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
Even though we say that we believe, there is a part of us that doesn’t. There are many times in our lives when we experience death, whether it be the physical death of someone we love, a failed relationship, the loss of a job, or a broken dream. As we are going through these death experiences, we can easily find ourselves reaching out to God to make it better and fix it! We think that the proper order of life is to maintain the things of this world, especially those things that are essential to our sense of well-being and security. We do not like change. The grieving that comes from our death experiences can keep us stuck and in despair. If we have lost something or someone of great value, the very meaning and essence of life is lost with them. We need gentle companions to lift us from despair and that is precisely who God desires to be in our life as well.READ MORE
“Do you believe in the Son of Man?” Jesus wants to motivate each one of us to see the truth. After developing a relationship with Jesus, the blind man “sees” as someone very special. The Pharisees, due to the blindness caused by their ignorance, prejudice, and need for self-preservation, still remain blind. Presuppositions, prejudices, assumptions, and our needs can easily blind us to truth. We see what we want or need to see and not what is really there. In addition, our stubbornness continues to convince us that we are right and that our vision is perfect. Only God can complete the picture.READ MORE
We give the definition of ourselves over to so many things. We allow our society, friends, family, work, social groups, ethnicity, and even institutions define, classify and color how we perceive ourselves. When we listen predominantly to the voices of others, we lose touch with what is happening within our own inner voice. If we listen carefully within, we can easily discover that we are in want and need. We know our incompleteness and also know that loneliness, sadness, and self-images can propel us outward in attempts to fill those gaps. We can become not only victims of our own prejudices but can find ourselves overly self-indulgent in things that can only satisfy for a short time, if at all.READ MORE
Psychology has taught us a great deal about family dynamics and how we have come to be the person we find ourselves to be. We are comprised of such a mixed bag of blessings and obstacles with their graced moments and sinful ones. Think back on the journey of your life and how the many different and varied choices that you made influenced the direction your life. If you didn't go on that first date with your spouse, who would be beside you today? If you chose to be in one place rather than another, what would have happened to the course your life has taken? We are on such a wonderful, exciting journey. What is most incredible and awesome is that we are not alone! God is with us. He inspires, heals, opens doors, and calls us every moment of our lives. The very life we have is due only to Him.READ MORE
Life can easily spin us out of control. While there are so many wonderful opportunities before us, we can also get easily distracted and exhausted. There is always something to do, respond to, or check. The clutter of our lives can take us off course, and the best remedy for getting back on track is the experience of the desert. Here we can face our demons square on, resist them, and get back on course. We desperately need the season of Lent. This simple time of year forces us into greater awareness and grounds us in what is good and true.READ MORE
The Gospels continue to challenge us to the core. This is especially true in the way our social relationships have developed.
Feeling safe and secure in the world are not things that come easily these days. Actually, we may find ourselves feeling more reservation, caution, reluctance, and fear than ever before. In a moment's notice, life can drastically change. When someone has been intentionally and violently hurt, especially someone we love, we can all too easily find ourselves very attracted to the Old Testament philosophy of "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth."READ MORE
We cannot exchange them at will or simply use them for our own designs and purposes. What does the word “commitment” mean to you? We can begin to understand its meaning by looking at some synonyms: dedication, devotion, allegiance, loyalty, faithfulness, fidelity, and bond. Commitment is primarily about relationship, and Jesus is all about relationships. How our lives affect others, how we treat our brothers and sisters, how we resolve conflict, and how we view the vows of marriage. Jesus’ teachings on obeying the commandments, murder, reconciliation, marriage, divorce, and adultery all stem from the sacredness of commitment. All of this has a God connection.READ MORE
To be salt means to bring taste, zest, and joy to life. We are asked to liven things up a bit by allowing the joy of our faith to spill over into the lives of others. Only a sincere and deep relationship with God can freshen up humanity and set it on proper course. To be light means that our faith must translate into action so that we can be Christ for others and extend the same arm of mercy and compassion that Christ did.
Our acts of piety, then, cannot be directed solely at ourselves. Prayer is never about self-benefit but must always be directed toward union with God, deepening our relationships with one another and learning how to be effective stewards of the beautiful universe God has entrusted to our care.READ MORE
"Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in the sight of all the peoples: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel."
Very often, having more light is not something we desire as it forces us to confront something we really do not want to see. There can be comfort found in darkness. It has an eerie sense of security to it. We do not have to challenge ourselves or be challenged and can simply exist in some fabricated state of self-fabricated blissfulness. Jesus came to bring light, and it is a light that is resisted by many and hated by some. It is a light that causes us to see things as they really are and not as we would want or need them to be.READ MORE