Thankful Thursdays

A special shout-out this week to a great man and friend.  But first, three things:

Three things in life that, once gone, never come back –
Time
Words
Opportunity

Three things in life that may never be lost –
Peace
Hope
Honesty

Three things in life that are most valuable
Love
Self-confidence
Friends

Three things in life that are never certain –
Dreams
Success
Fortune

Three things that make a man –
Hard work
Sincerity
Commitment

Three things in life that can destroy a man –
Liquor
Pride
Anger

Three things that are truly constant –
Father
Son
Holy Ghost

Today, I want to celebrate Father Juan M. Lopez, who retired after 60 years of service to the Lord, 34 of those in our parish of Sts. Peter & Paul. We wish him a happy and healthy retirement, and we thank him for his friendship and dedication, and for the difference he has made in the lives of so many.

Father Lopez wore many hats, including that of a photographer. Here he is in 2013 taking a picture of our family at the end of our vow renewal ceremony.

“The measure of a man’s greatness is not the number of servants he has, but the number of people he serves.”
-J. Hagee

Thankful Thursdays

Nothing like doing what one enjoys. One of those things for me, as many of you know, is taking pictures. I’m always the one behind the lens but, this time, I was caught in the act.

Guys, get yourselves a digital photo frame, load it up, and play it throughout the day. You’ll love those “remember when” conversations it brings up.

For every scene I’ve breathed in and recorded, for every memory I’ve captured and shared, I am so very grateful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“While there is perhaps a province in which the photograph can tell us nothing more than what we see with our own eyes, there is another in which it proves to us how little our eyes permit us to see.”
-D. Lange

“All photographs are memento mori. To take a photograph is to participate in another person’s (or thing’s) mortality, vulnerability, mutability. Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to time’s relentless melt.”
-S. Sontag

“A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away.”
-E. Welty

Naples, FL, June 16, 2022, shot by my brother, Arturo a/k/a Coqui.

Thankful Thursdays

“Things could be worse” is not just another cliché. If you ask me, 97% of the time (and that’s my stat), it is true, things could be worse. We should be conscious of that and leave the real worry and freaking out for the three percent (again, my stat) that, well, is indeed worse.

This perspective can help us keep our sanity now more than ever because the world has gone mad and a lot of things suck right now. But unless we’re one of the ones dealing with that dreaded three percent, I say let’s cool our jets and be grateful. Be very grateful.

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Loving people live in a loving world. Hostile people live in a hostile world. Same world.”
-W. Dryer

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
-W. Dyer

“In a rapidly ascending balloon were two men.
One watched the earth getting farther and farther away.
One watched the stars getting nearer and nearer.
-G.J. Nathan

Taken March 31, 2012, over Homestead Air Force Base, FL

Thankful Thursdays

A short and sweet Rx this Thankful Thursday to remind us to combat today’s forces. Because the world’s patterns are leading us to a broken life, we must stay true to what’s good and decent. Let’s be transformed, not conformed.

For every time God helps me to resist those wicked forces, I am thankful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“My mind is like a little house,
My peers break into.
They rearrange my furniture,
And the cabinets rifle through.
They throw things out;
They put things in,
And erase the writing on the wall,
And by the time that they walk out,
It’s not my mind at all.”
-M.T. Rose

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thankful Thursdays

I never met a sunset I didn’t like. Here’s advice from one:

Be amazing
Keep your inner fire burning
Have a glow about yourself
Be present
Savor special moments
Close the day with beauty
Thank God for another day!

May you have many sunsets in your life. For every one of mine, I am thankful.

“It’s almost impossible to watch a sunset and not feel gratitude.”
-Me

Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.
-R. Tagore

Thankful Thursdays

Let’s not be Lucy. 

We should remember that not everything is “about me.” Lots of people out there are fighting a tough battle, and selflessness and compassion can go a long way. As Audrey Hepburn once said, “Don’t fuss, dear; get on with it.”

For those who put others before self, I am thankful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Above all the grace and the gifts that Christ gives to his beloved is that of overcoming self.”
-St. Francis of Assisi

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”
-Plato

“One of the most important things you can do on this earth is to let people know they are not alone.”
-S.L. Alder

 

Thankful Thursdays

How do we fix what’s broken? I came across a quote the other day that states, “If it moves but shouldn’t: Duct tape. If it doesn’t move but should: WD-40. These two items cover all of your needs. Everything else in science is secondary.”

Pretty good. If only it were that simple to fix what’s broken in society today. For starters, there is so much indifference. So where to begin? Improving social skills, maybe?

My mother was a stickler for manners. She thought 3% of bad manners were forgivable, the other 97% not so much. My siblings and I were taught that saying “please” and “thank you” is a must; that a greeting is a must; that a thank-you note is a must; that holding the door for others is a must…and the list goes on.

On a daily, I encounter people who don’t initiate or reciprocate, and I remember arguing with Mom about having to do it when others don’t. She would say, “Porque yo no te enseñé a ser mal educada.” Because I didn’t teach you to be rude. So yes, if we cross paths I am going to acknowledge you, whether with a smile, a wave, a nod, a hello, a good morning or a hey. Some times I’m not going to want to because you never do, but Mom taught me better.

Can good manners diffuse hostility and grind down nastiness? I believe so. Wow, what a concept! Imagine that.

For the lessons of our parents, today and always I am thankful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“A dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness. Bad manners. Lack of consideration for others in minor matters. A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than is a riot.”
-R.A. Heinlein

“If it moves but shouldn’t: Duct tape. If it doesn’t move but should: WD-40. These two items cover all of your needs. Everything else in science is secondary.”
-Andy Weir

 

Thankful Thursdays

This Thankful Thursday, as I digest the latest massacre in this country, I try to refocus and fill my mind with all the things I can be thankful for, starting with my kids being alive today. My heart breaks for the victims and families of yet another school mass shooting. Yes, AGAIN.

We can control gun law reform, we can control security measures, we can control mental health programs. And we should, all of the above. But what we cannot control is an individual’s state of mind, let alone an evil one. Just incredibly difficult. God help us.

While there are those who say thoughts and prayers are for nothing, and I realize they are not a solution, as faith-filled believers, it is imperative we offer ours for those touched by this latest evil act. May this be the last one.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“We are twice armed if we fight with faith.”
– Plato

Thankful Thursdays

Greed comes in many shapes and sizes. Is this humanity today, in a nutshell?

Heaven and Hell
A holy man was having a conversation with the Lord one day and said, Lord, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell is like.” So the Lord led the man to two doors. He opened one of the doors and the man looked inside.  

In the middle of the room was a large round table. In the middle of the table was a large pot of stew which smelled delicious and made the man’s mouth water. The people sitting around the table were thin and looked sickly. They appeared to be famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles that were strapped to their arms and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful, but because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths.  

The holy man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering. The Lord said, “Alright so now you have seen Hell.”  

Then they went to the next room and opened the door. This room was exactly the same as the first one. There was the large round table with the large pot of stew which made the holy man’s mouth water. The people were equipped with the same long-handled spoons that were strapped to their arms, but here the people were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking. 

The holy man said, “I don’t understand.” And the Lord said, “It’s simple, it requires but one skill. You see, they have learned to feed each other, while the greedy in the other room think only of themselves.”

Feels to me like all we are feeding each other these days is a lot of BS, and the worst of our greed is starving us of spiritual nourishment. But it is said that an attitude of gratitude is the first defense against greed and selfishness. So I say let’s begin with being thankful for what we have, and start using those long spoons for some good.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.+

“For what shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”
-Matthew 8:36

 

Thankful Thursdays

Let me ask you something…If we didn’t watch the news for one week, how much healthier would our lives be? How much stronger would our faith feel?

The other day someone said to me, “I fear faith has been contaminated.” True statement, I tell you. And that day, when I watched the news, I felt it. It’s how I feel every time I watch the state of our world being played out in the media.  I mean, we already know how screwed up things are, and being reminded of it day in day out in the most untrustworthy and unrealistic of ways makes what is already frustrating pretty much unfathomable and hopeless. As the kids say, “it’s so extra.” It’s a barrage of negativity.

I miss the days of straight-up news, sports, and weather. Don’t you?

So today and everyday, for every time God helps me stay hopeful and protect my faith from contamination, I am thankful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.+

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”
-G.B. Shaw

“One reason that cats are happier than people is that they have no newspapers.”
-G. Brooks

“Let your faith be bigger than your fears.”