Aloha Friday Message – August 29, 2008

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The past two weeks have had some special days. The 14th we celebrated the memory of St. Maximilian Kolbe who gave up his life in a Nazi concentration camp so that a young father could live. The 15th was the Feast of the Assumption when Catholics celebrate the transition of St. Mary the Mother of Jesus body and soul into Heaven. It is also the 54th anniversary of the ordination of my dear friend, mentor, and spiritual director Fr. Blane Grein, OFM. The 21st is the Birthday of my commadre Katie, Wife of Joseph, mother of Meghan our goddaughter and also of Tara and Alex, Meghan’s brother and sister. 23rd we remember the Queenship of Mary. 25th St. Louis, one of my all-time favorites – maybe because I wrote a tem paper about him in French in high school, but mainly because he was a pious and practical leader. 27th and 28th the mother and son combination of St. Monica and St. Augustine, another pair of favorites in our household because Monica never gave up on praying for her son’s conversion and she inspires us to pray for all the sons and daughter, godsons and goddaughters, spiritually adopted brothers and sisters and sons and daughters that all may have a deep and lasting conversion that is renewed daily. The 28th is also the second anniversary of my sister’s sudden departure from this world and joyful reunion with our Dad in Heaven. August is a month of memories, and each of them is precious.

Whenever we give ourselves over to moments of reverie, we usually can focus on the great times in our lives, but occasionally there are memories of not-so-great moments, too. Of these, the most unyielding are those moments of regret we feel for failing to live Christ’s law of Love. I think that is because we feel those moments make holes in the fabric of our lives, and that is not the kind of holiness we crave. Being holey is not wholly holy. Here is a story send to me by David Conrad’s parents about those holes. I’ll say a little something about remembering holes at the end.

The Quilt of Holes

As I faced my Maker at the last judgment, I knelt before the Lord along with all the other souls.

Before each of us our lives were laid out like the squares of a quilt in many piles; an angel sat before each of us sewing our quilt squares together into a tapestry that is our life.

But as my angel took each piece of cloth off the pile, I noticed how ragged and empty each of my squares was. They were filled with giant holes. Each square was labeled with a part of my life that had been difficult, the challenges and temptations I was faced with in every day life. I saw hardships that I endured, which were the largest holes of all.

I glanced around me. Nobody else had such squares. Other than a tiny hole here and there, the other tapestries were filled with rich color and the bright hues of worldly fortune. I gazed upon my own life and was disheartened. My angel was sewing the ragged pieces of cloth together, threadbare, and empty, like binding air together with smoke.

Finally the time came when each life was to be displayed, held up to the light, the scrutiny of truth. The others rose; each in turn, holding up their tapestries. So filled their lives had been. My angel looked upon me, and nodded for me to rise.

My gaze dropped to the ground in shame. I hadn’t had all the earthly fortunes. I had love in my life, and laughter. But there had also been trials of illness, and wealth, and false accusations that took from me my world, as I knew it. I had to start over many times. I often struggled with the temptation to quit, somehow only to muster the strength to pick up and begin again. I spent many nights on my knees in prayer, asking for help and guidance in my life. I had often been held up to ridicule, which I endured painfully, each time offering g it up to the Father in hopes that I would not melt within my skin beneath the judgmental gaze of those who unfairly judged me.

And now I had to face the truth. My life was what it was, and I had to accept it for what it was. I rose and slowly lifted the combined squares of my life to the light. An awe-filled gasp filled the air. I gazed around at the others who stared at me with wide eyes.

Then, I looked upon the tapestry before me. Light flooded the many holes, creating an image, the face of Christ. Then our Lord stood before me, with warmth and love in His eyes. He said, “Every time you gave over your life to Me, it became My life, My hardships, and My struggles. Each point of light in your life is when you stepped aside and let Me shine through, until there was more of Me than there was of you.”

May all our quilts be threadbare and worn, allowing Christ to shine through! God determines who walks into your life….it’s up to you to decide who you let walk away, who you let stay, and who you refuse to let go.

When there is nothing left but God that is when you find out that God is all you need.

Take 60 seconds and give this a shot! All you do is simply say the following small prayer for the person who sent you this.

Father, God bless all my friends in whatever it is that you know they may need this day! And may their life be full of your peace, prosperity, and power as s/he seeks to have a closer relationship with you. Amen.

Send this on to others. Within hours you caused a multitude of people to pray for other people. Then sit back and watch the power of God work in your life!

Epilog: The things that really struck me here is that this story illustrates God does not look at holes the same way we do. Good thing! You see, He doesn’t remember the holes, or the sins and struggles that made the holes. What He remembers is the Light because He is the Light and when that Light shines through us, we resemble Him all the more. As the LORD tells us in Isaiah 43:25, “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.”

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Beloved
You are precious in my memories – every single one of you. Aloha nui loa …

chick

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About Chick Todd

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

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