Fulfilling Family Responsibilities

Fulfilling Family Responsibilities

“And when they had performed everything according to the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth.”

[From “Modern Love: Promises That Can Bend Without Breaking” by Robert St. Amant, in The New York Times, May 8, 2014.]

They have been married for 28 years. Theirs has been a happy life, filled with an intense desire to travel. They both had fulfilling careers: he is a college professor, she is an accomplished weaver and textile artist.

Their near-perfect life came to an end a year ago when they sold their home and moved into an independent living apart­ment for the elderly. He is only 50. She is 49.

She is the reason they are now living in this situation. A series of seizures and strokes revealed brain tumors. Over time she became more absent-minded and more forgetful. Her lucid periods have become fewer and fewer. After the two surgeries and a painful recovery, he and she talked about the future and what they would do with their lives — but now with the new, sobering realization that they would not live forever. Continue reading

Now We Matter

Merry Christmas and a Blessed 2018 New Year! 

Now We Matter

“For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord.”

It’s roughly 100 miles from Nazareth to Bethlehem. According to Google Maps, it would take about 34 hours to travel the dis­tance on foot, not counting stops for rest — nor does it consider marauding bandits, flash floods, washed away roads, and a full-term pregnancy.

But this is the journey that St. Joseph, the foster father of the Son of God, and the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, this is the journey they make.

The journey is not their choice. Caesar Augustus has spoken, and, like it or not, impending birth notwithstanding, they make the exhausting 100-mile trek to fill out some government forms. St. Joseph and the Virgin Mary are, like poor and defenseless people of every place and time, at the whim of whatever Caesar or compassion-less bureaucracy directs. Continue reading

Losing Your Life for Christ’s Sake

Losing Your Life for Christ’s Sake

“Anyone who loses his life for my sake… will save it.”

Pierre Claverie (Clav’er aye) was born in Algeria in 1938. He grew up in a loving family of French people who had settled in Algeria. He said he lived in a “colonial bubble,” in other words, completely cut off from the majority Arab population. As a young man he was called to the priesthood and joined the Dominicans in France. Despite the political upheavals, he wanted to return and serve in Algeria. He steeped himself in the Arab culture, learning the language and living close to the people. He wanted to bear witness to Christ’s call to reconciliation between races.

In 1981, Pierre Claverie (Clav’er ee) was made Bishop of Oran. Christians in the region were few in number and surrounded by a dominant Muslim population. As Muslim fundamentalists became more powerful, Christians were threatened and several members of religious orders were assassinated. (Clav’er ee)  became increasingly aware of the danger he was in, but in this situation he also deepened his understanding of the cross. He did not leave but stayed to bear witness to the love and mercy of Jesus and his promise of eternal life. In 1996 Bishop Pierre Claverie (Clav’er ee) and his Muslim driver were blown up by a terrorist bomb. Continue reading