Verbum Domini
Father Michael Najim
149 results total, viewing 51 - 60
To grow in humility, try this mental exercise. Consider all of your accomplishments. Mentally gather everything you have achieved. Now consider what it will mean 100 or 200 years after your death. Does the world remember what you have done? Does it remember you? Humbling isn’t it. more
Love changes people. I once saw this happen to a college professor. He was known to be an exacting instructor with very little patience for the typical foibles and half-hearted efforts of the average college student. Scheduled to take his class in the fall, I received multiple warnings from my peers. Some encouraged me to switch before the new year began. Others said that I might learn a lot, but that I shouldn’t expect a good grade. I am not sure whether it was negligence or courage, but I took the class anyway. He was one of my best professors. He certainly challenged his students, but his approach was compassionate and attentive (he also had a great sense of humor). When I related these impressions to my friends, they were shocked. We found out later that he had fallen in love and was engaged to be married. more
Truth is stunning. Sometimes it is shocking and overwhelming. Often it takes us a bit of time to adjust to truth, like emerging from a movie theater to the bright light of day. more
Children teach us so much about faith through their simplicity and trust, yet sometimes we overlook them because they are little. In their littleness, we can tend to disregard the wisdom children can teach us. The same is true for the Gospel; sometimes we disregard little details in the Gospels that can teach us so much. Take this Sunday’s Gospel for example, in which there is a detail about a little boy. Within this detail about the boy, however, lays hidden a great treasure for the spiritual life. more
Good cop, bad cop works really well. It is an effective strategy for obtaining confessions. The bad cop always interrogates first. His goal is to frighten the suspect. His words, his tone, his refusal to accommodate the suspect in any way (a glass of water, use of the bathroom) are meant to intimidate. He provides a jolt. By his severity, he increases the suspect’s sense of isolation and impending danger. All of which makes the appearance of the good cop a welcome relief. This is someone who is on his side, someone who wants to help him. The good cop wants things to go well for the suspect, but he can only help him if he helps himself. He has to tell the truth. Often enough, a confession is given. more
So, what’s your excuse? What’s my excuse? In this Sunday’s gospel we see people who are willing to follow Christ, but on their own terms. Jesus encounters three people on his journey to … more
“My father’s going to kill me!” We’ve all said those words, most likely as teenagers. Guilty of some infraction of parental law, staying out past curfew or playing ball in the house (something always breaks, doesn’t it), we were convinced that the end of our lives was imminent. I doubt any of us could give details on how this murder would take place, but that doesn’t mean we were any less convinced it would happen. Our first instinct was to evade discovery or to cover the fault (rummaging through drawers looking for superglue). But then, at a certain point in those years, we came to the realization that it was better to be upfront and honest. Admitting our fault, we finally understood, did not mean death, but forgiveness (not to mention a far lighter sentence). more
Loss is tough. It always hurts. We can spend a good deal of time moping around because of the things we’ve either lost or can’t have. Such sorrow is not from God. Rather, such sorrow is often a sign that we are resisting God. Mother Teresa noted that whenever she saw one of her sisters troubled or disturbed, she knew it was because Jesus was asking for something but the sister was saying “no.” Mother Teresa herself often felt the weight of the Lord’s demands. Occasionally, she could be heard saying, “now, he is asking too much.” Of course, she gave anyway, confident that when the Lord prunes it is for the sake of greater growth. The Lord asked much from Mother Teresa and her sisters, but look at all the fruit. Countless souls inspired by their example. Countless others prepared for heaven by their hands. more
As Thanksgiving Day approaches it is customary to pause and give thanks to God for the freedom we enjoy in the United States. We recall the first settlers who fled the oppressive rule of the king and … more
Only God can start a fire with water. In our gospel this weekend (Lk 12:49-53) Jesus tells his disciples “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!” (which could also be translated “how I wish it were already kindled”). more
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