It seems to happen every year, like clockwork: we drag a bit, as we enter into the second week of Lent. On Ash Wednesday, we feel a bit like soldiers banging our shields, rushing into battle. “We’re ready, God!” our hearts cry out. “Transform us through sacrifice! Your will be done!”READ MORE
Have you ever taken a nature walk? Have you leisurely strolled through a forest or field, with no real destination in mind and your only objective being receptivity to and observation of all God’s creation? Sometimes, Scripture readings can feel like a nature walk. All of salvation history plays out against the backdrop of the natural world, with all elements of God’s creation — plants and animals and the dust of the earth itself — turning in a supporting performance. How about Jesus in the hot and dusty desert, tempted, living “among the wild beasts?” Noah departed from his ark with the animals he rescued, observing God’s sign in the very clouds of the sky. Even God Himself, offering us salvation from original sin through the waters of baptism.READ MORE
Do you know a holy person? I’m not talking about piety — that’s important, too, in its own way. But right now, I’m speaking of holiness.
St. Therese of Lisieux called holiness “a disposition of the heart that makes us humble and little in the arms of God, aware of our weakness, and confident — in the most audacious way — in His Fatherly goodness.”READ MORE
One of the characteristics of Everyday Stewardship is to be committed — to persevere daily in a way of life acknowledging that everything belongs to God. I know, I know. Easier said than done.
Just ask Zebedee. It’s quite an image we get from the Gospel, after all. “So they left their father Zebedee in the boat along with the hired men and followed him.” There was Zebedee, about his business, mending nets with his two sons, who were undoubtedly his best workers, they had to have been more dedicated than the hired men, who worked for wages rather than for family. And in an instant off they go, following this strange man.READ MORE
“You don’t need to shout. My hearing works just fine.”
Are you a parent that has used that one on your kids? I’m not sure at what age they realize that the volume of their voice doesn’t correlate to the likelihood of receiving a favorable reply — it might be sometime in the teenage years, when the talking slows down altogether. But I’ve got to admit, it would be nice if God always gave us a loud and dramatic sign when He wanted something — the booming voice and the torn-open heavens (“This is my beloved Son!”) really get the message across. Sometimes I find myself envious of the Apostles, who were able to witness such things in person.READ MORE
If you’re on social media, you have probably seen a meme going around that features this quote: “God has a plan for your life. The enemy has a plan for your life. Be ready for both. Just be wise enough to know which one to battle and which one to embrace.” There were certainly two competing plans for the Magi: God’s and Herod’s. And, wise as they supposedly were, it wasn’t entirely easy for the Magi to discern which was which.READ MORE
What a year it has been! How will we speak of these times a decade from now? As time goes by, our impressions of this past year will certainly change. How we feel today about dealing with a killer virus and all the chaos surrounding that is still fresh for all. I would assume that most of us right now are also holding those we love a little closer and hugging them a little harder. Hopefully, even if the fears and concerns of 2020 dissipate in the future, the way we feel toward our family should never leave us.READ MORE
"Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time will come." –Mark 13:33
We all take things for granted. In particular, we take time for granted. We make our lives too busy. We plan our time, our days, weeks, months, even years in advance. Remember, our time on earth is a gift. None of us knows how long we will be here. Start today and begin thanking God for each and every day. Take time in silence, every day, and listen to how God is calling you right now to help build His kingdom on earth.
“...whatever you did for one of the least of my brothers, you did for me..” Matthew 25:40
Most of us are generous when it’s convenient for us. We are generous when we have the time or the money. But, generosity is the opposite of that. It means giving of one’s time, money, compassion, forgiveness or mercy when it’s not convenient; when it’s not on our schedule, but on the other person’s schedule.
“Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you have been faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities.” - Matthew 25:21
God calls us to nurture and develop the gifts He has given us and then generously return a portion with increase. He doesn’t want us to waste or hoard the gifts He has given us. He expects us to grow our gifts, use them wisely and be generous with them. Unfortunately, many of us are not generous in proportion to all that God has given us.
"Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour." –Matthew 25:13
Many of us have put off doing something because we thing we are too bust. We've all said, "I'll do it later when I have time." Unfortunately, too many of us apply this attitude to our faith. Jesus' call is urgent, in the here and now, in our current circumstances. Don't delay. How is God calling you to use your gifts today? None of us is guaranteed tomorrow.
"Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you (falsely) because of me." -Matthew 5:11
We are all at different points on the path to holiness, on getting to Heaven and becoming a saint. Part of the journey is being mocked and ridiculed by others. When this happens, how do you respond? Do you become silent? Do you react in anger or do you react with love? Fortunately, as one Body of Christ, we are united with the saints already in Heaven. Ask your favorite saint for guidance in defending the Faith.