HOW GREAT THOU ART

HAPPY APRIL FOURTH, 2010

I gotta to tell ya that I spent my childhood dreaming of becoming a priest. Growing up with four sisters, priests were the MEN in my life, and back then there were some real MEN priests. During my adolescent and early adulthood, I actually went to the seminary to make my dream come true and was in the seminary for 10 years. In those days, it was a thirteen year program beginning at age 14!

In 1969, I realized that I would never be able to keep the vow of celibacy, and so regretfully, I put my childhood dream on a shelf. I don’t regret giving up celibacy!! I would have been in the newspapers for sure for running off with Sister Mary Purity or the Parish Secretary, Eileen Dover.

I still have a deep desire to be a priest and hope, before I die, that I will have an opportunity to be both married and to serve my Church as a priest. Hey, if the Berlin Wall can come down, this too can happen!! Can’t argue that, can ya? One is as unlikely as the other.

So, it is "mawvelous" that I have an opportunity here on Hubpages to "deliver" (an interesting word, like giving birth) my Easter homily. I will try not to be too preachy, but simply thought-provoking and inspirational! Leave a comment and tell me how I do.

If in the process of reading my homily, you begin to think you are in a house of God, a church, a synagogue, a mosque, a temple, and you begin reaching into your pocket to put something into the collection basket, and then you realize you are on Hubpages, Hey! Give something to someone who is in need TODAY. Just Give, don’t try to judge whether or not they are worthy or deserving. Just give when you see someone in need. Or click on one of the advertisements on this page, or purchase online my latest book, From The Frying Pan To The Jacuzzi, from Amazon.com or Barnes And Noble.com! It’s a great workbook to guide you through the challenges of living in an equal and reciprocal relationship. The book provides the recipes to live interdependently with someone you love.  FROM THE FRYING PAN TO THE JACUZZI

Hey, we don’t think twice about giving to the cable company, satellite TV, or Bud Light! So why not the guy standing on the off ramp? Hey, have you ever panhandled? Believe me, it is WORK! It is a legitimate JOB. In effect, it is what we do here on Hubpages. Let’s face it. It is what all of us do. Fast foods, super markets, sales in general, doctors, lawyers, utilities, the stock market, aerospace, defense contractors, Halliburton, politicians. We all want someone else to take money out of their pocket and put it into our’s! Oh yea, for a good cause, but that is always questionable.

Perhaps, the bottom line is this. God didn’t mean for any of us to be without sufficient funds, not even you. We are all meant to be RICH and RICH in more ways than funds in our bank account. Maybe just RICH in terms of experiencing myself as WORTHY. Maybe RICH to the degree of knowing that the little voice in my head that is always taunting, "It’s not in the cards for you," is also deserving, deserving of an EVICTION notice.

Hey, Sh-h-h-h. The service has started! You’re snoring. You’ve been sleeping. It is now time for the homily. Wake up!

Welcome, friends. I know some of you read hubpages only on Easter. We refer to you as Easter bunny hubbies, but it’s okay. You are here TODAY, and that is what is important.

Today is a particularly interesting Easter Sunday because both the Roman and the Orthodox Churches celebrates Easter on the same Easter Sunday! I know there is a good and interesting explanation for this, but I do not know what it is!

Whatever the reason, it is somewhat ridiculous, because it ends up dividing peoples who are basically on the same page, but who have to see each other as so different that they celebrate a rather profound common belief on different days most of the time. Just when we find common ground, we are driven to stay divided. What gene gets turned on for that craziness?

Last Tuesday we also celebrated Passover. Off the top, I do not know if there is a Muslim Holiday during this time. I know it’s Spring time, so I am sure there may be any number of other celebrations in other belief systems celebrating resurrection and new life. Yes, even Passover is a celebration of resurrection. Well, okay, INsurrection, but it is basically the same kind of movement or exodus. From slavery to freedom, from death to life. See, it is the same!

Whatever factually happened in Jerusalem on the Sunday after Jesus died is somewhat irrelevant because the "story" about what happened has impacted the history of the world like few other stories, perhaps like no other story has.

It seems to me that the universal inclination to hope for an afterlife, to take note of the cycle of death and rebirth, speaks to an archetypal kind of presence or movement within ourselves as beings, but especially as human beings, to be MORE. It is less about living the good life and therefore being rewarded when you die. It is more about a haunting and incessant urge to become the best that we can become. It perhaps speaks to that affirmation that Wayne Dyer encourages us to say each day. "I come from greatness, I attract greatness, I am greatness." Change Your Thoughts, Change Your LIfe.

But what happens when we die, and face the gap between where we were headed and just how far we got?.

Some people believe that the "gap," the unfinished work, requires coming back, reincarnation. No one is selling gap insurance for the afterlife yet, but it may be that we just continue on in the afterlife to grow and achieve whatever our destiny is.

And our destiny just may not be perfection, but greatness. In the Scriptures, there are several passages that invite us to be as perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect. But if you look at the original Greek, we find that perfection is not the WORD, but rather GROWN UP. Be as GROWN UP as your Heavenly Father is grown up. So it is not about perfection, but about maturity, like fine wine. GREATNESS.

And then, take a look at all of those characters in the Old Testament. Not a one of them was perfect. In fact they were doing all kinds of heinous deeds, very unholy deeds, and yet God bestowed upon them greatness, and somehow, amidst their lust and thirst for power, they had sense enough to allow God to bestow greatness upon them! So it definitely is not about being holy or perfect, but more about being wholey and mature and HUMBLE!

So maybe Easter has something for those of us who are pathetically stuck in our depression, our anxiety, our addictions, our hopelessness, our unrewarding jobs, our unhealthy relationships, or maybe even for those of us who are stuck in our boundless success. Maybe Easter is about the possibility that there is always MORE, something beyond, some more infinite, something with more probability and more possibility. Maybe Easter addresses Peggy Lee’s song, "Is That All There Is?" It certainly speaks to St. Augustine’s awareness "Restless Will I Be, Till I Rest In Thee." You don’t have to believe in"Thee" to acknowledge that there is an existential restlessness in all of us that doesn’t seem to be calmed by the likes of money, success, fame, sex, single malt scotch, fine chocolate, a Mercedes Benz, or front row seats at a Laker’s Game–especially when they lose!

For those of us who are miserably stuck on February the Second, like the film Groundhog Day, maybe Easter is the nudge that IT IS IN THE CARDS FOR ME TO WAKE UP ON FEBRUARY THE THIRD.  The Neurobiology Of Depression

And for those of us who are "stuck" in boundless success, maybe Easter offers us a glimpse into a dimension where there is more, where there is an opportunity to humbly acknowledge that our success is not our success. Or perhaps our place of success is now boring. We have lost touch with Greatness because we think WE are THE ONE who made it, rather than recognizing that we are only a part of a greater Greatness. How Great Thou Art!

So now, turn to the hubber next to you and give them a hug or some sign of peace. Read some other folks hubs today. Give to someone who needs your giving. AND RECEIVE today from someone you ordinarily judge incapable of giving anything to you. You know, you see yourself above them. Certainly there is nothing to receive from THEM. Well, there is, and find out what it is TODAY. RISE FROM THE DEAD TODAY, whatever your particular brand of dead looks like.

HAPPY APRIL FOURTH or HAPPY EASTER. Thanks for giving it your very best shot at being truly you and truly alive today. How Great Thou Art!

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Comments 14 comments

martoon profile image

martoon 6 years ago from australia

Excellent hub! And best wishes from another ex-seminarian!!!


Sky321 profile image

Sky321 6 years ago from Canada

Thank you for the good read. Keep up the good faith!


vrbmft profile image

vrbmft 6 years ago from Yucaipa, California Author

Hello, Martoon and Sky. Thanks so much for reading and commenting. I guess I did not put you to sleep!! So Martoon, where are you an "ex" from? I was at St. Anthony's in Santa Barbara with the Franciscans, then San Luis Rey, and at San Miguel for Novitiate, all in California and located at California Missions. I am looking forward to reading some of each of your blogs. It's exciting to meet so many people who are THOUGHT-FULL!

Thanks again and looking forward to reading more of each of you and hearing from each of you in the future.


Terri 6 years ago

A very nice way to end the day...wish I had read it at the beginning....you know and the word was made flesh..and so forth..so I will go to sleep and think on who I am is 'gods gift to me.. what I become is my gift to God! as always I enjoyed reading your sermon..were you on the mount when these great words of wisdom arrived? See you wednesday


Carol 6 years ago

Aaaahhhhh...greatness...the gift so many keep from themselves. I believe God wants us to be happy...how simple is that?! Yet, so many don't allow themselves happiness...it seems our biggest challenge is in the allowing. Thanks for the Easter homily Vernon; with yours that makes 3 for me today...an Easter record for me!


vrbmft profile image

vrbmft 6 years ago from Yucaipa, California Author

Wow, three homilies. You must feel a little like the Everyready Bunny!! Well, you're inspired beyond inspired. You're resurrected, passedover, and uplifted, and whatever else three homilies can do for a person! Glad I got to be your third! Sometimes, three's a charm! Not much humility there, I know. Have to go back and reread my own homily.

Thanks so much for reading and commenting


kimh039 profile image

kimh039 6 years ago

Thought provoking and spiritually nourishing. Going to check out the neurobiology of depression link now.


vrbmft profile image

vrbmft 6 years ago from Yucaipa, California Author

Wow, I am touched by the comment spiritually nourishing, and obviously, I wanted it to be. When I write these blogs, they are spiritually nourishing for me too and sometimes I actually put my life together in a more spiritually integrated fashion for a few hours or a few days or even sometimes a few weeks. So cool, and thanks again for your support.


Elefanza profile image

Elefanza 5 years ago from Somewhere in My Brain

I always secretly wanted to be a monk when I grew up. I still think it would be awesome to travel to the place at the foot of the mountain where Moses traveled up to receive the ten commandments or walk Camino de Santiago like the pilgrims did of old.

Love this hub! Have you ever read Brennan Manning's stuff? He wrote Ragamuffin Gospel. His writings are so beautiful and inspiring. His depiction of God is so beautiful.

Love your sense of humor, by the way. I think you are a true priest, for true priests are the ones that continue to radiate and remind others of the reality of God's agape love where they go. Peace!


vrbmft profile image

vrbmft 5 years ago from Yucaipa, California Author

Thank you, Elefanza for reading and commenting and thinking I am a true priest. I will try my luck at showing up Sunday to celebrate Mass at the parish church and tell them I received a call from Elefanza and let you know how it goes. I will probably be writing the next hub from jail for disturbing the peace or some such thing.

I have not read Ragamuffin Gospel, but it sounds like my kind of Gospel.

I will try to remember, speaking of Moses, etc., of sharing with you the five constipated men in the bible, altho I think I can only remember four. Well, I will tell you now. what the heck.

Cain wasn't Able

Noah passed nothing but water for forty days and forty nights

Solomon sat on his throne for forty years

And Moses had to go up to that mountain to get the tablets.

Now there is one more, and I think it is Daniel, but I cannot remember the punch line!! Obviously something about the Lion, but I cannot remember.

So thank you again for reading and I'm glad you enjoy my sense of humor. I think I am funny, but some people do not and consider me annoying!! And I find that FUNNY!!

Take care

Vern


Elefanza profile image

Elefanza 5 years ago from Somewhere in My Brain

Ha ha! I hear ya! I laugh at the funny things in the Bible too and no one gets it. Hilarious!

You have to check this site out! You'll die from laughing, it's sooo funny. http://www.tallrite.com/LightRelief/churchbloopers...


vrbmft profile image

vrbmft 5 years ago from Yucaipa, California Author

Hi Elefanza

Thanks for the link. Church bulletins have some pretty funny stuff in them as well as mispoken phrases in sermons and homilies. Reminds me a little of Jay Leno's "thing" where he shows outrageous phrasing in newspaper articles and want ads.

We all need to laugh a lot more.

Vern


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

Great hub Vern,

I can see that I am going to enjoy following your hubs.

I vote it up all the way !!!

Take care

Eiddwen.


vrbmft profile image

vrbmft 5 years ago from Yucaipa, California Author

Thanks so much for stopping by a year later and not only reading but leaving a comment. You resurrrected an old hub! Thanks for the support.

Vern

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