Every Day is Thanksgiving

At least in my experience, God’s will has not always been easy to discern, even with the assistance of prayer and spiritual direction. Sure, I know the boundaries of moral decision-making. Under no circumstances may I lawfully choose to do evil. Further, I must fulfill the duties and obligations that go with my state in […]

Continue reading →

Purify My Heart

“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asks the blind man in today’s Gospel. The blind man replies, “Lord, please let me see.” Doesn’t this episode apply to all of us? Don’t we all wish to see? We all desire a stronger faith, a clearer sense of God’s will for us, perhaps even […]

Continue reading →

Dare We Hope?

Catholic News Service (CNS) reports that, according to Vatican sources, Pope Benedict has completed a second encyclical, a meditation on Christian hope: The text, tentatively titled “Spe Salvi” (“Saved by Hope”), is about 65 pages, sources said Oct. 16. . . . . The working title comes from St. Paul’s letter to the Romans, in […]

Continue reading →

Blessed Are the Meek

At first glance, meekness may be the most unattractive Christian virtue. Today, many people think of “meekness as weakness,” the antithesis of the “holy” self-assertion that enables us to get our own way. We picture a meek person as a wimp or doormat, not as a virile, Christian man. Yet, those of us who are […]

Continue reading →

Fighting Poverty

I was flipping through a recent issue of Newsweek, and the cover story caught my attention. Its focus is “giving globally”—how we can help bring basic vaccines, clean water, food, and health care (among other things) to impoverished people throughout the world. The photos and captions are a rallying cry and a reminder that we […]

Continue reading →

For Love of the Game

Yesterday’s second reading at Mass really speaks to those of us who relate to sports. St. Paul tells Timothy–and us–to “compete well for the faith. Lay hold of eternal life . . .” In other words, let’s get after it! Even more, St. Paul tells us the qualities, or “keys to victory,” of those who will […]

Continue reading →

A Lesson in Humility

I sometimes find it helpful to my spiritual life to put myself in the place of the characters in our Lord’s parables. Of course, sometimes I put my wife in them as well. She’s 100% Irish, so I’ve lightheartedly renamed the Parable of the Persistent Widow, who nags the judge until she gets what she […]

Continue reading →

Going to the Dogs

It’s often said that we live in a “dog-eat-dog” world.  People are too often motivated by ruthless self interest; woe to anyone who gets in their way. Now that Michael Vick’s criminal charges have brought attention to the despicable dog-fighting industry, where pit bulls are bred to maul each other to shreds, “dog-eat-dog” is no […]

Continue reading →

Apostles of Kindness

In our sexually permissive society, it is critically important to reaffirm–clearly, firmly, and sensitively–the implications of the Sixth Commandment. Yet sometimes we may act as though Moses put an asterisk next to the Sixth Commandment, as though that’s the only commandment we really need to be concerned about. The truth is that we also live […]

Continue reading →