Today, Jesus teaches that we should pray with persistence (Luke 11:5-13). Of course, the question comes to mind: if God is such a loving and caring parent who will only give “good” things to us, why do we have to persist in asking? Why do we have to ask at all? The reason is not because God needs persuading. Persistence in prayer is for our benefit. Read More
On the Inside; On the Outside
Have you ever encountered someone who was difficult to work with or was challenging to be around? For the most part, we always seem to get along or even become friends with most of our co-workers. But every one in a while, we stumble across one of two people who just seem to get under our skin. Read More
A few years ago, my wife Stephanie and I took a group of our parish teens on a summer mission trip to Cincinnati, Ohio. We were blessed to spend the week working with an organization called Little Brothers: Friends of the Elderly. This is a group that works with elderly people who have lost ties with family, have no family at all, and face the reality of simply being alone. Read More
With yesterday being the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, I’ve been thinking a lot about Mary. Every year, I’m blown away by Mary’s faith when she said “yes” to God. Especially as a young teenager, I can only imagine what her faith was like. Read More
A friend of mine called last week. She asked, “How are you?” It’s a common question, one we ask and are asked every day. You and I both know the standard answers and I gave them. I said, “Fine. I’m doing well. Things are really busy right now. I’m good.” She laughed and said, “Are you trying to convince me or yourself?”
I suspect I’m not the only one who’s had this type of conversation. Most of us have these kinds of conversations several times each day. We offer the usual answers. We might be fine and busy, getting our work done, meeting deadlines, fulfilling obligations, volunteering our time, and loving and caring for our families, but there is a huge difference between living life and having life within us. Read More
When we were much younger, our intercessory prayers were vibrant and almost imaginative. We prayed for our families, friends, pets, and for lots of presents. As we got older, we found ourselves praying for good grades, team victories, good weather, personal successes, for someone who was ill, meeting the right girl or guy, finding the right job, making the right decisions, and to be happy.
When our prayers were answered, life was good and so was God. But when our prayers were not answered, we floundered a bit. And sometimes we found ourselves doubting that the whole “prayer thing” even worked or that prayer could really change things. Read More
God of the seasons,
there is a time for everything;
there is a time for dying and a time for rising.
We need courage to enter into the transformation process.
God of autumn,
the trees are letting go of their green.
We too have our moments of change, insecurity and risk.
Help us to let go when we need to.
God of fallen leaves,
lying in colored patterns on the ground;
our lives have their own patterns.
May we see the patterns of our own growth and learn from them. Read More
I am passing along a beautiful blog post from my friend Fr. Tom Zielinski from the St. Anthony Spirituality Center in Marathon, Wisconsin. As we are in the home stretch of the Advent season, let his words fill you with joy and anticipation for the Lord’s coming…
“Acceptance” is a word that is becoming more important for me during Advent. We have the usual words of waiting, longing, desiring, expecting, which are all very appropriate for this season. But with the Second Sunday of Advent, the word and idea of acceptance stood out for me in the Sunday readings. The word itself was not there, but the idea was. Read More
I saw a commercial last night on television for a very large sandwich chain. They have a special going on where you can get a different sandwich every day of the week for a low price, eliminating the possibility of getting stuck in a routine of eating the same sandwich day after day. And that got me thinking: what if we did the same thing with our prayer lives? Read More
“When you are through changing, you are through.” ~Bruce Barton
All of us will experience change at multiple points in our lives. Often times, those changes are not welcomed. But I am a firm believer that change needs to occur, whether we want it to – or not. Change is necessary for us to experience new things, new ventures, new opportunities, new outlooks, new growth and new visions. If we continue to live our lives within our daily routines, we almost certainly will lose our perspective on where we are and not push ourselves to blossom and grow. Read More