WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!

04/30/2016

That’s right.

We’re all gonna die.

So then… what’re you gonna do with your one guaranteed opportunity TODAY?

 

Short message today, gang.

There’s plenty to be pessimistic about.

I heard some words from Saint Augustine this morning (thanks, EWTN!) about what God does with evil. Consider what Jesus did when Judas betrayed Him. He merely used it to save the world.

How cool is that?

We’re all gonna die.

 

That’s not meant to be a downer. It’s a fact of life. It’s the one certainty.

If we rely on anything on Earth for our ultimate happiness, we will be disappointed.

If we rely on Christ, we will always have hope.

Let’s just pretend that you know — with certainty — that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world.

(That’s for those of you who either don’t know, don’t believe, or have doubts.)

If that’s the true, what other hope do you have?

If that’s not true, do you have any hope?

What if?

 

Again, let’s just pretend that you know — with certainty — that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world…

(I know — with certainty — that He is, but just in case you don’t…)

… then what are you going to do today to bring the hope and message of that certainty to somebody else?

You don’t have to be an evangelist. You don’t have to get in their face with “God Talk.”

You merely have to radiate your belief.

That’s it.

(And if you don’t truly believe right now, just pretend. And see what happens.)

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Dave’s Morning From Hell, 2016 Style – Take 2

04/27/2016

Why, oh why I ask in earnest…

… and I mean in the earnestly utmost in earnestness…

… do these things seem to happen in pairs?

I’m praying it’s not in threes!

It all began last night…

(cue the flashback music and the weird fade)

“Bye, Stephen. Yeah, probably see you tomorrow. I’ll be asleep by 8:20.”

That’s Dad humor. It was 8:18. I was sprawled on the floor in the bedroom, laptop on the coffee table, legs splayed out, one under the coffee table, one out to the right side, face nearly planted on the keyboard. I couldn’t keep my dang eyes open.

Too many nights of four hours of sleep. Depression setting in with no Blackhawks hockey to watch for the next 147 days

— and then we’ve gotta endure that godawful World Cup of Hockey in Toronto before the real games commence (yeah… and hope and pray that nobody gets hurt while the boys “play for their country.” Before the season? Are you frickin’ kidding me???).

I was a tired, exhausted, sleepy little boy.

I’d already scraped the filthy, protein-rich (oh, and goozhy!) contacts off my eyeballs, so that chore was done. Cats were fed, although they were still protesting outside the castle gates, feigning starvation.

Crawled into bed sometime around 8:30. Kathy was already sitting on her side of the bed, hogging all the good pillows (“here, let me give you your pillows…” uh huh… sure).

And right on cue, as soon as the lights were out, Martha calls her.

Why is it, when someone is talking on the phone in the bedroom when the lights are out,

(and who else might be in the bedroom with the lights out? Again, I digress…)

… it seems like they are using a megaphone?

Pillows slammed against my ears, to no avail. As the seconds ticked by, I was feeling more and more wide awake.

Then, my poor tummy. No apparent reason, my stomach started aching something fierce. Not sure why. Body probably wasn’t used to me being in bed before midnight. The only plausible explanation.

At some point, I did manage to forget about the tum tum. Or perhaps the agony took its toll and made me pass out.

I woke up, wide flippin’ awake, at 3:05 AM. And it wasn’t even nature’s call.

Oh, I’m sorry. Too much information?

Wide awake. I must’ve fallen asleep sometime around 9, which meant that I got my six hours of sleep. On a good night, that’s usually all I get. I have a real hard time sleeping longer than six hours.

Usually.

I had listened to a webinar earlier in the evening about the Divine Mercy.

You didn’t think there could possibly be a faith tie-in to all of this, did you?

During the webinar, Father Seraphim Michalenko of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception was speaking about forensics work that had been done to determine the approximate time that Jesus rose from the grave and said it was likely around 3 AM.

What else do you think about at 3 in the morning but that? So… of course I was wide awake recalling that he had said that, and knowing that my alarm was going off in less than an hour.

— at 4 AM… Read that? FOUR O’CLOCK A.M. —

I pondered my options.

“Well, I might as well start saying a Chaplet of Divine Mercy. That’ll put me back to sleep.”

I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that repetitive prayer is the best sedative in the world. Cures insomnia. Like that.

<SNAP>

See? Just like that.

I started praying.

“Our Father, who art in heaven…”

And then, I must’ve dozed off. I was sure I made it through the first decade of the Chaplet. I started from where I thought I left off.

And it happened again.

And again.

“DING ding-ding DING DING….”

(I won’t bore you with the details of the tune.)

OH MY GOD! That’s Kathy’s phone alarm! OH, NO!!!!!!!

I leaped out of bed (that doesn’t happen often any more), grabbed my phone.

IT WAS 5:13!!!

I’m sure a few choice words passed through my lips.

I had 17 minutes to shave, brush my teeth, shower, do other necessary things…

Oh, I’m sorry. Too much information?

… make my oatmeal and feed the cats if I was going to get out of the house on time.

Oh! And reinstall the filthy contacts. See yesterday’s morning from hell.

17 minutes.

30 (ish) minute drive to Lake Forest.

6 AM appointment.

My morning was slammed. Back to back to back to back appointments. No room for wiggle.

(Wait… that’s not exactly how the saying goes, is it? Hey, gimme a break. I’m still groggy.)

I give myself 90 minutes in the morning. 60 if I am really, really, really, really tired. Like… after a four-hour night. Like most nights lately, actually.

Not this morning. SEVENTEEN MINUTES!

My poor little babies got the short end of it today. Not a lot of TLC from Daddy. But, hey, they got fed (and a little extra food, too, for their inconvenience) and got fresh water. Not a very tidy eating area, though.

And although it took me 27 minutes to get out of the house, the traffic gods were kind (notice: small ‘g;’ play along with me) and I got to my client’s house at just about the same time I arrive every morning.

Phew.

Threw everything off the rest of the morning, though. Felt a little out of sorts as I went about my business.

And here’s the punch line. After I finished my appointments, sitting in my car, I scrolled through the notifications on my phone.

“You missed an alarm set for 4:00 AM this morning.”

Wait.

I missed it? Me?

The bloody radio never turned on this morning! Alarm was set properly. The iHeart Radio app never turned itself on.

Fun with smartphones. You gotta love ’em. You gotta hate ’em.

Well, I guess you don’t gotta.

I gotta.

I also gotta set the alarm clock on the good ol’ fashioned clock radio tomorrow.

Me, sometime between 3:05 and 5:13 this morning.

Me, sometime between 3:05 and 5:13 this morning.


Dave’s Morning From Hell, 2016 Style

04/26/2016

So… how’s your day going?

Here’s how mine started.

I awoke in a fog. No, not a hangover. I don’t drink. Well, not enough for that anyway. And no alcohol last night. The Blackhawks game was enough of a depressant. My eyes… my vision was blurry… was it pollen?

Uhhhhh, no.

Realized that I slept with my contact lenses in. My really old last pair of contact lenses that have to last until I get my @$$ in to see the eye doc.

Realized it after I rubbed my eyes furiously to get what I thought was the inordinate amount of goozh (yes, goozh… pronounce it as you see it) outta my eyes.

I rubbed and rubbed and rubbed. And how I didn’t rub the lenses right out of my eyes or tear them to shreds I’ll never know.

“It’s a miracle!”


There was some old commercial where an older lady said that line. Don’t even remember the product. And miracle was pronounced “MAR-a-cle.” As a matter of fact, the way I remember it, she said the sentence something like “Et’s a MARacle!”

That’s kinda like goozh, I guess.

(Should it be gooozh?? Hmm…)

(But I digress.)


So after unsuccessfully ripping the unsuspecting contact lenses from my eyes, I doused them with eye drops that specifically advise removing contact lenses before using.

Sweet.

Last pair.

Really old pair. And my glasses are worse. Truth.

Think it’s time for a trip to the optometrist? Yeah, I think so.

“Would be prudent,” to paraphrase Dana Carvey’s George Bush.

So after unsuccessfully ripping my eyes out, I proceeded to the kitchen to prepare breakfast for our little darlings.

 

Smoky. She’s really a lot more pleasant than this photo might otherwise suggest.

And of course, a trip downstairs for Smoky’s bowl. She’s the antisocial one. She keeps her distance from the other little darlings and eats alone.

Reaching for her bowl, I discovered Smoky had puked right next to her food dish.

Lovely.

While cleaning that up, I realized that she also puked in her bowl, on top of her leftover food.

Glad I noticed that before dumping it in with all the other leftover food.

Yes. Our cats eat leftovers.

So I took time to clean and disinfect her eating area.

Upstairs again to rinse out the bowls and toss some food in them. And race out the door. It was getting late.

Stepped over to the sink and dipped my toes in water.

That’s odd.

Was it pee?

Nope. Water.

Okay, I’ll wipe it up with a paper towel.

Put paper towel on floor. Paper towel is soaked through in milliseconds.

What the … ?!?

There’s a small lake on the floor.

Did the new dishwasher leak?? Don’t tell me…

Puddle only on the right side of the cabinet. Dry from the dishwasher. Hmm…

Open the cabinet, garbage disposal is leaking like a sieve. All over the already water-damaged floor of the cabinet. And draining onto the floor.

The kitchen floor....

The kitchen floor….

This day is starting well…

Old towel from the linen closet. Prop up a makeshift water basin under the sink.

I look at the clock. I should be walking out the door right now.

Sigh…

I usually listen to the daily readings and some other prayers while getting ready in the morning. It beats the trash on the radio. Yeah, I know… it’s more than that, but I don’t want you to think I’m some holy roller.

‘Cause I ain’t.

So I grab my phone (all that good stuff is on my phone) and notice that my low battery light is on.

Tornado narrowly missing Kirkland, Illinois last year.

Tornado narrowly missing Kirkland, Illinois last year.

What the … ?!?

I had the blasted thing plugged in all night! Or did I?

No. I swear I unplugged it when I got outta bed…

Well, anyway. The phone battery was pretty much dead.

All this before 4:30 this morning.

Oh. And today’s high temp? About 30 degrees colder than yesterday. Must be the start of another Cubs’ homestand.

But at least we dodged the severe weather.

And no tornadoes.

God never promised us it would be smooth sailing.

They stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead.   –   Acts 14:20

 

My day was not that bad.

Of course, I’ve yet to return to the homestead and don my Mr. Fix It cap…


“The Thrill of Victory, the Agony of Defeat”

04/10/2016

 

Eight days ago, Danny Willett wasn’t going to play in the 2016 Masters. Nicole, Danny’s wife was, expecting. The baby’s due date? Today, the final round of the Masters.

Zachariah Willett was born March 30, eleven days ago, just five days before Masters Week commenced.

Today, on Zachariah’s original due date, new dad Danny Willett won the 2016 Masters.

Congratulations, Danny, on a magical two weeks.

You don’t have to be a sports fan to celebrate a story like this.

In the aftermath of victory, 22-year-old Jordan Spieth, winner of last year’s Masters and leader after every single round the last two years of this tournament, was leading today’s final round by five strokes with nine holes to play.

Just three holes later, Jordan Spieth trailed by three, an eight stroke swing.

Jordan made a valiant comeback. He was within two strokes of the new leader with three holes to play. But he couldn’t complete the charge back to the top and finished tied for second.

Add to the agony of the collapse, as last year’s winner, Jordan had to congratulate and participate in the traditional presentation of the Masters Green Jacket to this year’s winner. Quite a humbling scene for a 22-year-old. He handled it with class and humility.

You’ve got to feel for the young man. But perhaps the fates had a hand in the events of the day.

As Jim McKay used to say so dramatically at the beginning of the ABC television show, Wide World of Sports,

“the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat.”


A Trip to the EWTN Studios and the Chapel

04/05/2016

Wow… what a week.

Six intense days studying, learning, discussing, and then masterminding with new colleagues at the NAMS Workshop in Atlanta.

My head is exploding. My brain is so full, it’s oozing outta my ears.

And now, this.

 

Outside the glass doors, camera pressed to the glass, peering in at the altar at Our Lady of the Angels Chapel in Irondale, Alabama. Home of the EWTN televised Daily Mass.

Outside the glass doors, camera pressed to the glass, peering in at the altar at Our Lady of the Angels Chapel in Irondale, Alabama. Home of the EWTN televised Daily Mass.

 

Birmingham is so close to Atlanta. Taking this little detour adds less than 100 miles to the drive home. How could I pass up the opportunity to visit EWTN, the Chapel, the Shrine at Hanceville?

Rolled into town just after 7 PM. Got a room at the Hampton, sat down to relax for a while. Checked the map and discovered that EWTN and the Our Lady of the Angels Monastery was just a mile down the road!

Had I known, I would have stopped there first.

Should have known. Didn’t look closely enough at the map. And I was exhausted when I got to the Hampton Inn.

But…

Realizing the monastery was so close, I had to go.

So glad I did.

From the parking lot next to the EWTN television studio.

From the parking lot next to the EWTN television studio.

I parked and took my time strolling the grounds, just after dusk.

Directly across from Our Lady of the Angels Chapel.

Directly across from Our Lady of the Angels Chapel.

 

 

20160405_195834The Chapel is magnificent in its simplicity. It is evident when you step inside the Chapel that you’re in a holy place.

 

 

20160405_202812

It’s serene.

It’s beautiful.

It’s peaceful.

 

 

 

 

And what would a blog post be without a video?

 

Or two?

 

Tomorrow morning, Fr. Mitch Pacwa celebrates the televised 7 AM Mass at the Chapel! I’m thrilled! Can’t wait.

Then off to the The Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament of Our Lady of the Angels Monastery in Hanceville.

It’s going to be another incredible day.


Should We Pray For People After They Die?

04/03/2016

Catholics say “pray for souls in Purgatory.”

Non-Catholic Christians say “there’s no need to pray for souls after they’re dead.”

In this final video of the 2016 Lent and Easter season, I ask some basic questions about this dichotomy.

Happy Feast of the Divine Mercy!

Pray the Chaplet. Today and every day.

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Thanks for taking some of your precious time today to read and listen to my thoughts. My commitment during Lent 2016 and continuing through Divine Mercy Sunday, the Second Sunday of Easter, is to post a daily video reflection to help you and me on our walk through the season and toward Easter Sunday, and finally to the Feast of Mercy. Click here for my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/davekwiecinski

I appreciate your help and encouragement. Please let me know how I can help you. This is something I’ve been called to do for some time. I’m finally embracing it. Father, forgive me for procrastinating.


Divine Mercy Novena: Day Eight – Easter Friday

04/01/2016

Today is the Mass of Christian Burial for Reverend Mother Mary Angelica of the Annunciation

Did Mother Angelica ascend to Heaven? Were her 5,207 days of suffering enough? She suffered a brain hemorrhage on Christmas Eve, December 24, 2001. She died last Sunday, Easter Sunday, March 27, 2016. Was that sufficient suffering? Her Purgatory here on Earth?

We can all hope that the Lord kept her here, to suffer in silence for most of those days, the great communicator that she was, so that she doesn’t have to endure further purification in Purgatory.

But…

just in case…

… pray for her soul.

For we don’t know if her body is yet perfected.

There’s a little more here:

Today is also Day 8 of the Divine Mercy Novena

Jesus said to Saint Faustina

Today bring to Me the souls who are in the prison of Purgatory, and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. Let the torrents of My Blood cool down their scorching flames. All these souls are greatly loved by Me. They are making retribution to My justice. It is in your power to bring them relief. Draw all the indulgences from the treasury of My Church and offer them on their behalf. Oh, if you only knew the torments they suffer, you would continually offer for them the alms of the spirit and pay off their debt to My justice.

Our prayer:

Most Merciful Jesus, You Yourself have said that You desire mercy; so I bring into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls in Purgatory, souls who are very dear to You, and yet, who must make retribution to Your justice. May the streams of Blood and Water which gushed forth from Your Heart put out the flames of Purgatory, that there, too, the power of Your mercy may be celebrated.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls suffering in Purgatory, who are enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. I beg You, by the sorrowful Passion of Jesus Your Son, and by all the bitterness with which His most sacred Soul was flooded: Manifest Your mercy to the souls who are under Your just scrutiny. Look upon them in no other way but only through the Wounds of Jesus, Your dearly beloved Son; for we firmly believe that there is no limit to Your goodness and compassion. Amen.

 

Follow this short novena prayer by praying The Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Please click this link, http://www.thedivinemercy.org/message/devotions/chaplet.php, to visit the website of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, for resources on how to pray The Chaplet.

Novena paragraphs excerpted from
“The Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, ‘Divine Mercy in My Soul’”
© Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M.
http://www.thedivinemercy.org/

The Divine Mercy Image, displayed outside The Chapel of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, Marytown, Libertyville, Illinois, when it was on display, August 2014.

The Divine Mercy Image, displayed outside The Chapel of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, Marytown, Libertyville, Illinois, when it was on display, August 2014.

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Thanks for taking some of your precious time today to read and listen to my thoughts. My commitment during Lent 2016 and continuing through Divine Mercy Sunday, the Second Sunday of Easter, is to post a daily video reflection to help you and me on our walk through the season and toward Easter Sunday, and finally to the Feast of Mercy. Click here for my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/davekwiecinski

I appreciate your help and encouragement. Please let me know how I can help you. This is something I’ve been called to do for some time. I’m finally embracing it. Father, forgive me for procrastinating.


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