A God of Both: Tough Love and Unconditional Love

Return of Prodigal spes in domino

Tough Love and Unconditional Love Then let us celebrate with a feast,because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again;he was lost, and has been found.’ (Luke 15:23-24)  The Prodigal Son       Who hasn’t heard, or at least heard of, Jesus’ parable of the Prodigal Son?  I’ve encountered people with no experience of […]

Our Goal is the Resurrection: Ain’t No Grave

Spes in Domino Our Goal is the Resurrection

Our Goal is the Resurrection Rejoice, Jerusalem, and all who love her. Be joyful, all who were in mourning; exult and be satisfied at her consoling breast.  (Introit for the 4th Sunday of Lent)   Our Goal is Almost in Sight      Why rejoice in the middle of Lent?  Isn’t Lent a solemn and penitential season? And haven’t […]

Gabriel’s Annunciation and Mary’s Renunciation

Gabriel’s Annunciation and Mary’s Renunciation   Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign:the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son,and shall name him Emmanuel,which means “God is with us!”    (Isaiah 7:14)   Gabriel’s Annunciation        There’s something that doesn’t seem to make sense at first in today’s Gospel reading (Luke 1:26-38).  Here’s the […]

More Than a Building: A Church is Much, Much More

Basilica Lewiston Maine

More Than a Building:     Christ is Our Model in All Things   In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God . . . And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us . . . (John 1:1,4)        Any truly Christian anthropology needs to […]

The Spirit of Lent: Two Choruses from Handel’s Messiah

The Spirit of Lent Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows;  yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.  But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5-4)  Capturing the […]

You’re Standing on Holy Ground

 God said, “Come no nearer!Remove the sandals from your feet,for the place where you stand is holy ground. (Exodus 3:5)     The Burning Bush        I was fascinated by the image of the burning bush when I was a little boy.  I was also intrigued by God’s demand that Moses remove his sandals.  What exactly is “holy […]

St. Joseph: Steward of the King

The Dream of St. Joseph, by Juan de Borgona, c. 1535

St. Joseph and Joseph Son of Jacob . . . He had sent a man ahead of them, Joseph, who was sold as a slave. His feet were hurt with fetters, his neck was put in a collar of iron; until what he had said came to pass the word of the LORD tested him. […]

The Lorica of St. Patrick Is As Timely As Ever

St. Patrick Window

The Lorica of St. Patrick Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise, Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of […]

Fear and Hope: Confutatis and Lacrimosa from Mozart’s Requiem

Fear and Hope

Fear and Hope are the twin themes of the “Confutatis and Lacrimosa” from Mozart’s Requiem. If thou, O LORD, shouldst mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared. I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope . . . (Psalm […]

2nd Sunday of Lent: Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

 2nd Sunday of Lent:   2nd Sunday of Lent: What is the Goal?     One of the first things a new teacher learns is that you need to start with a clear idea of where you want to end up.  If we’re not clear on what we want our students to learn, then our […]