Monday, September 24, 2012

A fourth grade religion class in a Catholic school was asked to write a very brief letter to God. Here are some of the students’ letters:

Dear God, I bet it's very hard for you to love all of everybody in the whole world. There are only 4 people in our family and I can never do it.

Dear God, did you mean for giraffes to look like that or was it an accident?

God, I read the Bible every day.

What does beget mean? Daddy told me to ask Mom, and she won’t say.

Dear God, is it true my father won't get in Heaven if he uses his golf words in the house?

Dear God, please send Dennis to a different summer camp next year.

Dear God, maybe Cain and Abel would not kill each other so much if they each had their own rooms. It works out OK with me and my brother.

Dear God, I didn't think orange went with purple until I saw the sunset you made on Tuesday night. That was really cool.

Dear God, Thank you for my new baby brother but what I asked for was a puppy. I was surprised when I got a baby brother instead. Mommy and Daddy said they were surprised too.

Dear God, if you’re at Church on Sunday I will show you my new shoes.

Dear God, it’s just great the way you always get the stars in the right place every night. Why can't you do that with the moon? It’s always moving around.

Dear God, I am doing the best I can. I’m trying. Really. Don’t ask my parents, though, or my teacher.

Dear God, please make my grandma feel better. She’s sick. I never asked for anything before in my whole life. You can look it up.

Dear God, I always wonder at Mass how you can fit yourself into that little piece of bread. It must hurt. Anyway, I think it’s really neat.

Dear God, I heard that you should love someone, but I’m not rushing into it, because I’m finding fourth grade hard enough right now.

(and my favorite…)

Dear God, I just hid the statue of Mary that was on my dresser, because I want a new bike. If you ever want to see your mother again, get me the bike.


• Holiness starts with the little things.
• Holiness starts with looking at the little things and being able to say “Wow, that’s really neat.”
• Holiness starts with recognizing that God cares about the little things.
• Holiness starts with letting God into the little things of our lives, and not waiting for the big things to invite God in.
• Holiness starts with recognizing that the little things in life aren’t distractions or obstacles to prayer and holiness; they are the reason for prayer and holiness.
• Holiness starts with finding awe in puppies and little brothers and giraffes and sunsets and stars, and how grass grows and how clouds make shapes, and saying, “Thank you. That was really cool.”
• Holiness starts with looking at how God works and admitting, “I don’t understand it; but anyway I think it’s really neat.”
• Holiness starts with realizing I don’t have to prove anything to God, and I don’t have to earn His love; it’s enough to say, “I’m trying. Honest.”
• Holiness starts with looking at your problems and saying, “God, I guess I’m not perfect, but I really need you.”
• Holiness starts by accepting that there are miracles. Every day.
• Holiness starts by falling on your knees before something as wondrous as the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist, and not trying to figure it out, but just saying, “Wow. Thanks.”

— We make things like holiness and religion complicated, but they’re really not. They’re as simple as the thoughts of a little child.
September 23, 2012
Msgr. William J. King
On advice of my spiritual director, I have of late been reading and praying through the book of Exodus. There is much to ponder there. I think the key to the entire book is found in Exodus 14:13, where the people of God experience their first moment of terror after God has led them out of Egypt. Moses encourages the people, in words we all would do well to ponder, "The Lord will fight for you; yo
u have only to keep still." Only a little while later, again in terror, the people were beset by serpents who bit them. God told Moses to place a bronze image of a serpent atop a pole, and when the people raised their eyes to see the image, they would be saved. It's no wonder why Teresa of Jesus (of Avila) speaks of serpents and reptiles in the first few mansions of her classic, "The Interior Castle." How many people can never move beyond the serpents that beset them in their spiritual journey -- the bites that keep them looking down, not up. Wasn't that the marvel of God's wisdom: by placing the source of our distractions atop a pole, we are compelled to look up from our own travails and worries to see Divine mercy and grace higher than the things of this world. High on the pole was the very source of their distraction: God bade them to see that He was more powerful than the very things that held them down! So, when Jesus says that He must be lifted high on the cross, is it not the fulfillment of what Moses understood: "The Lord will fight for you." In the desert of the Exodus, the serpent -- the source of terror for the people -- was lifted on a pole as a way to compel the people to raise their eyes from their own woes and terror, and to see that God was stronger. In the desert of the crucifixion, the envy, the contempt, the deadwood of rigid doctrine, the clinging to power -- all that brought Jesus to death -- was raised on the cross, so that we might raise our eyes from own self-absorption and see that God is stronger than all of that. Our sins matter little; Mercy is stronger. Our weakness matters not; Grace is stronger. Our worries matter for nothing; Providence overcomes. All that conspired to bring Jesus to death is rendered moot by the cross: lift up your eyes and see your salvation is at hand. Jesus, I trust in you!
September 19, 2012
Msgr. William J. King
If today’s Gospel were a game of “Jeopardy,” Peter would have lost. He had the right answer, but forgot to put it in the form of a question. Under the category of “Who people say that I am,” Peter correctly answered, “You are the Christ.” However, he should have put it in the form of a question: “What is the Christ?” He had an idea of what the Christ was. He told Jesus who He was. He didn’t ask Jesus to teach him what the Christ really was.

Don’t we do exactly the same thing? We have our idea of God the who and the what and the how of how God, but we lose so much because we don’t put it in the form of a question. And then listen for an answer.

September 16, 2012
Msgr. William J. King

Friday, September 7, 2012

I Corinthians 3:18-23, and Luke 5:1-11 — There comes a moment in each person’s life when he or she is confronted by a deep realization: God’s ways are better than my ways. It’s a humbling, sometimes agonizing, sometimes traumatic, sometimes joy-filled, moment. The author Rosemary Haughton suggested that these moments come at the edges and corners of life, where the carpet is turned up a bit and we
can see what lies beyond this world. She described these moments as those which bring deep emotion: the birth of a child, the death of a spouse, the diagnosis of terminal illness, and so on. For some, the discovery is more gradual: a growing uneasiness in life, a deepening restlessness, or as one seminarian said about his surrender to God's call to priesthood, “The lingering feeling that there was something more waiting for me.” Paul had this discovery along the road to Damascus. Peter, along the Sea of Galilee. Where were you, or where will you be, when the Truth finally breaks through? One young man said succinctly but profoundly of his moment, “I tried life my way; it was time to try God’s way.” When God invites us to “set out into the deep” (as with Peter) or to “become a fool, so as to become wise” (as with Paul), He is expressing His love for us, who made us and knows us best. The poet Dante wrote, “In His will is our peace.” How true, how true. There comes a moment for each of us when we recognize that years of insisting that God support what I want out of life have not been the best use of my talents and energies (as Peter said, “We have worked hard all night and have caught nothing.”). When we abandon our goals to the larger and loving will of God, when we trust that God can best direct me in life, we can begin to plumb the depths of what Peter and Paul knew (as Paul wrote, “All belong to you, and you to Christ, and Christ to God.”).
September 6, 2012
Msgr. William J. King
Someone spied a long hair on my black suit coat the other day. "Yes," I acknowledged, "it belongs to a female, but she was a real dog." Every now and again I need to get my dog fix (that's different from getting a dog "fixed"). I grew up with dogs; I'm a dog fan; my mother taught me, "Bill darling, never trust anyone who doesn't like dogs." It's no wonder that one of the simplest yet most profo
und of the common symbolos in the catacombs of Rome is the pawprint of a dog crudely impressed in the drying concrete that sealed a tomb. It was a statement by the early Catholics about one of their fellow Believers: "As a dog is loyal to its master and looks to it for food and shelter, so this Christian was loyal to our heavenly Master, and looked to Him for protection, providence, and grace." So I admit it: I went to a friend's home the other night to satisfy my dog fix. She was a blonde, but a real dog!
September 5, 2012
Msgr. William J. King
September 4, 2012
Msgr. William J. King

Saturday, September 1, 2012

September 1, 2012
Msgr. William J. King