Monday, November 30, 2009

St. Andrew

Today we celebrate the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle. St. Andrew, according to the gospel of John, was the first disciple called; upon hearing the voice of Jesus resonate in his hear he went to gather his brother Simon.

St. Andrew introduced Simon to Jesus and together they shared an intimacy that grew and developed into a life of service in faith, a life that would leave the ultimate testimony, death on a cross.

When you read the call narratives, the one thing that stands out about the encounter of the disciples and Jesus is how quickly the disciples responded. The gospels recall how "immediately" or "at once" the disciples leave everything and follow Jesus.

With out hesitation, Andrew and Simon and the others open their heart wide to Christ.

As we enter into the first full week of Advent, perhaps the catch phrase this first week is "immediate." As we prepare for the coming of Christ we should immediately respond to the promptings of the Holy Spirit in our life, we should immediately respond in charity in proclaiming the truth, we should immediately respond in service.

A good way to enter fully into the Advent season of waiting is by immediately living the faith we have received in Christ; no excuse, no delay, just prompt response in love to love offered.

The voice of Jesus calls us forth, do not delay.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Bless the Lord

All of us like t0 be congratulated; all of us like to be told "good jOb" or "well done" or "way to go."

It fills our hearts with joy and gives us strength and encouragement for the journey. It comes across as a blessing. We like blessings.

But can we bless the Lord?

Dt 8:10 Moses tells the people, "when you have eaten your fill bless the Lord for the good land he has given."

Not only can we bless the Lord but it is a command, we must bless the lord.

Just like we are blessed when people recognize what we have done and respond with congrats and thanks so too we must learn to live by recognizing what God has done and respond with congrats and thanksgiving.

Look around! How easy it is to miss al that God has done.
What a great job God has done and continues to do, even if it isn't what we want.

Blessing the Lord demands recognition and response of thanksgiving; thus our heart filled with gratitude will strengthen us for the journey.

The most supreme way of blessing the lord is worship. As we gather at the Eucharist, we gather to bless the Lord. We enter into the thanksgiving of Jesus to the Father.

By our presence we bless the Lord. We acknowledge what he has done in Christ.
Our hearts are filled with gratitude.

At the end of Mass, the priest tells us the Lord is with you and May Almighty God Bless you, The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit.

We have blessed God with our presence and in return he blesses us for the journey ahead.

Monday, November 23, 2009

san clement

dn 1:1-6, 8-20; Glory and Praise for ever; Lk 21:1-4

today we celebrate the feast of the 3rd successor of Peter, Clement I.

He was Pope toward the end of the 1st century.

In his letter to Corinth, Pope Clement exhorts the community to pray for the governing class, the civil rulers, even as they are being persecuted by them. This prayer is the oldest prayer we have written outside of the New Testament text.

"Grant them, Lord, health, peace, harmony, stability, so that they may give no offense in administering the government you have given them. For it is you, Master, heavenly "King of eternity," who give the sons of men glory and honor and authority over the earth's people. Direct their plans, O Lord, in accord with "what is good and pleasing to you," so they administer the authority you have given them, with peace, considerateness, and reverence, and so win your mercy."

May this be our prayer for our government leaders as they seek to pass health care reform.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Christ, Servant King

Daniel 7:1-14; Psalm 93 The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty; Revelation 1:5-8; John 18:33-37

Today we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King.

The gospel today describes Jesus before Pilate; Jesus is being judged by the world.
JEsus is open to judgment.

Here we learn to be open to judgment as well. One cannot live unless one is open to judgment. It is when we are closed to judgment that we are condemned to die.

Pilate condemns Jesus because he is not open to judgment himself.

Every year during Lent the Pope leads the stations of the cross; on Good Friday night he leads them in the Coliseum. In the year 2000, Pope John Paul II at the close of the stations in the coliseum spoke these words:
"Who, if not the condemned Savior, can fully understand the pain of those unjustly condemned?

Who, if not the King scorned and humiliated, can meet the expectations of the countless men and women who live without hope or dignity?

Who, if not the crucified Son of God, can know the sorrow and loneliness of so many lives shattered and without a future?

Jesus took his wounds to heaven, and there is a place in heaven for our wounds because our King bears his in glory."

Jesus testifies to the truth; he is the truth. Thus we must let him reign by allowing him to take away our sins each and every day.

Friday, November 20, 2009

a reading and a prayer

For today I have a reading and a prayer:

This morning As I was praying the office I was struck by the reading of the day from Ephesians 4:29-32

"Never let evil talk pass your lips; say only the good things men need to hear, things that will really help them. Do nothing that will sadden the Holy Spirit with whom you were sealed against the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, all passion and anger, harsh words, slander, and malice of every kind. In place of these, be kind to one another, compassionate, and mutually forgiving, just as God has forgiven you in Christ."

A prayer:
"Breathe on Me, O Holy Spirit
that my thoughts may be holy

Act in me O Holy SPirit
that my work may be holy

Draw my heart, O Holy SPirit
to defend all that is Holy

Guard me then O Holy SPirit
that I always may be holy."

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Basilicas of Rome

Feast of the Dedication of St. Peter's and St. Paul Basilicas in Rome

Today in the church we celebrate the commemoration of the dedication of St. Pete's Basilica in Rome along with St. Paul's Basilica.

St. Peter's Basilica was founded around 323 A.D. and for a 1000 years stood tall. It was razed in 1509 and rebuilt under the guidance of Pope Julius II. It was officially dedicated on November 18, 1626. It is built over the burial place of St. Peter.

If you go there today you can see the bones of Peter next to the chapel of St. Clementine.

St. Paul Outside the Walls was also built in the century. It was the largest basilica until the new St. Peter's was built. After a fire it was rebuilt. It is currently built over the grave site of St. Paul.

The Basilicas are built in honor of God in how he chooses men to proclaim the good news. Peter and Paul both lived professing faith in Jesus Christ and they died with that profession in their hearts and minds.

Pope Benedict reminds us that basilicas are primarily a place of prayer. They invite us into the household of God. For thousands of years men and women journeyed to these places to beg God for favor and to give God thanks for favor received.

These basilicas are houses of prayers for the faithful.

Prayer in general is two things. One prayer is service to God who deserves our ceaseless praise and adoration.

Prayer is also a testimony to the world, a witness for others. every time we fall on our knees we are giving witness to the world. Prayer prepares us for martyrdom.

Some where between these two realities we learn hope. Somewhere between service to God and witness to others we grow in hope and are strengthen to fall upon our knees and withstand the onslaught of the world.

Between these two we are empowered to live like the mother in the first reading of today, who hoped in the Lord.

The Basilicas that rise high above the city of Rome, give service to God and witness to man. They stand has visual signs of Hope for All in the Lord.

"Lord, in the midst of life's countless changes strengthen us with your never-changing love."

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

the King's daughter

2 mac 6:18-31; Ps 3 The Lord upholds me; Lk 19:1-10

"We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures." Thornton Wilde

"Charm is the ability to be truly interested in other people." Richard Avedon

"Science is organized knowledge; wisdom is organized life." Immanuel Kant

As I ponder the feast of St. Elizabeth of Hungary these three quotes come to mind. The daughter of a king, princess in the eyes of the world, she decides to give her loyalty to her God and subject herself to her subjects both poor and lowly.

In the words of the first reading she became a "model of courage and an unforgettable example of virtue not only for the young but for the whole nation."

She took the words of Psalm 45 to heart and allowed them to shape her life, "Listen, O daughter, give ear to my words: forget your own people and your father's house. So will the king desire your beauty" he is your Lord, pay homage to him...the daughter of the king is clothed with splendor, her robes embroidered with pearls set in gold. She is led to the king with her maiden companions. They are escorted amid gladness and joy; they pass with in the palace of the king."

She became forgetful of herself, but never forgetful of her God; in her devotion to him, she became the King's daughter above all else and dedicated her life to his service by tending to the poor and afflicted and hungry.

She was wise for she order her life according to God's desire. She was truly conscious for she treasured the pearl of great price and understood what treasure she held in the gift of her faith. She was charming, for all who came to her, the least of the least, she recognized with great interest as the King in disguise seeking her embrace.

She was wise, conscious, and charming. Today she remains for us a model to follow; today she is enrolled in the roll call of saints interceding for us along the way.

Like Zacchaeus, she refused to be just another face in the crowd. She refused to just stay on the ground but she soared. As Zacchaeus climbed the Sycamore to get a closer look at Jesus and was changed for ever, in her heart Elizabeth ascended so that she might get a better look of the King; in spying him in her heart, she was moved to do her part, her duty to her King, a life of loyalty in love.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

end times

Daniel 12:1-3; Psalm You are my inheritance O Lord; Heb 10:11-14, 18; Mk 13:24-32

As we move toward the end of the Liturgical year, as we approach the feast of Christ the King, our readings point toward the end times.

Daniel tells us " in that time..." and the words on the lips of Jesus direct us toward "those days..."

Both readings direct us to look ahead, look forward, and speak of what will come in the end times.

As we ponder the readings, we get a sense that there will be great upheaval, cosmic distress and disorder. The world is falling apart, crumbling around and lives are being shaken, shattered and torn.

In the history of Christianity there have been many who have focused their attention on the end times, what will come. And numerous men and women who have done so have often lost their focus and shifted from what will come to when it will come.

Many have professed to be in the know, to have the inside scoop, to know when was when; with great fervor, great study, great excitement, great diligence they predicted the end, only to end themselves in greater failure.
Just name few:

992 a group of Christians proclaimed the world would end because the feast of the Annunciation was on the same day as Good Friday; obviously the fervor subsided when 993 came around.

Nostradamus a french astrologer and self-proclaimed prophet predicted the world would end when Easter fell on April 25. This has happen in the year 1666, 1734, 1886, 1943 and again in 2038. Yet, here we are still waiting and wondering.

In 1346 at the onslaught of the BLack Death, the plague that swept over Europe, many believed in to be the beginning of the end. Here we are still alive and still struggling with sickness.

Charles Russell the founder of the heretical sect known as the Jehovah's witness and the Watchtower Society predicted the world to end in 1914, then again in 1918, 1925, 1975, 1995. In fact some 9 times they predicted the world to end and 9 times they changed their prediction.

Even Joseph Smith and Ellen White the founders of two other heretical sects: Mormons and Seventh Day Adventist predicted the world would end in the 1800. The world is here but they are not.

In 1988 a book was written, "88 reasons the world will end in 1988." It was followed by a sequel, "89 reasons why the world will end in 1989."

In the Year 2000, many were crazed for the end times. Water was flying off the shelves as people were anticipating the end of the world as we know it.

A hotel in the Holy Land to take advantage of the craze by offering invites to come watch the world end overlooking the Mt. Olives.

Of course, now we are dealing with 2012, and the Mayan Calendar. Do they really have the inside scoop.

When we focus on the when we lose sight of the what. It it the what will come that is of most importance; when it comes it will come.

What is it that we are waiting for. It is the consummation of history as we know it. God will definitively step in to history and change our lives for ever, for eternity. When life as w eknow it crumbles and the world falls apart, God is breaking in.

This is what the end is about. It is about God breaking into our lives more fully then has already been.

The end times prepares us for this time. Many of us have already experienced our world falling apart. In those moments, God wants to break into our life that we might surrender more readily and be dependent more perfectly.

Here is the good news of the end times.

The fact that we do not know the "day nor the hour" means we are in the know, we have the upper hand. Not knowing the day nor the hour means we have to let this day and this hour be the moment of God breaking into our lives, our city, our world. We have to let this time be the time we take nothing for granted and we live our life fully prepared so as to find our names int he book of life.

The end times gives us a glimpse of what is most certain amidst all the uncertainty.

The Apocalyptic literature as we find it in Daniel and the Gospel is not written to scare us but strengthen us and comfort us. It reminds us of the defining characteristics of Christianity, that we have a future.

We have a future, a future that is not founded on emptiness, a future that does not end in the cold damp ground, but a future filled with real possibilities, a future filled with the fullness of life.

It is this future that makes the present worth living, worth enduring. It empowers us forward.

This is the hope that engenders movement and allows God to break in each and every day no matter when the end will arrive.

The Eucharist celebrate is a foretaste of that breaking forth of God in our lives. Jesus comes to us in a real way to fill our lives with his presence, to strengthen our resolve, to etch our names in the book of life with a life lived in faith.

Friday, November 13, 2009

very superstitious

Wisdom 13:1-9; Ps The heavens proclaim the glory of God; Lk 17:26-37

Jesus tells us today in the gospel, "As it it will be...where the body is so the vultures will gather."

What does this saying have to do with Friday the thirteenth and superstition.

Superstition has to do with unjustifiable or unreasonable beliefs in associating one event with the consequences of another.

For instances equating bad luck to breaking a mirror, or walking under a ladder, a black cat crossing, opening an umbrella in doors; or equating good luck to rabbit's foot, four leaf clover, rally caps, or wishbones.

Jesus wants us to let go of our superstition and focus on reality.

My favorite superstition is associated with weddings. Often times I will have a bride who refuses to walk down the aisle on the night of the rehearsal our fear it may cause bad luck, yet she will live with her fiance prior to getting married.

She will cling to superstition but not avoid sin. It boggles the mind.

Jesus wants us to unboggle the mind. He wants us to keep it real. He wants us to be attentive to our behavior and focus on the things we do have control over like our decision, our life of devotion, our life of faith. Only then do we truly begin to embrace the freedom he gave us and let go of the shackles of superstition.

This is what the Catechism of the Church teaches in regards to superstition:
#2111 "Superstition is the deviation of religious feeling and of the practices this feeling imposes. It can even affect the worship we offer the true God, e.g. where one attributes an importance in some way magical to certain practices otherwise lawful or necessary. To attribute the efficacy of prayer or the sacramental signs to their mere external performance apart from the interior dispositions that they demand is to fall into superstition."

Keep it real for as it was so it shall be and where the vultures gather there the body shall be.
Only in reality do we truly come to belief and life to its full.

I would like to quote Ron Sterling the writer of Twilight Zone, "There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known by man; It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition."

Ron Sterling, I am not sure whether he was a believer or not, but he could have been talking about that dimension we call a life of faith, where it is no longer we who live but Christ who lives with us; surely this dimension, this reality, is as vast as space and timeless as infinity, for it leads to eternity; it isn't between science and superstition, rather it underlies both endeavors and sustains us on our journey; this dimension of faith is where we meet reality.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

she produces friends of God

Wsidom 7:22-30;8:1-; Luke 17:20-25

As we ponder the beauty of the reading from the book of wisdom there is one thing that jumps out in the midst of all the beautiful array of adjectives describing wisdom:holy, one, manifold, eloquent, undefiled, sure, sweet, loving that which is good, beneficent, gentile, kind, assured, pure and the list goes on and on.

All of these things are necessary attributes of wisdom, yet the one that stands shoulders above all the rest, the one attribute that will be the litmus test for for us is the reality that wisdom:"produces friends of God."

She makes us friends of God.

Where have we heard that before?

Ah Yes, we heard that on the lips of Jesus at the Supper before his crucifixion, on his knees washing the feet of the apostles he tells them, "I no longer call yo servant but friends."

WIsdom personified most perfectly stoops to our level washes our feet and invites us into the intimate friendship with God.

In this sweet embrace the Kingdom of God begins to take shape in our hearts and minds and lives.

In this embrace, the kingdom of God is within.

Thus, the outward signs of the kingdom are not to be perceived in the clouds or the sky but rather the outward signs are seen by what we do with our hands, or where we go with our feet, what we say with our lips, what look upon with our eyes, what we choose to listen to with our ears, what we hold on to with mind, what we desire in our hearts.

These are the outwards signs of the kingdom within.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

wonder and amazement

Wisdom 6:1-11; Psalm 82 Rise up, O God, bring judgment to the earth; Luke 17:11-19

We have been reading from the book of wisdom over the past few days and I thought I might share what Pope BEnedict has to say about wisdom.

This is part of Pope Benedict's address to astronomers at a blessing of a new observatory:

"knowledge if it aspires to be wisdom cannot be reduced to calculation or experiment... and rather than restricting the eyes of the mind, invites us to lift our gaze to the heavens, and there we discover our place in the universe, there we discover the love that moves the sun and the other stars...we can recapture the sense of wonder and amazement that leads us to God."

We need to recapture our sense of wonder and amazement of not just the big things but the little things; we need to let God wow us on a daily basis and thus nothing becomes ordinary and everything has God's finger print all over it.

Only then can we truly present God again to the world that has forgotten Him.

With a renewed sense of wonder and amazement we become living adoration and our life truly becomes a gift that changes the world and re-centers it to God.

The Leper that returns to Jesus, while the other nine go on their merry way, was wowed by God, was awakened to a new sense of wonder and amazement, "realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him."

This is what it looks like to be in awe.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Leo the great

Words of Pope Leo the Great, Doctor of the Church, concerning what we put our attention toward in this life..

"The fewness of those who were present has if itself shown, dearly beloved, that the religious devotion wherewith, in commemoration of the day of our chastisement and release, the whole body of the faithful used to flock together in order to give God thanks, has on this last occasion been almost entirely neglected; and this has caused me much sadness of heart and great fear...One is ashamed to say it, but one must not keep silence: more is spent on demons than upon the Apostles, and mad spectacles draw greater crowds than blessed martyrdoms. Who was it that restored this city to safety, that rescued it from captivity-the games of the circus-goers or the care of the Saints."

Words of Pope Leo the Great on the birth of Jesus

"Recognize, O Christian, your dignity, and having been made a partner of the divine nature, do not return by an unworthy way of living to the old baseness. Remember who is your Head and to whose body you belong."

The art work is a depiction of Pope Leo's encounter with Attile the Hun, which is in St. Peter's BAsilica in Rome over his burial place.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Church of Rome and the world

Ezekiel 47:1-12; Psalm 46 The waters if the river gladden the city of God, the holy dwelling of the most high; 1 corinthians 3:9-17; John 2:13-22

Today we celebrate the dedication of St. John Lateran Basilica.

As we commemorate this dedication we also pause to remember how far we, as Christians, have come.

For the first 300 years of Christianity, Christians were considered enemies of the state; we were renegades, rebels and outlaws. We were not allowed to practice our faith in the public square. So we went around meeting behind closed doors, seeking hiding places where could whisper our praise to God in muffled sounds.

Then something happened.

Constantine, the emperor of the Roman Empire, had a vision. As he was going off to battle, the cross appeared to him in the sky and he was told that by this sign he would conqueror.

So he marked the armor of his soldiers and horses with the sign of the cross and went into battle and returned victorious.

In honor to the God of the cross, he declared Christianity to be no longer persecuted by the state, to be now one of the legitimate forms of worship in the public sphere. In 313, Christians were free to come from behind the close doors and step out into the open; Christians were allowed to raise their voice in praise where once they were only allowed to whisper softly so as to be undetected.

They could now publicly proclaim the good news.

In 318, the Basilica of St. John Lateran was dedicated.

Today if you got o Rome, you see the Basilica rise high above the city. The facade looms large against the skyline. There on top of the world is a statue of Jesus with the cross in one hand and the other hand pointing out to the world, surrounded by the statues of the apostles.

As look up and ponder the majesty of the Basilica, the majesty of the gesture of Christ, the words of the great commission come to mind, "go out into the world and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them all I have commanded you, and behold I will be with you always until the end of the age."

Strength rises as we recall that we are never alone and Christ ever abiding presence walks before us converting the nations with His cross held high.

The Basilica of St, John Lateran is called the "Omnium urbis et orbis Ecclesiarum mater et caput: the Church of Rome and the World."

What is striking about the cathedral are actually two doors. The first set of doors as walk into the Basilica are the original doors of the Senate House of Rome. As you enter the Basilica you enter through the gates of the Senate which give way to the triumph of the cross.

The second door is a door with the image of the Blessed Mother holding the child Jesus imposed on top of the Crucifixion of Christ with the latin inscription: Christus Heri, Hodie, Semper: Christ: yesterday, today, forever."

May this celebration strengthen us in our resolve to live boldly and publicly our faith. May it encourage us to refuse to be silent and voice our faith seeking to transform society.

It is by the cross we shall conqueror.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Word of God set in before you set out

Kings 17:10-16; Psalm 146 Praise the Lord, my soul; Hebrews 9:24-28; Mark 12:41-44

Obviously todays readings have a connection; the first and gospel both include widows.

And these widows have a lot to say and offer to us as we continue our journey with God.
However, I am going pass on the widows and focus on Elijah.

Elijah is important for us. He is the precursor to the Messiah. The jewish believed that Elijah would return and then the MEssiah would arrive. In fact, in the passover celebration the Jewish people still today set a place for Elijah anticipating his return.

So it is important for us as Christians, to look closely at ELijah for he will show us where we will encounter the Messiah, Christ, most perfectly in our life.

First, we encounter Elijah with the widow and her son and the oil and flour.

In order to understand this passage we have to go backwards. It is what happens before that sets the stage for what is unfolding in the passage set before us this Sunday.

If we were to go backwards, before this passage 17:10-16, we encounter Elijah doing something.
We encounter Elijah waiting. Now, Elijah isn't just waiting around, killing time. He is keeping vigil. He is attentively listening for the word of God to speak to him. He is waiting on the word.

This is essential.
Elijah does not set out on his journey until the word of God sets in his heart and mind.

The word of God determines the direction of his life. The word must set in before he sets out.

Think about our lives for a moments; think about the decisions we have made, places we have gone, the things we have done.

How often have we rashly made decisions, in haste avoiding the word of God? How often have we been impatient with God's word and took matters in to our own hands?

Look at out society. the fabric of our live sis slowly unraveling because we have set out without letting the word of God set in. How different would our life be in the word of God became our compass, giving us direction?

If we take the word of God with us when we go, it will change where we go and what we do when we get there!

Invitation for us to practice waiting, keeping vigil with and for the Word of God: praying daily, reading scripture and understanding how God reveals himself and what he desires for us. studying the teaching of the church which is the word of God teaching us, and seeking counsel form Holy people who live upright lives.

These are ways we keep vigil for the word and allow the word to set in before we set out.

Friday, November 6, 2009

right stuff

Romans 15:14-21; Psalm 98 The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power; Luke 16:1-8

St. Paul speaking to the early community of Christians in the letter to the Romans reminds them of who they are: "I am convinces about you, brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with knowledge, and able to admonish one another."

You are full of goodness.

Paul raises the bar. It is a saying that people will live up to the expectations placed upon them. If you remind them of their goodness while admonishing them then in deed they will begin to live the goodness that you perceive.

You are full of goodness.

St. Paul is both reminding them of the goodness that he sees but also encouraging them to continue to live that goodness for others.

Basically, St. Paul is telling them that they got the right stuff, they just got to let it out.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Romans 14:7-12; Psalm 27 I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the Land of the living; Luke 15:1-10

In pondering the first reading as St. Paul tells us about the "standing before the judgment seat of God" and that we shall "give an account of [ourselves] to God" I thought of a quote from Mark Twain.

Mark Twain made an observation about man; he stated that "man is the only animal that blushes or for that matter needs to."

Blushing refers to a reddening of the face in shame or embarrassment.

When we look ahead to that particular judgment standing before God who sees all, knows all, examines all a question comes to mind, "will we blush."

Will we stand before God red in the face or will we give then angels something to rejoice in here and now: "I tell you there will be rejoicing among the angels over one sinner who repents."

May we accuse ourselves here and now so as to not be accuses later; may we give cause for rejoicing in heaven and leave the shame behind.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

st charles

Today we celebrate the feast of St. Charles Borromeo.

He is a patron of apple orchards, intestinal disorders, seminarians and seminaries. Quite a diverse grouping.

St. Charles Borromeo is described in a biography as being shy, unattractive, having a big nose, and spoke with dreadful stammer. In the eyes of the world he was not the first choice; he would be the kid chosen last at recess. Yet, in the eyes of God his souls was to burn with the divine flame of love, spending his life with great zeal for the gospel.

This fact, in itself, should give us a pause when we find our selves judging who and what God can use to further his kingdom.

The state of one's soul is by far the more to be concerned with than outer looks.

St. Charles Borromeo would remind every one that we should never "ask what is the safest bet, but what is the will of God."

Life is no more than the swift passing reflection on the changeless mirror of eternity and men who burn with love of God wear out their mortal sheath before old age dulls their mind and spirit.

He would say, "be mindful of others, but never forgetful of self."