The Wisdom of the Woods

“What I know of the divine science and holy scripture, I learnt in the woods and fields.” – St. Bernard of Clairvaux In southeastern Pennsylvania, USA, the leaves are falling, the wind is breathing cooler, and the air smells rich with the scent of wood fires. We have a cycle of seasons here. They rise and fall from spring to winter like the very lives we live. And every season is a chance for us…

Memorial for Pope Saint John Paul II — October 22

How does one possibly “reflect” on the life and pontificate of Pope Saint John Paul II in just a few pages? I dare say it is easy to give a list of his earthly “achievements” as Pope, as I will do later in the reflection,­ but one can never truly know fully the depth of a human person, because we are limited, finite creatures and only the Infinite, Omnipotent Creator can truly see into the…

Homily for the Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B

What an extraordinary burden the Shema must seem to be for those who still see their freedom as being at battle against God’s will. How in the world could you possibly bring yourself to fulfill such a commandment without believing that what God desires and has planned for you is going to bring you fulfillment? It is, in fact, an impossible task. If you have given God 100% of your heart, mind, soul, and strength,…

Homily for the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B

Before putting out into the deep of God’s Word and what He might be speaking to our hearts today, we need to do a little housekeeping about the actual text in front of us. The word translated as ‘roadside’ at the beginning of the Gospel is exactly the same word in the original as the word translated ‘way’ at the end. St Mark did not use synonyms (when he certainly could have). Even if the…

St. Ignatius of Loyola – July 31

In the journey of life, there are experiences that God gives us that help us to realign our lives more intimately to Him. Variations of this can happen every day. These experiences are the things of conversion. The conversion experience helps us to be more convicted of the reality that we are created by God and we are meant for Him. There are certain experiences in the Christian life that are meant to be capstones…

Hearkening to Humanae Vitae: Paul VI’s Prophecy #3

Part 4 of 5 This is part four of a five part series unpacking the prophetic warnings Blessed Paul VI spoke in 1968 should the contraceptive pill be permitted and encouraged. View the rest of the series here: Part 1  Part 2  Part 3  Part 4  Part 5 Today, we look at the third warning found in section 17 of Humanae Vitae. It predicted that, with the use of contraception, man “may forget the reverence due…

Homily for the Nativity of John the Baptist

We all love birthdays! We instinctively know that the birth of a person into this world is something that should be celebrated. We celebrate because we are happy that this person is in the world with us. Our knowing them has somehow made our life better. However, when the Church celebrates a birthday in our liturgical calendar, whether it is the Nativity of Jesus Christ, Our Lady, or St. John the Baptist, we are reflecting…

St. Boniface – June 5

Saint Boniface is venerated as the Apostle to the Germans. After spending 23 years in a Benedictine monastery in England, he apprenticed as a missionary with St. Willibrord in Holland for one year and then received his own papal commission to spread the Gospel among the barbarian tribes in Germany. In his 40+ years of missionary service, he preached the Gospel broadly, developed communities of faith, built monasteries, and established dioceses throughout the lands of…

Homily for the 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B

In the B readings for the eleventh Sunday of Ordinary time, Jesus uses the image of the kingdom of God as likened to the sowing of seeds. The first reading from Ezekiel also uses the analogy of God planting a tender shoot that shall “put forth branches and bear fruit”. Finally in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians he directs us to be courageous because all that we do in our bodies while in the world…

Homily for the 10th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B

In the Collect for this Sunday’s celebration of the Mass we pray, “O God, from whom all good things come, grant that we, who call on you in our need, may at your prompting discern what is right, and by your guidance do it.” This prayer presents to us three truths: God is creator and source of all that is good. God created us in his own image and likeness, allowing us to share in…