Sunday July 12th, 2020
15th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A
Dear Pastorate Family,
As a priest, I promise to pray the Liturgy of the Hours each day, the official prayer of the Church composed of songs, psalms, canticles, readings, intercessions, and prayers. Each “hour” designates a time of day, not a length of time. The “hours” are known as Office of Readings, Morning Prayer, Daytime Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Night Prayer. As part of Night Prayer every night, I make an examination of conscience. I prayerfully reflect on the day – how was I faithful, or how do I need to be more patient, etc.? A nightly examination of conscience is very helpful for spiritual growth. Jesus’ teaching this weekend in the Gospel might help move us in that direction, too. What kind of soil are we? Where are we receptive to God’s word, and where do we put up resistance? What kind of fruit is God’s word bearing in my life – a hundred, or sixty, or thirtyfold? A regular examination of conscience can help us see what’s happening in our life from a spiritual point of view. It can help us grow spiritually.
A regular examination of conscience – if not nightly, then at least weekly – would be a great idea. Sunday night would be an excellent time to review the past week and prepare for the week ahead. How have you responded to God in the past week? Have you been as patient, loving, kind, merciful, hopeful, generous, forgiving, faithful, and understanding as you want to be? Where did you succeed? Where do you need improvement? How are you in need of continued conversion – intellectually, spiritually, emotionally, and psychologically? Are you able to be honest with yourself and with others? Did you make time in the past week to love God and love your neighbor? How might you do better this week? These are the sort of questions that, if we answer them honestly, will help turn our hearts and our lives into good soil where the word of God can take root and grow and produce fruit.
A few personal notes from Fr. Diehm
BIRTHDAY – This past week I celebrated my 37th birthday on July 8th. In 2014, six years ago, I came here as a first-year pastor on my birthday after being an Associate Pastor in the Spires of Faith Cluster for three years. I’m grateful to be completing my first six-year term here as pastor, and for another year of life. There are many holy souls who never saw their 37th birthday. The Lord can tell I need more time because I’m not yet perfected in love of God or love of neighbor. Him allowing me to celebrate more birthdays is a great mercy so that I’m able to grow in love before seeing Him face to face. I’m grateful for all those who reached out in person or on Facebook to wish me a happy birthday!
NEW DECISIONS – I’m aware that my lifestyle choices aren’t always the best. I don’t always get enough sleep, and I don’t exercise enough, and my diet is often not very good. After hearing from another priest friend who lost weight, I’ve signed up with a company that provides healthier options for food in the form of shakes and healthy snacks. I’ll begin a regimen of healthy shakes and “cleanse” days beginning this week. I’m hopeful this new program/routine will help me make new decisions that will result in a healthier version of me.
MY MOM – Some of you are familiar with my mom, Nancy Diehm. Recently, mom was diagnosed with cardiac amyloidosis, a build-up of protein that stiffens the heart tissue. Prior to that, she’d been feeling weak and out of breath because of how things seemed to be progressing. This past week, she began round one of 8 weeks of chemotherapy to help arrest the advancement of this harmful protein. If she responds well to the chemotherapy, her life can be prolonged indefinitely. We’re all praying that happens. I’m calling on the help of Fulton Sheen (who should have been beatified already) to help mom. My family is praying the Novena to Mary, Untier of Knots, for mom’s health. I’d be very grateful if you happen to include my mom’s health in your prayers.