Showing posts from December, 2011

Will the Real God Please Stand Up?

There is a popular kind of atheism strutting about these days. Really, it's as ancient as that cry to Christ to "come down from the cross if you truly are the Son of Man."

The "New Atheism" has clear demands and expectations. "If God is real, then God should be clear and present to us. He doesn't appear to be, so let's shuffle off this hokey religiosity. Religion, they claim, is the root of all wars anyway" (This is a tremendous fallacy by the way. Millions of people died in the 20th century alone from godless communist leaders. More than in any previous century!)

Now I'm not at all shocked that certain people question the reality of Jesus as Savior of the world, the reality of miracles, even of God's existence. This is an age that demands proof and empirical data. For many, seeing still necessitates believing. And we can't see God. Or at least the god many expect we should see. Aye, there's the rub!

This man-made idea of the G…

Mass Changes and Changes in the Mass

So we've had nearly all of Advent pass by and I have yet to nail all the new responses in a single Mass. How are you doing with that?

Sometimes I get all the way to the final blessing, shiny card stock with bold responses in hand, and I toss out the old "and also with you." DOH! Old habits die hard I guess. But the kids will get it, rest assured.

Yes, we old heads often have deep ruts in the mind and heart, don't we? Change is never easy. It takes a constant act of the will and an attentiveness to the present moment. But the tracks of the years can really lock us in! Even with the best intentions, we can stay stuck in the old ways, the routine, and the stale responses to events and encounters around us that are actually very new.

For the children, however, the trail ahead is fresh. In a certain sense, all they have is the present moment. Their wonder meets the world head on, and everything is a "wow." Perhaps this is why Jesus urged us to become like them,…

The Hobbit

The long awaited trailer, the awesomeness of which cannot be measured. I particularly love the chanted song of the dwarves in tones rich and deep as the mines of Moria themselves. Yeah, I'm totally nerding out on this. December 2012 can't come soon enough!

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff (Don't Buy it Either)

Christmas is crazy. And I'm not talking about the mind-blowing, superfluous leap of the God-Man Jesus into our world, becoming one of us, marrying himself to our humanity forever in order to love us into his eternal embrace. I'm talking about the commercials.

We all know how strongly we're pressured to purchase at this time of the year. As a father of two little ones, (and one of them exceptionally wide-eyed and wonder-filled in this season of lights), I confess it ain't always easy keeping it Franciscan, if you know what I mean.

But Advent is our saving grace... It shimmers like a little oasis in the midst of a desert of doodads and thing-a-magigs that would be "perfect" for so-and-so IF they show up at that party at so-and-so's. While the malls and the movies and the music play on their siren songs, luring us into the spending frenzy that Christmas can become identified with, Advent is the road less traveled. The still, small voice. A winding desolate pa…