The Longing: 5th Week of Lent

United With Love: Pledged With love in his eyes, we’ve reached the end of the aisle – our forty-day pilgrimage culminates with Holy Week, which, for Eastern Catholics, is celebrated as the Week of the Bridegroom.  It’s the week in which the Church, fertile with longing, aches to receive the gift of redemption poured out from the heart of the Bridegroom who gives himself away, not in pleasure but in agony. Like the grain of…

The Longing: 4th Week of Lent

Forgiven in Love: Adored Is there not a limit beyond which the Lord’s patience and mercy are exhausted, when we’ve used up our “one last chance”? Does He not get exasperated? Is it not reasonable to think that, at some point, the scales of Divine Justice reach a tipping point that cannot be rectified? Yes, that is reasonable! But that also isn’t how the Lord deals with us. It just isn’t, and thank God! As…

The Longing: 2nd Week of Lent

Staying in Love: Practicing Last week, we reflected on the invitation that comes to us at the start of Lent from the heart of the Bridegroom – I invite you to trust me and disrobe your heart – to take off the costume of the “self-perfected disciple”, and to stand before me in vulnerability so that you may experience the profound tsunami of my love, that it may wash over and into you, and that…

5 Ways to Heal the #MeToo Movement and Solve the Problem of #ToxicMasculinity

“Wounds need to be treated, so many wounds! So many wounds! There are so many people who are wounded by material problems, by scandals… People wounded by the world’s illusions…” – Pope Francis Since the fall of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein in late 2017, we’ve seen a continuous descent of men from powerful places and positions to a basically non-existent existence. Their sins of abuse, sexual harassment and the mistreatment of women have been given…

The Longing: Ash Wednesday

The Encounter with Love: Pierced Have you ever noticed at weddings, when the bride is coming down the aisle, looking radiant and joyful…have you noticed how people’s heads turn back and forth, like they’re watching a tennis match? They look at her, then up at the groom, then back at her, then back to him. She is, objectively speaking, the most beautiful one there, commanding our attention, and yet, for some reason we turn our…

How to Become “Magnificent Women” and “Phenomenal Men” in 3 Simple Steps

In a recent acceptance speech at the Golden Globes that instantly went viral, former talk show host and actress Oprah Winfrey addressed the deep wound that has been exposed all over the entertainment industry, American politics, and across the spectrum of the shared civic life of man and woman. In a general sense, that wound is sin. Specifically, from Miss Winfrey’s words, it’s the sin of the lust of men against women; the sordid sexual harassment of greedy men in…

Making Sense Out of the Senseless

Americans are reeling again from yet another horrific mass shooting, this time in the hallowed space of a church in southern Texas. Twenty-six people lost their lives (several of them were children). In just the past few months we’ve witnessed terror strikes at an outdoor concert in Las Vegas, a Maryland bank, a park in Manhattan. As the attacks are becoming more common in these most ordinary of places, Americans are feeling more and more…

Sex: Talking to Your Little Ones

Talking to Your Little Ones About the Big Topic of Sex A much repeated sentence we hear at our Theology of the Body retreats and courses is, “I wish I heard this when I was younger!” or “I wish my parents were able to give me such a positive and beautiful message about the gift of sexuality!” Well, we can’t change the past, but by His grace we can certainly affect the present and hopefully…

Homily for The Fifth Sunday of Easter – Year A

Jesus the Bridegroom Wants to Bring Us Home to Perfect Communion This week’s Gospel comes from John 14.  Early on, the passage focuses on an image of Heaven, an eternal house with many dwelling places where the inhabitants enjoy communion with God. “In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places.  If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and…

Jesus and the Whistling Gypsy Rover

  Not long ago I was driving my wide-eyed and wonder-filled six-year old daughter Clare to school and we decided to listen to the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem’s rendition of The Whistlin’ Gypsy Rover. (I start priming my kiddos for St. Patrick’s Day in February. Actually, we’re always celebrating St. Patrick’s Day at our house). If you’re Irish, you might know this tune, which has been covered by a bunch of singers over the years, slightly tweaked…