Prayer: Almighty God, help me to see myself as I really am and to put things into perspective. Help me to forgive myself so that I can forgive others. Let me see with your eyes. Help me to get out of your way. Amen
Recently the Cleveland Museum of Art hosted an exhibit of the impressionists Monet to Matisse. Cleveland was the only location of this particular exhibit in the United States. Tickets were very difficult to get. The museum extended the hours of the exhibit and still it was sold out. The emphasis of the display was on the garden works of many impressionists. The art work was simply breathtaking. It was explained that many of these paintings were created in response to the ugliness of war. If you know anything about impressionistic art when you look at it close up, you see splotches of colors. When you stand back you see the subjects of the work: family, flowers and a sense of appreciation of God’s gift to all of us. That is like life when we look at a situation up close we only see a small fraction of it. Not until we stand back and look at it in perspective do we really see what the picture actually is. We see not only the problems, but also the gifts that God has given us. Let’s put life in perspective.
Happy New Year! A new year is a new beginning, and many people begin this new year, this new beginning, with resolutions. Most resolutions reflect our wanting to be better people, whether in health, by losing a few pounds or in character by being kinder to those folks that we meet. Pope Francis has declared this new year a jubilee year of Mercy. It is like making a resolution that all of us need to be more merciful to ourselves and to those around us. How can we do this? First we might want to improve our relationship with God. We need to want what God wants. God shows us how to live with compassion, love and joy. How about we just start with being patient in the grocery store line when we get the clerk in training? We can graduate to the more difficult stuff later.
Say yes to life
Life is begging you to achieve, to succeed, to live at your highest level. Every problem, every joy, every disappointment, every situation is ripe with opportunity for massive fulfillment.
Imagine what can happen when you open yourself up to more of those opportunities. Think of how life can be when you say yes to all it offers.
You don’t have to hide from the challenges or let them shut you down. Say yes to the challenges, and engage your ability to transform them into strength and achievement.
Positive possibilities are embedded in everything that happens. Say yes to whatever comes your way, and be the person to forge those possibilities into great value.
Don’t get bogged down analyzing how difficult or easy the task might be. Grab the opportunities life is begging you to take, and do what you know you must do.
Shout out a great big, enthusiastic yes to whatever life hands you. And transform it into something great.© 2016 Ralph S. Marston, Jr.
All of us have a guardian angel. It is the job of that angel to look after us. Protecting us from physical and spiritual harm. It is our job to tune into what our angel is telling us. We do that by praying. We do that by asking acknowledging our angel and asking our angel to help us. There are many angels. One angel mentioned in the bible is the archangel Raphael. He is found in the Old Testament. The Lord sends Raphael to heal TAll of us have a guardian angel. It is the job of that angel to look after us. Protecting us from physical and spiritual harm. It is our job to tune into what our angel is telling us. We do that by praying. We do that by asking acknowledging our angel and asking our angel to help us. There are many angels. One angel mentioned in the bible is the archangel Raphael. He is found in the Old Testament. The Lord sends Raphael to heal Tobit from his blindness and Sarah from her spiritual ills. Raphael is known as the healing archangel.
obit from his blindness and Sarah from her spiritual ills. Raphael is known as the healing archangel.
Follow the example of St. Nicholas by coming to pray with us and getting something religious for Christmas. Join us in prayer on December 24th at the 10:00 PM Mass and at Mass on Christmas day December 25th at 8:00 AM. The gift shop is closed both of those days.
The way you felt up until this minute is no longer relevant. What matters now is not how you used to feel, but how you choose to feel.
If you’ve felt weary or listless, discouraged or distracted, that’s all over. You’ve just arrived at the opportunity to feel energetic and enthusiastic, purposeful and focused.
There’s never any reason to complain about how bad you feel. Because you can always choose how good to feel.
Pick a feeling that will serve you well, and then fill yourself with that feeling. Positive feelings are just as accessible and realistic as negative ones, plus they’re a whole lot more fun and productive.
Feel empowered, feel creative, feel motivated and eager to take action. Instead of letting any outside factor get you down, let your own intentions lift you up and push you forward.
Decide now to feel creative, productive, joyful, energetic and ready to give your best to every situation. Choose positive feelings, and act so that life unfolds according to your choice.© 2015 Ralph S. Marston, Jr.
Merry Christmas, the Savior is born. If we have kept Advent well we will have the true Christmas spirit. St. Nicholas is an example of someone who kept Advent very well. We associate St. Nicholas with Santa Claus because both gave gifts at Christmas. St. Nicholas gave gifts to those who were in need all year round. He was a Bishop who lived in around 350. He had been a wealthy man who gave away all his possessions. He is most associated with Christmas because around Christmas time he would secretly give small gifts to the children. One Christmas he threw money in a window of a family who had three daughters. They were going to be sold into slavery because their father could not pay their dowry. With the money given by St. Nicholas the family was able to stay together. St. Nicholas kept Advent very well and celebrated the birth of Christ by helping others.
Activate your willingness
Don’t let life throw you off track. Do what you have decided to do.
Though the distractions entice, you don’t have to give in to them. Though the excuses promise an easy way to quit, you can roll right on past any temptation to do so.
Make a commitment, and then honor it. Set a goal, and then reach it.
Look beyond the immediate moment, and see what you can achieve. With that vision in mind, persevere through whatever comes and make the achievement yours.
Sure, there are factors and forces working against you. Don’t be one of them.
Go ahead, take the next step, and the next and the next, until you have done what you set out to do. Exercise your focus, exercise your discipline, activate your willingness to do what must be done, and enjoy all the richness you’re able to create.© 2015 Ralph S. Marston, Jr.
Plan and then act
Think, but don’t overthink. Consider, but don’t consider so much that you fail to take action.
Plan, prepare and strategize, but don’t stop there. Do what you have planned.
It’s not enough to think you should do it, or hope to do it, or make elaborate plans for doing it. Go beyond mere planning, take the first step, and the next step and the next, until the job is done.
Thinking things through is great, up to a point. After a certain point, thinking becomes a substitute for action or even worse, an excuse for not taking action.
Though you may be highly skilled at anticipating what will happen, you never know for sure until you actually do it. So give some thought to it, then do it.
Yes, it’s fun to make big plans. Never forget, though, what’s even more fun is to see those plans come to life through your actions.© 2015 Ralph S. Marston, Jr.