generosity

Daily Reflection — What Truly Matters

"Widow's Mite" by João Zeferino da Costa [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

A Daily Reflection on the Scripture Readings at Mass… “Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury. For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood.” (Mark 12:43b-44) Holding on to lesser things One of the […]

The Two Widows

Photography © by Andy Coan

The gospel story of the Widow’s Mite and the Old Testament visit of the prophet Elijah to the Widow of Zarephath are well known bible tales. Two simple but heroic women — who call us to heroic virtue in a hidden way, in the midst of everyday life. Reflection on the Mass readings for the Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time […]

When More than Words are Needed

"The Parable of the Father and His Two Sons in the Vineyard" by Georg Pencz [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

A Faith Disconnected from Life All of us who read these pages, I hope and pray, desire to deepen our love of God, improve our prayer life and grow in our relationship with the Lord. But too often we tend to separate our faith from our daily life and this prevents the growth we seek. The Second Vatican Council identified […]

Who We Are Matters, not What We Have

"Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard" (detail) by Rembrandt

I believe that one of the great challenges of our time derives from the loss of knowledge of who we are and what we are made for. Actually, we may know these eternal truths, but we tend to suppress them in our consciousness. In this age of consumerism, we tend to define ourselves, not by who we are and for […]

Responsible Generosity

Photography © by Andy Coan

Our society tolerates religion, as long as it keeps to itself.  After all, America is about the separation of Church and state, right?  Education, entertainment, employment, politics are supposed to be “religion-free.”  The removal of the Ten Commandments from an Alabama courthouse several years ago was just one sign of this misguided divorce between faith and life. Like it or […]

The Widow’s Mite

Photography © by Andy Coan

The time lag between the two widows in this Sunday’s readings was considerable.  Lots of things change in eight hundred years. But one thing their two societies had in common—they offered neither social security, welfare, 401(k)s, nor pension plans.  With no husband to provide for them, both widows were literally at the mercy of those around them, totally dependent on […]

The Anatomy of Envy

Photography © by Andy Coan

Recently a prominent CEO told a mixed group of business leaders that, regardless of their religion, they simply had to read the Bible.  Why?  Because success in business depends not so much upon understanding financial reports as it does upon understanding people.  And when it comes to a book that reveals what makes people tick, there is none better than […]

Precepts of the Church: Is Getting Our Foot in the Door Enough?

When we receive the sealing of the Holy Spirit at Confirmation, we are expected to know and live by the precepts of the Church. I was not as interested in the details of our faith when I was younger, so it’s possible I missed this, but I don’t remember hearing any mention of this growing up and I’d venture a […]

On God’s Generosity and Growth in Prayer

Prayer seems like such a simple thing; we all know we should do it, we know it should be transformative, and we even attempt it sometimes. For most people, that’s about the extent of our knowledge and experience. Of course, there are those people who pray very regularly, experiencing a very rich and intimate interior life, but for the majority […]

It’s not about what we have… It’s Who We Are that Matters

"Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard" (detail) by Rembrandt

I believe that one of the great challenges of our time derives from the loss of knowledge of who we are and what we are made for. Actually, we may know these eternal truths, but we tend to suppress them in our consciousness. In this age of consumerism, we tend to define ourselves, not by who we are and for […]