"The Fence"

There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His Father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence. The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks , as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence....

Finally the day came when the boy didn't lose his temper at all. He told his Father about it and his Father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone. The Father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said,"You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won't matter how many times you say I'm sorry, the wound is still there."

A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one. Friends are a very rare jewel indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear, they share words of praise and they always want to open their hearts to us.

Please forgive me if I have ever left a hole in your fence.


Bedtime came, we were settling down

I was holding one of my lads

As I grasped him so tight

I saw a strange sight

My hands. . .

they looked like my dad's

I remember them well,

those old gnarled hooks

There was always a cracked nail or two

And thanks to a hammer that strayed from its mark

His thumb was a beautiful blue

They were rough, I remember, incredibly tough

As strong as a carpenter's vice

But holding a scared little boy at night

They seemed to me awfully nice

The sight of those hands

How impressive it was in the eyes of his little boy

Other dads' hands were cleaner

It seemed, the effects of their office employ

I gave little thought in my formative years

Of the reason for Dad's raspy mitts

The love in the toil, the dirt and the oil

Rusty plumbing that gave those hands fits

Thinking back, misty-eyed, and thinking ahead

When one day my time is done

The torch of love in my own wrinkled hands

Will pass on to the hands of my son

I don't mind the bruises

The scars here and there

Or the hammer that just seemed to slip

I want most of all when my son takes my hand

To feel that love lies in the grip

By David Kettler from: A 5th Portion of Chicken Soup for the Soul

† John 8:12 †

† He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life. †


Hold on to your dreams, and never let them go.

Show the rest of the world what I already know: how wonderful you are!

Give circumstances a chance, and give others the benefit of the doubt.

Wish on a star that shines in your sky.

Take on your problems one by one and work things out.

Rely on all the strength you have inside.

Let loose of the sparkle and spirit that you sometimes try to hide.

Stay in touch with those who touch your life with love.

Look on the bright side and don't let adversity keep you from winning.

Be yourself, because you are filled with special qualities that have brought you this far, and that will always see you through.

Keep your spirits up. Make your heart happy, and let it reflect on everything you do!       

~Poem by Douglas Pagels~


1. At least 5 people in this world, love you so much they would die for you.

2. At least 15 people in this world love you, in some way.

3. The only reason anyone would ever hate you, is because they want to be just like you.  No kidding!  I know some of those people.

4. A smile from you, can bring happiness to anyone, even if they don't like you.

5. Every night, SOMEONE thinks about you before they go to sleep.

6. You mean the world to someone.

7. Without you, someone may not be living.

8. You are special and unique, in your own way.

9. Someone that you don't know even exists, loves you.

10. When you make the biggest mistake ever,something good comes from it.

11. When you think the world has turned it's back on you, take a look, you most likely turned your back on the world.

12. When you think you have no chance at getting what you want, you probably won't get it, but if you believe in yourself, you probably sooner or later will get it.

13. Always remember complements you received, forget about the rude remarks.

14. Always tell someone how you feel about them, you will feel much better when they know.

15. If you have a great friend, take the time to let them know that they are great.

Unleashing Our Most Powerful Weapons!

Let us deploy our troops. Let our diplomats seek broad international agreement. Let our soldiers advance first, to clear the field of violence. Then let us unleash our most powerful weapons. Let us lay down roads where none has ever been. Let us dig wells of clean water where people can safely drink. Let our armies build hospitals and schools. Let our warriors teach hygiene and mathematics. Let our doctors inoculate against disease, and our soldiers battle malnutrition. Let us scour the Earth clean of terrorism through the merciless application of knowledge, compassion, hope, and tolerance. Terrorism is the weapon of the desperate and hopeless, the brutally blinded, and the deliberately blind. And we can defeat terrorism. We, America, have the power to do so if we are not ourselves blinded by vengeance, anger, and fear: we hold the light of Liberty. So let us unleash our weapons of mass construction, even as we deploy our gun ships and missiles to defend our endeavors. Let us carry the battle into the tent cities of the Palestinians and the arid crags of Afghanistan, the doctor and the engineer, shoulder to shoulder with the U.N. peacekeeper and the U.S. soldier. Let us hurl homes at homelessness, unleash law upon lawlessness, and let justice roll down like a mighty river and wash away the unjust. We have an opportunity, now laid so grievously before us, to start and win a war with our most powerful and uniquely American weapons: love, opportunity, education, and hope. England and Israel teach us that the battle against terrorism takes decades. Let the next generation all over the world say to the terrorist recruiters "Why would we want to harm America, who inoculates our children, houses our poor, champions justice and feeds our hungry?" Only then shall we have defeated terrorism. So let us arm our soldiers and mourn our dead, and take up both the pen as well as the gun. Let us fix a steel-eyed gaze on the true costs and the real efforts involved, let us gird ourselves against our inevitable losses and unavoidable setbacks. Let us join with all people in all nations who worship in truth and love, and let us set forth on this, the true, final World War.

by Sister Catherine Murray, O.P.

9/11/01 Rememberence



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