To the parishioners of St. Philip Neri Parish, sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints –

“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ”.

I want to begin my reflection for this week to highlight again the words of Saint John Paull II who said: “Do not be afraid to be holy! Have the courage and humility to present yourselves to the world determined to be holy, since full and true freedom is born from holiness.”

Holiness shows itself in many different ways, but especially in our “worldview … how we look on life, our experiences of life, and the many things outside of life of which we have little or no control. Yet how we respond to each “moment” is determined by the way “we walk with God”.

So often, we humans spend an inordinate amount of time trying to avoid the “miraculous” in our lives, in order to fit the greatness and generosity of God into our own pettiness and narrowness of our “little worldview”. Is it any wonder that we manage to get anything done throughout an ordinary day?

Our lives are filled with miracles that we do not see: every time we hear the song of the meadowlark, the call of the crow, the purr of the family cat, it is the audible/visible breath of the Creator entering our world … yet we turn or look away! Each time a raindrop waters the earth, our world is clothed in the glory of its greatest possibilities … but we go inside our houses where we cannot see it!

Often, we can become easily preoccupied with (who) might be saying things/anything, about us, to care that the wildflowers have bowed their heads in profound gratitude, and the vines have spread their arms in prayer.

This is the challenge we face in life … this is when we get to choose. Will I turn my back on another person or close my ears to the songs of nature? Or do I allow myself to experience the Divine presence, to live “the moment” to the fullest? It is this summons, this quiet inner voice that can touch our hearts – to sense the presence of God.

God is good … all the time! Therefore, as we journey through life, as we grow in our spiritual astuteness, may we realize that the primary purpose of a “miracle” is not so much a revelation, but rather a moment of redemption.

Praise be Jesus Christ … and Mary Immaculate

St. Philip Neri … pray for us

St. Eugene de Mazenod … pray for us

St. Kateri Tekakwitha … pray for us

Fr. Mike Dechant OMI