Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Words from Fr Ed (From July 17th, 2011 Bulletin)

“Let them grow together until harvest.” Mt 13:30

“Why?” is often the question when something evil happens in our world. It is perhaps the most difficult question to grapple with in life. Why is there evil, why suffering, if God is so good? Our parable today speaks of an enemy sowing weeds among the wheat. The farmer allows the weeds to grow, which will test the wheat. If we want to be fruitful, vigorous plants in the Lord’s garden, we have to face the reality of evil in the world. It exists.

This past week I’ve been laid up with a bad back and other minor illnesses. I hate being sick. But there is a surrender that is necessary when we are sick. We have to trust God more than ever. We cannot do for ourselves what we would like to do. Our ambitions are stymied. We may even have to say, “I need help”. My independent nature rebels against this vulnerable place, yet fighting it only makes things worse.

William C. Martin shares this reflection:
How would you pastor if you could not speak?
How would you love the parish if you were immobilized in bed?
If you can answer these questions, you know the truth of your calling.
If you can do these things, you will overcome all obstacles.

From: The Art of Pastoring: Contemplative Reflections by William C. Martin (Vital Faith Resources, 2001).
Easy to advise others on the power of prayer when one isn’t suffering. Harder to be on the field than to be an armchair quarterback.

But real suffering lends itself to real prayer. The psalmist cries:

Save me, God, for the waters have reached my neck. I have sunk into the mire of the deep, where there is no foothold. I have gone down to the watery depths; the flood overwhelms me. I am weary with crying out; my throat is parched. My eyes have failed, looking for my God. (Psalm 69: 2-4)

During the day, if you wonder why you are suffering this particular trial, consider the words of Fr. Walter Ciszek:

To predict what God’s will is going to be, to rationalize about what his will must be, is at once a work of human folly and yet the subtlest of all temptations. The plain and simple truth is that his will is what he actually wills to send us each day, in the way of circumstances, places, people, and problems. The trick is to learn to see that – not just in theory, or not just occasionally in a flash of insight granted by God’s grace, but every day. Each of us has no need to wonder about what God’s will must be for us; his will for us is clearly revealed in every situation of every day, if only we could learn to view all things as he sees them and sends them to us (He Leadeth Me, p. 39).

Summer Seminarian
Cliff Macaraeg, Pre-Theology II

Below is a short autobiography of Cliff, our summer seminarian. It is a great privilege to have Cliff with us, sharing his enthusiasm for the faith. May God bless his stay with us and his vocation.

My parents emigrated from the Philippines and lived first in Yakima, then moved to Seattle. My family - mom (Josefina), dad (Oscar), and older brother (Cyril) - currently live in West Seattle. I was born on October 11, 1987, in Seattle’s Group Health Hospital. I have lived my whole life in Seattle, having attended Holy Family Parochial School in White Center, Kennedy Catholic High School in Burien, and the University of Washington. I just finished my first year of Pre-Theology at St. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park, CA, in the Bay Area. My journey begins with my family. My parents raised Cyril and me at Holy Family Parish. We would pray during meals, have family rosaries, and attend mass together on Sundays. My mom would also take me to daily mass when I was too young to go to school. In the 4th grade, I joined the altar servers and continue to serve to this day. A huge influence on my life is Fr. Philip Bloom. He is an intelligent and holy priest and role model. I enjoy reading, cooking, hiking, biking, gardening, sleeping, and fishing. My favorite saints are St. Jude, St. Thomas Aquinas, and St. Joseph. Thank you everyone at St. Stephen the Martyr for being so hospitable, welcoming, and kind during my stay this summer!

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