Give Me a Drink

Give Me a Drink

  There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. But~ It’s Jesus who thirsts. He says. Give me a drink, She didn’t know it was the Divine Bridegroom come to the empty well of her heart and soul where she had sought many earthly “grooms” only to leave hollow and parched. You have nothing to draw with, she tells Him. But, what does He need of a rope and pitcher when, The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let him who hears say , “Come.” And let him who is thirsty come, let him who desires, take the water of life…without price. —Revelation 22:17 Ah. Now she understands who He is. This is what makes You thirsty, Lord…to see me parched and returning to the same stagnant well looking for...

A Beggar With Firm Hope

A Beggar With Firm Hope

  Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C Sunday, October 27, 2013   The Tax Collector and the Pharisee Luke 18: 9-14   It is incidental whether the Pharisee or the tax collector is the one who exalts himself in the sight of God. In today’s culture, Jesus would probably have someone like the tax collector exalt himself and despise others in his prayer:   “God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity—do-gooders and church-going Pharisees. I may be greedy, dishonest, and adulterous, but I am grateful not to be a hypocrite like them.” The desire to exalt oneself can always find a reason—even one’s humility. —Campion P. Gavaler, OSB   St Augustine says, “man is a beggar before God,” yet, how easy it is to fashion...

There’s No Secret Code

There’s No Secret Code

  The longer I submerge my life into Holy Mother Church, the more I recognize her profound beauty, the more I love her and long for others to know the wisdom of the full deposit of our faith as Catholics. ...preach the word, be urgent in season and out of season, convince, rebuke, and exhort, be unfailing in patience and in teaching. —2 Timothy 4:2 Lately, this word ‘urgent’ stands out to me, as well as the call to unfailing patience, because now is ‘the time to speak.’ The complications we see evident among our own neighbors are like a labyrinth from which people are seeking a way out, a treasure map containing some secret code. There is no secret code, but there is a seduction being offered today which tempts many to set aside...

And What About Suffering?

And What About Suffering?

  Does God Allow Us to Suffer?   By Father Hugh Barbour O. Praem   “Here is surely the most common question anyone ever asked about life. The answer to this question is both deep and demanding. Our Lord Himself, experiencing the most complete abandonment in His human feelings cried out “My God, my God why have You abandoned me?”   What is this deepest meaning of suffering?   The psalms which the church prays daily from morning to night all around the world repeatedly ask this question in various ways, and indeed it was from psalm 22 that the Savior was praying the words just quoted to express the depth of His painful passion. It is true that suffering is the result of sin, but it is very important for us to see suffering in its...

St John of Capistrano, Friar and Preacher

St John of Capistrano, Friar and Preacher

  Today the Church celebrates the feast of St John of Capistrano. ( 1386-1456) He was born in Capistrano, Italy the son of a former German knight. You can read his background here to understand why he is the patron of jurors. As with many saints, I find the challenges he faced most fascinating: He lived in a country where deadly plague and civil wars decimated the population and continued for years to threaten the living. Envision too, suffering the confusion of a church in which two and sometimes three men claimed to be pope. 1   He married the daughter of a prominent citizen, but when jailed as a political prisoner, had a conversion and decided to become a religious. Since the marriage had not been consummated, he was granted a release and afterwards...

Requiescat in Pace, Father Pablo Straub, OCR

Requiescat in Pace, Father Pablo Straub, OCR

  One of the first priests I found on EWTN after returning home to the church was Father Pablo Straub. His presentations on the faith were always filled with such passion for the Lord and he literally carried the cross when he spoke. Those who knew him said he was a holy man and a true son of St Alphonsus Liguori.   A missionary priest, Father Pablo spent years evangelizing Puerto Rico, the Philippines and Peru. Father has spent the last 16 years in rural Mexico. Father Pablo preaches the Word of God in both Mexico and the United States; directing missions and retreats. He appears on EWTN and Mexican Catholic television. Father Pablo is currently helping found two new Religious Orders, one of missionary Sisters and one of future priests. The orders, The...

Inner Transformation: Forests, Horseshoes and Hand Grenades

Inner Transformation: Forests, Horseshoes and Hand Grenades

  It never fails. God always gets the right book into my hands at just the right time–when I least expect it. And, it’s not usually what I’d pick for myself without the Holy Spirit’s nudging…leading me gently, saying, Yoo hoo– this way dear. A few weeks ago, I saw Dr Rhonda Chervin on EWTN’s show Bookmark, and almost tuned out because last Lent I took the challenge of her 100 Day Spiritual Marathon. Figuring she must be re-promoting that in book form, I strategically readied my thumb on the changer to go to the cooking channel when that still small voice said, Stop. You need to hear her interview. Not two days prior, I had been praying about a struggle in my life and in one of those special moments, grace penetrated...

Enlarge My Capacity, Lord

Enlarge My Capacity, Lord

  The Parable of the Widow and the Unrighteous Judge Twenty Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time   Why should we persevere in prayer when God already knows our needs before we even ask?   {This} .. may perplex us if we do not realize that our Lord and God does not want to know what we want (for he cannot fail to know it), but wants us rather to exercise our desire through our prayers, so that we may be able to receive what he is preparing to give us. His gift is very great indeed, but our capacity is too small and limited to receive it. That is why we are told: Enlarge your desires, do not bear the yoke with unbelievers. The ~ deeper our faith, the stronger our hope, the greater our desire, the larger will be our capacity to receive that gift, which is...

What You Believe

What You Believe

Matters. Reading the masterpiece of Catholic spirituality, The Interior Life Simplified and Reduced to its Fundamental Principle, I came across a passage that speaks eloquently of the importance of faith to one’s moral worth. (The passage may be viewed in context here— bottom of page 107, continuing to the next page.)   No, it is not the autonomous conscience, the doing of one’s own will, or the maintaining of one’s own standards (or “values”) that makes a man good. He is good only when he conforms himself to an objective standard of goodness. He is only supernaturally good when he subjects himself to the divine standard of goodness, and it is faith (divine faith, Catholic faith) that makes us know that standard. Without it, we not holy; without it, we are lost....

God is My Business

God is My Business

  “God is your business and language. Those who want to speak to you must learn this language; and if they don’t, be on your guard that you do not learn theirs, it will be a hell.   If they should think you are unsophisticated, what does it matter? If they take you for hypocrites, it matters even less. You will gain in that no one will want to see you except the one who understands this language.   And (speaking of the world) involves a constant disturbance from which you ought to flee at all costs, for what is very well suited to this path that we are beginning to discuss is peace and tranquility of soul.” —St. Teresa of Avila, Interior Castle  It is said of St Teresa, that she was a “spiritual late-bloomer,” having been a...

When There’s Something Dead in Your Life

When There’s Something Dead in Your Life

  Get rid of it. I’ve been planting a lot of seeds since I read this.   As a preacher was saying the other night, when we have a “loss” in life — when we fail in some way, or have a setback, perhaps a hurt, when we lose at something — we need to take this “loss,” detach from it, and plant is as a seed in the Garden of God. There it will flourish; there it will grow into something else.   Take your loss — your loneliness, your illness, your heartbreak, your loss of a job or whatever — and plant it as a seed in the soil of the Lord.   God honors those who don’t give in to the negative but instead use it to gain something else.   Take that loss, that disappointment, that dead thing and plant it....