Yeah, THAT old saying! A quote from Virgil’s Aeneid says “the descent to hell is easy.” And no one ever expects their good intentions to turn out bad. That’s the “law of unintended consequences.” It seems we humans are better at coming up with witty quotes better than we are at avoiding the mistakes of our “good intentions” gone bad. But why is that? Nobody ever thinks their intentions are actually harmful.…
At this time of year, there is a familiar sound in front of the stores I visit. It is the distinct sound of bell-ringing and the seasonal sight of a red kettle. Frankly, it is a comfort to me. And I have taught my children that we have a family rule: We never pass the red kettle without putting something in. Never. I can still hear my grandmother telling me stories of how the folks with the Red Kettles saved her and her family during times of great poverty, and she instilled in us an ethic of generosity that also was coupled with a complete “forgetfulness” of having been generous, because we acted as if every time we dropped something in the Kettle was the first time! Frankly, that’s the only way to be truly generous. Scorekeeping makes giving “something” other than generosity.
“What’s my motivation?” It’s the question every actor has to ask when they are trying to get into character. What motivates this person to do what he does? Why is this person reacting this way to this situation? And the reason this is so important to an actor is because if you can understand someone’s motivation, you can empathize with them! And an actor has to be able to empathize with the character he or she is playing if the work is to be believable!
Today, the Lord sets a banquet table heavy with the “food” that truly nourishes our deepest hunger. This Food is His own Body and Blood given for us and to us through His coming first as a small and helpless Child. But also in the promise of His Second Coming in glory to judge the living and the dead! You will never be ready for His Second Coming without embracing with full…
OK, here’s the scene, Harrison Ford playing Indiana Jones, finally passes all the tests to get into the chamber where the ancient knight stands guard over the True Chalice used at the Last Supper by Christ.
The old knight, having taken a vow with his three brothers, to guard the Chalice forever, tells Indiana “Choose wisely.” And, well, you know what happens next.
My Special guest will be His Grace Bishop David of the Diocese of Alaska!
Here is last Sunday’s homily. Today we confront the spiritual poverty of becoming so captured by the process, you forget the purpose. This happens when love for others grows cold! Watch and Share if you find this helpful. P.S. Don’t forget our Faith Encouraged LIVE program THIS SUNDAY night with my special guest, His Grace Bishop David of the Diocese of Alaska. We’ll be talking about the Second Coming of Jesus. That’s…
The Christian faith is apocalyptic. That means the message of Christianity announces both the intention of the whole of existence AND it’s ultimate conclusion. Most folks forget that and reduce the faith to what some have called “moralistic therapeutic deism.” I’m not sure what all that means, but it sounds really cool! Seriously, this simply means that, for many, the Christian faith (in fact, all religions) is merely one cultural expression of a moral code that is meant to make us “happy.”
Here’s the problem: It doesn’t work!
It’s iconic! The little kitty hanging from the pipe with the inspirational message! As a teen, growing up in the ’70’s these posters were everywhere. And it seemed to spawn a million other inspirational posters from the “Footprints” poster with it’s beach metaphor to countless posters quoting a Kurt Vonnegut speech. It seems every office, every dorm room, and every Sunday School class had some inspirational poster all trying to get us to “hang tough” “keep going” or “get back up.”
I love Oliver Twist. It’s a great story about confronting a system that had grown inhuman because of an attempt to reduce persons to mere cogs in a machine. Ah the joys of the Industrial Revolution. Our hero, Oliver, does what he wasn’t “suppose” to do; he asks for “more” and that one request starts us off down the path of revealed hearts, weak morals, and true repentance.
But, just like the our hero in Oliver Twist and his inconvenient request for “more please”, sometimes asking inconvenient questions reveals something very important.