And with that call, the SpaceX rocket blasted off into the atmosphere. A decade of preparation, research, and testing culminated in the successful launch of a new era in space travel for the United States.
The plan, in the not-too-distant future, is to open up the heavens and the stars as a vacation destination for those seeking an out-of-this world travel experience.
Not sure if I would want to step on the moon or go to Mars, but perhaps it would be intriguing to visit Heaven for a bit in order to "check it out". Wonder if that would be a locale you could select when flipping through the time-share brochure.
What about you? Have you booked your reservation yet?
PHOTO: REUTERS/Thom Baur
With a keen eye, sometimes it seems as though everywhere you look, there are encouraging photos, scriptures, songs, or quotes. As you reflect on the following, share your thoughts in the Comments. What are you feeling? How has this current trial affected you? Changed you? Strengthened you?
"Cast all your worries upon him because he cares for you. Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in faith, knowing that your fellow believers throughout the world undergo the same sufferings." - 1 Peter 5:7-9
"Without the sacraments of the Church, primarily the Eucharist, the Lord’s Supper as it is sometimes called, I certainly do not think that I could go on. I do not always approach it from need, or with joy and thanksgiving. After thirty-eight years of almost daily Communion, one can confess to a routine, but it is like a routine of taking daily food. But Jesus himself told us at that last supper, Do this in memory of me (Luke 22:19)…." - Servant of God Dorothy Day
"Almighty and eternal God, provident refuge in every danger, kindly turn your gaze toward us, who with faith implore you in tribulation, and grant eternal rest to the deceased, comfort to those who weep, health to the sick, peace to those who are dying, strength to healthcare providers, a spirit of wisdom to civil authorities, and a heart to draw near to everyone with love so that together we might glorify your holy name." - Opening Prayer from the Votive Mass in Time of Pandemic
"Despite the strains and stresses we have felt as a nation, and the long road that lies ahead, we remain confident in Christ’s final victory over sin and death. Illness, poverty, conflict, and death cannot triumph over Christ’s love and grace. We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28)." - Fr. Sebastian White, O.P., MAGNIFICAT
"Each one of us can say: 'I hope, because God is beside me.'" - Pope Francis
"Green pastures are before me,
Which yet I have not seen;
Bright skies will soon be o’er me,
Where the dark clouds have been."
- In Heavenly Love Abiding by Anna L. Waring (published 1850)
"Death is not the end. We were made for life. We were made for joy. Death brings the fulfillment of that life and joy, but we can live in it now. Even in the midst of grief. Even in the midst of plagues and poverty and confusion. If we are in Christ, we have nothing to fear from the terrors of the world. They cannot kill the life inside us." - Dr. Scott Hahn
"No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care." - a friend to Fr. A. Juguilon, OSC
You may be the brightest and most knowledgeable person in your field, in your workplace, or in your home. People may turn to you for advice and help. You may be able to recite every statistic from the latest baseball game, or document every step in a complex procedure.
But do you care? Do you show people that you care? Is your concern for others genuine and more noticeable than the actions you take or the words you speak?
O Lord of Mercy, help me to be like the Good Samaritan and show people I care. Amen.
"You may be the only gospel another person reads." - a familiar saying
Have you read a good book lately? Did you tell another person about the good book you read? Did you hear about the good book that someone else read?
Novels, short stories, science fiction, essays, biographies, romance, history. There are all kinds of books to read, from every genre and from every age.
But YOU may be the "book" that another person reads. You are the character, you are the story: the way you live and work and speak and love.
Are you a good read?
Father, write your story on the pages of my life so that others may see Your gospel through me. Amen.
Photo by Joel Muniz on Unsplash
The words on the top of the notepad read: "Leave a trail of genius."
Merriam-Webster defines "genius" as exceptional intellectual or creative power or other natural ability.
If I carve the trail, will others follow?
Will my wisdom be a guiding light?
Or am I merely leaving crumbs for others to clean up?
OMG! The butterfly landed on my hand in the backyard. How cool is that!! I could feel it tickling the back of my hand. And, then, in the blink of an eye, it was gone.
Do you have a moment when God was so close to you, you could touch him and feel His tickling deep in your soul?
O God, come close to me. Enable the Holy Spirit to come alive in my soul. Amen.
"He will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire." - Matthew 3:12
Some call them weeds; others call them flowers. God says He will come and separate the wheat from the chaff.
What if I'm "having a bad day" when He comes? What side will I be on?
Everlasting God, may You always see favor in me. Amen.
How many times have I yelled out, "What's wrong with me?". As my outer self withers, fades and becomes disfiguring, my inner self begins to share this same ugliness.
Where is my hope? Where is my love? Where is my nourishment?
In you, Dear Lord, I find my Hope and my Love. Leave me not, O Lord, for my soul rests in You. Amen.
"The Lord said to her in reply, 'Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.' " - Luke 10:41-42
The squirrel was positioned on the tree. Couldn't decide whether to pounce and attack, or to quietly shimmy down and go some place else.
These are decisions we often face. Do you attack and criticize? Or do you keep to yourself and walk away?
The squirrel made the better choice. It came down without a fuss and scampered away.
What choice would you make?
"Blessed are the poor in spirit ... Blessed are they who mourn ... Blessed are the meek ... Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness ... Blessed are the merciful ... Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven." - Matthew 5:3-12
I heard an interview with a player reflecting on being named to play in the 2019 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. "Blessed," he stated. "I am blessed." He must have used the word "blessed" to describe his feelings at least a dozen times in the short interview.
We are all "blessed" in one way or another. We live in a democratic society; we own homes and cars; we have employment and schooling options; we have access to good health. We can practice our religion freely; we are forgiven of our sins and transgressions; we have a Savior that died for us; we have a relationship with a God that loves us.
We ARE "blessed." How many times do you acknowledge it?
Loving Father, I am Blessed. I am truly Blessed. Thank you. Amen.
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash
"Looking at little life moments with a spiritual eye."