March 19, 2023

A Journey of Forgiveness: Our Life on Earth

A journey of forgiveness “Our life on earth is a journey of forgiveness,” declared Fr. Paul at the St. Matthew’s Tuesday 6am daily Mass. Commenting on the Gospel for last Tuesday, the priest spoke of a recent experience with a parishioner following the sacrament of reconciliation. He told the contrite young man, “I see Jesus in you. Yes, I see Our Lord in your repentance and love for His Law.” At hearing the priest’s words, the penitent began to sob, Fr. Paul said. Then, looking out at each of us as, he observed, “Often, the one we need most to […]
March 12, 2023

Do We Know How to Pray?

Do we know how to pray? The blue-jacketed 40 Days for Life prayer warrior approached the driver of the car leaving the San Antonio Planned Parenthood building with her small pink bag of free gifts. I watched as the young woman’s face contorted in rage. Rolling down her window and using her middle finger as emphasis to words I didn’t need to hear, she shouted at Racquel. Then angrily drove away. Walking back to where I stood praying, Racquel was smiling. “It’s all good. I’ve done worse. I used to be there, too. One day she’ll see.” Indeed. Prayer is […]
March 5, 2023

Whatever’s Happening: Make it Holy!

Whatever’s Happening: Make it holy It is wonderful to be alive in asmuch as our true life is the life beyond; otherwise whocould bear the burden of this life if there weren’t a prizefor suffering, an eternal joy; how could one explainthe admirable resignation of so many poor creatureswho struggle with life and often die in the breach if itweren’t for the certainty of God’s justice?… My life is monotonous, but every day I understandbetter what a grace it is to be Catholic. Poor unluckythose who don’t have a faith: to live without a faith, without a patrimony to defend, […]
February 26, 2023

Give Up Nothing for Lent!

Give up nothing for Lent! A good title gets our attention and this one sure does grab. It’s Father Casey Cole’s exhortation as we begin what our Byzantine friends call The Great Fast: Give up nothing for Lent! Fr. Casey’s point applies to those of us thinking of Lent as a time to give up our morning cup of coffee. And make everyone around us miserable. Deprive ourselves of things to make us uncomfortable. Maybe giving up social media or desserts. Or chocolate. Or…? Fr. Casey looks earnestly at us as he entreats: “Please. “Stop giving up things for Lent….Giving […]
February 19, 2023

The Right Not to Know: Advice from Solzhenitsen

The right not to know Since I’m an admirer of Alexander Solzhenitsyn, I’ve used excerpts from his speeches and books, for articles about his riveting observations. Many of his comments feel relevent, almost urgently so, although they were penned decades ago. This one: the right not to know, is another of the Russian’s remarks that seems to leap off the page and into our living rooms. In 1978, former Soviet political prisoner Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn gave a speech at Harvard University entitled, “A World Split Apart,” in which he spoke about individual and social fragmentation. In his assessment, a significant cause […]
February 12, 2023

The World: The Great Yes and the Great No.

The world: The Great Yes and the Great No It’s a cryptic but arresting phrase, isn’t it: The great yes and the great no? I tripped on it while searching for something online a couple of weeks ago. After listening twice to a ten-year-old homily of Bishop Barron’s called—you guessed it—The Great Yes and the Great No, I decided to write this piece. Although the Bishop intended the homily for the Sunday readings of August 4th, 2013, his words pack a whallop today—every day. POW! The ongoing battlefield between good and evil is reduced to these seven words: The Great […]
February 5, 2023

What Have You Got to Do With Me?.

What have you got to do with me? “…Catching sight of Jesus from a distance,he ran up and prostrated himself before him,crying out in a loud voice,“What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?” It’s a very strange Gospel passage: The one for this past Monday in the Christian liturgy. Jesus and His disciples have traveled to the Decapolis. Although I’ve heard it countless times since I’ve been in the faith, this time, the reading sticks with me days later. There are a number of reasons I find this passage memorable. But primarily these: […]
January 29, 2023

In Praise of Inequality

In praise of inequality Title grab your attention? Good. Because the notion of universal equality is irrational and foolish. Perhaps even sinful if done against God’s Law. In praise of inequality!! Take just a moment and look about God’s creatures and creation: the massive inequality of it. That Great Dane will be fortunate if he makes it seven years before dying. But the Chihuahua will likely see over twenty years of life. Attempting to equalize the heights of trees would be futile and idiotic, we’d never try. Although we accept and delight in the astounding variations in animals, variations that […]
January 22, 2023

The Use and Misuse of Power

The use and misuse of power. When we see a phrase like this, we think of powerful persons, institutions or some kind of disaster, don’t we? The use and misuse of power connotes vastness. Someone Huge! Something colossal! We sure don’t think of ourselves—our reason, will or our intellect as method for the use and misuse of power, at least I didn’t. Until I read last Tuesday’s Office of Readings: St. Basil the Great’s excerpt from the Detailed Rules for Monks. The excerpt is maybe 500 words. But just about each word seemed to leap off the page and appear […]
January 15, 2023

The Loss of Context: Pope Benedict and Islamophobia

The loss of context: Pope Benedict and Islamophobia If you’re wondering why I’d add another opinion, analysis or virtual eulogy to the many thousands already published about the death of Pope Benedict, I understand. Especially since I’m woefully ignorant of this man, his thoughts and writings. Of over 200 published books, I’ve read one. Of Pope Benedict’s many thousands of speeches, articles and essays, I’ve read only a few encyclicals. So why then add to the plethora of words that have been published about Pope Emeritus Pope Benedict? Because of my surprise, actually astonishment, at the controversy attached to his […]
January 8, 2023

Epiphany – What Does It Mean Again?

Epiphany: What does it mean again? “You have had an epiphany,” remarked my friend when I told her about my decision to become a Catholic Christian. Although my friend Adele’s comment occured a couple of decades ago now, I think of it on this day we celebrate Epiphany. Perhaps I’d heard the word before but certainly it was not one used in my every day thoughts or speech. Or that of the people around me, for that matter. I was silent so long that she thought I’d hung up. Deciding that the word meant seeing something in a new way […]
January 1, 2023

The Virgin Shall Conceive

The virgin shall conceive Since the beginning of Advent, the readings of the Christian liturgy have been from the Book of Isaiah. But there’s one that is increasingly haunting with each pasing year. It’s King Ahaz’s perplexing refusal to his God: “Ask for a sign from the Lord, your God; let it be deep as the nether world, or high as the sky! But Ahaz answered, “I will not ask! I will not tempt the LORD!” Perplexing, because he makes himself sound reverent and humble. But the Lord, though the prophet, reads the heart of the king and knows how […]
December 25, 2022

Curbing the Aggressive, Capricious, Untrustworthy Intellect

Curbing the Aggressive, Capricious, Untrustworthy Intellect It’s a heck of a phrase, isn’t it? The adjectives strung together are strident and wholly negative modifiers of—the intellect. Huh? In our knowledge obsessed twenty-first century, the statement, Curbing the Aggressive, Capricious, Untrustworthy Intellect sounds like heresy. Unless we stop, really HALT. And think about the amount of words we read, hear, and maybe write. As a ‘wordsmith,’ I’ve had a love/hate relationship with words for most of my life. For example, when I fulfilled my promise to John that the move from Nevada wouldn’t include tons of books. Among the countless discarded […]
December 18, 2022

Let’s Get Away From The Crowd

Let’s get away from the crowd Time goes so fast, doesn’t it? These blessed days of Advent are slipping away far too quickly. Christmas Day’s a week from today! And there are numerous holy practices still to be done. Let’s get away from the crowd and use these days to make straight the path of the Lord. Before dissolving into panic, a reminder: Christmas isn’t a day but a season. The Christmas Octave is eight days long, the Christian liturgy stretches the merciful, miraculous celebration ofJesus’s birth into eight holy days. And then the Christmas season continues for another twelve […]
December 6, 2022

Remembering: Was it Really Two Years Ago?

Remembering: Was it Really Two Years ago? We’re free to enter our churches and worship during these so very holy days preceding the Incarnation of Our Lord. We can receive Him: real food and real drink. And we can receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation as often we feel the need to do so. The ubiquitous fear has abated; we see one another’s faces now. Mostly. I hope never to take these facts for granted. Because remembering: was it really two years ago, in that strange perception of time, feels both like just yesterday and decades ago. And so I’m remembering […]
December 4, 2022

Our Bodies Ourselves or Vehicles for Mission?

Our bodies ourselves or vehicles for mission? We women of a certain age remember when Our Bodies Ourselves was written and published. It was revolutionary on many levels, primarily in leading women—not just here but worldwide, to take ownership of their health. Although its subject is limited to sexuality, the effects of the “movement” resound decades later, with consequences that are both positive and not just negative, but evil. Like most revolutions. On the positive side, the “Women’s Health Initiative” was one of the first organized efforts to regain control over health. The rise of the medical profession’s power began […]
November 27, 2022

Hope Holders: Reflections on Mary

Hope holders: Reflections on Mary                       HOPE HOLDERS                   Do you wonder why these beliefs have taken root in your                                                                 Soul?                Roots which deepen, burrow into the secret places of mind and                                                               Heart? Year after year, prayer by prayer, tear by tear, doubt by doubt until                                                               Fixed? Do you wonder why you believe the impossible-god as infant born of a                                                             Virgin? Do you wonder at this girl child, at her trust in the incomprehensible                                                            Answer                 How can this be, she asked, how can this be, we ask? Why such Love For faded facsimiles […]
November 20, 2022

Feast of Christ the King of the Universe

Feast of Christ the King of the Universe Just a few moments of reflection about the state of the world in 1925 compels us to stop. And think very hard about the inspiration which led Pope Pius Xl to proclaim the Sunday ending the liturgical year in the Christian liturgy as the feast of Christ the King of the Universe. Imagine: Four years of the “war to end all wars,” A war that resulted in the deaths world-wide of 16 million people. Followed by a global plague of epic proportion, infecting one out of every three people and killing at least 50 […]
November 13, 2022

Combative Hope

It’s one of those wonderful oxymorons: combative hope. And makes no sense at all until you let it sink in. Slowly. And then the phrase hits home because combat is part and parcel of life. All life. You disagree? Consider the time energy and sheer grit it took to get to where you are, wherever that is. Weren’t there times that you wanted to just give in? Weren’t they combat? And wasn’t the hemorrhaging from the wounds sometimes a flood? Our lives are composed of many battles. A theme I’ve written about a  time or two. I first came across […]
November 6, 2022

November’s the Month of the Dead-Why Should We Care?

November’s the month of the dead “I continue to think that we start from very different places on the question of death itself, what it is and what, if anything comes after it…I have trouble getting myself to the point where I believe that anything happens to the individual after death.  I can’t get beyond, once you are dead you are dead and that is the end of it.” November’s the month of the dead-why should we care? This was Jeff’s reply to my renewed emphatic urging that he just ask Jesus if he’s real….just speak the words. Over the […]
October 30, 2022

The Patron Saint of Politicians: Thomas More

The Patron Saint of Politicians: Thomas More In the year 2000, then Pope John Paul ll declared that many leaders of nations, states, and governments had asked him to proclaim Saint Thomas More the Patron of Statesmen and politicians. The Pope’s Apostolic Letter which details the proclamation, begins: The life and martyrdom of Saint Thomas More have been the source of a message which spans the centuries and which speaks to people everywhere of the inalienable dignity of the human conscience…Precisely because of the witness which he bore, even at the price of his life, to the primacy of truth […]
June 12, 2022

Time: Ordinary and Otherwise

Time: Ordinary and otherwise Time. It’s kind of like breath, or air, or water. We consume them as we do all commodities, thinking we have all we need, all the time in the world. Until suddenly, we don’t. Maybe because of serious illness when I was four, time has always felt like gift to me. And perhaps those multiple emergency trips to the operating room brought an unusual acquaintance with death. Hence wasting time and boredom are anathema. In fact, not infrequently I write of the inimical effects of boredom and wince when hearing someone say, “Let’s kill time by […]
March 5, 2023

Whatever’s Happening: Make it Holy!

Whatever’s Happening: Make it holy It is wonderful to be alive in asmuch as our true life is the life beyond; otherwise whocould bear the burden of this life if there weren’t a prizefor suffering, an eternal joy; how could one explainthe admirable resignation of so many poor creatureswho struggle with life and often die in the breach if itweren’t for the certainty of God’s justice?… My life is monotonous, but every day I understandbetter what a grace it is to be Catholic. Poor unluckythose who don’t have a faith: to live without a faith, without a patrimony to defend, […]