I struggle with the “Comparison Game.”
Even professionally, I often fall into the trap of thinking others might’ve done a better job. I know the two good men who held the title of Director of Faith Formation before me. They are amazing dudes! I mean—sure—I booked Patrick Madrid for our Parish Advent Mission, but Leighton Drake probably would’ve snagged Jonathan Roumie (Jesus in THE CHOSEN) and Carlos Gonzales would have probably gotten Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
...and they both have much better hair.READ MORE
So many non-Catholic Christians are pretty concerned about our “obsession with Mary.” And who could blame them?
We have a statue of her in our church. She has her own shelf in our parish library (next to the parish office). The rosary is frequently said across our campus. And—of course—our particular parish is named after the (Holy) Woman!
Why so much attention on her when we could be focusing entirely on the Lord?!READ MORE
Here is an insider secret: there are times when I have to write these columns weeks in advance. This is one of those times. As I write this, Christmas of 2021 hasn’t even occurred yet. As you read this, Christmas is a memory and you are more than a week into the new year.
For all I know (as you read this), the Omicron variant has been replaced by the Phi Beta Kappa variant, the murder hornets we were promised have finally arrived, Bishop Olmsted has retired, parachute pants have made a comeback, and I’ve passed away. (If this is the case—I want a memorial plaque next to a storage closet or the men’s restroom.)READ MORE
Gold. Frankincense. Myrrh.
Three magi all brought gifts for Jesus. None of their gifts were the same.
A simple fact that the vast majority of us have known since childhood, yet virtually none of us have pondered.
1 Corinthians 12 explains who gave us our gifts in the first place. Some of us are given wisdom. Some receive knowledge. Others have been given faith. There are those who have the gift of healing. And still others receive miraculous powers, prophecy, distinguishing between spirits, the gift of tongues, or interpretation of tongues.READ MORE
We are almost there! Christmas is just around the corner! Are you ready?
Come on... by now you know I’m not asking if you’ve got those decorations up and purchased all your gifts.
Is your heart ready? Have you prepared a home for the Lord in your heart?
Many people in this current world seem to have been broken down into anger, bitterness, discouragement, sadness. These callous the heart. They harden the heart, thus making it difficult to penetrate. And this is tragic.READ MORE
In this Sunday’s Gospel, the crowds ask John the Baptist, “What should we do?”
He responds, “Whoever has two cloaks should share with the person who has none.”
Oh no! Was he John the Communist?!
Not at all. But it is interesting to note, he didn’t say, “Whoever has two cloaks, interview people who have none and make sure they will use it properly. Ensure they don’t sell it to buy alcohol. Satisfy yourself in the knowledge that you aren’t giving your extra cloak to someone who should be able to afford their own cloak, but they spent their money on an extravagant donkey to ride. And above all, make sure they will use it precisely the way you would.READ MORE
This weekend’s Psalm says, “The Lord has done great things for us, we are filled with joy.” This is indeed true of our parish.
I have many relatives who faithfully attend their local parish. Their parish priest does all he is able to hold down the ship of two rural parishes with the help of a secretary, less than a handful of part-time employees, and a core of well-meaning volunteers. They do what they can to maintain quality liturgies every Sunday and weekdays - if and when possible. They make sure babies are baptized and the Lenten Fish Fry raises a few dollars. All other sacraments are celebrated and funerals bring the town together.READ MORE
It’s been a bit difficult to be in the thankful spirit lately.
The past month has been a time of unprecedented illness for me. I’ve managed to burn through every last sick day I stored up during the pandemic and then some. (There are few things I covet more than vacation days and using them for sick days hurts my soul.) In the end, this time is reminding me of the awesome grace of those who live joyfully with chronic illness.
I do not comprehend how you do it!
My various symptoms are conspiring to make me a grumpy monster swimming in self-pity.READ MORE
Did you ever notice how often Jesus answers a question with another question? It turns out, in all four Gospel accounts, Jesus answering a question with a question is the norm, rather than the exception. Since He calls Himself “the way” (Jn 14:6) there must be something for us to learn and imitate from this, as in everything Jesus says and does.
There are two helpful lessons we can learn from Jesus’ questioning: One involves being a better missionary, and the second involves being a better friend. It’s worth looking at each.READ MORE
For many, the end of the world is a terrifying thought. What else do we know, except this world? How can we conceive of it all going away and something unfamiliar and unknown beginning? Everything about our Faith is “good news”. To profess otherwise is to declare that God is not all-good. So what’s going to happen when the earth as we know it comes to an end and how is it “good news”?
When the “appointed time” (Dan 8:19) has come, Christ will appear: “They will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory” (Lk 21:27). Everyone will be compelled to acknowledge that Jesus is Lord! No more feeling alone in our belief or being quietly tolerated as “naïve” or lacking in scientific knowledge. We will rejoice that our faith in Christ is totally affirmed.READ MORE
This weekend’s Gospel touches on the poor widow who contributes all that she has to give. I feel there is no better time to thank all of you who financially contribute to our parish.
I’ve worked side by side with incredible Catholics (your parish staff) for almost six years. They work hard. They are deeply aware of the importance of their work. They are completely cognizant of the sacrifice that makes their work possible.READ MORE