A work in progress

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family. We’re not celebrating “perfect family Sunday.” Offered as a point of humor, let us remember Jesus was without sin and Mary, by God’s grace was kept free from sin – not such claim was made for Joseph. He wasn’t perfect, but he was holy. And so celebrate and consider holiness this Sunday as we are all called to remember that it was into a family that God sent his Son. A family that has its ups and downs, joys and sorrows, agreements and disputes, and all the things that are tossed into the cauldron called family life. A family like yours in many ways. A family that was holy, not perfect. My point being, that holiness lives and grows apart from perfection and perhaps even thrives best among the flawed and messy. And in family life, that means something far different than a Norman Rockwell painting. Continue reading

A Covenant of the People

Baptism-JesusTwo Sundays ago, on the Feast of the Holy Family,  we listened to some of the best advise about how to become a holy family. St. Paul wrote in the Letter to the Colossians: “Put on,… heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another…And over all these put on love” (Col 3:12-13).  It raises the question to all of us, in whatever form our families take, are we practicing those virtues in order to become a holy family?  Would someone on the outside peer into our families and see evidence of those virtues? Continue reading

Admonition Twenty-Three

“Humility is the foundation of all the other virtues hence, in the soul in which this virtue does not exist there cannot be any other virtue except in mere appearance” (St. Augustine, Letter 18). At the root of Francis of Assisi’s on-going conversion was the movement towards a fuller realization of humility in his own life: from son of a privileged, wealthy merchant to a lesser brother following the footsteps of Christ.  From one well-dressed and flamboyant as a young man to one who asked to be laid naked upon the ground at the time of his death. From one hiding from God, to one laid bare, knowing that what he was before God he was that and nothing more.  Along the way he discovered and lived all the other virtues. Continue reading