Greatness

These days, there are four words that are a sure way to get a reaction: “make America great again.” What kind of reaction? The “whys” “whats” and “wherefores” of the reaction, well, that is for another time and place. Like many slogans it is meant to point to some narrative beyond itself, to a larger story, to provide meaning, purpose, and destiny to this life.

It seems to me that at the heart of it all is the word “great.” We use it a lot. “Have a great day.” “That’s great news!” “She a great person.” There are lots of other uses, but what makes a person great? Many times, we borrow the personal attribute and assign it to an individual because of their actions and achievements. Some call Tom Brady of the New England Patriots football team the GOAT – greatest of all time. While his on-field performance would certainly qualify him for the moniker, GOAT, in the realm and history of football quarterbacks, do those accomplishments make him great? Michael Phelps is a candidate for the GOAT of swimming. But again, the same question lingers. Continue reading

Something to consider…

The Franciscan friars of Holy Name Province have served at Sacred Heart in Tampa since 2005. The friars assumed pastoral leadership from the Jesuits of the Southern Province who had well served the people since 1882. The Jesuits and their tradition continue for the citizenry of Tampa through their ministry at Jesuit High School. The Jesuits have left their mark in downtown by the amazing edifice that is our church. Their legacy also is appropriately displayed in their motto, Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam, “to the greater glory of God,” which adorns the arch over the transept/sanctuary. Continue reading

Heart of the Matter

Sacred Heart of Jesus – not heart of the Father or heart of the Holy Spirit – the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

There is nothing more human than the heart.  In western thought, we speak the heart as the seat and core of our humanity. We can talk about “right-brained” and “left-brained” people – with “left-brained” people being logical, analytical and objective. A person who is “right-brained” is said to be more intuitive, thoughtful, and subjective. But, we are people of folk wisdom. We hold up the heart as the symbol of love, desire – “my heart longs for you” – and more. We see the heart as the seat of intuition, creativity, wisdom, gratitude, faith and the like. If you think about it, the finest values and qualities of human experience are more generally associated with the heart rather than the mind. Continue reading

Hearts and Treasures

good-shepherd- iconMany years ago I received a letter. It was a letter that I wished, snow or rain or heat or gloom of night could have stayed that courier from the swift completion of his appointed rounds. It was a heart-breaking letter from my father, letting me know he had inoperable cancer. “Heart-breaking” is one of the expressions we use invoking the heart. We use expressions such as, “I know that by heart,” we do things “to our hearts content,” and we “cross our hearts” to verify we are telling the truth. Some folks “wear their hearts on their sleeves,” at times are burdened with “a heavy heart,” or blessed with a “heart filled with joy.” Sometimes our “hearts are broken.” It is the poetic expressions that are closer to the heart of the Bible. Continue reading

Come Away….

Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” (Mark 6:31)

We hurry too much, pure and simple. Our days are filled with things to do, people to meet, calls to make, emails to return, kids to drop off/pick up.  Doesn’t it feel like sometimes we just live our lives behind schedule? So much unfinished “stuff.”  We are behind, getting “behinder” and are always hurrying.  What’s wrong with hurrying?

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