For Our Country

St. Peter john-carroll-feature-610x343writes in his first letter: “Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.” (2:17) Following his instruction, Archbishop John Carroll, first bishop of the United States, wrote the following prayer for our country, a fitting prayer as we celebrate our nation’s independence: Continue reading “For Our Country”

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God’s Words

“Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words.” (Jn14:23-24) It’s a simple instructive; thumbnailour obedience to our Heavenly Father is a sign of our love for Him. Our love for Him will be
reciprocated by love on His part for us; it’s not, however, that we’re earning God’s love, but as St. John reminds us elsewhere: He first loved us (1John4:19). Our love is a response to His and our response, according to God’s design, prompts a further response on God’s part. This continual reciprocity, give-and-receive, leads mysteriously into a deep union between lovers; in this case, between Creator and creature. Continue reading “God’s Words”

“I’ll pray for you”: the “Nuclear Option”

The Big 3 – St. Peter Chrysologus

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”

Be Still and Know that I am God

The Diocese of Lecce is officially located in the italiaregion 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”

Divine Conscription

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”

Awaiting our Only Hope: the 4th Sunday of Advent

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”

#CatholicFamilyCulture The Spiritual Life

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Being attentive to such things requires a bit of time which is not available to me either.
  3. I don’t need to be emotionally or psychologically bolstered by anyone giving daily attention to my Twitter feed or FaceBook wall.

Continue reading “#CatholicFamilyCulture The Spiritual Life”

#CatholicFamilyCulture

As you may know, one of the lesser double_facepalmreasons – 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”

A Letter from St. Junipero Serra to His Parents

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”