So Pilate said to him, “Then you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say I am a king. For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”
Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”
—John 18; 37-38
Another day, another allegation of sexual harassment or sexual assault directed at some worldly favored son. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. And yet, with each indictment, which feels like a long overdue breath of fresh air, I can’t help thinking how awful it would be to have my own missteps and sins brought to the light. I may be wrong, but I think most of us present a good, righteous face to the world and do an amazing job of hiding some of our most ugly, dark features. How often do we willingly lower the veil to others and admit in our humanity, we have weakness, are drawn to sin and have failed over and over? Continue reading “What is TRUTH?”
There are a total of eight beatitudes. I know because I’ve counted them. In case you’d like to confirm that for yourself, knowing my spotty scriptural knowledge as a cradle Catholic, have at it. Check it out for yourself in Matthew’s gospel, chapter 5 to be exact. As perfect as I consider Jesus’ sermon on the mount, if I had my say, I’d suggest that the Almighty add just one more. Yep, I’m about to try and improve perfection by adding to one of Christ’s most powerful and stirring proclamations on the Kingdom of God. That takes guts. I know. But bear with me.
Continue reading “Blessed Are the Forgotten”
My kids are learning Latin in school. That puts a big smile on my face. Not simply because they are being trained in a language inextricably linked with the rich history of our Catholic faith, but because it offers poetic justice in my own much-less storied narrative. My dad, Jerry, was a Latin teacher at an all-boys Catholic high school for a number of years, until Latin decidedly went out of vogue, somewhere in the late 70’s to 80’s. Not one to be swayed by passing trends, he still valued the importance of the sacred, historic language and when the time came for me to choose an elective in the 9th grade, he wisely counseled me to pick Latin. I gave it a cursory thought and smugly replied, “It’s a dead language, Dad! I’m taking French.” Not ready to concede defeat, my father asserted that while Latin was dead it would provide me a great springboard for learning any of the Romance languages, including French. And since English used so many words with Latin origins, it would most likely increase my vocabulary and reading comprehension. That’s the gist of what he said. What I heard was, “blah-blah-blah-blah-Latin, boring Latin…” In my teenage mind, I wanted to take French because it seemed romantic and exciting and honestly it just sounded so dang pretty. Continue reading “Ora Pro Nobis: \ō-rä-prō-ˈnō-bēs\ a Latin invocation meaning pray for us”
Nothing is more to be feared than too long a peace. You are deceived if you think that a Christian can live without persecution. He suffers the greatest persecution of all who lives under none. A storm puts a man on his guard and obliges him to exert his utmost efforts to avoid shipwreck.
I haven’t felt much like writing lately. Navigating this whole social media/ blog thing is new to me. I struggle with how much to share and how much to keep to myself. Exposing my feelings regarding my faith makes me feel vulnerable, a state I’ve avoided most of my life, like a petulant toddler whose bedtime is fast approaching. Yet, vulnerability is what Christ modeled throughout His life. You can’t be any more unprotected and lowly than an impoverished infant refugee, or a naked, savagely-beaten man exposed to the elements hanging on a cross being ridiculed. Continue reading “Vulnerable in the Face of Evil”
Halloween is just around the corner. And as usual, I expect to see my fair share of kids trick-r-treating in their zombie get-ups: pasty white masks with dark, vacant circles for eyes, torn shirts and pants, occasionally a little flourish of fake blood splattered here or there. It’s usually the teenagers who go all out with the most gruesome costumes, but occasionally a five-year-old will greet me at the doorstep decked out in full zombie face paint and garb. I respond the same way each time. “Oh… wow…quite a costume,” I stutter with my best perma-smile. “My, look at all that blood… here’s your candy,” I murmur, avoiding eye contact while timidly dropping a couple snickers in the outstretched bag. Then I anxiously scan the perimeter to make sure there aren’t any zombie parents lurking nearby.
Don’t chuckle. Zombies exist. They dwell in our midst…
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Recently, during some quiet prayer time, I received a “God smack.” (Probably not the technical term for this phenomenon, but it seems really applicable in this particular situation.) I’m not talking about a light cuff to the ear, I mean a swift crack across the cheek—think Cher’s gutsy wallop unleashed on an unsuspecting Nicolas Cage in the 1980’s classic, Moonstruck. Thwack! “Snap out of it!” said with an impatient New York accent. It’s the kind of divine blow that leaves your skin stinging and your mind reeling. And there’s no denying it makes you stand at attention. I don’t mean to suggest that God, who is all goodness Himself, would resort to violence, but that my realization, most likely prompted by Him, resulted in a physical jolt. God had certainly caught my attention. Continue reading “God Smack”
Do you regularly turn up your nose at other Catholics and Christians? Is your personal piety beyond reproach? Are you constantly flaunting your superior “Catholic cred”? You may be a Catholic Snob. Here are the ways to spot “if your nose is in the air and you just don’t care!”
You may be a Catholic Snob if…
1. You have no funny bone.
In order to really appreciate our human condition as well as our Catholic faith, it’s important to be able to laugh, especially at ourselves. Laughing at our own foibles, but with a sincere and contrite heart is a small step towards sainthood. St. Francis de Sales remarked, “Humor is the foundation of reconciliation.” While St. Padre Pio is credited with saying, “serve the Lord with laughter,” the Catholic Snob finds very little funny. They can be severe and make many harsh judgments about others and themselves. If they are found laughing, often it is because they’ve met someone who prefers the guitar mass to Gregorian chant. Continue reading “Anatomy of a Catholic Snob”