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Some Advice from Mother Church, as Pictured in the Book of Ruth

August 24, 2017 6 Comments
Some Advice from Mother Church, as Pictured in the Book of Ruth

Given our brief sampling of the Book of Ruth in daily Mass, perhaps a reflection is in order. The detailed background to the text is too lengthy to go into here, but a few points will help. The story features three main characters: Boaz, Ruth, and Naomi. Boaz is clearly a picture (or “type”) of […]

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If You Truly Want to Have Something, Lose It – A Mediation on the Economics of the Kingdom

August 10, 2017 1 Comment
If You Truly Want to Have Something, Lose It – A Mediation on the Economics of the Kingdom

The Feast of St. Lawrence, deacon and martyr, contains an important teaching on the economics of the Kingdom of God. As you might guess, they are quite paradoxical. The teachings come to us both through St. Lawrence’s life and the particular readings selected for his feast. When a persecution broke out in Rome in 257 […]

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Finding the Church in a Bach Fugue

July 31, 2017
Finding the Church in a Bach Fugue

Many of you have likely read the classic description of the Church from the 1951 novel Dan England and the Noonday Devil, by Myles Connolly. It is a wonderful reminder that the Church is not an institution, but a Body, made up of members who, each in his own unique way, give witness to the […]

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Suffering for the Gospel: Pondering a Picture of Apostolic Times

July 25, 2017 2 Comments
Suffering for the Gospel: Pondering a Picture of Apostolic Times

Writing as I am on the Feast of Saint James, likely the first Apostle to be martyred, I’d like to ponder the kinds of sufferings the Apostles endured in order to announce the Gospel and win souls for Christ. In the “softer” Church of the declining West, it is hard for us even to imagine. […]

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A Magnificent Description of the Immigrant Church of 1900-1950

July 2, 2017 4 Comments
A Magnificent Description of the Immigrant Church of 1900-1950

The great influx of Catholic immigrants from Europe brought exponential growth to the Catholic population of this country, making Catholicism the single largest religious group by far. Those Catholic immigrants gathered together in ethnic parishes, creating ethnic neighborhoods in which faith and culture were knitted together. They sought survival in a land that seemed at […]

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One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic, and Organized! A Biblical Picture of the Early Church in Miniature

September 19, 2016 0 Comments
One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic, and Organized! A Biblical Picture of the Early Church in Miniature

I’d like to return to a brief Gospel that was read last week at daily Mass (Friday of the 24th Week of the Year). Though terse to the point of leaving a preacher wondering what to say, it actually paints a beautiful picture of the Church. Here is that short passage, followed by some commentary. […]

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Accepting the Disabled in a World Obsessed with Physical Perfection

June 15, 2016 2 Comments
Accepting the Disabled in a World Obsessed with Physical Perfection

As mentioned in yesterday’s post, Pope Francis recently lamented the obsession of modern society with perfect bodies. Although our first thought on contemplating this might be cosmetics and plastic surgery, he was actually speaking about our increasing rejection of the disabled and the sick. This rejection is perhaps most sadly evidenced by the fact that […]

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Love and Lament Alike – A Brief Reflection for All Who Care About the Church

November 9, 2015 10 Comments
Love and Lament Alike – A Brief Reflection for All Who Care About the Church

As a priest and pastor I work very closely with others: clergy, religious, laity who work for the Church, and laity who volunteer. We all work for the Church because we love her and her people. But along with that love comes, at times, disappointment, hurt, or even disillusionment. Perhaps these feelings result from issues […]

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