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…”Catholics serve Caesar best when we serve God first, and that means living our Catholic beliefs vigorously, faithfully and without apologies at home and in the public, at work and in the voting booth. We can’t ignore the sufferings of the poor or the homeless or undocumented immigrants and then claim to be good Catholics. We also can’t ignore the killing of unborn children without struggling to end that daily homicide – not just through supportive social policies, but by changing the law.”
Taken from an interview here

At my parish the priest said something that has stayed with me. I am not sure who said this popular quote, but it was very thought-provoking to hear it again.
“Lord ,don’t let me count the days, but let me make the days count”.

Cesar Chavez

Happy St. Paddy’s Day to everyone! God bless the Irish. You know that the Irish came as immigrants to the US in the 1840’s and faced marginalization, and discrimination from the outset. They were seen as a “problem”, taking people’s jobs, destroying “American” culture, etc. (Sound familiar?) Anyways, they did what any good 2nd class citizen would do…they joined the army! Many Irish fought in the Mexican American War of 1846 as a way to “prove” that they were good Americans, despite bad treatment in the Army they saw this as an opportunity to belong. Well, that changed when they saw the volunteer armies of the US mistreat Mexicans in Mexico, and desecrate Churches (remember most were Catholic) they had had enough. They deserted and formed the San Patricio Battalion and fought on the Mexican side! The were eventually captured by US forces and many hung as deserters. They are still honored in Mexico today.  (Read more here).

So I tip my hat to all our Irish brothers and sisters, that they may always do what is right.
Here is an Irish prayer for you.

Father of all people, free us from every prejudice born of hate and fear and kept alive by ignorance and pride.  Open our hearts and minds to new friendships and new contributions of the spirit from races and cultures, religion and classes other than our own. 

Enrich us by the great thoughts and experiences of all people and countries. With your children on earth make us sharers of your abundant life and workers together in your kingdom of love and peace.  AMEN!

http://www.usairish.org/irishprayers.html

One day last week my 9 year old son, Alejandro, asked me for his “God Box”. It was a little  coffee can with a lid that kids decorated as an activity at a family retreat we had attended a few weeks before. I did not think anything of it, but assured him that I had seen it in the back of our van. He told me, “ok, don’t forget to give it to me tomorrow”. Well the next day I forgot, which is not unusual for me, and as we were getting in our other van, he exclaimed “dad! I almost forgot my God Box!”  Again, not asking why he wanted it , I grabbed it and gave it to him. Well,  that particular day was TAKS time for public schools in Texas. TAKS is the test everyone in public school takes to calculate how worthy you are to go to the next grade. I found out after school, that about a dozen kids had written little prayer requests and placed them in his “God Box”! I was completely blown away because neither my wife nor I had suggested the idea.  He had explained to some of his classmates what the box was for, and they proceeded to write simple intentions for their families, success in the TAKS, etc. I was so proud of my son for bringing prayer back to his public school! God bless you mi’jo!