One touchy area (sorry, pun intended) has always been whether a congregation holds hands during the Our Father. The new, minor changes to the Liturgy do not address this issue. Some parishes hold hands, others do not. It does not exactly make one way right and the other wrong. It is the preference of that community. I can accept that, whatever it may be. But…
I had the great privilege and honor to be a co-director of a three-and-half day long retreat last weekend for high school juniors and seniors. This was only my second time to be on team for this retreat. It was my first with the girls. (It was on my first experience with this retreat as […]
In the previous journal entry, I used the word stewardship instead of the word ownership in regards to faith. We do not own our faith. We are stewards of it. Faith is a gift. It is the acceptance of friendship with God. We are free to do what we wish with that gift. What are […]
I was talking with one of my seniors this morning. She is a very bright student, in contention for valedictorian. She is probably one of the top ten math students I have had in my whole 13-year teaching career, and maybe the smartest overall. She also has a great personality to boot. I only hope […]
If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it. If He had a wallet, your photo would be in it. He sends you flowers every spring. He sends you a sunrise every morning. Whenever you want to talk, He listens. He can live anywhere in the universe, but He chose your heart. Face it friend, He is crazy about you!
God didn’t promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, sun without rain,
but He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. — Galatians 5:22-25
The other day while I was mulling over how to write about my journey to the edge of the desert, I realized that another metaphor for the desert, a metaphor less frightening to me, was the word kairos. The ancient Greeks had two words for time, chronos and kairos. Chronos refers to chronological or sequential […]
I think of this verse from Micah 6:8 in some of my darker or confused moments: You have been told, O man, what is good, and what the Lord requires of you: Only to do the right and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God. The “walk humbly” part […]
The spirit enters a wilderness and travels blindly in directions that seem to lead away from vision, away from God, away from all fulfillment and joy. It may become almost impossible to believe that this road goes anywhere at all except to a desolation full of dry bones—the ruin of all our hopes and good intentions.
In an earlier entry, I mentioned something about having doubts. Doubts are funny things. You are never sure about them. (Sorry, pun intended.) But seriously, it is the fact that you are unsure that makes things challenging. I don’t know about you, but my mind craves certainty. I have reached a point in my life […]
My 16 year-old daughter I were leaving the church parking lot this morning when we spotted one of her childhood friends light up a cigarette in the back of her mom’s car. My daughter turned to me and asked with a hint of moral superiority if I just saw that. I replied, “The vices of […]
In my previous entry, I mentioned something about knowing that my faith had nothing to do with my feelings. Thomas Merton, in New Seeds of Contemplation, wrote the following about faith: First of all, faith is not an emotion, not a feeling. It is not a blind subconscious urge toward something vaguely supernatural. It is […]
Sometime in the middle of August, I ran into Becca, one of my former students. She was about to start her freshman year in college as a pre-med major. As we caught up on our recent histories, she told me that her boss Charlie was in the hospital in a coma. He was in there […]
Kevin, one my students, asked me a single interview-type question for his religion class. He asked, “Why is your relationship with Jesus life-giving for you?” My reply: Jesus is love, peace, and energy. Love—I know that I’m am loved by Him (and by others); thus, I am able to love others. Through Him, I can […]
Last summer, I ran into a major frustration in my journey of faith. I had just found my faith the previous February, and everything about the Church was new to me. I was not sure what I was suppose to be doing as a “new” Christian, but I knew that I wanted God in the […]
Karl at St. Stephen’s Musings asked me five interview type questions. You are all invited to participate. (See directions at the end of the post.) 1) You have written some short fiction in the past. Do you have other stories in the works? Yes, I have been working on a story based on an incident […]
Over the last month or so, little things have been popping up here and there that have reminded me of my old self—the self-reliant, skeptical agnostic. I used to believe in a Creator-God, the Initiator of the Universe. I was not sure if He interfered with things on this planet, and if He did, science […]
Before I found my faith, I had a real problem with the concept of original sin. The first time I attended RCIA classes with my wife, I used it as one of my excuses for dropping out of the classes. I remember someone describing original sin as a stain on humanity, that is all humans […]
I heard the U2 song, “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” on the car radio today. I used to like this song because I could identify with its continual searching for something. But now, I don’t like the song so much anymore. Probably because I have found what I was looking for…
Back in April, I wrote about a problem I had with understanding Jesus’ words on the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46, Mark 15:34) In my prior, faithless life as a skeptic and agnostic, I saw this as a big hole in all of the reasons for believing in […]
Today is the Feast of Saint Thomas, the Apostle. I have a personal affinity towards Thomas because it took me so long to find my faith. The skeptic in me would not let me step outside of my doubt and let myself be found. I needed a strange sequence of events, and more importantly, the […]
Leslie Harpold wrote a nice, little piece of prose called “Possible Scenarios for Heaven”. Whatever your fantasies about heaven are, her piece is a gentle reminder that we all have a little bit heaven here on earth now. Remember to make the most of it. Savor the moments.
Many Christians believe that faith alone is enough. I would like to rephrase that and say “just enough”, as in the bare minimum. Maybe they are right, but in light of my previous entry, I think that it is only half of the story. Jesus gave us two commandments, love God first and foremost, and […]
In geometry, there is a basic set of simple facts or truths that are called postulates. (They are also known as axioms). This set of postulates or basic truths are independent of each other. They cannot be proven. They are just accepted as true. For example, two points determine a line. There is no logical […]