February 9, 2021

  Today the church commemorates Saint Teilo, a leader among the Christian Church in Wales in the 6th century. Much of what was written about him is probably legendary. For example, one common story is that he bound a dragon to a rock at sea so that it would no longer torment the people of the land. Some pass over details like this, imagining that because they are fantastical they are not true. As a result, many of the contemporary lives… Read more

February 8, 2021

  The life of St. Josephine Bakhita is truly inspirational. Raised as a slave – she fought for and won her freedom then spent her life in service to those in need as a religious sister. Of the many things that St. Josephine can teach us, I think her perspective on the poor is so instructive for our own day. She said, “It is an act of justice for the rich to help the poor.” As a former slave, she knew that… Read more

February 6, 2021

Paul Miki and the other 25 martyrs we commemorate today died in Japan in 1597. Their deaths are sad to read about and a tragic chapter in the history of the church. Paul was a Japanese man who had been educated by the Jesuits and had come to a deep personal faith. At the time of his death, he had begun to prepare for a life of ministry, but that life was cut short when his government, out of fear… Read more

February 5, 2021

  The Cult around St. Agatha is woven from a tapestry of pains and sorrows in which people turn towards Agatha for help. Her help is invoked against earthquakes, fire, volcanic eruptions, cancer, torture, sterility, rape, and natural disasters generally. There are many things we could ask St. Agatha to intercede on behalf of today, her feast. One thing, however really struck me – the issue of incarceration. Agatha, by most accounts, died in prison under an unjust legal system…. Read more

February 4, 2021

  John de Britto was a seventeenth-century Portuguese Jesuit who is remembered for his mission to India and his eventual martyrdom there. His ministry is a powerful example to me because of the pains that he made to embrace and embody the culture that he sought to reach. Too often missionaries impose their own culture if it’s somehow an essential tenant of the faith. St. John de Britto instead modified his own life, diet, clothes, and habits so that he… Read more

February 3, 2021

  Today the Church remembers Saint Oscar sometimes called Ansgar – The apostle to the north. He worked to bring Christianity to Scandinavia. His ministry was marked by many troubles. He had to deal with capture by pirates, negotiations with leaders in the midst of civil war, and the destruction of his churches – along with his efforts to establish the faith – by Viking invaders. Still, he was known for his hope that, in spite of all the setbacks,… Read more

February 2, 2021

The scriptures tell us the story of the presentation of Christ in the temple in Luke chapter 2. It is a story that fundamentally affirms the fidelity of those who had placed their hope in God’s promises. Mary and Joseph show their faith in God by obeying the law of Leviticus chapter 12 which calls for an offering to be made 40 days after the birth of a first-born son. It also shows the faith of Simeon and Anna -… Read more

February 1, 2021

Today the Church remembers the life and ministry of Brigid of Kildare. She was an Irish convert to Christianity under the faith of Saint Patrick in the fifth century. One tradition surrounding her is the St. Brigid cross, which is pictured with her. My wife has a special devotion to Brigid and we have one of these crosses hung in our home. I love the story of its origins. Apparently, there was a chieftain who was nearing death and Brigid was summoned… Read more

January 31, 2021

“Our eyes should see only for God, our feet walk only for Him, our hands labor for Him alone; in short, our entire body should serve God ” I was really struck by this quote by John Bosco, who the Church remembers most years today. I grew up in a charismatic church where using our bodies to worship God was normal. However, John Bosco challenges us to go beyond simply using our bodies in times of worship. He challenges embody a love of God with all… Read more

January 30, 2021

Today the Church Honors St. Áedan of Ferns. He was known for his miracles and his care for the poor. Another interesting tidbit about his life is that it is said that he reciting 500 Psalms daily. That means that if he slept 7 hours a day, he’d averaged about a Psalm a minute for the rest of his waking hours. I’m not sure how we would have done about it. Perhaps he started with one psalm repeated over and over… Read more

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