Tag Archives: Love

Running from the Cold

For all us athletic enthusiasts out there, winter can be an especially trying time.  Running outside in comfortable spring weather is a challenge that many of us may take up until we learn to love it; until we even learn to long for it.  When the weather turns and the flowers bloom, we cannot drive past a scenic nature trail without having to fight the urge to pop on our shoes and race away.  When it gets like this, we have to make tough choices.  Do we brave snowy wind in our face and sub-zero …

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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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I’m Not Cryin’ on Sundays

As a person who studies religion and the internet, I can assure you that it was a very interesting place after the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act last month. In the spring, I finished my introductory religion course with a unit on homosexuality and gay marriage, a unit I was very nervous to go through with my first-year college students. My goal for the unit was to faithfully explain the Church’s position on homosexuality and gay marriage.  I did much work to begin the discussion with the Church’s picture of marriage …

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Gold That’s Tested in Fire: When Faith is Tested to the Breaking Point

“My child, if you aspire to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for an ordeal.  Be sincere of heart, be steadfast, and do not be alarmed when disaster comes.” Sirach 1:1,2 The Boston Marathon blast that killed three and maimed scores whose lives were changed forever.  The young man at LaSalle H.S. who shot himself.  The three young women who were abducted and held prisoner for ten years in Cleveland.  Sandy Hook, and all those bright-eyed, beautiful kids whose lives were brutally taken.  A baby discarded in a dumpster; countless others aborted. Atrocities in Syria, Nigeria, …

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The Whole Christ

Have you ever come to a point where something you thought you knew became a thing that you realize you never really knew like you thought you did. I know this might seem like a convoluted question. And maybe it is. I just chalk it up to the mystery of Jesus Christ. Recently I was preparing prayer for a parish staff meeting. The daily Gospel reading for the prayer was part of the Bread of Life Discourse in the Gospel of John-namely John 6: 44-51. Jesus says “I am the bread of life. Your ancestors …

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What Does This Say About God?

I ask my students at Xavier this question fairly regularly. When we read various creation stories, some of them quite bloody and violent and compare them to the accounts in Genesis. When we talk about the stories of the birth and crucifixion of Jesus. When we talk about suffering. What kind of God do we believe in? I get the impression that many people take a pretty dark view of God. They seem to think that bad things happen because God wants them to. God is teaching us a lesson or punishing us or testing …

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Easter Season

The Lent-Easter Cycle in our Catholic liturgical year is my favorite time of that year. The liturgies are full of meaningful celebrations that focus on the challenges that life presents us. The Paschal Mystery, which we celebrate at this time, brings forward the deeper realities of our lives as persons, as communities, and as Christians. It reminds and makes present in the Eucharistic celebrations of this time our experience of God’s Love being among us in all the struggles, difficulties, joys, and ecstasy that arise in our daily experience. One of the essentials I try …

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Christ at the Center: Home Edition

April 28, 2013: Fifth Sunday of Easter Gospel: John 13:31-33a; 34-35 When Judas had left them, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and God will glorify him at once. My children, I will be with you only a little while longer. I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, …

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An Oasis During Lent

A few weeks ago, I had the great pleasure of a week’s vacation in Costa Rica. This was hardly a sacrificial experience for the 2nd week of Lent, as I played in the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean with my oldest daughter and two granddaughters, lounged on the huge verandah, and fell asleep to the cacophony of what sounded like a million tropical insects. We did eat modestly. Beans and rice were on the menu for dinner most nights. The area where we stayed is far from the tourist centers, and so the small local …

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