Wednesday, March 31, 2021

“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. 
I do not see the road ahead of me. 
I cannot know for certain where it will end. 
Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. 
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. 
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. 
And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. 

Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost 
and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”

from Thomas Merton’s Thoughts in Solitude

Friday, March 26, 2021

Lent is a time of going very deeply into ourselves... 

What is it that stands between us and God? 

Between us and our brothers and sisters? 

Between us and life, the life of the Spirit? 

Whatever it is, let us relentlessly tear it out, 

without a moment's hesitation.  

Catherine Doherty

Thursday, March 25, 2021

O, do not pray for easy lives.

Pray to be stronger women and men.

Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers.

Pray for powers equal to your tasks. 

John Henry Newman

Monday, March 22, 2021

The Secret to Life.

Jesus tells us about one of the fundamental laws of life. You might even say the secret to life. It’s one of those secrets hidden in plain sight.

So, what did he say: “Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.”

This law of life Jesus speaks of is the pattern of loss and renewal, a law that runs throughout our lives and our world. We have all lived this and experienced it, sometimes by choice and other times by chance. 

Look at the way this pattern is present in your life.

Have you ever fallen in love and committed your life to another? If so, you had to let parts of your old life go; something of your single life died so that you could be with the other person.

How about parenting? If you are a parent, you know that there are sacrifices of yourself and your life to be made for your child's new life to emerge and grow.  We give up parts of ourselves for the other. And then parents are continually letting go of their child, and the child is letting go of the parent, so the child can grow up and flourish.

Have you ever been the caretaker of another?  If so, you could name the parts of your life that died so that another might live with dignity, compassion, and love.

What are the costs, the losses you paid for your education or career?

You chose certain losses and let go of some things. Let them die so that other things can arise.  We see this same pattern in nature, in the changing seasons: falling leaves and new blooms.

The bible is full of stories of loss and renewal. Abram left his country and his relatives so that he might become a great nation. Renamed Abraham, he became a blessing to all the families of the earth. James and John, Andrew and Peter, left their fathers, boats, and nets to become disciples of Jesus and fishers of women and men. We see the pattern over and over: loss and renewal, dying and rising, leaving and returning.    At our Mass each week, we declare it.

Christ has died

Christ has risen

Christ will come again.

Sometimes the most growth in our lives comes when we least expect it. Everyone experiences moments when you look back on them; you think, “I never want to go through that again.” But.  I would not trade that experience for anything. Yes, something was hard. Something died but what came from it is a new life. For me, it was a battle with cancer.  It transformed my spirit and led me to an unexpected new life.  I never want cancer again, but I love what it did for me.

The challenge for us is to become aware that we are where we are by God calling us to be there. God is calling us to let our ego die and know that we are where we are by the grace of God and doing what you do by God’s grace too. It’s in the letting go, the emptying of the stuff of our ego; it’s in the dying to ourselves like a grain falling to the earth that we find the secret to life. Jesus said, if you are devoted to your life in this world,  you will lose it.  But if you give it up in this world, you will be given eternal life.

Letting go of our selfishness allows God to use us to create new life right where we are.

Over the next two weeks, we will see this played out in the miraculous movement in the life of Christ – in his death and resurrection. That’s what he was telling his followers, that he was letting go of this life, moving through death to life; through defeat to victory; through suffering on the cross to the glory of Easter.  

That is the secret of life.

Jesus gave his life away for the sake of others so that we might live, and He asks us to do the same, to die to our own selfish needs to share our faith – our life – so others may live.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Mother knows best ...


A college girl asked her mother 

“How can you be sure Jesus’ teachings are true? 

You can be convinced in only one way," 

her mother said, "by living them. 

If you live Jesus’ teachings they will speak to your heart 

and tell your heart that they are true.”

Thursday, March 11, 2021


        I sought my soul,                                                     

        But my soul I could not see.


        I sought my God,                                                   

        But my God eluded me.


        I sought my brother,

        And I found all three.


                                        William Blake

Monday, March 8, 2021

Our God is not a distant God. He knows us intimately! Psalm 139

Lord, you have examined me 
and you know me.
You know everything I do;
from far away you understand 
all my thoughts.
You see me, whether I am working 
or resting; you know all my actions.
Even before I speak,
you already know what I will say.
You are all around me on every side;
you protect me with your power.
Your knowledge of me is too deep;
it is beyond my understanding.

Where could I go to escape from you?
Where could I get away from your presence?
If I went up to heaven, you would be there;
if I lay down in the world of the dead, you would be there.
If I flew away beyond the east
or lived in the farthest place in the west,
you would be there to lead me,
you would be there to help me.

You created every part of me;
you put me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because you are to be feared;
all you do is strange and wonderful.
I know it with all my heart.
When my bones were being formed,
carefully put together in my mother's womb,
when I was growing there in secret,
you knew that I was there—
you saw me before I was born.

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Monday, March 1, 2021

 “Joy is the infallible sign of God’s presence.” 

- Teilhard de Chardin

Cheerfulness and optimism is a choice. When we choose to trust God for everything, we can rest in His promises to take care of us the way He sees fit. Trusting God brings joy. The key to being joyful is to keep life simple.  Mother Teresa said: "Do small things with great love." St. David whose feast day we celebrate today said: "Do ye the little things in life."  Joy comes from staying connected to God and then doing small things with love. A smile, a helping hand, a kind word make those the essential things each day, and joy will find you.