July 26, 2020

The feeding of the five thousand (which really, was more than five thousand, because the five thousand mentioned is only the number of men who were fed, while the women and children, like so often is the case, were left uncounted) indicates the way God works with us. He expects us to do our part; if we do, then he will complement our action with his bountiful grace: When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This… Read more

July 24, 2020

These are the things that you shall do: Speak the truth to one another, render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace, do not devise evil in your hearts against one another, and love no false oath, for all these things I hate, says the LORD”  (Zech. 8:16-17 RSV). COVID19 has not gone away. The first attempt to put it in check failed because the President of the United States, and many of his followers, did… Read more

July 23, 2020

The tongue, James says, needs to be kept under control, “If any one thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this man’s religion is vain” (Jas. 1:26 RSV). James’s point is that if we are uncharitable in our speech, if we undermine justice by our speech, we deceive ourselves in thinking we are being faithful to God. Without charity, without love, we have nothing (cf. 1 Cor. 13:1). This is true, not just… Read more

July 21, 2020

Sadly, one of the tendencies we have as a species is to take something which is good and taint it. We abuse the good as we employ it for some evil ends. This is not to say the good is entirely destroyed by our actions, but it is certainly reduced, as evil corrupts the good by destroying it. What is left of the good needs to be detached from the evil which is using it, but often, that is not… Read more

July 19, 2020

Who is Jesus Christ? As Christians learned, they might know in their hearts who Jesus is, but taking what they believe and know to be true and rendering it into words is easier said than done. Jesus is God and man. One of the great mysteries of the faith is how he can be both. If we emphasize one nature, the other reality is easily lost. If we try to bring them together, it is easy to confuse them, turning… Read more

July 17, 2020

Pope Francis is Pope. He continues to lead the church. The faithful need to continue to hear his message, the message for the time which we live in. We need to hear the grace and comfort he offers as well as the warnings he issues concerning the state of the world. What we do not need is people to ignore him and treat him as some sort of lame duck Pope, looking ahead and trying to campaign for a Pope… Read more

July 15, 2020

Jesus often spoke in parables, using them to illustrate aspects of his message. They helped convey his teachings in a way simplistic, concrete statements could not, because they allowed for a variety of meanings and ideas to be expressed all at once. Likewise, by using parables, he encouraged his followers to do what it takes to determine the various meanings of his words. For, as many have noted throughout the centuries, when we take effort to understand his  message, we… Read more

July 14, 2020

When we pursue holiness, we are tempted to think of ourselves as being better than we really are. Pride develops, and through that pride, become unruly towards others, trying to force them to comply with our whims. While some people might do so, those who do not receive our wrath. We become vindictive, thinking they deserve every kind of punishment which we can give them because they do not recognize our greatness. We become so absorbed by ourselves that lose… Read more

July 12, 2020

Competition can be good for us, but only if we use it to make ourselves better. If we use it to undermine someone else, to dishonor them, to make them ashamed, then we turn away from the good which is possible with competition. Trying to be the best we can be should also serve to make others the best they can be. Competition is communal in nature. It requires us to consider more than ourselves. When competition is used to… Read more

July 9, 2020

Catholics have long experienced the charge of being pagans because of the similarity between some Catholic practice or teaching with a pagan practice or teaching. Moreover, because Catholics have a history of looking at, examining, and actually adapting pagan thought, transforming it as is necessary to be compatible with Christianity, critics believe they have sufficient grounds for making their charge stick. But then, those critics turn on each other, and start accusing each other of being contaminated by pagan thought… Read more

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