About Friar Musings

Franciscan friar and Catholic priest at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in downtown Tampa, FL.

Neonatal Comfort Care

One of the many times and places that parish priests are called upon includes the hospital. For the friars at Sacred Heart here in Tampa that includes Tampa General Hospital (TGH) a regional trauma center with multiple ICU specialties.Someone asked me how many times I have been called up to celebrate the Sacrament of the Sick (Annointing) or “Last Rites.” My answer was “too many;” I long ago lost count. Continue reading

Vigilance

This coming Sunday marks our journey in Ordinary Time, the 19th Sunday in Year C. You can read a complete commentary on the Sunday Gospel here.

Our gospel follows after the Parable of the Rich Fool (18th Sunday in Ordinary Time; Luke 12:13-21). Unfortunately, the passage in between (vv.22-34) is not used for a Sunday gospel – yet it carries an important context for our passage and serves as a bridge between the lesson of the rich fool and our text which seems to speak of the second coming of the Son of Man, being vigilant, and the judgment that awaits. Continue reading

When we fall asleep…

I have to admit that I still had last week’s gospel on my mind as I prepared for this week’s homily. Last week, I mused about the apostles’ request for Jesus to teach them to pray, his response of the Lord’s Prayer, and then the parable about knocking, asking, requesting. Last week, I wondered about our attitude as we pray. Of course, there are many moods and attitudes that accompany us to moments of prayer, but the one that concerned me was the disposition in which we expected God to be our valet, our concierge, and prayer was simply the currency of exchange. Continue reading

Stewardship: Time

“Summer is Here!” Come the end of May, I always think to myself, “OK…I am on the glide path to summer relaxation. There won’t be a lot going on in the parish. This will be awesome.” Every May I suffer from the same delusion. The truth is that there is a lot that goes on in the parish, especially as it pertains to planning for the coming “new year,” which begins in September. The summer is also when there is time to begin to flesh out ideas, programs, and initiatives for the fall. Continue reading

What will you inherit?

This coming Sunday marks our journey in Ordinary Time, the 18th Sunday in Year C. You can read a complete commentary on the Sunday Gospel here.

13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me.” 14 He replied to him, “Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?” 15 Then he said to the crowd, “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.” 16 Then he told them a parable. “There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest.  17 He asked himself, ‘What shall I do, for I do not have space to store my harvest?’ 18 And he said, ‘This is what I shall do: I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones. There I shall store all my grain and other goods 19 and I shall say to myself, “Now as for you, you have so many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink, be merry!” 20 But God said to him, ‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’ 21 Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich in what matters to God.”  (Luke 12:13-21) Continue reading

St. Mary: another look

Today is the feast of St. Martha, a woman who listened to what Jesus said to her and corrected herself. We know St. Martha as the distracted host who complained to Jesus that no one was helping her. We met Martha just recently when she and Mary, Lazarus’ sisters, had Jesus over to dinner. Mary sat at the feet of the Lord listening to him speak, while Martha did all the work. She couldn’t help but be annoyed, and she couldn’t stop herself from complaining about it. “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do the serving?” she asks. “Tell her to help me.” Jesus’ reply is famous: “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. … Mary has chosen the better part.” Continue reading

Unlearning and prayer

There are some who are encouraged by the words of today’s Gospels. All we have to do is ask and it will be given; knock and doors open. Be persistent, keep knocking. And some folks are able to testify to miraculous cures, a marriage now strengthened, a financial situation turned around, a job offer, and more. In some corners of American Christianity this is the core Gospel, a gospel of prosperity. The good things in life are a reward for their faith, their persistence, their prayers to their personal Lord and Savior. Pray that a child is accepted into a premier university and so it happens. Pray for a parking spot and one will be provided. Sometimes their testimonies about the power of prayer makes me wonder if God is expected to act in the role of valet or concierge in which prayers are the currency by which this divine transaction operates. Continue reading

Forgiving: Why aren’t I any good at it?

Think about each time we pray the Our Father. We renew our baptismal covenant vows to God and this Christian life: “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” In the Greek, the language used is a tense used for orders or commands. In other words, we are “ordering” God to forgive us only to the degree we forgive others. Yikes! When I think about it, I am soooo… tempted to pray, “Forgive me my trespasses a lot more than I seem to be able to forgive others” – and I will use the subjective mood indicating a plea or request. Otherwise, consider what might ensue if God in his mercy chose to forgive me only as fully as I have forgiven others. Continue reading

Daily Bread

This coming Sunday marks our journey in Ordinary Time, the 17th Sunday in Year C. You can read a complete commentary on the Sunday Gospel here.

1 He was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say:  Father, hallowed be your name,  your kingdom come. 3 Give us each day our daily bread  4 and forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us, and do not subject us to the final test.” Continue reading