Sunday, 31 May 2015

God with us.

At prayer meeting the other day a newcomer, a middle aged man we’d never met before, said he was about to celebrate his 30th Wedding Anniversary. We all congratulated him.

He said like all marriages, his had its ups and downs, including arguments and silent treatments, but overall it was OK. For their 25th Anniversary he took his wife to Paris. He said the last five years were the happiest of his marriage.

“How will you celebrate your 30th?” he was asked.

“I’m returning to Paris to bring the wife back!”

Absence makes the heart grow fonder – they say. But this joke takes it to extremes.

Sometimes, wrongly, we feel God has ignored us. He is not listening. Abandoned us even. So we give Him the silent treatment. Stop praying. Stop going to church. And eventually we may drift away.

If only we stop and think. When we feel distanced from God it is only because we have moved away. He has not left us. He is always there. Just a prayer away. Ready to welcome us back in His arms with love and forgiveness.

I will be with you always, to the end of the age. Matthew 28:20.

Friday, 29 May 2015

And now the truth ...

 
(That's me trying to play the guitar)
 
I’ve always wanted to be able to play a musical instrument.
 
I started with something simple – the harmonica. All you have to do is suck and blow and suck and blow as you move the instrument left and right in your mouth. It was fun and easy. Sadly, it made the cat climb up the curtains and the dog howl whilst the rest of the family screamed at me all at once.
 
So I tried taking lessons at playing the guitar. We started with tuning exercises. I had to hold the strings tightly against the neck of the guitar with the left hand and pick at the strings with the right hand!
 
The problem was that my left hand did its job all right. But the right hand kept moving up and down frantically a few millimeters away from the strings. When the instructor suggested I move my hand a little closer somehow my fingers got all tangled up in the strings with a horrendous sound.
 
I just could not co-ordinate both hands to do what they were supposed to. Sometimes my left hand moved up and down on the guitar neck, whilst the other hand pushed the fingers into that hole you have in the main body of the instrument.
 
My patient instructor suggested I use a plectrum. That’s a small triangular piece of plastic which you hold between your fingers to pick at the guitar strings.
 
As I tried to hit the strings with the plastic bit it flew out of my hand and hit the instructor straight in the eye. Would you believe it? It could have gone anywhere … but NOOOOO !!! In my case it went straight in his eye.
(I drew the cartoon. Honest truth!) 
 
He was taken to hospital and the rest of the class blamed me for a ruined guitar lesson. I mean … why not blame the stupid plastic triangle?
 
I gave up the guitar and decided to self-teach myself the violin instead. No plectrums or picks … just a long stick which you move up and down over the strings and sound comes out.
 
I bought myself an expensive violin and decided to learn at home using a book and a CD I got from the library.
 
It made some good sounds I tell you. The cat still climbed at the top of the curtain and the dog hid in his kennel. The rest of the family chose to go out shopping instead!
 
It was then that I noticed that whilst playing the violin I had a tendency to walk up and down the room instead of standing still. At first I did not know why I was doing this; then I realized that the music I was playing had been written for the bagpipes.
 
So I sold my old Stradivarius at a garage sale and used the proceeds to buy a set of bagpipes and drums.
I practiced for hours in our garden sometimes marching up and down with the bagpipes, and at other times using the big drum whilst playing back a recording of my bagpipes practice sessions.
I became really good at the pipes and drums and could soon play Chopin’s piano concertos as well as a number of other famous tunes written by all the well known composers. Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Michelangelo … I could play them all.
 
However I noticed that our neighbours had become a little un-friendly and somewhat uncharitable. One suggested that I play far away but I could not find the sheet music to that tune.
 
I tried practicing indoors but there was not enough room to march up and down. So I walked on the treadmill whilst playing the bagpipes and watching TV at the same time.
 
I sometimes practiced in the garden at night so as not to wake up the rest of the family.
 
A jovial neighbour always opened his window and shouted “Stop banging that **** drum at three in the morning!” What a laugh that was!
 
I could even play “Silent Night” on the big drum, you know. For some strange reason our priest refused to let me play it on the drum at the Christmas Carol Concert.
 
I eventually gave up on the bagpipes due to several letters received from various solicitors. They were all written in the same threatening tone of voice … including the one sent on behalf of my wife.
 
The thing is … I love music. Putting a piece of paper over a comb and humming quietly doesn’t sound quite the same. Does it?

Thursday, 28 May 2015

From me to you


Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Gadgets Gadgets Gadgets

It's amazing how many electronic gadgets we have around us these days which didn't exist only a few years ago. Like cellular phones for instance, musical recording devices like MP3 players and similar instruments, tablets, electronic readers instead of books and so on.

I friend of mine is really mad about gadgets. He has a device which opens his garage door just as he approaches his house. Somehow, the garage door detects his car approaching and opens automatically and switches the garage lights on. Very impressive.

When he gets home all he needs to do is tap his hands and the lights come on. One tap lights on. Two taps the curtains are drawn shut. Three taps they are open. Four taps the fire is on in the fire place. It's great fun when there's applause on TV.

He also has a small device always stuck in his ear. I asked him what it was and he said it's his cellular phone. He says "Call Vic" and the device somehow dials my number and he talks to me without using his phone. He is often seen walking in the street talking to himself; or to someone else on the other end of this contraption in his ear.

The other day we went to the zoo as a family. His family and mine. It was a pleasant day throughout until we approached the ostrich enclosure. The ostriches are in an open area with a barrier separating us from them.

I don't know whether it was a floating ostrich feather or high pollen count but suddenly my friend started sneezing violently. He shook his head forward and the device flew out of his ear and into the enclosure.

Immediately ... an ostrich arrived from nowhere and swallowed the device.

There was nothing else to do but go home.

For the next few days, every time someone phoned my friend they heard a loud SQUAK in their ear. They thought his secretary had just sat on a cactus, or had some other misfortune whilst answering the phone.

Monday, 25 May 2015

Money Money Money



The reading in church today was from Mark 10:17-27.

I’m sure you know the story about the rich man who was told by Jesus to sell everything he had, give it to the poor, and follow Jesus.

The man just could not do this, and went away sad.

Jesus also says that famous saying about it being harder for a rich man to enter Heaven than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle.

And people have been debating that hyperbole for years. What did it mean? Did Jesus refer to a gate called Needle, or was it a mountain pass which was so narrow you had to unload your camel of what it was carrying, pass the camel through, and then load it again.

In reality, it doesn’t matter.

What’s important is the message behind the hyperbole and the advice to sell everything and give it to the poor.

Did Jesus mean it?

Here’s my take on it – unorthodox as it may be.

I doubt very much if every rich man on earth sold all their property and gave it to the poor that it would make any difference. It would be like putting a snowflake in a burning furnace.

Anyway, it is not physically possible, since if every rich person sold their property, by implication, they would sell it to someone else who would in turn be rich in order to be able to buy it. I’m sure you follow the tautology.

So what did Jesus mean?

He certainly was not speaking against wealth. Wealth creates wealth. It creates jobs and it creates the wherewithal to help others less fortunate than ourselves.

Christ condones, nay encourages, the creation of wealth in His parable about the servants given a gold coin each by their master. When he returned from his travels the master discovered that two servants managed to make their fortune increase whilst the third just didn’t bother. So he rewards the hard-working servants and punishes the other. Luke 19:11-27.

Jesus was teaching responsible wealth. There’s nothing wrong in working hard and amassing a fortune honestly.

As long as we use it responsibly.

Those who are fortunate to have wealth should remember their responsibility to share it with others, and to help others, as best they can. This doesn’t mean sell everything and give it to the poor. It means be aware of those around you who are less fortunate than yourself; and share your good fortune with them.

If you were to sell everything then once it's gone, it's gone - you can no longer help the poor and you may well become poor yourself. What's so clever about that?

In the parable of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31) Jesus does not condemn the rich man for being rich; but for not even realizing, never mind caring, for a poor man starving at his gate.

So there you have it: work hard, be wealthy, but remember others less well-off than yourself.

And wealth does not necessarily mean riches and money.

Some people are wealthy in different ways: wealthy in wisdom and knowledge, wealthy in health and stamina, wealthy in talents and so on.

Those amongst us who are well educated and knowledgeable should not look down on others haughtily and with disdain. Use your knowledge to teach others.

Those who are fortunate to be healthy should remember the sick and if possible visit them or help them as best they can.

Those with talents for music, the arts, sports or whatever should share their talents with others. Imagine the good you can achieve as a sportsman if you visit a school and share a few moments coaching children in whatever it is you do. Or if a musician or celebrity shared a few moments with less talented yet aspiring youngsters. That visit would be imprinted on young memories for life – and may well inspire them to do better and achieve more.

Let’s all look at ourselves deeply and discover what wealth God has given us.

Money, good health, a talent for music, painting, singing or whatever … and let’s share it for the glory of, and in thanksgiving to, God our Creator.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Desperate Prayers

I hope you find these thoughts about prayer of some comfort.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

HELLO ... How may I help you?

Travel Agent Lady: Hello ... how may I help you?

Me: Oh hi ... I'd like to book a room in a good hotel in Aberdeen for about a week.

TAL: Certainly Sir, when will that be?

Me: Now, right now ...

TAL: You'd like a room starting today, Sir?

Me: No ... no ... I'd like to book the room right now.

TAL: I understand ... and when would you like to stay in Aberdeen?

Me: Next month ... the week starting the 12th. I'll be staying for the whole week.

TAL: Do you have a preference of hotel Sir?

Me: No ... I don't know Aberdeen that well. I want a good hotel, not just a bed and breakfast.

TAL: Yes Sir. I have one available which I am sure will be suitable. May I have your name and address please Sir? ... ... ... And a telephone number where we can contact you? ... ... ... Thank you Sir. Will you require a single or a double bed room?

Me: Oh double bed ... a large bed. And make sure there's a TV too.

TAL: Yes Sir ... all rooms have a TV, telephone, Internet access, as well as adjoining bathroom and several other facilities. I'll be sending you a hotel brochure Sir. Meanwhile, I need a name for the other guest staying with you, Sir. Will that be Mrs M...?

Me: No ... no ... my wife will not be with me.

TAL: So it's just you, Sir?

Me: No ... me and Maurice.

TAL: Maurice ... That's the other guest ... May I have Maurice's surname please Sir?

Me: Just Maurice ... he has no surname ... Just Maurice and I will be staying for a week.

TAL: I understand Sir ... That's a double room for a week commencing the 12th of next month for yourself and Maurice. Will there be anything else Sir?

Me: Eh ... yes ... does the hotel have room service? Can we order beakfast and other meals to be delivered to our room? We'd rather stay in the room most of the time.

TAL: Yes Sir. There will be a menue in your room and you can phone your order which will be delivered at any time day or night. Some guests prefer to have a meal at all hours, like two in the morning, for example. This hotel will deliver any meal you wish to your room at any time for you and Maurice to enjoy.

Me: That sounds great ... One more thing. Will they also deliver bones?

TAL: Bones, Sir?

Me: Yes... raw bones, for Maurice.

TAL: I don't understand Sir.

Me: Maurice prefers raw bones before his performance.

TAL: I still don't understand Sir.

Me: We're in Aberdeen for the sheep dog trials. We're coming incognito. We'll enter the trials in the last possible moment. That's why we'll stay in the hotel room for as long as possible. Maurice is a champion sheepdog, and any news of his entrance in the show will affect the betting odds, you see.

TAL: Yes Sir ... I see clearly now ... (deep breath) ... I understand.

Monday, 18 May 2015

The Mommy Returns

Phone rings ... I answer ...

Hello! Oh hi darling ... Arrived already?

Yes ... the children are spending the night at the Thompson's ... Yes ... I know I was meant to pick you up from the railway station ...

I'm sorry you've been waiting so long ... Look darling ... can you not come home on your own?

Well ... there's a bit of a problem over here ...

There's a yellow jacket in the hallway ... just by the front door ...

No ... I can't get past it ... It's flying all over the place and buzzing menacingly ... You know how scared I am of them ... especially since that day there was one with me in the shower ...

I am not a wimp ... I was scalded badly with the hot shower that day ... Besides ... what if the yellow jacket had stung me in a delicate place?

That's not a nice thing to say ...

I know it's getting dark ... and there are no taxis or buses at the railway station ...

Can't you just walk home? I'm just too scared to get past the yellow jacket and come and get you ...

Yes you said it's getting dark ... just use the torch I got you for your birthday ...

I'm not being facetious ... I'll have you know I've been trapped in the back room for ages. I want to go to the bathroom and I dare not get out because of the yellow jacket. My legs are crossed over each other to hold it in ...

Yes I realise if you walk home you'll have to go through the park ...

The chances of you being mugged or attacked are minimal ... As our company accountant says often enough ... when working out probabilities you have to account for all factors ...

It means that the fact that there's a threatening yellow jacket here is a certainty ... but there's no certainty that someone is waiting to attack you in the park ... so the probability of me being stung is much higher than you being attacked ...

I'm not a yellow bellied coward darling ... Of course I love you ... You know I do ... Don't cry ... No I can't run past it with my legs crossed as they are ...

I don't know how it came in ... probably through the open window ... We don't have any wasp spray ... if we did it would not be here in the back room ...

I know wasps and flying insects don't get in the house when you're here ... they wouldn't dare ...

I didn't mean a thing by it ... it was just a joke ... darling ... I was joking ... don't hang up ... Darling!!!

Saturday, 16 May 2015

What does God want?

 
WHAT DOES GOD REALLY WANT?

Many people spend their lives in prayers. Rosaries recited times on end. Preferred prayers and litanies from Saints. Novenas repeated ad infinitum. Or even just talking to God (with little listening perhaps) and asking Him over and again for our needs and wants.

But … apparently, this is not enough.

Others spend their lives reading about the Saints and other learned books about Christianity and our Faith?

Is this enough … or not yet?

Others attend Mass regularly, perhaps daily, take Communion, go to Confession and do as the Church teaches and commands.

Are we getting there … do we have a pass to Heaven or not yet?

Some people immerse themselves in good deeds. They do good works in Church. Attend Committee Meetings, help with the day to day running of the place, clean the church and do whatever else is needed.
How is our score now? Enough good points to enter Heaven?

And then … there are people who visit the sick, the elderly, the prisoners … they feed the poor and the down-and-outs and spend a lifetime of generosity both in time and effort as well as in financial terms doing as Christ commanded.

Surely they at the very least deserve Heaven.

The thing is … we really don’t know, or have not been taught WHAT GOD REALLY WANTS.

Christ made His commandment clear:

Love God and love one another as I have loved you.

But is this really possible? Has He set us an impossible task?

How can you love someone who has wronged you and continues to do so?

How can you spend your time helping others less well off than yourself when in reality there are times when you’d rather be at home with your family doing something else more pleasant?

How can you keep up doing good deeds and sacrificing yourself for others when you feel that you owe it to yourself (so they tell you) to be happy and to have it all? Being selfless and always thinking of others seems so unachievable at times.

The real reality is that we cannot love like Christ.

Because He is Christ, the Son of God, and we are not.

He loved and forgave His enemies on the Cross; but this is a step too far for most of us.

We are humans and He is God. He lived and died and was Resurrected again as God.

He loved and still loves as God. And His mercy and caring for us are the fruits of the love of God.
We cannot, nor are we meant to, love one another as He has loved us.

So we satisfy ourselves with acts of devotions, prayers and “too much religiosity”. We try to be kind and charitable and forgiving towards each other – and often fail to reach the standard required of us. But we try again, and should continue to do so.

We aim, and perhaps fail again, to achieve Sainthood. For His sake, For His mercy. And for His love.
But I suspect that Saints are made and not born. We are born sinners and through our deeds and actions we strive to walk the road to Sainthood.

Only He, through His Grace, can make us Saints.

Our job is to take the first step, in Faith, in Trust, and let Him do the rest.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

I had company in the shower

It had been a long day travelling to Northern towns and attending business meetings to discuss matters of no importance whatsoever and leading to nowhere, as often happens in business when no one wants to commit and the accountants believe they know it all just because the figures "don't stack up"; whatever that means. I must add here that our company accountant is highly qualified. He learnt to count from 1 to 10 using jelly beans at the age of 18, so he must know the nonsense he's talking about!

Anyway, I got to the hotel rather late that evening and all I wanted to do is get to bed and count accountants in my head to lull me to sleep.

I decided to have a shower first. The hotel bathroom had a bath tub for those who want to soak away their daily cares and a power shower in a fairly large glass cubicle with a sliding door through which you enter and then close behind you.

There I was under a warm torrent of water still thinking about work and the number of paper clips we will need over the next five years, and whether Scrooge the accountant will provide us with the necessary funds; when suddenly I realised there was someone else in the shower with me.

I turned round and there ... about two feet away ... was the largest wasp, or yellow jacket, or bumblebee, you could ever imagine. It was a real monster, flying left and right and up and down at the other end of the cubicle just by the sliding door. I did not know where it came from but there it was, just two feet or so away.

I was effectively imprisoned in the glass cubicle by this buzzing enemy flying all over the place and eyeing me carefully before choosing where to attack.

I panicked as I froze there imagining all sorts of terrible things happening to me. Despite the warm water flowing all over me a very cold "frisson" went up and down my back several times. (It was a French chain hotel - hence the word "frisson". I can be classy even when in a panic).

My first instinctive reaction was to cover my masculinity with my hands. That's the last place you want a wasp to sting you, I tell you. Not that I have a favourite place for a sting, I may add.

At first I was afraid ... then I was petrified! (Classy as well as musical, you see). My brain went into an overdrive of terror as I imagined what the pain would be like to be stung in the delicates.

And what would I do next? I asked myself.

How would I explain to the receptionist and the nurse at the Hospital Emergency Room that I had been stung in the privates by a yellow jacket?

What if they asked me what was a yellow jacket doing inside my trousers? What do I say next?

If I told them I was naked at the time they'd probably think I'm a nudist attending one of those outdoor Nudist Camps where people go to air their differences. They'd think I probably deserved all I got for wandering around nude as if I was in Paradise.

What if the story got out in the papers and the news media? Can you imagine the headlines: Man stung privately in hotel room.

And how would I get to the hospital in the first place? My secretary, Miss Sullivan, who is in the hotel room next door would have to drive me there. And she is the company First-Aider too! She would want to give me assistance first before taking me to hospital.

I would never live this down back at work. And Scrooge the accountant would really enjoy spreading the story round and embellishing it with his warped sense of humour.

It's amazing how your mind works when you are really in a panic and the wasp is still flying up and down and sideways only feet away.

And this is when I did something really stupid ... really really stupid.

I took off the shower head from its holder up high, turned the temperature of the water to maximum heat, and aimed the high-powered jet of water at the flying monster.

This irritated it so much that it now flew in all directions very fast and making threatening buzzing noises. It came towards me several times and was met by another jet of water without great success. The flying devil was intent on getting revenge.

It stopped flying for a while and sat there at the far edge of the cubicle cleaning its wings with its legs. I could see its yellow body and the sting in its tail ready for action. Perhaps it was calling for re-inforcement and pretty soon the cubicle would be full with a swarm of flying devils.

I stood there holding the shower head in both hands, my heart pounding inside my chest like a beating drum signalling retreat. I could not go back any further. Once or twice I reversed and was prodded in the backside by the hot shower controls on the wall behind me.

The threatening monster stopped preening itself and started flying again left and right and up and down buzzing noisily to distract my attention. A few times it flew towards me a little and retreated when met by a hot power jet of water.


At one point it flew right down to my feet and made a fast and upward ascent towards my now uncovered and totally undefended delicate bits.

That's it! The moment I'd been dreading ...

I reversed a little until my bottom signalled there's no where else to retreat.

As a reflex reaction to the fast approaching enemy I aimed the water jet just where it was heading and scalded my private bits almost to extinction as the wasp flew away laughing its head off.

The pain was literally out of this world !!!

The wasp made a second fly past at head height this time. In order to avoid it I moved my head sideways so violently that I crashed it against the glass partition on my side. The re-inforced glass did not break but I must have lost consciousness for a split-second or two because I dropped the shower head on the floor and burnt my feet in the boiling water in the process.

I hopped from foot to foot to avoid the hot water and bent down quickly to retrieve my water weapon.


Had I lost consciousness I would have offered the enemy undefended opportunity to sting me where it wants; and no doubt time to take selfie-photos in the process for it to post on social media.

But luckily I managed to bend down and retrieve the shower head quickly and prepare for further attacks.

The cubicle was now filling up with steam and I could hardly see the flying enemy or its flight trajectory. I could hear it at the far end of the cubicle; and then I saw it flying out from the gap between the top of the cubicle and the ceiling.

I got out quickly from my prison and proceeded to get dressed in such a hurry that I put on my underpants back to front. But that was a small matter of concern compared to the after effects of the scalding I'd received.

I searched everywhere but the wasp was no where to be seen.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

What does God look like?

The Heavenly and Earthly Trinities” by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo.
Murillo, The Heavenly and Earthly Trinities, about 1675-1682 
Photo © The National Gallery, London

We are told that God created us in His image, and for centuries people have assumed that God is a bearded man sitting on a cloud in Heaven looking down on us.

Artists over the years have painted Him as a human being, no doubt taking their clue from what the Bible said about us and His image, and also from the fact that Christ, His only Son, came down to earth as a human being.

But what does God really look like?

Is He a Spirit somewhere in the sky, or wherever? But the Holy Spirit has been depicted, and seen, as a dove and tongues of fire. Is that what God looks like?

It is worth remembering that although we are taught that God always existed, so does Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

Jesus did not begin to exist the day He was born on earth. He has always existed. When He was born on earth, this is when He took the shape of a human being, a baby, born amongst us. He is "Consubstantial to the Father". From Latin consubstantialem, of one essence or substance. He always was and is.

So although we accept, and many have seen, Jesus in human form, and the Holy Spirit has been seen as a dove, tongues of fire or bright lights, no one has actually seen God. And we cannot therefore assume that He looks like any of these.

In essence it does not matter what God looks like. Christ taught that He is a Father in Heaven to help those people listening to Him at the time to understand Deity in a form their minds can comprehend. 

What we need to concentrate on is that God is love. Unmeasurable love Whose desire is that we all one day will be united with Him in Heaven. He is mercy. He is forgiveness. He is goodness and patience. And all that one would wish from a caring Creator.

And that's what it means to be created in His image.

We all have the potential to love, to have mercy and pity for our fellow beings, to forgive, to be good and patient and caring, and everything else that we consider God, our Creator, to be.

Yet ... sadly yet ... despite being created in His image, with all this Godly potential, there are many it seems who live their lives with none of these qualities in their behaviour.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Of Church Mice And Church Men

I visited an old church in the countryside the other evening.

There was this historian giving a talk entitled “The influence of the Church in England from Chaucer to Henry the Eighth and Beyond”.

Given a choice between listening to that lecture and watching an important football match on TV I would choose the lecture every time. You know me, always willing to oblige and to please … Why is it that old fashioned marriage vows included the words “to love and obey”? Was there not a clause about football games in those vows? There should have been!

Anyway, the old historian did not disappoint. He lived up to my every expectation and went on and on giving us every minute detail about this most fascinating subject. He reminded me of one of the priests who visited our church recently; Father Ontoo Long!

He too went on ad infinitum reading his sermon from notes he must have typed on an old type-writer and stopping at every punctuation mark to add boredom to everlasting tedium.

I wondered as I sat there on those hard wooden pews which very soon numb the lower parts of your body … I wondered, if this historian stood side by side with Father Ontoo Long and they talked in unison would they put us to sleep in stereo?

My boredom was soon to be relieved by an unexpected distraction.

I noticed a few feet away just by the radiator standing against the wall a mouse crawling slowly towards me. He’d probably been disturbed by the historian’s monotonous voice, I thought.

The mouse stopped suddenly then ran back towards the wall. No one noticed him except me.

He then walked ever so slowly close to the wall towards the left of the radiator. Then he stopped again. Moments later he was joined by another mouse following a few feet behind. He too stopped and then the first mouse turned round facing the second mouse. They faced each other for a few seconds then the second mouse ran back towards the radiator followed by the first!

I bet those mice are married, I thought. Probably having an argument I shouldn’t wonder. Something like this:

Mr Mouse: Oh … why do we have to go to church every Sunday? That priest is so boring!

Mrs Mouse: We don’t go to church to see the priest. We go to meet God and to pray.

Mr Mouse: But God is everywhere. Why can’t we meet Him at home? I bet He’d love to watch the football match on TV!

At that point a sharp elbow dug deeply into my side and a harsh voice whispered “Stop snoring!”

Oh well … back to Chaucer and Henry the Eighth I suppose. Did they have church mice then?

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Undress in haste

I needed some new clothes for work so I visited this large Department Store in town and started looking around. Pretty soon I found the perfect pair of trousers in varying colors. What would suit me best do you think? Dark blue? Black? Gray?

I took all three and proceeded to one of those cubicles where you can try your clothes on before you buy them.

The man in charge led me to a cubicle and asked me to press a little button if I needed any help.

I got in and tried the first pair of trousers … too tight. The second pair was too long in the legs. And the third was too tight and too short.

Why can’t they make trousers that fit exactly as the size it says on the label? Admittedly the three pairs of trousers were made by different manufacturers but the labels clearly said the same size on all three. And that is my size. The size I measured myself at home and the size of my current trousers which fit me perfectly well.

I proceeded to take off the last pair of trousers and pressed the little button as instructed.

Immediately, almost instantaneously, the male attendant turned up and I explained the situation to him. He took the items away and promised to get me bigger sizes.

I turned round to get dressed and … disaster!

The silly man had taken away the trousers I was wearing when I came into the shop as well as the other three.

So there I was. Trouser-less in a cubicle, and also minus my wallet and car keys which were in my trouser pockets.

I pressed the little button frantically again. Nothing happened. I pressed and pressed and still nothing happened.

Eventually the man returned empty handed.

“I’m sorry Sir; we don’t have any other sizes!”

I explained what had happened and he went away trying to retrieve my own trousers which he had put away with the other trousers to be sold in the store.

I waited for what must have been an eternity. Trapped in a store with no trousers to my name.

Eventually a female voice was heard to say, “Try these and we’ll see if they’re OK!” and a hand came in through the thick curtain and handed me two dresses. One pink and one light blue!

Almost instinctively, I don’t know why, I took the dresses and for a few seconds stared at them. It then occurred to me to look out of the cubicle and call the female attendant back.

Too late! She too had vanished in the store never to be seen again.

“Dear God … what do I do now?” I muttered under my breath.

Well, I suppose the Good Lord must have been listening because there, standing beside the socks rack, was our Parish priest.

In desperation, I tried to attract his attention without making a scene.

“Pssst … Pssst …” I uttered nervously as if calling a cat.

At this point I should tell you that Father Frederic is somewhat old and hard of hearing. He didn’t move one inch and continued looking at different pairs of socks.

“Psst … Psst …” I went again. No response.

“Father Frederic!!!” I said quietly yet forcefully enough that he might hear.

He stopped what he was doing. Looked around and saw no one calling him. Then he looked up to Heaven and made the Sign of the Cross.

“Over here … Father!” I said more forcefully.

He saw me hiding behind the curtain of my cubicle and approached me tentatively.

“I thought the Good Lord was calling me!” he exclaimed.

“No … it was me,” I replied still holding the two dresses, “I’m in an embarrassing situation Father!”

“Oh dear …” said my priest, “it is embarrassing. I didn’t know you liked to wear women’s clothes!”

“Hein? I DON’T!!!”

“No need to be shy about it my son. You really must resist the temptation … and you must come to Confession too.”

“Father … you don’t understand … These are not my clothes!”

“No of course not,” he interrupted, “they’re women’s clothes and you can rest assured that your secret is safe with me. It’s as if you told me about it in Confession. Come to think of it, this curtain is lovely and thick … we need to change the curtains in our confessionals!”

“Father let me explain … I need a pair of trousers!” I said as calmly yet as firmly as possible.

“What? You came here without trousers? You didn’t wear a dress in public did you? That’s rather foolhardy you know. What if a parishioner saw you … you’d bring the whole congregation into disrepute you know!”

At that point I think Saint Anthony must have stepped in and come to my rescue; even though I’d forgotten to pray to him.

The male attendant returned with my original pair of trousers, and my wallet, and car keys.

A week later at Confession Father Frederic whispered to me through the brand new confessional curtains “Are you sure you have nothing else to confess? Something pink and something blue … and worn by pretty ladies!”

MORE HUMOUROUS STORIES HERE

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

An appeal to your hearts!

I would like to appeal straight to your hearts dear readers.
Please spend some time watching this video first. Thank you.


Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Pain, Hurt and Forgiveness



Many of us go through life carrying the pain and hurt caused to us in the past. This pain slows us down. It makes us stumble from time to time. It hinders our progress in our journey towards God.

It isn’t always easy to forgive. But that shouldn’t stop us trying. We can do so with God’s help.

We can ask Him to take away the pain caused to us. He can do that; after all He did take a lot of pain on our behalf when nailed to the Cross.

We can ask Him to heal the hurt. He can do that too; He did heal many people when He walked amongst us.

We can ask Him to teach us to forgive. He did forgive; just as He was dying.

As for forgetting; that isn’t so easy. The memories of our hurt will always be with us.

Jesus has not forgotten what we did to Him. He has the scars in His hands, feet and side to remind Him everyday.

And every time He looks at the scars, He forgives us once again.

So every time we remember our hurts, we too should forgive again and again.
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