My Slave, My Bishop!

The transformation in our world from a time when slavery was a “peculiar institution” to a time when the notion of “purchasing” a human being is unthinkable is nothing short of wonderful! And yet, human trafficking is still a very real crime in our modern world, even in our own “land of the free.” Look at our lesson today in Philemon 1:1-25: PAUL, a prisoner for Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother,…

Salvation IS Violence!

Our modern world seems to run on violence. And it seems that every day the news is of more violence there and more violence here. From college campuses arguing over speech and “safe zones” and “trigger warnings” to the very real violence of terrorism all meant to disrupt and destroy. And can we even talk about what seems to be “perpetual war” in hotspots around the world where our soldiers are sent…

Are You Friendly?

“Daddy, I don’t have any friends!” It was a heartbreaking moment in the life of my daughter’s young life, and it broke my heart for her. She was learning a lesson that we all have to learn: “A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24 We, humans, crave companionship. We long for connection and to be known in…

Outward Focused

The myth of Narcissus is legendary. Narcissus was a man who was exceptionally handsome and knew it. And his actions reflected his utter disdain for those who loved him. He walked through life proud of his appearance and dismissive of those who admired him. Nemesis watched Narcissus and how he treated those around him and lured Narcissus to a pool where Narcissus could see his reflection. Narcissus fell in love with his…

Do the Hard Work FIRST!

Let’s face it; we all have to deal with unpleasant realities. You know the situations I’m talking about: those moments in life when there is either a difficult confrontation that has to happen or a struggle with bureaucracy or just a difficult relationship that has to end or change. It’s just not fun. It’s scary. It’s aggravating. But, it’s going to happen! So, how do we face such moments in life as…

Time To Renew Your WHY!

He’s just the latest to articulate well a timeless principle enshrined in the wisdom of the ages. Simon Sinek’s helpful book “Start With Why” is a bestseller precisely because of this reality. I found it so compelling that I bought a copy of the book for each parish council member in my parish. Wise leaders have always known that if you don’t know “WHY” you do what you do, don’t expect others…

The Power Of Being Generous

As someone who has spent most of my adult life either as a police officer or in the nonprofit world, I can tell you, generosity is both addictive and life-giving. It really is. Studies have shown that there are real psychological changes in someone’s behavior and mood when they are generous. And it seems we Americans are more generous than ever, but our generosity is changing. In the past few years, there’s…

Do You Know HOW to Stay Faithful?

Our busy lives really do challenge us in keeping our priorities in the right order, don’t they? We moderns are a complicated mishmash of schedules, opportunities, affluence, and “freedom.” And that multiplication of events, desires, hopes, and advertisements don’t seem to be slowing down. It seems that each new day brings a new barrage of invitations, exhortations, and marketing all meant to fill up every available moment of our day with “You…

Your Eternal Reality

Listen to what St. Theophan the Recluse says in his brilliant “Unseen Warfare”: “Refuse to listen to the devil when he whispers to you: give me now, and you will give tomorrow to God. No, no! Spend all the hours of your life in a way pleasing to God; keep in your mind the thought that after the present hour you will not be given another and that you will have to render…

WAKE UP!

In pagan Greek mythology, Hypnos is the god of sleep and his brother is Thanos, the god of death. They both live in Hades and Hypnos lives in a cave that is the mouth of the River Lethe and that means “forgetfulness.” I’m sensing a symbolic opportunity here! And the symbolic opportunity revolves around the persistent imagery of most all religions in teaching that we have to “wake up” to this or…