Summer is a great time. It feels relaxed and there is a certain freedom. I remember this from even when I was working. We recently celebrated the Fourth of July and we have a lot of feast days of some great saints during this time of year as well. On July 4, 1925, the birthday of our country, another event was happening in Italy in Turin. Thousands of sick, poor, and unknown flocked to the mansion of the young man who had visited them and cared for them, and this gathering was a complete shock to his parents who were at best agnostic in their belief of God. These people had heard of his death and wanted to pay their respects. They came in such droves that the police had to shut down the streets. Read More
“He resolutely journeyed to Jerusalem”…Our Lord is not a hippie or a whimp. No, he was not simply some guy who encourages us to just simply float through life being nice He is perfect God and perfect man.
Our Lord is absolutely determined to go to Jerusalem, where He knows He will suffer and die in order to save us from our sins and eternal death. Nothing and nobody is able to stop Him, not even the rejection of the Samaritans. How troubling that must have been…to be traveling through the desert, and the mountains, and to not even have a place to rest. They come near a place, a Samaritan town, and they are refused entry. Not even this deters our Lord! How important it is to us to have a place we call our own, our home. Yet even this was denied our Lord and His apostles, but he continues His mission. Read More
Do you not know that the runners in the stadium all run in the race, but only one wins the prize? Run so as to win.Every athlete exercises discipline in every way. They do it to win a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one.-1 Corinthians 9:24-25
Jesus says “By their fruits you will know them”. Our Lord expects our lives to be shaped by our faith in Him. Our daily activities have to put our faith into practice. The small things of daily life do in fact matter because that is where our Lord comes to meet us. We do not simply say we are Catholic and then refuse to live up to the Church’s teachings on moral issues. There cannot be a dichotomy in what we say and what we do. When our faith begins to inform our daily lives, we will begin to grow more aware of the areas in our lives that we need to reform, and by being faithful in little things, we will be given the grace to overcome greater difficulties. Read More
Today is the Feast of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga. I am assigned to the Church under his patronage, so this is a special day here. I was privileged to preach at the morning Mass.
To find out more about Saint Aloysius, click here
Here is the text of my homily. May Saint Aloysius pray for us!
The day after I was ordained a transitional Deacon, I was at my youngest brother’s college graduation. The graduation speaker was droning on and on. At one point, as she was introducing her talk, she made a comment which struck me as representative of many today. She said “there is no path to happiness” but that we should “see the world and travel”. Now I have a serious bone to pick with this comment…because it is the lie that we hear constantly. We must find ourselves, but happiness can only be found when we are “free”, free from commitment, free from worries, free from suffering. I would further say I think this idea is one of the temptations that Satan entices us with today. Yes, happiness is related to freedom, but the freedom which brings happiness is not the freedom of license. Read More
On Sunday, June 12, I took part in a walking pilgrimage organized by the Sister Servants of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (As an aside, this is a very faithful order of sisters with a Franciscan charism, prayer, reparation, and apostolate. They are a great order to consider if you are a woman discerning religious life.)
This was the first Sunday I spent in Cresson at my parish assignment for the parishes of Saint Francis Xavier and Saint Aloysius. Read More
I am reading through “Friends of God” by Saint Josemaria Escriva. Here is an excellent quote, which has some very concrete examples of penances we can offer up with love to our Lord:
“Penance is fulfilling exactly the timetable you have fixed for yourself, even though your body resists or your mind tries to avoid it by dreaming up useless fantasies. Penance is getting up on time and also not leaving for later, without any real reason, that particular job that you find harder or most difficult to do.
Penance is knowing how to reconcile your duties to God, to others and to yourself, by making demands on yourself so that you find enough time for each of your tasks. You are practising penance when you lovingly keep to your schedule of prayer, despite feeling worn out, listless or cold.
Penance means being very charitable at all times towards those around you, starting with the members of your own family. It is to be full of tenderness and kindness towards the suffering, the sick and the infirm. It is to give patient answers to people who are boring and annoying. It means interrupting our work or changing our plans, when circumstances make this necessary, above all when the just and rightful needs of others are involved.
Penance consists in putting up good-humouredly with the thousand and one little pinpricks of each day; in not abandoning your job, although you have momentarily lost the enthusiasm with which you started it; in eating gladly whatever is served, without being fussy.
For parents and, in general, for those whose work involves supervision or teaching, penance is to correct whenever it is necessary. This should be done bearing in mind the type of fault committed and the situation of the person who needs to be so helped, not letting oneself be swayed by subjective viewpoints, which are often cowardly and sentimental.
A spirit of penance keeps us from becoming too attached to the vast imaginative blueprints we have made for our future projects, where we have already foreseen our master strokes and brilliant successes. What joy we give to God when we are happy to lay aside our third-rate painting efforts and let him put in the features and colours of his choice!” (Friends of God, 138).
Dear Sisters, Fathers, and Friends
The opposite of love is not hatred, but indifference. Isn’t it crushing to us when we sense that somebody ignored us, or doesn’t care about us? Some of you who work with the elderly could probably share a number of stories of how the elderly suffer when they feel forgotten by their loved ones. I think this also affects many young people as well. Facebook, texting, and social media can create a world of indifference. Read More
Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger relates about a conversation he once had with a bishop from a communist country: “…[he] said to me what was most characteristic of that world, no longer allowed to be open to anything transcendent, was its unbelievable dreariness, the boredom of a world that can expect nothing of itself, the everlasting grayness of leaden everyday life with no celebration, in which, ultimately nothing else can arrive, because man simply reproduces himself.”
I know some of you have come from Poland, and can certainly relate to this dreariness, and probably the horrors of life under such a government. Actually in our current country we are perhaps not too far off the mark on this. Read More