Tag Archives: MGipson

We Are the Field Hospital

When Pope Francis talks about the Church as the image of a field hospital after battle, he’s including among others the many people, baptized or not, who have a minimal understanding of what it is like to be in a relationship with Jesus- especially Jesus as the ultimate healer. He is saying that we can’t begin to acquaint someone with the Church and her teachings until someone has come to know and experienced divine love and who has come to love Jesus in return. First things first, it’s the experience of a personal encounter with …

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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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The Church of Baseball

There’s an opening line in the beginning narration of the film Bull Durham where one of the main characters emphatically states “I believe in the Church of Baseball.” Perhaps the reference here is partly to a Church of many gods. All things being equal, the baseball gods sometimes smile upon your favorite team and sometimes they don’t. Even past the last out, if it doesn’t go your way, there’s still another inning, another game, another series, another month, and another season. There’s always hope and a chance for redemption. In the wake of the latest …

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In Search of a Balanced Life

I literally just returned from vacation to the southwestern part of the United States. I arrived home at around midnight and have been back into ministry with three meetings so far today (as I write this).  This trip was a first in a long time for me. It was strictly for the purpose of play. My life has usually been home visits (my family lives further away), school during slow times in ministry (typically in the summer), trips for conferences, and silent retreats. This vacation was a different concept from any of these other travels …

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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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Preferential Option for the Other

Sometimes I am guilty of being idealistic and naïve. I get that. I want things to be simple and good. But after awhile experience teaches me to be very realistic. The trick is to not let the realism swing into cynicism and negativity. It may need to take a detour there but it can’t stay there- not if I want to basically be a positive and happy person, one that helps build the Kingdom instead of tearing it down. I say this because as Catholics, we have a lot of ideals in terms of our …

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Sidetracked by Sports Heroes and Breaking News

What is it with these sensationalized news stories over a sports figure that is alleged to have killed his love interest? Is it because its about a sports figure and it makes for good drama-more like soap opera drama? “Who-shot-JR” kind of drama. Only this has become the real life, constant, breaking news cycle-the kind of breaking news which lasts for days, even weeks. Yawn. I’m tired of breaking news. I want breaking news when its actually breaking news. Or maybe it is news but not of the gargantuan variety like a mass school shooting …

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All Types of Religious: One Heart and One Spirit

Since I have been a religious some twelve-plus years, I have come to realize that non-religious sometimes have their hot button issues around religious-who they think religious are, what they think religious should do, how they think religious are supposed to be. On the one hand, I am glad people are passionate and love religious life enough to weigh in-even if they are perturbed with some of the members about one thing or another. On the other hand, I am not sure how I feel about their assumptions as concerned with the meaning of things …

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Pick Up Our Mats and Walk!

It seems to me that the best way as engaged Catholics to evangelize those who have disengaged is to be honest, authentic, and constructive. Matthew Kelly speaks of this in the Introduction of his book, Rediscover Catholicism. He addresses the issue of anger and frustration that people feel in general, but especially the anger toward abuse of children and toward cover-up of abuse of children. He says:  I suppose the question we should consider together is: What will we do with our  frustration and our anger?…It seems the people have just stopped thinking about it. They have …

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Look for Helpers

As Sandy Hook Elementary resumes classes today, our prayers continue for the students, staff, their families and the entire community of Newtown, Connecticut. In the wake of the tragedy in Newtown, there is one message that has gone viral. Mister Rogers has a message from his mother. It goes like this-don’t try to fathom the evil behavior of one person but instead “look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” I love the wisdom of his mother.  God’s goodness shines through the helpers. They instinctively witness God’s loving care in the …

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