Great In The Kingdom of Heaven

I love what I read recently about being famous: “Being famous on Instagram or Facebook is like being rich in the game Monopoly.” That is so true. But we have a shallow culture today that seems to be addicted to being famous or “great” in the eyes of the people we want to think well of us. Our young people go through that period of maturity where being popular and belonging to…

Made For Freedom, Not Slavery!

Paul Laurence Dunbar, an American poet of the early 20th century, wrote a wonderful poem called “Sympathy” and the third stanza is powerful in its pathos and beauty and heart-breaking truth: I know why the caged bird sings, ah me, When his wing is bruised and his bosom sore, When he beats his bars and would be free; It is not a carol of joy or glee, But a prayer that he…

I Think My Timing is Off!

The American astronaut Buzz Aldrin once said “Timing has always been a key element in my life. I have been blessed to have been in the right place at the right time.” And, of course, this reminds me of the old saying in comedy, “Timing is everything.” It really is amazing when all the elements of time, opportunity, ability, and circumstances all mix together to create just the right environment for things to happen! Frankly, I could…

Don’t Lose Heart!

Listen to this quote from St. Peter of Damaskos: “Patient endurance kills the despair that kills the soul; it teaches the soul to take comfort and not to grow listless in the face of its many battles and afflictions.” Wow, “the despair that kills the soul.” How often have I seen that in the people who have come to me so despondent as to say “what’s the use.” No wonder the fathers declare…

There’s A Treasure In You

Turns out, all this emphasis on self esteem was terribly misguided! We were first told that low self esteem was bad for us, and it is. Then, in 2007 Harvard came out with a study about “The Use and Misuse of Self-Esteem” warning us that focusing on self-esteem can lead to real problems for people. We were warned not to promote esteem problems in our children, so give everybody a “participation trophy.”…

The Splendor of the Spirit

Have you ever heard of “imposter syndrome?” Yeah me either, until I discovered it was something that a lot of leaders struggle with. I was being coached by a professional leadership coach and he started talking to me about this common struggle leaders face. Turns out even the most confident among us sometimes thinks we really aren’t up to the task. Instead of this being a weakness, I discovered my own struggles…

A Fragrance of Life and Death

It’s always funny to hear people talk about what they think the Faith means by eternal life. I remember one movie from the 1990 called “Ghost” with Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore. The movie was about this tragic murder of a man and how the woman he loves copes with this tragedy. Of course, the murdered man becomes a “ghost,” a disembodied “spirit and he spends the whole movie trying to learn…

We Are The Aroma of Christ

It was embarrassing. But, in my defense, it was an automatic response. I was walking with some friends at a mall and we were passing by a candle shop. The aroma coming from the shop hit my nose and I immediately made the sign of the cross in front of everybody. The looks I got were perplexed to say the least. You see, the sense of smell is the most powerful memory…

What DON’T You Know?

“What you don’t know won’t hurt you!” Really? I’ve found that, sometimes, what I don’t know hurts me pretty bad. But what’s worse is misunderstanding what I actually do know. In fact, I have misunderstood some things I thought I knew so bad that I might as well not known it at all! And that, dear ones, is a deadly combination: to think you know something but get it so completely wrong…

The Kingdom Will Be Taken Away From You

My doctor once told me to MOVE. He wanted me to exercise more because he was insistent that “if you don’t use it; you lose it!” He went on to tell me one of the most dangerous habits we can get into as we age is the increase of sedentary lifestyle; watching too much TV, sitting behind a desk, you know the list. And now we read that even sitting down is…