Traditions and Great Faith

Next Sunday is the celebration of the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time. You can read a complete commentary on the Gospel here.

At that time, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a Canaanite woman of that district came and called out, “Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is tormented by a demon.” But Jesus did not say a word in answer to her. Jesus’ disciples came and asked him, “Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us.” He said in reply, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But the woman came and did Jesus homage, saying, “Lord, help me.”  He said in reply, “It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.”  She said, “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps  hat fall from the table of their masters.” Then Jesus said to her in reply, “O woman, great is your faith!  Let it be done for you as you wish.” And the woman’s daughter was healed from that hour. (Matthew 15:21-28) Continue reading

Making time to listen

Several years ago, I was fortunate to have the time and opportunity to go to Israel on pilgrimage. I remember when I first caught sight of the Sea of Galilee…. I thought it would be bigger. Trust me it is big, but not “Lake Michigan” big. The Sea of Galilee is 8 miles across at it widest and 13 miles in length. So it’s big… I just thought it would be bigger. Continue reading

Being too connected

I was listening to a podcast “No Stupid Questions” brought to the net, in part, by the people who wrote “Freakonomics” and “Super Freakonomics” (Stephen Dubnar and Steven Levitt). It is part of the Freakonomics Radio podcast group. I was catching up on a episode: “Why Is It So Hard to Be Alone with Our Thoughts.”  The podcast does not drown in facts and figures but it provides enough links to consider the topic more deeply – e.g there was a reference to a study by Time Wilson on the topic of reverie. You can read a reported version of the study at Atlantic Magazine: People Prefer Electric Shocks to Being Alone With Their Thoughts. Interesting in what it says about being too connected and what happens when the mobile connection is not available.

Continue reading

Clare of Assisi – audaciously following Christ

August 11th is the Feast of St. Clare of Assisi – in many ways considered a “second founder” of the Franciscan orders of men and women because of the influence her life, example, and spirituality have upon the religious orders of men and women that carry the name “Franciscan.” In honor of these celebrations, let us look at The Legend of St. Clare (1255) in which we read of Clare’s decision to follow Francis’ way of life.

“The Solemnity of the Day of Palms was at hand when the young girl went with a fervent heart to the man of God, asking [him] about her conversion and how it should be carried out.  The father Francis told her that on the day of the feast, she should go, dressed and adorned, together with the crowd of people, to [receive] a palm, and, on the following night, leaving the camp she should turn her worldly joy into mourning the Lord’s passion. Continue reading

Picking up the Cross

“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” (Mt 16:24) That is a key verse in today’s gospel. Part of the American idiom is having a cross to bear but I thing it most often points to the presence of a difficult responsibility or burden that someone must handle on their own or just tolerate as best as one can. But has the expression lost its sense of pointing to or working for the glory of God. Continue reading


Back in April I posted a slideshow of an early morning walk in downtown Tampa.

The construction is ongoing. Lots of progress being made. This morning I slept in a bit and reached Tampa’s Riverwalk about an hour later than my “normal.” It was a still morning. This is the campus of the University of Tampa. The towers in the background are part of the original Plant Hotel now the Henry B. Plant Museum.

Some days it pays to sleep in.

Freedom, Choice and Face Coverings

Back in May I wrote an article that essentially said, politics is politics, economics is economics, and biology is biology…and biology does not care about anything but biology. One only has to review the IHME website for the whole country (or your state) to see the relentless spread of the coronavirus. Biology is biology. Continue reading

In the boat, on the water

Next Sunday is the celebration of the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time. You can read a complete commentary on the Gospel here.

22 Then he made the disciples get into the boat and precede him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When it was evening he was there alone. 24 Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore, was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it. Continue reading

Nine Words and a Question Mark

It is a probing, provocative, and pointed question. Yet, it is a deceivingly simple nine words and a question mark. St. Paul in his letter to the Romans, our second reading, asks: What will separate us from the love of Christ? (Rom 8:35).

St. Paul answers: “Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword? (Romans 8:35) No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us. (Rom 8:37). How can we not be swept up in St. Paul’s fervor, his energy, his hope, his faith, and his conviction. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Continue reading

Who knew…

If Malcolm Gladwell produces a new book, I am going to read it. While the name may not be familiar to you, many of his books have been best sellers:

He simply has an different viewpoint and perspective on things – and invites you to shares his own musings. Recently he published an article for Relevant Magazine: “Malcolm Gladwell: How I Rediscovered Faith.”  Take a moment and read – it will likely be its own reward.