Our house, built on stones, survived the hurricane.

Thursday, 12/1/16

Every time we have Our Lord’s parable about a house built on rock I tell the same old Korea story. The Korean War began in June of 1950 when the Reds crossed south over the 38th Parallel that divided South Korea from North Korea.

After three years of warring, the border between the two nations, marked by a Demilitarized  Zone was just about back where it began. The Reds owned land ten miles south of the 38th Parallel on the west side of the country over by Seoul, while our Marines had won back one county north of the 38th Parallel along the Sea of Japan.

in May of 1954, when I was twenty-six, I was sent to that county we had won back from the North, and there I made friends with two twenty-five-year old North Korean old Catholic boys whose names were Peter and Paul. They had slipped south through the fighting, and they had married two local gurls.

They wanted to build a house with two eight-by-eight rooms that they could share with their wives. So. we sunk nine big boulders into holes we dug for the house’s corner posts, and I helped them put together the little house’s framework. I was helping Paul thatch the roof while Peter was taking his wife back to her hill village to have their baby.  

In the beginning of June, Paul and I had just finished thatching the roof, when we were hit by a typhoon that took out the bridges over all the rivers up and down the coast. The other half of the hill our church and rectory were built on  slid away, taking the police station below us right out into the sea.

The village of Peter's wife was washed away, and his Teresa had her baby as she clung to a pine tree high up the hill side.

Our little house, built on stones, swung back and forth, but it stayed standing. That’s the way our lives will survive if we build them on right behavior.

Like Andrew we should know what we are seeking, and we should stay with the Lord/

Wednesday, 11/30/16

Andrew and John were neighbor boys who teamed up tending a long seining net in the Sea of Galilee. In slack season their fathers allowed the boys to travel ninety miles south to where John the Baptist was baptizing people in the Jordan. They served as ushers where the line of people was winding out to where John was submerging one person at a time. Young John and Andrew were assisting the old who were not sure of themselves wading out.

Then, one day the Baptist called out, “Look, there he is, God’s chosen Lamb.”

Jerking their heads around, the boys caught sight of Jesus walking past on the shore, and they dropped what they were doing to quickly lift their knees through the water to the shore. But then, they didn’t know what to do. Holding back, they were following at a distance, when Jesus turned, and asked,

“What are you looking for?”

“Rabbi, where are you staying?

“Come and see.”

They went and stayed with him that night.

There were two parts of that which you could come back to every day. First, to keep your priorities right, you should be able to give a solid answer to the question “What are you looking for?”

The second part of that is that  you should give attention is the matter of staying with the Lord. Some variation of te verb “to stay” appears fifty times in the twenty-one chapters of John’s Gospel. Its insistent recurrence reminds us that our Christian lives are ones of staying with the Lord.  We are not looking just for that help over difficulties.. No, we are looking for living our lives completely at one with the Lord. We are looking to spend every hour of our lives in the state of Sanctifying Grace. 

The Gifts of the Spirit.

Tuesday, 11/29/16

We all love Chapter Eleven of Isaiah the Prophet. Seven hundred years before Our Lord’s coming Isaiah saw him as a shoot sprung from the roots Jacob.

He will be characterized by gifts of Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Knowledge, and Fear of the Lord. His delight will be Fear of the Lord.


If you are weary of the old Mysteries of the Rosary, you can enliven your spirituality by using the Gifts of the Holy Spirit an the Beatitude from your Mysteries.