Monday, February 27, 2017

Ave Regina Caelorum

The Church has a lot of wisdom. We stop singing the Alma Redemptoris Mater after the Feast of the Presentation and immediately begin singing the Ave Regina Caelorum. This encourages us to begin ramping up for Lent.  It is like a warm-up session before running a marathon. Even though we are in Ordinary Time, it is a different kind of Ordinary Time than that which comes after Pentecost. It is a time to say "Ready, set," before we say "Go!" on Ash Wednesday.

This was the wisdom of Septuagesima Sunday, etc. We apparently need the time to prepare for the time to prepare for Easter.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

How to work for Justice

The Pro-life movement is concerned about justice in our societies. As a way to achieve our goal many in the movement have hitched their wagon to Trump. I think it is important for us to keep in mind these "10 Brilliant Quotes from St. Francis de Sales on Cultivating Peace," posted by Erin Cain on National Ignitum Today. Justice will not be accomplished unless we have inner peace.

I especially think these are important:
2. “Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.”
3. “There was never an angry man that thought his anger unjust.”
7. “When you encounter difficulties and contradictions, do not try to break them, but bend them with gentleness and time.”
8. “True progress quietly and persistently moves along without notice.”

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Guess who has an office next to mine at the seminary?

Sunday, September 18, 2016

The works of mercy

I was in a church yesterday to go to confession. On one of the walls there were several banners, each with one of the corporal works of mercy on it. On the opposite wall were several other banners. I presumed they would be the spiritual works of mercy, but when I went over there to check it out, they also contained the corporal works of mercy!

I don't know the context, so I don't know why they chose to include the one and not the other. For all I know next week they are going to switch to the spiritual.

It felt funny to me, though, as if the corporal were the ones we should pay attention to. As if it is more important to feed the hungry than to admonish the sinner. I wager there are people who think that, but I also wager that it is not the mind of the Church.

It's not about Egypt

I was reading Ezekiel chapter 32 which is a dirge for Pharaoh and a dirge for Egypt. It occurred to me when reading verse 19 the the real target of the chapter is not Egypt, but the reader. The verse says, "Many peoples shall be appalled at you, and their kings shall shiver over you in horror when they see me brandish my sword and on the day of your downfall every one of them shall continuously trembles for his own life." Egypt is an example for all of us. When God chastises another perhaps the first thought that should come to mind is "Why not us? why not me?"

Tuesday, June 21, 2016


I find it hard to fit a retreat in. I'm working on it, but in the mean time I've come up with a plan for daily micro-retreats.

For the Year of Mercy we put a San Damiano crucifix by our door.  It is at the bottom of the stairs.  At the beginning of the day the first time I come down the stairs I pause and pray a "We adore you O Christ," a "Holy, holy," a Hail Mary, an Angel of God, and a Glory be.

Throughout the rest of the day, any time I come down the stairs I pause at the crucifix put my hand on it and pray a "We Adore you O Christ."  I pause a few seconds while I calm down and remember God.

I call it a micro-retreat.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Online Sacred Scripture Course for High School

For those of you who have home school high school students or who know of any, I will be teaching an online course for Homeschool Connections next spring on Sacred Scripture.

Here is a description of the course:


Tuesday, January 12, 2016-Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Meets 10:00 AM-11:00 AM EST on Tue

Tuition: $205.00

Level: High School Level

According to St. Jerome, who translated the Bible into Latin for the Roman Church, ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ. This course will introduce the student to the careful study of the Bible in light of language, common themes, culture and history. The goal is to gain greater understanding of the Catholic faith and to gain greater spiritual insight so that the student can have a deeper relationship with Christ in the Church.

Course outline:

The first part of the course will begin at a look at what Scripture is. Then it will look at the distinction and relationship between studying and praying with the Scriptures.

The second part will discuss how to interpret the Old Testament, with an emphasis on the type of writing (genres), vocabulary, geography, culture and biblical history

The third part will discuss how to interpret the New Testament, with an emphasis on the type of writing (genres), vocabulary, geography, culture and biblical history

The fourth part will feature the student’s presentations on passages from the Bible they have chosen

Homework: Weekly online quiz. Weekly assignments analyzing passages of their choice. A final paper and presentation explaining their passage.

Prerequisite: None

Here is a link to the registration page

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Merton on the Spiritual Life

This is one of the best descriptions of the spiritual life I've come across.

I consider that the spiritual life is the life of man's real self, the life of that interior self whose flame is so often allowed to be smothered under the ashes of anxiety and futile concern. The spiritual life is oriented toward God, rather than toward the immediate satisfaction of the material needs of life, but it is not, for all that, a life of unreality or a life of dreams. On the contrary, without a life of the spirit, our whole existence becomes unsubstantial and illusory. The life of the spirit, by integrating us in the real order established by God, puts us in the fullest possible contact with reality - not as we imagine it, but as it really is. It does so by making us aware of our real selves, and placing them in the presence of God. 
The point that hit home for me are the flame that is smothered by anxiety and futile concern and the intrgration into the real order established by God. Those who are not seeking to do that will have an unsubstantial and illusory existence. And, that could be an eternal condition....