Tag Archives: grace

Stop. Breath. Pray.

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nasty pop-up message telling you that you can’t watch a movie or view a page because your plug-in or application is outdated.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 …

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Go Enjoy That Grace!

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 …

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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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A Blessing, A Grace

Grace can sneak up on us sometimes. We are going about our business and may not even realize it until later, but God is touching us. The truth of this has become present to me over the past month or so as I have been contacting people who volunteered as docents at an exhibit called “A Blessing to One Another: Pope John Paul II and the Jewish People.” I had rather anticipated that people who had volunteered seven years ago when the exhibit opened at Xavier University would not necessarily be interested in doing so …

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I Get By With a Little Help From My “Friends”

Of the many popular and not-very-insightful things people say about the Internet, the comparison between “friends” online and those people who actually know our voices or who might show up at our birthday parties is one of the more difficult to contest. Naming all of our Facebook connections “friends,” some have argued, cheapens the designation and confuses the depth of true friendship with the breadth of online relationships, only shadows of their “real” counterparts. I am sympathetic to this argument, but only to a point. I find it more helpful and more interesting to move …

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Sacrament Season

This past Sunday, May 20, marked the end of what I refer to as Sacrament Season. Generally this is the period from Easter until whenever we have Confirmation, usually in May. Ordinarily it comprises most of the Easter season. Within the span of six weeks or so, a large number of children in the parish are baptized, confirmed or welcomed to the Table of Eucharist. It’s an extraordinarily busy month and a half, full of highs and lows. The lows are usually related to paperwork issues that tax my proof-reading abilities. The highs are much …

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Silent No More and Vocations to the Priesthood

Fr. Kyle Schnippel’s recent post on his blog, Called By Name, has struck a chord with many. We’re reposting it here for your consideration. Yesterday on Patheos, The Crescat posted a very personal, moving account of the lasting effects she suffers from mistakes she has made in the past.  Please head over there to read the whole thing, say a quick prayer for her and all those who are agonizing with such mistakes that they might be healed by Christ’s loving call and then comeback over here.  Ok?  Ok. Back?  Good.  A few thoughts, if …

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Stepping Up Our Game

St. Paul tells that “Where sin abounds, grace overflows all the more.”  That certainly seems to sum up what we are experiencing from within the Catholic Church today. Ten years ago, the twin towers fell from the sky, the child abuse scandal broke, and… my class graduated from high school.  Since then, we have continued to see rising societal anxiety and falling Mass attendance.  Music has gotten even more vulgar.  Movies have gotten even more violent and sexually explicit.  Churches are being forced to close, cluster, and serve more people with fewer resources.  The housing …

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Grace: The Sharing

In the Catholic Christian tradition, grace signifies Christ’s life in us. In ordinary speech, grace means “charm” or “appeal” (“She is a very graceful person.”), but the word’s root meaning has overtones of kindness, favor and gift. In Christian belief, therefore, grace suggests God’s goodness and generosity, which endow us with the life of Christ. Grace is gift par excellence. Grace is our sharing in the salvation and redemption of humankind that was accomplished by the life, death and resurrection of the God-Man, Jesus. It is a new kind of relationship with God. When we …

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One Mass, Three Days

Time is a funny thing. We say that time flies. We also say that time crawls. Sometimes, it seems that the days go by so quickly it’s difficult to really appreciate the gift that it is. From my vantage point, it seems that Lent just started and we’re already at the Triduum! The Triduum is both the shortest Liturgical Season and the longest continuous liturgical celebration – three days of prayer, reflection, and celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus. Perhaps it is the Church’s way to slow us down enough to recognize and …

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