Feed My Sheep: Love, Forgiveness, and Grace

Feed My Sheep spesindomino.org

God is always the initiator, inviting us to share His Grace. And He’s always willing to move a little closer, if it will bring us closer to Him . . . even to the point of becoming one of us.

Does Jesus Really Expect Us To Be Perfect?

 To Be or Not To Be . . . Perfect       Be perfect? Is he serious?       It’s funny how different things can look from just a slightly changed perspective.  I remember an incident when I was a fallen-away Catholic college sophomore. Responding to what must have been a Divine prompting, I picked up a copy of the […]

Before the Storm: The Finale to Haydn’s The Creation

    We’ve been looking at selections from Haydn’s oratorio The Creation over the past few weeks .  Last week we saw the overture, “Chaos,” a musical representation of the state of disorder that prevailed before God created the universe.  The selection before that was “The Heavens are Telling,” based on Psalm 19.  This piece comes at the end […]

We’re Living in the Age of Esau

In pursuit of an illusory freedom we have cut ourselves off from the experience of our ancestors (racist, rigid, old, dead, etc.) and don’t even seem to have noticed that at the same time we have cut ourselves off from reality.      It’s not all up to us.  We can’t invent ourselves, we can’t, as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy notoriously opined, “define [our] own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.” A proper appreciation of what we have been given by our predecessors helps us understand our reliance on what has been given to us by God as well (which is one of the main ideas behind this blog). If, like Esau, we listen to our appetites of the moment and disregard everything else, we will lose our own birthright . . . forever.

Monteverdi’s ‘Nisi Dominus’: Arrows in the Hand of a Warrior

Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643) was probably the most important composer in the transition from Renaissance Polyphony to Baroque.  This beautiful piece from his Vespers composition, Vespro della Beata Vergine (1610), is a musical setting for Psalm 127 (sometimes listed as Psalm 126).   This particular psalm (printed in full below the music video) has always resonated with me. […]

Feed My Sheep: Love, Forgiveness, and Grace

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” A second time he said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” […]

The Church’s First Decision and The First Successor to the Apostles: St. Mathias

     Not everyone, it would seem, is pleased with the current Roman Pontiff.  If that hadn’t been clear to me already, it would certainly be apparent in many of the comments some of my recent posts (this one and this one, for instance) have received in various online venues.  Who would have thought it?      Happily, I’m not writing […]

Who Are Those Cheering People? Palm Sunday/Passion Sunday

There’s something a little unsettling about Palm Sunday.  It appears that the same people who welcome Jesus as a victorious king at the beginning of the week are screaming for his death by its end. The liturgy reminds us of this incongruity by putting Palm Sunday and Passion Sunday together (at least in the Ordinary Form; […]

Why did Jesus ‘Take the Form of a Slave’?

     Christ has broken our chains, but here’s the catch: we need to be willing to shake them off, get up, and follow him. “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24) . . .

Do You Consider Yourself a Leper?

     A few years ago, during a previous Lent, I attended a mass in which the Gospel reading came from Matthew 8, which included the following passage:  . . . and behold, a leper came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.”  And he stretched out his hand […]