Christmas

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him may not die but have eternal life.  (John 3:16) These words from the Gospel of John provide the real meaning and purpose of Christmas. God’s love is so great that it had to be shared in the person of…

The Good Samaritan

On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” He answered: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and…

Esther

The Book of Queen Esther is the stuff of modern day novels. It contains elements of court intrigue, sex, romance, treachery, loyalty, manipulation, courage, and ultimate victory. Esther is the heroine of this story, and she is so central to the story, that her name is mentioned fifty-five times in ten chapters of the Hebrew…

Gift Giving

On December 6th we celebrate the feast of St. Nicholas. During, and even before the Christmas season, you may hear the name St. Nicholas. It is on his feast day when children in many parts of the world will wake up to find small treats in their shoes or stockings left to them, they’ll be told, by St. Nicholas. Christmas is a time of giving and…

December 2nd

December 2nd lives on in my memory because it was the day in 1980 when Dorothy Kazel, Jean Donovan and two Maryknoll sisters were murdered. In the spring of 1974, Dorothy’s dream of becoming a missionary came true when she was chosen to serve on the Diocesan Mission Team for a five-year term. In El Salvador, Dorothy worked in the Church of the Immaculate…

Thanksgiving

We are reminded in 1 Thessalonians: “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Thanksgiving is one of the few holidays that people of all faiths, or no faith at all, find reason to celebrate. For many it means holiday sales, big meals and social gatherings. But I truly believe…

World Kindness Day

Have you ever noticed all the special national days that we now have? We have National Veterans Day, National Nachos Day, National Candy Day and so on. Most of the “National Days” have little meaning for me, but one that I find valuable is World Kindness Day celebrated November 13th. Kindness means that we are gracious to everyone…

Poetry: Seeking God In My Deepest Being

In my deepest being I desire you, Creator God;I long for your presence in my life.How real the grandeur of Creationthe beauty of musicthe creativity of artAre you the mystery that brings it into being?How real the intimacy between two friendsthe soul to soul sharingthe hearts burning withinAre you the spirit that initiates such feelings?How…

All Saints’ Day

All Saints’ Day, also called All Hallows’ Dayis a day commemorating all the saints of the church, both known and unknown, who have attained heaven. It is celebrated on November 1 in the Western churches and on the first Sunday after Pentecost in the Eastern churches. (Wikipedia) A saint is someone who has been recognized as holy or virtuous to such…

Cheap Grace

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was known to use the term “cheap grace.” He understood the term to mean “…an attempt to reap the benefits of Christianity without paying the price: to seek redemption without authentic conversion, or forgiveness without repentance.” (Graced Crossroads by Ted Dunn, p. 185) In other words, reaping the benefits without the cost to…