Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Thanks to Marty Helgesen for pointing this out!
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Monday, August 28, 2006
His beautiful words always move me: "Late have I loved Thee, O Beauty so ancient and so new!"
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
The newsletter asked its readers frankly if, to get rich, they are willing to work 16-hour days, give up TV and other entertainment, and get up an hour earlier to do something to get rich.
It honestly made me reflect: do I have the same kind of determination to work for God and for holiness? If people are willing to work so hard to get rich, shouldn't I, who am aiming for eternal life, be willing to work even harder for that goal?
Mary, assumed into heaven, pray for us that we might keep our eyes on Jesus and work for heaven!
"Just as a child seeks and desires its mother's presence and a mother delights in her child's company, it was fitting that you, whose motherly love for your Son and God leaves no room for doubt, should return to him. And was it not right, in any case, that this God who had a truly filial love for you, should take you into his company?"
Saturday, August 12, 2006
I recall one occasion when God’s voice came to me from an unexpected source. A few years ago when I visited my family for vacation, my brother Paul took me and my mother to a Broadway show (The Sound of Music). It was about 11 PM as we left the theater but lights blazed, cars honked and people crowded the sidewalks. As we picked our way through the crowd to the parking garage, I noticed an old African-American woman huddled on the sidewalk. She crouched next to a building, warming herself near a steam grate, the patches on her jacket fluttering in the wind. As we went by she said, “Some people are so lucky.” Did she intend those words for me? I don’t know, but those words drove straight into my heart. In a second all sorts of feelings flooded into me. I felt bad for her, guilty that I had eaten a steak dinner that evening, and frustrated about a society that lets people live on the sidewalk. Whenever I'm tempted to feel sorry for myself, those words come back to haunt me, “Some people are so lucky.” She was like a prophet
Thursday, August 10, 2006
In her autobiography, St. Therese had a reflection about things like this. It's been a while since I've read it, but it was about how we should be even more grateful to God to realize what evils he prevented us from reaching us.
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
The other day I drove past Fenway Park and saw a big banner that said "Parking: $30." I don't know how much the tickets cost. When you add everything up, it costs a lot to go to a ball game. Yet people always crowd in. I couldn't help but think that maybe if the Church charged lots of money for the privilege of going to Mass, people would pack the churches!
Isn't it true that it's so easy not to value what we can easily obtain. The body and blood of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist is the most precious gift of all. Nothing on earth can approach its value. Yet it's so neglected. How many Catholics don't bother to participate in Mass at all. The same thing holds for confession. Who wouldn't want to have all of their sins completely forgiven? Yet, this sacrament is so neglected today.
What are your thoughts on this?
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Recently I was involved in a difficult situation, and to resolve it a decision was made that I knew would upset a certain person. She is not directly involved in the situation anymore but had been in the past and a strong emotional bond had developed about it. Anyway, I was debating if I should try to discuss it with her and perhaps come to an understanding.
After praying about it I realized that part of my reason for doing that had to do with my own self-interest. I don't like knowing that someone might have some bad feelings about me even though I did nothing to offend. Sometimes, too, people are so strongly emotionally invested in a situation that it's hard for them to talk about it, and I realized she wouldn't be able to listen to what I had to say (based on some past experiences).
So I decided to let it go. There was no point in this particular situation to try and dialogue.
In today's Gospel, Jesus said something that upset the Pharisees. When his disciples told him they were angry at him, he just replied, "Let them alone. They're blind guides of the blind."
That confirmed my decision. It's not to say that the other person is blind, but just to acknowledge that sometimes it's better to let things go. The priest gave a great homily about this. He pointed out that Jesus reacted in different ways. Sometimes he was direct and told people things rather strongly. Sometimes he was gentle and tried to open their hearts. But other times, like in this Gospel, he realized there was no point in a useless debate. So he let it go.
Lord, help me to learn when to let it go and when to reach out to someone!
Saturday, August 05, 2006
In October I'll be going to Rome for a meeting of the bursars (my other job), so I'm starting to look forward to that.
The spiritual writer Leanne Payne often talks about how in prayer when we listen to the voice of God, we'll find him saying very wonderful things to us. Sometimes I've heard people say things like "God is out to get me." But that's so wrong. Even when we do sin, God is never "out to get us" but always looking to save us. He doesn't approve of the evil we do, but he loves us in spite of it.
Imagine God saying to you, "You are my beloved son; my beloved daughter." He's really saying it.
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
But the situation that's developed in the Middle East and especially Lebanon is very serious. Pray the rosary for peace.
The other day I read a page from St Thomas on happiness. The moral section of the Summa is built around the idea of happiness. Virtuous living makes us happy. He was saying how the goal of life is union with God in heaven; that's what we're meant for. We're on a journey.
I can so easily forget that and focus so much on the here and now. But it's a great thing to meditate on: happiness with God forever in eternal life.