By Father Charles Fuld
You finished your Christmas shopping ages ago and, on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning, you very likely exchanged gifts with all of your favorite people. However, you might still be in need of a last-minute gift or two – perhaps even something for yourself.
If so, I’d like to recommend a book written by one of the Diocese of San Diego’s retired priests, Father Ned Brockhaus. It’s called Sunday Stories/Historias De Domingo: A Collection of Tales Humorous and Otherwise. This bilingual book is a collection of short stories and jokes paired with whimsical illustrations.
The 2019 collection, which came out around Advent, is the fifth installment in a series. Father Ned publishes one each year. Not only is the book great fun, but it is also available at a price that can’t be beat: free. That’s right, Father Ned charges nothing for his books, but does include a donation envelope addressed to Father Joe’s Villages. If you enjoyed what you read, you’re encouraged to consider sharing a few dollars or more with those who are striving to overcome homelessness.
Within the pages of this hardcover book, there are many stories about the adventure of living in God’s love. For example, there’s this list of signs that you might see outside of churches in your neighborhood:
“Ketchup with Jesus. Lettuce praise and relish Him.
“Whoever stole our AC units, keep one. It is hot where you are going.
“Honk if you love Jesus. Text while driving if you want to meet Him.
“Forgive your enemies. It messes with their heads.
“Tweet others as you would like to be tweeted …”
In the book, you can read about how famed baseball player Roy Campanella dealt with a life-changing automobile injury, about the boyhood of Thomas Edison after he was thrown out of school for being a poor student, and about the bread and wine that Christian astronaut Buzz Aldrin brought to the moon with him to celebrate God. Then, there’s my favorite story of them all, “The Lesson from the Butterfly,” which tells how butterflies begin life as a caterpillar, eventually becoming covered by a cocoon, and how they eventually need to struggle out of the cocoon on their own; if we try to help them out of their cocoon, we will end up harming them, because it is in that struggle that the butterfly gains strength for its beautiful and very necessary wings. The lesson of the butterfly story is that sometimes we can help others too much.
Those interested in acquiring a copy of this book should email Father Ned at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Southern Cross
Father Charles Fuld is managing editor of The Southern Cross.