Sanctification in Daily Work
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Work Trip With Time for Family & Friends

Dad's gravesiteIt doesn’t often work out but last week I had to go to Clearwater Beach, FL for a business conference and had enough time to see some family and friends. It was cheaper to fly into Sarasota and rent a car than flying into Tampa. I was born and raised in Sarasota, which was only an hour or so away for Clearwater Beach. On the way to the hotel I saw my mother’s sister and my father’s brother-in-law and various cousins, as well as my college roommate and best friend from high school. Had not seen any of them in many years, so it was a nice treat.

But most important to me was seeing where Dad was buried after passing away early this year. We had the funeral in Georgia where he lived with Mother who is still living there. We were able to fly him to the cemetery where they had purchased grave sites. The grave stone has not been finished and placed there but I was able to find the spot where it will be. That’s why there is an open area in the photo. I am so glad to have been able to stop and say some prayers for him and my grandparents who are buried there too. And especially during this month when we remember our departed ones. BTW. I can’t thank my uncle enough who made the transportation and internment details for us.

COVID-19 Stay at Home Effects

As we continue to live under stay at home orders of various kinds and locations I have been thinking more and more about the damage to people’s emotions, especially those who suffer from depression and anxiety. I’m concerned about our loss of jobs and liberties too.

But before you think I don’t care about every human life I can assure you nothing could be further from the truth. However, we live with death around us everywhere in the world. Abortion is the most extreme example. Terrorism, suicide, vehicle crashes and a variety of diseases like heart disease and cancer, are not new.

I don’t even pretend to be an “expert” on this COVID-19 virus as so many proclaim loudly on social media. But, the more and more data I see and hear make me doubt that our governments have made a good decision to essentially shut us down. Even experts who are doctors contradict each other.

I’m not afraid of the future though, because of my faith in Jesus. But besides the people who have died of this virus I am also concerned about all the people who are now un-employed, the businesses who are out of business or soon will be, the people who are shut in from their loved ones or not allowed to see them, the people sick with other diseases or injuries who are not allowed to see their family. I think we will look back on this as a very dark spot on the history of our country and culture.

I’d like to think more positive about “getting back to normal,” but I doubt that will happen. In some ways there might be some good that will come from what we’ve been through but that will only happen if people make real changes in their lives, permanent changes. You can probably think of a lot of examples for this. Will it happen? IDK. But I sure hope so.

Holy Mary, our hope and seat of wisdom, pray for us!

Goodbye To Derry Brownfield

Derry BrownfieldA week ago this morning I got notice that a good friend of mine, Derry Brownfield, had passed away. It was a shock to say the least. My life has been made better by knowing him. Here’s a link to my work blog post that I did when the call came in. I worked with Derry and traveled a lot of miles with him during that time. We spent a lot of time together on those trips, at his cabin, riding fence and checking cows.

This week Cindy and I attended his funeral and then went to the Bury Derry Day Party with his family and friends. He always talked about that day with that name btw. We laughed, cried and drank too much scotch. And I’m glad for that opportunity. He has a great family too. And speaking of family, I felt like part of his family. I heard a number of people who thought of him as a mentor or even father figure. I am in that group. He had a BIG family!

At this funeral, Bob Priddy, Missourinet, did the eulogy which is a wonderful recollection of his life and I’m sharing it here since it was recorded.

So, I’ll say goodbye now to you Derry. You’re always going to be in my prayers. I hope to see you on a happy trail someday.

AH! How Good That Will Be!

As Catholics we must always have a joyful awareness that this life, as beautiful as it may be, is not our ultimate end. Though we fight for truth and freedom in our beloved country, it remains but an earthly dwelling place, a temporary homeland where we must prepare ourselves for the greater Home that awaits us:

I know the country I am living in is not really my true fatherland, and there is another I must long for without ceasing. This is not simply a story invented by someone living in the sad country where I am, but it is a reality, for the King of the Fatherland of the bright sun actually came and lived for thirty-three years in the land of darkness. (Story of a Soul, Manuscript C)

Heaven. Resurrection. Eternal Life. What we believe, what we hope for, is not merely some lofty philosophical ideal or the fantasy of uneducated simpletons. It is truth, Divinely revealed and able to be known through human reason (CCC 156-59.) I love this little dialogue at the end of Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov:

“Karamazov!” cried Kolya, “can it really be true as religion says, that we shall all rise from the dead, and come to life, and see one another again, and everyone, and Ilyushecka?”

“Certainly we shall rise, certainly we shall see and gladly, joyfully tell one another all that has been,” Alyosha relied, half laughing, half in ecstasy.

“Ah, how good that will be!” burst from Kolya.

How good that will be, indeed! As this month for All Souls comes to an end let us pray for all the nullfaithful departed: Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen

Now we begin that great season of hope where we prepare ourselves for the coming of the Lord when truth and justice will reign for all eternity.

Goodbye Grandma!


I got word today that our dearly beloved nursing home resident, Dorothy, finally passed away yesterday afternoon at the ripe old age of 92. Doctors gave her no more than a day to live on May 23. So she really fought to remain here as long as she could! And that’s just like her, too. Mom and I visited her in the hospital last Saturday and her daughter told us that that morning Dorothy told her, “grab my hand and pull. I want to get out of here.”

Fr. Lueckenotte, the most humble and gracious priest who is in charge of visiting all of our nursing homes and hospitals, has been constantly at Dorothy’s side over the last week and a half. This morning he told me that he used to say to Dorothy a quote from St. Thomas More to his wife before he was martyred, “Pray for me as I will for the that we may merrily meet in heaven.” Unable to remember the exact quote, Dorothy’s version went, “I’ll pray for you, you pray for me and we’ll hippity hop up to heaven.”

Dorothy is better known as “Grandma” of Grandma’s Cool and Zesty Salad Dressing. Always a shameless self promoter, I’m sure Grandma would be delighted if bottles of this great tasting cole slaw and salad dressing (her very own recipe) were purchased in her honor. She often starred in her own TV commercials, and did regular TV and radio interviews (even during the last few years) promoting what she called her “dream come true.” You can purchase Grandma’s dressing or find it in a store near you.

She was as faithful, as spirited and as stubborn as they came and I’m sure she is hippity hopping her way into the arms of the Lord as we speak.

v. Do not remember my sins, O Lord,
r. When you come to judge the rold by fire.
v. Direct my way in your sight, O Lord, my God,
r. When you come to judge the world by fire.
v. Give her eternal rest, O Lord, and may your light shine on her forever,
r. When you come to judge the world by fire.
v. Lord, have mercy.
r. Christ, have mercy, Lord have mercy.
Our Father…
v. From the gates of hell,
r. Deliver her soul, O Lord.
v. May she rest in peace.
r. Amen.
v. Lord, hear my prayer,
r. And let my cry come to you.
Let us pray

Lord, welcome into your presence your daughter Dorothy, whom you have called from this life. Release her from all her sins; bless her with eternal light and peace; raise her up to live forever with all your saints in the glory of the Resurrection. Through Christ our Lord.

May her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.

In Memoriam

Today we remember those who have given their lives for the cause of freedom, the protection of their country and their fellow man. That includes some priests! I saw an interesting documentary last week about a military chaplain who was killed in Vietnam, Servant of God Fr. Vincent Capodanno, The Grunt Padre:

In a very special way today I remember Lance Cpl. Darin Settle, a very good friend of mine from high school who died in Iraq two years ago:

And Lee McCoy who lost his battle with cancer last week. Lee was a Vietnam Vet who served on the USS Pomodon SS486 submarine. He was a good friend and collegue of my parents’ in the ag media industry. See a tribute to Lee here and here.

For more on Darin see my previous post Lance Cpl. Darin Thomas Settle. You can also view and sign Darin’s legacy guest book or his fallen heroes guest book.

For our fallen soldiers:

God our Father,
Your power brings us to birth,
Your providence guides our lives,
and by Your command we return to dust.

Lord, those who die still live in Your presence,
their lives change but do not end.
I pray in hope for my family,
relatives and friends,
and for all the dead known to You alone.

In company with Christ,
Who died and now lives,
may they rejoice in Your kingdom,
where all our tears are wiped away.
Unite us together again in one family,
to sing Your praise forever and ever.


From JPII’s “Meditations on the Book of Genesis at the Threshold of the Sistine Chapel”

This End is also the summit of transparency
such is the path of all generations.

“Non omnis moriar” (Not all of me will die).
What is imperishable in me
now stands face to face with Him Who Is!

No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends (Jn. 15:13)