|Woody Allen's bleak vision|
CHICAGO — I was chagrined, but not entirely surprised, when I read Woody Allen’s recent ruminations on ultimate things. To state it bluntly, Woody could not be any bleaker in regard to the issue of meaning in the universe. |
|Love cannot hurt your neighbor|
Sept. 7, 2014|
Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Relationships are complicated. Different temperaments, points of view and tastes almost assure us that we will have differences of opinion and conflicts. The words “fraternal correction” are emotionally laden. There are some who correct us simply because it is their task to mentor us and help us grow. Others simply disagree with our point of view.
|The Cost of Discipleship|
August 31, 2014 |
Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time
When you involve yourself with the Church, you quickly learn that the cost of discipleship can be very high. Through the ages—and even today—many followers of Christianity have paid that cost with their lives. Most of us, though, will not be martyred. Nonetheless, the cost of following Jesus can be very painful sometimes leading to the loss of relationships we value. Today’s Gospel reminds us that we should be willing to endure trials and hardship if we follow Christ.
|Who Do You Say that I Am?|
August 24, 2014
Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time
In today’s Gospel, we learn that Jesus had gone to Caesarea Philippi with his disciples. There were few Jews in the area so it was a peaceful time for Jesus and the disciples. It was a time for the Lord to test them, to discover what they believed about him.
|Hercules, N.T. Wright and the modern meta-narrative|
CHICAGO — On the first day of my vacation last week, I perused N.T. Wright’s latest book, a collection of essays on contemporary issues in light of the Bible. A point that Wright makes in a number of the articles is that modernity and Christianity propose fundamentally different meta-narratives in regard to the meaning and trajectory of history. Modernity — at least in its Western form — is predicated on the assumption that history came to its climax in the mid- to late-18th century, with the definitive victory of empirical science in the epistemological arena and liberal democracy in the political arena.|
|Jesus Christ has disciples with many faces|
SAN ANTONIO — In a new book entitled, Jesus of Nazareth, German scripture-scholar, Gerhard Lohfink, describes how people in the Gospels related to Jesus in different ways. Not everyone was an apostle, not everyone was a disciple, and not everyone who contributed to Jesus’ cause even followed him.|
Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014|
Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Today’s Gospel is one that we hear with the ears of faith. We know this Jesus from whom the Canaanite woman is seeking help. We expect him to answer her cries.
|We Find Him in the Silence|
August 10, 2014 |
Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
If we measured our troubles in decibels they would seem very loud. Our lives are too often filled with noise, busyness, and worries. The quiet presence of God in our lives goes unnoticed. Perhaps that is the reason that we expect God’s response to our woes to be as loud as our troubles. We can easily imagine Elijah finding the Lord in the strong wind or the earthquake or the fire. We are as surprised as Elijah to find the Lord in a tiny whispering sound.
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
|Thomas More and fatherhood|
“Blessed Thomas More is more important at this moment than at any moment since his death, even perhaps the great moment of his dying…he represented at once a type, a turning point and an ultimate destiny. If there had not happened to be that particular man at that particular moment, the whole of history would have been different.”|
Friday, August 1, 2014
|Authentic love: Choosing commitment in a world that devalues it|
A friend of mine recently got a text message from a fellow, asking her to confirm her attendance at a planned ski trip the next weekend. My friend, slightly annoyed, said, “I’ve already told him twice that I’m going. People just don’t follow through anymore, so no one trusts anyone’s commitment.” I thought this was a vaguely enlightening comment.|
Friday, August 1, 2014
|Family: School of Love and Responsibility|
MOUNT ANGEL — Everyone needs love. In God's design, the beginning of the human experience of love is the family. The family is a great gift! The foundation of the family is the complimentary self-offering love of husband and wife.|
Friday, August 1, 2014
|Live the simple life|
Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014|
Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
The call to Gospel poverty that we hear in today’s readings challenges the values we esteem…material success, productivity, self-reliance, and competition. Gospel poverty dares us to be totally open to God’s grace, to model ourselves in the image of Jesus, to place our hope in the Lord rather than in material goods. This is not the poverty of the inner city, of the poorly fed and housed, of the vulnerable and disenfranchised in our society. Gospel poverty is the result of choice—the determination to identify oneself with Christ.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
|What Is Your Greatest Wish|
Sunday, July 27, 2014 |
Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Like most good storytellers, Jesus wants to be certain that his listeners have heard his message. “Do you understand?” he asks. He is assured that they have. Then Jesus explains why they understand his message. His listeners bring to the story all that they know, their religious learning and their experience. Jesus’ teaching illumines all the religious learning that they have had in the past.
|Renewal for sterilized couples|
PHILADELPHIA — Among married men and women who undergo surgical sterilization through a vasectomy or a tubal ligation, 10 to 20 percent will come to regret the choice. Sometimes there may be an immediate awareness of wrongdoing following the surgery, while in other cases, as Patrick Coffin, radio host and author of Sex au Naturel notes, sterilized couples may “…drift for years before acknowledging that something between them is no longer in sync. After the initial pregnancy fear subsides, and the vision of 1001 erotic nights turns out be something of a scam, spouse may (subtly) turn against spouse while doing their best to ignore the silent, disturbing ‘presence’ of the choice they made.”|
Monday, July 21, 2014
|What will heaven be like?|
Sunday, July 20, 2014|
Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
There isn’t a religious education teacher who hasn’t heard that question and who hasn’t asked it herself. There are simply some experiences that we can’t explain. The best we can do is use our imagination and remember what other generations of teachers told us. Our explanation becomes a litany that grows longer every time we are asked the question. “Heaven is like…It’s like…It’s like.” Somehow we never find the answer that satisfies us.
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
|The Kingdom of God is Like...|
Sunday, July 13, 2014 |
Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Parables have a dimension beyond their literal interpretation and even beyond the multi-layered meanings found in ordinary tales. It is meaning provided by the context of the Church and the believing posture of those who hear them.
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
|Our King speaks peace|
July 6, 2014|
Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Each year, on the Sunday closest to the Fourth of July thousands of Vietnamese, Cambodians, Laotians, Eritreans, Filipinos, Koreans, Latinos, Poles, Croats and Russians gather at the Shrine of Our Lady of Sorrows (The Grotto) for the annual Freedom Mass. This celebration reminds those of us who so easily take our freedom for granted about the real meaning of this holiday.
|Who Do You Say that I Am?|
Sunday, June 29, 2014 |
Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles
Whether we like to admit it or not, most of us are at least somewhat concerned about the opinions of others. How much we care about their opinions has more to do with our relationship with them than with the status of the individuals themselves. Only those who truly know us have valid opinions and those who know us best have the truest opinions.
Sunday, June 22, 2014|
The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
Everyone in my family is a story teller. For years and years, we lived the same stories. Oddly enough, the stories change in our telling. Part of that is, of course, that we see events through the prism of our own experience. The other part is that we edit our memories in keeping with our imagination. I suspect that is the reason that some of us have better memories than others. We have better imaginations.
|In the desert or on the mountain, see only him|
March 16, 2014 |
Second Sunday of Lent
Growing up Catholic, I took my faith for granted. I learned the tenets of the Catholic faith and professed the Creed at an early age. In retrospect, I realize that what my head knew when I was young my heart had not yet realized. All that has changed. Even though I cannot point to a specific moment of conversion, I think I know what it means to say “Jesus is Lord.”
Thursday, March 13, 2014