UP Catholic 01 20 2017 E Edition Page 8

8 January 20, 2017 THE U.P. CATHOLIC COMMENTARY www.upcatholic.org Growing to serve you in 5 locations! MANISTIQUE, MI 735 E. Lakeshore Dr. Food for Le$$ 200 Deer Street MARINETTE, WI 1507 Cleveland Ave. 2301 Roosevelt Rd. MENOMINEE, MI M & M Plaza Upper Peninsula Travelers Presents BOSTON, SALEM & CAPE ANN II 9 DAYS, 8 NIGHTS - JUNE 20-28, 2017- $829 PP/DBL OCC. Price Includes: Transportation, lodging, 14 meals, full day guided tour of Boston, Faneuil Hall, Quincy Marketplace, John F. Kennedy Library and museum, Trinity church, Boston Common, Coastal Massachusetts, Salem's witchcraft trials site, Gloucester - America's Oldest Seaport. This trip is packed with too many sites to list. Don't wait, this trip will sell out . For information and reservations, contact: Sheila Heikkinen (906) 524-7003 or shebob123@charter.net M any of us trudge through our days, putting on one pant leg and then the other, telling anyone who asks how our day is, Same old stuff different day. Outside of Mass on Sunday, we rare- ly take the time to count our blessings, be thankful for what God has provided us, be happy to be healthy with a roof over our heads. We take that for granted. Admit it. We do. Then, we read about Josh McCall, a 30-year old man from the state of Washington who has lived with cerebral palsy since birth. We read about the daily, if not hourly, struggles he has endured, the enormous pain he has suffered. Yet, through it all, even when his fam- ily made the painful decision to put him in hospice, he found a way to smile when he asked that his final wish be granted: He wanted to attend a Green Bay Packers game at Lambeau Field against the Seattle Seahawks on Dec. 11. And, like a gift hand delivered from heaven, it happened. Thanks to more than $10,000 in funding from a Go- FundMe account and the generous hospitality of the Packers, there sat a bundled up McCall, hooked up to medical equipment including oxygen and feeding tubes, cheering on the Packers and his home-state Seahawks. He craved the atmosphere, the historic venue, the noise, and yes, the snow. Although hes never been able to walk, his mind, his mother said, is brilliant. His love for the Packers and Seahawks shined liked a mid-summer star. He had the time of his life. And, for someone confined to a wheelchair his entire life, his mother said he has never complained. One of the things that has always touched my heart about Josh is that he always has a smile for everybody and a good word, his mom was quoted as saying in a national story. He never gets upset. Hes never gotten mad. Hes never gotten down. This, from someone who has under- gone 30 surgeries and endured more infections than his family could count. His mom said he fell in love with the Packers when he was 10, when the now-late Reggie White was sacking and terrorizing opposing quarterbacks with reckless abandon. (Josh) saw him in a prayer circle and he did a lot for the communities that he was in and he was just a good person. He was a good man, said McCall about her sons love of the Packers. We have a huge faith in the Lord, and I know that God will get us through it and hell see us through until the end. Well, sadly, the end came a few weeks back when Joshs courageous battle came to an end. In losing Josh, perhaps we can all learn an invaluable lesson from this story. That lesson is life events we view as upsetting pale in comparison to what he endured. That mistakenly getting a small order of fries at the drive through when you clearly ordered a large fries doesnt matter. That when you complain about venturing out into the cold January air, there are thousands of homeless people huddled under cardboard boxes. That when you visit the dentist for a checkup and complain about a $20 copay, you remember that many people would do anything to have insurance. Its stories like this that serve as sub- tle reminders of what we do have and that we should be thankful for what we have, count our blessings, reevaluate our life and take notice of it. (Editor's note: LaJoie is a member of St. Paul Catholic Church in Negaunee. He welcomes reactions to his column at jlajoie@charter.net) S ome people easily remember their dreams. Not me. There are only two dreams that I have recalled, one in the 1970s, the other a few months ago. In the latter dream I was turning into my driveway and saw that someone had placed a large wooden sign that read: FREE FIRE- WOOD FOR SALE When I awoke I had to ask myself, Now, what is that all about? I finally realized that it was a question for me: Are my words and actions consistent or am I giving mixed messag- es? I did some deep soul-searching. In the meantime I became aware of the mixed messages that our society is giving all the time. No wonder there is confusion. Consider all the efforts to curb drunk driving. Yet, anyone can buy gasoline and a six-pack at the same time and place. So easy! Free firewood for sale. We deplore the drug culture. Yet, in any given week there will be at least one (or more) new drugs advertised on the main media. Im not denigrating those medicines which are necessary. I am concerned that there is a chemi- cal for every little ache or pain. Nearly every ad shows the great results of this new drug followed by a list of possi- ble side effects. So often, a short time after coming on the market are there warnings and messages to call to claim damages and the drug is pulled of the market. Free firewood for sale. We get messages that Black Lives Matter. Of course they do. So do all lives matter. Isnt it odd that the ones most vocal about black lives say nothing about the fact that white women have 114 abor- tions for every 1,000 births while Afri- can-American women have 365 abor- tions for every 1,000 live births? More than one-third of African-American children die through abortion. It is no accident that 79 percent of all Planned Parenthood clinics are located within walking distance of a minority neigh- borhood (this doesnt take into account Hispanic women who are encouraged to abort). Free firewood for sale. How is it that among our Jewish neigh- bors there is a percentage of those who deplore the Holocaust and warn that this must never happen again, yet are very ardent supporters of the abortion holo- caust? Free firewood for sale. There is a segment of the population that abhors abortion yet encourages the easy access and possession of guns in spite of the wording of the Second Amendment which says that weapons are a right when needed to protect by organized militias against danger, not in the hands of every person. Of course, there is the legitimate use of arms for regulated hunting, but the children in their homes in Chicago and elsewhere are not animals. Among ourselves, in our churches, we give head assent to the belief that Jesus is truly present in the Blessed Sacrament. If the faith is real, why do so many of our churches sound like theater lobbies with loud talking and laughter. Sometimes it is necessary to speak, but cannot it not be done in a quiet whisper. Not only is it very hard for those who wish to talk with Jesus and to listen to him, such behavior tells others that this space is no differ- ent from other space. No wonder so many, especially among the young, do not have a faith in the Real Presence and have no problem going elsewhere, where perhaps the music is more lively, the preaching better, and the fellowship more inviting. Free firewood for sale. Flannery OConnor wrote in a letter to a friend, About the only way we know whether we believe or not is by what we do. Each of us, you and I, must be aware of what our lives are saying. Do our lives bear witness to the words we say? What mixed messages do we give? Should there be a sign at our door that announc- es Free firewood for sale? (Note: Abortion statistics are from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Abortion Surveillance United States 2012 report compiled November 2015. Planned Parenthood locations are by www.lifesitenews.com) Dying man fulfills wish, teaches us all an important lesson REFLECTIONS FROM NORTHSTAR Regis Walling FROM THE SIDELINES Jim LaJoie FREE FIREWOOD FOR SALE

Previous Page
Next Page