“It Was My Pleasure”: The True Meaning of Memorial Day

Cleared for release by Joint Staff Public Affairs

 In all, it lasted about fifteen minutes. But it was our pleasure.They had already arrived. Of course they had. They were veterans. Older and a bit hunched, they smiled, they shook one another's hand and squeezed the opposing arm. "Good to see you," they seemed to say. "Good to see you."And while the cemetery was small, their presence seemed to further sanctify it. Wearing sharp black blazers and pants, white shirts and gloves, they came. Their smart side caps were speckled w … [Read more...]

I Don’t Fully Understand God (& I’m Okay With That)


 Job by Leon Bonnat I don't fully understand God. And I am okay with that.Let me explain.Years ago, I thought I had the perfect plot for a Twilight Zone episode.Now, if you are not familiar with the Twilight Zone, allow me to describe it. Originally broadcast from 1959-1964, this suspenseful (if not creepy) series was hosted by the enigmatic Rod Serling. Week after week, Serling ushered you into into a drama that soon became deeply unsettling or horrifying. … [Read more...]

Releasing the Control I Want; Accepting the Humility I Need


"Worry about your grades and athletics and your friends will take care of themselves."This was sage advice. And my dad was the source. I was in seventh grade and my family had just moved to a new state and school district. And I was a little stressed. To begin with, seventh grade is not the easiest time to make friends. And let's be honest... thirteen is an awkward, gangly, hormonally tumultuous age under the best of circumstances. But drop that thirteen year-old into a new school … [Read more...]

“Unlikely” – The Grace of Hoosiers, St. Matthew & Flannery O’Connor


 He was an unlikely assistant basketball coach. To be sure. Wilbur "Shooter" Flatch was a savant when it came to the game of basketball. Shooter would even confidently quip, "I know everything there is to know about the greatest game ever invented." And so it seemed. He knew the game of basketball, but he was an unlikely assistant basketball coach. That was because Shooter Flatch was an inveterate alcoholic - some would even deride him as "the town drunk". But in small town Hickory, … [Read more...]

On Being Breathless: My Daughter’s First Holy Communion


 Last Supper by Pascal Dagnan-Bouveret When I saw her, I was breathless.I had just arrived home from a night of teaching. Tired and a little hunched over (with a slight resemblance to Willy Loman), I dropped my satchel of books on the ground and I headed for the stairs to see my wife and kids. Now, let it be understood, Sunday nights are typically frenetic at our house. Our home is filled with childrens' energy bubbling over. Squeals and giggles, leaps from perches … [Read more...]

“What Have You Done With My People?” – The High Calling of the Church & Cardinal George


Francis Cardinal George (photo courtesy of Adam Bielawski & Wikimedia Commons)Late last year on a blustery Sunday in November, Francis Cardinal George offered his last homily at his last Mass as presiding Archbishop of Chicago. And though weakened by cancer and seated for the duration of his message, he spoke with that sure baritone voice and looked around with that Georgian steel in his eyes. His message? Responsibility. Accountability. Legacy. Namely, his own."Every priest and … [Read more...]