Ash Wednesday

Hide yourself today under the banner of ash that will cover your foolish head.  Look into your soul to see if you have made space for your Maker.  Have you not rather focused on your flesh and all that is passing away?  Have you not nearly allowed the eternal spark He has place within you to be extinguished?  Stand today to receive the mark of penance and multiply your unseen acts of prayer and fasting.  Fan into flame the smoldering wick of your heart with acts of repentance and sorrow over a life spent so selfishly and pridefully.  Will not God respond to your humility and contrition with an abundance of mercy and love? read more

Tuesday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time

Contemplative prayer may seem like a lofty spirituality accessible only to an enlightened minority, but it is the only way we can truly respond to St. James’ exhortation to joy in the midst of trials.  Contemplative prayer is no more complicated than breathing or gazing upon someone we love.  Contemplative prayer is difficult only when we are unacquainted with obscurity and expect or prefer something obvious.

The Word of God, though extremely nourishing for our faith, still obliges us at some level to plunge into obscurity.  The only obvious thing that can directly and immediately develop our faith is the suffering due to trials.  We don’t need to go out looking for trials, they are already present in our daily lives:  I can experience my life, my habits, my sins as a burden;  I can also experience other people as a burden: responsibility, injustice, rudeness. read more

Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time

Leprosy was a term used for a variety of skin conditions that were more or less serious but all of which were disturbing. Today, the leprosy known as Hansen’s disease is curable by modern medicine so we don’t see it much in the West. In ancient times this disease was a death sentence where people were cast out of society and progressively took on the appearance of corpses as their bodies slowly decomposed. The harshest part of this disease was the fact that it caused the person who contacts it to also become ritually unclean or impure. Not only were they sick, but they were cut off from their people and the worship of God. read more

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