It has been much too long since I last wrote. That's one of the difficulties of being on the road and not having easy access to the Internet. Lent is a busy time of year because of all the requests for missions and retreats. Since my last posting--when I was in Aurora, IL for a parish mission--here's what I've been up to....
The day after the Aurora parish mission ended I flew to Orlando, FL and drove to Vero Beach where I met with the Knights and Dames of Malta who live in that area. I began my brief talk telling them about how when I was growing up and hurt myself and started crying, the religious women who taught us would say "Offer it up!" With this beginning to my talk there was an immediate connection. Many of us have had that experience; and many of us have forgotten it. In my travels and through the media, I'm trying to revive that lost sense of purpose. Suffering is inevitable. But what we do with it is our choice. May we make good use of suffering by joining it to the Cross of Jesus for the salvation of souls.
After only two days in Florida (not enough to even burn!) I flew back to Milwaukee, had one day in the office, and then flew to Saginaw, MI where I gave a three and a half day retreat to 28 priests. It's not always easy to talk to one's peers, but I am very committed to ministering to my brother priests. I presented 9 talks based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. In the final talk I talk about the Apostleship of Prayer. St. Ignatius Loyola ends his Exercises with a prayer called the "Suscipe." It begins: "Take, Lord, and receive...." It's a prayer in which we acknowledge that everything we are and have is a gift from God, and since God has loved us so much, it's natural that we return that love. God gave us His very Self in Jesus Christ. Now we give God ourselves through the daily Morning Offering.
After the retreat I returned to Milwaukee, had one day in the office again, and flew to Phoenix, AZ. Last Saturday night I spoke at the 25th anniversary dinner of the Radio Family Rosary show (http://radiofamilyrosaryphoenix.homestead.com/radiofamilyrosary.html). During the dinner I was privileged to sit next to Bishop Thomas Olmstead who told me that the Morning Offering has been a part of his life since childhood.
This last weekend I preached at the English Masses at St. Daniel the Prophet Catholic Church in Scottsdale, AZ and today I began a two day mission. I celebrated Mass this morning with parishioners and grade school children and afterwards, with the fourth through eighth grades present, I gave the first mission talk about "The Amazing Eucharist." This is the phrase Pope John Paul II chose to describe the Holy Eucharist. In the spirit of this great man, I try to help people see that if we really reflected on the gift that Jesus gives us in the Eucharist--His very Body and Blood--we would be amazed and would adore Him in the Blessed Sacrament and try to receive as often as we could.