Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Letter from Papa J

Dear Friends,

I, again, take this opportunity to wish you, and yours, a Healthy, and Happy Christmas/Epiphany season. May He, and so become a reality in a world so desperate in need of a Living Savior. As He becomes an ever deeper reality within your, “little church of the home”, His Presence will seep out and bring about the Kingdom of peace, justice, and love. We all have to play our part to continue that which the Christ Child began, as He appeared as one like us. The Child grew up, and became the Prophet Jesus, who rattled the smug cages of the leaders of church and state. Of course, it is this that got Him killed, We, in like manner, must take the risk of being prophets and be prepared to pay the price. As it was with Him, whom we follow, so it will be with us. We are however, guaranteed all that is necessary for us to fulfill in which we are uniquely called to do. Do you remember in the old days we called that actual grace? That love presence, will ever and always be there to nourish, strengthen, and encourage us. As we are faithful to the radical message of The Gospel, so too a faithful to the radical message of The Gospel, so too a more healthy, a more whole, (holy), home church and society may come into being.

Thornton Wilder has written the following: “We can only said tobe alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. “Where we are at present, we are being forced to look beyond what is on the outside, it is not there. We are called to focus on what has real, and lasting value, the inner being, and Sacred Presence. This Sacred Presence, comes hidden and revealed within the human condition. We all need to become more aware of the eternal gifts within, and as we search for same, on the outside. That “stuff” we seek, on the outside, will never be enough. We are designed for something so much infinitely mine the inside treasures. Our bank accounts will not reflect this discovery. Peace, joy, and love are priceless. No earthly value can be placed on these eternal gifts.

I am still enjoying “retirement”. There are the daily challenges that come with the aging process. You will notice I did not say, maturing process??? Since that has not happened so far, it ain’t going to happen, Thank God. I had my usual long trip. Drove and hiked about 9,000 miles. Again, I encountered some wonder-full wildlife all out in the open, I might add. IN the Lamar Valley I saw a wolf. The wolf posed like a dog. Those of you on FaceBook can view those pictures. I also heard her/him howl. It was awe-full, and exhilarating. I saw two more bears; the count is now up to 12! An e-book is almost ready. From what I am told it will be ready in January. As of now, it is called, “Soul Searching”. I take this opportunity to thank the many of you, who because of your acceptance, gave me the courage to write what has been written. I now believe, more than ever, we are loved into honesty. I am looking into having some hard copies printed as well. If you have nothing to do, Google Fr. Joe Hennessy. I did out of the blue, and was I shocked! My FB profile picture is an elk, a photo taken in Yellowstone.

So, have a wonder-full Christmas/Epiphany Season. Live each moment in the knowledge that you are the “contemporary Christ”. It is you, who in your daily struggle to live, that continues the ongoing revelation of the mystery of the Incarnation. What dignity you are gifted with, do not allow any power of church or society take awasy from you. Christ came that we would have life and have it to the fullest. Love yourself, and so others, by claiming a vital, life-giving, way of living. St. Irenaeus has written those famous words, “The glory of God is the human person fully alive.”

May 2012 see you claiming, and cherishing who you really are. There will be, then, nothing missing.

Wishing you the best of Irish luck,
God Bless,
Papa J., (a.k.a. Fr. Joe)