Verbum Domini
Father Michael Najim
149 results total, viewing 1 - 10
The Holy Spirit is not a consolation prize. Whenever Jesus speaks of his departure, his ascension, he mentions the Spirit in the same breath: “For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.” Jesus isn’t just cushioning the blow, but promising something better. Of course the disciples want to hold on to Jesus. He has walked with them, he has healed them, he has taught them. They are safe in his presence, they know which direction to take, they have confidence because he is there. Losing him, they fear losing everything. But if Jesus goes, in a strange way, he will be even closer: “[The Spirit] will take from what is mine and declare it to you.” Though physically absent, Jesus is nearer through the Spirit. Now he lives in them and they do his works. more
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed today. At home, at work, at school, people are pulled in a thousand different directions. Parents chauffeur their children from soccer match to basketball game to piano lesson. Work follows wherever we go. Anywhere, at anytime, there are phone calls, text messages and emails. All of them expect immediate responses. It can happen that we get so caught up in the things that need to be done, that we forget why we are even doing them. We lose the forest for the trees. When that happens, it is critical to find perspective. It is essential to take a step back, to break a bit from the rattle of the world, to silence all the ringing and buzzing and find a cozy corner of silence. In a secluded spot, as the din dies down, God’s voice rises. His word refreshes and directs the soul. more
Several years ago I read a wonderful opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal entitled, “The Stories My Father Told.” In the article, Michael Judge, who writes about art and culture for the … more
Every teacher loves an eager student. The word ‘student’ itself stems from the Latin studere, meaning ‘to be eager for, to desire.’ Being a good student then depends upon an eagerness to learn. Such students gladden their teachers by hanging on their every word, reading through their bibliography and plying them with questions. The delight a teacher takes in such a student explains, analogously, why God so delights in the lowly. The lowly are eager for God. more
At the Carmelite Monastery in Barrington they have the Holy Spirit on a switch. In the sacristy, above a light switch, white letters embossed on black tape read “Holy Spirit.” What an asset: the Holy Spirit on command! Talk about a direct line. It makes you wonder whether every convent is similarly equipped. Convents are often called spiritual dynamos, but who knew to take it literally? Imagine if we had such access in our homes, an on-demand Pentecost. It would certainly make an impression on our neighbors. more
There is a graveyard beneath Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Where the Vatican now stands, there once was a necropolis, a city of the dead. Mausoleums stood side by side like little houses, silent streets running beside them. It was there, in this graveyard, that Saint Peter was buried in a simple poor man’s grave. more
The movie Romero is based on the true story of Archbishop Oscar Romero and the political unrest in El Salvador during the 1970s. The movie depicts the atrocities that the government and military were … more
What inspires the deepest repentance? Is it fear or love? Is it the terror and threat of punishment, or a generous and unmerited charity, that best pierces the heart and brings forth conversion? more
Jesus practiced what he preached. He didn’t dictate and depart, leaving us to stumble among his precepts without a light. Jesus set the bar high. But he also gave us an example to follow. He can command us to “offer no resistance to one who is evil,” because he himself guarded a patient silence as he was condemned. When someone seeks your shirt, he can command us to “hand over your cloak as well.” If that seems a high standard, consider what he handed over for you. Jesus can command us to love our enemies, because he forgave his murderers in the midst of their crime. What Jesus commands is certainly difficult, but he shows us it is not out of reach. more
Beware too much of a good thing. When the Israelites are about to cross over into the promised land, they are warned not to let the abundance harden their hearts: “lest, when you have eaten your fill, and have built fine houses and lived in them,…you then become haughty of heart and unmindful of the Lord” (Dt 8:12-13). There is danger even in blessings. more
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