Reassurances

04-29-2018The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

Northern New Mexico has an interesting rock formation in the town of Shiprock. Millions of years ago lava spewed to form this one of a kind lava mountain. There are several local legends concerning its ties to the Navajo Peoples: One legend describes how a village existed on the mountain top until lightning devastated the village and ruined the access trails from below. Since that time, climbing the peak is forbidden in order not to disturb the ghosts who still roam the peak.

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Family Caregiver Alliance website

04-29-2018On the Caregiving Journey…

Are you struggling with how to care for your loved one with special medical needs or with trying to follow post-operation/post-hospitalization instructions? Are you wishing you could find a resource that would answer your questions, provide you with tips and even demonstrate how to perform some of the functions that family caregivers are expected to do? If so, check out the Family Caregiver Alliance's website at www.caregiver.org. The website contains an entire section of education for family caregivers. Point to the "Caregiver Education" tab at the top of the home page and view the drop down menu of choices to help you become more educated.

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Periodic Sacrifice

04-22-2018The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

Here’s an image I snapped early morning in the Valley of the Gods, Utah. It was early February. The surroundings were dead silent and brought me into this prayerful reflection: Something similar our Lord Jesus walked into when beginning his public ministry and trained his body with 40 days of fasting and prayer.

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Taking Care of a Spouse

04-22-2018On the Caregiving Journey…

Taking care of a loved one is a challenge; taking care of a spouse can be even more challenging. People who care for their spouses often realize that they must shift roles from being a wife or husband to becoming a caregiver. This shift is often accompanied by a transformation of the relationship from one of lovers and partners to that of friends. The love is still there, but it takes on a different form as one spouse suspends his/her life to care for the other spouse. At the point of transformation, many caregivers often experience an emotional roller coaster that includes feelings of loss, depression, frustration, anger and resentment.

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The Young exposed to our Faith

04-15-2018The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

Not a whole lot of years have passed us by since these youthful members of our parish were sitting in the laps of their parents and making all sorts of indiscreet noises from the pews. But now look at them! This image was taken as members of our Holy Cross youth groups finished their yearly retreat in Williams, AZ.

A few parishioners point out that we need a cry room for all the babies. Our present structure won’t allow us to make more space available. So, I will continue to invite the families to come as they are in every size and maturity. Yes, the Church can be noisy at certain masses, but what I hear in those young cries are the newest generation of Catholics being exposed to the faith, hope and love of our parish community as they profess their love for Jesus Christ. A child’s spontaneous cries are summoning you to be examples of devotion. They see what’s going on. Later, they will process what they see and remember from you.

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Home Safety Checklist

04-15-2018On the Caregiving Journey…

Are you facing the reality that your care receiver’s home environment may be unsafe for him/her? Are you unsure of what can be done to improve the home environment or don’t know how to seek assistance in making modifications? If this is your situation, then you may want to check out the FSL (Foundation for Senior Living) Caregiver House which now offers equipment and adaptive aids for purchase. Their new service also includes delivery, set-up and installation of purchased items. If you are not sure of what you need, you can take a tour of the Caregiver House to see a variety of specialized equipment and even receive hands-on training in how to help your loved one use the equipment.

For more information or to set up an appointment, call FSL at 602-297-1856. You can also visit the FSL website at www.fsl.org.

Elder Resource Guide

04-08-2018On the Caregiving Journey…

The caregiving journey can become overwhelming for new caregivers when they realize just how much needs to be done for their loved ones especially when they do not live with their care receivers. How do I find out which health insurance/Medicare benefits my loved one is eligible to receive? How do I arrange for my loved one to receive home-delivered meals? How do I find a caregiver to help my loved one with bathing and dressing? How do I arrange for my loved one to get to doctor appointments?

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The Chaplet of Divine Mercy

04-08-2018The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

At the Riparian Reserve hummingbirds abound. They're hard to catch, not only in a net but on film. As I tried to remain hidden behind the brush waiting for its return, I thought of its incessant activity, always beating its wings, flying to and fro, and never posing on a branch for more than a few seconds. Our fast-paced lives can mimic the life of these flying jewels if we're not too careful. We've got time for everything requiring our business, but no time to rest, and by rest, I mean resting in the Lord through prayer.

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Caregiver's Emergency Card

04-01-2018On the Caregiving Journey…

So you are a caregiver, and you know that you are a caregiver. However, does anyone else know it? What would happen if you were hospitalized for a serious situation and could not communicate? Who would be there to look after your care receiver? Who would know?

While this may be a hypothetical situation, it can easily become reality. Your loved one could be left stranded without any caregiving support if something were to happen to you. This unfortunate situation can be avoided with a very simple and quick solution. Carry a Caregiver's Emergency Card with you at all times. This card will alert emergency personnel that you are a caregiver and will provide the name, address and phone number of your loved one. You can fashion a card for your wallet or you can purchase a set of 10 for $2.00 from the website for caregiver forms. Go to www.caregiverforms.net/2011/06/caregiver-cards.html.

Happy Easter!

04-01-2018The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

To my Parish Family of Holy Cross, I wish you a Happy Easter! May today's celebration of Jesus' definitive victory over the sin and death increase your sense of purpose in this world.

There are a few souls out there sleeping in today, oblivious to the real meaning of our greatest celebration within Catholicism. Should you reach out by phone or home visit to friends and family, have a kind word to say about what your Savior and Lord has done for you. Do try to share this news. Grasping Easter is all about understanding better who we are and why we need God. And once you've done that, take aim at the chocolate bunny ear and celebrate that too.

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Moments of Discomfort

03-25-2018The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

Have you turned on the AC at home? How lovely the coolness! Then there are those who never have to because they live in, Silverton, Colorado. This image was taken from a south perch on Highway 550 last January. I stood in the cold half an hour waiting for the daylight to dim and the street lights to do their thing, and I felt the cold's bite. Daniel's Canticle (3:57-88) came to mind and made the moment spiritual: Cold and chill, bless the Lord. The northern wind is the Lord's creature also.

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Frustration in Caregiving

03-25-2018On the Caregiving Journey…

Taking care of someone is not an easy task. Caregiving can be very demanding and stressful. It is not uncommon for caregivers to experience frustration with their loved ones and the entire caregiving situation. How do you know when frustration is building up within you? According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, some of the warning signs include headaches, chest pains, shortness of breath, stomach cramps, compulsive eating, excessive consumption of alcohol, and impatience. If you find yourself becoming frustrated while performing your caregiving duties, there are several things you can do to reduce the frustration.

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Marriage

03-18-2018The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

Last Month Holy Cross hosted a tribute to our married couples at a pre-Valentine's Day Celebration as Valentine's Day fell on an Ash Wednesday this year. The couples had a chance to receive the Church's blessing for their sacramental unions—and I was glad to impart it.

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Caregiver Respite Program

03-18-2018On the Caregiving Journey…
  • When was the last time you checked your compassion capacity?
  • Do you know how much compassion you have left within you to help you be a loving caregiver?
  • Are you currently experiencing any of these on a regular, frequent basis: irritability, resentment, anger, depression, annoyance, exhaustion, frustration, sarcasm, pessimism, apathy, being overwhelmed?
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God's Love

03-11-2018The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

Red Mountain Ranch offers a picturesque golf course captivating both sportsman and photographer. It only makes sense to appreciate our sports, our health and our capacities to experience beauty and love when God is thanked for them.

One of the more difficult experiences I deal with as a priest is when someone is not convinced of God's love for them, as if they needed to prove themselves first to God. But that's not how it works. God's love is the constant in our lives. One needs a simple heart to acknowledge that God is loving us at every instance.

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Tips for Long Distance Caregivers

03-04-2018On the Caregiving Journey…

Many of the nearly 60 million caregivers in our country are long-distance caregivers who try to help their loved ones from many miles away. This is a very difficult caregiving journey due to the lack of proximity. If this is your situation, you may be wondering what resources are available to help you be most effective. One excellent resource is the web site for the National Institute on Aging with the U.S. Department of Human and Health Services. This website includes a section on caregiving and specifically on how to be a long-distance caregiver.

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The moral of the story

03-04-2018The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

The County Courthouse of Silverton Colorado stands out against the backdrop of the Bear Mountain. And, yes, its tower needs a fresh coat. But those imperfections are more than swallowed up for the moment while the observer takes in the breathtaking landscape.

The practice of charity towards anyone has a similar dynamic to observing this photo: when you look at the finer details of someone's life, there are plenty of imperfections readily seen, but it suffices to say that the overall image is quite beautiful.

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