May 20, 2019

There are few voices that have captivated my theological imagination like that of Alexander Schmemann. It was discovering his work in my years in seminary that helped me create a context through which I began to put words into what made the liturgy and sacraments such an essential part of my spirituality and certainly played a role in my personal journey to the Catholic Church. His wisdom is the bedrock upon which many of the most influential theologians on my… Read more

March 13, 2019

Culture is contagious. There was a recent study that was done that showed one of the best determinants of performance in the workplace was one’s proximity to others. The closer your desk was to a high-performing superstar the more likely your own results would be better, your time would be spent more productively and your end of year “numbers” would improve. The converse was true as well. The closer you were to people with bad attitudes the more likely you were to adopt a… Read more

March 6, 2019

Today begins Lent. A few years ago I did some research into the origins of Lent. There isn’t a clear consensus on why Lent emerged in the Church in its current form, but one thing is sure, it was about uniting new disciples with Jesus. Lent began as a way for people who wanted to become Christians to take the first step in discipleship: repentance. It was a tangible process to turn their whole hearts and lives towards Jesus. Lent was the period where they would… Read more

January 23, 2019

Heavenly Father, I want to follow Jesus. I want to follow him step by step. I want to trust that he will lead me; Even when it’s through the valley of the shadow of death I want to trust he can work good through all things; Even in the times I am most afraid of evil. I want to rely on his strength; Even in my weakness. Today I stumbled. I lost sight of his footsteps. I began to follow a dangerous… Read more

December 10, 2018

I have some shocking news for you.  Christmas is not about celebrating Jesus birthday. Don’t get me wrong, Jesus’ birth is a significant part of Christmas, but what we honor on December 25th is not his birthday, it is his incarnation. This can be seen in the Gospel reading for Christmas day, which is John 1:1–18. This passage nowhere mentions Jesus birth account but instead is an account of the eternal generation of Christ and the advent of his light… Read more

December 5, 2018

Where do you find hope?   We have now entered the season of Advent. This first week is often called the “Hope” week, which is followed by Peace, Joy, and Love. I have been thinking about hope a lot this year. One quote I really like about hope comes from psychiatrist George Vaillant. My Friend Jim Balmer introduced me to it.   He says, “If you want to treat an illness that has no easy cure, first of all, treat… Read more

August 26, 2018

To say this has been a difficult month for those within the Catholic Church would be an understatement. I have dealt with a grief that comes in unexpected waves for weeks and every day it comes on stronger. I have had few words and fewer clear thoughts. I have never had a strong connection with Mary, given my protestant upbringing and sensibilities. In spite of that Mary has been my guide through this period. In her, I see the example… Read more

June 24, 2018

Today we celebrate the birth of John the Baptist, the last of the prophets who pointed to the coming of Jesus. He was specially called by God to prepare the way for the Messiah, God’s chosen redeemer. In many ways, he is the archetypal image of a doom and gloom prophet. He was  dressed in camel’s hair living off of Locust and honey in the wilderness crying out things like “the ax is already at the root of the trees” (Matthew 3:10), calling  and calling the religious leaders “vipers”(Matt 3:7), while warning those in power that they had better turn or burn (Luke 3:18). There are many today who look somewhat like John the Baptist. They specialize… Read more

June 2, 2018

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a book review. I’ve been very busy reading books for my Ph.D. and simply haven’t had the luxury to read much else over the past year or so. I made an exception, however, for the recently released memoir of Kristy Burmeister. Although she was raised as a Mennonite this year Kristy has joined me in entering the Catholic Church, but what Kristy  offers in this book is not a conversion story, at least… Read more

April 6, 2018

Heavenly Father, We celebrate the resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ. In Him, you touched our brokenness. In Him, you offer your fullness. We were lost and you found us. We were sick and you healed us. We were in darkness and you gave us light. We stumbled and you carried us. We were ashamed and you approved us. We were poor and you crowned us with glory. We were false and you gave us truth. We were faithless and… Read more

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