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
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Tuesday, November 27, 2018

THE FOLDED NAPKIN

I try not to be biased, but I had my doubts about hiring Stevie. 
His placement counselor assured me that he would be a good, reliable busboy. But I had never had a mentally handicapped employee and wasn't sure I wanted one.
I wasn't sure how my customers would react to Stevie
He was short, a little dumpy with the smooth facial features and thick-tongued speech of Downs Syndrome.
I wasn't worried about most of my trucker customers because truckers don't generally care who buses tables as long as the meatloaf platter is good and the pies are homemade. The four-wheel drivers were the ones who concerned me; the mouthy college kids traveling to school; the yuppie snobs who secretly polish their silverware with their napkins for fear of catching some dreaded "truck stop germ"; the pairs of white shirted business men on expense accounts who think every truck stop waitress wants to be flirted with.
I knew those people would be uncomfortable around Stevie, so I closely watched him for the first few weeks.
I shouldn't have worried.  
After the first week, Stevie had my staff wrapped around his stubby little finger, and within a month my truck regulars had adopted him as their official truck stop mascot.
After that, I really didn't care what the rest of the customers thought of him. He was like a 21-year-old in blue jeans and Nikes, eager to laugh and eager to please, but fierce in his attention to his duties. Every salt and pepper shaker was exactly in its place.  
Not a bread crumb or coffee spill was visible when Stevie got done with the table.
Our only problem was persuading him to wait to clean a table until after the customers were finished. He would hover in the background, shifting his weight from one foot to the other, scanning the dining room until a table was empty
Then he would scurry to the empty table and carefully bus dishes and glasses onto cart and meticulously wipe the table up with a practiced flourish of his rag. 
If he thought a customer was watching, his brow would pucker with added concentration.
He took pride in doing his job exactly right, and you had to love how hard he tried to please each and every person he met.
Over time, we learned that he lived with his mother, a widow who was disabled after repeated surgeries for cancer.  
They lived on their Social Security benefits in public housing two miles from the truck stop. Their social worker, who stopped to check on him every so often, admitted they had fallen between the cracks.
Money was tight, and what I paid him was probably the difference between them being able to live together and Stevie being sent to a group home.  
That's why the restaurant was a gloomy place that morning last August, the first morning in three years that Stevie missed work.
He was at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester getting a new valve or something put in his heart.
His social worker said that people with Downs Syndrome often had heart problems at an early age so this wasn't unexpected, and there was a good chance he would come through the surgery in good shape and be back at work in a few months.
A ripple of excitement ran through the staff later that morning when word came that he was out of surgery, in recovery, and doing fine.
Frannie, headwaitress, let out a war hoop and did a little dance in the aisle when she heard the good news. Belle Ringer, one of our regular trucker customers, stared at the sight of the 50-year-old grandmother of four doing a victory shimmy beside his table. 
Frannie blushed, smoothed her apron and shot Belle Ringer a withering look.
He grinned. "OK, Frannie, what was that all about?" he asked.  
"We just got word that Stevie is out of surgery and going to be okay."
"I was wondering where he was. I had a new joke to tell him. 
What was the surgery about?"
Frannie quickly told Belle Ringer and the other two drivers sitting at his booth about Stevie's surgery, then sighed: "Yeah, I'm glad he is going to be OK" she said. 
"But I don't know how he and his Mom are going to handle all the bills. From what I hear, they're barely getting by as it is."
Belle Ringer nodded thoughtfully, and Frannie hurried off to wait on the rest of her tables. 
Since I hadn't had time to round up a busboy to replace Stevie and really didn't want to replace him, the girls were busing their own tables that day until we decided what to do.
After the morning rush, Frannie walked into my office. She had a couple of paper napkins in her hand and a funny look on her face.
"What's up?" I asked.
"I didn't get that table where Belle Ringer and his friends were sitting cleared off after they left, and Pony Pete and Tony Tipper were sitting there when I got back to clean it off," she said. "This was folded and tucked under a coffee cup." She handed the napkin to me, and three $20 bills fell onto my desk when I opened it. On the outside, in big, bold letters, was printed "Something For Stevie."
"Pony Pete asked me what that was all about," she said, "so I told him about Stevie and his Mom and everything, and Pete looked at Tony and Tony looked at Pete, and they ended up giving me this." She handed me another paper napkin that had "Something For Stevie" scrawled on its outside. Two $50 bills were tucked within its folds.
Frannie looked at me with wet, shiny eyes, shook her head and said simply: "truckers."
That was three months ago. 

Today is Thanksgiving, the first day Stevie is supposed to be back to work. 
His placement counselor said he's been counting the days until the doctor said he could work, and it didn't matter at all that it was a holiday. 
He called 10 times in the past week, making sure we knew he was coming, fearful that we had forgotten him or that his job was in jeopardy. 
I arranged to have his mother bring him to work, met them in the parking lot and invited them both to celebrate his day back.
Stevie was thinner and paler, but couldn't stop grinning as he pushed through the doors and headed for the back room where his apron and busing cart were waiting." 
Hold up there, Stevie, not so fast," I said. I took him and his mother by their arms. "Work can wait for a minute. To celebrate you coming back, breakfast for you and your mother is on me!"  
I led them toward a large corner booth at the rear of the room. 
I could feel and hear the rest of the staff following behind as we marched through the dining room. Glancing over my shoulder, I saw booth after booth of grinning truckers empty and join the procession. We stopped in front of the big table. Its surface was covered with coffee cups, saucers and dinner plates, all sitting slightly crooked on dozens of folded paper napkins.
"First thing you have to do, Stevie, is clean up this mess," I said. 
I tried to sound stern. Stevie looked at me, and then at his mother, then pulled out one of the napkins. It had "Something for Stevie" printed on the outside. 
As he picked it up, two $10 bills fell onto the table.
Stevie stared at the money, then at all the napkins peeking from beneath the tableware, each with his name printed or scrawled on it. I turned to his mother.
"There's more than $10,000 in cash and checks on that table, all from truckers and trucking companies that heard about your problems. 
"Happy Thanksgiving."
 Well, it got real noisy about that time, with everybody hollering and shouting, and there were a few tears, as well. But you know what's funny? 
While everybody else was busy shaking hands and hugging each other, Stevie, with a big, big smile on his face, was busy clearing all the cups and dishes from the table
Best worker I ever hired.- 
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, November 20, 2018

Heavenly Father, Grant me Happiness

Dear Heavenly Father, who has filled my heart with this overflowing happiness, help me to know, that all of this goodness has come from you.
You have filled all of your creatures with the joy of life, and made them rejoice in times of blessings. 
Give me grace to share my great joy with those who are not as blessed, and not be selfish with my happiness.
Let me grasp its full enjoyment. 
And, in days of bliss, gather a treasure of memories that will last all of my life.
Happiness is not a constant state. 
When it comes, let me feel that it is your special gift, and thank you for its pleasure.
For Jesus' sake.
Amen.
Descubriendo el Siglo 21
Discovering 21century
Fr Tomás Del Valle-Reyes
P. O. BOX 1170
New York, NY 10018
(212) 244 4778

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Time in LIFE ! ! !

There comes a point in your life when you realize:
Who matters, Who never did,Who won't anymore...
And who always will.
So, don't worry about people from your past,
there's a reason why they didn't make it to your future.
Give these flowers to everyone you don't want to lose in your life, including me, if that's what is in your heart.
Be kinder than necessary
Because everyone you meet is fighting for something ! !
Some kind of battle.

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

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

THE DREAM

I always used to ask God to show me how to live faith .....
It's already a few years since I had a very significant dream, which is vividly imprinted in my mind and in my heart forevermore. 
No doubt it was an answer to my prayers and it made me feel so deeply cared for and loved!
The dream:
"I climb up a rather high mountain together with many other people. 
We walk in silence on a narrow path, in a row.
I understand that we are pilgrims, when I see a church far away high up on the mountain, beautifully “set” on the horizon. 
I am full of expectancy. I love the mountains and I enjoy the view and the peaceful climbing. When we reach the church and when everybody is inside, I immediately notice a man who shuts all the doors in what seems to me a definitive manner.  
He blocks the doors nailing pieces of wood on them. Instantly I feel claustrophobic and ask the man to please open the doors again.
I don’t like to be closed in, I feel uneasy, I want to go outside again, but there is no reply.

I look around and there I see a staircase. 
I run up the stairs and indeed I find a little door which opens to a balcony and I step out: What I see in that moment is so immensely moving! I see a beautiful green valley stretched before my eyes (it does not seem the same valley we have come from).  
At the end of this valley there is a golden city.
Everything is so extremely brilliant and beautiful that my heart fills with a longing so strong that I can hardly bear it.
I'm overwhelmed and stand there in utter awe for quite a while. Then I do not resist anymore. 
I cry out, I want to go there, I feel within my heart that the Place is like Paradise
It's as if from the shining town a voice called me, “come, come, here is beauty, here is love, here is peace “. ..... Then I hurry downstairs shouting “How can I reach the place I've seen from the balcony? There is a golden city! Please open the doors ...” Nobody answers and I feel deeply frustrated for being closed in. 
Then I find myself standing right in front of the Altar with a little golden Tabernacle. The Tabernacle is beautifully decorated.
While gazing at the Tabernacle I suddenly become silent and I feel at peace. In that moment I hear a beautiful voice saying "You know the way, I am the way, there is no other way to reach the place you've seen ..... come through the Tabernacle, this is the only way".
The Voice vibrated softly in my heart. My reaction to the “invitation” was strange. I thought “the Tabernacle is too small to get through, I'll never manage ........”.
The dream ended and I woke up just in that moment when I was doubting to make it “through” the Tabernacle.
I remembered vividly everything and finally, my heart strongly pounding, I understood.
JESUS had told me that HE WAS THE WAY! HE IS THE WAY to perfect joy “perfecta laetitia”! And I remembered the words He said to His disciples during the Last Supper “Do this in memory of Me…..”.
The Holy Eucharisty! …. The Tabernacle! Since I had this wonderful dream I approach the Holy Eucharisty in the Tabernacle.....
Descubriendo el Siglo 21
Discovering 21century
Fr Tomás Del Valle-Reyes
P. O. BOX 1170
New York, NY 10018
(212) 244 4778