31 May

Prayer of Patient Trust

Letters from a Pastor to His People- May 31, 2020

Dear Parishioners,

A priest friend of mine recently shared with me Teilhard de Chardin's Prayer of Patient Trust. Let me share it with you here. It is fitting both for the celebration of Pentecost, which is this weekend, and for the COVID crisis.


Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something unknown, something new.

31 May

The Pentecost

In praying with artwork on this monumental feast day, I particularly like Jean II Restout's Pentecost (Louvre: Paris, France, 1732). First and foremost is because of the prominence of Mary. She stands in the center atop the altar of the upper room, which is here pictured as a Romanesque courtyard. Interestingly, the scene resembles Raphael's School of Athens. The Church, with Mary beside her son in the instructor's chair, is the new school.

31 May

Gospel, May 31, 2020

The first reading is from the Acts of the Apostles. On Pentecost (meaning fifty days after the feast of the Resurrection of Jesus by Christians), when the Spirit fills the disciples, it gives them new languages to preach about Jesus. This is the official birthdate of the Church. For this reason, today the entire Church celebrates the great Feast of Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit, and the pouring out of His graces and benefits on all the baptized. The Church will be universal in scope. People of every nation will be invited to join this new People of God.

31 May

St. Augustine

St. Augustine is a great doctor of our Church, and as a doctor of the Church, his words give timeless counsel, teaching and fatherly wisdom. Something of his recently struck me to be a clear and concise way of understanding how our sufferings can be united to Christ’s own suffering, if we offer them to Our Lord. The good doctor writes:

24 May

Pillow-y White Clouds

Letters from a Pastor to His People- May 24, 2020

Dear Parishioners,

Clouds are mentioned quite a bit in Sacred Scripture. In the Old Testament, God was manifested in a cloud. We read in the Book of Exodus, "And as soon as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the people of Israel, they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud" (Exodus 16:10). A column of cloud led the Israelites through the desert (cf. Exodus 13:21) and then the shekinah was like a cloud or light that was in the temple of Jerusalem, signifying God's dwelling.

24 May

Frankenstein

Mary Shelly's Frankenstein is actually a fitting Easter season novel. Victor Frankenstein is a doctor, scientist, philosopher and inventor. His creation has no name. It is just called 'the monster.' While the creature may look hideous, its brain is actually quite advanced. It appreciates beauty in nature and the love among family members. It reads significant texts like Paradise Lost, knows the Bible, and speaks eloquently. A far cry from the Hollywood ogre grunting for brains.

24 May

Gospel May 24, 2020

In the Ascension of the Lord, the First Reading is from the Acts of the Apostles. Saint Luke describes the last forty days of the Risen Christ on earth, teaching and preparing the apostles for His departure. Jesus instructed the Apostles to remain in Jerusalem to receive the Holy Spirit, the source of power. Then Jesus was lifted up in the sky and was covered by a cloud covered: The disciples received the angelic message that the ascended Jesus would come back again in glory “in the same way as you have seen Him going into Heaven.” Jesus’ Ascension marks the end of his journey on earth and signals the beginning of a new era.  It is through the Holy Spirit that God's Plan of Salvation will continue until the end of time. And the mission of the Church also begins under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

24 May

iBreviary

Oh, the cellphone, can’t live with it and can’t live without it. It seems to have everything I need, yet I don’t need to be always looking at it. What did we ever do before cellphones? Maybe we had more peace of mind? If the cellphone isn’t going away, then let’s sanctify it. Let’s use the cellphone to glorify God and sanctify our days instead of distracting us from our day. A great way to do this is to download the iBreviary App on your smartphone.

17 May

Why Are You Catholic?

Letters from a Pastor to His People- May 17, 2020

Dear Parishioners,

Why are you Catholic? Why do you believe in God? Why do you pray and why do you try to live a morally upright life? If you are joyful and peaceful on account of your faith, why?
Don't take offense at these questions. I'm not trying to make you feel guilty or put you on the defensive. And I'm certainly not trying to make you second-guess yourself.

17 May

The Power and the Glory

Graham Green's 1941 novel, The Power and the Glory, centers on an outlaw Catholic priest in 1930s rural Mexico. It received the Hawthornden Prize in British literature and was chosen by TIME magazine as one of the 100 best novels of the 20th Century. Today, men studying for the priesthood read the story and priests, like me, reread it throughout their lives.