Hocus-Pocus

In the pre-Vatican II Latin Mass, priests around the globe would bow their heads during a high point of Catholic worship and whisper: “Hoc est corpus meam.”  These fontal words, “This is my body,” was a sign for all who gathered that the bread and wine were no longer bread and wine but a different […]

The Catholic Church Left Me

Missouri contains lots of former democrats who self-identify as “Truman Democrats”—some who knew the home-state president personally.  Among the principles they revere are integrity, civility, hard work, dignity of life, and care for the lowly.  When asked why they are no longer democrats they sometimes say: “I didn’t leave the democratic party.  It left me.” […]

American Spirituality

“He was born in the summer of his 27th year coming home to a place he’d never been before…”  When I was twenty-seven years old, in June, I was ordained to the priesthood.  At that time, I arrived at a new state of existence that was, I believe, predestined.  As part of the ritual, I […]

Post-Covid Sabbath

Sometimes changes occur from the top down, sometimes from the bottom up, and sometimes from an outside force like the coronavirus of 2020.  I suppose some practices of the Catholic Mass will be different in the future.  The Sign of Peace, receiving communion-bread on one’s tongue, or drinking from a shared chalice may be gone […]

When Lightning Strikes

A lightning bolt hit our school during a storm last weekend.  Such an energy current can cause lots of damage and jolt us from normal patterns of living.  Ironically, our school’s nickname is The Chargers and our mascot is a bolt of lightning held high by The Flash. In the line of Saint Paul on […]

Disciples of Abundance

According to famous accounts of the life of Saint Francis of Assisi, Jesus instructed him to rebuild His church.  While taking hammer and nails to wood, the young future saint heard the command again and realized that Christ meant something altogether different.  The church, over time, had dilapidated spiritually, and Francis was Our Lord’s chosen […]

Why I Go To Extremes

Thirty years ago, Billy Joel sang: “Call me a joker, call me a fool, but right at this moment it’s totally cool…Sometimes I feel like I’m going too fast but don’t know how long this feeling might last…Darling, I don’t know why I go to extremes.”  Most of us probably go to extremes at some […]

Excerpt From A Funeral

“…Then she gathered us all once more for the prayer she loved the best And those dear ole beads we had known so well were clasped to her dying breast And there we knelt by her beside in the hush of a starlit night While we prayed the words of the rosary our mother’s soul […]

What The Huck!

Amidst peaceful protests, meaningful marches, raucous riots, and determined demonstrations across America, many young people are trying to sort out what really matters as they come to deeper understanding of racial injustice.  Having sheltered-in-place a long time, we, citizens, have pent-up energy that is exploding.  During confinement, we separated from societal clutter and chaos to […]

A Mother’s Beauty

I suppose that every child views his/her mother as the most beautiful being on this side of eternity.  I was no different.  Hers was the beauty of a maternal god-figure.  Of course, with the passage of time exterior beauty fades.  As my mom gave birth to eleven children and raised us to adulthood while managing […]