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
.


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

A BETTER UNDERSTANDING

A woman and her dog were walking along a road. The woman was enjoying the scenery, when it suddenly occurred to her that she was dead. She remembered dying, and that the dog had been dead for years. She wondered where the road was leading them.
After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall along one side of the road. It looked like fine marble.
At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch that glowed in the sunlight. When she was standing before it, she saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother of pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like pure gold.
She and the dog walked toward the gate, and as she got closer, she saw a
man at a desk to one side. When she was close enough, she called out, "
Excuse me, where are we?"

"This is Heaven, ma'am," the man answered.
"Wow! Would you happen to have some water?" the woman asked.
"Of course. Come right in, and I'll have some ice water brought right up." The man gestured, and the gate began to open.
"Can my friend," gesturing toward her dog, "come in, too?" the traveler asked.
"I'm sorry, ma'am, but we don't accept pets."The woman thought a moment and then turned back toward the road and continued the way she had been going. After another long walk, and at the top of another long hill, she came to a dirt road, which led through a farm gate that looked as if it had never been closed. There was no fence. As she approached the gate, she saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book.
"Excuse me!" she called to the reader. "Do you have any water?"
"Yeah, sure, there's a pump over there" The man pointed to a place
that couldn't be seen from outside the gate. "Come on in."
"How about my friend here?" the traveler gestured to the dog.
"There should be a bowl by the pump."
They went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old fashioned hand pump with a bowl beside it. The traveler filled the bowl and took a long drink, then she gave some to the dog.
When they were full, she and the dog walked back toward the man
who was standing by the tree waiting for them.
"What do you call this place?" the traveler asked.
"This is Heaven," was the answer.
"Well, that's confusing," the traveler said.
"The man down the road said that was Heaven, too."
"Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates?Nope.
That's Hell."

"Doesn't it make you mad for them to use your name like that?"
"No. I can see how you might think so, but we're just happy that they
screen out the folks who won't leave their best friends behind."


Descubriendo el Siglo 21
Discovering 21century
Fr Tomás Del Valle-Reyes
P. O. BOX 1170
New York, NY 10018
(212) 244 4778
Office Cell 917-499-9715
Office Tel- 212-244-4778

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

God's Boxes


I have in my hands two boxes,
Which God gave me to hold.
He said, "Put all your sorrows in the black box,And all your joys in the gold."
I heeded His words, and in the two boxes,
Both my joys and sorrows I stored,
But though the gold became heavier each day,
The black was as light as before.
With curiosity, I opened the black,I wanted to find out why,
And I saw, in the base of the box, a hole,
Which my sorrows had fallen out by.
I showed the hole to God, and mused,"I wonder where my sorrows could be!"
He smiled a gentle smile and said,"My child, they're all here with me.."
I asked God, why He gave me the boxes,
Why the gold and the black with the hole?
 "My child, the gold is for you to count your blessings,
The black is for you to let go." 
We should consider all of our friends a blessing.
Send this to a friend today just to let them know you
are thinking of them and that they are a joy in your life.
A ball is a circle, no beginning, no end.
It keeps us together like our Circle of Friends.
But the treasure inside for you to see,
Is the treasure of friendship you've granted to me.
Today I pass the friendship ball to you.
Pass it on to someone who is a friend to you...
Descubriendo el Siglo 21
Discovering 21century
Fr Tomás Del Valle-Reyes
P. O. BOX 1170
New York, NY 10018
(212) 244 4778

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Sand and Stone

Two friends were walking through the desert. 
During some point of the journey, they had an argument; and one friend slapped the other one in the face. 
The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, wrote in the sand: "Today my best friend slapped me in the face". 
They kept on walking, until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath the one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire ! 
And started drowning, but the friend saved him.  
After he recovered from the near drowning, he wrote on a stone: "Today my best friend saved my life".
The friend who had slapped and saved his best friend asked him, 'after I hurt you, You wrote in the sand and now, you write on a stone, why?'
The friend replied 'when someone hurts us we should write it down in sand, where winds of forgiveness can erase it away. But, when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone where no wind can ever erase it
Learn to write your hurts in the sand and to carve your benefits in stone. 
They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them, but then an entire life to forget them. 
Take the time to live! 
Do not value the things you have in your life, but value who you have in your life !

Descubriendo el Siglo 21
Discovering 21century
Fr Tomás Del Valle-Reyes
P. O. BOX 1170
New York, NY 10018
(212) 244 4778

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

YOUR PERFECT GARDEN

How To Plant Your Garden
First, you Come to the garden alone,
While the dew is still on the roses....
FOR THE GARDEN OF YOUR DAILY LIVING,
PLANT THREE ROWS OF PEAS:
1. Peace of mind
2. Peace of heart
3. Peace of soul
PLANT FOUR ROWS OF SQUASH:
1. Squash gossip
2. Squash indifference
3. Squash grumbling
4. Squash selfishness
PLANT FOUR ROWS OF LETTUCE:
1. Lettuce be faithful
2. Lettuce be kind
3. Lettuce be patient
4. Lettuce really love one another
NO GARDEN IS WITHOUT TURNIPS:
1. Turnip for meetings
2. Turnip for service
3. Turnip to help one another
TO CONCLUDE OUR GARDEN WE MUST HAVE THYME:
1. Thyme for each other
2. Thyme for family
3. Thyme for friends 
WATER FREELY WITH PATIENCE AND CULTIVATE WITH LOVE. THERE IS MUCH
FRUIT IN YOUR GARDEN BECAUSE YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW. NOT BAD,HUH?!
Every garden needs some flowers so I have added some GLADS.
1. Glad to live in a free country,
2. Glad to have all my good friends.
3. Glad to be able to worship God!!
4. Glad to have a great family.

Descubriendo el Siglo 21
Discovering 21century
Fr Tomás Del Valle-Reyes
P. O. BOX 1170
New York, NY 10018
(212) 244 4778

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

ACTS OF KINDNESS

This young man was driving home one evening, on a two lane country road.
Work in this small mid-western community was almost as slow as his beat-up Pontiac, but he never quit looking.
Ever since the factory closed, he'd been unemployed, and with winter coming on, the chill had finally hit home.
It was a lonely road.
Not very many people had a reason to be on it, unless they were leaving.
Most of his friends had already left.
They had families to feed and dreams to fulfill, but he stayed on.
After all, this was where he buried his mother and father.
He was born here and he knew the country.
He could go down this road blind, and tell you what was on either side, and with his headlights not working , this came in handy.
It was starting to get dark and light snow flurries were coming down.
He'd better get a move on.  
You know, he almost didn't see the old lady, stranded on the side of the road.
But even in the dim light of day, he could see she needed help.
So he pulled up in front of her Mercedes and got out.
His Pontiac was still sputtering when he approached her.
Even with the smile on his face, she was worried.
No one had stopped to help, for the last hour or so. Was he going to hurt her? He didn't look safe.
He looked poor and hungry.
He could see that she was frightened, standing out there in the cold.
He knew how she felt.
It was that chill which only fear can put in you.
He said, "I'm here to help you Ma'am. Why don't you wait in the car where it's warm? By the way, my name is Bryan."
Well, all she had was a flat tire, but for an old lady, that was bad enough.
Bryan crawled under the car looking for a place to put the jack, skinning his knuckles a time or two. Soon he was able to change the tire.
But he had to get dirty and his hands hurt.
As he was tightening up the lug nuts, she rolled down the window and began to talk to him.
She told him that she was from St. Louis and was only just passing through.
She couldn't thank him enough for coming to her aid.
Bryan just smiled as he closed her trunk.
She asked him how much she owed him.
Any amount would have been all right with her.
She had already imagined all the awful things that could have happened had he not stopped.
Bryan never thought twice about the money.
This was not a job to him.
This was helping someone in need, and God knows there were plenty who had given him a hand in the past.
He had lived his whole life that way, and it never occurred to him to act any other way.
He told her if she really wanted to pay him back, the next time she saw someone who needed help, she could give that person the assistance that they needed, and Bryan added "...and think of me."
He waited until she started her car and drove off.
It had been a cold and depressing day, but he felt good as he headed for home, disappearing into the twilight.
A few miles down the road the lady saw a small cafe.
She went in to grab a bite to eat, and take the chill off before she made the last leg of her trip home.
It was a dingy looking restaurant.
Outside were two old gas pumps.
The whole scene was unfamiliar to her.
The cash register was like the telephone of an out of work actor--it didn't ring much.
Her waitress came over and brought a clean towel to wipe her wet hair.
She had a sweet smile, one that even being on her feet for the whole day couldn't erase. The lady noticed that the waitress was nearly eight months pregnant, but she never let the strain and aches change her attitude.
The old lady wondered how someone who had so little could be so giving to a stranger.
Then she remembered Bryan. . .
After the lady finished her meal, and the waitress went to get change for a hundred dollar bill, the lady slipped right out the door.
She was gone by the time the waitress came back.
She wondered where the lady could be, then she noticed something written on the napkin under which were 4 one-hundred dollar bills.
There were tears in her eyes when she read what the lady wrote.
It said: "You don't owe me anything, I have been there too. Somebody once helped me out the way I'm helping you. 
If you really want to pay me back, here is what you do: Do not let this chain of love end with you."
Well, there were tables to clear, sugar bowls to fill, and people to serve, but the waitress made it through another day.
That night when she got home from work and climbed into bed, she was thinking about the money and what the lady had written.
How could the lady have known how much she and her husband needed it?
With the baby due next month, it was going to be hard.
She knew how worried her husband was, and as he lay sleeping next to her, she gave him a soft kiss and whispered soft and low, "Everything's gonna be all right - I love you, Bryan."--
Author Unknown --
Descubriendo el Siglo 21
Discovering 21century
Fr Tomás Del Valle-Reyes
P. O. BOX 1170
New York, NY 10018
(212) 244 4778

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

God of Grace

God of Grace
In whom I put my trust Be my rescuer when sins ensnare
The liberator of my soul The still small voice that says
‘Be free’ God of Love
In whom I put my trust Be my joy and comfort at all times
The source of all my thoughts and words
The still small voice that says ‘Rejoice!’
God of Peace In whom I put my trust
Be my tranquility in times of turmoil
The steadying hand in raging seas
The still small voice that says
‘Be calm’ God of Power
In whom I put my trust Be my confidence when faith is challenged
The sword and amour that protects
The still small voice that says
‘Be strong!’

Descubriendo el Siglo 21
Discovering 21century
Fr Tomás Del Valle-Reyes
P. O. BOX 1170
New York, NY 10018
(212) 244 4778

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

When I Say I'm A Christian

When I say... :"I am a Christian"
I'm not shouting: "I'm clean living.'"
I'm whispering: "I was lost, now I'm found and forgiven."
When I say... "I am a Christian"
I don't speak of this with pride.
I'm confessing that I stumble and need Christ to be my guide.
When I say... "I am a Christian" I'm not trying to be strong.
I'm professing that I'm weak and need His strength to carry on.
When I say... "I am a Christian" I'm not bragging of success I'm
admitting I have failed and need God to clean my mess.
When I say... "I am a Christian" I'm not claiming to be perfect,
My flaws are far too visible But, God believes I am worth it.
When I say... "I am a Christian" I still feel the sting of pain.
I have my share of heartaches so I call upon His name.
When I say... "I am a Christian" I'm not holier than thou,
I'm just a simple sinner who received God's good grace, somehow!
Phil 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me"

Descubriendo el Siglo 21
Discovering 21century
Fr Tomás Del Valle-Reyes
P. O. BOX 1170
New York, NY 10018
(212) 244 4778

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

My Heart is heavy

Gracious God, my heart is heavy with my own failures. 
I try to excuse them and explain to myself why they occurred, because I want to be free from the feeling that I am unworthy and incapable of being all that I can be. But I find it easier to accept your forgiveness than to forgive myself. 
When I try to forgive myself, it seems I only remember and re-play my failures in my mind, and a sense of hopelessness floods over me. 
Help me to know that my past actions are a part of my growing humanity and that even when I fail to live up to what is your will for me, every single moment can be lived anew. 
Remind me that refusing to forgive myself only keeps me from experiencing that newness. 
 Assure me of the truth that by casting “my sins into the depth of the sea” (Micah 7:19b), you have freed me to discard them myself and live the next moment as if it were my first—for indeed it is. 
I ask this for the sake of your love. 
Amen. 
Descubriendo el Siglo 21
Discovering 21century
Fr Tomás Del Valle-Reyes
P. O. BOX 1170
New York, NY 10018
(212) 244 4778

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

One Minute to Pray

Please take a moment to relax your mind and humble your heart to focus on Christ. 
Allow God to be the only person on your mind while you read this prayer.
If we can take the time to read long jokes, stories, etc, we should give the same respect to this prayer. Friends, who pray together, stay together.
"Dear Lord, I thank you for this day.
I thank You for my being able to see and to hear this morning.
I'm blessed because You are a forgiving God and an understanding God.
You have done so much for me and You keep on blessing me.
Forgive me this day for everything I have done, said or thought that was not pleasing to you.
I ask now for Your forgiveness.
Please keep me safe from all danger and harm.  
Help me to start this day with a new attitude and plenty of gratitude.
Let me make the best of each and every day to clear my mind so that I can hear from You.
Let me not whine and whimper over things I have no control over.
Let me continue to see sin through Your eyes and acknowledge it as evil.
And when I sin, let me repent, and confess with my mouth of my wrongdoing, and receive forgiveness.
And when t his world closes in on me, let me remember Jesus' example -- to slip away and find a quiet place to pray.
It's the best response when I'm pushed beyond my limits.
I know that when I can't pray, You listen to my heart.
Continue to use me to do Your will.
Continue to bless me that I may be a blessing to others.
Keep me strong that I may help the weak.
Keep me uplifted that I may have words of encouragement for others.
I pray for those who are lost and can't find their way.
I pray for those who are misjudged and misunderstood.
I pray for those who don't know You intimately.
I pray for those who will delete this without sharing it with others.
I pray for those who don't believe.  
But I thank you that I believe.
I believe that You change people and You change things for good reasons.
I pray for all my sisters and brothers.
For each and ever y one of my family members and friends and their families. I pray for peace, love and joy in their homes that they are out of debt and all their needs are met.
I pray that every eye that reads this knows there is no problem, circumstance, or situation greater than You. 
 Every battle is in Your hands for You to fight.
I pray that these words be received into the hearts of every eye that sees them and every mouth that confesses them willingly..
This is my prayer.
In Jesus' Name,
Amen.

Descubriendo el Siglo 21
Discovering 21century
Fr Tomás Del Valle-Reyes
P. O. BOX 1170
New York, NY 10018
(212) 244 4778

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Prayer on Pentecost

When was the last time that we heard the wind of your Spiritroar through this place?
When was the last time your fire lit up this room?
When was the last time we took you at your word and met together in expectation
of your Spirit filling this place and these lives with your Glory and Power?Lord, you challenge us with Pentecost.
Do we believe that this was a once in eternity experience never to be repeated?
That the Holy Spirit was poured out on your followers for a single purpose and ended His work at that instant?If so, then maybe that is why the Church seems so powerless in this age
helpless when faced with the needs both spiritual and physical that we see in the world.
Lord, as we meet together and celebrate once again the memory of that first Pentecost may it be for us as it was then a moment of empowerment an awareness of your Glory in this dark world a life changing experience.
We light a candle and enjoy the flickering light the fragrance and warmth it creates.
But without the spark that ignites there will be no flame Without the wax
the source of power the wick will not burn Without the flame there will be no fragrance no warmth, no light.
And so with us, Lord You are the catalyst that ignites us and the fuel that sustains us You fill us with your fragrance as you enter our lives.
You empower us to carry your flame in our hearts To be the fragrance, warmth
and light of your love in this dark world.
Glorious Trinity Make your presence known in this place through our worship our prayer the reading of your Word Father, Son, Holy Spirit within whose unity lies all that is you perfect love justice, peace and power As we gather here today
your body, your church throughout this world fill our outstretched hearts with your spirit encircle us with your love Make yourself known to us in new ways exciting ways challenging ways Empower us Inspire us Glorious Trinity

Spirit of life
ALL: Fill our emptiness with your fullness

Spirit of power
ALL: Stir our hearts afresh

Spirit of loveALL: Touch us, and through us, our neighbor

Spirit of Creativity
ALL: Enable and empower the gifts you have given

Spirit of EternityALL: Draw us ever deeper into your Kingdom

Descubriendo el Siglo 21
Discovering 21century
Fr Tomás Del Valle-Reyes
P. O. BOX 1170
New York, NY 10018
(212) 244 4778

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

A Blessing for Children


Gracious God, in the vulnerability of a child, we recognize our own fragility.
In their tender innocence, we are reminded that life is meant to be lived with curious and joyful abandon.
Help us, who are no longer children, to retain the freshness of childhood and to be the protectors and mentors of those whose lives are just beginning.
May we see in their eyes the clear window of heaven. Guide us in the ways to keep all children safe and in your great love,
O Lord, hold them in your peaceful embrace so they are not overcome by loneliness, fear, or danger.
We ask this for the sake of your love.
Amen.


Descubriendo el Siglo 21
Discovering 21century
Fr Tomás Del Valle-Reyes
P. O. BOX 1170
New York, NY 10018
(212) 244 4778

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

You call us

You call us to service to be your eyes and ears
hands and voice in this your world
To open our eyes not only to the beauty and love which you create but the injustice hate and suffering that mankind generates
To open our ears not only to the chattering of this coming week
but the searching fears and questioning of all whom we shall meet
To open our hands not only to those we choose our lives to share
but in welcome love and fellowship to all who you draw near
To open our mouths not only to speak platitudes and simple words
But the truths you lay upon our hearts
Your Word for this your world
You call us to service to be your eyes and ears
hands and voice in this your world.

Descubriendo el Siglo 21
Discovering 21century
Fr Tomás Del Valle-Reyes
P. O. BOX 1170
New York, NY 10018
(212) 244 4778

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Mustard Seed

Can we really move mountains
with a mustard seed of faith?It seems rather a difficult task.
Could we maybe start with a molehill
and work our way up gradually?
But that’s not the way it works, is it, Lord?
So often you challenge us with the mountain
when we feel so unprepared
unequipped for the task.
It’s then that we have to put self aside
and fear and pride and cling tightly to your hand.
It is only then that we really feel
the warmth of your touch
the certainty of your love
the power of your presence.
It is only then
that our faith begins to grow
and we begin to see
our real potential.
Thank your, Heavenly Father
for mountains
and mustard seeds.

Descubriendo el Siglo 21
Discovering 21century
Fr Tomás Del Valle-Reyes
P. O. BOX 1170
New York, NY 10018
(212) 244 4778

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Prayer on Repentance

Heavenly Father,
all the fancy words in the world expressed in eloquent prose
decorated with emotion spoken with conviction cannot compete with a heartfelt
"sorry" when all other words fail.
There are times when we are all too aware of our limitations
conscious of sin and the distance it creates between us..
Sometimes "sorry" is all the heart can bear to say aloud.
It is only You, My Lord, who can read and understand the language of our hearts
Only you who can translate our "sorry" into the prayer we would have prayed if we had the words within us.
Then you forgive and having forgiven surround us in an embrace of love
drawing us close to your heart as it was always meant to be.
Thank you, Heavenly Father that you listen to hearts as well as voices
Thank you.
Your forgiveness is total no notebook, tape recorder, or post-it notes to remind you of that moment when You take our confession
offered with hands outstretched and gently like the loving heavenly Father that you are put it to one side to be forgotten No grudges, no itching for judgement
No resentment or ill-will .

Not like us who find it easy to say sorry but so hard to forgive
absolutely Forgive us, Father that we are often more willing to accept forgiveness
than to forgive More willing to accept your love
than to share it with those who have hurt us.
Teach us to forgive As you forgive.
Love has its source in you Heavenly God Flows from you like an ocean into a world as unyielding as any shoreline cliff
And like the ocean which batters erodes and wears away even the hardest stone your love persists finds cracks and inlets in hardened hearts
flows inside and works a miracle. Who would think that water was more powerful than granite love mightier than the hardest heart
Thank you, Heavenly God for the power of your love.

Descubriendo el Siglo 21
Discovering 21century
Fr Tomás Del Valle-Reyes
P. O. BOX 1170
New York, NY 10018
(212) 244 4778

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

A Trucker's Last Letter

Steamboat Mountain was a man killer, and truckers who hauled the Alaska Highway treated it with great respect.
Particularly in the winter, the road used to curve and twist over the mountain, and sheer cliffs dropped away sharply from the icy road.
Countless trucks and truckers have been lost there over the years and many dreams were dashed upon its rocky slopes.
Many years ago on one trip up the highway, I came upon an RCMP cruiser and several wreckers winching the remains of a semi up the cliff.
I parked my rig and went over to the quiet group of truckers who
 were watching the wreckage slowly come into sight.
One of the Mounties walked over to us and spoke quietly.  
"I'm sorry," he said. "The driver was dead when we found him. 
He must have gone over the side two days ago when we had a bad snowstorm. There weren't many tracks. It was just a fluke that we noticed the sun shining off some chrome."
He shook his head slowly and reached into his parka pocket.
"Here, maybe you guys should read this. I guess he lived for a couple of hours until the cold got to him."

My Darling Wife,
This is a letter that no man ever wants to write, but I'm lucky enough to have some time to say what I've forgotten to say so many times.
I love you, Sweetheart.
You used to kid me that I loved the truck more than you because I spent more time with her. I do love this piece of iron -- she's been good to me. 
She's seen me through touch times and tough places and I could always count on her in a long haul and she was speedy in the stretches. 
She never let me down.
But you want to know something? I love you for the same reasons. 
You've seen me through the tough times and places, too.
Remember the first truck? That run down "ol' corn binder" that kept us broke all the time but always made just enough money to keep us eating? 
You went out and got a job so that we could pay the rent and bills.
Every cent I made went into the truck while your money kept us in food with a roof over our heads.
I remember that I complained about the truck, but I don't remember you ever complaining when you came home tired from work and I asked you for money to go on the road again. 
If you did complain, I guess I didn't hear you. I was too wrapped up with my problems to think of yours.
I think now of all the things you gave up for me. 
The clothes, the holidays, the parties, the friends. 
You never complained and somehow I never remembered to thank you for being you.
When I sat having coffee with the boys, I always talked about the truck, my rig, my payments. I guess I forgot you were my partner even if you weren't in the cab with me. 
It was your sacrifices and determination as much as mine that finally got the new truck. I was so proud of that truck I was bursting. 
I was proud of you, too, but I never told you that. I took it for granted you knew, but if I had spent as much time talking with you as I did polishing chrome, perhaps I would have.
I always knew your prayers rode with me. 
But this time they weren't enough. I'm hurt and it's bad. I've made my last mile and I want to say the things that should have been said so many times before. The things that were forgotten because I was too concerned about the truck and the job. I'm thinking about the missed anniversaries and birthdays. The school plays and hockey games that you went to alone because I was on the road.
I'm thinking of the peace of mind I had knowing that you were at home with the kids, waiting for me. The family dinners where you spent all your time telling your folks why I couldn't make it -- I was busy changing oil, I was busy looking for parts; I was sleeping because I was leaving early the next morning.
There was always a reason, but somehow they don't seem very important right now.
When we were married, you didn't know how to change a light bulb. Within a couple of years, you were fixing the furnace in a blizzard while I was waiting for a load in Florida. 
You became a pretty good mechanic, helping me with repairs, and I was mighty proud of you that time you jumped into the truck and backed it up over the rose bushes.
I was proud of you when I pulled into the yard and saw you sleeping in the car waiting for me. Whether it was two in the morning or two in the afternoon, you always looked like a movie star to me. You're beautiful, you know. I guess I haven't told you that lately, but you are.
I made lots of mistakes in my life, but if I only ever made one good decision, it was then I asked you to marry me. You never could understand what it was that kept me trucking. 
I couldn't either, but it was my way of life and you stuck with me. Good times, bad times, you were always there.
I love you sweetheart, and I love our kids.
My body hurts but my heart hurts even more. You won't be there when I end this trip. For the first time since we've been together, I'm really alone and it scares me. 
I need you so badly, and I know it's too late.
It's funny I guess, but what I have now is the truck. This damned truck that ruled our lives for so long. This twisted hunk of steel that I lived in and with for so many years. But it can't return my love. Only you can do that.
You're a thousand miles away but I feel you here with me. 
I can see your face and feel your love and I'm scared to make the final run alone.
Tell the kids that I love them very much and don't let them drive any truck for a living.
I guess that's about it honey. 
My God, but I love you so very much. Take care of yourself and always remember that I loved you more than anything in life.
I just forgot to tell you.
I Love You, Bill
- Author Unknown -

Descubriendo el Siglo 21
Discovering 21century
Fr Tomás Del Valle-Reyes
P. O. BOX 1170
New York, NY 10018
(212) 244 4778

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

TAXI DRIVER

Twenty years ago, I drove a cab for a living. It was a cowboy's life, a life for someone who wanted no boss. What I didn't realize was that it was also a ministry.
Because I drove the night shift, my cab became a moving confessional. Passengers climbed in, sat behind me in total anonymity, and told me about their lives.
I encountered people whose lives amazed me, made me laugh and made me weep.
But none touched me more than a woman I picked up late one August night.
I was responding to a call from a small brick fourplex in a quiet part of town.
I assumed I was being sent to pick up some parties, or someone who had just had a fight with a lover, or a worker heading to an early shift at some factory in the industrial part of town.
When I arrived at 2:30 a.m., the building was dark except for a single light in a ground floor window.
Under these circumstances, many drivers would just honk once or twice, wait a minute, then drive away.
But I had seen too many impoverished people who depended on taxis as their only means of transportation.
Unless a situation smelled of danger, I always went to the door.
This passenger might be someone who needs my assistance, I reasoned to myself.
So I walked to the door and knocked.
"Just a minute", answered a frail, elderly voice.
I could hear something being dragged across the floor.
After a long pause, the door opened.
A small woman in her 80s stood before me.
She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940s movie.
By her side was a small nylon suitcase.
The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years.
All the furniture was covered with sheets.
There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters.
In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware. 
"Would you carry my bag out to the car?" she said.
I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman.
She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb.
She kept thanking me for my kindness.
"It's nothing", I told her. "I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated".
"Oh, you're such a good boy,"
she said.
When we got in the cab, she gave me the address, then asked, "Could you drive through downtown?"
"It's not the shortest way," I answered quickly.  
"Oh, I don't mind,"she said.
"I'm in no hurry. I'm on my way to a hospice".
I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening.
"I don't have any family left," she continued. "The doctor says I don't have very long."
I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.
"What route would you like me to take?" I asked.
For the next two hours, we drove through the city.
She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator.
We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds.
She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.
Sometimes she'd ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.
As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, "I'm tired. Let's go now".
We drove in silence to the address she had given me.
It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico. Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up.
They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move.
They must have been expecting her.
I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door.  
The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.
"How much do I owe you?" she asked, reaching into her purse.
"Nothing," I said.
"You have to make a living," she answered.
"There are other passengers," I responded.
Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug.
She held onto me tightly. "You gave an old woman a little moment of joy," she said. "Thank you."
I squeezed her hand, then walked into the dim morning light.
Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life.
I didn't pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly, lost in thought.
For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk.
What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?
On a quick review, I don't think that I have done anything more important in my life.
We're conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments.
But great moments often catch us unaware--beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.-
AUTHOR UNKNOWN -
People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel.

Descubriendo el Siglo 21
Discovering 21century
Fr Tomás Del Valle-Reyes
P. O. BOX 1170
New York, NY 10018
(212) 244 4778