Pope Francis

02-17-2019The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

His face is perhaps the most recognized on earth. To see him up close was not so hard through a telephoto lens but I had to remember to put it down just to see him for myself in Panama. He asked us to pray for him on the Vigil of the closing mass. I actually felt pity for him: there was a slight slurring of speech, as if he had been very tired for a long time. We're no strangers to the difficulties he has had to deal with in the Church as our Pope. I pray for him more often, more so than before my trip. There was no opportunity to exchange some words with him, but had we—I am sure we would have encouraged each other.

Your Pastor,
Fr. Larry

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Trust & Perseverance

02-10-2019The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

The red rocks were slippery. Melting snow was everywhere. Fr. Steve stood too close to the edge for comfort as I watched him survey and frame his shot. But he entered my own frame and now my own image tells another story. Fr. Steve, Pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle in Phoenix is not the kind of man who lives for dares. He got his shot, though. And I trusted that he would. I haven’t seen his pictures yet from our recent trip to Moab, but my own image tells the story of someone who knows what he wants and gets out there to find it. It takes someone like the man in the picture to build a new grade school for his parish—and that’s exactly what he’s doing over at St. Thomas.

Your Pastor,
Fr. Larry

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Structure of the Church

02-03-2019The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

Go figure. There's an engineer who had fun designing these luxury flats near Granville Island, Vancouver. The design was approved by the city—and that means no worries. Things checked out. Or so we are told. And buyers are likely to have some flair for the dramatic, perhaps a touch of vanity also. It reminds me of Jesus' parable of the two builders: one built a house on sand, the other, rock. You know the story.

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The Health of your Soul

01-27-2019The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

Port Isabel, Texas, at sunset… The air seemed to cool off quickly after sundown. I realized I left my jacket in the car while enjoying the last twilight. I sat there quietly contemplating how the spiritual life parallels this phenomenon. When Christ our light fades from our concern, hence, when confession is put off needlessly, when we struggle to get to mass on Sunday because we do this more out of a sense of duty and not as the anticipated highlight of our week, when daily contemplative prayer becomes arduous to the point of saying to ourselves, 'why bother?', then yes, it won't be long before we stumble and fall into darkness. How far that darkness goes is anybody's guess.

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Memorial

01-20-2019The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

At the Holocaust Memorial on Miami Beach the Memorial Wall lists names of loved ones who by and large were never buried (because of incineration) or because the mass graves were left unmarked. The Wall serves as the only permanent visible reminder for those whose remains were never located. Our Jewish brothers and sisters had the right idea to etch the names of their beloved on a memorial that has the possibility of surviving a few millennia.

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Connecting with our Qualities and Gifts

01-13-2019The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

Here's another image taken from a summer gone by. The bridge connecting Granville Island to the Vancouver mainland offers a splendid view of the yacht club harbor. What makes all the glass and metal in this picture sparkle is precisely the hues of the sunset. We are fascinated with the beauty of our own works but we need the sun to make them shine. Here's the deeper reflection: we shouldn't lose sight of the fact that our qualities and gifts never run independently of the Heavenly Father's goodness to each of us.

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Christ in the Desert Benedictine Monastery

01-06-2019The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

Here's another photo from Abiquiu at the Christ in the Desert Benedictine Monastery. This is as time lapse photo using over 130 photos woven together using a free software program called StarStax. I braved the cold for about 90 minutes of automated shutter release. I too had to play the part of the Magi as I looked for the North Star. The tunnel effect is only possible if you point the camera towards Polaris. All other stars in the Northern Hemisphere appear to orbit it.

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