Your loss, my loss

Most days, after Mass, I stick around to pray.  Sometimes I share the church with three or four others, sometimes I’m by myself.  Sometimes I’m by the tabernacle, sometimes I just sit in a pew with my eyes closed.

Quiet prayer in church is such a comfort that I marvel more people don’t join me.  How do other people keep their equilibrium without it?  I kind of think they don’t.  I suspect most Americans these days are agitated 24/7.  I’m not.  I pray.

Since it’s so much in the news, now, I meditated, today, on the agony of losing a child.  It’s little consolation to me that my child is still with me.  There’s no solace in the realization that other people are the ones taking the loss.  Grief is grief.  Grief is public property.  I see no advantage in disowning grief. Read More…


It says right here….

Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.  Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place.  Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Matt 5, 17-20

Unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

 Matt 5, 20

I got into an interesting conversation a couple of days ago with a wonderful Christian friend of mine who happens to worship our LORD in a different church.   She told me that she had been called upon to give the “children’s lesson” during a recent Sunday Service.  Her lesson, as she explained explained it to me, was to tell the children that it’s possible for us to always know what we should do because we’ve been given a “user’s manual” for our lives.  Then she asked the children if they knew what that manual was.  One little girl, according to my friend, raised her hand and said, “The Bible!”  This pleased my friend, so she praised the girl and then wrapped the lesson up so the service could continue.   Read More…

Well … here goes!

You may not realize it, but there’s going to be an election here in the United States in eighteen days.  (Bazinga!  That’s sarcasm, people in comas know there’s going to be an election in eighteen days.)  Throughout the blogosphere, particularly in the American Catholic corner of the blogosphere, folks are weighing in with strident opinions about the impact this election will have on our future well-being.  These opinions are often accompanied by dire warnings, outlining the horrible things that are going to happen if the wrong guy gets elected.  Salvation itself, apparently, hangs on the outcome!  For heaven’s sake, if you care for your soul, send out alarms to everyone you know, everyone you see, and tell them, “Get to the polls!  Get to the polls!  And VOTE FOR THE RIGHT GUY!!!!”   Read More…

What Are You Looking At?

This is the Gospel Reading for Tuesday in the Twenty-Seventh Week of Ordinary Time.

Most Christians refer to this, simply, as ‘The Story of Martha and Mary’; and homilies about this story often compare the role of contemplation against the role of activity. I’m going to try to look at this from a different angle.

Jesus entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him. She had a sister named Mary who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak.

Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.”

The Lord said to her in reply, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”

Lk 10, 38-42

Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.
There is need of only one thing
Lk 10, 41-42

I consider this story, which is a vignette really, a ‘sure fire’ conversation starter among Christians. Just about every disciple I’ve ever spoken to, upon hearing this story proclaimed, has had something to say about these sisters’ domestic dispute. No surprise, really. Where in the Bible do we find a story more ordinary, and more relevant to our everyday experience? There’s no miracle to wonder at, no complex bit of theology to mull over, no frightening prophesy to get our hearts pumping. None of that. Just one person keeping tabs on another, making sure nobody gets a ‘free ride’, making sure everybody ‘gets her due’. Isn’t that just like us? Isn’t that just like everybody?   Read More…

The Wisdom of the Father

Respect Life Sunday, 2012

What comes to your mind when ‘Respect Life Sunday’ arrives as it does this time each year?  What sort of associations do you make?  What sort of feelings rise to the surface? Do you consider it a time for peaceful contemplation; or is it — as it is for a lot of folks — an occasion for conflict and dispute?  Are you inclined to take an attitude of openness and affection toward other Catholics, and toward your fellow Americans; or does your stomach tie itself in a knot in anticipation of encounters that will tax your ability to show respect for others and which will lead you to feel disrespected?  Do you ever find yourself wondering, as I do, why respect is in such short supply on ‘Respect Life Sunday’?   Read More…

Twenty Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

When you go to Mass today you will notice that the first reading is the story of the creation of Eve (Gen 2, 18-24).  As it happens, I wrote a reflection ( about this story a couple of years ago.  Check it out.  I hope it hasn’t lost its relevancy.

The Way, The Truth, The Life

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me.  In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be.  Where [I] am going you know the way.”

Thomas said to him, “Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?”

Jesus said to him, “I am the way Read More…

The Real Presence of Christ

[These are comments I made when my sister, Mary Ellen Sailer, married my brother-in-law John Loos]

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there.  Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding.  When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” [And] Jesus said to her, “Woman, how does your concern affect me?   Read More…

God’s Beautiful Idea

When the LORD saw how great the wickedness of human beings was on earth, and how every desire that their heart conceived was always nothing but evil, the LORD regretted making human beings on the earth, and his heart was grieved. So the LORD said: I will wipe out from the earth the human beings I have created, and not only the human beings, but also the animals and the crawling things and the birds of the air, for I regret that I made them.   Read More…

It’s Just the Way We Are

The Philistines gathered for an attack on Israel.  Israel went out to engage them in battle and camped at Ebenezer, while the Philistines camped at Aphek.  The Philistines then drew up in battle formation against Israel.  After a fierce struggle Israel was defeated by the Philistines, who slew about four thousand men on the battlefield.

When the troops retired to the camp, the elders of Israel said, “Why has the LORD permitted us to be defeated today by the Philistines?  Let us fetch the ark of the LORD from Shiloh that it may go into battle among us and save us from the grasp of our enemies.”   Read More…