Something Strange is Happening – Holy Saturday

 Something Strange  Something strange is happening—there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. These are the opening sentences in the non-scriptural reading in today’s Office of Readings. The author, it seems, is unknown.  The liturgy simply tells us that it is […]

Is it I, Lord? – Good Friday

Is it I, Lord?  Is it I, Lord? It seems all too easy for us sometimes to see the Apostles, in their bumbling humanity, as almost comic figures.  They certainly don’t appear too dignified, for instance, when they argue over which one of them is greatest (Luke 22:24, Mark 9:33, etc.); they look almost like clamoring […]

Christ Came to Serve – Holy Thursday

Christ Came to Serve

Christ Came to Serve – The Mass of the Lord’s Supper “It is enough.” He said to them, “But now, let him who has a purse take it, and likewise a bag. And let him who has no sword sell his mantle and buy one.  For I tell you that this scripture must be fulfilled in […]

Crucifixus Etiam Pro Nobis: Lotti’s Musical Meditation on the Crucifixion

Crucifixus etiam pro nobis sub Pontio Pilato: Passus, et sepultus est. (Nicene Creed)   Crucifixus Etiam Pro Nobis Crucifixus etiam pro nobis: He was also crucified for us. That brief statement in the Nicene Creed refers to one of the two most important events of all time. The Crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his Resurrection […]

Which Crowd? Palm Sunday and Passion Sunday

And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”     (Matthew 26:40-41)   The Inner Struggle One could make a good case […]

Body and Soul, or, When A Church Is Not A Church

body and soul

Body and Soul        The Devil is in the details.  He is indeed.  Take this whole body/soul thing, for instance.  We have a very hard time giving each its due.  The world of the flesh is constantly trying to pull us away from the life of the spirit.  It’s always tempting us with mere stuff.  In our efforts to resist the world […]

Legions of Angels, the Adulteress, and Christ’s Sacrifice

“Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then should the scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?” (Matthew 46: 53-54)  Legions of Angels       Many Years ago I taught in a (more or less) Catholic high school. […]

Have Mercy – Lotti’s Miserere (Music for Lent)

Have mercy on me, O God,according to thy steadfast love;according to thy abundant mercyblot out my transgressions. (Psalm 51:1) Have Mercy       And what transgressions they were!  King David had used trickery and deceit to send Uriah the Hittite to his death.  He had, in fact, murdered his loyal soldier in order to hide his own adultery.  Tradition […]

This Is No Time to Despair

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair;  persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;  always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.  (2 Corinthians 4:8-10)   No Time to Despair   […]

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 […]