Blessed are You

posted 6/18/20 I had a music teacher in high school named Mr. Guzzi who had regular gigs playing piano in a jazz band.  During one class one day, he told the story about the trumpeter in his band, who was obsessed with Louis Armstrong.  More than anything, he wanted to play the trumpet like Armstrong.  So, Mr. Guzzi said,Continue reading “Blessed are You”

Persecuted for the Sake of Righteousness

posted 6/17/20 Blessed Franz Jagerstatter was born in Austria in 1907.  As a young man, his Catholic faith wasn’t very important to him, but he later had a profound conversion through the influence of his deeply devout wife.  He developed a love for scripture, the stories of the saints, and the Mass.  When Hitler annexed Austria in 1938, the vast majority of Austrians were in favor of it.  But Jagerstatter wasContinue reading “Persecuted for the Sake of Righteousness”

The Peacemakers

posted 6/16/20 In a world where there are so many differing points of view, what makes for peace?  It’s a crucial question because peace is important to Our Lord and His mission.  He is, after all, the Prince of Peace who teaches us: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.”  Fr. Simeon Leiva-Merikakis writesContinue reading “The Peacemakers”

The Clean of Heart

posted 6/15/20 There was a book that came out in 2006 by Mark Kurlansky, entitled: The Big Oyster: History on a Half-Shell, that chronicled the history of the oyster beds that used to proliferate in New York Harbor. “Before the 20th Century, when people thought of New York, they thought of oysters.” The mollusks wereContinue reading “The Clean of Heart”

The Merciful

posted 6/12/20 On September 6, 2018 a 26-year-old man named Botham Jean was shot and killed in his Dallas apartment by his neighbor, Amber Guyger.  Guyger, an off-duty member of the Dallas Police Department, claimed that she entered Jean’s apartment thinking it was her own, and that she mistook Jean for a burglar.  Initially charged only with manslaughter, Guyger was later charged and convicted of murder for a crime that had racial overtones, with theContinue reading “The Merciful”


posted 6/11/20 For my senior year of college, my friends and I rented an apartment just across the street from campus.  When my parents came to visit at the beginning of the year, my mother told me how much she liked my apartment, and she spent the evening in the kitchen making a big senior year celebratory dinner forContinue reading “Righteousness”

The Meek

posted 6/10/20 When I was an undergraduate at the University of Dallas in the 1990s, the city of Waco was known for three things: 1) Baylor University, 2) fire ants, and 3) Branch Davidians.  Fast forward 20 years and suddenly Waco is the center of the “home improvement” movement, with Chip and Joanna Gaines basically transforming Waco into an interior design destinationContinue reading “The Meek”

Those Who Mourn

posted 6/9/20 Dr. Michael Brescia is a co-founder and the Executive Medical Director (emeritus) of Calvary Hospital in the Bronx.  Calvary Hospital was founded to be a place that would provide palliative care to those with advanced cancer and other terminal illnesses.  For Dr. Brescia, who is a well-respected physician and devout Catholic, it was essential that the hospital be a placeContinue reading “Those Who Mourn”

Poor in Spirit

posted 6/8/20 The gospel reading for today’s Mass is St. Matthew’s account of the Beatitudes.  Everyone is familiar with the Beatitudes, but what actual effect they have on our lives is unclear.  They can seem poetic and obscure – beautiful, but not really helpful in a practical sense.  It’s a lot easier to “get” the 10 Commandments, which seem straightforward. Continue reading “Poor in Spirit”

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