November 18, 2014

The philosophy has grown with me until it is a love, a desire, and need I have – and one perhaps you will find is your own love, desire, need. I think it is one of the greatest blessings a parish family can experience. It is the opportunity to make a pilgrimage together: As friends,                 As husbands and wives,                         We… Read more

November 12, 2014

What would it be like to stay overnight in Nazareth? May I present the Golden Crown. It does not have the elegant entrance with Christian themes which we encounter at the Saint Gabriel Hotel in Bethlehem (nothing tops that magnificent statue of Archangel Gabriel at the hotel in Bethlehem). The Golden Crown in Nazareth is similar to fine hotels in the U.S. It can accommodate large crowds – and contrary to what you may think, there are large crowds of people coming… Read more

November 10, 2014

I have been fascinated by the Carmelites since 2004 when I began reading books by St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila. I “met” my dearest friend on the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Actually, that is the day I saw her on a program on EWTN and decided to write her a letter and share with her my growing desire to become Catholic. Those are the Catholic reasons I love Carmel. I grew up on… Read more

November 9, 2014

Today, we visited the sacred sites of Bethlehem that are made of stone. But tonight, we visited the living stones of this holy place. We gathered in the homes of Christians of Bethlehem and broke bread together. Miracles happen in times like this. People are changed, forever. Friendships are formed, forever. I tell you, this Christmas, when I think of Bethlehem, I will be remembering tonight and the five people I met in a humble home in the city of… Read more

November 8, 2014

Three flights. And we are here. The City of David. The birthplace of Our Lord Jesus Christ. We arrived after dark and took a bus from Tel Aviv to Bethlehem, passing Jerusalem – as Mary and Joseph would have done on their way to this city over 2,000 years ago. I am more rested this time than I was in May when I visited, more ready to receive the grace that comes from being here. We arrived and had a… Read more

November 3, 2014

Luke 2:41–They went up to Jerusalem for the celebration as was their custom. Luke 24:15–Jesus approached and began to walk along with them.       This is the essence of pilgrimage: Go to meet your God, and He will come to you when you enter the journey and seek Him. The whole pilgrimage thing, that entire God-seeking way of life, has been part of our faith from the beginning.   Abraham departed from Ur.     The Hebrew People… Read more

October 20, 2014

I met a high school friend for lunch a week ago. I was passing through town on one of my multi-tasking trips: A visit to Minnesota to meet my new granddaughter. A speaking engagement in nearby New Brighton. A domestic pilgrimage to a shrine and a grotto. We caught up on things and chatted about old friends, where there are, what they are doing. In the course of conversation, we talked about two friends in particular and how they both… Read more

October 13, 2014

Today’s pilgrimage will be with me for a very long time. Tonight, I am close to tears again as I think of the Memorial of the Unborn at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe. This was the unexpected moment, which pilgrimages are known for giving. But then, my daughter and I decided to drive through Wisconsin and see if we could find a grotto I remember seeing as a child. It as in Dickeyville, Wisconsin. Every year, especially at… Read more

October 1, 2014

It is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. You received it when you were Confirmed. And the spiritual journey would be far more difficult if we didn’t have it. It’s the gift of wonder & awe. Contemplatives know how to activate this gift better than most. They aren’t merely proficient, like a high school musician with a musical instrument on loan. They own the gift. They can go from zero to sixty – from world to wonder –… Read more

September 22, 2014

Have you always wanted to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land? Here is your chance.As many of you know, I will be traveling to the Holy Land November 7-17, and we have a few openings. Yes, I would love to take you with me! If you are interested, send me a Facebook message or email me. I will send you the flyer/itinerary. Ten days. Everything from Nazareth to Ein Kerem. From Jerusalem to Bethlehem. Mount Carmel to Mount Tabor…. Read more

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