Give the Devil His DueOctober 31st, 2013
In the preface to his classic work, The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis makes the comment that people can make “two equal and opposite errors” regarding devils. “One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel and excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors…” In other words, those who don’t believe in Satan and those who join him both have fallen into his trap. Both have believed his lies. One of Satan’s greatest lies is convincing people that he doesn’t exist – that …Read More.
We Are the Field HospitalOctober 28th, 2013
When Pope Francis talks about the Church as the image of a field hospital after battle, he’s including among others the many people, baptized or not, who have a minimal understanding of what it is like to be in a relationship with Jesus- especially Jesus as the ultimate healer. He is saying that we can’t begin to acquaint someone with the Church and her teachings until someone has come to know and experienced divine love and who has come to love Jesus in return. First things first, it’s the experience of a personal encounter with …Read More.
To Recognize, To RespondOctober 24th, 2013
This past week a young family with children moved into a neighboring empty farm house. I stopped by twice to introduce myself and see how they were doing. Each time the husband, a former U.S. airman, told me “THANK YOU for welcoming us! Thank you for telling the other neighbors we are here. We’ve never had anyone care before.” His response gave me pause – for two reasons. First, of course, that no one had ever bothered to recognize and acknowledge that something / someone new was happening in their neighborhood. The second was that …Read More.
All Shall Be WellOctober 23rd, 2013
I saw a wonderful little movie a few weeks ago, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. It’s about a group of Brits who decide to “outsource their retirement” and move to a resort in India. Well, the “resort” turns out to be anything but, and everyone must learn to adapt. Suffice it to say that some succeed better than others, and those who do learn to embrace their situation find a joy and peace they could not have imagined. But it’s not the plot or the characters that has stuck with me – it’s a line …Read More.
Christ at the Center: Home EditionOctober 19th, 2013
October 20, 2013: 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time Gospel: Luke 18:1-18 Jesus told his disciples a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary. He said, “There was a judge in a certain town who neither feared God nor respected any human being. And a widow in that town used to come to him and say, ‘Render a just decision for me against my adversary.’ For a long time the judge was unwilling, but eventually he thought, ‘While it is true that I neither fear God nor respect any human being, …Read More.
One of Those MomentsOctober 16th, 2013
One of the joys of my position is the opportunity to gain the wisdom of people from across the archdiocese at various meetings and conferences. So, just recently I presented on “Sacramental Adult Faith Formation” at a session of the Northern Area Catechetical Congress at Piqua. The point of the session was to encourage participants to recognize the sacramental qualities of adult faith formation as work done by and for the Church in the name of Jesus. We brainstormed how the various components/characteristics of adult formation – such as hospitality, service, witnessing, knowledge, and transformation …Read More.
The Night Jesus Went MissingOctober 15th, 2013
A few years ago when I was at my previous assignment in Dayton, at about 10 o’clock at night a young woman came to the rectory door. She was very upset – almost to tears. She had gone over to the chapel adjacent to the church (which is available 24 hours a day for prayer and adoration) and was distraught to find that the tabernacle was missing! My first thought was that someone had gained access to the chapel and taken the tabernacle to see what they could get from a scrap yard. One of …Read More.
What a Pope!October 14th, 2013
About a year ago I reflected on the book The Good Pope, which told the life story of Pope John XXIII and his incredible impact on the papacy of his time. It seems to me that Pope Francis is having a similar impact on the papacy and the church of our time. His recent interview with the Jesuit magazines showed a man with a vision and a practice that are reaching those who have not been reached in the past. I especially loved the title “A Big Heart Open to God,” which captured for me …Read More.
Christ at the Center: Home EditionOctober 12th, 2013
October 13, 2013: 28th Sunday of Ordinary Time Gospel: Luke 17:11-19 As Jesus continued his journey to Jerusalem, he traveled through Samaria and Galilee. As he was entering a village, ten lepers met him. They stood at a distance from him and raised their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!” And when he saw them, he said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” As they were going they were cleansed. And one of them, realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; and he fell at the feet of …Read More.
Go Enjoy That Grace!October 12th, 2013
I have a confession to make. I just went months without going to confession. Now, I know that a few months in between confessions is not that uncommon, but, well, it’s too uncommon for a sinner like me. When I awoke that last morning, I was haunted by feelings of unworthiness, feelings of bitterness, and feelings that the weight of the world was closing in on me. Needless to say, these feelings did not put me in much of a mood to go confession. Oh, and I was chuck full of good excuses on why …Read More.