Being curious

Several years ago, while serving as pastor of a large, active downtown parish I was on the sidewalk in front of church, after Mass, when I was approached by someone. They wanted to ask a question – one of those questions that is more accusation than question, a civil conversation disguising an angry person. They wanted to know why the priest who had celebrated the Mass “just raised the Sacred Body of Jesus with just one hand… It was so disrespectful.” Continue reading

German Reform: too late

There is an old expression: the enemy of my enemy is my friend. That did not apply in the German Reformation. The enemy (Rome) was Luther’s best friend. Rome was their own worst enemy.

When Leo X announced the renewal of indulgences in order to finance St. Peter’s Basilica, there were a plethora of voices from Emperor Maxillian to his own Roman Curia who warned the pope that the idea was feeding accelerant into a smoldering fire of revolution among the German social classes. His own Papal Nuncio to Germany reported to Pope Leo that the Germans were only waiting for “some fool” to open his mouth against Rome. Some fool did: John Tetzel attempted to peddle indulgences in Saxony where the Elector of Saxony had already forbidden their sale. In the eyes of the German princes, nobles, knights and Burghers, Rome had infringed upon Saxony’s territorial rights. And Rosa Parks would not give up her seat on the bus. This infringement of rights was not the initiating act, it was the hinge, the tipping point. Continue reading

Blessing and Curse

There are times I think I could be very content in perusing the internet and sharing content that I think is faith-giving or interesting or whimsical or just worth musing about. Given my life as a Franciscan friar and Catholic priest I am called to (and content with) another life that tends to occupy the day and early evening. That leaves the wee hours before dawn for catching up on personal emails, letters, and perusing the internet.

While I am known to be fascinated by details – especially in the area of etymology – I am more fascinated by the currents of history (hence my series on the Reformations) and things which speak to a meta narrative about meaning. This morning I finally had the chance – well, to be honest, I finally took the time…there is this whole Stanley Cup thing…. – anyway, I finally took the time to watch another video from the good people at The Bible Project. They are such excellent story tellers. In a little under 6 minutes they were able to tell the whole of Salvation History through the lenses of God’s blessings and the curse. Enjoy.

Explore a biblical pattern that offers hope. When God’s abundance seems to be overcome by pain and death, Jesus defeats the curse and unleashes the blessing of God’s life on all creation – The Bible Project team

If you are so moved, please consider supporting this amazing ministry.

The Bleacher Brothers

bleacher-brothersThis summer two of my Franciscan brothers are visiting the great cathedrals of baseball, the major league stadiums, in a modern day version of the friars moving among the people. They will be attending games in their habits and meeting the world where the world meets. Along the way they are giving talks, celebrating Mass and witnessing to an evangelical life. Learn more and find out if they are coming to a city near you! And explore the connection between Baseball and Catholicism.