Ultimately, they remind us of some truths we conveniently forget: we are created by a loving God, we have imperfections, we sin, we need to be forgiven, we have a mission and a purpose, it's not just about us, and we hunger for the joy of salvation. These are human truths that are not dependent upon whether we like them. Ignoring them places us on the paths of comfort and satisfaction as we blindly pursue the busyness and superficiality of our empty lives. Instead of pursuing supernatural and lasting pleasure, we choose things that are easier and quicker to obtain: sex, drugs, travel, houses, cars, fame, popularity, self-achievement and satisfaction, physical enjoyment, and the like.READ MORE
We hope for many things: passing an exam, finding our true love, securing sustainable work, or surviving an illness. We often seek to have God be a part of what we hope for and desire, almost trying to convince Him that our agenda is what is ultimately important. While our particular hopes may appear to be what needs to be achieved in order for us to be happy, they really are not. Our lesser, more personal hopes can distract us from true hope.READ MORE
When earthly lives end, especially when the person is younger, we tend to focus upon and consider what was lost. We think of lost opportunities — things they won't be able to see, babies they won't be able to cradle, and adventures that now must go undiscovered. Our minds create this chasm between earth and heaven that sees the losses of this life as permanent ones, never possible to achieve again. This perception causes many folks to remain stuck in their grief as they ponder all of the missed opportunities and regrets.READ MORE
With whom do we converse and listen to the most? Believe it or not, the answer is ourselves. We are constantly having conversations with ourselves, and sometimes we even get caught! Our inner conversations reveal the truth about ourselves. We really cannot hide from ourselves, although we often pretend we can. By conversing with ourselves, we find solutions to our challenges, problem solve, work through our relationships, formulate opinions, run through dress rehearsals of possible conversations, and wrestle with and determine our system of priorities and values. What other voices affect the conversations we have with ourselves?READ MORE
What does it take for our eyes to be opened? Every day, a man laboriously walks down Main Street in town. With great difficulty but graceful determination, he places one foot in front of the other, uses a crudely made staff for support, and walks. His pace is slow, but he walks. What does he hope to see? Where does he want to go? What does he find?
We all walk through life. The type of "walking" that life requires is not always physical but is most assuredly emotional and spiritual. We walk, we look, we encounter and we seek. How we do these things and what we actually find is determined by what we carry and what we allow ourselves to discover along the way.READ MORE
A person was going through a very dark time, questioning the meaning of life, not feeling very purposeful or worthwhile, and feeling disconnected and unappreciated. Suddenly, they gazed up at the night sky, found themselves in awe of all the stars and constellations, and exclaimed, "I am here on purpose and I am loved!" Having been brought by God to this moment of intense connection and awareness, his life changed from that moment on.READ MORE
The resurrection of Jesus has implications for our lives. Besides giving meaning and purpose to our faith, it helps us find life and hope in an unusual place - the tomb.
It is not common for us to associate the cemetery with hope or life. Those of us who have lost loved ones and visit their graves often walk away in tears and are downcast. We weep because of the loss of our past and history with them and the loss of the future we are no longer privileged to have with them. We weep because their graves tell us it is the end; the end of hope; the end of dreams, the end of life. We walk away sad because their graves trigger feelings of despair, and sorrow. When Jesus died, his disciples became disillusioned. They too, saw his grave as the end of his life, the end of their hopes in him. The two men on their way to Emmaus expressed their hopelessness this way: "…we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel" (Lk 24:21).READ MORE
Human beings are united in their suffering. When we find ourselves in a painful moment, our first reaction is "why me?" as if we are the only person on earth who ever encountered this challenge.
Going through life with a "why me" attitude only finds us wallowing in the mire of self-pity and never seizing opportunities or graces. We walk in solidarity with every human being in the experience of suffering. Believing that the goal of life is the elimination or avoidance of suffering is simply an illusion that keeps us entrenched in a collective myth. This myth distorts us and limits us.READ MORE