Tag Archives: change

Playing with Fire

There are some Gospel passages you never hear in Sunday school or religion class.  Yesterday’s passage from Luke is one of them.  We like stories about miracles and healings.  We like parables about mustard seeds and prodigal sons.  We tell kids about how Jesus was a cute little baby in a manger, about how he died and rose from the dead.  We tell them that Jesus loves them very much.  But I’ll wager we don’t share these words with our 5 year olds too often: “I have come to set the earth on fire, and …

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The Season of “Patience”

What is it about January that I find so difficult? I don’t like cold weather, the Christmas season has ended, and Easter seems so far off. It is just a matter of getting through this hard time, putting up with it. But I think that it prepares me for those times in life when all one can do is try to get through a difficulty. It is this experience that I take with me to the Sunday liturgy, asking myself what can help me get through. There is the gathered community, seeing the same faces …

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On Becoming Missionary

It has been approximately one year and four months since I moved to the Northern part of the Archdiocese. I made this move from ministering in a large suburban Cincinnati parish-itself a past move in my life just nine-plus previous years ago.    I have learned that when a person makes a life-changing move or is impacted by life-changing events, this person’s previous reality may not immediately serve their newfound situation. William Bridges, author of the book Transitions-Making Sense of Life’s Changes, says “you must realize that some significant part of your old reality was …

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Hope and Change for Advent

I’ve noticed something over the last few years – okay, over the last few decades.  The world has changed.  Duh, right?  But consider this:   When my wife and I bought our first digital camera we were told that nobody would ever need more than 3 megapixels.  Crazy, right?  In high school I was upset because my parents wouldn’t let me buy me a pair of parachute pants.  Seriously.  Parachute pants.  But these kinds of changes are so obvious they hardly count.  The change I’m thinking about is in much more important and subtle ways than …

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50th Anniversary of Vatican II

Happy Anniversary, Vatican II! I don’t remember Vatican II, since I was just two years old when the Council opened, but I have to say that this council was certainly the single most impactful event of my faith life. I think of myself as a child of the Council because the implementation of its reforms unfolded right along with my development as a Catholic. To me, a changing Church was the normal church. I experienced enough of life before the reforms happened to realize that for many Catholics, the Church was the one thing that …

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Vatican II: 50th Anniversary

There is much talk these days of the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council. This brings back a flood of memories for me because I was nineteen when the Council was announced and thus grew up in a very different church than the one in which I matured. Life in the pre-Vatican II church was one without change. Things were always done that way. It was a shock to learn that there was a time in history when the Mass was not always in Latin, priests were not always celibate, and the laity were …

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Transformation is Hard Work

Transformation is hard work.  I usually avoid it when I can. When I first entered my religious community, I was zealous and excited, and I would pray with Revelation 21:5, “See, I am making all things new.”   And I was elated about the newness.  Everything seemed beautiful and exciting.  It felt to me like the first birds singing on Easter morning. Then, as a second year novice, after I had moved in and out of several of our community houses and been in the formation process for a while, I was tired of movement and …

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Change Mediated by Sunshine

I work very strange hours for our parishes, and I have grown quite used to letting myself into deserted, dark church buildings.   The other morning, however, I had a wonderful surprise.  I walked into the room where our study group was to gather and the room was already quite bright.  At first I wondered who had left the lights on overnight, but then realized that the sun was shining in through the stained glass windows.   My heart immediately lightened. Sunshine!  Hallelujah! The season is changing and the days are getting longer! That’s the way winter …

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