Verbum Domini
Verbum Domini
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Peace is too narrowly defined as “the freedom from or the cessation of war or violence” (Webster). According to this definition, a removal of forces secures peace. When violence is squelched, or war staved off, we call that peace. This defines peace by what it is not; it is the lack of disturbances. But there is a richer perspective. more
Apparently the Baptist was a bit uneasy. Sitting in Herod’s prison, it seems John was tempted by doubts concerning Jesus. John was a fiery prophet. He was disciplined in self-denial. He was a decisive figure, drawing a line in the sand and predicting the imminent destruction of all who failed to repent. You were either in or you were out. What must have been his reaction then upon hearing that the Christ was dining with tax collectors and prostitutes? Or that he was becoming ritually unclean by touching lepers and corpses? Was this the Christ he was expecting? more
Occasionally you hear someone say, “I need to find myself.” It would be a funny phrase (“well, where did you last see yourself?”) if it didn’t carry a slight tone of desperation. There is something sad about a person who is so lost or confused that they feel disassociated from themselves. Perhaps they are experiencing a lack of fulfillment, or they are often making choices against their better judgment. For the young, it may simply be a lack of experience. Whatever the reason, it is a troubling spiritual trial. It is one thing to lose your keys or your wallet. But for your very self to be hidden from you — that might take more than prayers to Saint Anthony. more
Americans top the list when it comes to eating junk food. In fact, a 2013 Gallup poll found that 8 in 10 Americans eat at fast food restaurants at least monthly. Junk food is so available to us; and let’s be honest, occasionally most of us love to have a good junk food snack. We know, however, that junk food isn’t good for us. The more we eat, the less we hunger for nutritious food, the food that gives us energy and helps us to stay healthy. more
I know a young man who became a priest because he was once denied communion. A number of years ago, a zealous protestant, he attended a Catholic wedding. more
Jesus can throw a party. In this Sunday’s gospel (Lk 14:1, 7-14) we find Jesus dining “at the home of one of the leading Pharisees.” more
The Sanhedrin had a tough time. Everything blew-up in their faces. They repeatedly tried to crush the Gospel, but it only spread further. Their fight with God was like throwing water on a grease fire. Trying to put it out, it only burned hotter. more
We often excuse our sins with the phrase, “I am only human.” Usually that means, “my faults are inevitable, and therefore excusable.” It is an easy way to brush off the burden of our faults, believing that nothing more should be expected. But when our negligence and carelessness hurts someone else, especially someone we love, then we begin to feel the real gravity of our sins, the weight of being “only human.” A drunk driver has no murderous intent. He is not malicious. In his drink, he is only seeking his consolation, his recreation. Sure, it is excessive and imprudent, but he’s only human. It may not be the best thing, but he doesn’t see the harm. That is, until he takes a life, perhaps even that of a beloved passenger. Like the drunk driver we are very good at excusing our selfishness, until we hurt someone we love. more
Do you believe in love? That is not an easy question today. I know many young adults who believe love is a chemical reaction in the brain, a feeling, a temporary experience, ordered to coupling and procreation. It passes as quickly as it comes. For them, this is a reason not to marry, because the love won’t last. For them, love is a mirage not marriage. It is an irony that, in a society where any love or expression of love is recognized, we don’t have a very good grasp on what it actually is, or even if it really exists. more
If you like to watch nature shows, or have ever visited an aquarium, you know something about ecosystems. You know they are composed of interdependent relationships among creatures and climate. The success of a system depends upon the health of those relationships. Therein lies the fragility of an ecosystem. A dramatic shift in climate, or some new predator or bacteria, can threaten everything. The introduction of something foreign, if powerful enough, can entirely alter or even destroy an ecosystem, wiping it from the face of the earth. This dynamic of ecosystems is helpful when thinking about God’s creation and redemption. more
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