He Gave Thanks

The disciples said to him, “Where could we ever get enough bread in this deserted place to satisfy such a crowd?”  Jesus said to them, “How many loaves do you have?” “Seven,” they replied, “and a few fish.”  He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground.  Then he took the seven loaves and[read more]

Saving Our Souls

Today is the Feast of St. Francis Xavier, the patron of my congregation. Our Founder, Theodore James Ryken told us that “The name of this insatiable laborer for souls will indicate with one word what is intended for the congregation.” Now I have to admit that there are very few ways I am able to identify with St. Francis Xavier. Perhaps if at the age of 17, when I was making the decision to join the congregation, I had known these words of Ryken I would have sought out an order or congregation more suited to my personality and temperament.[read more]

Awareness and Judgment

On this first weekday of Advent, we pray that when the Lord comes and knocks, we shall be found “watchful in prayer.” To be in prayer is to be awake and watchful in a way far more truly and distinctively human than the way we are present to life much of the time. In today’s gospel Jesus exclaims to his disciples that in no person in Israel has he found the faith that the centurion manifests. For what Jesus experiences among his own people is what he well may experience among his church today when he comes. He may find[read more]

A Space With Different Rules

The court was convened, and the books were opened.  I watched, then, from the first of the arrogant words which the horn spoke, until the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the burning fire.  As for the other beasts, their dominion was taken away, but they were granted a prolongation of[read more]

Thanks For Everything

I will give thanks to you, O Lord, with all of my heart,    for you have heard the words my mouth;    in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise; I will worship at your holy temple. I will give thanks to your name, Because of your kindness and your truth.Psalm[read more]

The Writing On The Wall

Suddenly, opposite the lampstand, the fingers of a human hand appeared, writing on the plaster of the wall in the king’s palace. When the king saw the hand that wrote, his face became pale; his thoughts terrified him, his hip joints shook, and his knees knocked. Daniel 5:5-6  It will lead to your giving testimony.[read more]

Faith and Disappointment

The last week of the Church year has, for much of my life, been my least favorite time, liturgically speaking. There is a relentlessness to the themes of catastrophe, destruction, violence, and death. There is the constant reminder, as we hear in the gospel today, that “the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down” (Luke 21:6). The reminders of the limits of humanity’s potency and effectiveness have always easily evoked my personal psychic sense of and fears of futility. One of the hardest but truest spiritual directives[read more]

Giving All We Have To Live On

It is easy to read the story of the poor widow’s offering as a moral lesson, and so to some degree it is. Yet, it is also much more than that. It is a description both of the very nature of God and of the nature and quality of our participation in God’s life and creation. In context it is surrounded by Jesus’ description of the miserly and constrained consciousness of the Pharisees on one side and his description of the destruction of the Temple and the signs of the end times on the other.[read more]