To Resist or Rise Above?

I find myself in a disorienting dilemma. Everything about Donald Trump repels me – to the point that, quite frankly, I can’t even bring myself to legitimize his presidency by referring to him by the title, a feeling reinforced every time a bratty, self-absorbed tweet is reported as news.  During his improbable campaign, I vacillated [Read More…]

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time: What Are You Expecting?

Late again.  However, guilt is a marvelous motivator, so Saturday morning I am typing this while waiting for the walls to dry before I paint my office.   The idea has been with me all week, but somehow I never made myself sit down and write it.  My focus today is almost completely on the gospel, [Read More…]

The First Sunday of Advent: Strength for the Journey

The latest in my continuing attempt to write a homily on each week’s readings. Today at mass we had a visiting priest who talked about Advent as a season of hope, tying it in to the beginning of the Year of Mercy next week.  I touch on hope, but my thinking went in a very [Read More…]

On the Limits of our Empathy

I can remember as a preteen and teenager in the 90’s when I made my first efforts at following current events. What struck me as even more disturbing than the evils of this world was the apparent indifference adults expressed to them. Some horrible thing would happen – a bombing in the Middle East, more [Read More…]

Forgiveness is Hell

The BBC World Service recently featured some striking coverage of responses to Wednesday’s shooting at a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina, particularly from within the church community itself.  I was especially amazed by one attendee of a prayer vigil for the victims (speaking about 32 1/2 minutes into this radio program) who said of Dylann [Read More…]

When We Crucify Our Lord

Two years ago the community choir I sing with in Toronto put on a concert devoted entirely to music by African-American and African-Canadian choral composers. We performed a lot of great music in that concert, much of it drawing on the tradition of African-American spirituals. For me, the most powerful piece was “Crucifixion” by Adolphus [Read More…]

Commentary on Today’s Gospel

From Daily Gospel Online, an apostolate that sends out the daily readings via email, along with a spiritual reflection.  The one for today’s gospel (Luke 17:1-6) particularly moved me, and I wanted to share it with all of you: Blessed Charles de Foucauld (1858-1916), hermit and missionary in the Sahara Letter of 15/07/1916 «Forgive him» [Read More…]

Jesus in our Midst – on the road to Emmaus with Chiara Lubich

Today’s Gospel features the encounter of Jesus with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, which I think serves as a valuable image for the spirituality of Focolare foundress Chiara Lubich. I am recently becoming familiar with the thought and spirituality of Chiara and with the movement, and thus far I find its simplicity [Read More…]

Nova’s Ordo: Palm Sunday

From the Gospel for Palm Sunday: When he was in Bethany reclining at table in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of perfumed oil, costly genuine spikenard. She broke the alabaster jar and poured it on his head. There were some who were indignant. “Why has there been [Read More…]

We Must Overcome Malicious Anger With Love To Be Followers Of The God Of Love

It is quite common for many of us to let anger get the best of us. When we do so, it turns our good intentions into evil. Strife turns us away from the charity which we should have for each other; anger and malice easily find their way into our hearts, possessing us, encouraging us [Read More…]