Not Lawful on the Sabbath

As a former police officer, I remember well having to memorize the rules of the road so that I could ENFORCE the rules. Of course, all these laws were on the books for people’s safety, but I can’t tell you how tempting it was to reduce that central purpose to the mere enforcing of the rules as a purpose unto itself. You can always tell the difference between an officer who gets…

Transcendent Power vs. Temporary Problems

“But, father, why is this happening to me?” It was a hard question to hear, mainly because I didn’t have an answer. I was sitting across from this precious father as he told me about the medical diagnosis of his little girl. It wasn’t good, and he didn’t understand why God was allowing this to happen to an innocent child. I held him as he sobbed. There are no words for moments…

Tamed Passions Produce Spiritual Fruit

There ought to be a law! Isn’t it fascinating that the first thing most people think about when there is some conflict or disagreement or some unwanted actions in our society is that there should be some governmental control issued to make people “behave” the way they “should?” Why is “passing a law” or getting the government to exercise its power in some way our default answer to conflicts in society? How…

An Eternal City

“This world is not my home. I’m just a’passing through. My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue. The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door. And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.” That’s an old spiritual that I use to sing as a boy in church. And it strikes me now as a wonderful and terrible song. Wonderful in the sense that it preserves the Christian hope…

Pray for Those Who Watch After Your Soul

Several years ago a priest asked his brother priests to finish this sentence “The priesthood is …” and one priest finished the sentence in this way – “The priesthood is a type of martyrdom, with times of great joy and the incredible privilege of serving the Holy Mysteries and Divine Services thrown in to keep us priests from despair.” I like it. It really does sum up an aspect of being a…

Temporary Chains/Eternal Wisdom!

We learn how to make all of life sacred by making one moment of our life sacred. While that may really sound paradoxical, it makes perfect sense when you consider that it’s only by a focused effort I can wake up to a wider truth. If I try to take in the whole world, eternity, and all things, I get overwhelmed. Why do you think we are so impassioned by politics and…

Do You Know HOW You Know?

I never will forget the moment in college when I was confronted with the question “how do you know?” It was in an undergraduate philosophy class and I had actually never really thought about “how” I knew things. The fancy name for this is “epistemology.” And epistemology is the study of how we know. It turns out this is an extremely important question to ponder. So, how do YOU know what you…

What Is Your Definition of Freedom?

The old Janis Joplin song declares “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.” Is that your definition of freedom? Nowadays the word “freedom” is usually used in the context of politics or revolution. And folks have reduced the definition of freedom to mean “doing what I want to do.” Of course, this is too small a definition, and we see this fault every time some group gets the power to…

Facing Temptations And Winning!

The old saying is “It is easier to avoid temptation than to resist it.” And while that may be true, our real lives have shown that we will most likely have to resist temptation more than we will be attentive enough to avoid it! But that isn’t all bad. The truth is learning to resist temptation builds those spiritual muscles that give me the confidence to grow in my faith and in…

WHY 5 Ministries in the Church

You can use a hammer to do many things, from nailing a board to a stud to breaking a window to even more nefarious and criminal acts, but “why” was the hammer made in the first place? Answer that question and you’ll get to the very nature of a hammer’s existence. If it works for a hammer, imagine what kind of clarity asking “why” of yourself can achieve. The fact is, it…