The author of The Cloud of Unknowing prays, “That which I am and the way that I am, with all my gifts of nature and grace, you have given to me, O Lord, and you are all this. I offer it all to you, principally to praise you and to help my fellow Christians and myself.” Knowing that God sustains us in being is the key to faith. All that we need to do is to love God as God is and the rest will begin to fall into place. God made us in His image and desires that we have life. God also desires that we be healed of all of our wounds, especially those caused by sin, and know his loving touch. Being weighed down by negativity, imperfections, the cares of the world, and weakness is not something that God desires.READ MORE
As we look at our lives and world events, do we ever find ourselves wondering if God is sleeping? After all, maybe God’s patient, unconditional love has run its course and He is finally fed up with humanity’s reluctance to accept the truth about who we are. God really can’t be that patient! All throughout human history, many have prayed to God for intervention or for particular needs. Because their prayers were not answered in the way they wanted or anticipated, they felt that God may have abandoned them. Were they right? It seems that we are continuing, at a rapid rate, down a path of destruction. Do you not care, God, that we may be perishing? When the boats of our lives are rocking and the seas tumultuous, we want to know that we have God’s attention. Even more so, we want God’s intervention.READ MORE
A favorite motto of St. Teresa of Calcutta was, “do small things with great love.” This is how it works in the kingdom of God. God can do tremendous things with the smallest gesture, especially when it is done in love. We can clearly see that our world is suffering greatly. People are struggling to find peace, navigate through conflicts, earn a sustainable living, find security and enough food to eat, and work through political tensions and conflicts. In the light of the magnitude of the difficulties that exist around us and even within us, we can find ourselves floundering to discover practical, effective solutions. How can something so large be helped by someone as small and seemingly insignificant as me? While whole systems and structures may be out of the league of our personal influence, are we really that helpless in the midst of all of the turmoil, sadness, and suffering?READ MORE
In the midst of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), Saint Pope Paul VI spoke firmly about the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.
One belief of the Catholic Church that is often confusing for many is the teaching that Jesus is truly present under the appearance of bread and wine in the Eucharist.
The theological name for this is “transubstantiation,” which the Catechism explains: “By the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood” (CCC 1376).READ MORE
Let God be who God is. This is often one of the hardest things to do. Rather than allowing the mystery of being created in the image and likeness of God unfold and take root in our lives, we change the dynamic. We want to be the creators who want to make God into the image and likeness we need God to be. We have a hard-enough time letting the people in our lives be who they are. We struggle even more so with God. It is almost as if we want God to be our imaginary friend who is not only with us whenever we need but becomes the Being we need God to be. Who is it that we want God to be today? A protector, disciplinarian, champion for justice, healer, advocate for our cause, grantor of prayers, guardian of my life, or the avenger? Our prayers tell an interesting story. When you pray, what does God look like?READ MORE
“Begin by taking a moment to calm yourself, focus on your breathing and become aware of the life force that flows through your veins. Center yourself in the words and affections of St. Augustine’s Prayer to the Holy Spirit, “Breath in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy. Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy. Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy. Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy. Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit, that I may always be holy.”READ MORE
“Remain in my love,” and, “I call you friends,” are powerful words that are found in John’s Gospel. Most of us probably have them committed to memory or have at least heard them proclaimed dozens of times. They are words that can easily become trite and quickly glossed over without fully pondering and digesting their profound beauty. When we take the time to immerse ourselves in them, they can radically change our lives and our relationships. They can open up new doors of adventure and hold countless possibilities for meaning.READ MORE
"Spiraling out of control," is a phrase that can easily describe the current display of human existence. In addition to the violence, unrest, uneasiness and turmoil that are common elements of our daily news, other essential pieces are misplaced or missing. Many lack an objective center around which to order and structure their lives or a clear set of definable goals or mores to act as guideposts and life directives. It appears that "feelings" have become a "new god" and traditional structures and ideals set aside. It is almost as if history only shows that we got this whole thing wrong and many are determined to finally set things right. The real truth, however, is that while wrongs and errors are certainly a part of our often-checkered past, it is hardly the case that all was wrong. It is not our task to rewrite the history of our lives, but to learn from mistakes that were made, and preserve the perennial wisdom at the root of our successes. Learning is an essential part of being human.READ MORE
We often act out of ignorance. Armed with the best of intentions, we think we are seeing clearly and correctly, but we are not. We don’t always understand the full meaning of things and only perceive part of the truth. Hence, our judgments and actions can be impaired by myopic, incomplete or erroneous perceptions. The meaning of life, understanding of human experience, and negotiating life’s challenges can all become skewed without proper understanding and vision. The resurrection of Christ is the corrective to our incomplete and limited view of life. Looking at things with the eyes of faith brings a depth of clarity and understanding to how we see God, ourselves, others, and the world.READ MORE
What a wonderful joy fills us today as we ponder the inexhaustible mercy of God. "Mercy is the heart of God," Pope Francis tells us. The image of a heart has been used to point to the very life source of a person as it is the organ that allows life to flow through our veins and sustain us. Mercy is the heart of God. Imagine this dynamic, powerful, compassionate, piercing, embracing, loving, propelling, penetrating, absorbing, and enveloping, transforming presence of God flowing into the very depth of our souls. It is God's mercy that allows blood to flow through our veins. It is God's mercy that forms every atom of our being and leads us to what is true. God's mercy reveals all superficiality and falsehood, and lays bare all distortions, empty promises, weakness, and sin.READ MORE
Who are you? This question was most assuredly asked of Jesus on the day of resurrection and it is a question asked of each of us. Our identities can be described in so many ways. We can start with our gifts and our talents, expertise and unique personality expressions. We can describe things we like and things we prefer to set aside. As descriptive and captivating as these can be, none come close to our essence, our real and true self. While accurate in their own right, the self who lives and interacts with the world is the self we want others to see, the one we project. But there is much more to us just as there is much more to Jesus.READ MORE