The Gift in Three Parts

December 16th, 2021 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Christmas is about the gift that God gives us in Jesus, his Son —- God’s great Christmas present. And like any Christmas gift, it is given and received in three stages.

First, the giver selects something he or she thinks will express the giver’s affection, esteem, or love for the person receiving it. Two thousand years ago, God chose to give us his only Son to be one of us. He could give no better gift.

Then the person being given the gift has to accept it, unpack it or otherwise open it and see how to use it or enjoy it. So, we have to unwrap the gift that is Jesus, examine its value and beauty —- a process that may take time, perhaps years, perhaps even a lifetime, to accomplish.

The last and final stage is that we who receive the gift that is Jesus need to say to God a sincere “Thank You!” that’s not just words but truly comes from the heart and influences all our choices and relationships going forward, thus becoming a gift that keeps on giving.

Merry Christmas!


December 11th, 2021 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

I’m sending this to wish you and all those you love my greetings for this Christmas and New Year.

I want to let you know that, this summer, I was assigned to live at the Jesuit retirement community, and moved there about three months ago. Part of the reason was my age (76 years old as of July) and the other reason was that over the last several years I have suffered a few falls.

I want you to know that my spirits are good, that I feel very much at home here, and retain my ability to drive, so I often see friends in town and don’t feel at all “put out to pasture.” I am also restarting my blog postings: (FrankMajka, The Bridge, where you can sign up for postings to be sent to you.)

Here is my new address and phone.
Frank Majka, SJ
St Camillus Jesuit Community
10201 W Wisconsin Avenue
Wauwatosa, WI 53226
414.239.2483 (my cell)

My Love and Prayers for a Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Desires in Advent

December 5th, 2021 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

St. Augustine believed that life could be seen as a lifelong acting out of our fundamental desires.

If that is true, then the season of Advent can be when we reflect on our fundamental desires. We may think that we have many desires, but they may be rooted in one or two more basic ones.

For instance, a person who seems to be fixated on wealth or power may, underneath, be motivated by his or her desire to be secure and safe from the vagaries of life.

A person whose desire in life is to be perfect and without flaw or weakness
may, more basically, be desiring to be admired or loved.

Someone who desires to love others may be showing a deep desire to contribute to the health of the world and reach out to others in need.

Advent allows us the time and space to name and own our fundamental desires, asking God to confirm them or to help us adapt and change them. If the former, we regard them as God’s gifts to us; if the latter, as our gifts to God.

Variety in Prayer

November 27th, 2021 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Years ago I was told that no two snowflakes were exactly the same; each snowflake was unique. I think that holds true for prayer, as well. No two people will pray in exactly the same way. Our prayers will be unique, shaped by our personality, what’s going on in our lives and hearts, even how we are feeling physically, mentally, or emotionally on any give day. St. Ignatius tells us to bring our selves to prayer just as we truly are.

In our prayers, we can praise God, thank God, seek help for ourselves or others, express sorrow for our failings and sins as we ask God’s forgiveness. We are free to use our own words or rely on prayers that are written down. We can also use helps like the rosary, litanies, or the lists we keep of the people and intentions we wish to pray for. Prayer can be private and individual (“me” prayers) or communal ones that we offer with others (“we”prayers).

The choices we have are rich and many, and include imagining ourselves in a gospel scene, repeating a line or two from the Bible and letting it really sink in, or just sitting quietly in God’s presence. And St. Paul tells us that even when we don’t know the how to pray on a particular occasion or in a particular circumstance, we can rely on the Holy Spirit’s helping us by praying in us, with us and for us (Romans 8:26 and 27) as God wishes.

REMEMBER (a thought for Lent)

February 15th, 2021 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

In my growing up and middle adult years, the message of Lent was clear and unambiguous. As we were marked with the sign of the cross on our foreheads, we were told, “Remember that you are dust and unto dust you shall return.” Fragile and mortal, we are made from earth and destined to return to the clay from which God formed us.

It is a truth we need to accept . . . but not the WHOLE truth. We are, indeed, dust, but not ONLY that. For God has breathed his own life into us and has made us so much more than dust. The poet Gerard Manley Hopkins says we are also “immortal diamond.” Both truths are to be accepted and honored.

So, this Lent, I hope to give myself to the discipline of remembering — to recalling the times when I have been blessed with hope and grace, when some of my dreams have not worked out but also when they have beyond my wildest expectations. I want to remember the times when I have struggled with my faith as well as when my faith was the only thing that kept me afloat. And I wish to remember people who have formed me by their love and whom I have loved in return.

To live each day with time set aside for remembering what I am, who I am, and whose I am would be, I think, a fine way to spend Lent and prepare for the joy of Easter.