28 November 2008

Prepare the Way

When we return to school, Advent will be here. I have been thinking about Advent and the coming of the Lord Jesus. This old world is broken. I am broken. Sin is the problem with the world and with me. The best way for me to change the world is to repent of my sins. In a strange way, I am thankful for my sins because they keep getting me to go back to God. The times that I am furthest from God are not when I struggle with sin (remember the struggle part -- sinning does not get us closer to God) but when I think that I do not need God. Unhappiness with sin is one of the best reminders of how desperately I need God. I wish that I could love God more just for who He is, but in reality I mainly come to God as savior. Dear Lord, please never grow weary of my weakness.

22 November 2008

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

This is the best break ever. I think we all need it! Let's beat UT, eat well, rest well, and come back refreshed. It will be Advent when we do.

19 November 2008

Pray for Unity

I just saw my good friend, Fr. Parthenios Turner, the chaplain to the Orthodox students at Vanderbilt. He is actually my strongest support among my colleagues here. We look forward to the day of unity when the Church will breathe again with both lungs. Until then, we pray!

Go to his wonderful cafe and bookstore.

Morning Offering

Some days it is harder than others to make a good morning offering. It is especially hard if all I have to offer is failure and infidelity. And yet, believe it or not, God wants whatever we have to offer. Omnia in bonum ... all for good. This is faith. This is the goodness of God. Make the offering:

O Jesus,
through the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
I offer You my prayers, works,
joys and sufferings
of this day for all the intentions
of Your Sacred Heart,
in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
throughout the world,
in reparation for my sins,
for the intentions of all my relatives and friends,
and in particular
for the intentions of the Holy Father.
Amen.

09 November 2008

A Temple of the Holy Ghost

Today we celebrate what some might consider an anomalous feast in the Church's calendar: the dedication of the Pope's cathedral in Rome. Actually in the Church's mind such observances should not be so anomalous: the dedication day of every church building can be observed as a solemnity proper to that church. A solemnity is the highest kind of celebration in the calendar. This is so because the Church sees the celebration of the dedication of a church as a commemoration of Jesus Christ, symbolized in the altar and enshrined in the tabernacle. Every Catholic church is a domus Dei et porta caeli -- the house of God and gate of heaven. It is the axis mundi -- the axis of the world.

We can take this a step further, if you like. Because every Christian in a state of grace is a temple of the Holy Spirit and experiences the indwelling of the Holy Trinity, our own baptismal days should be solemnities for each of us. (Do you know your baptismal day?) Everywhere you go, God goes. What does your temple look like? Is the presence of God within you evident in your words and actions? Or perhaps has God's temple within been neglected, or has He been driven out by mortal sin? To go more deeply into this reality, I recommend a small book: The Presence of God by Anslem Moynihan, O.P. You can get it from the Sister Servants of the Eternal Word in Birmingham, AL.

03 November 2008

November Papal Intention

That the testimony of love offered by the saints may fortify Christians in their devotion to God and neighbor, imitating Christ who came to serve and not to be served.

(The Pope is calling us to charity lived in real life, as real as the saints! Live Jesus!)

01 November 2008

Purgatory is a mountain, not a pit

according to Dante, that is. It is also a place of hope as opposed to the despair of hell. "Where there is aught of green, there is hope" says the gate of Purgatory as opposed to Hell's "Abandon hope all who enter here." It makes me hopeful!