The Daily Motivator message for
Monday, April 17, 2017
From this day on
From this day on, you have the opportunity to live better. From this day on, you can make every choice a positive one.
By now you have learned what matters and what doesn’t. Over and over again, you’ve experienced what brings valuable results and what doesn’t.
Today, and every day after, you can put that experience to good use. Informed and inspired by the living of life, you can act to benefit yourself and your whole world.
From this day on, you can make good use of the possibilities in each moment. From this day on, you can be driven by your highest purpose.
Living at your best is never easy, and often is an extreme challenge. Yet today, and each day going forward, you realize it’s your only choice, because what you have to give is so important.
Feel yourself turning decisively away from distractions, excuses and indifference. Feel your commitment, from this day on, to make all of life the best it can be.© 2017 Ralph S. Marston, Jr.
Greg interviews Wayne Campbell, the president of Tyler’s Light. Tyler’s Light is a resource for those in Pickerington and Fairfield County, Ohio focused on preventing drug addiction. The foundation sheds light on the severity of drug addiction via community engagement, awareness, education and support.
Greg interviews Sam Quinones, author of the best-selling book Dreamland. A true tale of America’s opioid epidemic, Dreamland is a poignant and insightful narrative of the current threat sweeping the nation. Sam shares a story of a community pool he encountered in Portsmouth, Ohio to explain why the book is named Dreamland. “I began to hear stories of this gorgeous pool that held the community together. It acted as a babysitter and class distinctions almost faded, because everyone looked the same in a swimsuit. The name of the pool was Dreamland,” says Sam. “It was almost a stand-in for the communities we’ve destroyed in so many parts of the country. When jobs left the community, the pool was replaced by a strip mall.”
Greg interviews JoAnna Krohn, the Founder of SOLACE (Surviving Our Loss and Continuing Everyday). SOLACE is a non-profit organization that provides community for those who’ve lost a loved one to substance abuse. In the wake of her son Wes’ tragic death in 2008, JoAnna shares how she created SOLACE to help others cope with their own losses. She also worked with Sam Quinones on his highly-acclaimed book Dreamland. This episode is Part Four in a series of podcasts that will explore life after Dreamland for those who helped Sam with his book.
While on vacation in Florida, I had a chance to talk with one of the neighbors, also a vacationer. We talked briefly about baseball, the beach, and getting away from the winter snow, but then the conversation became serious.
She shared with me that she had lost her son to heroin only months before. He was in his early 20’s and you could immediately tell that he was the love of her life.
“I will never get over his loss,” she quietly confided. “This trip is the first time I have left my house since his death.”
“I’m so sorry for your loss,” I replied. “I know that it is something that will always be with you.”
“Thank you!” she blurted out, “for not telling me that I will get over this. I will never get over this! Why does God let this happen?”
Haven’t we all heard that question before? Where was God in the massacres in the Middle East? Where was God in the shootings at the mall, in schools, and movie theaters? How could God let this happen?
During Lent, we heard the gospel story of the death of Jesus’ dear friend Lazarus. There is an answer to this tough question to be found in John’s Gospel. (11:1-44)
Both Martha and Mary confronted Jesus with that same question. When Martha went out to meet Jesus, you could tell by her voice that she was deeply saddened by her loss.
“If you had only been here,” she offered. “Lazarus would not have died.” It was almost as if she was blaming Jesus, even if just in the inflection of her voice.
Jesus then asked her a profound question, one that he is asking each of us, especially when we have suffered a loss:
Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise.” Martha said to him, “I know he will rise, in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:23-26
Good question, right? Do we really feel that by believing in Jesus we will never die? Do we believe that death is not the end, that we shall have eternal life?
Truth is we all will die. Some at childbirth, some after a long life, but we all will die one day. We certainly can’t resent that loss and blame God for that fact.
Mary too, asked this question.
And, what did Jesus do? Jesus, not only divine but fully human as well, did what we all do, Jesus wept! Jesus loved his friend Lazarus, and He loved Lazarus’ sisters Mary and Martha, as if they were his own.
Jesus was moved to tears. Jesus mourned the loss of his friend. It is OK to morn. It is OK to cry. It is normal, natural, and expected to have a deep sense of loss.
But, if we honestly believe that Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life, and that if we truly believe we shall never die, then we understand that our relationship and bonds with Jesus are not severed at death. Death is not the end of Jesus’ bond with Lazarus and death is not the end for us either.
The scene at the tomb has much to teach us as well.
Jesus asks Lazarus to come out of the tomb and when he did, Jesus instructed his disciples to untie him and let him go.
And, my friends, that is what we must do when we suffer a great loss. Remember it is OK to cry, to weep and to mourn. After all, Jesus did.
We understand that we are never going to get over the loss. We believe that our loved one is still united with Jesus. And, we must untie our loved one, releasing the blame and guilt and let them go to Our Lord.
For those of us that remain, there is a question in the reading for us as well.
What is the tomb of your life? What has us separated from eternal life promised by Our Lord?
Is it drugs, alcohol, sex, resentment, anger, or ego?
Then, listen to the words of our Lord and take away the stone and come out of your personal tomb. Walk away from what separates you from God and walk toward Jesus, who loves you just like he loved Lazarus, Martha and Mary.
When my conversation with my neighbor ended she felt as if a burden had been lifted. She had suffered a great loss. She knew it was OK to cry, to weep as Jesus wept and that the loss would always be with her. But, she also realized that she needed to untie her son and herself from the guilt, resentment and blame and let him go from her loving arms to the loving arms of Jesus.
How does one go from the best of friends to the best of enemies? How does one go from the wedding toast of the perfect couple to the bitter divorce and custody battle? How does one go from 50/50 business partners to rivals for the buyout? Maybe the simple answer is just plain frail humanity. Look at scripture, on Palm Sunday the people sing: “Hosanna to the Son of David, blessed is the King” to the Good Friday cries of “Crucify Him, Crucify Him.” That was a 180-degree change in a few days. So, if they did it to Jesus do you think that we are exempt?
It is not a case of will it happen, just when. The thing is how do we handle it. How did Jesus handle it? He said, “Father forgive them.” He didn’t seek revenge. He only returned hatred with love. That is a tall order for a lowly human to do, but if we follow the Master then that is the example that he gave us. He prayed to his Father to have the cup pass. Well, you know how that turned out. Jesus was hung on the cross and tortured. The up side of all this is that Jesus rose from the dead. We too will rise. Yes, we will rise as Jesus did, but also after our “crucifixion” our life will go on. Jesus wants us to be the example of his resurrection in the world. Despite the evil that befalls us Jesus asks us to forgive and live the truth. We must go on as he did.
Bible Vs: Lk. 24: 5-7 “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.” Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and on the third day rise.”
Prayer: Dearest Jesus I could never really imagine all the pain that you endured on the cross, but I would think that it must have matched the pain that you felt when the people that you loved betrayed you. You forgave them. That is really hard for me Jesus. When someone that I counted on lets me down or causes evil to befall me I want revenge. Help me Lord to be more like you. Help me to come to the point where I say and mean “forgive them.” Amen
Spotlight: Happy Easter!! Come and visit Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine. We will be having a Pasta Dinner on Thursday, April 20th from 4:30 PM until 6:45 PM. The tickets are $8.50. Come for some good food, company and helping the Shrine with its repairs. Also, don’t forget the “Outdoor Season” begins on Sunday, May, 7 with the 9:30 AM Outdoor Mass followed by breakfast in the St Ann Dining Room. At 3:00 PM we have Stations of the Cross followed by 4:00 PM rosary and benediction.
A few years ago, there was a science fiction television program called Lost. It was so popular that all kinds of computer sites sprang up trying to explain what happened in the last episode and what might happen in the next or even further in the program’s universe. Two phrases that really became popular were “spoiler alert” and “Easter eggs.” Folks would compare what “clues” the writers would intersperse in the story. Those clues might be “Easter eggs” or “red herrings.” The “Easter eggs” would lead to the spoiler alerts. If you made a mistake in your identification of the clues your interpretation of the program would be way off. If one reads scripture regularly then one can identify the “Easter eggs” or the coming spoiler alert. God really wants to make it simple for us. Our universe is not as complicated as the one in Lost, really it isn’t. Easter eggs is a really appropriate term for a Christian spoiler alert. In Lent, if we read the clues correctly, all the action points to Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection. The symbol of Easter eggs is the new life that Jesus brings, BUT (there always is one) Jesus must die before those eggs hatch. The complicated part of this is after Easter. Jesus goes back to heaven and He tells us that He has left us everything we need for a grace filled life and salvation. We, on the other hand have very short memories. We follow him on his journey and forget that we must continue with ours. We must find the Easter eggs in our life so that we can also come to life with Him. Spoiler alert: No matter what, Jesus wins in the end. Godspeed with your search for Easter eggs!
Bible Vs. Acts 1:8-11 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you: and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth. And when he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking in to heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”
Prayer: Lord, I praise you and thank you for your sacrifice for me. Help me to not forget that in order to rise I too must die. Die to sin, selfishness and all evil. Let me allow your Sprit to live in me so that I may love others as you did. Most importantly help me to find the strength to be faithful and remember that you give everlasting life.
Spotlight: Remember to visit Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine. Located at 21281 Chardon Rd. Come to pray Holy Week Services are: Holy Thursday, April 13th Mass and Washing of the Feet 7:00 PM, Good Friday, April 14th Communion Service and Veneration of the Cross 2:00 PM, Saturday, April 15th Easter Vigil Mass 9:00 PM. Our last Fish Dinner is Friday, April 7th 4:30 PM- 6:45 PM. Tickets are $8.50. Come to our Gift Shop if you would like to give someone a religious gift for Easter.
The Daily Motivator message for
What makes life good
Get good, valuable rewards for your time and effort. Invest your life in what makes life good.
Resentment doesn’t create value, nor do anger, envy, spite. Prompt yourself, when the negative urge comes up, to turn to more positive pursuits.
Love, effort, commitment, kindness, perseverance and integrity, are things that make a life worth living. You already know this throughout your whole being, and it never hurts to be reminded.
The world sometimes can make you feel like a fool for caring so much. But the world at those times is sending a false signal, for caring is always at the heart of who you are.
So let yourself care, and act in the service of all you care about. Keep your life aimed at what is good, what is true, what is right, what you know is best.
Every day you add new substance to your life, to all of life. Make it the kind of substance that truly makes life good.© 2017 Ralph S. Marston, Jr.
The Daily Motivator message for
Do something with it
Today greets you with opportunity, with frustration, with problems, with possibility. Do something with it, something positive and useful.
Don’t settle for someone else’s idea of what this day should be, or another copy of a day you’ve already lived. Do something unique, original, something that affirms the beauty and value of your life.
Today you have a schedule, a list of tasks, the usual responsibilities, things that others expect of you. Today you also have the chance to go above and beyond all that.
You’ve experienced in the past how well you respond to challenge, and how good it feels to do so. Today, find a meaningful challenge with which you can renew that great feeling through focused action.
You are designed, equipped, driven to achieve. Today, do what you are meant to do.
Dreams, ambitions, skills, experience, wisdom, love and courage all restlessly wait for you to make the next move. Today, do something with it all, and live your life at the highest level.© 2017 Ralph S. Marston, Jr.
Greg interviews Rob Portman, a United States Senator from Cincinnati, Ohio. In September 1996, Senator Portman founded the Coalition for a Drug-Free Greater Cincinnati—now known as PreventionFIRST! The coalition’s purpose is to keep young people free of substance abuse. He was first elected to Senate in 2010, after winning 82 of Ohio’s 88 counties. More than , Senator Portman’s fight against substance abuse continues to gain momentum today.
“If you are not grateful for the things you have, what makes you think you will be grateful for the things you want.” –Tony Agnesi
Every March, Diane and I are blessed to spend the month in sunny Naples, Florida. We love the nearby Vanderbilt Beach and walk the beach every morning for an hour and a half. We are so grateful to share this time together. Every year, I comment on how I missed my life’s calling as a beach bum!
Naples is an upscale city and most of the people here are retired successful folks from other parts of the country and seasonal vacationers. I love everything about the area except for one thing. In the 20 plus years we have been coming here I can’t believe is how unfriendly everyone is.
Faith Page Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine March 17, 2017
How are your Lenten practices going? If you gave something up are you being faithful to that or have you “snuck “in a sip of pop or a piece of pie? No, one will ever know. If you promised to say some extra prayers or go to church on more than just Sundays did you get tired and “skip” a day? It’s just one time. I’m only human. If you promised to give a few extra bucks to Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine did you do it or maybe use it for a beer on St. Patrick’s Day? Come on everybody is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, right? Right on all counts. No one will ever know if you ate that pie or drank that pop. Well, you and God will. Yes, you are only human if you sleep in on the day that you were supposed to pray extra. God does know that. Yes, everyone is an adopted Irishman on St. Patrick’s Day. Yes, God does know St. Patrick personally. We all have good intentions, but our human side kicks in and we are weak. But, you knew it was coming, a promise is a promise and we are only as good as our word. God is merciful and all-knowing so the next move is ours. How about an “I’m sorry God,” and I get right back to my Lenten resolutions? Oh, by the way those phrases: “No one will ever know.” “I’m only human, and “Everyone is an Irishman on St. Patrick’s Day.” Those are the whisperings of a guy called Satan. That’s his script and he twists the truth to trip us up. How do we feel when we realize that we broke our promises? We feel like we failed. Well, that’s the devil’s way of working. With God, we feel forgiven, so let’s pick it up and keep on going.
Bible Vs.: Luke 4: 1-3, 12-13 “And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit for forty days in the wilderness, tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing in those days; and when they were ended he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” “And Jesus answered him, “It is said, You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.”
Prayer: O, Lord you resisted every temptation that the devil put in front of you. If the devil would try to tempt God, then how much more will he try to tempt us your human children? Lord, help us to see these temptations for what they are and when we fail help us to remember that you, our loving Father, forgive all things. Help us to come running back to you. Lord give us strength. Lord give us light. Lord give us courage. Amen.
Spotlight: During the season of Lent come and visit Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine to pray and if you need input to purchase Lenten materials at the Shrine Gift Shop. Not only can you be spiritually fed here, but we have two fish dinners coming up. They will be Friday, March 24th and Friday, April 7th. We are located at 21281 Chardon Rd. 216-481-8232. Check out our website at www.srstrinity.com for more information. We have a big request. Our chapel roof sprung many leaks right before Christmas and needed to be repaired. As you might have guessed this has been very costly and we sure could use your financial help. We also lost our back kitchen steps due to age and the weather. If giving alms is one of your Lenten practices, please keep us in mind. Thank you!
The Daily Motivator message for
What you do with what happens
There is what happens. Then there is what you do with what happens.
Helpful, hurtful, caring, indifferent, frustrating, joyful, surprising, predictable things happen to everyone. Each person makes something different out of all those things.
You are not special because you are a victim or a beneficiary of circumstance. You are special because of the unique life, the substance, the richness you carve out of your circumstances.
Pay attention to the situation, to what goes on in the world around you. See each situation not as a locked enclosure, but as a starting point, a stage upon which you can express and fulfill your purpose.
Life is demanding, extremely difficult at times, but life never imposes itself on you. On the contrary, every twist and turn of circumstance provides opportunity for you to more fully become your best.
Welcome that opportunity, in whatever form it may arrive. Every moment carries your best possibilities, ready for you to fulfill.© 2017 Ralph S. Marston, Jr.
Greg interviews Jason Merrick, the Director of Addiction Services at Kenton County Detention Center in Covington, Kentucky. He also worked with Sam Quinones on his highly-acclaimed book Dreamland. This episode is Part Two in a series of podcasts that will explore life after Dreamland for those who helped Sam with his book.