Lighting a Path
LESSONS OF LOVE AND LIFE
GOD RENEWS US
May 15, 2020
ALWAYS BE MERCIFUL
April 28, 2020
PRAY DURING THE HOUR OF MERCY
April 21, 2020
April 15, 2020
ENTRUST SUFFERINGS TO JESUS
April 9, 2020
THE WORDS WE LONG TO HEAR
April 8, 2020
ADORE AND PRAISE CHRIST
April 6, 2020
THE BLESSING OF SAINT FRANCIS
April 1, 2020
NATURE RESTORING ITSELF
March 28, 2020
TRUST IN GOD OVERCOMES FEAR
March 27, 2020
HOPE NEVER DISAPPOINTS
March 26, 2020
THE PERFECTION OF GOD'S PLAN
March 25, 2020
TAKE STOCK OF WHERE WE STAND
WISDOM AND KNOWLEDGE AND TRUTH
BROTHER PAUL RESPONDS TO PANDEMIC CONCERNS
PROFILES OF JESUS
Meek and Humble
MAY 3, 2020
Most Loving Son
MAY 10, 2020
A Man of Prayer
MAY 24, 2020
LOVE LAUGH LEARN
January 1, 2021
PEACE BE WITH YOU and a Happy New Year I say again to all of you.
My prayer for you, for all of you this year and for myself included, is that we be given the grace to learn to love, to laugh, and to learn. Those three things: to love, to laugh, and to learn.
BEGINNING WITH LOVE, of course, we have to center our love on God, right? We have to reach out to God with our love and acknowledge the fact that God loves us. That’s so important to giving us peace in our life and it’s the secret of a peaceful life. So, we need to focus on that relationship between ourselves and God, the love that He has for us and the love that we have for Him.
We also have to learn, obviously, how to love each other in a better way. There have been many things that have happened in this last year, 2020, that drove us apart in so many different ways. We need to go back to loving each other, beginning with loving ourselves. It’s almost a plague of depression. We talk about the pandemic being a terrible thing, I haven’t read any statistics, but it wouldn't surprise me in the least to find out that there are more people depressed than sick from COVID. Every time I turn around, I see someone who is depressed. And that depression comes from the fact that, number one, they don’t love themselves, and number two, that they don’t connect to God’s love. So it’s very important that we love ourselves..
Obviously, we need to love each other, people that are in our family, in our community, in our nation, and the world. We can’t forget that every person is sacred and precious to God, no matter who they are, no matter where they come from, no matter what color they are, no matter whether they are fat, skinny… I’ll be the poster boy for fat. Whatever, we have to learn to love them, we need to acknowledge that they’re precious in God’s eyes and they need to be precious to us. We need to learn that.
We also need to learn to love God’s creation. We’ve done so many things to harm what God created in perfect balance. The balance of nature has been destroyed by the human race. We need to turn back the clock and try to get back to acknowledging that we need God’s creation in order to live, and not only for ourselves, but for our children. You know, lately we’ve had many children coming on the Rosary and it is a reminder, a very stark reminder, of what are we giving our children. What are we handing off to them but a world that’s in big trouble… and it’s our fault. We need to step up to the plate and take care of that. We need to take care of God’s creation.
THE SECOND THING I said is that we have to learn to laugh. Laughter comes from joy, right? And that joy starts with love.
I made this example a couple of weeks ago: Remember when you fell in love, whether it was with your spouse, your first girlfriend, or maybe your children or grandchildren. The overwhelming emotion you have is the emotion of joy. That joy comes from our love of God. So the more we love God, the more joy we will feel in our life, the more we won’t be weighed down by the challenges that we have in our life and all those things that seem to stop us from having a life of joy.
We need to learn to laugh. God is not this ogre that’s in heaven and says, “Okay this one is going in the dustpan.” That’s not who God is. God is love and God is joy. So, we have to learn to not be overwhelmed by either seriousness or feeling a great weight. That’s not the way God created us to live. Whether you believe in the Garden of Eden or not, the image of being carefree
is the way God wanted us to be and created us to be. So we need to have that. We need to learn to have that expression of joy through laughter and through our own inner feeling of happiness.
FINALLY, WE NEED TO LEARN. That was the third thing: to love, to laugh, and to learn. And what am I talking about “to learn?” To learn God’s ways. To learn about God’s ways, how God does things. What does that mean? Well, for most of us, the most difficult thing that we can’t learn, we seem to be unable to learn, is that God does everything in His own time. You know we want what we want, God to do things in our time. Then when He doesn’t, we get upset. We get annoyed or we get angry or we get depressed. But that’s not how it works. God’s plan is perfect! And we need to learn that because once we learn that, peace will come over us, we won’t be worried. We will just say, “Okay, God will take care of this. God is going to arrange.”
One of the examples I have historically given about this is: I was born in the 40s, that’s pretty old. And I lived through the quote “Iron Curtain” and I remember how we looked at the Berlin Wall. I remember it so vividly, because oftentimes on the news during that time, people would try to escape across No Man’s Land and the Russian and East German troops would shoot the person. You would see it on TV. It was such a stark reminder of the divisions that we had and it seemed so permanent. For those of us who are old enough to remember, it seemed like it would never go away. And then one morning, you get up and the wall is coming down. That’s how God is.
You know the expression, “God is seldom early and never late.” You need to understand that. And if you really understand that, then you won’t worry. You won’t be concerned. You’ll know that God is going to do the best thing at the right time. For those who have real maturity, they can look back at their life and see so many times when something unexpected happened at the perfect time… that’s God.
GOD KNOWS THE GAME. He knows the game before the game started, so He knows exactly what needs to be done. He knows all the pieces that need to be put together in order for life to succeed according to His plan. And so, we need to learn that, if for nothing else other than to have peace within ourselves.
I ask God today in a special way to give you that grace to love, to laugh, and to learn.
May God bless you.
WE NEED TO LISTEN
January 20, 2021
POPE FRANCIS WRITES:
"Today’s world is largely a deaf world. At times, the frantic pace of the modern world prevents us from listening attentively to what another person is saying. Halfway through, we interrupt him or want to contradict what he has not even finished saying. We must not lose our ability to listen. Saint Francis heard the voice of God. He heard the voice of the poor. He heard the voice of the infirm and he heard the voice of nature. He made of them a way of life. My desire is that the seed that Saint Francis planted may grow in the hearts of many.” FRATELLI TUTTI Pope Francis 2020
BROTHER PAUL COMMENTS:
“Fratelli Tutti” which means we are all brothers and sisters, is a wonderful letter about the relationship that we have with each other.
This idea about hearing… Many of you may know the hymn: The Lord hears the cry of the poor. Blessed be the Lord. It’s a very haunting and beautiful hymn. Really, it’s about our being attentive and listening, listening to people’s needs, listening to nature’s needs, listening to what the world needs.
So much of what goes on right now in our society is us trying to talk over each other. If we’re going to be in consideration of each other, we have to listen to each other. And we have to listen to nature. Nature has given us so many signs of its destruction through our abuse, yet we continue to do the same things.
Pope Francis reminds us how Saint Francis was able to connect to ALL of God’s creation because he listened. How beautiful! We need to be listening to those, most especially, whom God puts in front of us. And every day we have that option.
May God give us the grace to listen, to listen to those things around us that we have the ability to be helpful towards, to love, and to come to assistance.
Brother Paul Z01102021