Archive for April, 2014

Emmaus Explored

“What are you discussing as you walk along?” Jesus asks the disciples heading to the village of Emmaus. “Looking downcast,” they related the events of the last few days involving Jesus. Their eyes were prevented from seeing it was Jesus Himself to whom they were speaking.

I have wondered over the years why they were so quick to leave the city. These were disciples after all, who had followed Jesus for sometime. They had even heard that very morning that some women of their group “reported seeing a vision of angels who announced that He was alive.”  Yet they depart the city, downcast.

Why did they give up so quickly?

Jesus was right to rebuke them with these words, “Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke!”

With the benefit of 2000 plus years of hindsight one would think we would be so much wiser today. One would assume with our superior forward thinking modern minds we would be so much better off today with the perspective of lapsed time. We should be loving each other, holding each life in unsurpassed dignity and worth. We should be sharing and caring and peaceable by now.

Have we too, wondered out of town and out of the proximity of Love? Do we look downcast because after 2000 years it isn’t much better. Our brutality and lust for power, wealth and pleasure grows like a darkness sweeping the nation. We think in terms of “me instead of we” as we cut people off while driving, in line and in church parking lots. Untold unnecessary victims of murder by choice through abortion, continue to grow because I trumps we.

What is going on? What is needed to push back the darkness?

Pope Benedict XVI reminds us, “this episode [Emmaus] points out to us two special “places” where we can encounter the Risen One who transforms our life: listening to His Word, in communion with Christ, and in the breaking of the bread; two “places” profoundly united with each other because the Word and the Eucharist are so deeply bound together that we cannot understand one without the other; the Word of God sacramentally takes flesh in the event of the Eucharist.”

Christ is alive. He is risen and can banish the darkness of our lives both individually and communally. He did not abandon us to work it out by ourselves thousands of years later. He left us Himself, in the Word and in the Eucharist. Not a symbol, not a memory, not a feel good bread and grape juice affair NO! In the reading of his Word, in the breaking of His Body. Each and every day, all over the planet, in every Catholic Church. This is where you will find the Church Christ left behind- His Church, His Body Present in every tabernacle around the world. Come and eat, “this is my body” broken and given for you.

Nothing else will do. Come to THE Meal where the “Bread of life comes down from heaven” that we may live forever.

“Faith in him transforms our life, frees it from fear, gives it firm hope, enlivens it with God’s love which gives full meaning to existence.” (Pope Benedict XVI)

And dare I add, banishes the darkness, springs forth everlasting joy and fills us with the strength, graces and virtues we need to persevere until the end.

He is risen Alleluia!

Rejecting Christ

“Behold this heart that loves so much yet is so little loved.” From Jesus to St. Mary Margaret.

Imagine the pain of rejection on an infinite level after so great a sacrifice. Jesus further speaks, “When you give me your sins, you give me the joy of being your Savior.”

Jesus never wearies of forgiving our sins. Why are we so afraid to go to the heart of mercy that greatly desires to transform everything in the fire of His Divine Love?

He is gentle, meek and loved us into being. There is nothing to fear. He desires our salvation- we only need to come, to trust Him.

Come drown in the Ocean of Mercy. Lay your sins at the foot of the cross in Sacramental Confession and know the peace that comes from being released of the weight of sin and self-imposed distance from God.

Jesus thirsts on the cross not for water, but for our love.
(Reflections from, Consoling the Heart of Jesus-Gaitley, MIC)

Holiest Week

Happy Palm Sunday to all!

This begins Holy Week in preparation for the most amazing event in all of human history-The Passion, Death and Resurrection of Christ.
Really deliberately think about this event all week. Enter into it. This is love, real love. Laying down ones life for a friend, even when most of those friends never knew you, don’t care or love you, outright reject you or even hate you.

Love acts for the good of another! A disinterested gift of self with no strings attached. Christ did this for us, not Himself.

This is a friend worth knowing. A relationship worth developing. The Holy Roman Catholic Church is not an institution, a building, a set of oppressive rules. It is about a Person, the Person of Christ, a RELATIONSHIP with God.

If you’ve been away from the Church, if you have not made it a priority in your life…I invite you to begin anew this week. This is the most beautiful time to re-enter, and renew your friendship with Christ as He shows you how much He loves you through His excruciating Passion and Death. This is not gruesome brutality that we rival in, this is love to the limits of a human body and magnified by the infinite goodness and love of God.

Christ did all this for us, not collectively, but with each individual person on His mind.
You were worth dying for. The Eucharist cost Christ His very life. Why do we disregard, diminish and reject that gift of love? Why do lesser things take priority?

“Come to me all you that labor and are heavily burdened and I will give you rest”

Proposing Love

Exciting news permeates the air as two of our sons posed the question of life-long commitment, and never ending love to their girlfriends. Both said yes and so the fun and planning begins.

I love how our family is growing. The amazing gift of observing them as they become the men God created them to be and the amazing, beautiful and incredible women that He placed in their paths. Watching as they matured from self focused  to selfless young men who put others before themselves. There is no room for ego in real love. Ego is about self. Married love shows the world that seeking what is best for the other above self, leads to abundant fruitfulness.

In giving ourselves away, we receive. What a delightful paradox.

So many young people today buy the lie, going after whatever selfish pursuit brings them temporary pleasure. Fleeting as it is, never fully satiated, they prowl about seeking their next prey to devour in lust. That leaves a lot of empty corpses, young women who have been used and cast aside believing that this is the best they can hope for. That this is all there is, empty lives, empty promises, empty dreams. “Where have all the good men gone” the song sings on and that is the real question. Where are the virtuous men who seek to protect a women’s honor rather than subvert it? Men who have self restraint, discipline,no less manners, seem few and far between. Our culture supposedly loves the “jackass” the Cretan, the fool. But is this necessarily true?

I know you are out there, and even if you have made some mistakes, there is always hope. It is never too late for anyone and always possible to achieve the kind of love dreams are made of. A love that satisfies, a love that makes you better, a love that can heal your heart and make it whole.

I have seen it, lived it and know it is for real.