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The Healing Power of Christ

When You heal, everything comes back to life, even in the past, and You give fruits to the one who has not known how to flower. 

– Maurice Blondel

I recently came across the above quote from the French philosopher, Maurice Blondel.  It appears to be a statement addressed to God.  It expresses the sovereignty of the Lord God over all things – space, time, life.  God is not limited by time, for time is His creature, and He transcends it. As the Source of all life, the Lord can touch the wounds that we carry in the present and heal them all the way back to the moments in which we received them.  The sins we’ve committed, He can forgive.  The effects of our sins, as well as sins committed against us, He can heal.  He alone can bring forth life where there was no life, where there was only the stinking rot of death, where there was nothing at all.  He doesn’t do it just for us as individuals.  Our Lord binds up and heals the wounds that exists in families and even nations.  It is something at which to marvel, the recapitulation and healing of the whole of salvation history through Our Lord’s 33 years on earth – doing what Adam failed to do, putting right what Abraham, Moses, David, and all of us have gotten wrong. 

Bursting with life, Jesus shares His life with the barren-hearted – those who do not know how to love, how to flower.  Without Him to fill us with His life, we are left alone and closed in on ourselves.  He comes to us from Heaven and opens His heart to us that we might open our hearts to Him and let Him bring us to the very Heart of God, the eternal embrace of Father, Son, Holy Spirit. 

posted 9/22/20

Friends with Nones

I recently read a very sad article entitled, “’Nones’ at the Peripheries.”  It appeared on the website of a Catholic news provider called The Pillar and was the final installment of a series of articles about a survey commissioned by The Pillar which I also wrote about in this space a few weeks ago.  This particular article focused in on a segment of our country’s population that is religiously unaffiliated. They are often referred to as the “nones,” since their response to theContinue reading “Friends with Nones”

Remembrances and Anticipations

Advent has come quickly this year.  It is a season of anticipation, of looking forward to the fulfillment of divine promises. Yet, it doesn’t seem right to move on from Thanksgiving to Advent just yet. With time moving so quickly, it is important not to shortchange the opportunity that Thanksgiving provides, which is to remember. Unlike the anticipation of Advent, the gratitude of Thanksgiving is a backward-looking virtue, and aContinue reading “Remembrances and Anticipations”

Life in the Real World

Do we have a problem with reality?  You might think so based on the recent announcement by Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who has decided to rename his company “Meta” and unveiled his dream project of creating a virtual reality platform he calls the “metaverse.”  At first glance, it seems strange that a 37-year-old man who is worth $120 billion wouldContinue reading “Life in the Real World”

Dressing Up

This is the time of year when people, young and old, dress up in costumes for trick-or-treating and Halloween parties.  For this reason, I thought it opportune to write about liturgical vestments and the significance of the garments that the priest wears for liturgy.  It’s important to note, however, that there is a fundamental difference between aContinue reading “Dressing Up”

Formation for Evangelization

Leonard DeLorenzo is a professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame.  He recently wrote an article in Church Life Journal entitled, “Evangelization: If We Just Keep Them, We’ll Lose Them.”  The “them” he refers to are the young people who are the object of intense concern in the Church.  DeLorenzo argues that the Church makes a mistake when framing the issue in negative terms,Continue reading “Formation for Evangelization”

Carthago Delenda Est

There was an article in the New York Times a number of years ago that reported on a place that scholars have called “the largest cemetery of sacrificed humans ever discovered.”  It’s located near the North African coast, not far from the city of Tunis, the site of the ancient Phoenician city of Carthage.  In its day, Carthage was one ofContinue reading “Carthago Delenda Est”

Forming a Eucharistic Strategy

Last week someone shared with me a recent article from Commonweal by Cardinal Blaise Cupich, the Cardinal Archbishop of Chicago.  Cardinal Cupich is generally considered to be a “progressive” member of the American episcopate, though those types of political labels are often unhelpful when applied to the Church.  Irrespective of one’s leanings, the article offers some compelling observations. In it, the Cardinal outlines several themes about the Eucharist that he believes should be the foundation of a strategy to address the significant challenges the Church faces inContinue reading “Forming a Eucharistic Strategy”

Seeking Refuge

Over the past week we have been doing much as a nation to commemorate the terrible events of September 11, 2001.  Part of the ritual has been to share with each other our own experiences of that horrible day, which set so many things in motion and changed our world in so many ways.  I was living in Spain at theContinue reading “Seeking Refuge”

Breaking the Spell

There was a very interesting opinion article in last Sunday’s New York Times (“How to Think Your Way Into Religious Belief” 8/15/21).  It was written by Ross Douthat, who has had a column in the Op-Ed section of the Times since 2009, and has on occasion used that space to write about religion.  Douthat is Catholic, and his writings demonstrate a broad interest in religious belief,Continue reading “Breaking the Spell”

Ordo

In the sacristy of every Catholic church there is a little book called an Ordo.  Published annually by the Bishops of the United States, the Ordo provides all the information about the liturgy that one needs for every day of the year.  It tells us what readings we’re supposed to read at Mass, what prayers we’re supposed toContinue reading “Ordo”

Return

Brandon Vogt is the Senior Content Editor at Word on Fire Catholic Ministries, an organization established by Bishop Robert Barron to provide tools of evangelization for Catholics.  Recently, I listened to Vogt speak about his new book called Return: How to Draw Your Child Back to the Church.  The book was the fruit of Vogt’s many years of research on the sky-rocketing number of people who were raisedContinue reading “Return”

Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi

During a recent conversation with a member of our parish, he told me that over the past few years he has come to a greater love and appreciation for the True Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.  He attributed this awakening to his experience of reverence in the liturgy.  In particular, he said that attending Eucharistic exposition and benediction,Continue reading “Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi”

The Eucharist in The Times

There was a very interesting article in The New York Times two weeks ago in which journalists Elizabeth Dias and Ruth Graham reported on the Eucharist (“Beyond the Politics of Communion, an Ancient Holy Ritual”, 6/27/21).  The impetus for the piece was the recent meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, at which the bishops discussedContinue reading “The Eucharist in The Times”

New Mass Schedule

A wise priest once told me that there are certain decisions that a pastor must make, even at the risk of his own life.  One of them is deciding to tinker with the parish Mass schedule.  Last year, after the shutdowns, the unique circumstances required the adjustment of the liturgical schedule.  If you recall, prior to the pandemic the Mass schedule was as follows: 4pm vigil (St. Gabriel), 5:30pm vigilContinue reading “New Mass Schedule”

R.I.P. Sr. Mary Joseph, O.C.D.

Last weekend I received word that Sr. Mary Joseph, a member of the Carmelite Monastery of Des Plaines, IL., had passed away at the age of 92.  Sr. Mary Joseph was an unlikely member of her Carmelite community.  Born Ann Russell, she grew up as a wealthy San Francisco socialite whose father was the chairman of Southern Pacific Railroad.  She married Richard Miller atContinue reading “R.I.P. Sr. Mary Joseph, O.C.D.”

The Sacred Heart

In October 1986, Pope John Paul II made a pilgrimage to a place called Paray-le-Monial, a town in eastern France.   Paray-le-Monial is called the “City of the Sacred Heart” because it was the home of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, a 17th century religious sister whose visions of Christ led to widespread devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. During an audience, Pope John Paul II saidContinue reading “The Sacred Heart”

Memento Mori

 A couple of weeks ago, the New York Times featured a story by journalist Ruth Graham about a young religious sister who spends her days encouraging people to remember not just the dead, but to remember death itself.  Sr. Teresa Aletheia, a member of the Daughters of St. Paul, has developed a huge online following by encouraging people to cultivate the daily habit of reflecting on their mortality. Memento mori, in Latin, was a practice of ancient pagan philosophers but has also been part of Christian lifeContinue reading “Memento Mori”

Together in Person

Last week, the bishops of the three Connecticut dioceses jointly released a statement announcing the reinstatement of the obligation of the faithful to attend Sunday Mass.  This obligation to attend Sunday Mass (or Saturday Vigil Mass) in person has its roots in the Apostolic age, when the members of the Church gathered every Sunday to celebrate together the paschalContinue reading “Together in Person”

Hearing the Call of the Shepherd

In this Sunday’s gospel, Our Lord refers to Himself as the Good Shepherd, thus inviting us to consider the mystery of vocation.  The Second Vatican Council reminds us that there is a universal vocation to holiness, which means that every single person is called to be a saint.  For the sake of helping people respond to the universal vocation, we believe the Lord gives aContinue reading “Hearing the Call of the Shepherd”

Learning the Narrative

You hear sometimes people in politics and public relations talking about “controlling the narrative.”  Usually, this means trying to get a jump on a story by being the first to explain what is going on.  The hope is that a “narrative” friendly to one’s position will be established in the mind of the public so that adversaries will be at a disadvantage,Continue reading “Learning the Narrative”

Emmaus

We have come to the end of Easter Sunday.  Yes, the Solemnity of Easter was a week ago, but we must remember that Easter is such a big deal that the Church gives us eight days to celebrate it properly.  We call that eight-day period the “Easter Octave.”  The second Sunday of Easter – Divine Mercy Sunday – is the final day inContinue reading “Emmaus”

Detox

The first reading for today’s Mass is from the Book of Numbers (21:4-9).  Numbers is one of the first five books of the Bible, which together are called the Torah.  Numbers tells the story of the Israelites after their liberation from slavery in Egypt, during their 40-year period of wandering in the desert before entering the Promised Land.  In those days of wandering, theyContinue reading “Detox”

From the Ruins

Last weekend, perhaps overshadowed by the media coverage given to Oprah Winfrey’s interview of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Pope Francis made a historic pilgrimage to Iraq, becoming the first pope to visit that country.  The images from the visit are remarkable, especially the Holy Father’s visit of the city of Mosul.  Mosul is the second-largest city in Iraq, and was theContinue reading “From the Ruins”

True Aid in Dying

The Connecticut state legislature is debating once again a bill that would legalize physician-assisted suicide, calling it an “Aid in Dying” law. Below is part of an essay by Dr. Michael Brescia, the founder of Calvary hospice, that helps us to understand the true needs of those facing terminal illness. Not poison, but presence, love, and compassion.  People ask for physician-assisted suicide because of suffering,Continue reading “True Aid in Dying”

The Search

Everyone likes a good movie/show recommendation.  In that spirit, I’ll share one with you.  It’s a series called The Search, which was produced by the Augustine Institute and which is available to our parishioners for free through our online FORMED account (you can access it through our parish website).  Released last spring, The Search is well worth your time.  It is a 7-part video series hosted by Chris Stefanick, with eachContinue reading “The Search”

Changed by Asking

When pagans wanted something, they always turned to their gods.  The pagan gods, of course, were fickle.  It was very easy to fall out of favor with them, which meant disaster.  So, the pagans would present their petition to the god or goddess they thought was most interested in the thing that they wanted, along with anContinue reading “Changed by Asking”

Thoughts on Ash Wednesday

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, which is typically one of the busiest days of the year in every Catholic parish.  This year was no different.  We started with our normal 7:30am Mass, which reached maximum capacity (160) under the current COVID restriction, which was really nice.  Just after the parish Mass, we had Mass for some of the students at the Catholic Academy of Stamford. Continue reading “Thoughts on Ash Wednesday”

Learning Our Prayers

Priests have the privilege of being with people as they near the ends of their lives.  Some of the people I’ve helped prepare for death spent their whole lives active in the Church, some were less active, and a few were resistant to the idea of seeing a priest and receiving the sacraments.  I remember one gentlemanContinue reading “Learning Our Prayers”

Singing Our Prayers

Music matters in liturgy. Ever since the resumption of public Masses last summer, however, we have been using a different style of music in the parish than what we were accustomed to hear prior to the COVID shutdowns.  We can’t use the popular hymns that we’d otherwise hear at Mass because the current health protocols prohibit congregational singing during liturgies in order to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.  Because the musicContinue reading “Singing Our Prayers”

Holy Smoke

A priest friend of mine once shared with me his take on the secret to a life well-lived: “Moderation in all things,” he said, “except incense and orthodoxy.”  I have always found his advice compelling.  You certainly can’t be too orthodox in matters of the faith, with orthodoxy being openness and adherence to all that is true and good as solid ground on which to stand, and solidContinue reading “Holy Smoke”

Healing Division

It’s a cliché, but by all measures we are a nation divided.  Our culture and our politics are sick, and it’s been that way for a long time.  The election last November is just the most recent in a series of presidential elections that have taken on an apocalyptic tone, exaggerating the role of electoral politics in our lives beyond what itContinue reading “Healing Division”

Baptism into Ordinary Time

This weekend we celebrate the 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time.  If you’ve been paying attention, you might be wondering what happened to the 1st Sunday.  In her wisdom, the Church makes the transition from the Season of Christmas into Ordinary Time with the celebration of the Baptism of the Lord, which we celebrated last Sunday.  This is certainly fitting, because baptism isContinue reading “Baptism into Ordinary Time”

Psalm 95

“Come, let us sing to the Lord, and shout with joy to the rock who saves us./ Let us approach Him with praise and thanksgiving and sing joyful songs to the Lord./  The Lord is God, the mighty God, the great king above all the gods./  He holds in His hands the depths of the earth and the highest mountains as well./  He madeContinue reading “Psalm 95”

Vaccines

Last November, the pharmaceutical companies Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca announced that they had developed vaccines that effectively prevent infection by the COVID-19 virus.  Not long after the announcement, however, questions were raised by many as to the morality of receiving these vaccines.  The issue stems from the use of a morally compromised cell line in various phases of the design & development, production, and testing of these new vaccines.  This cell line wasContinue reading “Vaccines”

Christ is Master

In the gospel for today (Mk6:45-52) we find the Apostles on the Sea of Galilee in their boat.  Jesus had stayed behind on the shore, going up the mountain alone to pray.  As evening falls, the weather gets bad, and the Apostles have a hard time rowing to their destination.  From His position on the mountain, JesusContinue reading “Christ is Master”

End and Beginning

In ancient Roman mythology, Janus was the god of beginnings and transitions.  He was depicted as having two faces, one looking ahead to the future and one looking behind to the past.  The month January is named after him because it is the time of transition into a new year from the old.  As we comeContinue reading “End and Beginning”

Liturgy, Part 5

Pope (emeritus) Benedict XVI is widely considered to be one of the most influential Catholic theologians of the past 100 years.  One of his most famous books is entitled The Spirit of the Liturgy, which he published in the year 2000 as Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, five years prior to his election to the papacy.  Among the topics that Ratzinger examines in that book is the relationship of the liturgy to timeContinue reading “Liturgy, Part 5”

Liturgy, part 4

When we think of the word “sacrifice,” we might think of it as a form of delayed gratification, where we deprive ourselves of something we want now for the sake of enjoying a better thing later on.  We might also think of the sacrifices that parents make for their children, or that members of the military make for the protection of our country.  ButContinue reading “Liturgy, part 4”

Advent

A priest friend of mine recently shared with me an excerpt of a meditation on Advent by Br. Victor-Antoine d’Avila-Latourette, who is a Benedictine monk living in a monastery near Millbrook, NY.  Br. Victor-Antoine works on the monastery’s farm and is in charge of cooking for the community, which fosters in him a deep reverence for the differentContinue reading “Advent”

The Gift of Gratitude

Thanksgiving reminds me of my grandmother, Elizabeth. When we were little, our family used to make the trek down from Trumbull to Staten Island where she lived, braving both the BQE and the Verrazano Bridge – which is not for the faint of heart even on the best of days.  My grandmother was one of seven children born to the Fallon family in County Longford,Continue reading “The Gift of Gratitude”

Giving Thanks in 2020

Thanksgiving is a holiday filled with tradition.  Besides 5k Turkey Trots and football games, the most important tradition is to sit at a table with family and friends and share with each other a meal, at which everyone speaks about what they’re grateful for.  This year, many are likely to say they’re grateful that it’s almost 2021.  The “annus horribilis”Continue reading “Giving Thanks in 2020”

Tough Love

The Book of Revelation is filled with dramatic images of great battles between angels and demons, the Lamb of God and the terrible dragon that vainly tries to destroy the Woman who appears in the sky, “clothed with the sun.”  Usually identified with an account of the end of the world, the Book of Revelation is really more than that.  It unveilsContinue reading “Tough Love”

Conspiracies and End Times

Conspiracy theories abound these days.  A conspiracy theory, according to Wikipedia, is “an explanation for an event or situation that invokes a conspiracy by sinister and powerful groups, often political in motivation, when other explanations are more probable.” By nature, conspiracy theories are extremely difficult to disprove, because proponents will use both the presence and the lack of evidence asContinue reading “Conspiracies and End Times”

Glory-Scrolling

“Doom-scrolling” is a new internet expression that seems to be growing in popular usage.  It’s defined online as: “the tendency to continue to surf or scroll through bad news, even though that news is saddening, disheartening, or depressing.” I would venture to guess that anyone who has a social media account on Facebook or Twitter has had the experience of lying in bed, scrolling down throughContinue reading “Glory-Scrolling”

Litany of Trust

During this time of uncertainty, which can lead us to anxiety and anger, we should renew our trust in God, professing our faith in the reality that He is in control and that He loves us.  As an aid, I share with you below a prayer called the “Litany of Trust” which was composed by Sr. Faustina MariaContinue reading “Litany of Trust”

Consumed and Sustained

A friend of mine, some years ago, tried to solve what was a terrible mosquito problem in his backyard by purchasing one of those bug-zapping lights.  I’m sure you’re familiar with these things.  They glow with a light that bugs find irresistible, to the point that they get so close to it that they are consumed by its blazing heat. Continue reading “Consumed and Sustained”

Pray the Rosary

Patrick Peyton was born in 1909 into a large family of 9 children, and grew up working the family farm in Co. Mayo, Ireland.  After considering a vocation to the priesthood as a boy, he later decided to emigrate to America, where he hoped to make his fortune.  But it wasn’t long after he arrived to Scranton, PA that he felt aContinue reading “Pray the Rosary”

Sacramentals

Statues, rosary beads, crucifixes, scapulars, holy cards, miraculous medals, candles, palms, ashes – these are part of the “furniture” of our lives as Catholics.  Technically, we call these things “sacramentals.” Sacramentals are different than sacraments in a couple of ways.  The sacraments were instituted by Christ Himself as the seven ordinary ways in which He shares His life – His sanctifying grace – with us.  As one author puts it: “Sacraments bearContinue reading “Sacramentals”

Embracing the Holy Cross

posted 9/12/20 The Cross is the most distinctive sign of Christianity.  This is because, as we say to Our Lord during the Stations of the Cross devotion, “by Your holy cross You have redeemed the world.”  I remember the beautiful bronze Stations of the Cross that we had in seminary.  The first station, of course, depicts Pilate’s condemnation of Jesus.  There wasContinue reading “Embracing the Holy Cross”

Brain Heart World

posted 8/29/20 Recently, I watched a 3-part documentary series called Brain, Heart, World.  It was produced by an organization called “Fight the New Drug,” which describes itself on its website as: a non-religious and non-legislative organization that exists to provide individuals the opportunity to make an informed decision regarding pornography by raising awareness on its harmful effectsContinue reading “Brain Heart World”

Regaining Hope

posted 8/22/20 Several years ago, someone gave me a book called Regaining Sight.  It is a compilation of articles from a magazine called Imprint, published by a religious community, the Sisters of Life.  The articles are stories about different people, the challenges they face, and how their relationship with God helped them through a particular struggle.  They feature people like the late Steven McDonald, who was aContinue reading “Regaining Hope”

Struggling with Sadness

posted 8/15/20 In the gospel this coming Monday we hear about a rich young man who approaches Jesus, asking Him: “what good must I do to gain eternal life?”  Our Lord instructs the young man to keep the commandments.  When the young man tells Christ that he already observes them, He responds: “If you wish to be perfect, go,Continue reading “Struggling with Sadness”

Good Teacher

posted 7/18/20 Robert P. George is the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University, where he has taught since 1985.  The grandson of immigrants who worked in the coal mines of West Virginia, George is known as one of the nation’s leading conservative intellectuals.  As a practicing Catholic who holds views considered “conservative” on many issues, George’s outspoken critiques of abortion, same-sex marriage, euthanasia, pornography, large-scale government welfare programs, and human trafficking often putContinue reading “Good Teacher”

The Paralytic

posted 7/2/20 Today’s gospel is St. Matthew’s account of Jesus’ healing of the paralytic in the town of Capernaum (Mt 9:1-8).  The afflicted man is brought to Our Lord by his friends, lying on a stretcher.  “When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, ‘Courage, child, your sins are forgiven.’” I wonder if there wasn’tContinue reading “The Paralytic”

Images of God

posted 6/25/20 When I was a kid, I liked to read the copy of The Children’s Bible, which was first published by Golden Press in the 1960s.  Even before I learned to read, the pictures depicting the Bible stories fascinated me, especially those of the Old Testament.  In my mind I can still see the picture of the animals entering Noah’s Ark asContinue reading “Images of God”

The Narrow Gate

posted 6/23/20 The first reading for today’s Mass is from the Second Book of Kings (2 Kings 19:9-36).  It is an account of the siege of Jerusalem that took place about 700 years before the birth of Christ.  The ruler of the Assyrian Empire, King Sennacherib, had already conquered the northern Kingdom of Israel and sent 10 of the Israelite tribesContinue reading “The Narrow Gate”

Sacred Heart of Jesus

posted 6/19/20 On a hill overlooking the city of Paris is the Basilica of Sacre-Coeur, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  It is a modern structure, whose construction began in 1875 and was completed in 1914.  Because of the outbreak of the First World War, it was not consecrated until 1917.  Probably the most remarkable thing aboutContinue reading “Sacred Heart of Jesus”

Finding Refuge

posted 6/5/20 There are times when I’ll be at a family gathering, the adults sitting at the dining room table and the kids playing somewhere (everywhere) else, and inevitably one of the children will come over and bury himself/herself in the side of his/her mother or father. It could be for a multitude of reasons.  It could be the kid is unhappy because someone wasContinue reading “Finding Refuge”

The Ugandan Martyrs

posted 6/3/20 Today is the feast day of St. Charles Lwanga and Companions, 22 young Ugandan men who were put to death for the faith in 1886.  While doing some research on these young saints, I came across a video that Bishop Robert Barron did on the Ugandan Martyrs and it’s much better than anything I could comeContinue reading “The Ugandan Martyrs”

The Human Heart

posted 6/2/20 When he was arrested in February 1945 on a trumped-up charge of having committed crimes against the Soviet Union, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was forced to march along with several other detained Soviet soldiers and a German civilian from the jail where they had been processed to the prison which would be their new home.  Solzhenitsyn, an officer in the Soviet Army, wasContinue reading “The Human Heart”

Mother of the Church

posted 6/1/20 There’s a couple I’ve known for many years – I’ll call them Fred and Jane.  They met each other not long after the untimely deaths of their first spouses.  Jane had children with her first husband, and Fred also had children, including a young son with severe disabilities.  I remember a conversation with Jane when she told me about the time she first metContinue reading “Mother of the Church”

The Love of God

posted 5/20/20 The wallpaper image on my smartphone is a photo that I took of another photo that was part of an exhibit during World Youth Day in 2016.  It’s a black and white image of a young Missionary of Charity bathing the emaciated body of a woman whom the sisters rescued from dying on the streetsContinue reading “The Love of God”

Love

posted 5/14/20 “You shall love… whether you like it or not.”  This is a line from the beautiful homily given by the priest character in the film To the Wonder. The film’s director Terrence Malick is famous (infamous?) for his artsy movies that have beautiful images but plots that are extremely difficult to follow – some might say they are incomprehensible.  Because of this, I won’t recommend theContinue reading “Love”

A Weird Catholic

posted 5/12/20 Recently, a friend of mine very thoughtfully gave me a new biography about Dorothy Day (1897-1980), who was one of the founders of the Catholic Worker Movement, along with her friend and mentor Peter Maurin.  I became interested in Day when I was in seminary through a friend of mine who had a greatContinue reading “A Weird Catholic”

Don Shula

posted 5/9/20 Last week, Don Shula, the winningest coach in NFL history, passed away at the age of 90.  Shula is best known for being the head coach of the Miami Dolphins, leading them to two Super Bowl titles, including a perfect undefeated season in 1972.  He also won an NFL championship in 1968 as head coach ofContinue reading “Don Shula”

Faith

posted 5/8/20 I remember a conversation with a man named Jim who was sharing with me his life story.  He told me that he grew up as a Protestant, but during his young adulthood he found himself kind of lost, drifting from the faith of his childhood and wondering what life was about.  After some years of real struggles and some darkness, he found himself reading aContinue reading “Faith”

Revealing Ourselves

posted 5/7/20 When I was a kid there was an unwritten (though oft-spoken) rule in our house that when you came home from Tashua Pool in Trumbull you were to hang out your towel to dry in the backyard.  I usually complied with this rule, through there were times when I would just leave it on the floor in theContinue reading “Revealing Ourselves”

Lessons from Mustard Seed

posted 5/6/20 There’s an organization in Jamaica called Mustard Seed Communities that provides homes for people with severe disabilities.  In my last assignment, the members of the parish youth group would go down there each year to volunteer as part of a mission trip.  It was not easy work, but it was very rewarding to see how the teenagers fromContinue reading “Lessons from Mustard Seed”

Acedia: Take Two

posted 5/5/20 So, let me tell you how my life has been ever since I published my reflection on the sin of acedia yesterday.  I wasted at least an hour watching YouTube videos and checking my Twitter feed, I fell asleep during my holy hour in church, I mindlessly snacked on junk food in the rectory kitchen instead of making a proper dinner for myself, andContinue reading “Acedia: Take Two”

Acedia

posted 5/4/20 When I was the Vocation Director of the Diocese one of the things I was expected to do was have what’s called a “social media presence,” which meant posting content on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.  I quickly realized how social media can easily suck up all your attention and waste huge amounts of time with things that are not very edifying.  While usingContinue reading “Acedia”

The Good Shepherd

When I was in seminary, one of the priests on the faculty told us a story about his first pilgrimage to the Holy Land when he was a seminarian.  He and the rest of the group were near the Sea of Galilee and as the tour guide was telling them about the site they were visiting, theyContinue reading “The Good Shepherd”

God Is

posted 4/29/20 “Do you know, daughter, who you are, and who I am?  If you know these two things, you will be blessed.”  So spoke Our Lord to St. Catherine of Siena in a vision.  Our Lord continued, revealing to her the answer: “You are she who is not; whereas I am He who is.  HaveContinue reading “God Is”

Liturgy and the Spiritual Life

posted 4/28/20 In yesterday’s reflection, I wrote about the importance of liturgy in our lives, distinguishing liturgical prayer from devotional prayer.  Devotional prayer is important, but liturgical prayer is necessary. In the context of liturgy we pray collectively and uniquely as the Mystical Body of Christ, the Church.  When we pray in this way, we actually participate in the interior life of Jesus Christ. Continue reading “Liturgy and the Spiritual Life”

Doc

posted 4/21/20 Growing up I had a friend named Darren whom everyone called “Doc.”  Everybody liked Doc.  He was very friendly and had a great sense of humor.  He was always telling funny stories, most of them made up, and would make fun of you in a way that you couldn’t help but laugh as you thanked him for the insult. Continue reading “Doc”

Notre Dame

posted 4/16/20 Yesterday was the one-year anniversary of the terrible fire that threatened to completely destroy the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris.  Before the fire, Notre Dame was one of the most-visited places in the world.  Jason Baxter, a professor at Wyoming Catholic College, noted in a recent article in America magazine that Notre Dame had 12 million visitors each year, moreContinue reading “Notre Dame”

Accepting God’s Will

posted 4/2/20 The first reading from yesterday’s Mass has stayed with me all day, and I find myself continuing to think about it.  It was a passage from the Book of Daniel and tells the story of three young Israelites who are living in exile in Babylon about 550 years before the birth of Christ.  They are amongContinue reading “Accepting God’s Will”

Mercy

posted 3/30/20 The gospel for today’s Mass is the Woman Caught in Adultery (John 8:1-11).  Scribes and Pharisees bring a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery to Jesus, who is teaching in the Temple area in Jerusalem.  They try to test Him, wanting to know if He will make a judgment in accordContinue reading “Mercy”

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