foundation or stumbling block?

Sometimes, we simply fail to see the forest for the tree. Too often we see only ourselves, thinking only of our needs, our desires, our wants. We look inside ourselves for the answers and when the answers elude us, we blame others, we blame God, but never once do we find fault within our own self.

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behind the wheel

There are some things that will never change. Parents know this to be true, especially when “that” day arrives. You know of course to what I am speaking, that magical, marvelous, wonderful, stupendous, awesome day (according to your child;) that utterly appalling, frightening, unbelievable, anxious, not ready to admit sixteenth birthday. The angst you experience is not so much from the realization that time has flown so fast your mind has not thought past that day when you became a parent. No, that sudden sinking feeling comes when your wee one, now suddenly grown so tall, asks to borrow the car!

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but then I found myself

Some years ago, during a weekend visit to the Lake Tahoe area, my wife went for a walk, an “into the woods” hike. As the afternoon wore on and she did not return, I began to be concerned; not overly much, as she often would take such treks to unwind and rid herself of the daily stresses that inevitably tend to overwhelm.

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Sinking like a stone

What is faith? Faith isn’t something you ever achieve. It is not something that you ever nail down as a fait accompli. Faith works this way: Some days you walk on water and other days you sink like a stone. Faith invariably gives way to doubt before it again recovers its confidence, then it loses it again.

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Ineffable lightness of being

Our imaginations are capable of and do, quite frequently, conjure up improbable visions, impossible realities, and as often as not are accompanied by inexpressible emotions. In the dark of night, we sleep—and we dream; fantasies are born on wisps, incandescent tendrils which quickly pass, slip away, and fast forgotten. Comes the dawn and dreams are but a distant memory, fading with the rising and the glory of the light.

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The wisdom to know the difference

The Kingdom of God. Jesus speaks of it so often and yet, we cannot resist asking: “what and where is the Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of heaven?” Not surprisingly, there are in all 122 occurrences of these words in the New Testament, 99 in the three Synoptic Gospels and 90 on the lips of Jesus himself. Matthew refers to the “Kingdom of heaven” following the Jewish linguistic rule of never using the Name of God out of reverence for the greatness of his Holy Name. Mark and Luke use “Kingdom of God.”1 In either case, the meaning is the same.

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Sinners among sinners

Pope Saint John Paul II reportedly met with his confessor every week to confess his sins and seek God’s mercy, pardon and forgiveness. One can only pause and ponder what sin such a sainted human being could have possibly committed; even more difficult is to imagine him sinning with such regularity and frequency. But then, sinners we are and sinners we shall always be; no one, save Jesus and his sainted mother, are immune from the temptations of sin.

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Looking beyond ourselves

Each of us, no matter how long or short the years, has known success as well as failure. We have all had to deal with failure—where the best we had to give simply wasn’t good enough, where what we did or tried to do fell short of our hopes, our dreams, our expectations; where good intentions led us ultimately to bad results.

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The lightness of sharing

What is it that repels us so when we hear “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened and I will give you rest” followed immediately by “Take my yoke upon you?” How, we ask, are we to find rest by adding more to our already overloaded plate?

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Sooner than later

Riddle me this: When Jesus says to his disciples, “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it,” does that make any sense to you? Much of today’s Gospel seems inexplicable, doesn’t it? It feels as though what Jesus is saying is filled with riddles and contradictions; some parts come across as rather arrogant, dismissive, and condescending. So, what precisely is he telling us?

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