Simon Sez: Way to Go!

Those who love deeply never grow old; they may die

of old age, but they die young.”

– Pinero, English playwright.

[Editor's Note: Fr. Simon Conrad, compiler of Simon Sez, himself becomes a nongenarian on Feb. 12. You can send him best wishes care of siconrad at]

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Simon Sez: How We Look At Things

Doubt sees the obstacles,

Faith sees the way.

Doubt sees the blackest night,

Faith sees the day;

Doubt dreads to take a step,

Faith soars on high;

Doubt questions, “Who believes?”

Faith answers, “I!”

– Author unknown.

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Simon Sez: A Hundred Years From Now…

it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in,

or the kind of car I drove; but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a CHILD.

– Message on a wall plaque.

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Simon Sez: Three Answers Only

Remember when you pray to God the answers are but three: / Yes” or “no” or “wait a while” whichever it may be. / If right away you get your wish you know that God said “yes” / As He so kindly favors you with special happiness. / If He rejects a certain dream that you would have come true / He is denying something that would not be good for you. / These answers are quite obvious as you may weep or smile; / But now and then God asks that you wait just a little while. / So when it seems that you receive no answer right away, / Be patient and have faith in God at least for one more day. /– Printed on the back of a holy card.

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Simon Sez: Volunteers

Many will be shocked to find, when the day of judgment draws near, that there’s a special place in heaven, set aside for volunteers.

Furnished with big recliners, satin couches and footstools, where there’s no committee chairman, no group leaders or carpools.

No eager team that needs a coach, no bazaar and no bake sale.

There will be nothing to be stapled, not one thing to fold or mail.

Telephone lists will be outlawed, but a finger snap will bring cool drinks and gourmet dinners, and rare treats for a king.

You ask, “Who will serve these privileged few and work for all they’re worth?”

Why, all those who reaped the benefits, and not once volunteered on earth!

– Posted on a parish bulletin board.

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Simon Sez: God and His Camera

A small child walked daily to and from school. One morning the weather was questionable, and a thunderstorm was forming. Throughout the day, the thunder and lightning grew stronger. The little girl’s mother was worried that her child would be frightened while walking home from school and maybe even harmed by the electrical storm. Following the roar of thunder, lightning would cut through the sky. Soon the mother saw her child walking along and noticed that at each flash of lightning she would stop, look up at the sky, and smile. One followed the other; and each time she stopped, looked at the lightning streak, and smiled. Finally the mother called out to her and asked, “What are you smiling at?” She answered, “Mommy, I’m smiling because God keeps taking my picture.”

Out of the mouth of babes….”

– From a parish bulletin.

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Simon Sez: Good Enough Isn’t Good Enough

My child, beware of “good enough,”

It isn’t made of sterling stuff;

It’s something anyone can do;

It marks the many from the few.

The flaw which may escape the eye

And temporarily get by

Shall weaken underneath the strain

And wreck the ship, the car or plane.

With “good enough” the car breaks down,

And one falls short of high renown.

My child, remember and be wise,

In “good enough” disaster lies.

With “good enough,” the shirkers stop

In every factory and shop;

With “good enough,” the failures rest

And lose the one who gives the best.

Who stops at “good enough” shall find

Success has left them far behind.

For this is true of you and your stuff —

Only the best is “good enough.”

– A newspaper clipping found in a book

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Simon Sez: Names, Not Numbers

One night during the blitz on London during World War II, an air raid devastated as side street in the East end and just one small house was spared. The next morning a welfare officer knocked at the door to see if anyone survived. A bedraggled mother answered the door and he asked her, “How many of you are living here now?” “Well,” she said, “there’s Bill and Harry, and Lizzie, and Joe and Sarah…” “Stop a moment,” said the officer, “I don’t want names, I only want numbers!” The mother looked him straight in the eye and said, “They ain’t got numbers; they all got names!”

God prefers names, too (Isaiah 47:16): “See upon the palms of my hands I have written your name…”

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Simon Sez: Prayer for the Planet

“Lord, as far as we know, this is Your favorite planet. Forgive some of the things we have done to it; to the air, the water, the earth. We have reason to think that we curious bipeds are Your special creation. We have found no on else on the moon, Mars, or Jupiter who makes music and wine. Forgive what we do to each other. We forget how You like variety and made us in five colors, singing different songs. Lord, we live on that blue marble You spun off when You played creation. It is a lovely place. Help us to keep it in one PEACE.
– From a parish bulletin

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Simon Sez: Farewell to My Dear Ones

My life now is ended, my course now is run;

all labors are over, the day now is done.

O Father of mercy, bend down unto me,

And take me to heaven to be with Thee.

Farewell to my dear ones, farewell to you all;

Remember my soul in its pleading call

And walk toward the home beyond earthly ken

For there we shall gather and meet again.”

—German-Russian hymn sung at graveside, “Vollendet Hienieden,” attributed to Jacob Schmidt and Edward Polifka, pioneer settlers of Catherine, Kansas. English translation by Fr. Edwin Dorzweiler, O.F.M.Cap.

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