By Father Dennis Meinen
View from the Scooter
An anonymous priest was once asked to bless the crops at Irv and Kathy Kiepe’s farm in Ute in the 1980s. He probably said a prayer like this:
Farmer’s Prayer to St. Joseph
O glorious St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus, you did provide for the Holy Family. I ask you to look kindly upon our farmers. I commit to your protection all their crops and farm industries. I beseech you, to intercede on my behalf with Almighty God, who rules the seasons, so that their fields being safe from pests and favored by the weather may yield abundant crops that will allow them to thrive. Thus, freed from earthly worries, may they after your example apply all their thoughts to eternal life. I beseech you to instill a love of the land into the hearts of our youth for their own salvation and that of Christian unity. So, that we may all share hereafter in the same blissful life you enjoy in heaven. Amen.
And at Mass we prayed: For our farmers who struggle to complete the harvest. May they have favorable weather, safety in their work, sound equipment and a bountiful harvest. Let us pray to the Lord.
What was the result of his prayer? Kiepe told the new pastor in 1993 the prayer didn’t work because the crops dried out. They were hesitant about seeking a new blessing next year but might ask a bishop to give the blessing, since they heard St. Theresa Neumann said bishops have two guardian angels and the pastor’s angel may be on vacation. It is only a rumor that the same priest blessed the “crops” of a neighboring farm. The result is? Similar to the Kiepe story. This bit of land sadly now contains 70 percent gravel, 30 percent sand and desert. Farmers that drive by sadly call it the Sahara Farm. Fortunately, they now have a booming catcus business.
As for marrying for beauty or cooking, Kathy said, “My menu consisted of only two things. Take it or leave it!”
Irv then shared the secret of their long-lasting marriage: “Well, it all started on the way home from our wedding. We hadn’t gone but a mile when the horse started giving us trouble. I gave the horse a little whip, and that’s when I heard Kathy say in a low voice, “That’s strike one.” A bit later the horse stopped again. “That’s strike two,” she said. The third time it stopped, Irv said Kathy grabbed the shotgun out of the case on the side of the horse and shot it in the head. Now they had to walk home even though he was in shock and a bit afraid.
“What in the world was that all about?” I protested at the time.
“That’s strike one!” she said back to me. “And that is what I owe our marital success to.”
Why not a prayer for married couples?
O God, we want to live our life together with you and always to continue it with you. Help us never to hurt and never to grieve each other. Help us to share all our works, all our hopes, all our dreams, all our successes, all our failures, all our joys and all our sorrows. Help us to have no secrets from each other so that we may be truly one. Keep us always true to each other and grant that all the years ahead may draw us ever closer to each other. Grant that nothing may ever come between us and nothing may ever make us ever drift apart. And as we live with each other, help us to live with you, so that our love may grow perfect in your love, for you are the God whose name is love. This we ask for your love’s sake. Amen.
Father Dennis Meinen serves as chaplain at Holy Spirit Retirement Home, Sioux City, for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts in the diocese and Calix and Faithful Friar of the Garrigan 4th Degree Assembly of the Knights of Columbus, Sioux City.