The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away: Finding beauty through change

The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD!” Job 1:21

The above quote from Job is probably one of my favorites! The full quote includes the first part of verse 21: “Naked I came forth from my mother’s womb and naked I shall go back” These words have seemed to resound with me as of late. I have been having a little problem with my ignition switch in my car (Hildegard) off and on for a while. Usually it’s just that the anti-theft steering wheel immobilizer can be a little bit of a hassle and I have to wiggle the steering wheel in order to turn the key. I blame it on my big legs in a small car, I usually have to place my hand on the steering wheel to get out since my car is a little low to the ground and thus by slightly turning the wheel each time I engage the anti-theft device. Volvo just fine tunes it a little too much! (Or maybe not, what do I know?)

Finally yesterday as I went outside to start my car before class I was shocked to find that I could not turn my key in the ignition. Instantly I feared that it was repeat of my Jeep adventures last Spring with having to have my lock cylinder rebuilt. After a phone call with my Dad to troubleshoot (hey, I’m still learning about cars and Dad has worked with them for some time.) We decided that it might just be frozen with moisture. So after working with some WD-40 for a while and with no luck I headed off to class. In the afternoon 5 hours later after my car had sat in the sun I tried to turn the key again. No luck. So I was faced with my fear that indeed the ignition cylinder was broken. After calling 5 locksmiths who were scared to touch a Volvo, Dad and I decided to have it towed to the dealer to have them fix it.

The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord! I have strove to share freely over the past three years of the blessing the Lord has given to me. One of the major ways in which I have been blessed by the Lord through my parents is having a car to drive. I am incredibly thankful and always say a prayer for them when I get behind the wheel. Last Fall I was blessed again with being able to get a new car as my 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee was encountering several problems as it aged. Without my parents none of that would be possible. So, because I see my car as not mine (To begin with, my name’s not on the title) I try to share it. Now that doesn’t mean that I let others drive it. I reserve that right. 😉 But I do see my car as an invitation to minister to those around me and because I have been given much I try to bless other’s because I know that the Lord will bless me in return.

Hildegard being towed

Hildegard being towed

Long story short my dear Hildegard, my beloved Volvo was towed this morning to have her ignition cylinder replaced. Another instance where I am so incredibly thankful for my parents and their assistance in my life. This morning as I wishfully tried to fiddle with my key and ignition again I put my head on the steering wheel frustrated and just cried. With all of the things that have come up while in seminary that I have needed assistance with I am blessed beyond measure. The help my parents give me is incredible. Do I like that I have to rely on another and not always be able to provide for myself? No. But the Lord is always teaching this stubborn young german blooded guy humility. I constantly must decrease so that Christ may increase in my life. Others must see Christ when they see me.

Dale Bruns

Dale Bruns

Today marks the second anniversary of my grandfather’s death. Dale Bruns is my namesake as my Dad and I both share his name for our middle name. I had asked Fr. Joe to celebrate Mass for the repose of his soul this morning. Special thanks to him for a beautiful Mass as always. In his homily, Father Joe talked of how the Program for Priestly Formation says that the priest must be a bridge of the people to God, so that through our ministry and lives others are drawn to Christ.

Change happens. Grandpa Bruns died. The Lord has taken away. My car was towed and I will be without it for 5 days. The Lord has taken away. But the Lord also gives. He has given me parents who provided me with a car and help care for it. He blessed me with 18 years of my life with my grandfather to learn from him and his example of humility and gentle love. When I think of humility Grandpa is one of the men I think of. Never showy, but always classy and gentleman-like, the love which Grandpa had for my grandmother and for all of us flowed out in his words and actions. The same could be said of my grandmother. In a way they were that bridge to God that Father Joe discussed this morning.

Change happens. I don’t get to talk with all of my friends from high school very much anymore. I don’t get to see all of my family as often as I would like. I don’t get to make it home for every holiday. But the Lord continues to bless me and those around me in abundance. As I look at the events which unfolded before my volvo problems I am amazed in how God had his hand in every aspect. A month ago I went to the Volvo dealer to pick up some touch up paint for a rather nasty spot on the back bumper. (from the previous owner) I wasn’t planning on getting any until this summer but for some reason I went then. Since I ordered it I had to put my name and car info into their system. I was amazed with their kindness and willingness to help me a poor college kid out in answering some of the questions I had about my car and the service it required. When I got a call from Mary today about scheduling an appointment for my car I hung up and realized that I never gave her my information. 3 minutes later as I was getting ready to call her back I had an email with my appointment information. The Lord gave.

Beauty is all around us. I find God’s handiwork in my life to be a wonderful example of the beauty around us and to be an art in itself. The Lord continues to bless me and give me joys in my life. He also continues to take things away. Through it all though, I bless his name because I know that with every thing “taken” there is something good waiting.

Naked I came forth from my Mother’s womb and naked I shall go back! In the end we will all be judged by charity. How did we love others? How did we lead a virtuous and charitable life? How did we share? How were we Christ to others?

The Lord gives us much, and when we lose much, we have all the more to gain… Heaven!

All Souls Day – In Memoriam

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Today on All Souls Day and throughout the month of November, we not only remember the dead, but we apply our efforts, through prayer, almsgiving, and the Mass, to their release from Purgatory.  As Christians, we don’t travel through this world alone. Our salvation is wrapped up with the salvation of others, and charity requires us to come to their aid. The same is true of the Holy Souls. In order to gain the Plenary Induldgence for All Souls Day, one must:

▪   Visit a church and pray for souls in Purgatory

▪   Say one “Our Father” and the “Creed” in the visit to the church

▪   Say one “Our Father” and one “Hail Mary” for the Holy Father’s intentions

▪   Worthily receive Holy Communion (ideally on the same day if you can get to Mass)

▪   Make a sacramental confession within a week of All Souls Day

For a plenary indulgence be  free from all attachment to sin, even venial sin (otherwise, the indulgence is partial, not plenary, “full”).

For more information about this great day, please listen to this short ad I did for our local Catholic radio station WEUC.

Dale Bruns

Dale Bruns

Today, I remember those who I have known and who I pray for each day. I especially pray for my Grandfather, Dale Bruns who passed away on February 3, this year. I have his picture in the front of my breviary so that each time I open it to pray, I see his photo and pray for his soul.

I also pray for those family members, who have died in recent years, and those others whom I have known.

These are the ones who came to my mind during my Holy Hour this morning, though I know that there are more whom slip my mind currently. Great-Grandma Carrie Neisen, Fr. Silas Musholt OFM, Great-Grandma Isabelle Musholt, Julia Kinder, Mrs. Harper, Mrs. Bernice Hill, Arlene Summers, Doris Rushing, Walter & Margie Miller, Nikki Winders, Charles & Betty Cash, Aunt Wanda & Uncle Bob,

It is so important for us as men and women of faith, to pray for all those who have gone before us. So many of those that I have met throughout my life and so many of whom I have heard stories about, have had an influence on the man I am today. Without their sacrifices and prayers, I don’t know where I would be. So I pray for them, I offer penance up for them, and I pray that the Lord will admit them into his kingdom. Because one day, I too will be dead, and pray that they and others will pray for my soul as well.

On a Capuchin Tomb in Rome, made  famous because it is built out of bones it reads: “What you are, we once were. What we are, you will become.” Or the Latin phrase: “Tempus Fugit, Memento Mori.” – Time fly’s, remember death!

We are all dying, from the moment of our birth, we are on a downward slant. Let us always be mindful of our coming death’s, the need to prepare our souls to receive it. And the need to pray for those, who will in turn pray for us.

 

Requiem Aeternam dona eis, Domine
R. et lux perpetua luceat eis:
Requiescant in pace. R. Amen.

 

 

 

Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Father’s Day to all of the fathers in the world, but especially to those in my life.

Happy Father’s Day to my Dad; Larry Bruns. From you I get my name, my love of hands on working, my love of mowing and working outdoors,  my middle name, as well as my love of antiques. Thank-you for always being there for me and for all that you do in my life.

48071_10200919640258498_1938964509_nHappy Father’s Day to my Grandpa; Stan Musholt. From you I get my heritage, memories of the farm and travel experiences, lessons in common sense, first driving lessons (even though you never would let me drive that Bulldozer!), my strong work ethic, and the will to get things done and carry on.

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Happy Father’s Day to my Grandfather; Dale Bruns who is celebrating this day with St. Joseph, the model Father. You were always a model of a kind, gentle soul who truly cared about others. Seldom was there not a smile on your face. Thank-you for keeping our dog Maudy when we first moved to Nebraska, thank-you for your stories of the seed company, thank-you for your witness to the sacramentality and permanence of marriage in your almost 71years to Grandma. You will always be on my heart and in my mind. I love you Grandpa and miss you!

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Last but not least thank-you to those other Fathers in my life.

To my Godfather and Uncle; Tim Musholt.

Thank-you to those who have been spiritual fathers and role models to me. To Fr. Richard Cash for your love of the faith and the priesthood which you instilled in myself and my family. To Fr. Gerald Baker, my former pastor who helped show me that the only important thing in life is Heaven and for your guidance and friendship throughout the years. To Fr. Andy Garner, my former Vocation Director who instilled in me the need of being a priest for and of the people. For your friendship and guidance that you have given me in my short time in seminary. To those other priests who have impacted my life by their model of love and devotion, Fr. Josh McCarty, Fr. Freddie Byrd, Fr. Greg Trawick, Fr. Bob Robeson, Fr. Tom Widner, Fr. Pat Beidelman, Fr. James Wheeler OFM, Fr. Bruce Fogle, and many more. Thank-you for your witness and love of the Priesthood, the Faith, the Mass. Because of you I am who I am today.

 

Happy Father’s Day to all Father’s, biological and spiritual. You are great men and an inspiration to all. Keep being a man for Christ!

 

+In His Mercy,

Corey D. Bruns