The Chosen

The young maiden of Nazareth was chosen from among all women to be the bearer of Christ for our world.  Mary’s fiat, her ‘yes’ in response to the Angel of the Lord, her surrender to the will of God, sets a tone for each of us in this season of Advent and throughout life. The […]

Sacred Ground

Elizabeth Barrett Browning once wrote: “The earth is crammed with heaven and every bush is on fire with God.  But only those who see this take off their shoes; the rest of us sit around and pluck blackberries.”  As we savor a time of gratitude this weekend, we begin the Advent journey of faith anew.  […]

Successors

There were very few disciples closer to Jesus than His apostles.  The bishops are successors to those apostles, and they hold a great privilege in carrying out Christ’s mission.  As is usually the case with such distinguished honor, it comes with tremendous responsibility.  This past week, at the annual United States Conference of Catholic Bishops […]

Church Militant

I recently attended a church function in which speakers made several references to the “church militant.”  A term used rarely these days, it made me think of Django and Djesus.  Django Unchained is a critically acclaimed blockbuster movie of the past decade.  The brutal and violent story is about an 1850s slave who becomes a […]

November’s Embers

I can’t recall a November in Kansas City like this one in which leaves hold on to tree branches for so long, displaying such a magnificent array of autumn colors for us to behold well into the heart of the eleventh month.  Like embers burning slowly in a fireplace, they seem resistant to dying out, […]

Eager to Condemn

Many Catholics seem eager to condemn President Biden because of his political stance on abortion and want Pope Francis to ban him from receiving Holy Communion according to Canon Law, Code 915.  It states: “Those who are excommunicated or…who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.”  Since this […]

A Time of Saints

A busy young husband and father of little ones in my parish carved out many hours to shine metal in our church sacristy.  Though a guy who can fix just about anything, he worked meticulously sprucing up candlesticks, sacred vessels, and an old, rusted tabernacle that gets used only once a year during Holy Week.  […]

Faces of Saints

Felix Adler once said: “A hero is one who kindles a great light in the world, who sets up blazing torches in the dark streets of life so that others can see.  A saint is one who walks through those dark paths and is, himself, a light.”  At this time of his earthly passing, Americans […]

Glutton For Punishment

In this week’s Gospel passages, Jesus encounters Pharisees, very smart, learned men who put lots of emphasis on religious rituals, rules, and regulations.  Because of their intellect and devotedness, some were high priests, members of the Jewish magisterium and Sanhedrin, and those who wanted Jesus silenced and, ultimately, killed.  Though knowledgeable (a human trait), they […]

Trump Derangement Syndrome

A hundred years ago, Hermann Rorschach created his famous inkblot test to assess the personality of subjects.  It offers therapists insights into how clients perceive their surroundings through abstract images.  It can reveal aspects of cognition and affectivity because of patterns which subjects report to see in the images and even make calculated predictions about […]