Courage

From the Sunday just before Ash Wednesday, Jesus said: “A good person out of the store of goodness in his heart produces good, but an evil person out of a store of evil produces evil; for from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45). What is in your storehouse ready to pull out when needed?  Lots of things. Moral discernment begins with family of origin experience, what we take in with our eyes, our ears and in all manner of choices we have made.  And in the experience of the consequences of those choices. They form memories, which become our thoughts, which are played out in word and action, forming habits, developing character, all leading to the person we are becoming. Continue reading

Character Matters

Yesterday in Philadelphia, former President Barak Obama gave a speech in support of his former Vice-President, Joe Biden. I have no doubt that potential GOP voters dismissed the speech without listening to it or reading it. I have little doubt that potential Democratic voters accepted it in glowing terms, even if they also did not listen to it or read it. And I have no doubt that some now reading this post will think, “I knew it, he is a ______” (please fill in the blank as you see fit; for the record I am unaffiliated and quite independent). But, one might wonder why I posted this. The reason is simple and has come out in many homilies over the years. “The thoughts we have become the words we speak. The word we speak shape the actions we take. The actions we take form the habits we develop. The habits we develop reveal the character we possess. The character we possess shapes our destiny.” We Christians are asked to take all that and ask, “Do the thoughts, words, actions, habits and character we display reflect the image of God, the likeness of Christ to others?”

Continue reading

The Character of God

This week’s we’re looking at the character of God as revealed to Moses in Exodus chapter 34. We see in this passage that though God is first and foremost a loving and merciful God, he will not ignore injustice or evil.  God is willing to put up with a lot of human failures. But our choices matter, and God will maintain a balance between mercy and justice, which at times means handing us over to the consequences of our decisions. As followers of Jesus, we may be wondering what God is going to do in the world in response to this time of deep unrest and upheaval. But the better question may be to ask ourselves, what are we going to do to carry out God’s will in the world? Continue reading