Daily Reflection with Fr. Tomas Del Valle-Reyes



Dear Friends: Praying is not easy. Our daily routine calls for our full attention. And the world around us puts little value on prayer; our lives are full of material things but at the same time are getting emptier in God’s value.

For this reason, I will post a daily reflection and as you visit this site may the Holy Spirit within you come to your aid and guide you gently to the God who loves you
.


Monday, January 16, 2017

CARL'S GARDEN

Carl was a quiet man. He didn't talk much. 
He would always greet you with a big smile and a firm handshake.
Even after living in our neighborhood for over 50 years, 
no one could really say they knew him very well.
Before his retirement, he took the bus to work each morning. 
The lone sight of him walking down the street often worried us.  
He had a slight limp from a bullet wound received in WWII. 
Watching him, we worried that although he had survived WWII,
 he may not make it through our changing uptown neighborhood with its ever-increasing random violence, gangs and drug activity.
When he saw the flyer at our local church asking for volunteers for caring for the gardens behind the minister's residence, he responded in his characteristically unassuming manner. 
Without fanfare, he just signed up.
He was well into his 87th year when the very thing 
we had always feared finally happened.
He was just finishing his watering for the day when three gang members approached him. 
Ignoring their attempt to intimidate him, he simply asked,  
"Would you like a drink from the hose?" 
The tallest and toughest-looking of the three said, "Yeah, sure," with a malevolent little smile.
 As Carl offered the hose to him, the other two grabbed Carl's arm, throwing him down. As the hose snaked crazily over the ground, dousing everything in its way, Carl's assailants stole his retirement watch and his wallet, and then fled.
Carl tried to get himself up, but he had been thrown down on his bad leg. 
He lay there trying to gather himself as the minister came running out to help him. 
Although the minister had witnessed the attack from his window, he couldn't get there fast enough to stop it.
 "Carl, are you okay? Are you hurt?" the Priest kept asking as he helped Carl to his feet.
Carl just passed a hand over his brow and signed, shaking his head.  
"Just some punk kids. I hope they'll wise-up someday." 
His wet clothes clung to his slight frame as he bent to pick up the hose. 
He adjusted the nozzle again and started to water.
Confused and a little concerned, the Priest asked, "Carl, what are you doing?"
 "I've got to finish my watering. It's been very dry lately," came the calm reply. 
Satisfying himself that Carl really was alright, the minister could only marvel. 
Carl was a man from a different time and place.
A few weeks later the three returned. 
Just as before, their threat was unchallenged. 
Carl again offered them a drink from his hose. 
This time they didn't rob him. 
They wrenched the hose from his hand and drenched him head to foot in the icy water.  
When they had finished their humiliation of him, they sauntered off down the street, throwing catcalls and curses, falling over one another laughing at the hilarity of what they had just done. Carl just watched them. 
Then he turned toward the warmth giving sun, picked up his hose, and went on with his watering.
The summer was quickly fading into fall.
Carl was doing some tilling when he was startled by the sudden approach of someone behind him.
He stumbled and fell into some evergreen branches.
As he struggled to regain his footing, he turned to see the tall leader of his summer tormentors reaching down for him. He braced himself for the expected attack.
 "Don't worry old man. I'm not going to hurt you this time."
The young man spoke softly, still offering the tattooed and scarred hand to Carl.
As he helped Carl get up, the man pulled a crumpled bag from his pocket and handed it to Carl.
 "What's this?" Carl asked. "It's your stuff," the man explained.
"It's your stuff back. Even the money in your wallet."
"I don't understand," Carl said.  
"Why would you help me now?"The man shifted his feet, seeming embarrassed and ill at ease. "I learned something from you," he said.
"I ran with that gang and hurt people like you. 
We picked you because you were old and we knew we could do it. 
But every time we came and did something to you, instead of yelling and fighting back, you tried to give us a drink. 
You didn't hate us for hating you. You kept showing love against our hate."
He stopped for a moment.
 "I couldn't sleep after we stole your stuff, so here it is back." 
 He paused for another awkward moment, not knowing what more there was to say.  
"That bag's my way of saying thanks for straightening me out, I guess."  
And with that, he walked off down the street.

Carl looked down at the sack in his hands and gingerly opened it. 
He took out his retirement watch and put it back on his wrist.
Opening his wallet, he checked for his wedding photo. 
He gazed for a moment at the young bride that still smiled back at him from all those years ago.
He died one cold day after Christmas that winter. Many people attended his funeral in spite of the weather.  
In particular, the priest noticed a tall young man that he didn't know sitting quietly in a distant corner of the church. The Priest spoke of Carl's garden as a lesson in life. 
In a voice made thick with unshed tears, he said, "Do you best and make your garden as beautiful as you can. We will never forget Carl and his garden."
The following spring another flyer went up. It read:
 "Person needed to care for Carl's garden."
The flyer went unnoticed by the busy parishioners until one day when a 
knock was heard at the Priest's office door. 
Opening the door, the Priest saw a pair of scarred and tattooed hands holding the flyer.
"I believe this is my job, if you'll have me," the young man said. 
The Priest recognized him as the same young man who had returned the stolen watch and wallet to Carl. 
He knew that Carl's kindness had turned this man's life around.
As the priest handed him the keys to the garden shed, he said, "Yes, go take care of Carl's garden and honor him."
The man went to work and, over the next several years, he tended the flowers and vegetables just as Carl had done. 
In that time, he went to college, got married, and became a prominent member of the community. But he never forgot his promise to Carl's memory and kept the garden as beautiful as he thought Carl would have kept it.
One day he approached the new Priest and told him that he couldn't care for the garden any longer. 
He explained with a shy and happy smile, "My wife just had a baby boy last night, and she's bringing him home on Saturday." "Well, congratulations!" said the Priest, as he was handed the garden shed keys. "That's wonderful! What's the baby's name?" "Carl," he replied.-
 AUTHOR UNKNOWN -

Father Tomas Del Valle-Reyes
Discovering 21 Century
P. O. BOX 1170New York, 
NY 10018
212-244-4778
Radiosigloxxi@aol.com

Monday, January 9, 2017

Just Stay

A nurse took the tired, anxious serviceman to the bedside.
'Your son is here,' she said to the old man.
She had to repeat the words several times before the patient's eyes
opened.
He was heavily sedated because of the pain of his heart attack, he dimly
saw the young uniformed Marine standing outside the oxygen tent. 
He reached out his hand. 
The Marine wrapped his toughened fingers around
the old man's limp ones, squeezing a message of love and encouragement.
The nurse brought a chair so that the Marine could sit beside the
bed.All through the night the young Marine sat there in the poorly
lighted ward, holding the old man's hand and offering him words of love
and strength. 
Occasionally, the nurse suggested that the Marine move
away and rest awhile.
He refused. Whenever the nurse came into the ward, the Marine was
oblivious of her and of the night noises of the hospital - the clanking
of the oxygen tank, the laughter of the night staff members exchanging
greetings, the cries and moans of the other patients.
Now and then she heard him say a few gentle words. 
The dying man said nothing, only held tightly to his son all through the night.
Along towards dawn, the old man died. 
The Marine released the now
lifeless hand he had been holding and went to tell the nurse. 
While she did what she had to do, he waited.
Finally, she returned. 
She started to offer words of sympathy, but the
Marine interrupted her.
'Who was that man?' he asked.
The nurse was startled, 'He was your father,' she answered.
'No, he wasn't,' the Marine replied. 'I never saw him before in my
life.'

'Then why didn't you say something when I took you to him?'
'I knew right away there had been a mistake,
but I also knew he needed his son, and his
son just wasn't here.
When I realized that he was too sick to tell
whether or not I was his son,
knowing how much he needed me, I stayed.'

The next time someone needs you ... just be there. Stay.


Fr. Tomas Del Valle-Reyes
Discovering 21 Century/
P. O. BOX 1170
New York, NY 10018
212-244-4778

http://www.discovering21century.com/

Monday, January 2, 2017

NAILS IN 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 the 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... but It won't matter how many times you say I'm sorry, the wound will still be there.
A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one.
Remember that friends are very rare jewels 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.


Discovering 21 Century/
P. O. BOX 1170
New York, NY 10018
212-244-4778

http://www.discovering21century.com/

Monday, December 26, 2016

The Faith of a Child

A little girl went to her bedroom and pulled a glass jar from its hiding place in the closet.
She poured the change out on the floor and counted it carefully. 
Three times, even. The total had to be exactly perfect. 
No chance here for mistakes.
Carefully placing the coins back in the jar and twisting on the cap, she slipped out the back door and made her way 6 blocks to the Drug Store.
She waited patiently for the pharmacist to give her some attention, but he was too busy at this moment. 
She twisted her feet to make a scuffing noise; Nothing. She cleared her throat with the most disgusting sound she could muster. 
No good. Finally, she took a quarter from her jar and banged it on the glass counter. That did it!
'And what do you want?' the pharmacist asked in an annoyed tone of voice. 
I'm talking to my brother from Chicago whom I haven't seen in ages,' he said without waiting for a reply to his question.
'Well, I want to talk to you about my brother,'
  She answered back in the same annoyed tone. 'He's
really, really sick...and I want to buy a miracle.'

'I beg your pardon?' said the pharmacist.
'His name is Andrew and he has something bad growing inside his head and my Daddy says only a miracle can save him now So how much does a miracle cost?'
'We don't sell miracles here, little girl. I'm sorry but I can't help you,' the pharmacist said, softening a little.
'Listen, I have the money to pay for it. 
If it isn't enough, I will get the rest. Just tell me how much it costs.'
The pharmacist's brother was a well dressed man. 
He stooped down and asked the little girl, 'What kind of a
miracle does your brother need?'

' I don't know,' she replied with her eyes welling up.  
'I just know he's really sick and Mommy says he needs an operation. 
But my Daddy can't pay for it, so I want to use my money.'
'How much do you have?' asked the man from Chicago
'One dollar and eleven cents,' she answered barely audibly. 
'And it's all the money I have, but I can get some more if I need to.'
'Well, what a coincidence,' smiled the man.  
'A dollar and eleven cents---the exact price of a miracle for little brothers. '
He took her money in one hand and with the other hand he grasped her mitten and said 'Take me to where you live. 
I want to see your brother and meet your parents. 
Let's see if I have the miracle you need.'
That well dressed man was Dr. Carlton Armstrong, a surgeon, specializing in neuron-surgery. 
The operation was completed free of charge and it wasn't long until Andrew was home again and doing well.
Mom and Dad were happily talking about the chain of events that had led them to this place. 
'That surgery,' her Mom whispered. 'was a real miracle. 
I wonder how much it would have cost?'
The little girl smiled. She knew exactly how much a miracle cost….one dollar and eleven cents....plus the faith of a little child.
In our lives, we never know how many miracles we will need.
A miracle is not the suspension of natural law, but the operation of a higher law.

Father Tomas Del Valle-Reyes
Discovering 21 Century
P. O. BOX 1170New York, NY 10018
212-244-4778

Radiosigloxxi@aol.com

Monday, December 19, 2016

57 CENTS

A little girl, Hattie May Wiatt, stood near a small church from which 
she had been turned away because it was "too crowded."
"I can't go to Sunday School," she sobbed to the pastor as he walked by.
Seeing her shabby, unkempt appearance, the pastor guessed the reason and, taking her by the hand, took her inside and found a place for her in the Sunday school class.
The child was so happy that they found room for her, and she went to bed that night thinking of the children who have no place to worship Jesus.
Some two years later, this child lay dead in one of the poor tenement buildings. Her parents called for the kindhearted pastor who had befriended their daughter to handle the final arrangements.
As her poor little body was being moved, a worn and crumpled red purse was found which seemed to have been rummaged from some trash dump.
Inside was found 57 cents and a note, scribbled in childish handwriting, which read: "This is to help build the little church bigger so more children can go to Sunday School."
For two years she had saved for this offering of love.
When the pastor tearfully read that note, he knew instantly what he would do
.  
Carrying this note and the cracked, red pocketbook to the pulpit, he told the story of her unselfish love and devotion.
He challenged his deacons to get busy and raise enough money for the larger building.
But the story does not end there...
A newspaper learned of the story and published It.  
It was read by a wealthy Realtor who offered them a parcel of land worth many thousands. 
When told that the church could not pay so much, he offered to sell it to the little church for 57 cents.
Church members made large donations. Checks came from far and wide.
Within five years the little girl's gift had increased to $250,000.00--a huge sum for that time (near the turn of the century). 
Her unselfish love had paid large dividends.

When you are in the city of Philadelphia , look up  
Temple Baptist Church , with a seating capacity of 3,300.
And be sure to visit Temple University, where thousands of students are educated.
Have a look, too, at the Good Samaritan Hospital and at a Sunday School building which houses hundreds of beautiful children, built so that no child in the area will ever need to be left outside during Sunday school time.
In one of the rooms of this building may be seen the picture of the
sweet face of the little girl whose 57 cents, so sacrificially saved, made such remarkable history. Alongside of it is a portrait of her kind pastor, Dr. Russell H. Conwell, author of the book,
"Acres of Diamonds".This is a true story, which goes to show WHAT GOD CAN DO WITH 57 CENTS.
Descubriendo El Siglo 21
Padre Tomas Del Valle-Reyes
P.O. BOX 1170
New York, NY 10018
212-244-4778

Monday, December 12, 2016

Love one Another..........Life is too Short ! ! ! !

Once upon a time there was an island where all the feelings lived;
happiness, sadness, knowledge, and all the others, including love.
One day it was announced to all of the feelings that the 
island was going to sink to the bottom of the ocean. 
So all the feelings prepared their boats to leave. 
Love was the only one that stayed. 
She wanted to preserve the island paradise until the last possible moment. 
When the island was almost totally under, love decided it was time to leave. 
She began looking for someone to ask for help. 
Just then Richness was passing by in a grand boat.  
Love asked, "Richness, Can I come with you on your boat?" Richness answered, " I'm sorry, but there is a lot of silver and gold on my boat and there would be no room for you anywhere."
Then Love decided to ask Vanity for help who 
was passing in a
beautiful vessel. 
Love cried out, "Vanity, help me please." "I can't help
you," Vanity said, " you are all wet and will damage my beautiful boat."
Next, Love saw Sadness passing by. 
Love said, “Sadness, please let me go with you." 
Sadness answered, "Love, I'm sorry, but, I just need to be Alone now."
Then, Love saw Happiness. 
Love cried out, " Happiness, please take me
with you." But Happiness was so overjoyed that he didn't hear Love
calling to him.
Love began to cry. Then, she heard a voice say, "Come Love, I will
take you with me." It was an elder.  
Love felt so blessed and overjoyed
that she forgot to ask the elder his name. 
When they arrived on land the
elder went on his way.
Love realized how much she owed the elder. 
Love then found Knowledge and asked,
"Who was it that helped me?"
"It was Time," Knowledge answered.
"But why did Time help me when no one else would?",
Love asked.
Knowledge smiled and with deep wisdom and sincerity, answered,
"Because only Time is capable of understanding how great Love is."
Rev. Father  Tomas Del Valle-Reyes
P.O. BOX 1170
New York, NY 10018

Tel- 212-244-4778
http://www.descubriendoelsiglo21.com/

Monday, December 5, 2016

Lean On Me

Me As the road ahead seems rugged and the path is getting steep, 
I feel that I can't make it so my heart begins to weep. 
Then I turn to see who's coming to join me on my way. 
I see it is my Lord and He slowly turns to say, "Lean on me..... when you have no strength to stand. 
When you feel you're going under, hold tighter to my hand.
Lean on me...... when your heart begins to bleed. 
When you know I'm all you have, then you'll find I'm all you need." Then when I felt that no one cared if I lived or died, and no one bothered asking why I'd go alone to cry. 
When the burden got so heavy I could barely face the day, I felt His arms around me as I gently heard Him say, "Lean on me...... when you have no strength to stand. When you feel you're going under, hold tighter to my hand.
Lean on me...... when your heart begins to bleed. 
When you come to know I'm all you have, then you'll find I'm all you need.
Author Unknown~


Rev. Fr. Tomas Del Valle-Reyes
Discovering 21 Century
P. O. BOX 1170New York, NY 10018
Radiosigloxxi@aol.com

Office Tel- 212-244-4778