DAILY CATHOLIC     FRI-SAT-SUN     February 12-14, 1999     vol. 10, no. 30


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    INTRODUCTION      "Getting to the Heart of the Matter" is what Sister Mary Lucy Astuto pinpoints in every issue when she takes a common sense approach to living our faith with her practical columns. In this issue, she begins a two part series on the fact we often jump to conclusions and, often, unfairly to the other person. Without saying it, she clearly shows what happens when we ass u me something without concrete evidence to back up our opinions as she illustrates in her column, APPEARANCES CAN BE DECEIVING part one.

         Her column provides effective, vital insights into our faith and ways of fulfilling God's Will every day in every way. You can visit Sr. Lucy at her web site for Heart of Mary Ministry at http://www.heartofmaryministry.com or you can reach her at Srmarylucy@aol.com by e-mail.


          This is the first of two articles on this subject. Please permit me to relate a true personal experience that verifies this truth.

          I was twelve. A good kid! (My friends have asked why the change as an adult!!!) I went to Mass almost every morning before school. We lived in St. Peterís Parish and my Dadís shoe repair shop was just a half block east of the Church.

          Those who know St. Peterís Church in Omaha know that one must climb many non- steep steps to enter the front door of this beautiful place of worship. One must cross 27th Street to arrive at the Church, and as I approached the street, I noticed that my dog, Caesar, was cantering toward me, but yet had not seen me. Caesar was half Collie and half German Shepherd and I loved that dog dearly.

          Being the playful person I was (and am), I quickly thought that, if I would hide behind a post which held up the corner of a building, I could then jump out at Caesar as he came by and say, "Boo!" Iíd playfully rough him up a bit and then order him to continue on to my Dadís shop. (Caesar would have done so, and did so. He was very well-trained by me, of course.)

          And thus, it occurred - exactly as planned. I then proceeded to church. After climbing the many steps, and as I approached the front entrance of the Church, a teacher was waiting for me. She said: "You werenít planning on coming to Mass, were you?"

          I looked at her aghast, taken totally aback by what she said. She repeated her question. "You werenít coming to Mass, were you? When you saw me, you hid behind the post!" I made no explanation. (In those days, a child thought twice about defending oneself to an adult and especially talking back.) But as I continued to walk into church, I thought: "When I grow up, Iím going to try very hard not to judge others by appearances only!"

          For you see, from the teacherís position, it appeared that I had jumped behind the post to hide from her, but the truth was that I had not seen her at all and she had not seen my dog, as bushes had prevented her view from where she was standing.

          That experience taught me a powerful lesson, while young, that things are not always what they APPEAR to be and that it is very important to make sure of our facts before we criticize or condemn someone.

          Lent begins next week. Many people will determine that they will give up candy, or movies, or cigarettes for Lent. Letís remember, that the best thing we can give up is SIN. Perhaps, we can really try to make sure of our facts before criticizing or condemning someone. I think God would be very pleased with that sacrifice and it would bring us many blessings.

          In my article next week I will continue with this theme. I will tell you how two angels taught a powerful lesson - that things are not always what they appear to be.

          God bless you!

February 12-14, 1999       volume 10, no. 30


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