Heaven

12-09-2018The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

Here's a shot on Granville Island, Vancouver, British Columbia. How about this image of some trucker's nice toy that he saved many a penny to buy! It's certainly a switch of scenery, and the feel of travel, no doubt, quite different. When I grew up in South Texas I figured I would want to live a good other portion of my life in a pine forest. Not a few of our Holy Cross parishioners left the snowbelt for the sunbelt. The frantic pace of the West Coast brings settlement to Utah in search of the quiet beauty of the natural surroundings. The humidity of the Bible Belt has others discover the beauty of the Southwest desert. Island fever from Hawaii can be alleviated with a domicile in the continental US.

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Our Good Works

12-02-2018The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

The Wakodahatchee Wetlands near Boyton Beach, Florida are teeming with migrant birds like this adult Anhinga. Had I taken another step, this specimen would have set sail for the sky. Somehow these birds had me thinking about our winter parishioners, our brothers in sisters in Christ who worship during the cooler months of the year with the year-round members of Holy Cross. Winter parishioners are parishioners, not snowbirds. That's what you are. Parishioners. I admire them as they seasonally participate in St. Vincent de Paul, as they head to the Council to meet the new office among our Knights, as they serve our indoor regularly scheduled Mass ministries. I am most grateful to God that you are using your gifts while you can. We grow in merit when we do so.

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Prayers for the Deceased

11-25-2018The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

We began the month of November with two masses intended to help us remember the multitude of uncanonized saints and the members of the suffering Church who are deceased and who need our prayers to be delivered from their purgation. We have celebrated these masses at Holy Cross with a special remembrance for our own deceased written in the pages of the memorial book. The Church instructs us to pray for the dead and offers masses and special prayers on behalf of the deceased. All of this is meant, of course, for us to intercede on behalf of those we loved and those that suffer. It is also meant to have us meditate well and often on our own inevitable passing, a moment reserved to God when we will stand before Him in judgment. We should share these beliefs and practices with our children and grandchildren, that they too make pray for us at our passing and not simply say nice things about us at our funeral.

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Imagination

11-18-2018The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

Architectural marvels reveal their grandiose scale when we notice their perspective to something else. I failed to be impressed the first time I walked into St. Peter's Basilica and gazed upon the lofty shapes and forms of the ceiling. Then one of my confreres told me to gently lower my vision to the floor and compare the vaulting against the ant-sized human beings on the far end of the Church. It was that perspective that dropped my jaw in awe.

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Public Faith

11-11-2018The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

Joe and Josie Malakieh are faithful parishioners several months out of the year down here when they're not in Vancouver. I was delighted to stay several days with them enjoying the sights and sounds of the gorgeous countryside. They took me to a scenic overlook of their city, but this group of Buddhist monks got my attention first. Two of the four were sporting camera gear!

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Sacrifice for Jesus

11-04-2018The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

Here's a gem of a photo from the 2nd Annual Holy Cross Family Camp this past July near Mormon Lake. I asked for a Cheeto and she did not hesitate to share with me a handful. Such lessons are learned at home. I suspect her happy display of generosity was the fruit of her family experience where the needs of another come before the wants of the self.

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Parish Family

10-21-2018The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

I got to know a little more the youngest members of my Parish Family during the Youth Hike to the Dells in Prescott last June. My discovery: the mind is youthful the body is not. They were frolicking the hilltops like newborn calves, running circles around me, getting acquainted with the rapid and heavy breathing of a 50-year-old.

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Peaceful Surroundings

10-14-2018The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

Before taking a few days of rest away from Arizona I noticed that my reading habits were not where they should be. I read things more like one has enough time to read headlines. Comprehension and retention were more difficult. So, I decided to go to an easy and pleasant read to help foster the love for reading I once had. I took with me on vacation Fr. Walter Ciszek's With God in Russia. It is his account of spending 23 years in Soviet prisons and labor camps located in one of the harshest climates on earth— Siberia. This Pennsylvania born Jesuit priest came back to the States in a spy swap in 1962.

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