Saturday, November 11, 2017

Veteran's Day

Oh beautiful, for spacious skies, For amber waves of grain, For purple mountain majesties Above the fruited plain! America! America! God shed his grace on thee and crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea!

Oh beautiful, for pilgrim feet Whose stern impassioned stress A thoroughfare of freedom beat Across the wilderness!  America! America! God mend thine every flaw, Confirm thy soul in self-control, Thy liberty in law!

Oh beautiful, for heroes proved in liberating strife. Who more than self their country loved and mercy more than life! America! America! May God thy gold refine ‘Till all success be nobleness and every gain divine!

Oh beautiful, for patriot dream That sees beyond the years Thine alabaster cities gleam Undimmed by human tears!  America! America!  God shed his grace on thee and crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea!  -- Katharine Lee Bates


Today we celebrate Veteran’s Day when we honor all the men and women who have served or are serving our country.  Each year there are parades, special discounts in stores and restaurants for vets and people expressing their gratitude for all who served.  As I prayed today I found myself expressing gratitude for the men and women in my own family who have served.  I was thinking about the many songs associated with veteran’s.  The song that came to mind was America the Beautiful.  As I reflected on the words of the song I was struck with the overwhelming sentiment in it.  May we take time today to thank all of those who have served and pray for the families of those who did not return and those still unaccounted for.  Let us always be grateful and may God bless the United States of America.

Pat Schifini, OSU

Monday, November 6, 2017

Kindness

On a Sabbath Jesus went to dine at the home of one of the leading Pharisees.  He said to the host who invited him, "When you hold a lunch or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or sisters or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors, in case they may invite you back and you have repayment.  Rather, when you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you.  For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."  Luke 14: 12 - 14


This reading always reminds me of how we should act toward one another.  We so often rush through the day busily anticipating the next activity or call that needs to be returned and we forget those little acts of kindness that we are called to do.  It is the seemingly simple things life holding the door for someone to walk through, letting a car pull out in front of us, saying hello to someone passing by or giving someone a dollar to put toward a meal or coffee.  Whatever the action isn’t it better to try to be kind than to get caught up in the competition of our world.  Jesus says that we will find our reward at the end of time, but I believe we find our reward each and every day by practicing random acts of kindness.  If we all try to do the little things with great love then the big things won’t bother us so much will they.

Pat Schifini, OSU

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Mindfulness

On a Sabbath Jesus went to dine at the home of one of the leading Pharisees, and the people there were observing him carefully. He told a parable to those who had been invited, noticing how they were choosing the places of honor at the table.  "When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not recline at table in the place of honor.  A more distinguished guest than you may have been invited by him, and the host who invited both of you may approach you and say, 'Give your place to this man,' and then you would proceed with embarrassment to take the lowest place.  Rather, when you are invited, go and take the lowest place so that when the host comes to you he may say, 'My friend, move up to a higher position.' Then you will enjoy the esteem of your companions at the table.  For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted."  Luke 14: 1, 7 – 11


When I prayed using this Gospel passage I was struck by the image of the exalted place at the table.  As I pondered the image of the last time I was at a celebratory dinner I was replaying in my mind how I chose my seat.  In choosing my seat I was conscious of trying not to have my back to anyone when the host would be speaking.  It struck me that this Gospel is less about choosing a seat than mindfulness.  We are called to be mindful of others in all areas of our lives.  When we are mindful we act out of a disposition of thoughtfulness rather than self-centeredness.  We think about others more than we think about ourselves and our own comfort level.  As we go through our day today let us try to be mindful of one another and put the needs of others before our own.  Happy Saturday!

Pat Schifini, OSU