“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 →
Ingenuity, imagination, and Effort in the Spiritual Life
“For the children of this world are more prudent in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light.”
A few years ago, a college student was convicted of smuggling several thousand pounds of marijuana into the country. The student had created quite an effective system for procuring and distributing the marijuana. The judge who heard the case did not sentence the student to jail — instead, the student was sentenced to set up and run a hospice for AIDS patients. The logic? The city needed the hospice, and the convicted smuggler had the organizational and business savvy to make it happen.Continue reading →
“For everyone who exults themselves will be humbled, but the ones who humble themselves will be exulted.”
There once lived a man so humble, that even the angels rejoiced at the sight of him. But, in spite of his great sanctity, he didn’t even have the slightest idea that he was holy. He just went about his humdrum and ordinary daily tasks, diffusing goodness in the same way flowers unconsciously diffuse their fragrance, and in the same way streetlights diffuse their glow.
His sanctity lay in this – that he forgot each person’s past, and looked at him or her, as they were, and he looked beyond each person’s appearance to the very center of their being, where they were innocent and blameless and too unaware to know what they were doing. Thus, he loved and forgave everyone he met – and he saw nothing extraordinary in this, for it was the result of his way of looking at people.Continue reading →
“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 →
“… her many sins have been forgiven because she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.”
For almost two years Peter and Susan traveled together through the terrifying wilderness of serious illness.
Susan had just returned home from playing tennis when she suddenly dropped to the kitchen floor. She was rushed to the emergency room of the local hospital, where she was stabilized. As her husband Peter and their children Jacob and Rachel watched helplessly, Susan was put on life support before being airlifted to a university hospital. Susan had suffered a brain aneurysm.
It was the beginning of an 18-month odyssey for Susan and Peter and their family that including three brain surgeries, devastating setbacks, frustrating rehab, erratic mood swings — and waiting – and struggling to pray.Continue reading →
“As [Jesus] drew near the gate of [Nain], a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow.”
From an article entitled “A Grieving Mom’s Request “ which appeared in The Boston Globe Magazine, on March 8, 2015. – a year after the death of her daughter, a grieving mom – Roberta Waters writes to family and friends: she writes,
“There are no appropriate words; nothing you can say that will make it better. But your calls, your visits, your invitations mean a lot to me. They remind me that I am still alive and still have a life outside of this tragedy.”Continue reading →
ProLifeCorner- Today all throughout the world, Christians of many denominations will start a 40 day period of fasting and prayer. A dear friend of the ProLifeCorner sent us his introduction to this most holy season. To some Christians who do not practice Lent, hopefully this introduction will provide a little deeper understanding of this holy season. If practicing Lent is not part of your tradition, and this introduction makes sense to you, please join us on this holy journey for a more personal relationship with our Lord and Savior.
Ash Wednesday Introduction
Today, the Church celebrates Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent.
Lent has three major themes: repentance,purification, and growth. These three themes are exemplified very appropriately by the use of ashes.Continue reading →
“He… “He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day as was His custom.”
A story from ancient Egypt tells how the god Thoth invented a new way of helping people learn and remember things, a system called writing. Thoth explained his invention to the king of Egypt; but the king was not impressed. He said the invention was liable to make people lazy in trying to remember things; that they would start to rely on written things instead of thinking for themselves. Worst of all, it would allow people to appear learned, rather than actually being learned. Written things need the help of the author to explain them, the human touch.
Although this is just an ancient myth, it still has some valid points to make. First, we learn from other people. Books are written by other people; they don’t appear out of the blue or fall out of the sky. And second, we learn better from human contact in teaching, even when books are involved – what the ancient Greek philosopher Plato called “the animated speech of a knowledgeable person.” Even then, although the person might have knowledge, they also need the gift of passing on that knowledge, of helping others become keen to learn, and setting people on fire with a love of that subject. And with the invention of the printing press in the fifteenth century, some of the Egyptian king’s misgivings came true. People sometimes mistook the book for learning or wisdom itself. Sometimes they thought that simply by reading or quoting that they would become learned, and so they neglected the need for understanding, for teaching and for interpretation to bring the written word to life. Continue reading →