29 Sep

Baseball

 

 

The great American pastime, baseball. I know it's hard to enjoy watching the game with the Cubs being in a slump and all, but I want to go beyond the score keeping and playoff predicting.

 

29 Sep

The Litany of Humility

In the crypt of Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome are the tombs of many popes, including the first and greatest pope himself.  There is one tomb, however, that is unique.  Just to the right of St. Peter is a marble sarcophagus with the name etched in: Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val.  Yes, cardinals are important, but why this cardinal, among all the thousands in the history of the Church, in this preeminent spot?  Because Cardinal Merry del Val possessed the preeminent virtue: humility.

Merry del Val was born of Spanish nobility and became a priest, seeking to serve and not be served.  For his reception after being named a bishop he hosted 200 poor and homeless people of Rome. In fact, he shunned parties and banquets throughout his career, instead going to the neighborhood of Trastevere to serve the poor and minister to the young people.  He was made Secretary of State at the incredibly young age of 38 by Pope Saint Pius X, who desired him for his greatest skill: humility.

With the virtue of humility, we understand that we do not have all the answers or the solutions to all life's challenges.  We let God do the work.  If we possess humility, we see ourselves as the last, which means, paradoxically, we will be the first. So, if you want to enjoy life to the fullest, another way of saying you are "the first," then pray for humility.  You could even recite the Litany of Humility, which was composed by, you guessed it, Merry Del Val.

29 Sep

Gospel September 29, 2019

 

In the First Reading from the Book of the Prophet Amos, the Prophet denounces the rich who exploit and take advantage of the poor. The merchants considered the Sabbath an intrusion into their questionable business transactions. The insensitivity of the rich toward the poor will be punished by exile. Amos challenged the people of Northern Kingdom to change their ways as God’s judgement was imminent. 

22 Sep

When we pray...

Father James and Kevin Matthews, Award Recipient of the John McDonough Humanitarian Award 

wirh Dcn Hank Lyon & Sem Kevin Gregus at the 2nd Annual St Juliana Emerald City Gala

Letters from a Pastor to His People- September 22, 2019

Dear Parishioners,

Saint Paul says this to Timothy: "It is my wish, then, that in every place the men should pray, lifting up holy hands, without anger or argument" (1 Timothy 2:8).  Of all the things Paul could have expressed, prayer is what he mentions.  Paul wants people to pray.  Prayer is so important, so fundamental; arguably more fundamental than the Sacraments. 

22 Sep

Accept and Follow Christ

Here is a fictional story that illustrates the redemption:

A man was hiking and fell into a crevasse.  Deep in the pit, he noticed there were other trails and caverns that appeared to lead further into the earth.  Fearing to leave the light he could see above him, he remained and yelled out for help.  A banker walked by the crevasse and threw down money.  That did not help.  A doctor likewise passed by and dropped in some medicine, which did not help either.  Finally a man jumped down into the pit.  Seeing the helper was empty-handed, the hiker said to him, "Why did you do that? Now we're both stuck." The man replied, "We're not stuck. I know the way."

Nothing outside of Christ is capable of saving us.  Jesus ‘jumped into the pit’ with us.  That is, he became man, entered the human condition, and remains with us in the Eucharist.  Not only does this save us, it gives us comfort.

Let us continue the story:

The helper does not lift the man straight up out of the hole, but rather leads him deep into the earth down the trails.  There are times the fallen hiker doubts the path and suggests another route.  The helper patiently acquiesces to the hiker.  When they hit a dead end, the hiker hands control back to the helper, who reroutes them and ultimately leads them to the summit.  

It is to our advantage to accept and follow Christ. “Belief is one of the indispensable preliminary conditions of the realization of its object,” writes William James, the founder of modern psychology.  “Believe, and you shall be right, for you shall save yourself; doubt, and you shall again be right, for you shall perish.”

22 Sep

Gospel, September 22, 2019

The First Reading is from the Book of the Prophet Amos. This prophet from the Southern Kingdom of Judah is called by God to preach to the Israelites living in the Northern Kingdom. Amos, a deeply religious man, zealous for God’s glory, is often called the prophet of social justice. He proclaims that true religion involves not only worship of God on the Sabbath, but also caring for the poor during the rest of the week. That is why Amos condemns dissolute city life, social injustice and insincerity of religious worship. He exposes those who exploit the poor and upbraids judges for their venality.

22 Sep

Garden for God

Throughout the day, here at Mundelein, it is not uncommon to see some of the brothers out walking the campus grounds. We are blessed to be surrounded by a forest and have a beautiful lake right at the heart of the campus.

Over the summer, the grounds crew finished a landscaping project that was inspired by one of our benefactors. One of the little quads had already a Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, complete with an altar and outdoor seating. It had already a walk-around Stations of the Cross and a statue of St. Pius X, but now the whole area was transformed by additional plants, trees (some were added to the grotto to provide shade for the benches), flowers and a new walk way connecting each monument.

15 Sep

Compunction

Father James opening prayer at Theology on Tap at Mo' Dailey's

Letters from a Pastor to His People- September 15, 2019

Dear Parishioners,

Compunction is a virtue we don't hear about too much anymore.  The only time it is mentioned in the Liturgy (to my knowledge) is on Ash Wednesday.  The priest says this prayer over the people at the end of the Mass:

Pour out a spirit of compunction, O God,

on those who bow before your majesty,

and by your mercy may they merit the rewards you promise

to those who do penance.

15 Sep

The Spirit of Christ Shall Rule!

When Theodore Roosevelt explored the Amazon River in 1913, he had as one of his crewmates Fr. John Zahm, a Catholic priest.  TR was actually good friends with Zahm, who was also a scientist and explorer himself.  Fr. Zahm was a priest from Notre Dame University.

15 Sep

Gospel, September 15, 2019

In the First Reading from the Book of Exodus, the molten calf has been built and the rebellious people have offered sacrifice to their god. The Israelites wanted to worship something they could see, touch and feel, not God Himself who gave them life, freedom and direction. This incident is a metaphor for Israel’s relationship with God. They were a people who constantly disobeyed and rebelled against God. But now, because of Israel’s idolatry, the Lord no longer identifies them as “my people”; they now belong to Moses. Moses’ plea to the Lord is both audacious and unselfish. The Lord listened to such an impassioned speech and turned away from the threatened punishment. In spite of Israel’s infidelity, the people remain the Lord’s own.