to the “life in focus” web site.

It is with great pleasure that I share with you this work of many years of prayer. My name is Deacon Gene P. Neral. Although the website under the title of lifeinfocus.net has been on line since 2004, the need to bring it up to date and make it available to more people, caused me to rethink the overall message of the site. One morning, in the spring of 2016, as I was praying in the chapel after Mass at Saint John's, I looked up at the Crucifix behind the altar which has a picture of the Blessed Mother on one side and a picture of Jesus blessing His people on the other. The thought occurred to me that the Crucifix in the middle, with our Blessed Mother on one side and Jesus on the other would be a good start for a revised website. After a year of refining my ideas and putting the design into a PowerPoint presentation, I contacted the man who built my original site to help rebuild it. Jay Davis and his staff at Nittany Web Works, whose contact information is part of our Companion sites, did an awesome job and this site is now ready. I hope that viewing it and using parts of it will bring blessings to everyone.

This story behind this site began over 35 years ago. From 1981 to 1993, I survived four brain tumor operations and the effects of a severe back injury. Since recuperating from my third brain tumor operation in December of 1991, I have shared with anyone who will listen, the phrase that you saw on the Home page of this site, focus on the moment and TRUST in GOD'S LOVE.

In addition to being blessed with a wonderful wife, three great sons, four beautiful grandchildren, wonderful parents and my Catholic Faith, the discovery of this truth has made the most difference in my life. For over 25 years now, I have given a little fold-over card with that phrase on it to thousands of people along with a short explanation of how living with this truth in mind can make a difference in a person's life.

That little phrase only came together in the spring, summer and fall of 1991. A talk with a coworker, while recuperating from my second brain tumor operation, was the start. Talking with Leslie McCurdy, at the printing plant where we were employed, the idea of getting people to "focus" came up. She made a sign with her computer, with that one word on it, just as you see it, and tacked it on the bulletin board in my office. Almost immediately I began talking to people about putting their life in focus. It quickly became obvious that they would talk about what happened in their past and their plans for the future. But very few, if any, could focus on what was happening NOW. When a discussion about that came up, Leslie went to her computer and changed our sign to read "focus on the moment". She put in on my bulletin board, and I began to speak to people about focusing on the moment.

Some time after I began sharing that with people, in October, I had to announce that I was to have a third brain tumor operation in December. Another co-worker stopped me with the question, "How can you 'focus on the moment' when someone is going to cut your head open in another month." My response was, "Well, we just have to 'trust in God's love'." As soon as the words were out of my mouth, Leslie, who overheard my comment, said we should add that to our little sign. She helped me design a little fold-over card with that complete phrase on it.

While I was recuperating in Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, PA., she had those cards printed and sent them with my wife, Barbara. As soon as I was able to get out of bed from my operation, I began by putting one at every nurse's station in sight and on the night stand in the room of every person who would listen to me.

Four years later, as I was trying to explain that little card to my (then new) spiritual director, he said, "That came out of 'Abandonment to Divine Providence'."
Upon further questioning, he mentioned a book by that name and suggested that it would be helpful to read it. So, I bought the book and read it.
I returned the next month with the question, "Father, how did that man know in the seventeenth century what I was going to say in the twentieth century." His answer was, "With God, there's nothing new, you just discovered it in your lifetime."

Then he mentioned that, according to the author of the book, Jean-Pierre DeCaussade, that phrase, the way we made it, would have to be lived in reverse. He told me that we FIRST have to believe that God loves us. THEN, we must trust Him with everything we are and everything we have. ONLY THEN can we focus on the moment, do our best and trust that God will do the rest.

Fr. Silvan Rouse, CP., who remained as my Spiritual Director until about a year before his death, on October 25, 2014. said that this is the message of abandonment to Divine Providence that I need to share with everyone. I am trying to heed his advice to the best of my ability.

This site is another step in that direction.
To learn more about what it took for me to get here, click
My Personal Journey

© 2004-2017 Gene P. Neral