Faith

There is a plan… even if it’s not yours

 “I will only find peace when I surrender.” Today’s first reading from Ecclesiastes probably sounds familiar, whether you’ve heard it at a funeral or from The Byrds. There is an appointed time for everything,and a time for every thing under the heavens.A time to be born, and a time to die;a time to plant, and a time to uproot the […]

The Gift of 2020

“Let us not waste the graces of this year.“ I have a calendar hanging on the wall of my kitchen. I buy the same one every year—one that features beautiful art each month that can be cut up at the end of the year and framed. As a result, it’s a bit of a splurge … so I wait until […]

Mercy: The Path to Healing

“Wrath and anger are hateful things, yet the sinner hugs them tight.“ In one of his first homilies as Pope, Francis had some strong words for us. He said, “I think we [are] people who, on the one hand, want to listen to Jesus, but on the other hand, at times, like to find a stick to beat others with, […]

Man at Prayer

Simplify Your Life

Do you ever feel overwhelmed with all of the stress, responsibilities and challenges in your daily life? If I am honest with myself, the times I feel most anxious or stressed are usually caused by my lifelong tendency to overcomplicate things and an inclination towards “busyness”. I am grateful for the occasional insights I have into ways to address this […]

"The Baptism" (detail) by Pietro Longhi [Public domain]

The Pastoral Malpractice of Liturgical Abuse

Empathy is the capacity to understand what another person is undergoing from within that person’s frame of reference. Much of August I could not help imagining myself in the situation of Father Matthew Hood of the Archdiocese of Detroit. On August 6, presumably after celebrating Mass on the Feast of the Lord’s transfiguration, Hood’s life was changed far more than […]

Photo by Francesco Alberti on Unsplash

The Answer is Jesus

He may not remove burdens, but He will help carry them. A bishop was visiting one of his diocesan schools one day, and he stopped in to see the kindergartners. The children sat quietly in expectation, having been well-prepared by their teacher for this special visitor. The bishop tried to break the ice. “Do you know what I saw when […]

"King David in Prayer" (detail) Pieter de Grebber [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

A Sacrifice of Prayer

One of the greatest means for deepening and expanding our prayer life is found in Paul’s teaching on our becoming like Christ.   “Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as refuse, in order that I […]

Let Yourself Be Duped

It often seems that following the Lord means bigger crosses. How is this fair? A Trickster? The first reading for Sunday’s liturgy might sound a little bold to us. Is Jeremiah honestly accusing the Lord of tricking him? Some translations say “seduced” or “deceived.”  Does the Lord trick us? One of my favorite stories about this reading comes from a bishop I […]

Mission Dolores Altar (San Francisco) Photograph © by Andy Coan —Christopher West

Overcome by Praise

Have you ever been in awe of how St. Paul and the early Christians could be singing songs of praise from prison (Acts 16:5)? Or how Daniel, after hearing that he was not to worship His God on pain of death, went to his home and facing Jerusalem, “…prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before” […]