Steadfast AND Active!

“He’s steady as a rock!” With those words, the person giving the reference for this potential hire gave a strong and satisfied look to the potential employer. And she was right. The guy got the job. You see, everyone wants stability. But is that enough? After all, graveyards are “stable!” What if there was a way to live a life that was both Stable AND Dynamic? Sounds like a contradiction, doesn’t it?…

Not Seeking My Own Advantage

So, what’s it going to be – your way or our way? I guess your answer will depend on how you see yourself. If you think of yourself by yourself then self-interest is going to trump community interest. But if you think of yourself as in community then your choices have to be measured against the needs of the many and not merely your own interests or comfort. But, do you see…

Not Tempted Beyond Your Strength

My grandmother assured me many times when I was young “The Lord won’t put anything on you that you can’t bear.” As I became an adult, I questioned that wisdom many times in my life. But, what do you know, I’m still here! And yet, I would be less than honest if I didn’t also say events and troubles in my life have left their scars. But it is also true that…

Kept Under Restraint

One of the most difficult realities I’ve had to face as an adult, as a priest, as a husband, and as a father is the waking up to the reality of the complexity of each human person I encounter, including myself. This continuous process of discovery has me regularly seeing places of spiritual progress and immaturity in my heart first of all. All leading to the unmistakable conclusion that the taming of…

Woe to Me if I Do Not Preach

It’s just who I am. I remember my time at an Evangelical Protestant school for my undergraduate degree, and the 2 years of homiletical (how to give a sermon). It was a bit grueling and my professor was particularly tough on me. One day, I was walking with another seminarian and he overheard our conversation. He stopped me and said, “Brother Powell, you are a preaching machine!” I chose to take that…

At His Feet

There is a story about a great man. He had searched the world over for wisdom. He had gone to gurus, and sought out great religious leaders and learned philosophers. But still, his heart ached for more. Sure, he learned great and awesome ideas and heard wonderful words, but still, he felt empty from the searching. Discouraged, he cried out to God “Lord, where is true wisdom? Where is true knowledge of…

What Makes You Unclean?

My dear bride has a hard and fast rule for my two girls: “Wash your hands!” You see, my wife is a trained elementary school educator and part of that training has to do with hygiene. Teaching children to wash their hands before they eat, after they play, and after their potty breaks is all part of having healthy children. It’s a good thing. And once again we see the parallel between the physical wisdom of…

A Deeper Knowing

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to “eat crow” over some idea I had or position I held that turned out to be, oh not necessarily “wrong” but “too small” or “too narrow” for the subject at hand. It’s made me a bit gunshy at times to make a definitive statement before I’ve had the time to really contemplate my own thoughts. After all, as the scripture says, “The…

Making Masters Servants!

I know it is a bit “old-fashioned” and it may be hard for those of this generation to understand, but the timeless message of the Faith is that we are called to battle and tame the passions SO THAT they are our servants and never our masters! So what are the passions? Some may say “I thought being a passionate person was a good thing.” Well, as usual, it depends on definitions.…

Easily Offended

“I’m offended!” It seems that is a common complaint in our day. When did we become such a generation of “fragile little snowflakes” that the slightest challenge sends us into fits of offense and demands for regress? So, what do you think is behind this age of easy offense? I certainly have my own thoughts, but the most important reason seems to be we have forgotten our true purpose as adults. You see, we…