The Cheerio and the Sacred Heart of Jesus

The Lonely Cheerio which should bug the devil out of me.

The Lonely Cheerio which should bug the devil out of me.

   I cleaned up the mess of a 15 month old boy’s self instruction in the art of eating, only to find an hour later I missed one more little crumb maker in a corner of the kitchen.  I used to get mad at messes like this, but over the last year I’ve chilled out a lot.  Somehow this cheerio made it into my rosary meditations last night.  Somehow this little cheerio, my reaction to it and the Sacred Heart of Jesus all came together.

    As I went through the Joyful Mysteries (Annunciation, Visitation, Nativity, Presentation and Discovery in the Temple) I thought of the incredible trust Joseph and Mary had in God.  First you have two people who have a plan…got job, get married and live a nice little life in Nazareth with a few kids along the way.  Then an angel appears to each of them and says…God has a different and much greater plan for you!  Both gracefully accept their commission, and they became the gateway for our Lord Jesus to enter the the world and save our souls.  

   After meditating on the first four mysteries I found myself thinking about how each our arrival in our family changed our worldly plans.  Gone were the new cars, fancy house, and two people generating good steady incomes.  I thought of how we prayed over the decision to homeschool our children, and the lifestyle changes it brought on us.  I thought of our acceptance of being open to life in our marriage with the blessings of five children and five miscarriages it brought.  This brought me back to the Cheerio on the floor while Jesus was in the temple as a young man.

    I related to the panic Joseph and Mary had when they could not find Jesus.  I could only imagine the things they wanted to say when they found Jesus calmly going about his father’s work in the temple.  In the moment of finding Jesus, Joseph and Mary each were able to view a mini-transfiguration.  Jesus foreshadowed to them his future mission, and how well he would perform it.  Joseph and Mary were able to put all their emotions and order, and enjoy a moment of clarity on what their entire lives were entirely ordered for.  Jesus’ parent saw a glimpse of Jesus Sacred Heart on display.

   That cheerio on the floor, one of hundreds I am sure, is one of the many of sins I’ve committed against God’s law in my lifetime.  Jesus may have used that cheerio  to have me peer into his Sacred Heart.  When I saw the cheerio, I quieted my mind and fury about why it was there.  I just accepted it was there.  

    Christ gives constant charity to me for my sins despite the wounds I place on his heart.  In turn I must continue mirroring his charity in my life despite all the changes and challenges the world and my choices put in the way.  This is what his parents did, and this is what I am called to do in living out the gospel through word and deed.

    Well time to go…little guy just finished his breakfast.   Low and behold!   There is a cheerio for me to pick up.


Imagine the Love of God if…

    My daughter just finished a very special trip with her grandparents.  Ten days visiting Washington, D.C.; seeing godparents; enjoying some new clothes; but most of all enjoying a different vision of the world she lives in.  She learned a great deal about where she comes from on my side of the family.  My daughter lives a very virtuous life, and is a role model for me her Dad.  Her selflessness for living God’s law is impressive.  While she was gone though, her absence let me think about how God’s relationship with each of us in the story of the Prodigal Son.  This story is always about the tale of the two sons, but it also gives us a deep insight into the love of God for each of us.  

    In the previous excursions of my children with grandparents I never had a child who was at the age to explore life away from the family.  This time though, my daughter took a trek to the outstanding Christendom College in Front Royal, Virginia.  There she met one possible destiny.  She saw shelves and shelves of great books.  She sat in classes where she had more of the Shakespeare memorization complete then the students (recent homework at Regina Caeli), and also experienced a class knowing she was not yet ready for it.  When she was done she found a great college, and felt it could be a home away from home for her.

   My young lady left, and seriously contemplated the next phase of her life.  Thankfully for me, her description of why included the statement “They really try to live out our Catholic faith there dad.”  In the story of the Prodigal son, however, the boy wanting to live in man’s world chooses to live by his own rules.  He leaves the father, and the father knows he may never come home.   This faithful father also realizes the son may also forfeit a home in heaven for his soul, and this fate would trouble the father even more than a failure to return to the family home. 

    When the father sees his son coming home repenting of his sins, he rejoices. He hugs and adorns his child with all he can.  While the physical return home is good, the father knows a repentant son will be with him forever in the paradise of heaven.  Since tradition teaches us the father is symbolizing God the Father, we know the human joy and love we see pales to the love God has for us.

    So when my daughter returned I rejoiced in having my faithful and true daughter in my care once again.  I also thought of the Father in the Prodigal Son.  Here a son, who was dead to him, returned home.  The son showed repentance, and demonstrated his embrace of the Lord’s ways.  If my joy was immense, I could only imagine the joy and love God poured forth into the moment when sinners come home.

    What an awesome God to believe in, and see reflected in natural law throughout history.


Sunrise with the Lord

First sunrise shot in about ten years!

First sunrise shot in about ten years!

    Back in June I was able to get up to the mountains of North Georgia.  It was hot, but a good time to explore a little of more of the state.  One opportunity I received was the gift of an early rising to meet the sun.  Watching the earth go from black through its purples, reds, orange and full daylight was a simple pleasure. What a gift from God!!