little Missouri River in pursuit of a couple of thieves who had stolen his prized rowboat. After several days on the river, he caught up and got the draw on them with his trusty Winchester, at which point they surrendered. Then Roosevelt set off in a borrowed wagon to haul the thieves cross-country to justice. They headed across the snow-covered wastes of the Badlands to the railhead at Dickinson, and Roosevelt walked the whole way, the entire 40 miles. It was an astonishing feat, what might be called a defining moment in Roosevelt’s eventful life. But what makes it especially memorable is that during that time, he managed to read all of Anna Karenina. I often think of that when I hear people say that they haven’t time to read.” – David McCullough, “No Time to Read?”

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As another school year draws to a close, as some move to summer jobs, and as some move on to bigger and better dreams, I’m reminded of two of my favorite quotes from the poem Oh, the Places You’ll Go!:  “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”    and   “So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact. And remember that life’s A Great Balancing Act. And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed) Kid, you’ll move mountains.”
— Dr. Seuss

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We have just completed our Lenten journey…and Jesus Christ has Risen Today! As we celebrate this day with family and friends, I think back to some of my Lenten reflections and am truly inspired by a quote of Pope Benedict XVI:   “In synthesis, the Lenten journey, in which we are invited to contemplate the Mystery of the Cross, is meant to reproduce within us “the pattern of his death” (Ph 3: 10), so as to effect a deep conversion in our lives; that we may be transformed by the action of the Holy Spirit, like St. Paul on the road to Damascus; that we may firmly orient our existence according to the will of God; that we may be freed of our egoism, overcoming the instinct to dominate others and opening us to the love of Christ. The Lenten period is a favorable time to recognize our weakness and to accept, through a sincere inventory of our life, the renewing Grace of the Sacrament of Penance, and walk resolutely towards Christ.”

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