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human condition

A Prescription for Peace in a World of Woe

September 18, 2018 4 Comments
A Prescription for Peace in a World of Woe

The Gospel for Tuesday of the 24th Week provides a kind of prescription for peace in a world of woe. Let’s look at it in four stages. I. The Place – Jesus journeyed to a city called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd accompanied him. The name of the city, Nain, means fair […]

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St. Augustine on Suffering as a Medicine

August 27, 2018 4 Comments
St. Augustine on Suffering as a Medicine

The feast of St. Augustine this Tuesday provides us yet another opportunity to learn from him. We can ponder his teaching on suffering and its role in preserving us from something far worse. When asked, most people identify their most serious problems as those related to their physical health or their finances; family and career […]

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Of Plenty, Population, and Trust – A Further Reflection on the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes

July 29, 2018 3 Comments
Of Plenty, Population, and Trust – A Further Reflection on the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes

The multiplication of the loaves and fishes that we read about at Sunday Mass was a miracle so astonishing that it is recounted in all four Gospels. A second, similar instance is recorded in another gospel passage. So, this sort of miracle is recounted five times within the four Gospels. There are many theological reasons […]

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The Difference Between Penance and Punishment

July 15, 2018 0 Comments
The Difference Between Penance and Punishment

There is an old rabbinic story that speaks to the danger of being “unbroken.” It also illustrates the difference between penance and punishment. I am relating this story from memory and may have adapted it somewhat over the years, so if you know it in a different way, please be merciful! Here is (my version […]

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Seeing More as God Does

July 4, 2018 1 Comment
Seeing More as God Does

Today I’d like to reflect further on the Gospel reading from today’s Mass (Thursday of the 13th week of the year). It tells the story of the paralyzed man whom Jesus tells to have courage because his sins are forgiven. In one sense this is a rather peculiar response to a paralyzed man: Jesus looks […]

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Two Teachings on Discipleship from Jesus

July 1, 2018 2 Comments
Two Teachings on Discipleship from Jesus

In the Gospel for today (Monday of the 13thWeek of the Year) Jesus gives two teachings on discipleship. They are not easy, and they challenge us—especially those of us who live in the affluent West. Poverty– The text says, As they were proceeding on their journey someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you […]

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What a Storm at Sea Teaches Us of the Christian Life

June 24, 2018 1 Comment
What a Storm at Sea Teaches Us of the Christian Life

The Gospel for the 12th Sunday in Cycle B is something of a storm journal. It presents a kind of picture of the Christian life as we journey through a stormy world with winds contrary to the gospel. There are distinctive stages, beginning with Jesus’ call to cross to the other shore. As we do […]

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Why Is There Such Strong Hatred for the Church?

May 22, 2018 17 Comments
Why Is There Such Strong Hatred for the Church?

In the final week of Easter, there were frequent references in the readings to the fact that the world would hate true Christians. For example, If the world hates you, understand that it hated Me first. If you were of the world, it would love you as its own. Instead, the world hates you, because […]

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