Friday, October 30, 2015


Romans 9:1-5; Ps 147 Praise the LORD, Jerusalem; Luke 14:1-6

Today's gospel Jesus poses this question, "Is it lawful to cure on the sabbath?"  Then he posed a another question just in case we couldn't comprehend the first.  He dumbs it down for us, "Who among you, if your son or ox falls into a cistern, would you not immediately pull him out on the sabbath day?"

Name a day in which goodness is not acceptable?  Goodness is always in season.  In fact, it is more so on the sabbath, the day in which we reconnect to the goodness of God.

We are never with an excuse not to be good toward others or ourselves.  Goodness itself has its origin in the reality of being suitable.  One is good in so far he is suitable.  His actions or words are suitable for someone who is made in the image and likeness of God.

Our actions and our words suit us because of who we are.  All actions and words should flow out of this reality.

Today we have our school children coming to mass dressed up as saints.  Saints are unlike celebrities.  Celebrities are those who have been noticed for their talent or ability.  They have mean basketball skills or football skills.  They have ability to draw us in by their acting talents or musical or artistic ability. Normally, celebrities are high profile personalities who have hewn a skill set.

Saints are recognized not primarily by their skill set or natural talent.  They are not primarily recognized by what they do but really who they are.  Who they are is the foundation for all of their action.  There is a supernatural element alive and at work in and through their love and life.

We hear Jesus say in the gospel, "be perfect as you heavenly Father is perfect."

Just what we need to hear.  There is only one perfect thing in life and He is Jesus.  We are not perfect.  We are a work in progress.  But we make strides simply uniting ourselves to the one who is perfect.  We can be friends with Jesus.  This is the beginning and end of perfection.  God shares himself with us in this renewed friendship offered through Jesus in the Holy Spirit.  Here in lies Saintliness.

Thursday, October 29, 2015


Romans 8:31-39; Ps 109 Save me, O Lord, in your mercy; Luke 13:31-35

Imagine a love that is invincible.  Imagine a love that knows no obstacles.  Imagine a love that can never be barred or blocked or hindered.

St Paul mentions three possible blockades to Love: Will Litigation (Who will bring a charge against us for it is God who acquits us), course of life (anguish, distress, persecution, peril, famine, nakedness, sword),  superhuman forces (death, angels, principalities, future things, powers, any other).

None of these can stand in the way of God's love for us in Christ.  Invincible love comes our way through Jesus.

There is one thing that can stand in the way it is our own willingness to open our heart to God's invitation.  Back in Romans ch 2:5-10, 6:16, 8:13,11:21-22 just to point out a few passages in the same letter.

God's love is invincible, in penetrates the harshest environments yet it will not betray our freedom to respond to its invitation.

Lastly, in today's gospel we hear these words from Jesus, "But I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say, Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord."

We say that very phrase right before  the consecration at Mass.  In anticipation of Jesus who comes to be with us on the altar through the power of the Holy Spirit as the bread and wine are transformed by the very word of JEsus himself.  Every time we gather at the altar, the time has come for Him to come to us.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


Ephesians 2:19-22; PS 19 Their message goes out through all the earth; Luke 6:12-16

 Here are the words of Pope Francis at the close of his homily on the synod of the Family: "A believer is someone who has experienced God's Salvific action in his life."

Have we experienced God's salvific action in our life?  Are we aware of God's action in and through our life on a daily basis?

The Apostles, as we celebrate the feast of Simon and Jude, preached God's salvific action because they first experienced that action within their own lives.  They were able to give what they themselves first received.

What about us?

Jude is often seen holding a carpenter square as a symbol of his untiring labor to build up th household of God.  He was an architect.  As St Paul reminds us in the first reading, "you are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the Apostles an prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the him you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit."

St Paul helps us identify what that salvific action looks like. It primarily brings us together.  We are being built together into the dwelling place of God.

How do we strive toward unity in our life with those around us?

In Christ we can get the better of our differences and difficulties rather than they get the better of us.

Saturday, October 24, 2015


Mark 10:46-52

We meet Bartimaeus today. He is the blind beggar who sits on the side of road from Jericho to Jerusalem.  

We live in a world where folks want to be spiritual but do not want to be religious.  We want to be connected to their higher power but not connected to a community of believers.  We want to feel the presence of God but we want it on our terms in isolation from others.  We all want to get to heaven but we do not want anyone to tell us how to get there.  We want truth as long as it does not interfere with our good opinion.

we live in a dysfunctional world.

What is the answer to such dysfunction.

I think the Beggars today has the answer for us.  We are introduced to Beggar Spirituality.

First of all, the beggar begs.  Self -assertion is out.  He realizes there is nothing he can do to solve his problems on his own.  He can not go alone.  Self-sufficiency has failed him.  He is helpless, miserably helpless.

This seems to be the only starting place with God.  Not only is it the starting place it is the place we must restart at over and over again.  This is why at the mass we begin every celebration as a community of believers with the words of the beggar pressed upon our lips: Lord, Have Mercy; Christ, Have Mercy; Lord, Have Mercy.  This is the only way we can come to experience joy, peace and God's healing presence in our life.

We never get past this point.  We are always dependent on God.  The introduction of the mass invites us to recognize what is it that we need most of all.  Of all of ur wants in life, what is our truest need.

Lord, Have Mercy is where we begin and end in our relationship with God.

Secondly.  Notice it isn't Jesus that brings the blind beggar to himself but rather he commission his disciples to do it.  He tells them, "Call Him."  And they call him.  The community of believers are the ones who bring the blind beggar into an intimate embrace with Jesus.  The community of believers is God's way of reaching into the lives of others and making himself known to them.  We are his hands and feet.  This is import because this is what will happen to the beggar; he becomes part of that community of believers.

At the end we are told he receives his sight and he follows Jesus on the way.  The beggar becomes a confident disciple.  He is empowered by the encounter and wants others to come to experience the same thing.  He follows him externally, which means his life now looks different from the outside.

Does our life like different from the outside?

Also he follows interiorly.  He now abides with Jesus and he is at Jesus's disposal.  This is true litmus test of discipleship: to be with Jesus and to be at his disposal.

Here, in this spiritual space, the most important part of human existence is reveal: to be with him and to be at his disposal.

We can learn a lot from the beggar.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


Romans 6:12-18; Ps 124 Our help is in the name of the Lord; Luke 12:39-48

St Paul has quite the  exhortation of for us today.

"And do not present the parts of your bodies to sin as weapons for wickedness, but present yourself to God as raised from the dead to life and the parts of your bodies to God as weapons for righteousness…"

Here is certainly counter culture advise.

Look around.  How many body parts are being presented as weapons of wickedness as opposed to weapons of righteousness?

What does this mean?

I think it goes back to the gospel for this past Sunday.  Here are a few words of Pope Francis to help us reconnect to the gospel of Sunday and St Paul's words for us today.

"In the biblical tradition, the Son of Man is the one who receives from God “dominion, glory and kingship” (Dan7:14). Jesus fills this image with new meaning. He shows us that he enjoys dominion because he is a servant, glory because he is capable of abasement, kingship because he is fully prepared to lay down his life. By his passion and death, he takes the lowest place, attains the heights of grandeur in service, and bestows this upon his Church."

Dominion through service, glory through abasement, kingship by laying down his life. 

Again, Jesus has a way of turning the world upside down.  What we see has the goal he flips it on its edge. 

Service, abasement, laying down one's life are the ways our body parts become weapons of righteousness. 

We use our body for the the good of the other.  We display our body so that others may be lifted upward to godliness. 

Our body is an instrument, a temple.  Through our body we reveal to the world the love of god and his goodness.

Modesty is important.  Clothing doesn't so much disguise as reveals what is at the heart of our love and attention.  Bride's wear veils not to disguise but rather to reveal beauty.  So too our dress is revealing to the world where the true meaning of beauty is to be discovered  

Weapons of righteousness. 

Think about that to day.  Our body is a weapon for righteousness.  Through our body the world comes to know God's goodness and love.   

Tuesday, October 20, 2015


Rom 5:12,17-19,20-21; Ps  40 Here I am Lord, I come to do your will; Luke 12:35-38

According to the first letter this morning, the letter to the Romans, St Paul, points out the power of one.

"If by that one person's transgression the many died, how much more did the grace of God and the gracious gift of the one man Jesus Christ overflow the many..."

He is comparing the action of Adam to the actions of Jesus.  They both effected many.  One brought destruction and hurt and pain and the other healing and mercy and love.

The power of one.  One can make a tremendous difference in the life of many.

I see that in my line of work all the time.  I see people and I see how they effect the lives of those around them.  I see the power of one in play each and every day.

All it takes is one, we say.  It is true.  One person doing good can effect generations.

Mother Teresa in one of her letters in particular to her sisters quotes Isaiah in the suffering servant passage of ch 53, "I looked for one that would comfort me and I found no one..."

Under neath this quote from Isaiah she wrote to herself and to her sisters, "Be the one..."

Be the one.  Be The one Jesus is looking for to bring comfort.

Be the one today to be the difference.  Be the one that does it differently for the good of the other.  Be the one that reaches down and lifts up.

It is simple spiritual mathematics.  The addition of one always makes more.  The subtraction always makes less.

Jesus made more by the gift of his life.  Adam made less.

Which do we follow?  Be the one!

Monday, October 19, 2015


Isaiah 53:10-11; Ps 33 Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you; Hebrews 4:14-16; Mark 10:35-45

Here are a few words from John Paul II, a homily he gave for the canonization mass: "Heroism must become daily and daily must become heroic."

Think about those words.

Basically, John Paull II was inviting us to realize that heroic actions is not heroic simply because of the action but more importantly the motivation behind the action the why behind the what is what makes an action heroic.

Any action that is done with great love and faithfulness is heroic, it is laying down our life for another.

Simply put, laying down our life is primarily not about shedding blood but about giving of our time.  Every time we invest our time for the good of another with great love and faithfulness we allow heroism to become daily and daily to become heroic.

We cannot reduce heroism to the big sacrifices such as risking one's life.  These are good deeds certainly but usually they are one time events.  Truly heroic actions must be duplicated in our daily affairs. Again, daily must become heroic and heroism must become daily.

This is why Jesus reminds the Apostles and all of us that the greatest amongst us is the servant of all.

The highest honor bestowed upon us; the highest accolade to be achieved as a disciple is simply to be recognized as a servant, someone who gives unsparingly and untiringly for the good of the other, for the good of all.

Again we hear Jesus say the Son of Man has come to serve and not be served.

Every action that is done with greta love and faithfulness belongs to the servant.

Perhaps we think we have done our share of service.  Maybe we think we have already fulfilled our duty in volunteering.  Maybe we think we have done enough already.  But the truth be told there is only one who has done enough.  He is on the cross.  If we want to know what enough looks like then we must look at the crucifixion.  Until we do that, we have not done enough.

There is always more to do.

In fact St Paul reminds us that Jesus didn't stop with he cross.

Listen to his words, "So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for our time of need."

Jesus is still giving to us.  We approach him in confidence and he continues to bestow his grace and strength to us.  Even the cross is not enough for Him.  He continually gives and serves us in our need.

This should become our new paradigm.  The ultimate paradigm shift has occurred on calvary.  Jesus isn't done and neither should we be.

The greatest among you must be servant of all and then heroism becomes daily and daily becomes heroic.

Friday, October 16, 2015


Rom 4:1-8; Ps 32 I turn to you  O LORD in time of trouble and you fill me with the joy of salvation; Luke 12:1-7

"There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known."

Thus spoke Jesus in today's gospel.

Think about the many secrets floating out in to the world.  Think about the many conversations behind closed doors.  Think about all the scheming and planning and running around.

Think about the hiding and the pretending and the hoping not to be discovered or found out.

Who are we kidding?


It isn't that our life will be revealed in the end but rather that all of it is already out in the open to the gaze of God.  But not only to God but all the saints and angels in heaven.  They have front row seats. They get to see it all in real time.

Secrets.  There are no secrets.  It is all a lie that we wrap our lives in, get tangles and find ourselves tripping over and over a again.

Secrets are like pot holes they do damage.  Why pretend?  Why even bother?

Why not just come clean and be free?

Transparency isn't an invitation by Jesus it is reality itself.

Let us live in the light and find the joy we have been waiting for.

Thursday, October 15, 2015


Romans 3:21-3-; Ps 130 With the Lord there is mercy, and fullness of redemption; Luke 11:47-54

psalm 130 for today it a penitential psalm. It is one of the seven traditional penitential psalms: 6, 32, 38, 50, 102, 130, 143.

It is worth praying them at some point.  They all have a similar theme: recognition of sin, expression of true contrition and sorrow, asking for forgiveness and trusting in God's mercy.

The psalm for today begins, "out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD…I trust in the LORD, my soul trust in his word…"

When was the last time we really and truly examine our life and recognized those things that have filled our life?  More importantly when have we rejoiced in God's forgiveness?

The penitential psalms are more than just about recognition of sin and being sorrowful.  These are important.  They lead to rejoicing and greater trust in God.  Every time we celebrate God's forgiveness we actually grow in trust and confidence in his mercy toward us.

God remains true to his word and we get to celebrate that every time we go to confession.  We get to confess our faith in God's boundless gift of forgiveness.  Over time, the more we celebrate God's mercy the more we become what we celebrate.

This is the beauty of the penitential psalms; they help us become what we seek: mercy given to us becomes mercy for others through us.

As St Paul tells u sin the first reading, "What occasion is there then for boasting? It is ruled out."

In deed all boasting falls silence before the boundless mercy of God.

Think about being justified by God's grace as St Paul tells us in today's first reading.  That word grace is "charis" in greek.  This should be a familiar word for us.  At the very heart of the mass, the Eucharist, in which we receive the very gift of God himself we see "Charis."  Eu-charis-t.  It is the way God puts his grace in us.

Amen to that!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


Rom 2:1-11; Ps 62 Lord, you give back to everyone according to his works; Luke 11:42-46

None of us have exclusive claim on God's goodness.  All of us can easily fall prey to the sin of presumption.  Judgment and punishment as well as blessing and honor remain open to all.

Hence we get to the first word of St Paul in today's letter to the Romans, "You, O man, are without excuse, every one of you who passes judgment.  For by the standard by which  you judge another you condemn yourself, since you the judge do the very same thing."

These words should sound familiar.  Jesus says them quite often in the gospel.  The measure you give will be measured back to you.

Of course this doesn't mean that we should sit idly by and do nothing.  Recognizing inappropriate behavior and calling people to task and calling our selves to task is still a requirement.  But rather than judging and doing nothing to help, we must be the first in line to assist.

We can call bad behaviors out, absolutely.  But then, we must be willing to roll up our sleeves and assist in getting others back on the right path.

Judging is easy.  But true charity is way more demanding.

Jesus says it best, "You impose on people burdens hard to carry, but you yourselves do not a lift one finger to touch them."

We lift many fingers in our heart but are they beneficial.  It isn't terrible to point the finger at bad behavior but it is terrible to point the finger then refuse to give a helping hand.

Saturday, October 10, 2015


Wisdom 7:7-11; Ps 90 Fill us with your love, O lord, and we will sing for joy; Hebrews 4:12-13; Mark 10:17-30

Here is a few words from Dostoyevski, "Love in action is a harsh and dreadful thing compared with love in dreams."

Why is this a pertinent statement in light of today's readings.

Love in action ultimately has to choose, to make choices where as love in dreams can remain abstract, vague and comfortable without any real ramifications.

A recently came across this statistic that I thought truly enlightening and scary according to Peter Kreeft in is book Making Choices.  A survey of highschool principals in 1958 asked the question: what are the main problems among your students?  In 1958 the main problems were: not doing homework, not respecting property, leaving lights on and windows open, throwing spitballs, running though the halls.  In 1988 the same question was posed and here are the answers given: abortion, AIDS, rape, drugs, fear of violence including guns and knives.

In a span of thirty years what has happen to our society?

I think for lack of better words again as Peter Kreeft diagnosis the issue, we have become moral wimps.

We speak about appropriate and inappropriate behaviors.  We mention things as acceptable or unacceptable.  But when is the last time anyone said this or that was "right" or "wrong?"

Choosing is hard for us because it means we have to discriminate one thing over another.  Choosing is difficult because we will have to refuse this for that, saying no to one path in order to say yes to another.

Moral choices are not purely personal choices.  Personal choices are relative to the individual.  For instance "what shoes one wears" or "what one eats for dinner" are personal preference or choices.  Moral choices are not relative to the individual but are about what is objectively right and objectively wrong.   There is a standard that has been set before us.

Moral choices are personal in so far as a person has to make them and has responsibility for them.  They are not "personal" in the sense that rightness and wrongness is relative to the person who makes them.  The right and wrongness exist independently of the one making the choice.

We see this in today's second reading from the letter to the Hebrews.

We are told, 'the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two edge sword, penetrating even between spirit, joints, and marrow and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.  no creature is concealed from him, but everything is naked and exposed to the eye of him to whom we must render an account."

If there is a rendering of account then there must be a standard that has been raised.  It does not rely on our personal preference as much as God's revelation through his son,  Jesus, who offers us a personal invitation in today's gospel.

"You are lacking in one thing.  Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me."

It is obvious the young man knew with whom  he was talking.  The question he poses to Jesus provides the answer, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

Jesus repsonse reminds the young man that only God is good.  So if he equates goodness with Jesus then he also equates divinity with Jesus.  Jesus' question in return, "why do you call be good?" is a question about whether or not the young man is ready to embrace the identity of Jesus as the son of God.

This of course will have ramification in his life.  If Jesus is who he says he is, then it is a game changer for all of us and the young man included.

For if Jesus is God then he alone illumines  the path we must take not only for eternal life but happiness here and now.

The invitation to "come follow me" is ever more poignant.

Jesus is simply inviting the young man to make Jesus number one in his life.

If we put first things first than everything else will fall in place.

When we hear those words, "you are lacking in one thing" perhaps it is Jesus showing the young man that God is not number one in his life but rather all of his wealth and stuff is.  In order for him to be ready for eternal life then God must be first above all else.

Approaching Jesus with opens hands, clutching nothing, is the only way to experience wholeness and freedom.

This is why the first reading is so important.  Wisdom paves the way for the right ordering of life.

The book of wisdom falls fourth in the books attributed to Solomon in the Bible.
First there is the book of Proverbs in which knowledge is shown to lead to success.  Then there is Ecclesiastes in which despair  of temporal success arises due to the fact that death renders it all vain.  Then in the song of songs the author discovers that love is stronger than death.  But in the book of Wisdom it is understanding life from God's perspective that proves to be of upmost value.

Wisdom is deathless because it leads back to the source of life.    A wise heart and mind is able to penetrate the deepest value of all things as seen from the highest vista, God's point of view.

We achieve perfection only in arriving at our end and our end is to be with God.  Wisdom is granted so that the choices we make always point back to him as we journey in this life.

Detached from the material word we find freedom in our attachment to God.

In St Ignatian spirituality, St ignatius begins with the contemplation of the two standards as he calls them: the standard of Jesus or the standard of the world.  The standard of Jesus leads to gratitude for we recognize we have received God's gifts for God's purpose and thus true freedom arises.

The standard of the world  we focus on material stuff and our possession of it which ultimate puts the "I" at the center in which we think "my" stuff for "my" purpose and here the soul becomes enslaved no longer free.

Jesus invites the man to become aware of the two standards and to choose which will he serve.

It is a radical invitation that makes demands.  It is the same radical invitation laid at our feet daily.

Which will we choose?  Which have we chosen?  Are we wimps or men and women of strength who let Jesus lead us onward.

"Love in action is a harsh and dreadful thing compared with love in dreams"  Love in action has to choose.  What say you!

"Go.  Sell all you have.  Give to the poor.  Come, follow me."
This is not just a personal invitation if Jesus is God rather  it becomes an objective necessity.  IT is from this position of following we discover our moral backbone and shed the skin go being wimps.

The stage is set for all of us and the drama is played out in our choices we make daily.

Friday, October 9, 2015


Joel 1:13-15;2:1-2; Ps 9 The Lord will judge the world with justice; Luke 11:15-26

Desperate times call for desperate measures or at least that is how the adage goes.

When you look a the the first reading and heed the words of Jesus in the gospel it seems very desperate in deed.

The prophet Joel is ranting about the day of the Lord and is calling the minsters of the altar to task.  Time is running out.  So what is left but one last heave to the heavens.  It is like a last minute heave into the end zone hoping that someone on our side might come down with the ball.

An old fashion "Hail Mary."

Joel mentions: weeping, sackcloth, fasting, and crying to the Lord.

This call to action or penance is a call to turn our attention to God most clearly.

The priest and the people have been distracted and now they are called to remove the distraction in their life, to set their face toward God.

We call this penance in the life of faith.

Here is what St Thomas has to say about it:

“the will must abandon sin by moving in a contrary direction from those movements whereby it was inclined toward sin. Now, it was inclined toward sin by appetition [desire] and enjoyment in regard to lower things. Therefore, it must move away from sin by means of certain penances whereby it suffers some injury because of the sin that it has committed. For, just as the will was drawn toward consent to the sin by means of pleasure, so is it strengthened in the detestation of sin by means of penances”

This is all carried out by the grace of Jesus who wants to configure us to be like him. 

What are the distractions in our life?  What penances can help us redirect our lives to be more attentive to God's call?

It is these acts of penance that ensure that God reigns supreme in us and through us.  "A kingdom divided against itself will be laid to waste" Jesus informs us and warns us in the gospel.  The best way to be divided is to be distracted, to be caught up in all the wrong things though we think them right at the time.  

Penance prepares our heart to let JEsus reign supreme.  It keeps us from being attached to sinful desires and allows us to be reattached to JEsus and The Holy Spirit. 

Thursday, October 8, 2015


Malachi 3:13-20; Ps 1 Blessed are they who hope in the Lord; Luke 11:5-13

A word from the prophet

"But for you who fear my name, there will arise the sun of justice with its healing rays."

We live in a society unfortunately that refuses to make distinctions between good and bad moral choices.  We celebrate tolerance.  We celebrate independence.  We celebrate the right to have opinions about things regardless of their moral weight.  We do not like to differentiate between groups of persons  or individuals.  We falsely think that no matter what, all roads lead to heaven or some utopian idea of happiness or pleasure.

Yet, the prophet Malachi seems to suggest other wise. He makes a distinction.  He differentiates between those who serve God and those who do not.  He differentiates those who live in reverential awe of the LORD and those whose pride and live with no regard for God's commands.  It seems this difference matters in the end.

The prophet speaks, "Then you will see distinction between the just and the wicked; between the one who serves God and the one who does not serve him."

Those who do not will be burned up like stubble and those who do shall experience the healing easy of the sun of justice.

Distinctions are important.  Being different; living different; may be the only difference that matters.

The end does matter.  It is does reflect back on how we live today.

We turn our attention to the gospel.  Jesus gives us those familiar words, "Ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened…"

Every prayer is itself somehow transformative.
When we ask humbly with frequency, we come to understand our utter dependence, we learn our limitations and we are changed in the process.

What exactly is it that we receive and find?  What door is opened?  Perhaps, the one that leads to Jesus himself.  We find Him.  We receive Him.  Because if we are looking for something other than Him, then we still don't know what we are asking.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015


Jonah 4:1-11; Ps 86 Lord, you are merciful and gracious; Luke 11:1-4

We continue to journey with Jonah. Yesterday I mentioned that Jonah was hesitant, reluctant, doubtful and probably the most insincere prophet on the Old Testament. And yet despite all of this internal nastiness He is still effective in bringing about change in the lives of those who live in Nineveh.

Though God is able to use just about anyone to bring about the fulfillment of his will, Jonah remains obstinate.

Into today's reading we get a deeper look into the interior nastiness that rages in Jonah.  His true colors shine through today.

Not only is he hesitant and reluctant and insincere but we discover that he is just down right angry and mean.  And with this meanness and anger he carries prejudice against the people of Ninevah and quite judgmental as well.

Imagine harboring anger and prejudices against those God wants to extend his rich mercy?  How often does anger infect the lives of so many that we know?

Today we should pause to pray for people who live in anger and prejudice against others for whatever reason.  Jonah is so twisted by his prejudice and anger that he fails to recognize the beauty of what just happened in Nineveh.

Rather than rejoice in the power of God's goodness and mercy, he sulks and pouts and grows more bitter and desires to die.

Just look at his prayer that he makes, "I knew you were a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger, rich in clemency, loathe to punish. And now, Lord, please take my life from me for it is better for me to die than to live."

Compare that to the prayer Jesus teaches us in the gospel of Luke.  "Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come.  Give us each day our daily bread and forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us and do not subject us to the final test."

Which prayer do we make daily in our life?  How we choose to pray is indicative of how we choose to live.  Do we pray our prejudice or do we let God guide us in prayer?

Below is a little something some one has devises as a way of connecting the Our Father to the theological and cardinal virtues.  It is c lever way of connecting prayer to living daily.

Faith:  Our Father, who is in heaven, holy is your name
Hope:  Your kingdom come; Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven
Charity: Give us this day our daily bread
Justice: Forgive us our trespasses
Prudence:  As we forgive those who trespass against us
Temperance:  Lead us not into temptation
Fortitude:  Deliver us from evil.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015


Here is an excerpt of the Pope's address in Philly this past week.


"Faith opens a “window” to the presence and working of the Spirit. It shows us that, like happiness, holiness is always tied to little gestures. “Whoever gives you a cup of water in my name will not go unrewarded”, says Jesus (cf. Mk 9:41). 

These little gestures are those we learn at home, in the family; they get lost amid all the other things we do, yet they do make each day different. They are the quiet things done by mothers and grandmothers, by fathers and grandfathers, by children. They are little signs of tenderness, affection and compassion. 

Like the warm supper we look forward to at night, the early lunch awaiting someone who gets up early to go to work. Homely gestures. Like a blessing before we go to bed, or a hug after we return from a hard day’s work. Love is shown by little things, by attention to small daily signs which make us feel at home. Faith grows when it is lived and shaped by love. That is why our families, our homes, are true domestic churches. They are the right place for faith to become life, and life to become faith."

Friday, October 2, 2015


Exodus 23:20-23; Ps 91 The Lord has put angels in charge of you, to guard you in all your ways; Matthew 18:1-5,10

  Guardian angels reflect the reality of the invisible realm of the Kingdom of God, on that is already actively participating in the history of salvation.

The church teaches the following as found in the Catechism

"from its beginning until death, human life is surrounded by their watchful care and intercession.  Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life.  Already here on earth the Christian life  shares by faith in the blessed company of angels and men united in God."

As Jesus reminds us in today's gospel, the angel always beholds the face of our heavenly father.  The primary way the angel guards and protects us is by adoration.  Through their adoration we are strengthen and guided by goodness.  As the angel looks on the face of our heavenly Father they actually see us most clearly and purely.  This of course means that the Father's sole attention, whole and complete is given over to each of individually and all of us collectively.  Talk about multi tasking.  But only in gazing at the Father are they able to understand what we need as we journey forth.

When we imitate the angels by bowing in adoration before our heavenly father, we too grow in goodness and in our own ability to recognize God's plan and to assist others in growing in strength and goodness as well.   I think the reality is this: as we lift our heart to God in prayer we necessarily open our heart more perfectly to our brothers and sisters.  

Be mindful of your guardian angels and the guardian angels of others.  Just as God seeks to give us divine assistance along the way so too he desires to give that same assistance to every one we meet along this way.  This alone should give us a pause when dealing with others.

Just as our angel beholds the face of our Heavenly father so to the angels of others behold the same face.  

Today we introduce the virtue of gratitude to ur students

Here are a few words of ST Ignatius

"It seems to me, in light of the divine Goodness though others may think differently, that ingratitude is one of the things most worthy of detestation before our Creator and Lord, and before all creatures capable of his divine and everlasting glory, out of all the evils and sins which can be imagined.  For it is a failure to recognize the good things, the graces, and the gifts received.  As such, it is the cause, beginning, and origin of all evils and sins,  On the contrary, recognition and gratitude of the good things and gifts received is greatly loved and esteemed both in heaven and on earth."

Today We introduce the virtue of Thanksgiving to the students at the school here at St Michael.  Last month we focused on Self-control.  This month: thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving is mentioned many times in a variety of forms in Sacred Scripture.  It is every where commanded as a necessary attitude of the Believer and disciple.  Give thanks always in all circumstances St Paul tells us.  We know that.  But do we know what St Pauls says happens to those who do not give thanks and thus fail to honor God.  In Romans 1:21 we have these words of St Paul, "For although they knew God they did not accord him glory as God or give him thanks.  Instead they became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless minds were darkened.  They became fools."  He says much more about this as you keep reading.  Just something to think about.

Perhaps God doesn’t necessarily want us always to be saying “thank you” so much as to be noticing how much we are loved and cared for by Him and, in turn, to respond by living a life of gratitude. Grateful people tend to be more generous and magnanimous with others. 

Gratitude is the ability to see more clearly;