Verbum Domini
Verbum Domini
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The revelation of the Holy Trinity is like a wedding invitation. Such an invitation is a declaration of love. Whether simple, funny, or elaborate, this basic piece of mail speaks of love. It reveals a love of commitment, willing sacrifice and exclusivity. It is a love that will be shared, a love that will bring life into the world. more
For my friend John O’Brien Even saints can have trouble dying. As St. Thérèse struggled with tuberculosis in her final months, she wrestled with one question: how does one die? She had actively and ardently pursued God throughout her short life, seeking perfection especially in the little things. But now that it had come to the end, she did not know what to do. How does one die? How can one die actively, with their eyes open? more
The word “exodus” conjures thoughts of the Israelites in bondage, Moses’ battle with Pharaoh, and the 10 plagues. We think of the Passover, Israel’s escape and the parting of the Red Sea. Formed from the prefix “out of” (ex) and the Greek word for “way” (hodos), exodus means the way out, or going forth. Israel’s exodus from Egypt is the most well-known. But there is another biblical exodus. more
Teachers don’t get enough credit. They are liberators. By their generous service, they free us from the dangers and restrictions of ignorance. They inspire us with the wonders of nature and art, walk with us through the story of humanity and lift our minds to contemplate ideals and virtues. Educere, the Latin root of “educate,” means “to lead out.” That is what teachers do. They lead us out of our native darkness into the light of wisdom, knowledge and learning. But, of course, to do any of this, we first have to listen to them. For our own good, we allow teachers an authority in our lives. We listen to them, we obey them, because we trust them to teach the truth; “and the truth will set you free” (Jn 8:32). more
Love is the most distinctive feature of Christianity. For Judaism, one might point to the beauty and wisdom of the Law. For Islam, one might speak of the towering authority of God’s will. For the Christian, love is the ultimate law (Rom 13:10) and the nature of God (1Jn 4:8). For the Christian, love is both who God is and what God wills. Consider that love is the only commandment Jesus gives. He doesn’t say it is the Father’s commandment, or something he’s received from the Law. He claims it as his own. He says, “this is my commandment: love one another as I love you.” This commandment is a revelation. It is new. Only Jesus could make it known, because only Jesus shows us the love he commands. If Jesus didn’t show us love, we wouldn’t know how to love (1Jn 3:16), and we certainly couldn’t fulfill the command to love. more
Married couples may or may not be able to relate to this humorous story: more
Libraries always stamp their books. Somewhere on the pages of any library book you will find the name of the library where it belongs. This serves as a reminder to those dilatory members (among whom I include myself) who indefinitely delay the return of some (probably unread) book. There it is, sitting on your desk or on your nightstand, staring at you, reminding you that “I belong to the Library of ______, and I am overdue.” In addition to pricking your conscience — it is a matter of justice after all — you are also heaping late fees upon yourself. You will not be released from this guilt “until you have paid the last penny” (Matt 5:26). It is better not to wait. more
This weekend, our diocese will gain two new priests. Their first Holy Mass will be the solemnity of Corpus Christi. It is hard to imagine a more fitting feast. This Sunday’s readings are also apt for the occasion. They highlight two priestly virtues: humility and fidelity. more
I have a friend whose faith is based on a lilac bush. Raised in an atheistic family, she was told God was a myth. She had no reason to contradict her parents, except for the fragrance of lilacs. more
Complicated arguments and esoteric vocabulary are great ways to hide ignorance. They give the appearance of learning where there is none. Lacking self-confidence, some attempt to overawe their companions with lofty but empty phrasing. Their hearers, bowled over by big words, conclude that fault must lie within themselves. Made to feel foolish, they remain silent, though not the least enlightened. By these means spurious savants ease their self-doubt, but only by heaping insecurity on others. more
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