Friday, June 7, 2019


I Am Not Going To Wait Till Thanksgiving Day To Say It

I have said it before, but I would like to say it again. Sometimes I am overcome with feelings of gratitude. 

I joke with people sometimes and say, "I don't have problems, I have aggravations. There's a big difference so I try not to complain too much!"
I deal with people almost every day who have problems, real problems! Maybe the fact that I get to be part of their lives is why I am often overcome with feelings of gratitude when I hear about all they have to go through: sick children, aging parents, lost faith, financial difficulty, chronic illnesses, loneliness, drug addicted children and God know what else!

There is not much more that I need or even want. The only thing that I really crave at this point in my life is continued good health. My car is a few years old, but it runs just fine. I don't need or even want a new car. My condo in the Germantown area of Louisville is comfortable and is located in convenient spot. I neither need nor crave a bigger or better house. I buy clothes and shoes "on sale" on the internet and from places like Penny's and Target. I neither need nor crave fancy name-brands.  I have enough income to keep my bills paid, enough to give some to charity and enough saved to take care of myself in my old age. I travel for free to wonderful places leading priest convocations and even get paid for it. I have had the honor of meeting hundreds and hundreds of priests, bishops and even cardinals from at least fifty different countries. People loved my 15-year weekly column in The Record, still buy my books and respond positively to what I have to say when I preach or write.  

My family loves me and I love them. We get along extremely well. 
I am so happy to be invited back to the Cathedral to help out. I am honored to keep being asked by Bishops in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean to lead priest retreats. I am passionate about my volunteer work in the Caribbean missions and I am constantly amazed at people's generosity.  
I have a wide circle of interesting friends from various countries, walks of life, diverse religious convictions and economic levels. These friends stay in touch and are extremely supportive. If I ever really needed anything, they tell me they would be there in a flash.
 I have the ability to put the scandals of the Church in perspective. I know that the validity of the Church's message has never depended on the goodness of its messengers - certainly not mine!  Therefore, I remain hopeful. 
I am not itching to go just yet, but if I do I have the consolation of realizing that I went a whole lot further in life than I ever imagined growing up in Rhodelia. I will hopefully be at peace and, filled with gratitude, embrace my own death when the time comes. 

There is nothing I really crave here that I don't already have! 
I have been blessed and I certainly know it! 
At age 75, for all the above, I find myself so very, very grateful! 

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