Posts Tagged ‘death’

Is Anything Truly Lost?

How often do we lose things? For most of us, this very question jogs memories of searching for lost wallets, purses, or other objects that are near and dear. In my own house, a collective groan is heard when I too often ask: “Does anyone remember where I placed my glasses?” The reality of “losing […]

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Jesus Leads Us Into Eternal Peace

A ten-year-old boy named Kenny, an only child, was dying of an incurable disease.  Month after month his mother cared for him, read to him, and played with him, all the while trying to keep from him the terrible truth.  One day, however, he asked, “Mama, what’s it like to die?  Does it hurt?”  The […]

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Sister Death

This week the Church celebrates the Fifth Sunday of Lent. Until 1959, this Sunday was known as Passion Sunday because it marked the beginning of Passiontide, a period of intense preparation for the rites of Holy Week. This year we hear the Gospel reading of the raising of Lazarus which prefigures the resurrection of our […]

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Love’s Mission

In the Gospel of John (6:37-40), Jesus boldly reveals His identity: He is the One sent by the Father. Three chapters earlier, in John 3:16, we are told of God’s love for us: For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal […]

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Thanksgiving – the Other Half

By Nathan Miller Pumpkins, Turkeys, and Pilgrims all remind us of that 3-day long Feast after the fall harvest of 1621. However, most of us will probably forget half of the story.After 4 persons, including the captain and a newborn babe, died…

Opening Our Hearts To God

There was an Israeli soldier named Colonel David Marcus who was killed during Israel’s war of independence in 1948.  In his wallet was found a parable reflecting in a very beautiful way on the meaning of life and death.  The parable said: I am standing upon the seashore.  A ship at my side spreads her […]

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Love Conquers All

  Commenter Sywink sent me the above video.  My response:   Well that brought tears to my eyes.  My twins had a similar relationship.  When my non-autistic son was praised for helping my autistic son, he would always respond:  “He’s my brother.”  He got back in time from college to act as a chaperone for his brother’s […]

Dealing With A Child’s Death

(Disclaimer: I have never lost a child through disease, accident, or violence.  Therefore, I do not speak from experience, nor do I contend that what I am about to suggest is easy.) In Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Juliet’s parents are filled with anguish over the apparent death of their fair daughter.  Friar Lawrence, who knows […]

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A Requiem For Lucille And Bernie

An elderly couple, Lucille and Bernie, were my next-door neighbors for over twenty-five years. They were practicing Catholics who attended Mass each week until Lucille’s ailments severely limited her ability to walk and to take care of herself. Bernie…

Life, love, death, God, joy – making sense of it all!

How did we meet Christ? We ask this walking through the narrow passageways of the catacombs. Martyrs found their final rest here. Hundreds and thousands of Christians secretly celebrated Mass for fear of being discovered. Why do such things? Christ died hundreds of years before. It’s just a bit of bread and a sip of wine.

No, there’s something more. For the Christians, martyrs, and saints of the first century, Jesus Christ was Someone. He meant going beyond the pomp and circumstance of their daily Roman lives. He could offer them more than the cosmopolitan, capital of the world ever could, despite her delicacies, luxuries, and opportunity to satisfy every sensual pleasure. Christ offered his body and blood for food, the comfort of Christian charity, and the promise of the satisfaction of all desire in eternal life.

But have I experienced this? 


Have we experienced the depth of his love? We are here because Christ found us and loved us, in some way or another. I haven’t personally had mystical experiences or life-changing apparitions. Christ, however, is a huge part of my life – in prayer and in the sacraments. Kneeling before him in the Eucharist, how many times have I found the strength to keep going, the answer to a problem, or simply consolation in the presence of a friend! Or how often have I rushed to the confessional to encounter Christ’s mercy, to lay my burden on him, to experience his yoke which is light and easy! 


 

Love for Christ is the foundation of our lives as Christians. It runs even deeper for a priest. I’ve promised not only to preach pious thoughts but to try to give you a window into God’s grace at work in me as a Legionary priest. As priests and religious, Christ is truly the center of everything. He is love of our lives on a spiritual and human level. We have to give up in many human ways our family and friends, but Christ supplies our every need.

In our daily prayers, we ask him frequently to be the center, criteria, and model of our lives in all of its aspects. But he’s not only our ideal or what we are striving for, but he is our constant companion on the journey that makes it possible. He is our friend, brother, God, and Savior. We’re called to love him above all else, but it helps so much to remember as I’ve included on the front of this booklet, “Love consists in this: it is not we who loved God, but God loved us and sent his Son to save us from our sins” (I Jn 4:10). 

But my next question, how can I love him in return? How can I best repay his free and generous love? It’s hard because even our love is his gift. Okay, enough of this confusion – sorry, but trying to talk about God in human words is difficult and more difficult after three years of theological jargon. You’ll have to bear with me.

In our love for God, we have to make the effort and trust that he will help us. Part of this pilgrimage is meeting God in a special way. We’ve left our ordinary lives behind and come closer to him even if we can’t quite figure out how. He calls us closer to himself. Secondly we make sacrifices out of love for him. I know we’re staying in a four star hotel, and to be honest, things are pretty good. Yet, God will ask something from each of us, who knows what it is – getting along with another pilgrim, walking on sore feet, or simply paying attention in more than one Mass this week (I promise to keep the homilies short or at least I’ll try). 

And above all we are called to offer Christ our joy. Joy is one of his greatest gifts, and what has to characterize as Christians. I remember seeing how happy my fellow seminarians and priests were. At first I thought to myself, even if my smile was that big, it would be fake. But when we encounter Christ and experience his love, despite the greatest suffering, no smile is big enough to express our joy.

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