I was in 6th grade and about to take a big science test. But this test was not with just any teacher. It was with Sister Bernadette – the holy terror of my Catholic Elementary School. There was just something about her that gave me the creeps. I was a fairly average student back then, holding my own in all of my class subjects. But when it came to science, it just didn’t make sense to me. I couldn’t tell you the difference between a proton, a neutron, or a Klingon. I was terrified of this test! My Mom and Dad were always proud of my efforts to get good grades and I didn’t want to let them down. So just before the test, I wrote several of the answers on the top of my desk in barely legible pencil. I sat nervously as Sister started to hand out the tests. I didn’t want to get caught, but I didn’t want to fail either. Read More
On the Inside; On the Outside
On Wednesday, I whipped up a batch of homemade Sweet Corn and Crab Soup for dinner. There’s nothing like a good pot of soup on a cold, winter evening. So I went grocery shopping last weekend to make sure that I had all of the needed ingredients to prepare the feast. I’m always amazed at the number of ingredients needed to make a pot of homemade soup. And it can be anything from meat, fish, various vegetables, and usually several spices. Then you have to do all of the necessary chopping and mixing. So the question to ask: is it soup yet? Well, not quite. You need to have the soup simmer for a period of time. Once these steps have been completed, you can finally partake in your creation (and hopefully it turned out well). Read More
Last week, I was with a group of teens from our parish on a mission trip in Detroit, Michigan. There we lived in community and helped the people of Detroit with various acts of service and charity. What a fulfilling way to put our faith into action and truly experience Christ in those we served. What a blessing it was for our teens to have such an awesome experience.
But during that one full week of hard labor – of long days and short nights, I have to admit that I was really tired. My body ached, my muscles were sore, and my head throbbed from the heat and exertion. And suddenly I recalled an old proverb that I came across long ago: One can go a long way after one is tired. And that became my mantra for the week. Read More
Recently, when praying the Liturgy of the Hours, I read a verse from the Book of Job that suddenly reminded me of something that I was taught in one of my classes during diaconate formation. The verse was:
Naked I came forth from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall go back again.
I remember the teacher telling us that when we die, we will stand naked before the Lord – bearing everything about us. We come into this world with nothing, and we leave this world with nothing. It doesn’t matter how much or how little we possessed while on this earth. It is all about what we’ve done with our time here. Everything we do remains a part of us. It is like our skin is an invisible tattoo displaying everything we’ve done during our earthly lives.
Therefore, when we stand before the Lord naked, are we to be ashamed? Will we stand before our Savior with our hands covering our body parts, embarrassed for who we are?
Perhaps today is the day when we truly look at ourselves and see who we really are. Perhaps today is the day when we decide to begin anew. We need to live our lives in the way that God desired – not to walk around thinking that we’re better than others; but to live a life of humility, love, and service. We are to live a life where we love everyone, serve those in need, and do whatever is necessary in order to make a difference in the lives of others. Maybe then we can stand naked before our God, fully transparent, unafraid, and comfortable in our own skin.
What would you like to own more than anything else in the entire world? Would it be a sports car, a yacht, a beautiful mansion? What are these things worth to you? Jesus is telling us that following him and seeking the kingdom is worth even more than the thing we want most. As we learn more about the kingdom, the desire to attain it grows in us. We want to be in a place of perfect love and perfect peace, where there is no war or disease, no hatred or violence, no discrimination because of the color of our skin or the origin of our family, where people are respected and treated with dignity, and where all of us can live as sisters and brothers in Christ. What we need is what Solomon asked for: an understanding heart, so that we don’t judge others, but we love and serve one another and do what is right. And that’s not always an easy thing to do! Read More
There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth…not going all the way, and not starting. ~Buddha
It’s funny how the voice of the Lord is heard in different ways by different people. But what’s most important is that we are able to actually “hear” that voice, and act on it.
Over the past several months, I have been moving toward following that voice. So far, I have avoided the mistake of not starting. That is why that you are viewing this blog on my new website. I took that leap of faith in following my calling to go out and become “available” to the world. It was a calling to go out and evangelize by using my God-given gifts to serve the Lord by serving others. It is an opportunity to share my stories, songs, and teachings with my fellow Catholic-Christians. Read More