The first act of the apostles after Jesus’ Ascension was to find a replacement for Judas. Of all the things they could do, they chose to focus their attention on finding a twelfth apostle. Why? Twelve was a very significant number to the Jews, representing completeness. There were twelve tribes of Israel, so if the disciples of Jesus were to symbolize a new Israel capable of evangelizing the whole world, a twelfth apostle was needed. But Jesus had chosen the original twelve. Now that he was gone, how would they know whom to choose? In …Read More.
On Friday May 9th, I defend my doctoral dissertation Teilhard in America at the University of Dayton, the final step in a PhD in Theological Studies. I find this utterly amazing. I never imagined that well into my fifties, over ten years after entering a Master’s in Theology program, I would be at this point in my life. God leads us down some very wild and unexpected paths! I am also ALL too aware, though, that without the continuous support, encouragement and interest of many people, there is no way this work would ever have …Read More.
We live in a fast-paced world. Everything changes so quickly. Just when you think all your computer software is updated, you get that nasty pop-up message telling you that you can’t watch a movie or view a page because your plug-in or application is outdated. Stores change their merchandise around so fast – good luck finding gloves in the middle of January or a swim suit in the middle of July! (Yes, you can order them online, but hey! the one thing you WANT fast, will take forever – unless you are willing to pay …Read More.
My husband and I chose not to know the sex of our unborn baby before birth and kept our name selections a mystery to friends and family. So when labor lasted a day and a half, our midwives and nurses in the hospital appeared quite anxious for the child’s identity to be revealed. We held our baby girl during her first few minutes freshly out of the womb. During the hustle and bustle of post-delivery, there was so much to take in that we temporarily forgot about names. A nurse finally asked, “Well, what’s …Read More.
To say goodbye is the hardest thing… but in order to heal, we have to let go of grief and move on. We have to come out of the shadows and embrace the Light. GETTING STUCK IN PAIN When my father passed away in 2006, I got stuck at the foot of the Cross – crushed by the pain of losing my Dad, strangely finding comfort in Christ’s sacrifice. I had been performing “I Thirst” concerts – a powerful musical portrayal of the Crucifixion story – and with each note, each line, I’d get deeper …Read More.
A few weeks ago, I happened to have two different conversations with two very different people in two very different places about the exact same thing: Spiritual dryness. Both people talked about not feeling God’s presence, about wanting so desperately to have something concrete to hold on to – some proof that He was there, but finding nothing. Both people talked about a feeling of desolation, and wondered if there was something wrong with them. Sometimes even though we believe in God and we try our best to live out our faith, we all go …Read More.
It’s a Friday in Lent and two Catholics go to a local Fish Fry. We’ll call one Mary and the other Joseph. At first glance, the two don’t seem very different. Both were baptized as infants; both attended 12 years of Catholic schooling. The difference is that Mary attends Mass each weekend; Joseph attends infrequently. A recent study (see Sherry Weddell, Forming Intentional Disciples, especially pp. 43-44) indicates that the most significant predictor of whether a Catholic attends Mass each weekend or not depends on how the person answers this one question: Do you believe …Read More.
One of the most challenging, most exciting and most meaningful of the “jobs” I did as a Director of Religious Education for the thirty years that I was in that profession was working with the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). It was a process for those who were exploring entrance into the Catholic Church that lasted as least nine months and for some longer. During that time those in this process listened to presentations on Catholic doctrine/teaching, asked questions and discussed the answers with sponsors, catechists and among themselves, and slowly discerned whether …Read More.
We all get stuck sometimes. Some of us find ourselves in unpleasant situations, like losing a job or not being able to find one, being in an abusive relationship, or dealing with unhealthy habits and addictions. We are unable to break away until the pain grows to a point where it becomes our greatest motivator to make a shift in our hearts, minds and souls. And get unstuck. Some of us, on the other hand, get stuck in a comfortable situation, which we don’t even want to change, or see no reason WHY we would …Read More.
Typically, when I ponder the event of the Annunciation, I spend much time considering Mary’s act of faith in light of my own struggles with trust. I presume I am not alone in this way of thinking about the events recounted in Luke 1. However, today I would like to expand this reflection: 1. The “yes” that came first. Before Mary uttered her “fiat,” God was at work. This Fact is worth serious consideration and should surprise us. The struggle with sin following the fall of Adam and Eve in the garden, the constant turning to idolatry, …Read More.