Aloha Friday Message – August 20, 2010 – A Calm Aloha Friday …

1034AFC082010

Psalm 118:24
NIV 24 This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
KJV 24 This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

Praise Report – PRAYER WORKS!:
Dear Family and Friends – I am very happy to tell you that my sister Polly Faso came home today, to her home in Chicago Heights after three months in hospitals and nursing home. Her wounds are healed. The challenge now is to strengthen her leg muscles and walking skills. Many thanks for your prayers and support. May God bless you! Hope you are enjoying these August days. Be well.

Fr Chuck Faso, OFM www.frchuckofm.org

Thank you, MBN, for your powerful prayerful support. Please continue to sustain her through the remainder of her healing process. More on prayer-requests at the end of this note.

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We recently replaced our washing machine. The old one was a top-loader, a Kenmore. I never could get it absolutely level so it seemed to get off balance frequently. When that happened, it would make loud banging noises like there was a Leprechaun with a hammer inside. Sometimes it just ate our clothes – the washer, not the Leprechaun – and sometimes it didn’t clean as well as we hoped.

The top-loaders have that conical agitator-thing in the middle. Sometime a pant-leg would accidentally go over the top of it and then the clothing would be stretched and twisted and tied in knots. Sometimes an article of clothing would get caught under the agitator and get all torn up. When I washed sheets or towels they often came out of the washer in one humongous knot of wet cloth that took a lot of time and effort to untangle, and usually that was preceded by finding out the load was off-balance. It’s weird to see the washing machine dance! But, when the load was bunched up on one small section of the tub, that Leprechaun came back, and the machine went all Hip-Hop dancer.

The new one is a front loader, so it tumbles the clothes. I think we’re less likely to have our clothing or bedding torn up in side this one, but I can tell you that it can also get off balance. It has some sort of special rigging inside that allows it to keep going and sort of “roll with the punches” so to speak. If you watch it during the spin cycle, you san see that drum jumping around inside the machine, but it apparently did not come with a hammer-wielding Leprechaun; it doesn’t make those loud banging noises. There a little onboard computer that detects when the drum is off-balance and it is programmed to make the drum roll slowly back and forth in an attempt to redistribute the load. If it can’t get it worked out within a few minutes of gentle tumbling, it just shuts of and plays a little tune to notify you that it is not able to solve the problem. Pretty cool.

But, who cares? Well, I got to thinking about this last Sunday. Our Pastor had said something about Mary, the mother of Jesus, which really caught my attention. He asked, “Why was Mary always so calm; how was she able to keep calm during all the difficult times in her life?” I thought surely it was because of her great faith. He said, “Yes, that is part of it, but it is because of her great devotion to Jesus that she was able to be calm. Everything she did was part of her unfailing devotion to Jesus.” With uncompromising devotion like that there is no room for frenzied frustration and anger, nor is there any need for it.

I get all agitated sometimes and start swinging my hammer at everything and everyone. I shout, or grumble under my breath so no one can hear (except The Trinity and everyone else in Heaven of course), and I get all out of balance. I tear things up, and can’t get my work done as well as I should, so things don’t always come out clean. It is sometimes all that agitation that gets me tied up in knots, but more often than not it’s the way I load up my life without paying attention to what I am putting into it. And it doesn’t matter if the agitation comes from the middle of my life, either. Getting rolled around and tumbled by the bumps in my little world can get me just as tied up and just as off balance. Thing is, I don’t have a little computer to help get things untangled or bring everything to a gentle stop when I can’t solve the problem. But, praise the Lord, I’m not a washing machine, so I have something better. Love.

Love can make me slow down. Love can make me lay down my hammer. Love can help me restore balance. Love can keep things from getting all tangled up. Love can improve my cleaning efficiency. Love can be the doorway to life-long devotion in the Kingdom. I’ve spoken often about Abraham’s great faith, but Sunday I thought about faith combined with great devotion. To me, that sound like a good way to have great balance. No matter how agitated or tumbled we feel in our day-to-day activities in the World, our peace and quiet calm in the Kingdom can be enhanced by balancing faith and devotion. So is there a difference between those two concepts?

In faith, I trust God to be God – All Right, All Powerful, All Good, All Knowing, All Present, Always and All Ways. I believe He alone is God, that everything He creates has an eternal purpose, and that His creation includes me. His Word is inviolate; it cannot be profaned or made impure. What God says is what God does because His actions are His words, and His words are perfect action.

Devotion is the personal (as opposed to congregational or corporate) enthusiastic commitment to be loyal and dedicated to a person or to religious practice(s). When we say, “I am devoted to you” we are expressing our personal intent to be steadfast and loyal, unswerving in our allegiance and any obligations or responsibilities that arise from our devotion.

So, when I combine faith, trust, and devotion, I have hope in a well-purposed future that is sustained by a commitment to focus my life’s work on the source of that hope. I have a balance. Some of you might remember an AFC Message about a wheelbarrow (AFC100308 or AFC100908 – let me know if you would like me to send you a copy) where I said that the handles of the wheelbarrow were like Faith and Trust. You need both of them to use the wheelbarrow. Drawing on that analogy, I propose that devotion is the sense of balance necessary to use the wheelbarrow without dumping everything out of it. That balance isn’t built into the wheelbarrow; it’s built into the person using it. Devotion is what makes it possible to move something that is heavy and cumbersome using a tool that is simple and practical. Devotion makes getting through life more calmly. Calm is good.

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Thank you for your prayers for Polly and for N.A, and please add CK’s Grandmother IC who is hospitalized after two heavy-duty strokes. Please remember to pray for and provide assistance to the homeless in our communities. Donate to or work at your food bank, feeding shelters, and churches to help those who are hungry; even consider the national And international programs that feed the poor and marginalized. Pray for Peace and believe your prayers will be answered. Also:

CI, KA, TH, KM, MC, DM, PT, TO, and the millions of other Americans looking for work to sustain their families: Pray that they will become part of the solution in the world economic crisis by finding employment.

The suffering souls in Haiti, Pakistan, the Philippines, China, Chile, Afghanistan, Iraq, The Gulf, Somalia, Darfur, and everywhere that evil and/or catastrophe inhabit the lives of billions: Pray for God’s Mercy, and strive to be an instrument of that Mercy.

Lastly, Beloved, Rejoice! God created you with a purpose and is absolutely thrilled when he sees you devoted to Him and to His purpose. That is certainly a cause for great rejoicing. He will surely look with favor on his devoted servants.

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Beloved
Age Quod Agis
chick

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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