Thursday, February 16, 2017

MORNING Fresh air fills me this new day. The sun shines. God's son, Jesus, and me, others, and all may radiate in a new way with a smile amid a trial, for example. Then comes the morning -- the song comes to mind. It does. Light breaks forth from the dark day's passing. Illumination. Movements of the spiritual life move in from masking and pretending to purging the masquerading, to divine union of consolation and blessing and favor. Masks are removed, and, I am told I am loved by Someone far beyond by understanding. I surrender to the greatest One. As I am, I am affirmed. Light pokes. Love lights me up, so to speak. Oneness within God enters now. One. Nice. Even sweet! I am one with the Maker in the Circle of Life. Divine union. A light pokes forth fresh. It does. It's morning. I am forever grateful for a new day. I am.
ON THE MOVE AND MORE Like a gypsy I am on the move. From one cherished home to another that is not right and flawed. And, homes of hospitality, and, a guest room I stay with joy . Non one takes my joy. I can only surrender it. Yet, a flaw is not disclosed in the selling documents of one recently purchased home. I am disappointed. What can I do? Sad. But, I move on. . . with the help of the Creator who is in it all somewhere. Somewhere! Where, however, I do not know. I don't know. From home to home I visit my people, my favored flock. I stay some time and travel to the next relative's domain, or, friends' hospitality from Livonia, MI., to Roseville, to Romeo. All will be well. I try not to fool myself. But, all will be well. I move on. Stay focused and centered and move on. Motion. Locomotion. Expression and I traverse and enjoy what is present to me. God is there. Grateful gratitude envelopes me. I am thankful. Amen.
THE DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL: Not to be Anxious. . . Anxiety. One is affirmed to be not anxious. The great and inspiring scriptures of the faith traditions, including, Christian writings and THE WORD OF GOD, affirm to be secure in the Ground of all being, namely, God. Yet, one is. I am. Anxiety is real. I went through it. It is dark. A black tunnel. It is a deep hole. An ache within. Indescribable until I identify it as anxiety. I name it. I claim it as my own. And, by the grace and favor and blessing of the Maker, I tame it in time. I do! A grateful heart endures again. Fresh air I feel. An appetite is restored. Joy comes in the morning. Night passes. Anxiety is useless. But, it reminds me to be in motion. After all, the opposite of it is expression. I do something meaningfully and move on out of it. I change my physical place, get out of the house, visit someone in the hospital, or, the jail, or my siblings. I pass through the dark night of the soul. A childhood friend told me that in his own tired being all he could pray was: God, help me!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Amid dark days, Light pokes

Evergreen hope is heralded amid darker and drearier days four weeks before Christmas, December 25th, observing Christians claim. After all, it is Christmas that historically emerged from the birth of the God-man, Jesus the Christ, who is the "way, the truth and the life" for believers, especially Catholics. No doubt, once the Gospel is fully embraced with followers pressing behind Jesus, divisions, exclusions, absolutes and more will scatter to the sidelines. Until Christians fully claim Christ as the Way, a wandering and wondering culture amid a Divine Disconnect, and, broken world and family, will show its divisive face. That is, a face far from the Christ born centuries ago in Bethlehem, house of bread. Merry Christmas follows after the trek and weeks of Advent when waiting and embracing of the Light in darkness shines brightly.

Give Thanks A Chance

It's the oldest tradition in our Nation. Thanksgiving Day. A festival of family, food and faith in an enlarged "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." It is. Indeed. And, in fact. Thanksgiving is a combination of gratefulness and sharing. And, grateful people are happier individuals. After a vitriolic presidential campaign, thanksgiving may well be what this nation needs. While Abraham Lincoln called for a general thanksgivng amid the Civil War, it was Sarah Hale, reports show, who is the Godmother of Thanksgiving Day that was made official by George Washington, other historical notes suggest. Give thanks a chance. It's worth it. After all, it is full of the evergreen virtue of hope founded in faith, for sure.

Saturday, October 22, 2016


We hear about greatness these days. What is it? Is greatness success? Overcoming other nations? Beating the opponent? Is greatness full of virtue, inner strengths? Is it integrity, accountability, thinking and engaging the common good? Greatness is a good thing, no? It is a relative term, isn't it? Greatness is comparative like justice. It is. It's like doing the Creator's justice as the common Word has carried God's way, truth, and life down through the ages. The only problem it seems to me is that we keep thinking this culture has to reconstruct everything, including God's created creatures, humans, and more!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Tony Conti (Helinski)

"All for the glory of God." That's what Anthony Helinski who changed his legal name to Conti, wants on his epitaph. After over three months in Angela Hospice in Livonia, Michigan, Tony died Sunday, October 9th at about 2:10 pm. "Prefer nothing to the love of Christ," was his favored quotation while we were classmates at Saint Mary's College, Orchard Lake, MI. Tony savored 'Snoopy' and 'Peanuts,' and, Simon and Garfunkel's, "I Am A Rock!" He did. That was in 1967-71 when the Pittsburgh, PA., native, Tony, drove up Heron Hill in his home steel state of the sports' teams of Steelers and Pirates. The stick-shift automobile began to roll backwards down that hill. My, my.... We safely descended and made our way up once more on to his childhood home, and more. Tony relished showing me around. We worked together on the Orchard Lake Schools' 1971 Eagle Yearbook. Journalism was our joy...and, writing...and putting together letters, words, phrases, sentences, and paragraphs. We composed. We prayed. We learned Polish, Greek, Latin, and English. Aiming toward ordination as pastors was a thrilling adventure. We arrived to be ordained deacons and clergy in 1976. Lots has happened...broken bridges mended and morphed, and more, praise God! Memories of Tony. He would have turned 68 on October 16th. Brain tumors beat his indomitable spirit him as he battled the cancerous sells for months. Tony enjoyed writing, reading, smoking, drinking coffee, and residing in Detroit at 6444 Townsend Street, 48213 ever since I introduced him to Connie and Chuck Conti while we were at Saint John's Seminary, Plymouth, MI., in formation to be ordained Catholic pastors. Tony earned degrees for counseling also, later, while serving at multiple parishes, including, Saint Thomas the Apostle, Detroit, Saint Joseph, Monroe, MI., Sacred Heart, Dearborn, and Saint Ignatius, also in Detroit. Efforts to contact Tony Helinski's family were made. Tony's birth father was to have 'burnt' a family member, admitted Tony once more as his lips pressed a Smoker's Choice cigarette when we sat on the patio at the hospice. Tony told his story. He also reconciled estranged rapport. He articulated well his brain anatomy, and more. Tony told of his demise. He seemed to accept his fate. Weeks ago, when he was still able to stand and consciously decide, we talked about going to Kevan's Grille near Twelve Mile Road and Hayes, in Warren, MI. Nurses OKed our 'night trip' and, I did the necessary paper work to please attorneys . . . and . . . He was buried this past Monday near Charles and Concetta Conti. His temple of the Holy Spirit rests in Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Detroit, MI., a site near and dear to my family and me. Our own parents, and PFC Lukas Ventline, among other relatives, are buried there. The loop of loss needs closing. Grieving is like that. A hole in one's heart and soul, or not, the process of grieving, then mourning, mounts for a year or more. It does. Eternal + rest unto Tony, O Lord, and, let perpetual light shine upon him. Lawrence Ventline 25959 Waterway Drive Harrison Twp., MI. 48045