Starry Nights

08-30-2015The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

Earlier this month I drove out to the desert on a clear night to shoot this image of the Four Peaks. I was alone but not afraid. There is something about being under a canopy of stars wrought by the Creator Himself. Not a few of us, I imagine, get drawn up into a prayer of praise to the Creator when we gaze at the starry night. Jesus has revealed Him to us and taught us to call Him ‘Our Father’. As I sat prayerfully in my folding chair next to the tripod I recalled some thoughts from Pope Benedict’s Easter Vigil Homily from 2012. May I recommend you read his homily in its entirety? Here’s an excerpt:

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Our Fans

08-23-2015The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

Earlier this month, the Vocations Office sponsored the first annual basketball showdown between the Church Fathers (priests) and the Phoenix Sons (seminarians). The priests lost the match by a single point and reminded themselves that a life filled with far more pastoral experience does not always make up for the loss of agility.

While the crowd cheered on the priestly team more, or so I believed, it was until Fr. Darrin Merlino — the tallest priest in our Diocese and Pastor of Sacred Heart in Prescott — got this shot off at the buzzer, which sealed our doom. He missed.

Our Catholic belief in the communion of saints is about our own fans, or better said, our friends who constantly intercede for us before the Lord. They make it their business to pray for us so that we fight the good fight and win the race, as St. Paul would say. It’s a truth that comes to mind when I readily gaze on the faces of well-wishing fans.

Your Pastor,
Fr. Larry

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Recognizing Sin

08-16-2015The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

How does a secular society typically recognize sin? Sin exists when there is remorse to feel or when we have hurt someone else. Accordingly, this vision of sin is largely subjective and hardly a matter of transgressing God’s law and His love.

These are my thoughts as I processed this photo taken a couple of weeks ago at the Out of Africa Safari Park near Cottonwood. Although quite playful to our amazement as spectators, this Senegal Tiger could have instantly erupted into a ‘bad kitty’ had the staff been careless to read the instincts of its wild nature. So it goes with us. We too should strive to know our proclivities to sin.

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Living on the Edge

08-09-2015The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

The extreme grabs our attention. Red Bull compilations of extreme sports make us shudder at the twists and turns of experienced athletes who have but a slim margin for error. The appeal for fame, albeit short-lived, and the lure of prize money are, I think, are generating the interest for even more harrowing extreme sports.

The extreme grabs our attention. Red Bull compilations of extreme sports make us shudder at the twists and turns of experienced athletes who have but a slim margin for error. The appeal for fame, albeit short-lived, and the lure of prize money are, I think, are generating the interest for even more harrowing extreme sports. It is not uncommon to see headlines paying tribute to someone very famous whose luck ran out. The attraction to the extreme is not peculiar to our times. It has been a test of manhood and a rite of passage throughout the ages.

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Contributions to the Human Family

08-02-2015The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry

Some of you may remember Fr. John Greb who, years ago, was an associate at Holy Cross. I was happy to know that he finally drew an Elk tag and shot a fine specimen late last year that I was able to enjoy at the dinner table this past Memorial Day. I never had it before, and there was no gamey taste, because, as some of you know, Fr. John is a master Traeger Chef. I too ‘shot’ the Elk in this photo but with my Nikon.Isn’t God so good to allow us our different tastes and enjoy each other’s contribution to the human family! I may eventually frame this photo and place it somewhere on the wall but if I ever move in with Fr. Greb, I’ll nail just below his mounted elk head.

Your Pastor,

Fr. Larry

Algunos de ustedes recuerdan al P. John Greb que hace años era un asociado de nuestra Parroquia. Yo estaba feliz a saber que por fin el P. Greb sacó una etiqueta para cazar un alce y logró hacerlo a finales del año pasado. Pude disfrutar la carne el mayo pasado durante una cena. Hasta entonces nunca he probado carne de alce, y no hubo un sabor muy raro, pues el Padre Greb si sabe mucho de las artes culinarias. Yo descargé mi camera para conseguir esta foto de un alce mientras el P. Greb descargó su escopeta para conseguir el suyo.

Y así Dios nos permite tener nuestros gustos diferentes y disfrutar de la contribución de cada uno a la familia humana. Eventualmente voy a poner un marco alrededor de esta foto y si alguna vez me toca vivir con el P. Greb, la voy a clavar en la pared justo abajo de la cabeza montada de su alce.

Tu Pastor,

P.Lorenzo

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Our Natural World

07-26-2015The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

Last June, as I caught this moment just a few miles south of Telluride, Colorado, I also felt compelled to ask these fly fishermen if Julie Andrews lived in the neighborhood. That virgin landscape brought on my nostalgic love for classics such as the Sound of Music and the Quiet Man.

Many of our Catholic retreat centers are built in similar places of beauty - on the edge of forests and mountaintops. There, in a spiritual setting we see first hand the beauty of God’s creation as he intended it. It’s good to get away from the city every so often and remember and cherish our natural world as a sign of His love for you and me.

Your Pastor,

Fr. Larry

En junio, saqué esta foto unos kilómetros al sur de Telluride, Colorado. En aquel momento me vino también el deseo de preguntar aquellos pescadores si la Sra. Julie Andrews vivió por aquí.Este paisaje virgen me hizo recordar mi amor nostálgico de las películas clásicas como La Novicia Rebelde (The Sound of Music).

Muchos de los centros para los Retiros Católicos están construidos en lugares similares, por ejemplo, al lado de un bosque o encima de una montaña. Allí, en un ambiente espiritual, uno ve de primera mano la belleza de la creación de Dios como él pensaba. Es bueno escaparse de la ciudad de vez en cuando para familiarizarnos con el mundo natural como signo de Su amor por nosotros.

Tu Pastor,
P. Larry

It is from the inside of the Church that we make sense of the outside.

07-19-2015The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

I recently traveled over the grasslands of Northern New Mexico and stumbled upon the ruins of Fort Union along the old Santa Fe Trail. The outpost began operations in 1851 to provide safety to Americans moving westward. There is a peculiarity to this photographic composition. As you step through the arches there is no sign of civilization in sight—just wilderness. And then this thought came: It is from the inside of the Church that we make sense of the outside. Outside of the Church and its hope, there is not much clarity about our situation after death.

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Freedom

07-06-2015The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

I set out for the Arizona Mills Bridge Saturday night for what looked to be a promising shoot. With my Nikon on a Tripod and aimed over the heads of a young crowd I came up with this. Lucky priest!

During the show leading up to the fireworks there was plenty of music and interviews but I did not hear or see an exposé on the real story of our freedom. Freedom in our country has come at the expense many American Soldiers who paid the ultimate price. I remembered these unsung heroes during a simple prayer at lakeside in the silence of my own heart. St. John Paul II recalled something similar when he perceived that the youth of Poland had somehow forgot the effects on the Second World War.

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