Mass Oddities: Three Quirks That Bear Witness

01/03/2016 Comments (9)

Photo Credit: James Emery, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

And if these things seem to you to be reasonable and true, honour them; but if they seem nonsensical, despise them as nonsense.
 —
St. Justin Martyr

“Dad, I’ve gotta’ go.” It’s a phrase you know well if you have kids, and it’s rarely uttered at opportune moments. Usually, it’s on the interstate, two minutes out from the last rest stop, or just as you’re seated for the first reading at Mass – almost like clockwork. “A reading from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah,” the lector announces; “I really gotta’ go,” your preschooler pleads.

In medical lingo, it’s called (appropriately) urgency, and it can have a variety of etiologies. In the parenting biz, however, we’ve learned that it can simply be...READ MORE

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Thinking About Change? Consider This…

01/03/2016 Comments (6)

Carl Bloch, “Healing of the Blind Man” (1871)

Before I was ordained as a Catholic priest I ran a business training and personal development company called Working Hero. One of the things we discussed with individuals and business managers was the psychology of change.
 
I would shock the audience by saying, “Think of that homeless person you saw last week. He wants to be there.” After the first gasp of horror from my audience I would continue, “Think about that alcoholic relative you have, that friend who is overweight or the family member who is stuck in a destructive cycle. They chose that. They want to be there.”
 
Having got the discussion started I went on to explain that change only happens when the pain of the status quo...READ MORE

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That Awkward Relationship Between Catholics and Money

01/02/2016 Comments (19)

You meet a well-dressed man with a dynamic personality.  Through the course of your conversation, you realize that he is very wealthy. Later, you learn he is Catholic.

Now let’s add another layer to the new acquaintance.  He’s involved in a Catholic business, perhaps working in Catholic media, or selling religious goods, or as a business consultant for Church schools.  Has your impression of him changed?  After all, what is he doing making so much money off our faith?

Let’s take it just one step further. What if he works directly for the Church? Your likely reaction: What? The Church can’t pay enough for someone to be wealthy!  But even if he is independently wealthy and works as a hobby,...READ MORE

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Learning to Forgive the Unforgiveable Sin

01/02/2016 Comments (6)

Pietro della Vecchia (1602-1678), “Christ and the Adulteress”

We all have one.

We all have the one sin that we consider completely unforgiveable. Not the ones we ourselves commit, although we have those, too, but the ones that others commit against us. Folks can wrong us in any number of ways and we can manage to forgive them. But, when they wrong us in that one particular way, we simply are unable to forgive it.

It could be humiliation, lying, stealing, neglect, or gossiping. It could be any number of things, and it could be something that is inconsequential to someone else. But, when it’s done to you, then it’s not only inexcusable, but also its unforgivable.

Perhaps, it’s something held over from childhood – some way in which one of your parents...READ MORE

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Did Hillary Clinton Describe ISIS' Persecution of Christians as "Genocide"?

01/01/2016 Comments (18)

Pope Francis and Christian leaders in the Middle East and the U.S. have denounced the Islamic State's treatment of Christians  as "genocide." Yet in a Christmas Eve message that expressed his concern for Christians in the region, President Obama held back from defining ISIS' efforts to stamp out all vestiges of Christianity in territory under its control as "genocide."  

Now, the administration will face more pressure to change its stance, as Hillary Clinton signals her own position on a foreign policy issue that is steadily gaining traction.

During a Dec. 29 town hall meeting in Berlin, N.H., Clinton was asked to let voters know whether she would join Pope Francis and describe the...READ MORE

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Pope Francis' Homily on Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

01/01/2016 Comments (4)

In St. Peter's basilica this morning, the Holy Father delivered the following homily at Mass on New Year's Day, the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, and World Day of Peace.  

Last month, the Vatican customarily released his World Day of Peace Message which this year is entitled "Overcome Indifference and Win Peace".


Homily of His Holiness Pope Francis on the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God - World Day of Peace, 1 January 2016

We have heard the words of the Apostle Paul: “When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman” (Gal 4:4).

What does it mean to say that Jesus was born in “the fullness of time”?  If we consider that particular moment of history, we might...READ MORE

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New Year's Day

01/01/2016 Comments (1)

And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up; and he went to the synagogue, as his custom was, on the sabbath day. And he stood up to read; and there was given to him the book of the prophet Isaiah. He opened the book and found the place where it was written,

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”

And he closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant, and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to...READ MORE

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Here's the Only New Year’s Resolution You’ll Ever Need

12/31/2015 Comments (4)

(Photo Credit: Anthony Quintano, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

It started with the Babylonians.

They are the ones who initiated the tradition of making New Year’s resolutions. More than four thousand years ago, they began the practice of celebrating the new year with an 11-day festival during which time they made promises in order to earn the favor of the gods and get the year started on the right foot. Reportedly, they would vow to pay off debts and return borrowed farm equipment as part of their New Year’s resolutions.

Today, it’s a tradition that some take more seriously than others, and yet almost everybody thinks about. Many of us scramble last-minute to come up with something – anything – to resolve and feel guilty if we don’t.

I’ve always...READ MORE

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