Greetings from Baltimore. Thank you to all who chipped in so that I could be down here doing my job, especially Mom-Mom and Da for watching and hopefully enjoying the fab 4. The set-up for the trade show went extremely well thanks to a dedicated team that I have been blessed to work with who did a superb job once again of setting up a complete store in the middle of a convention center floor. After receiving the blessing on the finished product, I met up with a dear friend and co-worker Fred Hinz who found a mass for us at the Basilica. The Basilica holds a special place in our hearts as Christine and I have gone there many times over the years with friends and family, and it turns out that one of Catie’s teachers Linda Milletics had lit a candle there for her just yesterday.

The gospel reading tonight was about a mother who asked Jesus to cure her daughter of a demon, (epilepsy, seizures, fevers were all attributed to demons). Jesus at first refused, however the mother persisted and asked Jesus three times to cure her daughter, she was in essence looking to Jesus as her daughter’s last hope and would not be dissuaded. Jesus finally turns to the woman and tells her that because of her faith and persistence, her daughter would be healed. Christine and I have often tussled over this part of our faith and our own level of acceptance. Before we were married, as part of our preparation, we met with Msgr. Capik who asked us to imagine that we were in a brick room together where all of our needs were met, but that we were unable to leave the room and he then asked us to tell him how the situation made us feel and what we might do if we were in that room. Since the “rules” stated that there was no way out of the room, I responded that I would sit down, relax, read a book, and spend time with Christine. Christine responded that I better get my butt out of the chair and help her find a way out even if it took forever. Christine’s philosophy of “more, better” at times clashes with my philosophy of “I am perfectly content right here”. Perhaps her way is more in keeping with Jesus’ message in the gospel today, after all, dogged persistence is why we have 6 kids and not one.

The priest related a story that had run in the Boston Globe recently about a couple who have been married for 61 years. The wife had recently been diagnosed with Alzheimers and it had advanced to a point where she could no longer remember her husband and had to be placed in a nursing home. The husband would sit with her for hours and days at a time without and recognition from her and one day amidst the tears and the pain of this mental separation, he climbed into the bed with his bride and just held her in his arms and told her that he loved her and always would. He continued to do this every day until one day, she responded, spoke his name and told him that she loved him and always would. His physical touch awoke in her a memory of their love so strong that even advanced Alzheimers could not prevent it from surfacing. His persistence and refusal to just accept the current situation gave him a blessing and a connection that reason dictated was lost forever. The serenity prayer asks us to accept the things we cannot change, have the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference. My prayer for myself and for all those who “accept” the hand they are dealt as God’s plan for them is to have more courage and more persistence to ask God, “is this really what you want for me?” To ask repeatedly, like the mother in the gospel to change the situation.

Christine, Catie, Maggie, and Aunt KC are enjoying each other and Memphis. Christine has lost a song in her head that she heard at the Elvis concert, please pray to St. Anthony that she finds it. The other 4 kids are doing well with Mom-Mom and Da, unless of course those are the 14 missed calls on my cell phone. Know that we continue to hold all of you that have accepted the challenge to journey with us in our daily prayers. May the light of God shine brightly in your lives and may you tonight take the opportunity to tell the people you love how very blessed you are to have them in your life.

God bless,

Christine,Kevin,Maggie,Max,Catie,Mia,Molly, and M.E.

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