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.

More »

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.

More »

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.

More »

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.

More »

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.

More »

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?

More »

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?

More »

We belong to heaven first

This past Wednesday, June 21st, marked the start of the U.S. Bishops’ annual “Fortnight for Freedom”, a two-week campaign which will continue through July 4th, Independence Day. Begun in 2012, this annual campaign seeks to highlight America’s “first freedom”–religious liberty, encouraging Catholics to work for religious freedom both here and abroad.
More »

What is this?

What do you see, there upon the altar? Do you feel it, the real presence of the sacrificial unblemished Lamb? His body, battered and torn; his blood poured out for us in loving sacrifice. Most will admit to seeing or feeling little or nothing at all.  After all, it is just a fancy table and for much of the time it lies fallow, empty, and ignored; a large stone covered by a simple cloth.

More »

So that all may be one

We have heard the words many times; so much so that we seldom really listen to them anymore. “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the holy Spirit be with you all.” And then these words pass by without much attention. “In the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit!

More »