Friday, January 22, 2021
Friday, January 8, 2021
“Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.” — Jesus Christ.
Republican Ronald Reagan and Democratic leader Tip O'Neill
In the Hebrew Bible it says: “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brothers and sisters to dwell together in unity!” Psalm 133:1
In the Christian Bible it says: “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35
It's time to end the constant discord and come together as one. Union is strength, discord can only lead to defeat.
Pray with me:
In this century and in any century,
Our deepest hope, our most tender prayer,
Is that we learn to listen.
May we listen to one another in openness and mercy
May we listen to plants and animals in wonder and respect
May We listen to our own hearts in love and forgiveness
May we listen to God in quietness and awe.
And in this listening,
Which is boundless in its beauty,
May we find the wisdom to cooperate
With a healing spirit, a divine spirit
Who beckons us into peace and community and creativity.
We do not ask for a perfect world.
But we do ask for a better world.
We ask for deep listening.
- Jay McDaniel, Professor of Religion, Hendrix College, Arkansas
Tuesday, January 5, 2021
Saint Augustine once said in a prayer to God:
"You have made us for yourself and our heart is restless until it rests in you.”
As a young man, Augustine would have fit in well in our current culture. Like so many today, he fell into the illusion that something other than God could satisfy, could give his life purpose and meaning. It is easy to be completely distracted by the world and ignore the one who can fill us with purpose, joy and peace: Jesus Christ.
Our restlessness is not an obstacle to experiencing God's love, just the opposite. Our restlessness is the best avenue we have for the grace of God to touch and transform us. If you seek peace and purpose in your life, that is God tugging at your heartstrings, saying, look here.
Saturday, January 2, 2021
The Catholic Church has a "hall of fame." We give those we honor the title "Saint." These are people who lived lives worthy of imitation. Nearly everyday the Church recalls the story of one of these great witnesses to Christian life. In this way these "Saints" continue to light our way on our journey of faith.Today we honor a 4th Century Christian - St. Basil. His impact was so profound he has been given the title Basil the Great. The iconic domed church in Red Square in Moscow dedicated to him is one of the most recognizable buildings in the world.
Catholics each day have the opportunity to read something our Saints have said. What St. Basil said 1600 years ago has motivated me to clean out my closet today and head to the local homeless shelter.
He said: "The bread which you do not use is the bread of the hungry; the garment hanging in your wardrobe is the garment of him who is naked; the shoes that you do not wear are the shoes of the one who is barefoot; the money that you keep locked away is the money of the poor; the acts of charity that you do not perform are so many injustices that you commit.”
― St. Basil the Great
Thursday, December 31, 2020
The point of his birth was to show us that a life of courage and generosity and importance can begin from whatever desolate place we find ourselves. No matter how ordinary or hopelessly broken we feel, we are vessels of divine purpose.
May the humility of Jesus empower us and change our lives forever that we might hear the call to help him to bring salvation to the world. No matter who you are, or where you are on life’s journey, God needs you to follow humbly in Christ's footsteps.
“The world needs Christians who let themselves be moved, who never tire of walking the streets of life, to bring everyone the consoling word of Jesus.”
Tuesday, December 29, 2020
The first recorded words of Jesus are in the Gospel of Mark: "Repent and believe in the gospel."
The Greek word Jesus used was metanoia. And the literal meaning of metanoia is "a change of mind." A variation of the same Greek word describes the change a caterpillar goes through to become a beautiful butterfly. Being a Christian is not about following a set of rules; it is about being transformed by God's love and then sharing the beauty of it.
Søren Kierkegaard expressed the energy of "metanoia" this way:
"Don’t just be a Christian. No, take all of your life to become a Christian: Choose, again and again with each new day, to be a real self, an authentic person in relation to God. Abandon your calculated safety for a reckless, wholehearted life of faith in Christ. Continue to become. Grow. Risk. Take that radical leap of faith right now."
Saturday, December 19, 2020
"Only one moment exists for you in all its beauty and that is the present moment. Live it completely in the love of God. If your life is built up like a large crystal from millions of such moments, it will be a wonderfully beautiful life. Can't you see how easy it could be?"
When asked how one can reach this intensity of love in the present moment Cardinal Van Thuan said, " I simply recall that I must live each day, each moment as if it were the last one of my life. I leave aside everything accidental and concentrate only on the essential; then each word, each gesture, each telephone call, and each decision I make is the most beautiful of my life. I give my love to everyone, my smile to everyone; I am afraid of wasting even one second by living without meaning. I will not wait. I will live in the present moment, filling it to the brim with love.”
Jesus told us, “Don’t be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time.” Matthew 6:34