Tag Archives: holiness

Do Not Be Afraid to Dream of Great Things!

A little over one year ago, on March 13, 2013, the College of Cardinals elected Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, as the 265th successor of St Peter.  He chose the name Francis, and ever since he stepped out onto the Vatican balcony and shyly waved hello, he has taken the world by storm.    The amazing thing I’ve seen about Francis is that he has said nothing really very different from what John Paul II or Benedict had said before him.  On all the so-called controversial issues like women in the Church, abortion, …

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We Need Saints

The following is a poem which has circulated on Facebook of late. It has been loosely attributed to Pope John Paul II and/or Pope Francis-but I think there is no official authentication of who said it or who inspired it. Regardless, I was struck by its sentiment of lay Eucharistic spirituality as lived out in the world, particularly with young people. “We need saints without cassocks, without veils-we need saints with jeans and tennis shoes. We need saints that go to the movies that listen to music that hang out with their friends. We need …

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Are You a Dynamic Catholic?

If you went to Mass at any parish in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati this past Christmas, chances are you were handed the book Rediscover Catholicism by Matthew Kelly. Many parishes hosted book studies this year in which participants reflected on the various ways Catholicism helps us become the best-version-of-ourselves. If you are looking for a good summer read, I would recommend another book by Matthew Kelly called “The 4 Signs of a Dynamic Catholic: How Engaging 1% of Catholics Could Change The World” (Beacon Publishing, 2012). In this book, Matthew cites research that seems to …

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Thinking Catholic Means Being in Love with the Church

Thinking Catholic involves acknowledging and accepting the church in its full reality. In and through the church Christ makes us holy in his Spirit. Every stage of life is touched by the love and the life of the Lord through his sacraments: baptism that gives us birth, confirmation and the Eucharist that offer us maturity and strength, reconciliation and the anointing of the sick that deal with our moral and physical weaknesses. It’s all part of God’s plan to make us holy as Christ is holy.   The Church Teaches Us In and through the …

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WDGT?

What makes a family holy? Not the Holy Family of Joseph, Mary and Jesus, but our families? When everyone is safe. When every member of the family is safe in the presence of every other member of the family. When no member of the family has any reason to be afraid of any other member of the family. When the family is truly a sanctuary, a holy place, a safe place, where everyone is free to laugh and to learn, that family is holy. When everyone make sacrifices. When I realize that life is not …

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My Family is Holy! Not perfect, but holy.

It is easy to dismiss one’s own family as holy amidst the reality of the daily mishaps.  Carelessness such as not picking up after one’s self, snapping an angry remark out of fatigue, fear, pride or jealously and just needing space that is not available due to tight quarters and young children.  But, going beyond these mishaps is what makes us holy.  I imagine that the Holy Family, Jesus, Mary and Joseph had their moments.  The scripture stories of Jesus being left behind in the temple after the Passover celebration (Luke 2:41-52) as well as …

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Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room

I have a very special memory of something that happened to me as a little child.  On Christmas Eve, Mom brought down from the attic the banged-up, musty, ancient cardboard box. Inside were all the Christmas ornaments and decorations. Each had been lovingly, tenderly wrapped in tissue paper and placed in the carton the year before just as they had been placed there the year before that and the year before that. Out of this moldering treasure chest I plucked out an equally ancient music box that was shaped like a church. It was white …

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Like Iron Sharpens Iron

Last weekend, I got a rare opportunity to see an old friend that I had not seen in years.  We had previously lost touch, but thanks to the wonders of Facebook, we were able to stumble across each other and set up a meeting.  Seeing him again and introducing our wives to each other caused me to think back on the early days of our friendship.  I reflected on the powerful role God gave him in challenging my faith. Becoming friends with Paul was an answer to one of those prayers that make people say, …

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Who’s Your Ed?

I think every parish has an Ed.  You know the guy.  Retired, spends a ton of time at the church.  Probably a veteran and Knight of Columbus.  Sometimes a little cantankerous – everyone acknowledges that his wife is a saint – but his grandkids adore him.  Maybe he mows the grass or shovels the walks.  Maybe he’s a whiz at carpentry or perhaps he’s the go-to guy when the electric or the plumbing needs some work.  Like I said, you know the guy. Our Ed was a jack of all trades, but he was a …

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Having a Heart for Martha and Mary

I have always had this thing for the Martha and Mary story in the Gospel of Luke. This is the story where Martha is busy preparing food for their guest and she tells Jesus to tell Mary to help her. Jesus then tells Martha that Mary, who sits at the foot of Jesus and listens to his words, has chosen the “better part.” The classic interpretation of this story is that Jesus is telling Martha that the contemplative path is the surest way to God. I know many people think Martha is getting a bad …

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