Try by God’s grace to grow in holiness

Father Rudolph Juarez, right, stands with John Blunk at the YMCA in Davenport.

By Rudolph Juarez

(Reprinted with permission from the St. Anthony Catholic Church email newsletter.)

Here I am with another “sign” story. When I was visiting a children’s home run by religious sisters in Celaya, Guana­juato, Mexico, I saw this sign in the corridor: “I don’t run, I don’t yell and I don’t push.” Hmm, the sisters must know me pretty well; otherwise, they wouldn’t have put up that sign.

Today I saw our parishioner John Blunk in the YMCA gymnasium. I took my turn on the basketball court and made one out of three shots. My dreams of playing in the NBA are over, I thought. But, “I didn’t run” — except maybe a little, “I didn’t yell” — except maybe saying something under my breath when I missed a shot and, since John was so polite, “I didn’t have to push him out of the way.”


In life, these three rules can be very helpful. We shouldn’t run but rather slow down, take a breath, enjoy the moment, and be grateful for the gift of life and the time we have to live it. We shouldn’t yell either. If we’re talking at the top of our voice, it means that we aren’t listening or exercising patience as we should. And, of course, we shouldn’t be pushing anyone either physically or otherwise — trying to get our way or prove our point when charity and humility will go a lot further.

John is a really good guy, a hard worker, a great parishioner and has the voice of “Radio Free Europe” or maybe the famous “Walter Cronkite” when he lectors at Mass. Whenever I see him, he doesn’t run, he doesn’t yell and he doesn’t push. If you have ever seen him on the basketball court — almost every shot he takes — he makes! If only this were true for you and me when it comes to living the Christian life!

Whether we make every shot or not, we must continue to try by God’s grace to grow in holiness.

“Do you not know or have you not heard?

The Lord is the eternal God, creator of the ends of the earth.

He does not faint nor grow weary, and his knowledge is beyond scrutiny.

He gives strength to the fainting; for the weak he makes vigor abound.

Though young men faint and grow weary, and youths stagger and fall,

They that hope in the Lord will renew their strength, they will soar as with eagles’ wings

They will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint” (Isaiah 40:28-31).

God with us!

(Father Rudolph Juarez is pastor of St. Anthony Parish in Davenport.)

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