There are three things, my brethren, by which faith stands firm, devotion remains constant, and virtue endures. They are prayer, fasting and mercy. Prayer knocks at the door, fasting obtains, mercy receives. Prayer, mercy and fasting: these three are one, and they give life to each other. Continue reading “The Big 3 – St. Peter Chrysologus”
The Diocese of Lecce is officially located in the region of Puglia, Italy…what we know as “the heel” of the boot. The locals, however, prefer the more traditional/ancient/ provincial (however you want to look at it) distinction: Salento. Whatever you call it, this ancient city was of great importance from the period of the Roman empire; before that, it was known to have trade relations with the Greeks. Visiting it, you can still see ruins of the Roman amphitheater and other structures dating from the 1st Century AD or earlier. Continue reading “Be Still and Know that I am God”
Just a few days ago, as we began the holy season of Lent, the Church, in the liturgy of Ash Wednesday, described it as a “Campaign of Christian service.” As Americans, the notion of a campaign might evoke images of individuals traveling around, trying to convince us why we should choose them to lead our country. From the perspective of the Eternal City, however, the notion of a campaign involves a king or a general and an army marching out into battle. This is the image the Church takes up with respect to this spiritual campaign, a battle against an enemy. Continue reading “Divine Conscription”
After an initial lament, the Psalmist, in Psalm 80, recalls what God has done in days past: You brought a vine out of Egypt; to plant it you drove out the nations; before it you cleared the ground; it took root and spread through the land. In the words of Ps147:20, He has not done thus for any other nation. This great thing the Lord has done for His people, a sort of recreation, paralleling that first creation of Genesis, is recalled, for it shows the utterly gratuitous gift of God. Continue reading “Awaiting our Only Hope: the 4th Sunday of Advent”
A couple facts have recently dawned upon me regarding the attempt to offer daily bits of advice regarding the building up of a Catholic Family Culture:
- The average parent who would hopefully be reading such blog posts, tweets, or FaceBook posts probably doesn’t have time to be checking such things on a daily basis; if you do, that might be another issue.
- Being attentive to such things requires a bit of time which is not available to me either.
- I don’t need to be emotionally or psychologically bolstered by anyone giving daily attention to my Twitter feed or FaceBook wall.
As you may know, one of the lesser reasons – don’t ask me where it came from – for my studying Fisheries and Wildlife Management at the
University of Nebraska was so that I didn’t have to be around people. I could live and work in some distant wilderness without being bothered by others. Oh, how God takes care of us, in spite of us! Continue reading “#CatholicFamilyCulture”
The Church’s newest saint, Junipero Serra, a Spaniard by birth, but an “American” by virtue of his selfless service to the natives of what would become the American southwest and Mexico, left home at the age of about 35, having already enjoyed a successful period teaching philosophy at a Franciscan seminary. When the desire to be a missionary in the New World took hold of his heart, he struggled to tell his parents. In fact, in the end, he left without saying good-bye and only after he left were they informed of his departure. He would never see them in this life again. The following letter expresses the deep desire of his heart for them and, even more importantly, for the will of God in his life and theirs! Continue reading “A Letter from St. Junipero Serra to His Parents”
It starts with a question: Who do people say that I am? He’s not egotistical or worried about public ratings. Asking such a question in such a way gets an important conversation started and allows one to reveal the secrets of their heart. Continue reading “Who Are You?: 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time”
Growing up, my brothers and I were involved in the Boy Scouts. There was a certain honor society within the Scouts with a detailed initiation process. Part of the process involved 24 hours of silence, on two separate occasions. What made it particularly challenging was that you were surrounded by others who could talk…and sometimes tested your ability to remain silent. That was the first time in my life I had spent a significant amount of time not talking. Then as a seminarian and as a priest, we regularly have silent retreats which last upwards of four days, an experience which many of you, I’m sure have also experienced. What I always remember, whether it was the first time as a teenager or as a priest, is the joy of being able to speak once again – after only four days at the most! Continue reading “The Tongue of the Mute Will Sing: 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time”
For those of you who go fishing for catfish, you know that, right out of the water, catfish meat tastes like the mud and scum the fish has been swimming in. To get that taste out, one needs to soak that fish – preferably alive – in fresh water. Willingly or not, the things around one are absorbed within…when we were young, Mom & Dad would listen to oldies on the radio in the car, and while we said we greatly disliked that kind of music, we could sing many of those songs verbatim. Willingly or not, the things around one are absorbed within.