Thursday, December 31, 2009
Friday, December 25, 2009
Till I had you I didn't know That I was missing out Had to grow up and see the world Through different shades of doubt Give me one more chance to dream again One more chance to feel again Through your young heart If only for one day let me try I wanna see Christmas through your eyesIt’s been said that boredom is a relatively new term. The French coined the word ennui to describe that listlessness we see around us, the great shuffling of modern feet through a world that’s being stripped of its inherent transcendence. We’re like the character in the film Joe versus the Volcano, trudging off to work, scraping our shoe against the sidewalk crying out “I’m losing my sole.” But in the wisdom of God, and through the fruitfulness He endowed us with, we have the grace to “feel again through your young heart.” With everything human, however, there must be a choice. We must decide in this walk of life to look up, to resist the gravitational pull of skepticism and mistrust. We must acknowledge the restlessness too, and let the hole in the center of our hearts remain open. Not easy work by any means, especially in this season when we are bombarded with the temptation to cram material, finite things into that hole in the center of our chests. But our hearts will be restless until they rest in God, so Augustine reminds us.
I see the rain, you see the rainbow hiding in the clouds Never afraid to let your love show Won't you show me how Wanna learn how to believe again Find the innocence in me again Through your young heartI remember a little shard of poetry that says “Two men looked out through prison bars. One saw mud, the other stars.” So where are we in all of this? Are we amazed or dazed? Have we got the wonder, I wonder? As the assault on family, faith, and fertility rages on in our culture, perhaps we’d all do well to heed those street signs that say “Watch Children.” We need to see again, and not just Christmas, but all things through their eyes. For to just such as these is given the Kingdom of Heaven. Do you believe this? Did you know that your heart is the place He wishes to dwell? Let’s make our hearts that manger this year. Let's acknowledge the longing in us by naming Jesus in one of His ancient titles: Desire of the Everlasting Hills. Let’s make room within for the Child in all of us.
Help me find a way, help me try I wanna see Christmas through your eyes
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Monday, December 07, 2009
Have you ever been captivated by a word, a phrase, a song? Has it drawn you in? Do you return to those words, that music, again and again? I have books that are weathered, crammed with bookmarks and holy cards, pages dripping with the ink of my notes, and the faded glow of a highlighter. I have songs that if they were still in cassette form, would sound like they were singing underwater! Like a thirsty man, I return to the sweet ambrosia of Jesus, John Paul II, John Mellancamp, Thoreau, Kreeft, Sheen, Morrison, Einstein and others again and again.
There are thoughts and ideas, insights and inspirations that do not age. There is Truth and Beauty in our midst, wrapped in immortality as in a robe, shielded from our mortal weakness. They are here to warm us in a post-modern age that has too often stripped life of its transcendent truth and meaning.
Today’s saint was one who was so clothed. Ambrose was ambrosia to those around him. He hailed from the 4th century, a bishop and teacher, and his words burned with that eternal fire, and we are forever grateful. Because of his preaching, the great Augustine was converted; he who was a drifter was caught in Ambroses’ stream of inspired words, and the music of the
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Jesus said to his disciples: "In those days after that tribulation the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see 'the Son of Man coming in the clouds' with great power and glory, and then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the end of the earth to the end of the sky.- Mark 13:24-32
Monday, November 16, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Monday, November 09, 2009
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
"Father unknown" is the cold legal phrase sometimes used on baptismal records. "Half-breed" or "war souvenir" is the cruel name inflicted by those of "pure" blood. Like many others, Martin might have grown to be a bitter man, but he did not. It was said that even as a child he gave his heart and his goods to the poor and despised.” (www.americancatholic.org)Martin was the son of a Panamanian woman, probably black but possibly Native American, and a Spanish man of Lima, Peru. Having inherited his mother’s dark complexion, Martin was not acknowledged by his father until his eighth year. Talk about a “father wound!” After his sister was born, the father abandoned them, and the family grew up locked in deep poverty. But rather than become bitter about his circumstances, Martin became better. He gave his heart to his fellow poor, served as a Dominican helper and later a brother, pouring himself out tirelessly for people’s welfare, both temporal and eternal. What a shame that Martin’s father, consumed with his own image, missed the image of God stamped in the beautiful body and soul of his son Martin. Where is that father now? What choices he must regret and what opportunities are now lost! Or perhaps the prayers of the son turned the heart of the father? May we imitate Martin’s humility, for the humble shall be exalted. And may we not miss in the ordinary, small, and obscure things in life, the mark and the mystery of the Divine.
Monday, November 02, 2009
Sunday, November 01, 2009
Our first experience of God is so important, we either experience Him as the police guard that wants to punish or as Creative Love that awaits. - Pope Benedict XVII think in our American culture, so focused on ME that we too often forget about the OTHER, the idea of an objectively real and personal God somehow feels like an affront to our freedom, our reason, and individuality. God? Oh, right. Him again? The Big Landlord? Believing in Him means joining the rank and file and stifling the fun. It means losing your spontaneity and intellectual freedom because every Sunday you have to blindly "pay the rent." Or pay for "fire insurance," as some glibly joke. But this is ridiculously simplistic.
In our deepest being we all know that we were not made for laws. We were made for love.
“Once God is forgotten... the creature itself grows unintelligible.”
- Gaudium et Spes
Prayer can progress, as a genuine dialogue of love, to the point of rendering the person wholly possessed by the divine Beloved, vibrating at the Spirit's touch, resting filially within the Father's heart. This is the lived experience of Christ's promise: "He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him."- Pope John Paul II, Novo Millennio Ineunte 33
There is only one tragedy in the end - not to have been a saint. - Leon BloySo save yourself all the yogi guru self-help hullabaloo. Wholeness is simpler than that - it's found in holiness! Let's cut through all the plaster cast, plastic past, Campbell's Soup Kid lookin' holy card pictures of saints for a moment. What does it really mean to become a saint?
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
The proper effect of the Eucharist is the transformation of man into God. - St. Thomas AquinasCloaked beneath the surface of vampire mythology is a desire for eternal life, which I would affirm. We all have an innate desire for Life to continue, to indeed flourish. And in fact, we want even more than that. “I wanna live forever! I wanna learn how to fly… high!” We want to lose ourselves in eternal realities, which are actually attributes of God: Life, Beauty, Truth, Immortality. We want a fountain of youth. We want a feast, the banquet so often imaged in the Bible. But when we’re unwilling to make the sacrifice of our lives in love for that gift (which is the key to all happiness and self-discovery) we degenerate into sacrificing others. Our love that's meant to go out in service is twisted to a lust that folds in and serves only me. Vampires are a greedy bunch. Rather than shed their blood in a total self-gift for others, like Jesus, they selfishly draw the very life-blood out of others. Vampires are not givers, they are takers. But he who grasps at his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake, will find it…. and with it, life everlasting. When it comes to restoring us to that life again, it is Jesus alone who gives us the True Blood, the Divine transfusion that alone can save us.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Friday, October 09, 2009
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Sunday, October 04, 2009
Thursday, October 01, 2009
"I prefer the monotony of obscure sacrifice to all ecstasies. To pick up a pin for love can convert a soul."Thérèse Martin was not a sissy saint. It wasn’t all roses and buttercups for this young women of 19th century France, though the language of early writers, and her own words at times, can seem like sweet saccharine. She was a rock of faith, broken and remade by the reality of suffering. All of her life… from the death of her mother at the tender age of 4, through the fits of delirium, fever, prolonged fainting spells, the ravages of tuberculosis, and in the end a total deprivation of the consolation of the Presence of God, she was faithful. She entered the convent at the age of 15, boldly asking permission from the Pope himself to do so, and spent 9 years in a cloister, working long and hard at domestic chores, to the humdrum daily tick of the clock. Nothing extraordinary, seemingly from the outside. But on the inside she was a powerhouse of prayer and an icon of burning union with God. She taught us how to make the ordinary extraordinary. So take your crazy 4th period class, or that business meeting, or the price of gas, or that cranky baby, or that back pain, or those pesky telemarket’ers today, and smile, and give them up to God. Suffering need not be wasted or in vain, pain can become priceless when offered up for another. Thérèse died in 1897 at the age of 24. She felt the vacuum of atheism in her soul in the closing days of her battle with tuberculosis, but still she held on to her faith and trust in God. Like Mother Teresa in her final days, they each took on the post-modern aftertaste of nihilism, and offered its seemingly meaningless despair up as a sacrifice for souls. That’s flower power, that’s the power of this Rose of Jesus. St. Thérèse, Little Flower of Carmel, pray for us!
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Let nothing trouble you, let nothing make you afraid. All things pass away. God never changes. Patience obtains everything. God alone is enough.- Saint Teresa of Avila
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
If they knew how big they’d become on the music scene, lead singer Ben Gibbard of the band “Death Cab for Cutie” once confessed, they woul...
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 ...
PREAMBLE: Before we even begin today's reflections, I have something to smell you, I mean tell you. One of the coolest things about Pa...
This might hurt your brain, but stay with me friends. Imagine if he came the way we wanted him to? Imagine if Jesus answered the probl...