Archive | December 2013

The Work of Christmas

When the song of the angels is stilled,

when the star in the sky is gone,

when the kings and princes are home,

when the shepherds are back with the flocks,

then the work of Christmas begins:

to find the lost, to heal those broken in spirit,

to feed the hungry, to release the oppressed,

to rebuild the nations, to bring peace among all peoples,

to make a little music with the heart… —

Howard Thurman

 

Sandy Ozanich (c) December 28, 2013

Cranky Old Man

Cranky Old Man

 

What do you see nurses? . . .. . .What do you see?

What are you thinking .. . when you’re looking at me?

A cranky old man, . . . . . .not very wise,

Uncertain of habit .. . . . . . . .. with faraway eyes?

Who dribbles his food .. . … . . and makes no reply.

When you say in a loud voice . .’I do wish you’d try!’

Who seems not to notice . . .the things that you do.

And forever is losing . . . . . .. . . A sock or shoe?

Who, resisting or not . . . … lets you do as you will,

With bathing and feeding . . . .The long day to fill?

Is that what you’re thinking?. .Is that what you see?

Then open your eyes, nurse .you’re not looking at me

. I’ll tell you who I am . . . . .. As I sit here so still,

As I do at your bidding, .. . . . as I eat at your will.

I’m a small child of Ten . .with a father and mother

, Brothers and sisters .. . . .. . who love one another

A young boy of Sixteen . . . .. with wings on his feet

Dreaming that soon now . . .. . . a lover he’ll meet.

A groom soon at Twenty . . . ..my heart gives a leap.

Remembering, the vows .. .. .that I promised to keep.

At Twenty-Five, now . . . . .I have young of my own.

Who need me to guide . . . And a secure happy home.

A man of Thirty . .. . . . . My young now grown fast,

Bound to each other . . .. With ties that should last.

At Forty, my young sons .. .have grown and are gone,

But my woman is beside me . . to see I don’t mourn.

At Fifty, once more, .. …Babies play ’round my knee,

Again, we know children . . . . My loved one and me.

Dark days are upon me . . . . My wife is now dead.

I look at the future … . . . . I shudder with dread.

For my young are all rearing .. . . young of their own.

And I think of the years . . . And the love that I’ve known.

I’m now an old man . . . . . . .. and nature is cruel.

It’s jest to make old age . . . . . . . look like a fool.

The body, it crumbles .. .. . grace and vigor, depart.

There is now a stone . . . where I once had a heart.

But inside this old carcass . A young man still dwells,

And now and again . . . . . my battered heart swells

I remember the joys . . . . .. . I remember the pain.

And I’m loving and living . . . . . . . life over again.

I think of the years, all too few . . .. gone too fast.

And accept the stark fact . . . that nothing can last.

So open your eyes, people .. . . . .. . . open and see

Not a cranky old man . Look closer . . . . see .. .. . .. …. . ME!!

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

I have seen this poem before and I don’t know who wrote it, but I found it again on Facebook  from the www.elderhelpers.org site.

God Bless them and all the elderly they care for. . .a very rich and wonderful resource of history, family and longing. . .a longing to be heard by

us. . .cared for by us and loved by us.

May God bless your family and friends this Christmas Season and may God bless the elderly, who deserve to be respected and loved.

Sandy Ozanich (c) December 25, 2013

 

The Night Before Christmas – different version

Nativity Coptic Style

This image is from the Christian Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt.

Pray for them as we celebrate what they cannot.

~ ~ ~

THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS

By: Sister St. Thomas, B.N.D. de N.

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the town,

St. Joseph was searching, walking up roads and down;

Our Lady was waiting, so meek and so mild,

While Joseph was seeking a place for the Child;

The children were nestled, each snug in their beds,

The grown-ups wouldn’t bother, “There’s no room!” they said;

When even the innkeeper sent them away,

Joseph did wonder, now where could they stay?;

He thought of the caves on the side of the hill,

“Let’s go there,” said Mary, “It’s silent and still;”

The moon on the crests of the new fallen snow,

Made pathways of light for their tired feet to go;

And there in a cave, in a cradle of hay,

Our Saviour was born on that first Christmas Day!

The Father was watching in heaven above,

He sent forth His angels, His couriers of love;

More rapid than eagles, God’s bright angels came;

Rejoicing and eager as each heard his name;

“Come Power, Come Cherubs, Come Virtues, Come Raphael,

Come Thrones and Dominions, come Michael and Gabriel;”

“Now fly to the Earth, where My poor people live,

Announce the glad tidings My Son comes to give;”

The Shepherds were watching their flocks on this night,

And saw in the heavens an unearthly light;

The Angels assured them, they’d nothing to fear,

“It’s Christmas,” they said, “The Saviour is here!”

They hastened to find Him, and stood at the door,

Till Mary invited them in to adore;

He was swaddled in bands from His head to His feet,

Never did the Shepherds see a baby so sweet!

He spoke not a word, but the shepherds all knew,

He was telling them secrets and blessing them too;

Then softly they left Him, the Babe in the hay,

And rejoiced with great joy on that first Christmas Day;

Mary heard them exclaim as they walked up the hill,

“Glory to God in the Highest, Peace to men of good will!”

 

 Merry Christmas to all!!!  

May the Infinite who became an infant bless you now and always and my our Good God bless you with the desires of your heart. . .

Sandy Ozanich (c) December 24, 2013

The Heart Takes Wing

The heart takes flight at Christmastime

and somehow wends it way

through the snow and sleet and storms of life

to home of yesterday.

For there a certain charm surrounds

that home, wherever it be,

on mountain high, in valley how,

or by the shining sea

The heart takes wing at Christmastime

and finds it way back home

to memory-laden, pleasant rooms

where seeds of love are sown.

It’s true, the year is filled with cares

but naught can draw the line

to keep the heart from going home

Come joyful Christmastime.

                                by Loise Pinkerton Fritz

Thank you to Loise Pinkerton Fritz for this wonderful poem of Christmastime. . .

Sandy Ozanich (c) December 19, 2013

Jesus Walks on the Water. . .

A few weeks ago I had a conversation with my good friend, Fr. Donald Ware, C.P., of St. Paul of the Cross Monastery in Pittsburgh PA about the Gospel story of Jesus walking on the water.
 
As the story goes, the disciples were on their fishing boat and a storm blew in and was tossing the boat about and they were very afraid. . .
 
When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified. “It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in fear. 27At once [Jesus] spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I;* do not be afraid.” 28Peter said to him in reply, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29He said, “Come.” Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus. 30j But when he saw how [strong] the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith,* why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:26-31 – New American Bible)
 
This is what I learned from my discussion with Fr. Don moving the story to this time in our lives. . .I had these reflections. . .
 
Just as Jesus called Peter out of the boat to walk to him, Jesus is calling me to get out of the boat of my  comfort and walk on the water of my fears, my failures, my sinfulness and walk to Jesus.
 
Can I walk to him trusting that He will uphold me in the storm of life circumstances ~ my health situation, my relationships, my judgmental attitude toward others. . .and on and on and on.
 
Each day is a new challenge to get out of that boat and walk in faith to the outstretched arms of Jesus, calling me and you to fulness, to great love of others and blessings galore, to FREEDOM!!!
 
I pray for Jesus’ abundant blessings on you as you climb out of your boat of comfort and walk on the water of your life to Jesus!
 
Sandy Ozanich (c)
December 10, 2013
 
 
 
 

In Memoriam – Nelson Mandella

In Memoriam ~ Nelson Mandella

“As I walked out the door

toward the gate that would lead to my freedom,

I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind,

I’d still be in prison.”

Nelson Mandela (1918-2013)

Courtesy of Fr. James Martin S.J.

Facebook post December 5, 2013