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

A funeral homily for a tragedy A homily for a fictitious young lady - who exists in many people's lives

This homily requires a quick explanation. I never delivered this homily in a church, and I sincerely pray I will never have to preach one like it. This was an assignment for my homiletics class to preach a funeral homily for a seventeen year old girl who was a victim in a campus shooting. I realize that events like this actually happen in our world. Continue readingA funeral homily for a tragedy A homily for a fictitious young lady – who exists in many people’s lives

The God of the Unexpected A homily for baptism of an infant

The Baptism of Christ by the Circle of Francesco Albani
The Baptism of Christ by the Circle of Francesco Albani

This homily was delivered in class at Notre Dame Seminary on Friday, September 4, 2015. This one is shorter than most because we were asked to prepare a 3 minute homily to use for a baptism liturgy. Aubree is actually the daughter of a friend I used since I wanted to have a name to include in the homily. Continue readingThe God of the Unexpected A homily for baptism of an infant

True love of God and neighbor in a world on life support “That we may not be wrapped in the darkness of error, but always be seen to stand in the bright light of truth.” (Collect, 13th Sunday of Ordinary Time)

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”