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From the Tee Box

A Blog by Father Trey Nelson
Category Archives: From the Desk of Fr. Trey


(Of the 2,403 Americans who died in the attack on Pearl Harbor 75 years ago, 45 of them were from Louisiana. May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.)

(Thursday of the First Week of Advent)

Consider for a moment the people in your personal life who laid the foundation on which you live today. Faith. The ability to know right from wrong. The example of a good work ethic, and so on. Recall too those who laid the foundation for our county, our community, our church.

I am particularly grateful for my parents and all that they did for me, for us, in laying this foundation. At the same time, I am also mindful of the reality, that, we do not always stand on that solid ground. Sometimes, at least for a moment, we step off of this foundation, we leave the path, if you will, and spend some time living on shaky ground. These are the moments when we act and live, not like the wise man in today’s Gospel, but the fool. We often do this by choice. We give into human imperfection, temptation, and sin. Maybe not in such a way as to cause severe damage. But to one degree or another, there are those little moments when we look back and say, “wow, I can’t believe I did that.” We step off of the foundation that is Jesus Christ.

Advent can be a time during which we can look down at the ground and ask ourselves a very simple, basic question: where am I standing?


"Feasting with Generosity"

(Wednesday of the First Week of Advent)

Our first reading today from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah is often proclaimed during the funeral liturgy. It is meant to serve as a foreshadowing of the eternal life that is promised to all believers. It is, simply put, an image of heaven. The first 2 verses are particularly moving for me: “on this mountain the Lord of hosts will provide for all peoples…a feast of rich food and choice wines…” We are promised that one day we will feast at the eternal banquet. How are we “feasting” now though?

One of the realities of life in the 21st century is that we can pretty much attain, define, or find the answer to pretty much anything we want in literally the blink of an eye or the click of a mouse. Place an order. Have it delivered. Shop online. Make reservations. You name it. It is very easy to get away from an Advent type of waiting. An Advent, biblical type of waiting is not the same as waiting in line, waiting on some news from someone about something, and it’s certainly not the same as waiting for a package to be delivered. We can track our packages. Advent invites us to track our lives and the spirit in which we are living. What is our posture, if you will, before God, in response to everything with which we’ve been blessed, and, most importantly, toward those who are needy? Our approach to the table of plenty in this life is meant to be one that welcomes others to that table.

FOR REFLECTION: Does the generosity bestowed upon me feed the needs of others?


"Blessed are the Eyes that Have Seen"

(Tuesday of the First Week of Advent)

About a month ago, I came to the decision, that, in order for me to achieve a deeper sense of peace and calm on a day to day basis, I needed to get up earlier. Like many people, I was already getting up early. Now, however, I’m adding an extra hour to an hour-and-a-half to my morning. The routine is usually the same. After I’m up and moving, I make coffee. I take my puppy outside and go for a good walk. Many mornings lately, it has been cold and some days damp and foggy. As the minutes progress, the sun comes up and the dreariness goes away. My morning prayer time is better now. On some mornings I move a little slower, especially if the day before ended late. Most days, however, I have a deeper sense of calm and clarity of thought.

In today’s Gospel Jesus tells his disciples, “...blessed are the eyes that see what you see...” This didn’t mean that they were more important than others or that a relationship with Jesus was meant for only a select few. It was a reminder that their perspective had shifted and their vision broadened. This happened, in part, because they consciously left things behind and made the journey with him.

As followers of Christ we are called to a embrace a certain type of vision. It’s a vision that helps us to see beyond the fog and the dreariness, beyond those things that tempt us to be people of division rather than charity. It’s a type of vision that we need on a daily basis in order to live life and be happy. In order for this to happen, though, we need to consciously “leave certain things behind.” Prophets and kings, as Jesus says, longed to hear and see what the disciples heard and saw, but something got in the way. They were blinded, their vision, at least, blurred.

What can you do to see and hear God more clearly each day?