Verbum Domini
Father Michael Najim
149 results total, viewing 121 - 130
A few years ago, HBO released a miniseries on the life of President John Adams. A powerful scene in the final episode depicts him, in the last years of his life, walking with one of his sons. He has lost all the vigor of his youth (he can no longer even bend his knees). He is off the world’s stage. His power and influence has largely disappeared and he is left an old man at a farmhouse. One might anticipate bitterness, the pain of loss, or a pining for younger days. But the dying President has found something new. Admiring a simple flower in a field, he remarks that, though he has seen the French queen, “all the charms of her face and figure, added to all the glitter of her jewels, did not impress me as much.” The world has become wondrous to him. It is new and alight with grace. His monologue concludes with an exuberant quotation from Saint Paul, “Rejoice evermore!” more
In the 1987 romantic comedy, “Moonstruck,” there’s a wonderful scene that teaches us about the importance of identity. Rose has found out that her husband, Cosmo, has a mistress. Soon after, … more
My family has always been known for its hospitality. My parents always made it a point to welcome people into our home. Some of my favorite family memories are of summer cookouts and dinners at our … more
Anxiety is unbecoming of a Christian. It is a bit scandalous to see an adopted child of God worried and hurried, nail-biting and waiting for the other shoe to drop. The redeemed heart should be peaceful. The gift of the Spirit should set the mind at ease. It is unsettling to encounter an apprehensive and fretful believer. Perhaps they imagine wrath piled at the gates, an irritable God trailing us, ready to vent, saying to himself, “just give me a reason.” Perhaps they see themselves on the edge, ready to be dropped from his charity at the slightest fault. It is almost as if they don’t know who they are. They certainly don’t know their Father. more
A visit to the Vietnam War Memorial feels like dying. Walking its length, you gradually descend, the world disappearing behind an imposing wall of obsidian. more
Even prophets get down in the dumps. In our first reading this Sunday (Hab 1:2-3; 2:2-4) the prophet Habakkuk is disturbed by the evil of his day, but even more by God’s apparent inaction: “I cry out to you ‘Violence!’ but you do not intervene.” more
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
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