Praying for a direct hit

So much of the gospel speaks to putting the needs of others before ourselves. For example, “Jesus said to them, ‘You know that those who are recognized as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them; and their great men exercise authority over them. But it is not this way among you, but whoever wishes … Continued

Ignoring Scripture

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Is. 55:8-9). We seem to completely ignore this passage of scripture. As proof I only need … Continued

The God of Luck?

Hurricane Irma has some hard lessons for us. I’m not talking about better preparedness, evacuation plans, and the like. These are lessons about faith and discipleship. Consider, for example, the statement, “Thank God, we were lucky” regarding the significant weakening of the storm as it moved northward toward our region. Perhaps I’m at a loss … Continued

Hurricanes and Possessions

It may take some courage to answer this: How much time did you spend, before and after Hurricane Irma, dealing with your possessions? I can only answer for myself of course, but judging from the stories people have shared, I suspect most of us won’t have a good answer. We have too much stuff and … Continued

What aren’t you doing?

Many years ago a presenter at a youth ministry workshop discussed the issue of excessive TV watching by youth. What has stayed with me all these years is his approach. He didn’t lament TV or the programing. Instead, he asked a great question, “If youth are spending all that time watching TV, what aren’t they … Continued

The kingdom – an illustration

The Kingdom of Heaven is like a student who, seeing a classmate being bullied, goes to him and, standing beside him, says to the bully, “If you want to pick on him, you have to pick on both of us.” One of my seminary professors, Celia Sirois, observed that Jesus’ parables are simply stories intended … Continued

A story

“This isn’t right”, John thought. The view before him didn’t match his expectations in any way. Only a long, tall, massive, and endless wall with a single gated entrance could properly define the boundaries of heaven. St. Peter would, of course, oversee that entrance, verifying against the Book of Life those wishing to enter. John’s … Continued

Thank you

Sunday, February 19, 2017 Fellow disciples, I trust you already know of my deep gratitude for all the cards, notes, conversations, social media posts, and especially prayers that provided so much comfort following my mother’s death. Until this past week, however, my brain had lagged behind my heart. I simply had no way to express … Continued

Needing forgiveness

I’d often heard that Fr. Miceli, the seminary’s Dean of Men, had a kind heart when dealing with men who had run afoul of the house rules but had never experienced it for myself. My encounters with him were limited to the occasional meal conversation and committee meetings. That changed the morning I knocked on … Continued

Keep Christ in Christmas?

     An application from my weekend homily raised a question worth exploring further. Would a non-believer, watching how I celebrate Christmas, know of my faith in Christ? Or put differently, how does someone “keep Christ in Christmas?” It seems to me that if I shop, give and receive gifts, decorate a tree and the … Continued