conversion

A Work in Progress

Several of our Christian beliefs can be debated, fine arguments can be made, and opposing views can be discussed. But I think one of the most self-evident beliefs is that of original sin and concupiscence. As Christians, Catholics in particular, we recognize that mankind is a work in progress. The struggle against concupiscence is real, and we can see evidence […]

Change and Original Sin

While reading about the restructuring in the Diocese of Pittsburgh, I stopped to say a prayer for everyone involved – everyone from Bishop Zubik to the priests and parish staff to the people in the pew. Change always brings great opportunities and great challenges. As I’ve written before, priest changes can be quite disruptive and difficult for a parish. Change […]

"King David in Prayer (detail)" by Pieter de Grebber

Daily Reflection — A Pure Heart Create for Me, O God

“A pure heart create for me, O God, put a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalm 51). Fridays are penitential days for Catholics. Just as we celebrate His Resurrection each Sunday, we recall that it was on a Friday that our Lord suffered His crucifixion, dying on the Cross for each of us. On Fridays, we perform some act of self-denial […]

Daily Reflection — Heaven and Earth Will Pass Away, But Not His Word

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away” (Matthew 24:35). How important it is to be reminded of our place and the place of creation in God’s Providence. All of time and space is of the created order—a part of creation. God made you and He made me and all that is around us. But […]

Daily Lenten Reflection — The Grace of Conversion

“The officers then went back to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, ‘Why did you not bring him?’ The officers answered, ‘No man ever spoke like this man!’ The Pharisees answered them, ‘Are you led astray, you also?’” (John 7:45-47) Jesus was attracting great crowds and not a few converts with his teaching and signs. This was […]

Daily Reflection — Christ Shows the Way to Humility

“Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” (Matthew 23:12) Jesus is not just humble, he is humility. Jesus is not transcended by his qualities or attributes, he is those attributes. Jesus is not simply truthful, he is truth itself! His teaching on humility is not just words spoken, it is the life he lived […]

Daily Reflection — A Generous and Understanding Heart

“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For the measure you give will be the measure you get back. Why do you see […]

"Jesus Opens the Eyes of the Man Born Blind" (detail) by Duccio

What We Can Learn from the Healing of the Man Born Blind

In St. John’s Gospel, there is the account of the healing of the man born blind (John 9:1-41). It is the sixth of the seven signs recounted by St. John that announce the fulfillment of the Old Covenant in the New Covenant and the passing away of the old rites, replaced by the grace and sacraments of Jesus Christ. It is […]

Daily Reflection — Love of one’s Neighbor

“He alone loves the Creator perfectly who manifests a pure love for his neighbor” (St. Bede the Venerable). Who is our neighbor? Do we even know our neighbor? In both urban and suburban living, it is clear that we know less about our neighbors than just a generation ago. Sociologists and others who study such things may have many theories […]

"Christ and the Woman of Samaria" (detail) by Paolo Veronese

Living Water that Never Runs Dry

The Gospel from the Third Sunday of Lent (Year A), John 4:5-42, is the story of the encounter of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well.  The Elect (those preparing for Baptism at the Easter Vigil) undergo the First Scrutinies on this Sunday and this gospel passage is central to their journey. This passage is filled with imagery and […]