August 7, 2022
19th Sunday in Ordinary Time
For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.
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Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
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Alleluia, alleluia.
Stay awake and be ready!
For you do not know on what day your Lord will come.
Alleluia, alleluia.
Unexpected Catholic Conversions

John Wayne

The man we know as movie star John Wayne was born as Marion Morrison in Iowa in 1907. In 1914, his family moved West, and Marion began to be called “Duke.”  In the height of the Great Depression, he worked for movie studios as a prop man, and eventually became an extra and later starred as the cowboy Breck Coleman in the 1930 film, “The Big Trail.”  He was renamed John Wayne by the studio to help craft a larger showing.
In the 1940s and 1950s, John Wayne starred in major Westerns and War pictures. He had four children with his first wife.  In 1964, he was diagnosed with lung cancer and lost a lung and several ribs. He had two more marriages, one ending in divorce, the other lasting until his death and resulting in three children. Though he was raised Presbyterian himself, all seven of his children were raised Catholic by their mothers.
When his end was near, Wayne was in agony, succumbing to stomach cancer. A priest was called, and Wayne was baptized and the priest administered last rites. That night, Wayne fell into a coma. “I don’t know the technicalities of the Church or what constitutes a conversion,” said son Michael. “But Dad did die in the Church." In 1979, he died of stomach cancer at the age of 72.
Fr. Muñoz, Wayne’s grandson, said that his grandfather expressed a degree of regret about not becoming a Catholic earlier in life: “that was one of the sentiments he expressed before he passed on,” blaming “a busy life.”
From Wayne’s example, we should learn that it is never too late to embrace God’s forgiveness.  We should not allow a busy life, no matter how important we think the work is, to keep us from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Receiving the sacraments and especially weekly Mass attendance can help foster that relationship.

Self Reflecting Prayer

Lord of compassion show me how to reach a deeper loving. Take me past the pain when love is cast aside, to the source of healing where I can renew myself. Let me take in whatever is given me that is unloving and cleanse it in your light and return it kind and clear. Expose my cave of darkness where I hide my fears and let me see how the light transforms all it touches. Steady me as I look into the window of my world and its perfect reflection, as it offers me the choice of correction. Reveal to me the brighter image of the one who stands within the greater possibilities, the fulfillment that is present in the acceptance of every overcoming.

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