Nazareth is a kind of school…

Nazareth is a kind of school…

  …where we may begin to discover what Christ’s life was like and even to understand his gospel.   It’s the mystery inherent in those quiet years of Jesus’ childhood that for me, makes this statement so intriguing. Oh, to know what was going on in that house from day to day. (In Nazareth) we can observe and ponder the simple appeal of the way God’s Son came to be known, profound yet full of hidden meaning. And gradually we may even learn to imitate Him. What were the conditions and circumstances that “surrounded and affected His life on earth?” Here, everything speaks to us, everything has meaning. Here we can learn the importance of spiritual discipline for all who wish to follow Christ.   As Pope Paul VI...

What is a Family?

What is a Family?

  On this the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, father said in Mass this morning that from the beginning, there’s always been trouble for the family. For Jesus, the moment He was born, He was threatened with death. Joseph, the great guardian of the Holy Family, fled to Egypt after the Lord appeared to him in a dream revealing Herod’s wicked plan. The enemy hates families, especially ones intent on living out a life of obedience to God– to the best of their ability. Here’s why he hates the domestic church so much:   The Christian family is a communion of persons, a sign and an image of the communion of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. In the procreation and education of children, it reflects the...

Modern Day Tyranny

Modern Day Tyranny

  It’s always children who are the first victims of tyranny. —Caryll Houselander Today, on the feast of the Holy Innocents, we commemorate those precious male children who were slain by King Herod because he was threatened by the birth of a baby whom he had heard from the wise men, was born to be a King.   Why are you afraid, Herod, when you hear of the birth of a king? He does not come to drive you out, but to conquer the devil. But because you do not understand this you are disturbed and in a rage, and to destroy one child whom you seek, you show your cruelty in the death of so many children.   —Office of Readings, from a sermon by St Quodvultdeus, bishop   In dying at the hand of that tyrant, those children witnessed for...

From Swaddling Clothes to Burial Cloths

From Swaddling Clothes to Burial Cloths

  When my children were infants, I was instructed to swaddle the baby only on the night we returned home from the hospital. Things have changed in twenty some odd years. Today, new parents (my son and daughter-in-law), are instructed to swaddle the baby until….he doesn’t like it anymore; and they say, he’ll let you know when that is. They even have special swaddling wraps now. Back in the day, I could put stuffed toys in the crib and we were told to alternate the baby from side to side with each nap. No sleeping on the stomach or the back, just side to side. Not that either of mine slept much as infants, but that’s another story. Now days…No toys in the crib, or baby blankies; they nap on their back in the day, and are swaddled...

A Brutal Reminder

A Brutal Reminder

  It’s a bit of a jolt. Holy Mother Church leads us from the glorious Hallelujah’s of the Christmas miracle and the birth of the newborn King of the Jews -God Incarnate- to today’s feast of St Stephan, the first martyr. We go from reading of the multitude of Heavenly hosts proclaiming:   Glory to God in the Highest and on earth, peace among men with whom He is pleased. —Luke 2:13   to today’s readings where we hear of a good man, Stephan,    filled with grace and power, working great wonders and signs among the people.   Who could possibly have a problem with this remarkable preacher?   A group of Jews in Jerusalem debated with him, but could not get the better of him, so they arranged to falsely accuse...

Everything Lies in This

Everything Lies in This

  “WHILE ALL THINGS WERE IN QUIET SILENCE, AND THE NIGHT WAS IN THE MIDST OF HER COURSE, THY ALMIGHTY WORD LEAPED DOWN FROM HEAVEN, FROM THY ROYAL THRONE…INTO THE MIDST OF THE LAND.”   —WISDOM 18: 14-15 We are celebrating the feast of the Eternal Birth which God the Father has borne and never ceases to bear in all eternity… But if it takes not place in me, what avails it? Everything lies in this, that it should take place in me. — Meister Eckart   Oh Lord Jesus, may Your Divine birth take place anew in us this Christmas. Grant us graces we have longed for… “Accept our oblation this day,” That we may be in this New Year, wholly pleasing in Your sight. May God grant us all a very Blessed Christmas....

One Single Word

One Single Word

  The readings from The Fourth Sunday of Advent draw us to one single word. From the Old Testament we hear: {…}Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall name Him, Emmanuel. —Isaiah 7: 10-14 And in the gospel of Matthew, we hear the story of the birth of Christ, with the ending verses declaring again, the great mystery of the Incarnation, {…} Behold the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name Him Emmanuel,  which means, “God is with us.” And not just temporarily, nor until He acquired salvation for us – no – forever. The God of the Universe, Creator of all that is known and unknown to man, who made a path through the sea and knows the name...

I Met Jesus, Mary and Joseph, Yesterday

I Met Jesus, Mary and Joseph, Yesterday

  Homeless and Pregnant. That was the sign she held in her hands; her blond hair blowing in the wind as if waving to me from the sidewalk of the busy neighborhood crossroad. Maybe I didn’t read it right, I thought..Maybe she’s advertising for the fast food place behind her. However, a second look as I waited at the light, confirmed what I’d first read.  The light turned green, but as I drove off I asked the Lord, Now what? What do you want me to do? Instantly, the grace came; probably fueled from thoughts of what I knew could happen to her if the wrong person stopped to help. As I changed lanes to make the U turn and head back around, I had two thoughts: if  a report came on the news that night of a young pregnant girl kidnapped and harmed,...

There’s Redemption in Ravioli ~ Redux

There’s Redemption in Ravioli ~ Redux

    This post is a replay from last year, but I was reminded of it since the hour draws near for this massive undertaking. I would pay someone to take my place…but according to the latest text from my sister…she’s not buying it.  “…the date for making the ravioli is Sunday, the 21st… Be there. NO excuses.“ Ugh. ——–  —– ——- There’s redemption in ravioli; but before you report me to the online theology police, let me give you some background on my thesis. I have five days left to prepare before the onset of this yearly tradition that has been in my family for generations. My sister and I have been making this homemade ravioli recipe virtually all our lives....

Libera – Gaudete

  Now, here’s a choir.. Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say rejoice. Indeed the Lord is near. —Entrance Antiphon Sunday, December 15th Lord, help us to welcome you this Christmas, with the joyful, trusting, innocence of a child.   +PAX...

Set a Place of Your Best China

Set a Place of Your Best China

  Anyone who knows the peculiar challenge and distinct cross of raising a prodigal child, needs to read this from Mark Mallett.  It may evoke a few tears, but in the end you will know something very important. You are not alone. We are living in a time when the family, perhaps like no other generation, is being attacked from every possible angle. Especially dads. The crisis of fatherhood we are living today is an element, perhaps the most important, threatening man in his humanity. The dissolution of fatherhood and motherhood is linked to the dissolution of our being sons and daughters.   —Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (POPE BENEDICT XVI), Palermo, March 15th, 2000   This week at the hospital, I prayed with a woman who is head of The Saint Vincent de...