Tag Archives: bwurzelbacher

What Rachel, Brett, Johnny, Millennials, Pope Francis and Toby Keith All Have in Common

Talk about an innocent blog posting that goes viral. It seems that everyone in the blogosphere (my apologies to Scott Rosenburg) is well aware of a recent blog written by Rachel Held Evans entitled, Why Millennials Are Leaving the Church. There have been so many likes, tweets, recommends—and whatever else they are called—that I don’t know if there is a computer out there that can count the related comments and blogs written to comment on those comments. And, yet, I seem to feel called to add to that number. Rachel certainly hit a nerve. It …

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Expressions of Love

I was taking a walk around my neighborhood with my two daughters just last night, as we frequently do when the weather is good, right before bed.  Some days the two girls want to go along at more or less the same pace, and other days, not so much. This was one of those other days. Talia, the 17-month old, was stopping frequently, and we were getting to the point where I was ready to pick her up and carry her to get home before we were terribly late in meeting her bed time. As …

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A Living Gospel

 Several years ago, when my eldest daugther was an infant, I purchased the revised edition of Catholic Household Blessings & Prayers for my family (which I now highly recommend for everyone). As I perused through the plethora of ritual blessings, thematic scripture readings, and prayers for every occasion, I noticed a ritual blessing for members of a household, traditionally set on the Epiphany. So, on the feast day, I gathered my wife and 11 week old baby girl around the Christmas tree to pray this blessing and begin a new family tradition. As I began to read …

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“Is Jesus In It?”

A couple years ago, my wife and I decided my then 2 year old daughter was old enough to watch a 30 minute Christmas cartoon.  We only had a few to choose from on DVD, but as we thought of many of the popular ones, we were concerned they all had things in them too scary for a two-year old.  Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer had the Abominable Snow Monster, Santa Claus is Coming to Town had Winter Warlock… so eventually we settled on Frosty the Snowman. So we excitedly told Ellie that we had a …

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The Role of a Father

My 4-year old daughter is in love with Belle, the Disney princess from Beauty and the Beast.  Ever since she watched the movie, she has wanted to imitate her. She dressed up like her for Halloween (and I donned a Beast costume as well), and we had a lovely dance to end our evening of Halloween festivities last month. She also likes to play the part of Belle.  Recently, we were outside playing with my other 9-month old daughter when my four-year old said she wanted to play “Beauty and the Beast.”  “I am Belle”, …

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The Spirituality of a Garden

I recently ate the last ear of corn produced by the humble garden in my backyard. As I stood there looking at the seven-foot stalks of corn, noticing the leaves fading from the deep green of spring to the yellowish and dried look of an autumn corn maze, I reflected on the meaning of all that has transpired with my garden. It all began with a decision to pull out a large row of bushes I finally deemed too ugly and deformed to keep, and replace with what I hoped to be a beautiful garden. …

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Keeping Sabbath

I can recall late one wintry Sunday evening my wife complaining of an upset stomach. The remedy for her is a glass of 7UP. I went to the basement but, alas, we had none. So, like a dutiful husband, I went out in the cold in search of that elixir of all sodas. My first impulse was the nearest UDF, but that was closed. Was it really that late? A quick check of my watch confirmed it: after midnight. So, further on I trudged through the snow (in my warm SUV) like my ancestors in …

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The Door

I had just begun a second master’s program at a small theology school in San Antonio.   It was my first day visiting the library, and I love libraries, so I had spent a good deal of time there before deciding to head back home. I was passing through one of those large gates that scans your body to ensure you aren’t trying to steal a book when I noticed—just in time to avoid a broken nose—that the door did not open for me. I had just spent the past seven years in undergraduate and graduate …

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What Stan Taught Me

Stan is a homeless man who I pass in the street nearly every day on my way to mass. On differing days I have offered him money, taken him to lunch, had conversations about his life situation, or simply referred him to our local shelter (although he accuses the place of being very unhelpful). Most days, however, I simply acknowledge him by name and bid him well. Every day, however, I wonder which response is the one God asks of me.  Pamphlets inside the church tell me why giving money to directly to this man …

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