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Remembering That We Are Dust, as Seen in an Eerie Video

February 16, 2018 3 Comments
Remembering That We Are Dust, as Seen in an Eerie Video

It is my usual Friday routine to feature a video (often a commercial) and draw some biblical or spiritual principle from it. The video below is no commercial; it is post-war footage from Berlin in July of 1945. Interestingly it is in color, but it can only be described as eerie. People walk about among […]

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Compared to the Giants of Old, My Lenten Practices Look Pretty Small

February 15, 2018 10 Comments
Compared to the Giants of Old, My Lenten Practices Look Pretty Small

I was explaining to a new Catholic recently that the color purple (violet) used during Lent symbolizes its penitential quality. Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of fasting and abstinence, and all Fridays of Lent are days of abstinence. These remind us that during Lent we are to give special attention to our sins […]

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The Battle Theme of Lent

February 14, 2018 0 Comments
The Battle Theme of Lent

A brief observation of the first two days in Lent reveals militaristic, even violent imagery in the battle against sin and the unruly passions of the flesh. The Collect (opening prayer) of Ash Wednesday provides an image of troops mustering for battle: Grant, O Lord, that we may begin with holy fasting this campaign of […]

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Five Meanings of the Ashes We Receive Today

February 13, 2018 1 Comment
Five Meanings of the Ashes We Receive Today

As a boy, I remember wondering why so many people liked to rush to Church to get ashes smudged on their foreheads. Frankly, I had some revulsion at the idea. I didn’t like it at all and would secretly rub them off when no one was looking. Today, though I’ll admit I still don’t like […]

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A Pre-Lenten Preparation for Priests and a Request for Prayers from the Faithful

February 12, 2018 9 Comments
A Pre-Lenten Preparation for Priests and a Request for Prayers from the Faithful

Priests need to prepare for Lent too. The Book of the Prophet Malachi provides a kind of mini-examen for them. As we consider the sins of the priests enumerated below, please understand that neither the biblical text nor my commentary should be construed as meaning that all or even most priests are like this. Sadly, […]

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On The Sad End of Solomon

February 11, 2018 2 Comments
On The Sad End of Solomon

The readings at daily Mass last week focused on the kingship of Solomon. Perhaps the high point of his life when he was given the opportunity to ask anything whatsoever from God and chose not gold or glory but wisdom. On Wednesday we read about the visit of the Queen of Sheba, complete with a […]

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Losing our Leprosy – A Homily for the 6th Sunday of the Year

February 10, 2018 5 Comments
Losing our Leprosy – A Homily for the 6th Sunday of the Year

In the Gospel this Sunday, we see the healing of a leper (this means you and me). In Scripture, leprosy describes more than just a physical affliction; it is a metaphor for sin as well. Obviously leprosy itself is not sin, but its effects are similar. Like leprosy, sin disfigures us; it deteriorates us; it […]

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The Paradoxical Source of Trust in the Lord

February 8, 2018 2 Comments
The Paradoxical Source of Trust in the Lord

One of the Five Hard Truths that will set us free is this one: “You are not in control.” This unnerves us, even terrifies us at times. We like to be in control, but control is an illusion; things you think you control are resting on things you cannot control such as the next beat […]

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