Thursday, May 30, 2024

Righting the ship



We had a chance to tour an out-of-commission lightship called the Huron.  It was a very nice ship museum (dry-docked).  As we began to walk around it, I felt like I was in one of those roadside Mystery Spot houses that make you feel like you are walking on an angle.

I asked about it and the museum docent explained that it was related to the anchor and how it affected the tilt of the ship. 

This ship that we call the Church also has an anchor--Jesus.  As we move about, there may be times when we feel a little off-kilter, always being challenged as we are, to steady ourselves when our steps feel a little off.

But the truth is, it is Jesus on whom we should rely during those times we need steadying, when we just can't seem to get our bearings.  He is the one who gives us direction, keeps us upright when we feel like we are going to fall, and ultimately, the one who never leaves us alone in the storms of life. 

There are lots of ways we describe Jesus--the light in a storm, for one. These practical designations are always a good reminder for us when we are going through hard times.

So whether you see Jesus as an anchor, a light in a storm, the Good Shepherd or the Bread of Life--the important thing is that you know that you can always count on him as Savior, leading our way to eternal life.

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Janet Cassidy


Tuesday, May 28, 2024

How to have a long marriage


Remember my butter fiasco while I was attempting to make banana bread with my new-to-me mixer? (See "What a Morning!")

Well, I got brave and decided to make some homemade bread, using the recipe that came with the mixer. Making bread and not having to knead it was the one thing I was really anticipating.

I excitedly got all of my ingredients together and put on the dough hooks. As I pushed the buttons and turned up the speed, there was an awful screeeeccchhh that I could barely tolerate.

After fussing with it a bit, I resorted to hand kneading, as my husband recognized he had a job to do. The bread turned out very good, but my husband spent a few hours in the garage taking the whole mixer apart.

Since the mixer is quite old, he figured it probably needed some oil. When he got it all oiled and put back together, he brought it in the house and the offensive screech was gone! He said something still isn't quite right, but it certainly runs fine now.

I can hardly wait to try it again, but since that recipe resulted in two loaves of bread, it may be awhile.

One of the things I really appreciate about my husband is his "can-do" spirit. We are of the generation that at least tries to fix things before discarding them. While we have some room for improvement, we are always preaching against wastefulness.

Which brings me to my point. As we celebrate 42 years of marriage tomorrow, I was thinking about all of the marriages that don't survive (for various reasons). It's always a sad thing when the realization comes, too late, that you have chosen a poor life partner, you have been duped, or life's circumstances have sent spouses in different directions.

We need to be very careful today that when a marriage seems broken, that we do all we can to dismantle it, try to see what is broken, reassemble it, and do whatever can be done to get it working again.

At our parish this past weekend, they honored married couples, asking the usual advice question about how the couples have lasted so long. They had the usual funny answers (we weren't part of the "survey.")

Later, though, I asked my husband how he would answer that question. He gave me the best answer I have ever heard. He said there is no room for selfishness or ego in a marriage.

He is so right. Guess I'll keep him another 42 years!

Janet Cassidy

Monday, May 27, 2024

It's not enough to be nice



Look around you. I suspect, like me, you haven't seen Jesus walking down the street. You haven't actually seen the physical person at a social gathering, at work, or sitting at your breakfast table.

In reality, one of the possible ways we CAN see Jesus is in one another.

It is the responsibility of each of us to live in such a way that others can see Jesus, especially since he is not walking around in a physical body.  We need to be careful that our own words and behavior do not drive people away, but attract.

Just being good, morally upright people--while a positive thing--is not enough.  We need to understand the motivation for such good behavior, if we are going to keep ourselves in check.

Without solid grounding--like belief in God--we will be easily moved to less virtuous behavior at the first challenge we face. Then, as our anger rises up, for example, we will lose our footing, and rather than self-correct, we will quickly become less of an example of Jesus!

The "problem" is, we are all human, and as such, we do fall into weakness. This explains why being good, without faith, is not enough.

It is our belief in God that helps us be better.  It is our belief in God that moves us to want to serve, love and be compassionate.  Without God, we may be nice people, but we do not enjoy the fullness of our humanity, which is embedded in God.

As we remember those who have given their life in service to our country, we know that their love of country and care for their fellow citizens is the motivation for their willingness to serve--and die--if necessary.

Their service is not shallow.  It is not empty.  Nor should the way we live our life be.

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Janet Cassidy