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God on the Mountain

By Father Pat Killilea, St. Francis Church, Kalaupapa

“Life is easy, when you’re up on the mountain
And you’ve got peace of mind, like you’ve never known
But things change, when you’re down in the valley
Don’t lose faith, for you’re never alone.
For the God on the mountain, is still God in the valley
When things go wrong, He’ll make them right
And the God of the good times is still God in the bad times
The God of the day is still God in the night.” -Bill and Gloria Gaither

If it seems like my column has become one of music and song promotion, it is not so by design, even though many of my first homilies, as a newly ordained, were highlighted by songs of the times in conjunction with the Gospel of the day. It just happens that a family friend from County Mayo today emailed me this gospel song delivered so beautifully by Lynda Randle. In today’s crazy world, afflicted by the coronavirus, as well as the chaos in many of our cities, it provides a lift for those of us down in the valleys.
As I sit looking southward and over the row of palms lining the fringe of our church property, my eyes fall on the pali. Seemingly only yards away, rising majestically, are the green clad mountains towering over Kalaupapa town. We are blessed in that these majestic pali cliffs help protect us from the effects of the virus. However, because of this epidemic, the many pilgrims who ordinarily get to visit this historic peninsula six days a week are unable to visit the land of Saints Damien and Marianne at this time. That is sad and unfortunate.
“You talk of faith, when you’re up on the mountain
But talk comes easy, when life’s at its best
Now it’s down in the valleys, of trials and temptations
That’s where your faith, is really put to the test.”
The good news from this valley is that so far 11 monk seal pups have been born here. The grocery store is getting a new floor so that we do not fall through. The palm trees have been stripped of coconuts so that nobody gets conked on the head by a big one. I myself am in one piece after rolling out of bed recently, and Sister Barbara Jean, our Fishing Nun, has not been dragged into the water by a giant fish.

“For the God on the mountain, is still God in the valley
When things go wrong, He’ll make things right
And the God of the good times is still God in the bad times
The God of the day is still God in the night
The God of the day is still God in the night.”

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