For All Mothers

05/12/2019

Happy Mother’s Day, mothers!

And pray for your mothers who have died.

Mary, the Blessed Virgin, who said yes to God through the angel, Gabriel, is the most important mother in the history of the world.

Every single one of us has free will. When God sent Gabriel to ask Mary to bear His Son — DESPITE BEING A VIRGIN — He allowed Mary to exercise her free will and say yes or no.

Mary said yes. She bore the Son of God.

Without her consent, Jesus is not born into time when He was.

Whose DNA did Jesus bear?

If He was human, Mary’s.

Nativity

Whose DNA was shed on the cross?

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If Jesus was human, Mary’s.

Whose body and blood… whose DNA… did Jesus consecrate for us?

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If it’s Real Flesh and Real Blood, didn’t it have to be Mary’s?

Pray for your mothers today.

But don’t forget to pray for your eternal mother, Mary, the Mother of God.


“Do you want to leave me, too?”

05/11/2019

These may be the most troubling passages in scripture for me. John, chapter 6. Probably my favorite chapter in the bible.

Let’s discuss.

First, Catholics:

If we truly believe what we claim to profess, why aren’t we falling on our faces in front of every tabernacle? Do you even pause (in your thoughts) as you drive by a Catholic church, knowing Jesus Christ HIMSELF resides (yes, RESIDES) there?

Why don’t we FLOCK to Adoration?

Why don’t we eagerly confess our sins in orded to come to the Blessed Sacrament with clean hearts?

If you do not, why not?

Second, Protestants:

If Jesus spoke literally — and we have no reason to doubt His words and more than 100 Eucharistic miracles that confirm His teaching — do you ever wonder whether you’re missing (ignoring, misinterpreting, disparaging, denying… choose your verb) the most important Grace available  to you this life?

Why? Because some dude (or dudette) convinced you that Jesus only spoke symbolically?

How long have human beings denied and contradicted the words Jesus spoke? Since the day he uttered them.

“Do you want to leave me, too?”

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Why do I insist on telling Jesus how He must present Himself to me? What I think He meant? What’s best for me?

It’s probably Satan’s greatest triumph. Keeping so many of us away from the Real Presence of Jesus Christ on Earth.

Feel free to disagree with me. But let’s talk about it. If we truly believe what we claim to profess, why do we disagree with the words Jesus spoke?

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Dad’s New Wineskins

07/07/2018

“People do not put new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise the skins burst, the wine spills out, and the skins are ruined. Rather, they pour new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved.” – Matthew 9:17, from today’s gospel.

Every time I hear or read this Gospel, I think of my wonderful dad. His blood vessels and veins had undoubtedly weakened from years of inadequate blood flow, as surely happens to all people whose heart can no longer efficiently pump blood.

In my humble opinion, his vessels couldn’t handle the new flow of blood. Their elasticity was compromised from years of “drought.”

The LVAD

    – New Lease on Life

    – New Medical Issues

When the LVAD created a firehose effect — much greater pressure on inelastic tissues — the vessels weren’t quite capable of handling the new demand.

New Wine. Old Wineskins.

That’s why he needed frequent (almost monthly) blood transfusions. I ain’t no doctor. But years of reflecting and studying this stuff bring me to this intuitive conclusion.

Anyway… That’s the Readers Digest version.

God, I miss him!

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When is the Right Time?

07/02/2018

 

 

The imminent commencement of my SEVENTH (!!) decade shifted my philosophizing into overdrive and made me a tad more motivated.

I’ve got three things for you today.

Depravity

Many of us who live in the 21st Century seem to think we’ve evolved, that we’re so much wiser than our predecessors in past centuries. Certainly since the founding of our country!

The reality is,

there ain’t nothin’ new under the sun

and

those who lived seven and a half centuries before the birth of Christ were just as depraved as the “enlightened” 21st Century sophisticates.

A Warning

According to the prophet Amos, God took note of the depravity of the Israelites living at the time.

Amos warned them of their fate.

Psalm 50 has ominous reminders for

“… you who never think of God.”   –   Psalm 50:22a

Decision in the Midst of Excuses

Jesus has tough words for those who say they want to follow Him today. When’s the right time to do what you’ve been called to do?

When are you going to do it? What’s it going to take?

For me, time’s running short. It is for all of us. Some will have more than others.

What are you waiting for?

Watch the Video

It’s all explained right here…


New Wine in Old Blood Vessels

01/16/2018

“And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the wineskins, and the wine will pour out, and the wineskins will be lost. Instead, new wine must be put into new wineskins.” – Mark 2:22

Except when you get a VAD. Then you get new wine into old, brittle wineskins. Not sure if anybody thought about that…

Dad, Mom, and everybody Easter Sunday 2016 (03-27-16) _MG_8398

Easter Sunday, March 27, 2016 – Dad with his LVAD batteries holstered

I can’t hear (read) this Gospel any more without thinking of Dad, my dad, Norb Kwiecinski. He got a new lease on life in February 2014. An LVAD, a Left Ventricular Assist Device because his left ventricle was failing. It couldn’t sufficiently empty blood from his heart any longer. And he was dying.

450_300_mayolvad rendering of LVAD courtesy Mayo Clinic

Rendering of a Ventricular Assist Device, courtesy of Mayo Clinic

Lack of blood supply means lack of oxygen. Lack of oxygen means dying a slow death.

The LVAD gave him new life. It pumped blood through his body for him. But that lack of blood flow for so many years meant veins that had turned into old wineskins. And Dad’s new wine, in the form of a vibrant, fresh blood supply, was too much for the old wineskins to handle.

After being discharged from his four-month journey through intensive care, five staredowns with death, and an incredibly intense physical rehabilitation, Dad became a frequent visitor at the hospital.

Why? He constantly needed more blood. Where was it going?

Despite numerous tests, there was little evidence of a single source of a leak. It wasn’t showing up. So why did he need blood? Where was it going? Was his body like an old automobile engine, burning oil?

My humble, yet considered theory is that his arteries and veins — and especially the fine, delicate capillaries that deliver blood to the extremities and up to the skin — had become brittle from years of poor blood flow. When the LVAD powerfully and efficiently delivered blood, this force was more than these delicate tissues could handle. And the blood was absorbed into the body. It had seemingly disappeared. But it really hadn’t.

Is that really what happened? Is this really the explanation for why Dad consistently needed blood transfusions?

Nobody can convince me otherwise. No one else had a better, more plausible, more scientific explanation. And my theory seems to make sense.

Anyway… today’s Gospel triggered these memories today. Always happens. And the memories of those troubling, yet exhilarating and joyful months come flooding back into consciousness as if they happened yesterday.

I love you, Dad. Still miss you like crazy. Still blame you for my coffee addiction. Still ask you for help with the simplest home repair projects. And I still hear you say, chidingly, “atta boy” when I finally figure it out.

And we have the most serious man-to-man philosophical discussions… well, sure, they’re slightly one-sided. But they’re real. And really serious.

#dadupdate

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A Punch in the Gut

05/09/2017

“Let us rejoice and be glad and give glory to God, for the Lord our God the Almighty reigns, alleluia.”

Revelations 19:7,6  –  Entrance Antiphon, Fourth Tuesday of Easter

Not easy sometimes to embrace this when we’re hurting. A year ago today, Mom buried her beloved husband, Norb Kwiecinski. A year ago today, Sarah and Andy lost their biological father, Dan Vincent. The timing was a punch in the gut.

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But we’re not here for this life. Yeah, we live it to the full while we’re here. We’re supposed to serve others, do our best, love with every ounce… but we rejoice because Jesus embraces all the crap, all the hurt, all the tears, all the anguish, all the sadness, all the depression, all the torment and torture, all the injustice.

All the sorrow.

It sucks.

But He says “Let me take it. Rejoice.”

It’s still so hard. So please pray for us. Sarah and Daniel, who also lost his dad this year, and their kids, our grandchildren. Andy and Cheryl, who lost her dad ten years ago, and their kids, our grandchildren. Douglas and Amy and sweet little Imogen, who never had the pleasure of meeting Great Grandpa. Stephen and Martha. My sweet wife, Kathy, who lost her mom, Dorothy, three years ago, and her dad, Malcolm, in 1981. My sisters and brothers in law. My nieces and nephews who miss their Grandpa. Uncle Stan, who misses his brother. Butch, who misses his Uncle Norb. Countless relatives and friends who loved Dad. I could go on and on listing names, but I will leave out too many.

And please pray especially for Mom, Barb Kwiecinski. I know she misses the guOI2047625967_Kwiecinskiy who gave her such grief, who gave her such a hard time, who was always there to calm her down when she needed it, who was always there for her, even when he was so broken down he couldn’t even care for himself.

Dad, we miss you. But nobody more so than Mom.      

Rejoice. That’s what we’ll do someday when we all get together again. Right now, we smile and laugh … and cry … when we remember.


Fourth Sunday of Advent, December 18, 2016

12/18/2016

A reading from the book of the prophet Isaiah 7:10-14

10 And the Lord spoke further to Ahaz, saying:

11 “Ask for a sign for yourself from the Lord your God, from the depths below, even to the heights above.”

12 And Ahaz said, “I will not ask, for I will not tempt the Lord.”

13 And (Isaiah) said: “Then listen, O house of David. Is it such a small thing for you to trouble men, that you must also trouble my God? 14 For this reason, the Lord himself will grant to you a sign. Behold, a virgin will conceive, and she will give birth to a son, and his name will be called Immanuel.”

The word of the Lord.


Responsorial Psalm 24(23):1-2, 3-4, 5-6

(7c and 10b) And the King of Glory shall enter. He himself is the King of Glory.

1 The earth and all its fullness belong to the Lord: the whole world and all that dwells in it. 2 For he has founded it upon the seas, and he has prepared it upon the rivers.

And the King of Glory shall enter. He himself is the King of Glory.

3 Who will ascend to the mountain of the Lord? And who will stand in his holy place? 4 The innocent of hands and the clean of heart, who has not received his soul in vain, nor sworn deceitfully to his neighbor.

And the King of Glory shall enter. He himself is the King of Glory.

5 He will receive a blessing from the Lord, and mercy from God, his Savior. 6 This is the generation that seeks him, that seeks the face of the God of Jacob.

And the King of Glory shall enter. He himself is the King of Glory.


A reading from the book of St. Paul to the Romans 1:1-7

1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called as an Apostle, separated for the Gospel of God, 2 which he had promised beforehand, through his Prophets, in the Holy Scriptures, 3 about his Son, who was made for him from the offspring of David according to the flesh, 4 the Son of God, who was predestined in virtue according to the Spirit of sanctification from the resurrection of the dead, our Lord Jesus Christ, 5 through whom we have received grace and Apostleship, for the sake of his name, for the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles, 6 from whom you also have been called by Jesus Christ: 7 To all who are at Rome, the beloved of God, called as saints. Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

The word of the Lord.


A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew 1:18-24

18 Now the procreation of the Christ occurred in this way. After his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they lived together, she was found to have conceived in her womb by the Holy Spirit. 19 Then Joseph, her husband, since he was just and was not willing to hand her over, preferred to send her away secretly. 20 But while thinking over these things, behold, an Angel of the Lord appeared to him in his sleep, saying: “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to accept Mary as your wife. For what has been formed in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she shall give birth to a son. And you shall call his name JESUS. For he shall accomplish the salvation of his people from their sins.” 22 Now all this occurred in order to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 Behold, a virgin shall conceive in her womb, and she shall give birth to a son. And they shall call his name Emmanuel, which means: God is with us. 24 Then Joseph, arising from sleep, did just as the Angel of the Lord had instructed him, and he accepted her as his wife.

The Gospel of the Lord.

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video image courtesy of Sweet Publishing/FreeBibleimages.org

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Thanks for taking some of your precious time today to read and listen to the daily Mass readings. The readings are taken and adapted from the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Holy Bible.

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.

This is where Kit Kat and now Lady are both buried. R.I.P. Daddy's Little Babies.


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