Monday, May 18, 2015

Hortoculture

The Broom Tree is still here.  I just haven't been watering it much lately.  Quite frankly, I've been thinking about:

a.) resume watering it
b.) transplant it
c.)  chop it down altogether.


Option C, would just be calling an end to the whole thing.  Thought about it, prayed about it, and even though I don't know what the future of the Tree holds, chopping it down really never was much of an option.  Even so, not considering it's demise was not an option I could ignore.

Option B got more consideration.  But transplants are a lot of extra work that I really don't want to do.   Besides I've done transplants already and have left dead brush behind as a result.

So, that leaves Option A.

I will resume watering it.

Here's where I am and what I do the rest of my days.  A little over a year ago I returned to radio, my first love, my long love, and the home of the few talents I have.  However, I returned to the only place I would go, which was Catholic radio.  Redeemer Radio in Fort Wayne gave me the opportunity to put together a morning show, and to once again experience the joy of getting up at half-past dark five days a week to, as the late great Larry Lujack so aptly put it, slave over a hot microphone.  Now nearly a year old,  Redeemer Mornings does interviews, has news, and my co-host and I yak about anything Catholic...almost.   Got to admit, its kinda fun.    The work involved in show prep is something else.

But wait, there's more...

I'm finishing getting (finally) my MA (theology) from Notre Dame.  Comps this summer. Prayers needed, thank you.  More work.

But then....

I have agreed to take over my parish's RCIA program.

And...

I do homilies, and the assorted other duties of a parish deacon,  And I get asked to give talks and things like that around the diocese.

So, you can see where the challenge of getting under the Tree came from.  Plus, I wondered about the direction and purpose of the Tree.

I have the watering can and the hose.   More to come.  Or is it stay tuned...



Saturday, May 9, 2015

Be Still...

There are days when you are empty and simply feel motivated to do nothing more then sit.  Not sleep, because you are not exhausted.  Simply sit.  No thoughts arise to distract you.  Worries and concerns cannot reach you.  You are simply still.  You look out the window, and everything looks the same but different at the same time.  You do not need, nor care for, any outside stimulation to  fill the time.

You just get to be still.

An Easter gift for sure.  I am thankful.

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Third Day

Imaginative title..

  Had been hoping to do a short daily piece each day during Lent, but you can see that that got off to a great start!

But it's still early, so a a few thoughts for today on Lenten practices.

Whatever you choose to work on, whatever you choose to abstain from, whatever fasting you undertake,  may it come from a prayerful choice.  

Better just one or two things than an impossible list.   Don't phone it in, do something that really needs work in your life, which  to me means your entire life in order with God. (I no longer use the term "spiritual life."  That sounds too much like a hobby you undertake on a quiet Sunday afternoon.)

As for me, I have decided to abstain from one particular habitual act.  By abstaining with prayer and with the complete work of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, it could mean great strides for me being the loving human God so desires of me.  Just one thing.

Continue to pray and discern your choices.  It will weed out the uneeded.

Don't worry about perfection.  Think more about growth.

Pray always.


Saturday, January 31, 2015

Thomas Merton at 100

Thomas Merton at 100.  There are many who are telling us how Merton opened the doors of faith for them.   Add me to that list.  You know the story...reading "Seven Storey Mountain" when I was still in high school and how it opened my eyes.  Honestly could not make much of it at that point.   Except one thing, which cracked the door for me.

Thomas Merton showed me that holy people are imperfect.

Game changer.

Thanks, Fr.Louis.


P.S. St. John Bosco, next year you get your feast back!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Homily for the Third Sunday of Ordinary Time

Will post my homily for today.  All faith requires a response.  Oh, yeah, and mine can be different from yours!

You’ve heard us say the Ordinary time is a time for teaching.  We listen to the word of the Lord and from that we not only learn about our faith...what we believe, but also how we are to act on those beliefs.

Today’s a good example, because the theme here is discipleship.
A disciple is a follower.  We’re not talking about being a blind follower.  Discipleship requires faith.  The disciple must believe in what he is following.  Catholic teaching will also throw in reason as well.   Many Catholics who have come from different faith traditions have told us how there explortation..there use of reason...helped them reach the conclusion that Catholicisim fit their faith to a tee.  But the key requirement is faith.

This is because discipleship is a response of faith in the love of God.  Discipleship, as a faithful person will attest, demands a response.  The disciple knows God’s love so personally that he wants to respond to it, and he does respond to it in a way that God asks him to.

The story line of Mark’s gospel is very simple.  Jesus has come to Galilee proclaiming the gospel.  “This is the time of fulfillment.  The kingdom of God is at hand.  Repent, and believe in the Gospel.”   And people responded.

Sounds simple.  Also sounds like Jonah’s message to Nineveh as well.  And people responded.  

We hear things and see things from time to time in our lives that spark our faith.  Someone says something and the light comes on.  Someone does something and the spark of faith turns into a flame.   These are the same responses of the people of  Nineveh and Galillee.

In Nineveh, the Assyrians become disciples by the act of donning sack cloth and ashes.  Their repentance is an act of faith, turning their backs on their old lifestyle to embrace a life of faith in Yahweh.

Jonah is a disciple, too, because despite his fear, cynicism, and generally negative outlook, he responds to the Lord by doing as the Lord asks.  A response of faith.

As Jesus preaches the good news in Gallilee, he calls Simon and Andrew, and James and John from their fishing businesses to become fisher of men.  His messsage sparked them.  They responded in faith.  They certainly werent responding to any pay and benefit package!(As fishermen, they were equivalent to successful people running small businesses in our time,)

In all these men...Jonah, Andrew, James, John, Simon...the Lord’s presence in some way set their hearts on fire and they responded in faith.   the love of God overcame whatever issues they had...as we see in Jonah, especially...and they responded in the love of doing his will.

In the promise of our baptism, we are called to be disciples as well.  We are called to be like Jonah, Andrew, James, John and Simon and respond to God’s love with love.   We are to go and share and to show others the Gospel of the Lord.   This is discipleship.  This is our response to God’s love.   Our faith is nourished and grows if we choose it to be, and as it does we too will have the courage to abandon our nets and be fishers of men.

POST HOMILY NOTE: I think Jonah is cynical, fearful, critical, and faithful. Sounds like someone I know.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Epiphany

Epiphany is, to me, the second half of Christmas.  Part one is that the Word is made Flesh and becomes a reality in our life, not an abstract God looking down, but one who now lives as we live, breathes as we breathes, and is present with us, seeking us to recognize and respond to that.  Epiphany is when we say "yes," and find Him and love Him and welcome Him into the life we live each day.  Even when we are the lousiest of hosts. We do become like children, don't we, because we always wish to be in the presence of the loving Father who will take care of us forever.   The Epiphany for us is when we see that as the Magi saw it.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Morning 2014

"No one has ever seen God.
The Only Son, God, who is at the Father's side
has revealed Him"  John 1:18.

In morning prayer today, and all this week, we will say the canticle of Daniel 3;57-88, the magnificent song of praise to God for all He has done for us.  Even after reciting this prayer time after time in morning prayer throughout the year, the words burst with joy on this morning, as if they are screaming the words "thank you!" with great joy and excitement because the Son has revealed the Father to us.   He has been revealed to us and we dance with thankful joy as we welcome into our hearts and work to stay with him each and every day.   This is life.  This is "grace upon grace," this is what we celebrate today.  We need not moan and wander, lost in the darkness of an empty existence.  Life is ours, the gift has been given.   Jesus Christ, the Word, came to us in the human flesh and lived among us, and he will come again when all this ends.  In between, he comes to us frequently, always looking to be invited into our hearts, the "dawn from on high...to shine on those who dwell in dakness and the shadow of deah and to guide our feet into the way of peace."  

Have a blessed Christmas.  Welcome him now into your heart.