theROCK

in Faith

Striving for Holiness

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Are you ready to be called home to God?

Christ tells us that we “must be prepared” for our time will be “at an hour you do not expect.” Are you ready to be called home to God? I think this is a question we need to ask ourselves daily. This is why I love the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, especially the evening examine. It keeps me accountable as I strive for holiness. How have I shown a love for God and love for others today? What are the moments from today in which I have fallen short?

How can I avoid these traps tomorrow? Depending on how my day has gone, I often need to ask myself, “do I need the sacrament of reconciliation to repair my relationship with God?”

We do not know the time or place, but if we constantly strive to love God with all our heart, mind, and soul, and seek to share that love with others, the time will not matter.

What Time is Your Sunrise?

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On April 1, 2019, the sun rose in Milwaukee at 6:34 AM. At the end of April, the sun is projected to rise at 5:47 AM. This simple fact made me stop and reflect in awe.

Now I certainly know that the sunrise and sunset are constantly changing (we all learned that at a very young age), but I was surprised as to how much it changed— that’s a difference of 47 minutes in one month. That’s how fast the world is spinning and changing.  

What about you? How much have you changed from the beginning of Lent on March 6 until this very moment? Do you feel different? Do you have a deeper understanding of who you are? How have the past few weeks influenced your daily faith practices? Is your personal sunrise happening earlier in the day? Or are you still 47 minutes behind?

We are all giving the gift of 1440 minutes in a day. What we choose to do with these minutes is a personal decision. We still have time until we celebrate Easter. We still have time for prayer, fasting and almsgiving. We can still make a commitment to change.

Time waits for no one, but that doesn’t mean we can’t embrace it and use it to help shape us into the best person we can possibly be.

Posted by Dan Herda

Measure Twice

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My dad would often say, “Measure twice, cut once.” As an engineer and general handy man, this had quite a significance for his work. As I’ve grown older, I have come to appreciate the deeper meaning to this phrase.

For me, the literal meaning is true, but also a deeper meaning. The deeper meaning is to take the time to measure a situation before you act, so you don’t make an error you can’t reverse. Once you cut something, there is no going back to fix it. If we spent more time weighing situations, whether it be the words we say, actions we take, or time we use, we would spend less time having to repair the damage. I also thought about how to spend differently. I intentionally purchased gifts for family and friends from independently owned and operated stores vs. big box stores. I prayed for inspiration when purchasing gifts to make sure they were meaningful and personal.

Then I thought about how I needed to spend time differently – to measure twice and cut once. I have been trying to stop and be present in every situation rather than multi-task. Multi-tasking does not allow me to measure wisely. I have made some cutting errors when I am not careful. This is what I have decided to make as my new year’s resolution: to spend less time being in so many places at once and spend more time being present. I owe it to the people around me to do that. I owe it to myself to do that. The work will always be there, but the people won’t. People matter.