Showing posts from September, 2007

Lost and Found in Leaves of Green

"To see a world in a grain of sandAnd a heaven in a wild flower,Hold infinity in the palm of your handAnd eternity in an hour....." So sang William Blake, the English poet and essayist, quite some time ago in a work called the Auguries of Innocence. And so sang I just yesterday on a little walk between meetings, on the road between St. Isaac Jogues parish and the Valley Forge Middle School. It was just about sunset. I've been running around like a nut for the last two or three weeks, between teaching, speaking, meeting, refinancing the house, "retreating" and trying to be present when I'm in the presence of my beloved wife. (She is amazingly patient and supportive, by the way, when I'm juggling five things). I was preparing for a talk and getting some prayer time with Jesus at the little adoration chapel at St. Isaac's yesterday after school. I realized it was best to stay out west, since I was meeting the guys at Dave's at 6:30 for dinner and …

Here's One to Warm the Heart

Common Nonsense with Fr. Cliff Ermatinger

Whoops.... In the busyness of last week, I failed to post the content of last week's radio show! I had a fantastic talk (and the time flew by) with Fr. Cliff Ermatinger, a priest of the Legionaries of Christ, and author of a book called Common Nonsense. Here's the write up below, and the link to purchase the book is found here.

Common Nonsense By Cliff Ermatinger: Are you tired of those trite sound bytes that you know are wrong but can't say why? This book equips you to not only rebut the nonsensical but to win others for those truths that ensure a happy life. This is a wonderful tool for study groups.

ISBN Number : 1-933271-08-6

Priest Eats Haggis

I think I've mentioned somewhere in this blog one of my favorite podcasts, the Daily Breakfast. It's a collection of thoughts and experiences, random stuff from computers to movies, Harry Potter to holiness, all from a Catholic priest in the Netherlands, Fr. Roderick. He's just started a new video podcast detailing trips he's made throughout the world, his latest being Scotland (a country I'm deeply indebted to, as it gave me my grandmother, and was the land where my grandparents first met!). In this video, Fr. Roderick tastes a traditional sampling of haggis: sheep's heart, liver and lungs, mixed with oatmeal and spices... Mmmm, yummy! I love Fr. Roderick!! Do yourself a favor and subscribe to his podcasts here at!

One Act of Love and You're In

Today's Gospel was from Luke 8:19-21. Short and sweet and a real kick in the soul: "The mother of Jesus and his brothers came to him but were unable to join him because of the crowd. He was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside and they wish to see you.” He said to them in reply, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it.” The relationship were invited into with God in the flesh (Jesus) sinks even deeper than just the flesh, right to the core of the person. Mary was the closest to Jesus, physically AND spiritually. This isn't a dig on the part of her Son. He's just pulling back the veil, drawing us deeper into the Holy of Holies, to tell us that now God is healing us and inviting us to a union with Him that is beyond our wildest dreams. An all it takes to enter in is an act of the will, a conscious choice, a leap of love. In the immortal words of Van Halen, "Might's well jump!"

I Would Die For That

I put up a Facebook page this summer (thanks Fr. Roderick, neat idea!) and in seeing some of the entries there from friends, I stumbled onto this video. It's instantly become the heart-song for Rebecca and I as we continue to carry this cross of infertility and daily feel the pangs of hunger for little ones to share this life with. So here's Kellie Coffey, and her very moving song "I Would Die for That." We don't necessarily agree with all of the means by which some of the couples in the video go about beginning a family, but without a doubt we feel their pain. God bless all who struggle to begin a family, longing for the day when our arms are full of His Treasured Gifts.

Cursillo: I Have No Idea... Sort Of...

OK. This image is a little creepy. But I didn't make it up. I'm going to meet it this weekend, "face to face." Uh.... Let me explain. As a teacher at Malvern, and hopefully soon a leader and mentor for the students when they go on their senior retreat, I've been invited to go on a Cursillo Retreat for adults this weekend. Now I've been on lots of retreats in my life. I love 'em! I love having the chance to squander time with God, walk the fields, sit in chapel and just BE, read good spiritual reading, eat good retreat house food, sleep in beds that are a foot shorter than I am tall. I love getting refreshed by the reminder that, indeed, all shall be well. To know again that when my life is a question mark, Jesus is the answer. But from the little splinters and shards of hearsay, from what I know of Cursillo retreats and have gleaned from random conversations and stuff over the years, I think this weekend will be .... different. THE FOLLOWING MAY OR MAY…

The Weekend That Wasn't

Summer may not officially be over (Sept 21 is it?), but as far as I can see, it's Fall. And it's busy. Why do we (OK me) have to DO so much when Fall drops in on us? Feeling guilty from that leisurely Summer? Who knows. It's here though. In the immortal words of M.C. Hammer, "Ring that bell, school's in."And so we move to the weekend that wasn't:- Friday night I had my first adjunct teacher meeting at Immaculata University (I started teaching Marriage and Family to undergrads this semester, and I'm lovin' it). But a Friday night meeting from 6 to 8pm? Oiy!- Then Saturday was a 9am talk for the Men's Prayer Group at St. Mary Magdalene's. Man that was fun. Over 15 men, praying, singing deep and strong, sharing faith, and then I led us in a reflection on the Theology of the Body. Whoa, the faith and the insights shared by these veterans of the Church was inspiring. - Next it was off to Malvern Retreat Center for lunch and a talk to give on th…

Sunday Joy - The King of Glory Dance

I know, it's random..... but it's also FUNNY. Didn't David dance before the Ark? I wonder if he had such sweet moves?

Catholics and the Face of the Internet

My radio guest this week was Brian Barcaro from 4Marks and Brian is the co-founder of Acolyte, LLC an Internet software development and Management Company. Through is work with Acolyte Brian was also involved with the co-founding of a social networking platform for Catholics as well as the largest online singles community for Catholics.

Our topic was Catholics and Social Networking. We looked at popular websites like Facebook and MySpace, spoke of the advantages and disadvantages of this technology, and also cited Church documents on the use of the internet as a powerful and positive tool for humanity. Brian is available to talk to families and large groups on the pros and cons of today’s technology through the 4Marks website on topics like...

"Understanding a MySpace Culture"
"The Internet & the Church "
"Real Teachers in a Virtual World"
"Does love exist online?"



Creepy and Yet... Miraculous

Last week I stepped out the front door to clear away the spider webs for Rebecca before her journey to the bus stop (chivalry is not dead!). We have some massive shrubs that grow opposite our front steps, and the little buggers love to build these high tension lines from bush to railing. They faithfully appear each morning to try and keep her from her daily duty, but like Frodo and Sam armed with the fiery blade of Sting, we make our way through their silken cords! Ah Elbereth gilthoniel!

But one morning last week, there was a clear path. No webs. Hmmm, curious. What are they up to? So off she went to the bus and I headed out the back door to our car to make the scenic route through to Chester County and historic Malvern Prep. But lo! Stretching and glistening in the early morning light, covering half of the entrance to the garage and completely covering my access to the car door was a MASSIVE web. I'm talking Shelob web here. And perched right in the middle of the web, like a ruby…

Mother Teresa and the Three Paths of Prayer

Our radio show this week celebrated Blessed Teresa of Calcutta and centered on the 3 traditional paths of prayer in the Catholic Church (the Purgative Way, the Illuminative Way, and the Unitive Way). Below you'll find some resources:



The song we played for the Purgative Way was Welcome Home by Shaun Groves

The song for the Illuminative Way was If You Want Me To by Ginny Owens

The song for the Unitive Way was All Things New by Watermark

Today it is fashionable to talk about the poor. Unfortunately it is not fashionable to talk with them….. The poor are Christ Himself.
- Mother Teresa

DEAR JESUS, help me to spread Thy fragrance everywhere I go. Flood my soul with Thy spirit and love. Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly that all my life may only be a radiance of Thine. Shine through me and be so in me th…

Music Shared

Thanks for sharing this one Frances. A real beauty.

For All That We Let In...

I was driving home from a workshop a few weeks ago, a warm summer's eve, listening to music on the radio... thinking of Rebecca, and of our lives, and of our cross and of the gaping hole in our hearts that longs to be filled with little ones to share this wonderful life with, when the music I was listening to, like an undertow, took me out into the deep. I don't mean music from the generic pop stations that buzzes incessantly and fizzles out in a few weeks, like those little midges that swirl into your ears and have a half life of two weeks. I mean hand-carved acoustic poetry. Heart-crafted words, polished smooth by poets sitting in their cabins or spilling words on napkins in small town diners, fast while the fire of inspiration is hottest. I love music from the souls who are mostly unplugged. I'll take their word over a snappy electrolized and endlessly repetitive refrain any day! There are songs that can really slip below the radar and get me thinking. Usually anythin…