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Sanctification in Daily Work
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It’s Still Christmas

Christmas MangerIt’s still Christmas even though it seems like most people have forgotten about it and are moving on to how to celebrate New Year’s and the Super Bowl. The definition of Christmas Season seems to vary as you’ll find in this article on Wikipedia. You can find more Catholic information at American Catholic. Better yet, here’s a great article about the Christmas season from the Opus Dei website.

I added the wise men to our front yard manger yesterday. I know it’s not Epiphany yet but at least some of my neighbors understand.

I hope everyone who visits has had a nice Christmas. Our family has even if we’re starting to become more spread out as our daughters get older and have other interests and friends since they’ve been in college.

Here’s wishing you a very safe and happy New Year.

Celebrating My Survival Today

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Our LadyYes, today is my birthday – number 25. It’s always pretty sobering when I think that when I was conceived, my mother had the legal choice to have me killed before I was born. Thanks, Mom, for choosing life!

I share this birthday with the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. Mary shared in the sufferings of Christ (Lk. 2:35) and stood by Him on the cross (Jn. 19:25). Besides our Lord, Mary is the greatest example of perseverance in suffering and is a constant source of strength and inspiration for me in my own sufferings.

On this feast day it is appropriate to reflect on the seven sorrows of the Blessed Virgin:

* at the prophecy of Simeon;
* at the flight into Egypt;
* having lost the Holy Child at Jerusalem;
* meeting Jesus on his way to Calvary;
* standing at the foot of the Cross;
* Jesus being taken from the Cross;
* at the burial of Christ.

Please say a prayer for my parents who will be on their way to Japan tomorrow morning.

Pics from the Fourth!

I promised you pictures, so here they are!

The pro-life table – Most of the visitors are attracted to the fetal development models and it is frequently pregnant women, people who know someone who is pregnant and parents showing their young children what they used to look like in the womb. Oh and the balloons and candy (we had lollipops and gum with precious feet on them) helped attract visitors also:

set upMe and some of our home schooled volunteers More volunteers Helping some visitors

The Catholic table – these are the only good pictures we got of the Catholic side. Most of the devotional items we had were hand made locally. Both I and a woman from our parish made the 5 decade rosaries and the Carmelite nuns who live in a cloistered monastery next to our parish made some of the brown scapulars.

Catholic tableThe girls again

Happy Independence Day!

I just got back from another busy Fourth of July. Every year I help set up a pro-life table at our downtown 4th of July festivities with a woman from my parish and a number of the home schooled kids in my area. This year, as president of our Legion of Mary praesidia, I decided to do a Catholic information table with some help from the Knights of Columbus. Everything worked out well, as it always does. We gave out lots of good information to the people who needed to see it. I hope to get my pictures up tomorrow – I’m pooped right now! I’m actually in bed getting ready to call it a night. We were set up downtown from about 11am to 7pm and I was there for the whole thing. It was very warm and very tiring for me! I hope everyone had a very blessed holiday! Here’s a great poem that I posted on my blog earlier today:

Tiny American

I Am An American

I am endowed by my Creator
With the inalienable right to life
Just like you, and every other American.
You know who I am.
Now that you can see my face,
Will you use your voice?
Please tell America,
I am an American, too.

America, it’s time to protect your children again.

That is a poem I have on one of my pro-life t-shirts and it fits very nicely with the 4th of July. As we celebrate our freedom this Independence Day we would do well to remember the millions of Americans whose freedom has been taken away in this country and pray for its restoration.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Happy 4th of July!
God Bless you all!

Thank You St. Raphael!

I’ve been a little out of the pro-life loop lately it seems because I’ve been car shopping for probably the last month and a half. I finally narrowed all my options down and really picked a car a few weeks ago, but didn’t really suck it up and seriously go after the car I wanted until last week. My mother and I drove to St. Louis last Thursday to finally buy my car (I finally got my hand controls in it yesterday)! I have wanted a Solara since a good friend of mine, who is also in a wheelchair, got one a few years ago and I was able to find one, a 2006, within my budget! Here it is:

My car!

My spiritual director suggested that I pray to St. Raphael for guidance and intercession while I was looking for a car because he is the patron of travelers. This is due to his travels with Tobit in the Old Testament. So I did. I prayed very much because I did not want to make a bad decision. Buying a car is such a big deal! It’s a lot of money! I also wanted to make sure I wasn’t being too vain in my decision, especially since I was looking for what many consider a very nice car. So I prayed and prayed and was able to get the car I wanted at the price I wanted with relatively little hassle, well except for having to drive to St. Louis, for which I also owe my mother a very big thank you! God takes care of us when we do all things with prayer!

Mass at the Indy 500

IRL Ministry MassThis is my third year covering the Indianapolis 500 and Fr. Phil DeRea here is still saying Mass as I’m sure he’s done long before I started coming.

Here at the media center he says two Masses on Sunday morning for media and staff.

I understand that he also celebrates Mass at a private hospitality suite as well for one of the League’s main sponsors/teams.

It’s refreshing to see people who have to work on Sunday take time out to make sure they make it to Mass and I appreciate the fact that they allow it to take place.

You can find out more about the IRL Ministry on their website.

A New Year’s Plan of Life

The new year brings an opportunity to do a little extra self examination and see how you’re doing spiritually. As important as your spiritual life is we sure don’t see or hear much about it do we? Instead we seem to see and hear all about how important our material goods are and how important our retirement plan is. One of the things that attracted me most to Opus Dei is the spiritual formation it offers. Just reading the writings of St. Josemaria Escriva is an enormous help.

One of the things I’m focusing on right now is my plan of life. The founder describes it this way, “Try to commit yourself to a plan of life and to keep to it: a few minutes of mental prayer, Holy Mass — daily, if you can manage it — and frequent Communion; regular recourse to the Holy Sacrament of Forgiveness — even though your conscience does not accuse you of mortal sin; visiting Jesus in the Tabernacle; praying and contemplating the mysteries of the Holy Rosary, and so many other marvellous devotions you know or can learn.

You should not let them become rigid rules, or water‑tight compartments. They should be flexible, to help you on your journey you who live in the middle of the world, with a life of hard professional work and social ties and obligations which you should not neglect, because in them your conversation with God still continues. Your plan of life ought to be like a rubber glove which fits the hand perfectly.” (The Way 77)

I have my own business and travel a lot. This often makes it difficult to fulfill my daily plan, especially attending daily Mass. However, with a concerted effort it can be done. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought I couldn’t make it to Mass in a town or country I’m visiting or how many times I couldn’t find the Church. Usually just when I’m ready to give up I turn a corner and there’s the Church right in front of me.

I really believe that if a day goes by without taking the time to spend in prayer and with our Lord, it’s a lost opportunity. So, that’s part of my new year’s resolution – to re-commit myself to my plan of life.

She’s an Awesome Daughter

Chelsea ZimmermanI would like to take this opportunity to tell you how wonderful my oldest daughter is. Chelsea was in an auto accident that left her paralyzed from the chest down.

Well she is a daily inspiration to her family and friends and now she’s got “Dad’s bug” and she’s blogging. So now she’s becoming an inspiration to a growing number of people around the country.

This past week marked the 7th anniversary of the day she had the accident and she wrote about it. I hope you will agree with me that she is something special and I’m so proud of her I just had to share this with you.

By the way, I have 2 other daughters and they are just as wonderful. Our family was really brought together in a positive way that is hard to describe by what happened to Chelsea.

Most Gracious Advocate

The picture I’ve placed in the right sidebar is a framed print in our Blessed Sacrament chapel at the Cathedral here in Jefferson City. I’ve never seen the picture anywhere else and don’t know where to find it. I would love to have a copy.

If you know of this print or where it can be found please let me know.

I think it’s a beautiful representation of Our Lady and love seeing it during my weekly holy hour.

Life is Precious

I was reminded how fragile life can be this morning when I learned that a good friend of mine passed away suddenly. I’m still waiting to find out more as the family takes time to deal with the shock.

In fact, shock is what I feel. He was a super champion for life and I know we’re all going to miss him. I’m sure there’s a reason for this and someday we might find out what that is.

In the meantime I pray for his soul and his family.

Seeing My Spiritual Director

Fr. Korte and MeThat’s my spiritual director, Fr. Bill Korte, with me in a quick picture I had taken when I saw him last week.

I try to see Fr. Korte once a month for spiritual direction. Work this summer has made that difficult but we found time finally. Having a spiritual director is highly recommended so that you’ve got someone who knows you and can make sure you’re staying on the path.

If you aren’t receiving spiritual direction you might ask your pastor who he would recommend. Maybe he would be available to see you periodically!

5 Rings

5 Miraculous Medal RingsI think this is a very cool picture. It’s my family all showing their Miraculous Medal rings.

My wife, 3 daughters and myself all have the same rings to show our devotion to Mary, the Mother of God.

I’m proud of all of them for being open and public in their faith.

Staying At The St. Charles

Hotel San CarlosI had to make reservations here in Phoenix very late for this conference and had no idea where I’d wind up.

I was pretty happy to find out that I’d be in a historic old hotel named after my patron saint. It’s the Hotel San Carlos (St. Charles) on Central St.

Very interesting. They even have a picture of Pope John Paul II going by the hotel in his Popemobile in 1987. The caption they put on it is something like, “Pope says, same hotel, same room.”

Role Models

During my morning reflection time I was thinking about role models. Especially as it relates to our priests. I know the media would like us to believe that they supply the models for us but that’s not really true and I think there’s even been research to prove it.

Our priests can have such a tremendous influence on their flock. Look at some of the example from history. During this century with Pope John Paul II, Archbishop Fulton Sheen and of course, St. Josemaria Escriva. Individuals who lived a holy life and have helped shape millions of people. That’s why our priests need to realize how important their role is and we need to support them doing it.

I know many priests and many of them have problems just like we do. They’re men. Like all of us they need support and they aren’t perfect. We need to encourage them and offer to help them in any way we can. One way we can start is with our prayer. Then we need to make sure we don’t publicly criticize them, even if we don’t like every word they say. I like to call them “Father lastname” and not by their first name as I hear a lot of people do. If you see them with their collar on, compliment them. We need to see more collars.

That’s all. I support our Pope, Bishop and priests. I hope you will too.

Who’s To Blame Now

I think I’ve tried to approach this website like I do my professional news blogs and it just doesn’t work. I think this needs to be more about personal reflections along the path to holiness. So that’s what I’m going to try next. It takes a while to find your voice.

Today I was reflecting on how much people, our culture and the media seem determined to find someone to blame for everything. It’s always got to be someone else’s fault that something happened that they don’t like. It doesn’t even have to be a disaster.

As a media professional I’m completely ashamed of the way the industry has evolved. It doesn’t matter to me if we’re talking about CNN, Fox News or the local newspaper or radio station. I’ve even watched CNN and Fox side by side while working out in the gym. More than once they’ve had the exact same stories on at the same time. Maybe the slant is a little different but not really that much.

It really doesn’t matter what topic you pick though. They’re all playing the blame game. Politicians are the worst too. How sick are you of one investigation after another? Who even cares anymore? One of my favorite sayings of Josemaria Escriva is that, “At best, it’s a waste of time.” In other words, it’s probably worse than that.

Part of our call to holiness involves doing “our” work the best we can. Not wasting time wondering if someone else is doing their’s the best they can. I sure hope more people do this. Instead of focusing on who did what and to whom, let’s pray for that person or entity that we don’t like or who we think did something wrong. Let’s make the first thing we do when we see something we don’t like a positive prayer. Then secondly we can realize our own failures and shortcomings before we start to cast blame.