When we were baptized, we were baptized into Christ’s death. Take a moment to ponder these profound words. We were baptized into death. In every sense of the word, we are asked to die. This is not just about our final death but about daily deaths due to inconvenience, discomfort, pain, loss, or others’ needs. This is an incredible epiphany given the way we very often approach our lives. We do everything to avoid death, let alone encounter it! Many avoid pain, discomfort, inconvenience, uneasiness, change, interference, and suffering of any kind. We put a lot of energy into finding the easiest and least inconvenient way through many things. Even holding the door open for a stranger or saying hello to someone in the store can be major undertakings.READ MORE
It is no wonder that followers of Christ are called the Body of Christ. After all, sharing in the same spiritual food and sacred meal, they become what they eat and reveal the Divine Image. There is so much power for healing in the community of believers. Through the Eucharist, Christ becomes as present in those who have partaken of his Body and Blood as he has the elements themselves. The very presence of God touches the depths of the human soul and visits a part of us that no human being can ever hope to explore. We are God’s. The sacred Eucharistic meal is a celebration of intimacy, the reunion of two loves in constant search of and longing for the other.READ MORE
A well-choreographed dance can be truly inspirational. Each movement and step are interconnected, each contributing a piece of the unfolding artistic story. The beholder is caught up in the rhythms, music, and gestures, realizing that none are dispensable and all are necessary. The same is true of the Divine Dance of the Trinity. Each Person plays a part, using unique gestures and movements that are connected to the other Divine Partners. They tell a story of love. Every movement and step is born of love and flows on into eternity. The Divine Dance never ends.
God the Creator powerfully, yet with gentle love, leads. Creating and recreating, birthing and sustaining, He dances with the compassionate incarnate Son, guided by the breath of the Holy Spirit. They are three distinct Persons but move as One. On one hand, the cascading flow of their Presence appears motionless, yet on the other, flows and moves with effortless attention. They share one heart, one goal, and one purpose and invite all of creation to join in their dance, their joy.READ MORE
You can feel so small standing by the seashore. The vastness of all that is before you expands much farther than your eye can see. What is happening on the other side? As tides continue to ebb and flow, what occurs as they come and go remains largely a mystery and the effects of their presence unknown in your sight. Yet, things are moving and changing as you gaze upon the water, as the thumbprint of their presence is left behind. The greater the wind and wave, the greater the effect. But even a gentle breeze leaves its humble mark upon the seashore on which you stand. The smallest pebble still makes a ripple in the great blue expanse of ocean waters. It doesn’t need to be big.READ MORE
What does faith and religion do for us? Ultimately, they remind us of some truths we conveniently forget: we are created by a loving God, we have imperfections, we sin, we need to be forgiven, we have a mission and a purpose, it’s not just about us, and we hunger for the joy of salvation. These are human truths that are not dependent upon whether we like them. Ignoring them places us on the paths of comfort and satisfaction as we blindly pursue the busyness and superficiality of our empty lives. Instead of pursuing supernatural and lasting pleasure, we choose things that are easier and quicker to obtain: sex, drugs, travel, houses, cars, fame, popularity, self-achievement and satisfaction, physical enjoyment, and the like.READ MORE
When earthly lives end, especially when the person is younger, we tend to focus upon and consider what was lost. We think of lost opportunities — things they won’t be able to see, babies they won’t be able to cradle, and adventures that now must go undiscovered. Our minds create this chasm between earth and heaven that sees the losses of this life as permanent ones, never possible to achieve again. This perception causes many folks to remain stuck in their grief as they ponder all of the missed opportunities and regrets.
This is not resurrection thinking. All of the love that we can give and receive, the joy and elation that can be experienced, the adventures that can be undertaken, and the possibilities to be discovered are all part of a continuous journey. They are not ends in and of themselves but are all part of the unfolding of a relationship we have with God, who not only makes all of these wonderful things possible now but sustains them and fulfills them into eternity. The perception and experience of loss is really an illusion, because in God’s eternal kingdom and in God’s time, nothing is ever lost. Even the most intimate and tender of moments we can conceive of sharing with another human being are only part of a journey toward perfect intimate and tender moments to be shared with God in our resurrected life. We become like God and see God as He is in eternity. What greater joy, love, and hope can ever be discovered as we walk down our often dimly lit paths in this world.READ MORE
What does it take for our eyes to be opened? Every day, a man laboriously walks down Main Street of town. With great difficulty but graceful determination, he places one foot in front of the other, uses a crudely made staff for support, and walks. His pace is slow, but he walks. What does he hope to see? Where does he want to go? What does he find? We all walk through life. The type of “walking” life requires is not always physical but is most assuredly emotional and spiritual. We walk, we look, we encounter, and we seek. How we do these things and what we actually find is determined by what we carry and what we allow ourselves to discover along the way. If walking is too challenging for us, we may choose to isolate and stay alone.
If we are afraid to walk, we may become overly dependent on others providing for us and abandon the journey. We can walk and pay attention only to what is in front of our feet and never notice the immensity of what is happening around us. The road is never the same twice. The journey is always different. What kinds of things do you notice as you walk through life? It seems that the disciples of the Road to Emmaus missed a lot at first. We do as well.READ MORE
A person was going through a very dark time, questioning the meaning of life, not feeling very purposeful or worthwhile, and feeling disconnected and unappreciated. Suddenly, they gazed up at the night sky, found themselves in awe of all the stars and constellations, and exclaimed, “I am here on purpose and I am loved!” Having been brought by God to this moment of intense connection and awareness, his life changed from that moment on.
If we are always preoccupied with the challenges, obligations, and stuff of daily life, we can easily miss the wonderful opportunities when the resurrected Christ is knocking at our door. If we open ourselves to the fullness of experience, we will find ourselves listening and embracing all that is around us, being caught up in the magnificence of creation’s grandeur and knowing in our heart and soul that God is and I am.READ MORE
Human beings are united in their suffering. When we find ourselves in a painful moment, our first reaction is “why me?” as if we are the only person on earth who ever encountered this challenge. Going through life with a “why me” attitude only finds us wallowing in the mire of selfpity and never seizing opportunities or graces. We walk in solidarity with every human being in the experience of suffering. Believing that the goal of life is the elimination or avoidance of suffering is simply an illusion that keeps us entrenched in a collective myth. This myth distorts us and limits us.
There are living witnesses among us showing how courage and determination can overcome any degree of hardship, pain, loss, or tragedy. Folks finding the normalcy of their lives suddenly torn asunder are faced with options: opportunity or despair, stay or leave. Jesus stands before us as the prime example of endurance and perseverance. He is the One who showed humility through both the triumphs of life (by learning to be humble) and the tragedies and injustices (by learning how to be obedient). To secular ears, this may be perceived as nonsense. But to those with the eyes of faith, they are pearls of great price.READ MORE