Being with Jesus – 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

They went and saw where Jesus was staying, and they stayed with him that day. (John1:39) When I decided to enter the seminary and even many times as a priest, I have been IMG_7589asked why I would do such a thing with my life. While those who are confused are often non-Catholics or non-Christians, sometimes the question has come from Catholics. They’re baffled to find someone in their right mind freely choosing a life of celibacy, obedience, and simplicity. Beyond that, I now get questions about my current assignment of studying philosophy in Rome. 54605_10151254444584631_352583833_oIf I don’t get questions about living in Rome or comments about how (unnecessarily) impressive it is that I’m studying philosophy, then I usually get questions about the usefulness of studying philosophy. Some of my brother priests, as only brothers can do, raze me about how great it must be to have a 5-year Roman vacation. In short, whether it’s my vocation to the priesthood or my training in philosophy, my life might seem pretty useless.
Continue reading “Being with Jesus – 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time”

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Time to Stop and Listen for God

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I’ve now been to the city of Venice – Italy, not Florida – at least three times; it shames me to admit that I have, to this point, failed to write much about such a captivating city, well…except for that one time! Having spent the weekend there serving as a chaplain for some American college students and having had one of the most enjoyable visits yet, it’s time to share this beautiful experience! During the course of the 48 hours we were “on the island”, I spent a combined total of about an hour just sitting in St. Mark’s Square. You might be thinking, “Isn’t there tons to do in Venice? Why just sit around?”

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The Grand Canal in Venice with the Church of Our Lady of Health in the distance.

 

Continue reading “Time to Stop and Listen for God”

Don’t Waste Your Time; Get Out of the Boat – 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time

This Sunday’s Gospel follows upon the miraculous feeding of the 5,000, a miracle to which the Apostles were eyewitnesses. Immediately after this, Jesus made them get into the boat…it’s not uncharitable; it’s Him making space for an opportunity of grace to help them grow in their relationship with Him. We know what’s about to happen, but they obviously have no idea. While they’re making the crossing, a storm comes up … not uncommon! Because they’re fishermen, kinneret-boatthey know there’s always a risk of storms on the Sea of Galilee. St. Matthew tells us that it was during the fourth watch of the night, which is basically the early hours of the morning, so it’s late into the night, and they’ve been fighting this for a long time. They’re probably sleep-deprived and physically exhausted from steering. Then, they see Jesus coming toward them. They think he’s a ghost; they’re afraid…I can’t blame them; I’d be afraid, too. Imagine seeing your best friend walking on water: “What the…who are you?” Continue reading “Don’t Waste Your Time; Get Out of the Boat – 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time”

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”

“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”

What is He Doing?

For the two of you who were worried, I’m still here, just temporarily slowed by studying, final exams, and a retreat at an Austrian Cistercian monastery. I’m supposed to be over here studying, remember? This post, however, is not about me.  Rather, there have been some questions, some serious and some not-so-serious, regarding one of my “neighbors” who goes by Pope Francis and what exactly is “going on over there.”  Continue reading “What is He Doing?”

FAITH WORKING THROUGH LOVE (Galatians5:6): One Crazy Weekend in Assisi!

“The union of the wayfarers with the brethren who sleep in the peace of Christ is in no way interrupted, but on the contrary, according to the constant faith of the Church, this union is reinforced by an exchange of spiritual goods.” (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 49). It’s hard to be aware of the presence of so many saints in Rome and in Italy, and then think that they have no effect on our day-to-day life.   Continue reading “FAITH WORKING THROUGH LOVE (Galatians5:6): One Crazy Weekend in Assisi!”