Posted by: fvbcdm | February 4, 2014

Feast of Saint Joan of Valois (4 February 2014)

Let’s think about the spirituality of surprises today, since they can make a great difference in one’s outlook: one’s joy, sorrow, excitement, happiness, disappointment, and so on. One summer afternoon when I was 15 years old, I came home from some outing and found my mother packing a suitcase for me. “Guess where you’re going tomorrow!,” she said with great delight. I had never traveled more than about 50 miles from home all my life. But that was about to change; I was going to PENNSYLVANIA the next day! I loved reading about travel and different parts of our country and the world. The idea of going to PENNSYLVANIA was fabulous to me. It seemed that my adult cousin who had married a lady from Pennsylvania sent her and their three children up to spend some time with the grandparents in early summer.  Then, later, he drove up to bring them home. That year, he invited me to go with him, spend about 2 weeks in Lancaster County and then return home.  What a terrific experience!  The mountains of the Carolinas and Virginia, the world of the Pennsylvania Dutch, the Amish and the Mennonites and the Quakers, the farmers’ markets selling things like cup cheese and shoo-fly pie and sticky buns; the city of Hershey with its wonderful odors of chocolate; even a bus ride to downtown Philadelphia with all of the history and beauty there.

Then, just over five years later, another surprise of a totally different kind: the news from the draft board that I was within two weeks of being inducted into the army! From my point of view at the time, that would have been a fate worse than death, so I did some frantic investigation, and very reluctantly enlisted in the navy, thinking it would be a total waste of four years. It was one of the most exciting and happy periods of my life.

A young friend of mine has just been told that he has cancer of the prostate. He is shocked, upset, no doubt frightened, and unsure as to what to do now. But he is taking all the right steps and will receive the best advice and treatment that are available. And, please God, he will totally overcome the cancer as I did sixteen years ago and as more and more people are doing daily.

The spirituality of surprises. Some, wonderful; others, frightening and upsetting. But in all of them, we place ourselves in the hands of God. We pray “thy will be done on earth as it is is heaven.” And we remember always that God is our loving, wise, and powerful Father and that nothing is going to happen to us that he, and we, together, can’t handle. Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God bless you. Father Victor Brown, O.P.

Note:  This is a CDM composed by Father Brown in the past.

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