Archive | July 2013

7 Men and The Secret of their Greatness by Eric Metaxas ~ a review

As a special offer, Jason from PRBYTHEBOOK has offered 1 free copy of this book.  So, if you wish to own this book, be the first to leave a comment about the review.  I will be in touch to see that you get a copy of 7 Men And The Secret of Their Greatness by Eric Metaxas

7 Men And The Secret of Their Greatness by Eric Metaxas, Thomas Nelson Publishers 2013

****************************************

Don’t let this easy read fool you!!!  The words and stories told here reflect a strength of character that we all should strive for.

Eric is a well known writer and speaker.  The first book I read by Eric Metaxas was Bonhoeffer – Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy.  After I read that book, I knew I was holding literary gold in my hands.

Eric Metaxas certainly hasn’t disappointed with his latest book, 7 Men – And The Secret Of Their Greatness – Thomas Nelson Publisher 2013.  This book gives a much larger than a thumbnail sketch of 7 men – George Washington,  William Wilberforce, Eric Liddell, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Jackie Robinson, Pope John Paul II and Charles Colson.  Each of these men faced enormous challenges to their faith, their lives, their souls and each of these men came through stronger and filled with a deeper love for God and life itself.

I admit, I didn’t know 2 of the men, William Wilberforce and Eric Liddell.  The rest I knew about, some a bit more than others.  For instance, I had come to know Dietrich Bonhoeffer to a point where I felt I truly knew him, met him, talked with.  Of course I hadn’t met him, he died before I was born, but the writing was so good that I felt as though I was there watching the events unfold before me.

This is the feeling I got when I read about all the others in this book.  I learned things about each and every one of these men and grew in respect for them.  I was especially touched by Charles Colson’s story.  I remember seeing him and watching the developments during those Watergate years.  My friend Sue and I watched the Watergate Hearings on tv while we worked together.  We didn’t miss a day.  What we didn’t see or hear was the very private anguish that was Charles Colson’s as he realized his part in the Watergate Scandal and the ensuing years of prison and redemption.

Eric Metaxas has done it again.  I highly recommend this book.

 

Sandy Ozanich (c) July 28, 2013

The Ghosts Are Still There

Today I went to our local amusement park, Kennywood Park here in the Pittsburgh area.  Driving to the park I had to pass a neighborhood or two that me and my family used to live in. . .(we lived in many neighborhoods throughout my lifetime).

It was amazing to me that the ghosts of my past are alive and – I don’t know if well is the word for it, but they were there.  In most every corner of this city there live the ghosts of my past. . .ghosts aren’t always bad things, sometimes they help me come to grips with those things that continue to dog me, that won’t leave me alone because I haven’t really dealt with it, mourned it and buried it.

These are my ghosts. . .

So, driving through this particular neighborhood I passed the private club that my dad used to bar-tend.  As a matter of fact, he used to bar-tend in many bars in this neighborhood.

There is one story that I remember so very well.  My father loved St. Francis of Assisi.  He told me that he couldn’t find a statue of the saint.  As it happened, in my current neighborhood I saw a St. Francis statue in the window of the St. Vincent De Paul store.  I called my mother in law and asked her if she would be willing to go pick it up for me and I would pay her later.  So, Mary called me and said she had a hard time carrying it home in a shopping bag, because the statue happened to be made of cement.

I went down, got the statue and with my three children we drove to my dad’s neighborhood looking for him so we could surprise him with the statue of St. Francis.  It took a bit of time, but we pulled up in front of the bar.  So, here I was with 2 little girls, ages 2 and 3 and an infant in an infant seat.  The girls each held onto a pocket on each side of me and I carried my son in one arm and St. Francis in the other.  We marched into the bar and found my dad behind the bar.

He was so surprised to see us and really surprised to see the statue.  My dad immediately put the statue of St. Francis on the bar next to the cash register.  As it turned out, a few people complained about St. Francis being on the bar.  My dad then asked them where else should he be?  Shouldn’t he be with the people???

This was so interesting because I didn’t know my dad to be real religious, although he was the one who decided that the whole family would become Catholic when I was 11 years old, so who really knows?

*******************************

Anyway, this is also the neighborhood my father tended bar in and the neighborhood where he was mugged on a couple occasions.  It is also the place where he was found in his apartment, apparently beat up and apparently had been lying there for over a day.

I received a call telling me to go to the hospital because he was taken there.  By the time I arrived he was in the treatment room being attended to by the nurses.  He saw me, and trying for a moment to raise his head to tell me something, fell back on the gurney.  The nurses ushered me out  and called a code.  Dad had cardiac arrested and they were intubating him.  It was crushing for me to know that my dad wanted to tell me something and didn’t get the chance.  I never knew what it was he wanted to say.  Maybe he wanted to tell me who did this to him. Perhaps one day I will see him and find out what it is that caused his death.

I have many more stories to tell, they are not all sad, but they are interesting.  I am pursuing my ghosts so they can rest, because if they rest, so will I.

To be continued. . . . . .

My Last Sermon by Clement Pavlick, C.P.

The following post was written by my friend, Fr. Clement Pavlick, C.P. (the C.P. stands for Congregation of the Passion).  Fr. Clement was a wonderful man and priest.  He was a writer and a poet, he was someone I greatly admired.  We used to share our poetry with each other.This article written by Fr. Clement was about his cancer and his decision to not pursue more chemotherapy.  

I believe you will come to love him as I loved him and so many others here in Pittsburgh PA and beyond.           

May you rest in God’s heavenly peace now and always. . .

***************************************************************

My Last Sermon

by Clement Pavlick, C. P.

After having preached the Word of God through missions and retreats, novenas and other exercises for about 38 years, and then through writing booklets on Passionist history for the past 13 years, I was diagnosed with cancer.

I underwent chemotherapy, which brought on severe and painful side effects. It was then I decided to stop further chemo treatments. Trusting in God, I leave the outcome in his hands. Such is part of my present ministry — living with cancer. What is it like?

First of all, I see my cancerous condition, not so much as a process of dying, but rather as another way of going home to God — sooner or later, as God wills. Living with cancer is a challenge to live the Passionist charism and its ministries at a time of much suffering. There are many crucified in our world today — many of them fellow-sufferers with Christ. I share in their prayerful attitude and purpose.

How Long Will It Take?

What kind of thoughts and prayers occupy my time as I make my spiritual journey to its final destination? And how long will it take? That is in God’s hands. I approach God with trust and confidence in his merciful love. God knows better than I what is best for me. What he has planned for me I wholeheartedly accept. May his holy will be done!

Other ministries open to me at this time: carrying the burden of old age; having more time for prayer and contemplation; the confessional apostolate and various works of kindness, charity and mercy.

Far from being an intolerable burden, old age is truly a grace and blessing, making the old person feel young at heart, ever ready to do one’s best for God and for souls through wise counsel and other good works.

Truly Preaching the Passion

The most important good work that is open to me at this period of my life is prayer. I am able to spend more of my leisure time taking long, loving looks at Jesus, contemplating his love, especially as manifested in his sufferings and death on the cross. When I have this kind of experience, I am truly preaching the Passion from the heart, even though I can no longer do so from the pulpit.

Fr. Clement died on April 2, 2000

Passionists in AfricaCongoBotswanaJapan
Passionist Sisters MeetWhat Can We Offer?
Jesus Carries His CrossThe Last Sermon
Editor’s NoteAct with Compassion

Copyright 2000 – all rights reserved – Passionist Missionaries of Union City, NJ, USA