Perhaps you can remember being excited when a favorite author, singer, or actor released a new book, album, or movie?  Some of us experience a sense of loss when a writer or entertainer who meant so much to us dies. One of my favorite authors, Robert Ludlum, wrote thrillers, spy novels, and mysteries.  He is probably best known by one of his characters named Jason Bourne.

He was only 73 years old when he died in March 2001.  Strangely enough, he died from injuries received in a “mysterious fire” a month earlier.  I was delighted when a new novel of his was released two years later.  I thought it was done before he died and publication was delayed until his Estate was settled.  But when two more novels were released in the next two years. I knew there was a “ghost writer” involved. I was pretty sure it wasn’t him!

Many autobiographies by celebrities, novels by famous authors, books and speeches are written by ghost writers who typically are paid, but their name and role kept secret.   Ian Fleming, James Patterson, Tom Clancy, virtually all politicians, and most entrepreneurs have used them.

Sometimes, however, ghost writers claim what they wrote was written by a famous person who is well known.  Of course, this usually happens centuries later.  Some of the books in the Bible falsely claim to have been written by a famous figure so more people would pay attention.  The so-called Prayer of Saint Francis was no more written by him than it was written Leonardo DiCaprio.  This prayer couldn’t possibly be any more in the spirit of Saint Francis than it is.

When writing these updates two or three times a week for more than three months now, I have relied most often upon something that happened on that particular day.  Today’s topic came from an unfulfilled wish to have someone write this for me. Why?  The update for day 103 mentioned Anne Frank and World War II.  On day 106 I wrote about the cause of World War I and the strange coincidence about a license plate.  I just couldn’t write about the Civil War Battle of Gettysburg which began on this day in 1863!

 

UPDATE: Nothing new to report really about the Covid-19 situation. But …

The Diocese will soon announce its budget for the 2020-2021 Fiscal Year that was developed, recommended, and approved by the newly appointed and empowered Finance Council that began in late 2018 or early 2019.  For the first time in my priesthood a Bishop consulted his Consulters and Presbyteral Council.  Significant but necessary cuts have been made.  Diocesan employees’ pay remains unchanged. The salary for all priests will be reduced by 3%. The subsidies for schools, parishes, and Catholic Charities are unchanged. However, since there was no Catholic Sharing Appeal undertaken, there is no money to share.

 

SCRIPTURE PASSAGE: Second Letter to Timothy 1:3-7

I am grateful to God—whom I worship with a clear conscience, as my ancestors did—when I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. Recalling your tears, I long to see you so that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you. For this reason I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.

 

PRAYER of DAY (What else could it possibly be?):

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:

where there is hatred, let me sow love;

where there is injury, pardon;

where there is doubt, faith;

where there is despair, hope;

where there is darkness, light;

where there is sadness, joy.

 

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek

to be consoled as to console,

to be understood as to understand,

to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive,

it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,

and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.

 

POEM of the DAY — I PRAY YOU EXPERIENCE IT:

An Appalachian Wedding

Look up at the sky

the heavens so blue

the sun so radiant

the clouds so playful

the soaring raptors

woodland creatures

meadows in bloom

rivers singing their

way to the sea

wolf song on the land

whale song in the sea

celebration everywhere

wild, riotous

immense as a monsoon

lifting an ocean of joy

then spilling it down over

the Appalachian landscape

drenching us all

in a deluge of delight

as we open our arms and

rush toward each other

all of us moved by that vast

compassionate curve

that brings all things together

in intimate celebration

celebration that is

the universe itself.

— Thomas Berry

 

MYSTIC MORSELS for MEDITATION and PRAYER STARTERS:

Because in the school of the Spirit man learns wisdom through humility,

knowledge by forgetting, how to speak by silence, how to live by dying.

—Johannes Tauler (c. 1300-1361)

 

✿     ✿     ✿     ✿     ✿       ✿     ✿     ✿     ✿     ✿

 

God didn’t say,

“You won’t be attacked” or

“You won’t be overwhelmed” or

“You won’t be upset” or

“You won’t be stressed out.”

No, instead He said,

“You won’t be overcome.”

 

God wants us to pay attention to His words,

and always be strong in our certainty—

when things are going well and

when things are going terribly—

God wants us to love Him and

delight in Him and trust in Him

with all our heart, and all will be well.

— Julian of Norwich (1342-1416)

 

 

FOR FUN:

So, on July 4th, one of the hottest days of the year, we’re all going to sit outside of our air-conditioned homes and cook over a fire?

 

☆。★。☆。★

。☆。☆ 。★ 。

★。\|/。★

100% of firework

displays end with

someone’s mom

saying “is that it?”

★。/|\ °★

。☆。☆ ° ☆。

☆。 ★。☆ °★

 

The day finally arrived; Forrest Gump dies and goes to Heaven. He is at the Pearly Gates, met by St. Peter himself. St. Peter says, “Well, Forrest, it’s certainly good to see you. We have heard a lot about you. I must inform you that the place is filling up fast, and we’ve been administering an entrance examination for everyone. The test is short and you have to pass before you can get into heaven.”

St. Peter continues: “The questions are:

What days of the week begin with the letter “T”?

How many seconds are there in a year?

What is God’s first name?”

Forrest says, “Well, the first one, how many days in the week begin with the letter “T”? That’s a easy one. That’d be Today and Tomorrow.” The Saint’s eyes open wide and he exclaims, “Forrest, that’s not what I was thinking, but… I’ll give you credit for that answer.

How about the next one?” asks St. Peter. “How many seconds in a year? Now that’s harder,” says Forrest, “but I thunk and thunk and guess the only answer can be twelve.”

Astounded, St. Peter says, “Twelve? Forrest, how in Heaven’s name could you come up with twelve seconds in a year?” “Shucks, there’s gotta be twelve; January 2nd, February 2nd, March 2nd…” “Hold it,” interrupts St. Peter. “I see where you’re going with this, and I’ll have to give you credit for that one, too.

Let’s go on with the next and final question. Can you tell me God’s first name?” “Sure.” Forrest replied. “It’s Andy.” “Andy?!” exclaimed an exasperated and frustrated St. Peter. “Okay, I can understand how you came up with your answers to my first two questions, but just how in the world did you come up with the name of Andy as the first name of God?”

“That was the easiest one of ’em all,” Forrest replied. “ANDY WALKS WITH ME, ANDY TALKS WITH ME, ANDY TELLS ME I AM HIS OWN.”

St. Peter opened the Pearly Gates and said, “Run, Forrest, Run!”