Tag Archives: RWaller

Magi or Shepherd?

If you were given your choice as to which part you would play in the pageantry of the Christmas story, would you rather be a magi (king, wise man) or a shepherd? Before you read on, answer that question for yourself and ponder why you chose what you chose. The magi and the shepherds have some things in common. Both came to believe that Jesus was the Savior. Both found him in the manger. How they got there – how they came to that conclusion and how they came to that place – was quite …

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Gratitude, Hope, Joy?

There are three beautifully wrapped gifts on a table in front of you. One has a tag marked, “Gratitude.” Another is tagged, “Hope.” The third is, “Joy.” Answer quickly, without thinking. Ready? Without thinking, answer, “Which gift has God given to you this year?” Those three wrapped gifts from God: which one would you like for God to give to someone else at Christmas?

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Prayer for Pope Francis

Lord, make Pope Francis an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let him sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy. O Divine Master, grant that he may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that he receives; it is in pardoning that he is pardoned; and it is in dying that he …

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The Way Human Beings Are Not Meant to Live

Living in the sight and smell of feces and urine, with raw sewage at their feet, limited water, not much electric, no heat or air-conditioning, and not enough food – this is not what the people on the Carnival Triumph cruise ship had signed up for. This was no way to live. They deserved better. It was unacceptable. Yet this is how they spent their Mardi Gras and began their Lent. In communication with loved ones by cell phones many gave accounts of the good service of the crew. They spoke about how they were …

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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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Our Every Hope and God’s Every Promise

“O God, fulfill his every hope in you, and make good on your every promise to him.”   That is a prayer worthy of praying over someone who is dying or who has just passed. But it is also appropriate as you pray for someone, like your mother, who is having some struggle or challenge. “O God, fulfill her every hope in you, and make good on your every promise to her.” Hope and promise, promise and hope: that is an Advent prayer, an anytime prayer. In life itself and in our own lives there …

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Waiting to Light the Pink Candle

There was Mass this evening in St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Newtown, Connecticut, with Monsignor Weiss praying with an overflow congregation of grieving and bewildered parishioners and townspeople. The church doors were thrown wide open for the Sacrifice of the Mass. Those doors will remain open throughout the night. Readers and speakers at the Mass were standing at the pulpit with the candles of the Advent wreath burning next to them. The pink candle, the “rejoice” candle for the Third Sunday of Advent, referred to as Gaudete Sunday, was unlit, waiting to be lighted for Sunday Mass. It was Catholic …

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Not the Time to Be Looking For Shoes

We can often discuss with others or debate within ourselves about whether or not God notices what is going on in our lives, or whether or not God has somehow forgotten about us and our situations. All the while that those discussions and debates are going on, God is coming to us, is right before our eyes and right in the middle of our situations with us, and we do not notice, because we are distracted from looking for God by talking about God.   When the school bus has pulled up in front of …

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TRU DAT: Amen!

With the junior high kids in their classroom during one of their first days of school, I heard about one of those electronic shorthand phrases that is used in email and such things. It was new to me: TRU DAT. To a text or a tweet, they told me, I can respond, “TRU DAT,” which means, “That’s right. I agree.” It is a like a church full of believers giving the preacher an, “Amen to that!” I asked the kids to pay attention on Sunday, because I was going to try to use that expression …

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