Show us the Father Homily for the Feast of Saints Philip and James

I preached this homily at Notre Dame Seminary on May 3, 2016.

“Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied” (Jn 14:8).
A few chapters earlier, some Greeks said to Philip, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus” (Jn 12:21). Continue readingShow us the Father Homily for the Feast of Saints Philip and James

I should just start calling it the “Tuesday Five” Another Friday Five on Tuesday: Books and Literature Edition

What was your favorite book during childhood?

51nwGN9V0zLWell, obviously that’s going to depend on when in childhood we are talking, but I think, once I graduated to real books, it would have to be my complete Sherlock Holmes collection.  It was a book I bought at Sam’s Club (I think it’s still sitting on one of the shelves at my mother’s house) that was all three collections of canonical Holmes short stories as well as The Hound of the Baskervilles. There was a little series of books when I was growing up called “Moby Books.” They were little abridged versions of the great literary works of the western world with an illustration on each page and a page of text. It was actually The Hound of the Baskervilles from that series that first got me hooked on Holmes. Continue readingI should just start calling it the “Tuesday Five” Another Friday Five on Tuesday: Books and Literature Edition

The sacramentality of the USPS A Lament on the demise of old fashioned mail

snail-mail-email-explainedCatholics are all about sacraments. Perhaps this is a surprise to you, but it’s true. Theologically, we believe that the sacraments are the ordinary way that God dispenses his grace to mankind. With that in mind, take a moment to reflect on the fact that every sacrament we celebrate as Catholics has a material component. Water is used in baptism, oil in confirmation and anointing of the sick, bread and wine in communion; the physical world expresses things – it’s just part of human nature that we see symbols in the world around us. Also, each of the material elements we use in these sacraments points to the sacramental reality being created. Take baptism, for example. We use water to clean ourselves; in baptism, we are washed of our sins. On top of that, water is a (I’m told rather messy) part of childbirth; in the sacrament, we are reborn (of water and spirit) as adopted children of God. It’s an important part of sacramentality that the normal material usage of something is raised so that the normal usage can point to the reality being conveyed. Continue readingThe sacramentality of the USPS A Lament on the demise of old fashioned mail

Doomed to fail and I'm happy about that

IMG_6588As a rule, when someone picks a career path, they have a reasonable expectation – or at least a hope of success. On top of that, the systems to train and prepare people for some of the more difficult careers are designed in such a way that those who would be unable to successfully practice those professions are either weeded out during the preparation or denied entry in the first place. Continue readingDoomed to fail and I’m happy about that

George Orwell and Jesus Christ

There are four lights! (Bonus points if you figured out from the post's featured image why I was using that and this picture. Answer is at the bottom.)
There are four lights! (Bonus points if you figured out from the post’s featured image why I was using that and this picture)

I’m a big fan of dystopian literature. One of the first dystopias I ever read was 1984 by George Orwell. I wish it were the first Orwell book I had read because I found Animal Farm painfully boring – but I digress. I should probably warn you, here, that there’s a bit of a spoiler in this post, so, if you don’t want to read a spoiler, then you probably don’t want to read this particular entry. Go ahead and stop right here and wait for the next post. I’m on a roll lately, so you won’t be waiting too long. Continue reading “George Orwell and Jesus Christ”