Category: Live in Christ

Lover of Poverty
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Lover of Poverty

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Today is the Feast of St. Joseph. He is special to us because he was special to Jesus. I would like to reflect on a title from the Litany of St. Joseph: Lover of Poverty. As Catholics, Jesus teaches that we are to be poor in spirit. St. Joseph is a wonderful example of this […]

When Faith Falls Out of Fashion
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When Faith Falls Out of Fashion

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In those days, all the princes of Judah, the priests, and the people added infidelity to infidelity, practicing all the abominations of the nations and polluting the Lord’s temple, which he consecrated in Jerusalem (2 Chr 36:14). This is what happens when faith falls out of fashion. The Israelites learned that the hard way. Is […]

Shadows of Suffering Fade in the Light of Christ
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Shadows of Suffering Fade in the Light of Christ

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Maurice Ravel’s Pianoforte Concerto for the left hand was written for Austrian pianist, Paul Wittgenstein, who lost his right arm in the 1st World War. Imagine Wittgenstein’s grief! Music was the center of his world. He grew up in a prominent Viennese household visited by composers such as Johannes Brahms, Gustav Mahler, and Richard Straus: […]

The Heartache of Cavatina
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The Heartache of Cavatina

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Most people associate the beautiful song Cavatina (written by Stanley Myers) for classical guitar with the 1978 movie The Deer Hunter. But Cavatina’s heartbreakingly beautiful melody originally appeared in a 1970 a movie called “The Walking Stick”. The Heroine of The Walking Stick was a 26 year old woman named Deborah Dainton who walked with a limp because […]

Christians in a Dying Western Christian Civilization
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Christians in a Dying Western Christian Civilization

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“Having turned away from the knowledge given by God, the Christian influence on the whole of culture has been lost. In Europe, including England, it took many years ? in the United States only a few decades. In the United States, in the short span from the twenties to the sixties, we have seen a […]

Archbishop Oscar Romero
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Archbishop Romero and Me

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I barely met Archbishop Oscar Romero. As in the old Ben-Hur movies, where the heroes have a chance encounter with Jesus Christ in a melodramatic scene that has little to do with the plot of the movie, I brushed up against Monseñor in brief and transient episodes in my childhood. But someday, if God permits me, […]

Knock, and the Door Will Be Opened for You
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Knock, and the Door Will Be Opened for You

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If you’ve ever experienced the power of a novena, you can truly understand these words of Jesus told by St. Matthew in today’s Gospel . Novenas are often discovered out of despair, when your own attempts for a solution have failed. You discover one that fits your situation and you start praying like mad, knowing there […]

Lent With Mary
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Lent With Mary

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During Lent, we generally think about Jesus’ suffering and death. However, how often do we think about the suffering of his mother, Mary? A few days ago I stopped by the adoration chapel to ask Jesus what he wanted of me this Lent. The answer came back clearly: suffer and pray alongside the one who […]

On Brother Paul O’Donnell’s Death and ‘Being There’
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On Brother Paul O’Donnell’s Death and ‘Being There’

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As news of the untimely death of Brother Paul O’Donnell spreads, there will be many remembrances by those who knew him well. Perhaps none more than Bobby Schindler, brother of Terri Schiavo. Brother Paul distinguished himself, and the Church, by being the constant companion and supporter of the Schindler family as their severely brain damaged daughter, Terri, […]

How to Make Heaven Rejoice
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How to Make Heaven Rejoice

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The silence truly had been golden. I hadn’t heard or spoken many words for a couple of days — save for at the Liturgy of the Hours in the chapel. The immersion in the silence had been one of the most special, holiest gifts I could receive. That had been one of the overriding reasons […]

Jesus, If You But Said the Word...
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Jesus, If You But Said the Word…

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Do you ever want simply to “be better” from something … from any thing? It could be something that ails you, such as cancer or diabetes or endometriosis, heart disease or asthma or some other chronic health condition. It could be an addiction – to smoking or drinking alcohol, drugs or food or pornography. It […]

Ignorance of God: The Spirit Poverty of Our Age
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Ignorance of God: The Spirit Poverty of Our Age

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We often think that ignorance is a lack of knowledge, education or social training. But if ignorance is not knowing, then not knowing God is the greatest human ignorance. I want to address ignorance in the context of the human heart’s ignorance of God.  It is my opinion that this form ignorance is the primary […]

Sweet Silence
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Sweet Silence

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Shielding my eyes from the blinding sun, I sensed, rather than heard, a presence to my left as I stood in line waiting to board the plane. His face was about five inches from mine. I could see his lips moving but could hear nothing. Finally I faced him squarely and he repeated himself. “What’s […]

A Puzzling By-Product of Curing Lepers: Gospel Commentary
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A Puzzling By-Product of Curing Lepers: Gospel Commentary

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This Sunday’s Gospel, Mark 1: 40-45, is a bit puzzling.  Why after curing a leper, who then proceeded to advertise the event (contrary to Jesus’ explicit instructions), did it develop that the Lord “could no longer openly enter a town, but remained outside in desert places.” (cf. Matthew 8: 30-34; Luke 8: 27-38). During our […]

Five Things to Do This Valentine’s Day Regardless of Your Status
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Five Things to Do This Valentine’s Day Regardless of Your Status

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Not everyone loves Valentine’s Day. Some do because they are in relationships or it gives them an excuse to eat chocolate. Others hate it because they will probably stay home alone watching Netflix awhile their friends with significant others go out. Instead of wallowing in that funk, whether single or in a relationship, spread the […]

Transforming Prayer for Married Couples
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Transforming Prayer for Married Couples

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If someone told you that there was something you could do for as little as five minutes per day to virtually assure that your marriage would last unto death, wouldn’t you do it? Well this is it! Pray together daily. Marriage is not a couple, but a trinity. The third person is God. We need […]

On Being Invisible
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On Being Invisible

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Recently, a Facebook conversation turned into a discussion over when we feel “invisible” while driving. It started innocently enough. I commented on how people seem to “not see” me when I am driving our family vehicle (which happens to be a 12-passenger van). My mom said she feels invisible when she drives their white car, […]

Ask, Seek, Knock -- Your Gift Awaits
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Ask, Seek, Knock — Your Gift Awaits

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I always have been taught that faith is a gift. And who doesn’t love receiving gifts – especially if it is the perfect gift, something sorely needed, something for which we have asked? That could be faith in anything, I suppose: faith in your family’s helping when times get tough, faith in being justly rewarded […]

This Lent, Rediscover What Love Does
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This Lent, Rediscover What Love Does

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Though my wife and I both grew up with dogs, we do not have dogs. There are a number of reasons, not the least of which is that some of in our family have allergies. But this did not keep us from hosting a dear, elderly couple for dinner last week, their little “Sparky” in tow. Love […]

Help Mary in Her Mission -- Offer Your Communion
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Help Mary in Her Mission — Offer Your Communion

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Fr. Emil Neubert, SM, one of my favorite Mariologists, wrote many books on Mary including Mary and the Priestly Ministry and My Ideal, Jesus, Son of Mary. Recently, the Franciscans of the Immaculate, through their publishing house, Academy of the Immaculata, have renewed interest in Father Emil Neubert by translating his French works from the 1950’s into English. […]

Recapturing the Joy of Children
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Recapturing the Joy of Children

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I love children for their sense of wonder! Babies can teach their grandfathers anew how to be enchanted with life. That is the great gift my grandchildren gave me. Revisiting wonder, enchantment, joy. They also made me ashamed that I lost those child-like qualities somewhere along the path between early childhood and adulthood. But living and […]

How Will History Remember You?
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How Will History Remember You?

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Consider for a moment the sheer gravity of this truth: that a society is fully capable of being blinded to the clear and absolute evil of an ideology, practice, or undertaking. Just think about it, regardless of your views; there is simply no denying society’s capacity for the normalization of that which even the most […]

Lemons and Moons, or "How to Love"
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Lemons and Moons, or “How to Love”

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When my grief counselor asked me to explain why I felt the loss of my mother so acutely, I couldn’t come up with my own language for it. It was all so natural and obvious to me. She was my mother! But not everyone has a mother like my mother, I learned, so first we had […]

Book Review: <em>Practical Theology, Spiritual Direction from St. Thomas Aquinas</em>
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Book Review: Practical Theology, Spiritual Direction from St. Thomas Aquinas

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Sometimes new parents will half jokingly complain that their precious new charge did not “come with an instruction manual”. They may be overlooking something. They don’t even have an instruction manual for their own selves. Think about it. Even the simplest utensil or small appliance nowadays comes with pages of instructions, often in multiple languages. […]

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