Formation is the product of education and practice. It’s an on-going cycle of applied learning. Without practice, it’s simply facts or knowledge. Without education action is often, and even most likely, misdirected and ineffective. The result of good formation is increased awareness. The old adage “The more you know, the more you know how little you know:” fits. Consider this as you read the question belowREAD MORE
I think it's natural for every generation to assume that walking the straight and narrow is harder for them than their predecessors. I honestly don't know if that's the case, but I do know that even with the challenges we have today, there are many technological advantages that can, and do, make our daily walk easier; that can make our formation easier and more fruitful. I'm going to share a couple of my favorites. Do you have your own favorites? Let me know.READ MORE
I often lead group prayer with similar words: "Give us the wisdom to know Your will for our lives and the courage to follow it as we seek to make our community a clearer reflection of the Kingdom of God." The words acknowledge that we need to be about God's will, not our own, and in that journey, we will bear greater witness to the transforming power of Jesus Christ.
We talk about how we are called to live a stewardship way of life and that we have been given many good gifts, but it is never truly about us. We are never the main thing. In the same manner, it is never really about our parish. Our combined stewardship may lead to many fruits, like an increased offertory or more vibrancy in parish life. However, it is always about the Kingdom of God and the King, Jesus Christ.READ MORE
In our lives, many of us have somehow bought into the notion that there is so much in the world that can take us away from God. We believe that worldly values, immorality, or evil itself can take us away from God's love and protection. But there are few greater lies than this. The reality is that if we find ourselves far away from God, the only force that carried us away was our own choices.
In John's Gospel, Jesus said, "My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me...No one can take them out of my hand." Yes, we are tempted at every side, but no temptation can take us away from him. Unfortunately, sometimes after initial choices, we find ourselves in addiction or dependency, making our reconciliation with God impossible without the help of friends and loved ones. But make no mistake, no one or nothing can take those who are His sheep away from God.READ MORE
I am struck by how Jesus addresses the disciples in the 21st chapter of John. They have been fishing all night, and when the dawn comes, Jesus asks, "Children, have you caught anything to eat?" They hadn't caught a thing, so he tells them what to do to finally fill their nets. These children thought they knew best, but they couldn't get the job done until they listened to Jesus. Like a child who needs a parent, these early followers of Jesus were learning that real maturity of faith requires trusting in and listening to the Teacher.READ MORE
The purpose of Sacred Scripture is in part to teach us about the faith, to provide to us what the Church calls "divine revelation." Our Second Reading from the Book of Revelation provides insights of which we need to be aware. The name of this Book – Revelation – is derived from the very first words of the Book, which are "The revelation of Jesus Christ…"
Written in Greek, the word translated as "revelation" is apokalypsis, meaning "unveiling" or indeed "revelation." As indicated in today's reading this book is written by "John…on the island called Patmos." Our Catholic tradition tells us that this is John the Apostle, although scholars sometimes disagree with that assessment and conclusion. We do nonetheless know what and where Patmos is.READ MORE