FROM the Pastors Desk

FROM THE PASTORS DESK

SLAVA ISUSU KHRYSTU!  GLORY BE TO JESUS CHRIST!

This page is dedicated to Pastor Bohdan Lukie who serves the Ukrainian Catholic Church here in Yorkton, Saskatchewan, Canada. He has a weekly teaching for the faithful in the church bulletin called ” From the Pastors Desk.” I have been inspired by his weekly teachings. So, with this our “Words From the Bishop” web-site…we  want to share his insights to you. I know you will also be inspired with them. Although it one thing to read some spiritual teachings it is some thing else to put it into practice. So, hopefully his message will leave an imprint in your heart

There has been a busy schedule within the Parish community. The pastor has been dealing with other issues, holidays, conferences, clergy transfers, funerals,  preparing  for Christmas and New Year. So, not until after the New Year will messages be available. 

STARTING OFF 2018

Jan 21 2018   Christ is born! Let us praise Him! Every one once in a while we need a “jolt” of humour –like everyday! Humour eases tension and removes some stress. A good laugh or chuckle is a perfect prescription for good emotional, mental and physical health. Maybe it’s time for a less serious message from the pastor. Here goes… The following are true “bloopers”printed in church bulletins: *The sermon this morning: ‘Jesus Walks on the Water.’ The ser-mon tonight: ‘Searching for Jesus.’* Ladies, don’t forget the rummage sale. It’s a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Bring your husbands. *Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our community. *Smile at someone who is hard to love Say ‘Hell’ to someone who doesn’t care much about you. *Don’t let worry kill you off – let the Church help. *Miss Charlene Mason sang ‘I will not pass this way again,’giving obvious pleasure to the congregation. *For those of you who have children and don’t know it, we have a nursery downstairs. *Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days. *A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the hall. Music will follow. *At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be’What Is Hell?’Come early and listen to our choir practice. *Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones. *Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person you want remembered.. *The church will host an evening of fine dining, super entertainment and gracious hostility. *Potluck supper Sunday at 5:00 PM – prayer and medication to follow. *The ladies of the Church have cast off clothing of every kind. They may be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon. *This evening at 7 PM there will be a hymn singing in the park across from the Church. Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin. *Ladies Bible Study will be held Thursday morning at 10 AM. All ladies are invited to lunch in the Fellowship Hall after the B. S. is done. *The pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the Congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday. *“Low Self Esteem Support Group” will meet Thursday at 7 PM. Use the back door. *“Weight Watchers” will meet at 7 PM at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use large double door at the side entrance… Have a happy peaceful and loveful day and God bless

Jan 14-2018   In afew days all of us have warmly and graciously greeted one another with the standard wish: Happy New Year!Are we truly aware of “what”we are wishing for one another? We are actually saying: “Have a Happy New Year!”- which means that we are promising to make it a special and memorable year, that we will make a positive difference in each other’s lives, that we will change our “attitude”to each other and to life. The following story comes to mind: “The 92-year-old, petite, well-poised and proud lady, who is fully dressed each morning by eight o’clock, with her hair fashionably coifed and make-up perfectly applied, even though she is legally blind, moved a nursing home today. “Her husband of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary. After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby, she smiled sweetly when told her room was ready. “As she maneuvered her walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of her tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on her window. “I love it,” she stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old, having just been presented with a new puppy. “Mrs. Jones, you haven’t seen the room… just wait.” “That doesn’t have anything to do with it,” she replied. “Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like the room or not doesn’t depend on how the furniture is arranged… it’s how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it… “It’s a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do. Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes are open, I’ll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I’ve stored away… just for this time in my life. Old age is like a bank account.. you withdraw from what you’ve put in… “So my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories. Thank you for your part in filling my Memory bank. I am still depositing…” What will be our “attitude”this year? Will our moods dictate how we “act”or “re-act”to ourselves, to others, and to God’s plan for us? Will we make 2018a wonderful year for “ourselves”and “for others”? So very much depends on us and “our attitude”… With God’s help, I promise with my whole heart and soul to do my utmost to make this a wonderful, joyful, loveful and blessed 2018!

January 07-2018   Beloved parishioners and guests,  Happily we have begun our New Year of 2018– what a blessing! We must also realize that each of us is a “blessing” and a “gift”from God! Could we express our heartfelt appreciation and sincere gratitude to the Lord Our God by making some special promises this year? Promise to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. Promise to make all your friends feel like there is something special about them. Promise to look at the sunny side of everything, and make your optimism come true. Promise to be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own. Promise to forget about the mistakes of the past and to press on to the greater achievements of the future. Promise to wear a cheerful expression at all times & give every person you meet as  mile. Promise to give so much effort to the improvement of yourself that you will have no time to criticize others. Promise to be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble in our life. *********************************************************************************************

ATTITUDE The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education than money, than circumstances. than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the Attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change the past. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our Attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you! We are in charge of our Attitudes

One day, a professor  entered the classroom and asked his students to prepare for a surprise test. They all waited anxiously at their desks for the exam to begin. The professor handed out the exams with the text facing down, as usual. Once he handed them all out, he asked the students to turn over the papers. To everyone’s surprise, there were no questions – just a black dot in the center of the sheet of paper. The professor, seeing the expression on everyone’s faces, told them this: “I want you to write about what you see there”, The students, confused, got started on the inexplicable task. At the end of the class, the professor took all the exams, and started reading each one of them out loud, in front of all the students. All of them, with no exception, defined the black dot, trying to explain its position in the centre of the sheet. After all had been read, the classroom silent, the professor started to explain:“ I’m not going to grade you on this, I just wanted to give you something to think about. No one wrote about the white part of the paper.Everyone focused on the black dot– and the same happens in our lives. However, we insist on focusing only on the dark spot – the health issues that bother us, the lack of money, the complicated relationship with a family member, the disappointment with a friend. The dark spotsare very small when compared to everything we have in our lives, but they’re the ones that pollute our mind. Take your eyes away from the black dots in your life. Enjoy each one of your blessings, each moment that life gives you. Be happy and live a life filled with love!” We all have a white piece of paper to observe and enjoy, but do we always focus on the dark spot, on the negatives and disappointments in our lives? Our life is a “gift” given to us by God, with love and care and we always have reasons to celebrate – nature renewing itself everyday, our friends around us, thejob that provides our livelihood, the miracles we see everyday… Perception and Attitude are always part of what we make of our lives!” Wishing you a wonderful, restful, peaceful, joyful, loveful and even a little “lukieful”summer! Jesusloves to travel and vacation. Please take Him with you always!

I extend my heartfelt and warmest greetings to all the Fathers (and of course, grandfathers too) and pray that God the Father blesses each and everyone of you! Do you remember a popular columnist of long ago, Erma Bombeck, who wrote many fascinating articles on multifarious topics? This is one of her “goldies” When God Made a Father – Erma Bombeck When the good Lord was creating Fathers, He started off with a tall frame. And a female angel nearby said, “What kind of Father is that? If you’re going to make children so close to the ground, why have you put Father up so high? He won’t be able to shoot marbles without kneeling, tuck a child in bed without bending, or even kiss a child without a lot of stooping.” God smiled and said, “Yes, but if I make him child-size, whom would children have to look up to?” And when God made a Father’s hands, they were large and sinewy. The angel shook her head and said, “Large hands can’t manage diaper pins, small buttons, rubber bands on ponytails, or remove splinters caused by baseball bats.” And God smiling said, “I know, but they’re large enough to hold everything a small boy empties from his pockets, yet small enough to cup a child’s face in.” Then God molded long, slim legs and broad shoulders. “Do you realize you just made a Father without a lap?”the angel said. God said, “A Mother needs a lap. A Father needs strong shoulders pull a sled,to balance a boy on a bike, or to hold a sleepy head on the way home from the circus.” God was in the middle of creating two of the largest feet anyone had ever seen when the angel could contain herself no longer. “That’s not fair! Do you honestly think those large boots are going to dig out of bed early in the morning when the baby cries? Or walk through a small birthday party without crushingat least three of the guests?” God smiled and said,“They’ll work. You’ll see! They’ll support a small child who wants to ride a horse or scare off mice at the summer cabin, or display shoes that will be a challenge to fill.” God worked throughout the night, giving the Father few words, but a firm authoritative voice; eyes that saw everything, but remained calm and tolerant. Finally, almost as an afterthought, he added – tears. The He turned to the angel and said, “Now, are you satisfied that he can love as much as a Mother?” And the angel spoke no more! May Jesus bless all of you on this special day!

.This is the time of year for graduations and I am sure that some of you have children or children of friends, who have just completed some level of schooling. And so you might find the following story interesting… A young man was getting ready to graduate from a university. For a long time he had admired a beautiful sports car in a dealer’s showroom and knowing his father could well afford it he told him that was all that he wanted as a graduation gift. As his graduation day approached the young man began looking for signs that his father had bought the car. Finally on the morning of his graduation, his father called him to his room and told him how proud he was to have such a fine son and told him how much he loved him. He handed his son a beautifully wrapped gift box. Curious, the young man opened the box and found a lovely leather bound Bible with his name embossed n gold. Angry that this was not a car, he raised his voice to his father and said, “With all your money, you give me a Bible?”and then stormed out of the house, leaving the Bible at home. Many years passed and the young man was very successful in his own business. He had a beautiful home, a wonderful family, but realized his father was very old–perhaps he should go to him as he had not spoken to himsince that graduation day. Before he could make arrangements, he received a telegram telling him that his father had passed away and had willed all his possessions to his son so he needed to come home and take care of things. When he arrived at his father’s  house sadness and regret filled his heart. He began sorting through his father’s papers and saw the still new Bible as he had left it years ago. With tears in his eyes he opened the Bible and as he turned the pages a car key dropped from the back of the Bible. It had a tag with the dealer’s name and on the tag was the date of his graduation and the words “paid in full”. How many times we miss out on blessings because they are not packaged as we expected!How often our expectations become such a priority that they completely cloud or even poison our outlook on life. And how often that, which we expect to receive, is something material…and is not worth the disappointment that we experience for we will not be taking it to our grace with us anyway. Giftsare not something that life owes us…they are simply things that someone has chosen to give us from the goodness of their heart. Let us never judge people by the “things”that they bring…or do not bring…as gifts. How easily we can mis-judge others and thus bring only misery to ourselves and to those whom we claim to love.

Two weeks ago we had the opportunity of warmly hosting various groups – two weeks ago, some 13 fellow Redemptorists enliven this historic place with their laughter and joy and hordes of discussions, this past week we hosted some 5 novices from Toronto who wished to know more about us Ukrainian CSsR’ers, and joyfully  the Adult Lay Formation continues their monthly religious program. These rooms are perfect for all these occasions… During my 9 years in Winnipeg, I had the pleasure of annually planting a large garden and caring for it. Truly it was a wonderful ‘escape’and great therapy. I miss it! And speaking of gardens…If you plant one, may it grow and truly flourish. In fact, the cute message of this week will be of a ‘gardening nature’for you to consider: PLANT HAPPINESSFirst plant 5 rows of “peas” Then 5 rows of“lettuce”Prayer Let us be Faithful to dutyPerseverance Let us be TruthfulPoliteness Let us be UnselfishPromptness Let us Follow ChristPurity Let us Love one Another Next plant 3 rows of“squash” No garden is complete without “turnips” Squash gossip Turn up for Church Squash criticism Turn up with a Smile Squash indifference Turn up with new ideas Turn up with determination to make everything count for something good and worthwhile

Some years ago I was challenged to define, in a few short words, the role of the priest in the community. I responded to this challenge with the following choice words: “To comfort the disturbed and to disturb the comfortable!” Later as I reflected upon these words, I realized how truly apt and appropriate were these words a reflection of the Mission of Jesus, not only during His earthly lifetime, but also very much today. It was Jesus, the Son of God, who was born among us “to comfort the dis-turbed” – that is, to heal those who were hurting, to cure the broken-hearted and the crippled, to ease the pain of those struggling with the trials and tribulations of life, to provide comfort to those searching and yearning for greater life, to touch the lonely and the lost with love and kindness and caring. And yes, Jesus also came and walked on earth “to disturb the comfort-able” – that is, to challenge the complacent and the smug, to question the religious practices of the faithful, to explore the hearts of the believers, to encourage everyone to sincerely examine their beliefs and practices. Jesus was very concerned that those who said “yes” to His invitation “Come,follow me!” would respond generously, not only in word and thought, but also inaction and deed. As your spiritual leader and pastor, I believe my commission and vocation from God is to follow the footsteps of Jesus and to do as He did -“to comfort the disturbed and to disturb the comfortable”. This I will try to do with you and for you in my years as your priest and pastor. Your needs and hurts should, God willing, also be mine. Your frustrations and struggles should be mine too. Your successes and joys are at the same time my successes and joys. I promise to do my best to know you and serve you and to help you on your spiritual journey of faith. I will always try to comfortyou, to provide the love and care of Jesus but also at times I may have to disturbyou into challenging your faith and your religious commitment to Christ and to our Church. At times I will succeed and yes, sadly, at times I will fail, but still together we can and must challenge each other to respond to God’s invitation to love one another.

Most people procrastinate. Do you? Sooner or later we all wait for tomorrow to do something that should be done today and very often tomorrow is too late! So today I come to  ou with a suggestion…don’t wait! Don’t wait to see someone smile before you become friendly. Don’t wait for someone to love you – love them first. Don’t wait until you have tasted loneliness to understandthe value of friendship. Don’t wait for an ideal job to start working. Don’t wait to have much, you can share even if you have very little. Don’t wait until you have a problem to appreciate advice. Don’t wait for pain to believe in prayer. Don’t wait for an ideal situation in order to offer your help to someone. Don’t wait to see others suffer to ask them for forgiveness. So many of us wait for the world to smile at us…we wait for some else to do it first. So today I come to you with a suggestion…don’t wait! Don’t wait to see someone smile before you become friendly. Don’t wait for someone to love you – love them first. Don’t wait until you have tasted loneliness to understandthe value of friendship. Don’t wait for an ideal job to start working. Don’t wait to have much, you can share even if you have very little. Don’t wait until you have a problem to appreciate advice. Don’t wait for pain to believe in prayer. Don’t wait for an ideal situation in order to offer your help to someone. Don’t wait to see others suffer to ask them for forgiveness. So many of us wait for the world to smile at us…we wait for tomorrow to do something that should be done today and very often tomorrow is too late! So today I come to you with a suggestion…don’t wait! Don’t wait to see someone smile before you become friendly. Don’t wait for someone to love you – love them first. Don’t wait until you have tasted loneliness to understandthe value of friendship. Don’t wait for an ideal job to start working. Don’t wait to have much, you can share even if you have very little. Don’t wait until you have a problem to appreciate advice. Don’t wait for pain to believe in prayer. Don’t wait for an ideal situation in order to offer your help to someone. Don’t wait to see others suffer to ask them for forgiveness. So many of us wait for the world to smile at us…we wait for someone to invite us… we wait for someone to come to our doorstep bearing gifts…wew ait for someone to compliment us… And yet how often we forget that warmthc omes from giving, not receiving. People are friendly to those who are friendly tot hem so let us not waste precious time waiting for the world to love us – it’s time tol ove first! If you want to know the value of friendship, talk to an older person who haso utlived their friends. Let us not wait for our friends to be gone to truly appreciatet hem. Let us appreciate them… let us honour them… let us truly love them TODAY!

Let’s not wait! And there are so many people that we can love – there are family and friends,o f course, but we can also love perfect strangers! And we do not have to be veryr ich to share our wealth, for wealth is not necessarily that which carries a dollar sign. We can share time… we can share attention… we can share warmth… and we can share kindness… And it makes no sense to wait for a perfect time to be generous, for there is no time that is more perfect than NOW! Let’s not wait! And let us not wait for prayer.We all have our own way of praying: some ofu s set aside time to contemplate for long hours. Others pray earnestly but chaoti-c ally. Still others just send telegraphic messages to their God and Saviour. But onet hing is for certain – we all sooner or later pray most earnestly when we are faced with pain or with an acute problem. Let us not wait for a crisis. Let’s stop to pray NOW!And as we pray, let us ask for forgiveness… “as WE FORGIVE those who trespass against us!” We can avoid much pain and suffering by being forgiving… Let’s not wait!Let us not wait for none of us knows how much time we have left here on earth. Let us thus use the time we have left, wisely. Let us bring warmth and love and peace and joy to all we meet and greet….

Our culture often reminds us to stay fit. We are offered all sorts of gyms and apparatus to firm our muscles and to keep our bodies strong. This is not only necessary for our health but that it will also make us appealing to others. But as you well know, no apparatus will ever do anything for us unless we use itregularly. And this requires discipline – Self disciplinewhich no one can do for us but ourselves. No matter how much you love a person you cannot do their exercise for them. And no matter how much someone loves you, their love for you and their desire to help you will not move even one muscle in your body without you doing it yourself. And if you truly believe that you need to be fit, then you have to apply your self discipline to all areas of your body – you have to exercise regularly and you have to watch what you eat. It takes will powerto stay in shape. Ah! The same applies to our souls. If we want to be strong spiritually, we have to work at our spiritual muscles! If we want to strengthen our relationship with God, WE HAVE TO WORK AT IT! We need to keep our bodies moving in order to strengthen them; with our souls, however, it is the exact opposite. In order to strengthen our souls, we have to StoP! We have to find solitude and silenceand connect with our inner most thoughts. We have to seek exercise through spiritual readings and through prayer. Our Ukrainian Church offers many various religious services and programs to help us strengthen our spiritual muscles!. Please let us never forget that “We cannot ask god to guide our footsteps if we are not willing to move our feet!” Let us “move our feet”… by beginning our day and ending our day with no bodily movement!Let us refrain from anything physical until we have shared our quiet solitude with god. A busy day comes and it goes and if we don’t take this time at the very start of the day, chances are we will not stop to pray. We can do this with God alone or we can share this time of prayer with someone else. But Let uS Pray!If we make the time and take the effort to get closer to God we can then ask Him to always be with us. We can ask Him to guide our steps as we make our way through days that tempt us with many different appetites, emotions and choices to make.god loves us!He created us and gave us life! He created the world for us! God sent His Son, who died for us! Let us respond to this love. Let us respond though prayer and self- denial.Self-denialis the exercise for the soul. Without it the soul will become weak and flabby and will not be able to stand up to temptation. May you have the strength “to move your spiritualfeet” and may this bring you to a closer relationship with God – that I wish and pray..

THANK YOU FOR STUDYING THESE MESSAGES.