Franciscans in the Holy Land

In 1217, St. Francis of Assisi sent friars to the Holy Land, ministering in areas controlled by the Crusaders. They built churches in Nazareth, Bethlehem, and Jerusalem, usually on the remains of earlier Christian shrines. As the Crusaders lost territory, the friar presence decreased until Acre, the last...

Face the Shadows

February 2 is the much-ballyhooed Groundhog Day. In Wisconsin, where I grew up, if we got to see spring six weeks from this date (which is, in fact, the first day of spring on the calendar), it was an early spring indeed, terrified rodent or not. That groundhog afraid of his shadow might be a good mascot for...

Thanksgiving: Four Generations at Mass

Mass last Sunday was pretty extraordinary for a number of reasons.  It just wasn’t the 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, but it was the beginning of Catholic Schools’ Week, the Sacrament of Baptism, and a 60th Wedding Anniversary celebration all wrapped up into the 11:00am Mass at St. James of the...

Psalm 37

This psalm is sometimes called a wisdom psalm. It is not a prayer, but contains advice and reflections. As we read it today, we might think of the words as coming from a teacher instructing students. First is a warning about evildoers, a warning that continues throughout the psalm. Such people may seem to be...

The Eucharist as God’s Gesture

I was interviewed recently about how Pope Francis keeps circling back to the decisive significance of the Eucharist in Christian life when he speaks and writes. Preparing for the interview—trying hard to come up with something to say—helped me clarify my understanding and deepen my experience of the...

Second Chances, New Beginnings

I, for one, am grateful that God offers us a seemingly limitless supply of second chances. Try as I may, I haven’t yet found the key to achieving perfection. Second chances allow me the opportunity to gather myself, to regroup, and to try again. My failed attempts don’t have the last...

« Older Entries Next Entries »