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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Let’s Keep the Confessional Open

spes in domino confessional

The Seal of the Confessional?    What’s wrong with the picture above?  At first glance it looks like a confessional of the sort you used to be able to find in any Catholic church.  A closer look reveals that the doors through which the penitents were accustomed to enter have been replaced by plain panels.  There’s no way […]