A few months ago, I made all kinds of plans for late November and early December. A day trip to the pine trees. Thanksgiving plans bouncing between my mother’s house and my mother-in-law’s house. Selling my novels at the Our Lady’s Guild Christmas Bazaar next Friday and Saturday.
Oops. I ended up having invasive back surgery on Nov 15.
I had to scrap the pine trees. I had to let the grandparents know that I’ll be spending Thanksgiving recovering in bed. And I had to get other people to sell my books at the Bazaar if I haven’t recovered in time. (Please pick up a copy!) In fact – I wrote quite a few of these articles in advance of the surgery, so I hope I’m still around…READ MORE
Being an adoptive parent is a strange and wonderful rollercoaster.
Few people know that in the state of Arizona, the birthmother is required by law to wait three days after giving birth to sign the paperwork. Let me tell you, those three days are incredibly emotional. Every time the phone rings, you fear that it will be someone notifying you the birthmother has changed her mind and wants the child back. Meanwhile, you are trying to protect your heart, but holding your new baby makes that an impossible task.READ MORE
This Tuesday, I’m expected to be going under the knife. It will be my first surgery since my tonsils were removed in childhood. This time around, a neurosurgeon will be drilling a hole into my spinal column. In preparation, I had to watch a video that described the procedure in detail along with the odds of every possible thing that could go wrong.
It ended by saying something to the effect of – “…and while incredibly rare, death has occurred in less than 1% of patients during the procedure or resulting from the procedure.”READ MORE
This weekend’s first reading is both one of the most heroic and one of the most tragic passages in all of the Old Testament. It tells the tale of seven brothers who were all willing to die, rather than forsake their faith.
They weren’t killed at the same time. No. It was worse than that. It happened one by one. Each seeing the torture of those proceeding them. Still, they refused.
For what would you willingly die? For your spouse? Your children? Parents? What about your Faith?READ MORE
In this weekend’s Gospel, we read the story of Zaccheaus, the man who was willing to be a fool to see the Lord. He was a grown man willing to climb a tree to get as close to the Lord as possible. When I think of such bold curiosity to know the Lord more completely, I am inspired. I pray you are, as well.
This is our worthy reflection: what in our lives stands too frightening to be overcome in our pursuit of the Lord?READ MORE
So many of us struggle with a syndrome that seems to afflict every church, and perhaps the Catholic Church most of all.
The “holier” people become, the more they seem to become holier-than-thou. They morph into self-appointed dress code monitors, solemnity enforcers, and masters of the dirty look.
I have to be honest. I struggled with them as a child more than you can imagine.READ MORE
I recently received feedback that said a previous column was “offensive.” I treat feedback like this very seriously by going back and scouring the article in question. If I inadvertently wrote something mean-spirited because I didn’t pray and/or have my morning coffee first, I will write a correction or apology—as I have in the past. But if it is offensive because it is firmly grounded in Church teaching and the Gospel, so be it. It means I did something worthwhile.READ MORE
You won the lottery. And because you are a kind and generous soul, you’ve decided to throw a party for family and friends. You finally have the opportunity to make dreams come true!
There is couple from your parish who have always wanted to visit the Vatican, but couldn’t afford it. You aren’t particularly close, but you decide to bless their lives anyway. You bought them tickets, a week in a hotel, and included enough money for food, ground transportation, and entry to anywhere they want to go.READ MORE
Eight days ago (as I write this), our parish’s Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults began another year, and will culminate at the Easter Vigil before concluding a few weeks later.
It meets almost every Wednesday in the Parish Library from 6:30PM-8:00PM and is for any adult who is unbaptized, baptized in another faith and interested in Catholicism, adult Catholic who never completed the sacraments of initiation, AND any “cradle Catholic” who wants to audit the class in order to learn more about the Faith.READ MORE
In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus tells the story of a rich man who dies—along with a poor man called Lazarus who he knew, but never helped.
Many will naturally focus on his refusal to help someone so obviously in need. (And rightfully so.) But I’d like to jump to the end and have a conversation about his last recorded request from the netherworld
“I beg you, send Lazarus (who was in heaven) to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they too come to this place of torment.”READ MORE
“Hey Father! Stop talking about money during Mass! It has no place in the Church!”
Once in a great while, a Catholic priest will hear something like this. Of course, more often, people with this mindset don’t have the courage to actually voice their complaint. No, they just spread poison to their friends or family.
“The Church just says it’s a sin to miss Sunday Mass because they just want a bigger collection.”READ MORE
I’ve said it before—free will is great, when it belongs to you. But it becomes a problem when other people are allowed to use it.
Mercy works in much the same way. We love it when God has mercy on us. We hope others forgive our driving if we are having an emergency. We are grateful when folks give us a little latitude in the aftermath of personal tragedy.
But when God forgives someone who has hurt a loved one? When someone cuts us off in traffic? When someone doesn’t give us the high level of customer service we expect?READ MORE
Wait a minute. Hold the phone. Stop the bus.
What is the blue sky is all this about Jesus instructing us to hate everyone (including our own lives) in this week’s Gospel reading?
I mean 90% of celebrities seem to suggest that Jesus was all about loving every person and supporting everything every person does or says.READ MORE