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My About page has been updated.

My new book, Every Tender Reed, has been accepted for publication by Main Street Rag Publishing Company, Charlotte, NC. It will be released in 2016.

In the meantime, if you don’t have my books, Facing a Lonely West and Seriously Dangerous you can purchase them here.

 

Blessed Virgin our Mother Mary Immaculate's photo.
Choosing Life – from Henri Nouwen’s Bread for the Journey

God says, “I am offering you life or death, blessing or curse.  Choose life, then, so that you and your descendants may live”   (Deuteronomy 30:19).

“Choose life.”  That’s God’s call for us, and there is not a moment in which we do not have to make that choice.  Life and death are always before us.  In our imaginations, our thoughts, our words, our gestures, our actions … even in our nonactions.  This choice for life starts in a deep interior place.  Underneath very life-affirming behaviour I can still harbour death-thoughts and death-feelings.  The most important question is not “Do I kill?” but “Do I carry a blessing in my heart or a curse?”   The bullet that kills is only the final instrument of the hatred that began being nurtured in the heart long before the gun was picked up.

For further reflection…

“Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.” – Matthew 26: 52 (NIV)

Saint of the Day

Martyrdom of John the Baptist

Lived: | Feast Day: Saturday, August 29, 2015

The drunken oath of a king with a shallow sense of honor, a seductive dance and the hateful heart of a queen combined to bring about the martyrdom of John the Baptist. The greatest of prophets suffered the fate of so many Old Testament prophets before him: rejection and martyrdom. The “voice crying in the desert” did not hesitate to accuse the guilty, did not hesitate to speak the truth. But why? What possesses a man that he would give up his very life?This great religious reformer was sent by God to prepare the people for the Messiah. His vocation was one of selfless giving. The only power that he claimed was the Spirit of Yahweh. “I am baptizing you with water, for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I. I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Matthew 3:11). Scripture tells us that many people followed John looking to him for hope, perhaps in anticipation of some great messianic power. John never allowed himself the false honor of receiving these people for his own glory. He knew his calling was one of preparation. When the time came, he led his disciples to Jesus: “The next day John was there again with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God.’ The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus” (John 1:35-37). It is John the Baptist who has pointed the way to Christ. John’s life and death were a giving over of self for God and other people. His simple style of life was one of complete detachment from earthly possessions. His heart was centered on God and the call that he heard from the Spirit of God speaking to his heart. Confident of God’s grace, he had the courage to speak words of condemnation or repentance, of salvation.
Comment:
Each of us has a calling to which we must listen. No one will ever repeat the mission of John, and yet all of us are called to that very mission. It is the role of the Christian to witness to Jesus. Whatever our position in this world, we are called to be disciples of Christ. By our words and deeds, others should realize that we live in the joy of knowing that Jesus is Lord. We do not have to depend upon our own limited resources, but can draw strength from the vastness of Christ’s saving grace.
Quote:
“So they came to John and said to him, ‘Rabbi, the one who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you testified, here he is baptizing and everyone is coming to him.’ John answered and said, ‘No one can receive anything except what has been given him from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said [that] I am not the Messiah, but that I was sent before him. The one who has the bride is the bridegroom; the best man, who stands and listens for him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. So this joy of mine has been made complete. He must increase; I must decrease’” (John 3:26–30).

**

Once you begin to neglect obedience, one by one everything goes. Obedience is difficult but that’s where love comes from. There are so many broken families because a woman will not obey a man and a man will not obey a woman. We belong to Jesus and obedience is our strength. You must do small acts of obedience with great love.

-from Thirsting for God

Lord, please fill my heart and soul with the confidence that you will always provide what I need, when I need it, and let me be obedient to you.

-from Blessed Are You

**

Trust always and a great deal in divine providence; never, never must you let yourselves be discouraged, despite contrary winds. I say it again: trust in God and Mary Immaculate; be faithful and forge ahead!
-Paulina do Coração Agonizante de Jesus

-from Blessed Are You

**

Gospel Mt 24:42-51

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Stay awake!
For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.
Be sure of this: if the master of the house
had known the hour of night when the thief was coming,
he would have stayed awake
and not let his house be broken into.
So too, you also must be prepared,
for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.

“Who, then, is the faithful and prudent servant,
whom the master has put in charge of his household
to distribute to them their food at the proper time?
Blessed is that servant whom his master on his arrival finds doing so.
Amen, I say to you, he will put him in charge of all his property.
But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is long delayed,’
and begins to beat his fellow servants,
and eat and drink with drunkards,
the servant’s master will come on an unexpected day
and at an unknown hour and will punish him severely
and assign him a place with the hypocrites,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”

**

St. Monica, holy mother and wife whose prayers drew her husband and son to the Faith, pray for us! Help us to lead our own family members back to the Church.

Father Robert Barron's photo.

Wednesday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 1 Thes 2:9-13

You recall, brothers and sisters, our toil and drudgery.
Working night and day in order not to burden any of you,
we proclaimed to you the Gospel of God.
You are witnesses, and so is God,
how devoutly and justly and blamelessly
we behaved toward you believers.
As you know, we treated each one of you as a father treats his children,
exhorting and encouraging you and insisting
that you walk in a manner worthy of the God
who calls you into his Kingdom and glory.

And for this reason we too give thanks to God unceasingly,
that, in receiving the word of God from hearing us,
you received it not as the word of men, but as it truly is, the word of God,
which is now at work in you who believe.

Responsorial Psalm PS 139:7-8, 9-10, 11-12ab

  1. (1) You have searched me and you know me, Lord.
    Where can I go from your spirit?
    From your presence where can I flee?
    If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I sink to the nether world, you are present there.
    R. You have searched me and you know me, Lord.
    If I take the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
    Even there your hand shall guide me,
    and your right hand hold me fast.
    R. You have searched me and you know me, Lord.
    If I say, “Surely the darkness shall hide me,
    and night shall be my light”–
    For you darkness itself is not dark,
    and night shines as the day.
    R. You have searched me and you know me, Lord.

Alleluia 1 Jn 2:5

  1. Alleluia, alleluia.
    Whoever keeps the word of Christ,
    the love of God is truly perfected in him.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 23:27-32

Jesus said,
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.
You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside,
but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every kind of filth.
Even so, on the outside you appear righteous,
but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and evildoing.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.
You build the tombs of the prophets
and adorn the memorials of the righteous,
and you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors,
we would not have joined them in shedding the prophets’ blood.’
Thus you bear witness against yourselves
that you are the children of those who murdered the prophets;
now fill up what your ancestors measured out!”

**

It’s human to feel challenged by the sort of meekness God desires, but with his help, we can be courageous enough to be obedient and faithful enough to believe in our inheritance to come in the next world.

-from Blessed Are You

**

Lord, in good times and bad, draw me closer to you. Let me trust in you to turn my mourning into joy and gladness.

-from Blessed Are You

**

Being Catholic Matters

“Catholic” is not just one among many acceptable religions, philosophies, or even Christian denominations. To think a person’s church or religious affiliation is unimportant, as long as he is generally “good,” is to overlook stark incompatibilities between the Catholic Church and other religions.

Read More

**

Jn 6:60-69

Many of Jesus’disciples who were listening said,
“This saying is hard; who can accept it?”
Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this,
he said to them, “Does this shock you?
What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending
to where he was before?
It is the spirit that gives life,
while the flesh is of no avail.
The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and life.
But there are some of you who do not believe.”
Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe
and the one who would betray him.
And he said,
“For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me
unless it is granted him by my Father.”

As a result of this,
many of his disciples returned to their former way of life
and no longer accompanied him.
Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go?
You have the words of eternal life.
We have come to believe
and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.”

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