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 30, 2017

This is me....."JUST CHECKING IN"

A Priest passing through his church
In the middle of the day,  
Decided to pause by the altar
And see who had come to pray.
Just then the back door opened,
A man came down the aisle,
The Priest frowned as he saw
The man hadn't shaved in a while.  
His shirt was kind of shabby 
And his coat was worn and frayed,
The man knelt, he bowed his head,
Then rose and walked away.
In the days that followed,
Each noon time came this man,
Each time he knelt just for a moment,
A lunch pail in his lap.
Well, the Priest's curiosity grew,
and, He decided to stop the man and ask him,
'What are you doing here?'
The  man said, he worked down the road.
Lunch was half an hour.
Lunchtime was his prayer time,
For finding strength and power.

'I stay only a few minutes, see,
Because the factory is so far away;
As I kneel here talking to the Lord,
This is kind of what I say:
The Priest feeling foolish,
Told Jim that was fine.
He told the man he was welcome
To come and pray just anytime

Time to go, Jim smiled, said 'Thanks.'
He hurried to the door.
The Priest knelt at the altar,
He'd never done it before.
His cold heart melted, warmed with love,
And met with Jesus there.
As the tears flowed, in his heart,
He repeated old Jim's prayer:

Past noon one day, the Priest noticed
That Jim hadn't come.
As more days passed without Jim,
He began to worry some.

At the factory, he asked about him,
Learning he was ill.
The hospital staff was worried,
But he'd given them a thrill.
The week that Jim was with them,
Brought changes in the ward.
His smiles, a joy contagious.
Changed people, were his reward.

The head nurse couldn't understand
Why Jim was so glad,
When no flowers, calls or cards came,
Not a visitor he had.

The Priest stayed by his bed,
He voiced the nurse's concern:
No friends came to show they cared.
He had nowhere to turn.

Looking surprised, Jim spoke
Up and with a winsome smile;
'the nurse is wrong, she couldn't know,
That He's in here all the while

Everyday at noon He's here,
A dear friend of mine, you see,
He sits right down, takes my hand,
Leans over and says to me:
If this blesses you, pass it on. Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart
May God hold you in the palm of His hand
And Angels watch over you.

So this is me ... "Just Checking In"

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

Monday, January 23, 2017

Can You Hear Him?

A cold March wind danced around the dead of night in Dallas as the Doctor walked into the small hospital room of Diana Blessing.  
Still groggy from surgery, her husband David held her hand as they braced themselves for the latest news.
That afternoon of March 10, 1991, complications had forced Diana, only 24-weeks pregnant, to undergo an emergency cesarean to deliver the couple's new daughter, Dana Lu Blessing.
At 12 inches long and weighing only one pound and nine ounces, they already knew she was perilously premature. 
Still, the doctor's soft words dropped like bombs. I don't think she's going to make it," he said, as kindly as he could.
"There's only a 10-percent chance she will live through the night, and even then, if by some slim chance she does make it, her future could be a very cruel one."
Numb with disbelief, David and Diana listened as the doctor described the devastating problems Dana would likely face if she survived.
She would never walk, she would never talk, she would probably be blind, and she would certainly be prone to other catastrophic conditions from cerebral palsy to complete mental retardation, and on and on.
No! No!" was all Diana could say. She and David, with their 5-year-old son Dustin, had long dreamed of the day they would have a daughter to become a family of four.
Now, within a matter of hours, that dream was slipping away. Through the dark hours of morning as Dana held onto life by the thinnest thread, Diana slipped in and out of sleep, growing more and more determined that their tiny daughter would live -and live to be a healthy, happy young girl. But David, fully awake and listening to additional dire details of their daughter's chances of ever leaving the hospital alive, much less healthy, knew he must confront his wife with the inevitable.  
David walked in and said that we needed to talk about making funeral arrangements.
Diana remembers
'I felt so bad for him because he was doing everything trying to include me in what was going on, but I just wouldn't listen, I couldn't listen.
I said, "No, that is not going to happen, no way! I don't care what the doctors say; Dana is not going to die! One day she will be just fine, and she will be coming home with us!" As if willed to live by Diana's determination, Dana clung to life hour after hour, with the help of every medical machine and marvel her miniature body could endure. But as those first days passed, a new agony set in for David and Diana.
Because Dana's underdeveloped nervous system was essentially 'raw,' the lightest kiss or caress only intensified her discomfort, so they couldn't even cradle their tiny baby girl against their chests to offer the strength of their love. All they could do, as Dana struggled alone beneath the ultraviolet light in the tangle of tubes and wires, was to pray that God would stay close to their precious little girl.
There was never a moment when Dana suddenly grew stronger. But as the weeks went by, she did slowly gain an ounce of weight here and an ounce of strength there. At last, when Dana turned two months old, her parents were able to hold her in their arms for the very first time.

And two months later -though doctors continued to gently but grimly warn that her chances of surviving, much less living any kind of normal life, were next to zero.Dana went home from the hospital, just as her mother had predicted. Today, five years later, Dana is a petite but feisty young girl with glittering grey eyes and an unquenchable zest for life. She shows no signs, what so ever, of any mental or physical impairment.
Simply, she is everything a little girl can be and more- but that happy ending is far from the end of her story. One blistering afternoon in the summer of 1996 near her home in Irving, Texas, Dana was sitting in her mother's lap in the bleachers of a local ballpark where her brother Dustin's base- ball team was practicing.
As always, Dana was chattering non-stop with her mother and several other adults sitting nearby when she suddenly fell silent. Hugging her arms across her chest, Dana asked, "Do you smell that?" Smelling the air and detecting the approach of a thunderstorm, Diana replied, "Yes, it smells like rain."
Dana closed her eyes and again asked, "Do you smell that?" Once again, her mother replied, "Yes, I think we're about to get wet, it smells like rain". Still caught in the moment, Dana shook her head, patted her thin shoulders with her small hands and loudly announced, "No, it smells like Him. It smells like God when you lay your head on His chest."
Tears blurred Diana's eyes as Dana then happily hopped down to play with the other children. Before the rains came, her daughter's words confirmed what Diana and all the members of the extended Blessing family had known, at least in their hearts, all along.

During those long days and nights of her first two months of her life, when her nerves were too sensitive for them to touch her, God was holding Dana on His chest and it is His loving scent that she remembers so well.
You now have 1 of 2 choices... You can either pass this on and let other people catch the Jesus bumps like you did, or .. You can close this page and act like it didn't touch your heart like it did mine. 
I can do all things in Him who strengthens me. (Phil 4:13) 

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

Monday, January 16, 2017


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.-

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

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
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

'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


Monday, January 2, 2017


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