surrender

Self-Satisfied or Self-Aware

"Conversion of Saint Paul" (detail) by Caravaggio

“We must ask ourselves a question. Which attitude do I represent? Am I self-satisfied in how I live? Or am I honest and self-aware about my weakness and sins and committed to my humble efforts to live in faith and strive for holiness?” The Mass readings for the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) are Sirach 35:12-14, 16-18; Psalms 34:2-3, […]

Practicing Acceptance and Seeing Burdens as Blessings

A few years ago a priest shared some guidance with my wife and me that has been the cause of a great deal of conversation and reflection in our home.  In response to learning that we pray every day about our oldest son’s future and that he be healed of his autism, he encouraged us to pray first for acceptance. […]

Receive, O Lord — Take all of me!

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

There is a great old popular jazz standard written by Gerald Marks and Seymour Simons titled All of Me that is one of my favorite tunes.  I particularly like the rendition performed by Louis Armstrong and another done later by Willie Nelson. The song is about a fellow who lost his heart to a girl who left him, so he […]

A Broken and Contrite Heart O God

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

Recently I was reminded of a wonderful movie of faith, courage and redemption. It was the story from the book “Unbroken,” about the life of Louie Zamperini, an American who ran the 5,000 meter in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Louie was later drafted as a gunner aboard B-24 Bombers during World War II. He was shot down in the Pacific and […]

Practical Lessons for Integrating Faith and Work

Man at Prayer

How do we integrate our faith with our work? If you think about it, most of us will likely spend the majority of our adult (awake) lives in the workplace. A typical eight hour work day accounts for a third of the total day, with the other two-thirds devoted to sleeping, family, friends, faith, and so on. In the practice […]

Into the Deep—Lessons for Faithful Discipleship

The Way of the Cross

There is a section of Luke’s Gospel known as the Travel Narrative. In this section, Jesus and his disciples journey together to Jerusalem for the last time where redemption will be won and the Church will be born. St. Luke takes nearly ten chapters (9:51-19:27) to record this journey to Jerusalem. Along the way, Jesus prepares his disciples for the work to […]

Hold on to the Peace of the Lord

"Christ the Consolator" (detail) by Carl Bloch

Are you at peace or is your heart troubled? “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare […]

Finding Strength in Surrender

Man at Prayer

Few souls understand what God would accomplish in them if they were to abandon themselves unreservedly to Him and if they were to allow His grace to mold them accordingly.” — St. Ignatius Loyola What is the connection between surrender and strength?  Surrendering to Christ and putting His will before my own for the first time almost 14 years ago […]

Be Not Afraid—Follow the Good Shepherd

"Christ, the Good Shepherd" (detail) by Murillo

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want…” (Psalm 23:1). Who We Are It is incredibly important that we fully know and understand who we are. We are God’s special creation. He has made each of us in His image and likeness, in freedom and love and invited us to spend all eternity sharing in His glory and blessedness […]

New Life in Christ

"The Resurrection of Christ" (detail) by Bloch

Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen! What more fitting conclusion to a week of drama wrought by sin could there be than the triumph of Life over death! There is so much about Easter to help us live our lives in our day. Surely we can more fully embrace all that the Resurrection of Jesus Christ means for us today if we go […]