Verbum Domini
Father Michael Najim
149 results total, viewing 91 - 100
Some love sadness. Their heart is set upon heartbreak. If prolonged, sorrow becomes a friend, a miserable whimpering companion that, though sour, is nonetheless familiar. People sometimes cling to their complaints and cuddle up with melancholy. Their gloomy attachment grows worse when it brings attention and pity. They are disconsolate, but love to be consoled. As the injured risk addiction to painkillers, acquiring a new illness in place of the first, so the downcast may develop a dependency upon condolences, risking perpetual misery. Bonding with their desolation, they recoil at optimism, play down good news, and rehearse their whining woes. They are most anxious at the prospect of being happy, that their dark friend might be chased away by cheer. more
The pre-eminence, in fact, the pre-dominance, oh let’s not beat around the bush, the primacy of St. Peter in the Christian Scriptures is glaringly evident. In the first reading from the Acts of … more
It is a special grace to have faith in someone. When we say we believe in someone else (usually someone we mentor, a dear friend, or even a spouse), we might describe it as a special vision. In a sense, we can see into that person. We see their potential, their virtues, their character. When we are given the grace of faith with regard to another, we see them a little bit like God sees them, though as “through a glass, darkly” (1Cor 13:12). By that special faith, we catch a glimpse of their God-given beauty. On the other hand, when we ourselves are believed in, when someone has a special faith in our regard, it is deeply life-giving. It heals insecurities, opens us to the joys of being loved, and empowers us to love in return. For charity naturally follows upon faith. more
Animal bites are bad. Some can be life-threatening and require immediate attention. These treatments have gone through a long evolution. more
My first memories of injustice are line-cutters. Whether we were going to the library, or the cafeteria, or recess, there was almost always someone cutting in line. If it was the big kid, a space was cleared with a few grumbles (it was better than the alternative). If it was the popular kid, he would talk his way in. A few whispered words and he was instantly where he wanted to be; explaining to the rest of us “he’s letting me cut,” or the doubtful “he was saving this spot for me.” It was rare that I said anything, but I always felt the burn of indignation. Neither did I tell the teacher, for fear of the label ‘tattletale.’ Besides, there was almost always one of those around as well. more
Friendship is the greatest thing on earth. That’s not just my opinion, but also that of Saint Thomas Aquinas: “There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.” Now Aquinas was not given to exaggerations. He chose his words carefully and precisely (he considered it a fault, if not a sin, to say anything other than what you believe). This means that the greatest theologian of the Church, surveying all the goods of the world, weighing the respective value of all created realities, finally settled on true friendship as the highest and most precious. This explains why God, taking on our earthly existence, chose to express his Love in terms of friendship: “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (Jn 15:13). There was simply no better way to say it. more
A little girl was walking along a beach covered with thousands of starfish left dying by the receding tide. Seeking to help, she picked up a starfish and tossed it back into the ocean. A man who … more
Jesus is our scapegoat. Of course, we don’t blame him for things the way we might assign guilt to a little brother: “I didn’t break the lamp. Jesus did it.” Good luck trying that the next time you’re in a tight spot. We don’t blame Jesus. But we do lay our guilt upon him. That is the true meaning of a scapegoat. more
Have you ever wished you could rule the world? Maybe just to be king for a day (and then maybe a couple more). History has seen numerous would-be world rulers, conquerors and empire builders. Athirst for more power, more territory, more wealth, they claim the world’s goods for themselves; they seek immortality in fame (or infamy). Of course, none of this lasts. Best case scenario, they continue a few decades. That is if they survive the intrigue and circumvent the traitorous plots. They set out to conquer the world, but all along, it is the world that is conquering them. Their hearts, their minds, are not their own. Everything is given over to the maintenance and increase of their possessions. They end enslaved by what they’ve captured. more
Imagine New England without churches. Imagine every steeple toppled from the skyline: a horizon without heaven. In the whirl of the day, there is nowhere to turn, no home for the heart, no mother in stone, no place set apart for God (and you). Imagine a spiritual dust bowl and no refuge. more
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