Completing The Sufferings of Christ

Sometimes, the scriptures say things that really unsettle me. But I’ve learned when that happens, that’s a clue that I am approaching a place in my own heart that needs attention. And it’s beginning to dawn on me that most of the time I am unsettled by the wisdom of the Faith it’s because this wisdom touches on suffering. Take, for example, this quote from St. Isaac the Syrian: If you would be…

The Cross Exalted!

“Until you have eradicated the evils in your heart, do not obey it, because the heart seeks to increase what it already has stored inside.”  St Mark the Ascetic, On the Spiritual Law We prideful humans can’t understand the power of this wisdom without the “foolishness” of the Cross of Jesus Christ. It is the paradox of the Cross that confronts humanity with our short-sightedness. If God can take the tragedy and…

Tempted to Give Up!

Ever thought about giving up? Yeah, I know. What time is it? I confess to struggling with this temptation all the time. And the temptation to give up seems to come in all sorts of shapes and sizes; from small things to big things. Plus, it seems we live in a modern culture that celebrates and even encourages “giving up.” The “easy path” of abandoning that which is hard flows from the…

The Cross as Cure For Spiritual Illness

The wonderful reality is that the parallel between physical health and spiritual health is very significant. If exercise is good to make you physically healthy then spiritual exercise is absolutely necessary for your spiritual health. If what you eat affects your physical health then what you spiritually consume affects your spiritual health. It turns out the wonderful reality of spiritual health is all about being willing to hear the Good News that…

I Have Been a Fool

Steve Jobs said ” Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.” So true. Most of us are far too comfortable with mediocrity or “that’s good enough.” Because of this, we get a life that never is pressed to discover its potential, the possibilities. What a waste. And yet, because we are so comfortable with mediocrity, excellence feels threatening. In the face of these…

Nothing Is Hid – The Light Reveals All

I had just bought a new flashlight for youth camp. It was one of my first times serving at camp as a newly ordained priest and my cabin was a bit of a hike away from the center of the retreat center. I confess I was a bit nervous and the last thing I needed was to stumble in the dark and be out of commission with a sprained ankle! On the…

Lord, Don’t You Care?

It was painful to watch. He was spiraling down into the abyss of human fear and addiction, and he was my friend. I watched as he struggled but still stumbled and I heard the desperation in his voice when he called me and asked that most human and most underr=satandable question when you are trapped in a dark place, “Father, does God even care about me?” No wonder St. Paul commands us…

At War With Yourself

Growing up as a young man in the 1970s meant I heard some of the best music in the world! One song I remember that got the whole car singing along was the anthem “United we Stand” by the Brotherhood of Man. The chorus was “For united we stand, divided we fall. And if our backs should ever be against the wall, we’ll be together, together you and I.” Unity is a…

Authority to Tread on Serpents

An old American comic strip called Pogo made famous an old saying from the War of 1812: “We have met the Enemy and he is us!” We seem to thrive on keeping track of enemies, real and imagined. And by doing so, we think we are staying “safe.” I always find it a bit ironic when the claims to safety are the loudest among people. It usually betrays a real character flaw…