Sunday, August 9, 2009

I'm Home from Pennsylvania


Blessed Sacrament Cathedral
Mother Church and Parish of the Diocese of Greensburg, Pennsylvania


This weekend my wife and I brought our godson back to college. He attends St. Vincent's College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. We wanted to get an early start back home, so we attended early morning Holy Mass at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral in Greensburg, Pa. As you can see from the picture above, the Cathedral is an awesome building - and inside just as beautiful. If you are ever in the Greensburg area, I would recommend a visit.

On our way to Latrobe we stopped at a nice country restaurant for a bite to eat. Would you believe, a full breakfast for three -only $14.00! As we were leaving, we picked up a free newsletter named "The FISHWRAPPER." It is full of nice stories, farmer's advice, cake ingredients and lots more. As we were rolling down the highway, my godson picked up the newsletter and read us the story on the first page. We were all very moved by it. Maybe you also will be moved by this story, here it is....

BIG TOM AND LITTLE JIM

Years ago there was a little one-room schoolhouse in the mountains of Virginia where the boys were so rough that no teacher had been able to handle them.
A young, inexperienced teacher applied, and the old director interviewing him asked: "Young fellow; do you know that you are asking for an awful beating? Every teacher that we have had here for years has had to take one."

"I will risk it," he replied.

The first day of school came, and the teacher appeared for duty.
One big fellow named Tom whispered: "I won't need any help with this one. I can lick him myself."

The teacher said, "Good morning, boys, we have come to conduct school" They yelled and made fun at the top of their voices. "Now, I want a good school, but I confess that I do not know how unless you help me. Suppose we have a few rules. You tell me what they should be, and I will write them on the blackboard." One fellow yelled, "No stealing" Another yelled, "Be on time." Finally, ten rules appeared on the blackboard.

"Now," said the teacher, "a law is not good unless there is a penalty attached. What shall we do with someone who breaks the rules?"



"Beat him across the back ten times without his coat on!" came the response from the class. .

"That is pretty severe, boys. Are you sure that you are ready to stand by it?" Another yelled, "I second the motion," and the teacher said, "All right; we will live by them! Class, come to order!"

In a day or so, 'Big Tom' found that his lunch had been stolen. The thief was located - a little hungry fellow, about ten years old. "We have found the thief and he must be punished according to your rule-ten stripes across the back. Jim, come up here!" the teacher said. The little fellow, trembling, came up slowly with a big coat fastened up to his neck and pleaded, "Teacher, you can lick me as hard as you like, but please, don't take my coat off!"

"Take your coat off," the teacher said, "You helped make the rules!"

"Oh, teacher, don't make me!" He began to unbutton his coat, and what did the teacher see? The boy had no shirt, and his bony little body was crippled.

"How can I whip this child?" he thought. "But I must, I must do something if I am to keep order in this school. A hush fell over the entire room.

"How come you aren't wearing a shirt, Jim?"

He replied, "My father died and my mother is very poor. I have only one shirt and she is washing it today, and I wore my brother's big coat to keep me warm."
The teacher, with rod in hand, hesitated. Just then 'Big Tom' jumped to his feet and said, "Teacher, if you don't object, I will take Jim's licking for him."

"Very well, there is a certain law that one can become a substitute for another. Are you all agreed?"

Off came Tom's coat, and after five strokes the rod broke!
The teacher bowed his head in his hands and thought, "How can I finish this awful task?" Then he heard the class sobbing, and what did he see? Little Jim had reached up and caught Tom with both arms around his neck, "Tom, sir I'm sorry that I stole your lunch, but I was awful hungry. Tom, I will love you till I die for taking my licking for me! Yes, I will love you forever!"

To lift a phrase from this simple story, Jesus, my Redeemer, has taken” my licking for me” and yours for you.

Declared the prophet Isaiah: “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows:…He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed”
(Isa.53:4-5)

3 comments:

Anne said...

Beautiful story Brian! I am in tears! The church is beautiful as well, I'd love to see the inside. And, I like the name of the newsletter...there has to be a story or a prayer in the "Fishwrapper"!
Peace my friend!

John said...

What a moving story! I also am in tears! What a wonderful God we have come to know! It is amazing that He gives up His life for us! I'm glad you had a great and safe trip! I am extremely jealous of you and your wife and godson because you got to attend mass at that beautiful cathedral! :)

You are an inspiration! :)

Brian said...

John -

Thank you for your kind words!