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Family Vacation: Homily for Memorial of Saints Joachim and Anne, July 26, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

Probably everyone has an image of the family vacation.  Those long trips in the car headed towards a destination of promised fun.  And as long as the focus is on the exciting vacation, things go well.  But if the vacation is slow in coming, then we grumble.  We fight.  “Are we there yet?” As the destination becomes cloudy and distant, we become discouraged.

And when this happens, bad things appear good.  We begin to think that maybe the destination is not so good.  We wonder if it even exists.  This is what happens to the Israelites.  The destination of the promised land is not clear.  It has become cloudy and distant.  Ask God to renew the promise and give life.

Weakness and Strength: Homily for Feast of Saint James, July 25, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

When it comes to our relationship with God, it can be assumed that suffering is no more.  That when we accept God, we will always and everywhere be free from suffering.  And yet, it does not take long to learn that sin and evil are still present in our world.  We discover that we are fragile and broken still.

It is only when we remember the victory of Jesus that things change.  Because we learn that it may be precisely because we are Christian that we experience pain and suffering.  But when we love Jesus, we realize that in these sufferings we are not alone.  That while we as humans are fragile and broken, God is not.

Regrets: Homily for Monday, July 24, 2017

To listen to this homily, click here.

Readings for Today

Sometimes we can think that once we say “yes” to God all of our troubles are gone.  We can believe that we will never suffer, never experience hardship, never be sad.  We can reduce our relationship with God to one as with a magician.  Magically, everything is always wonderful.

But such is not the promise of a relationship with God.  Because of sin in the world, evil is in the world too.  Bad things happen to people of faith.  There are still martyrs.  There are still those who experience injustice.  What God promises is that we are never alone.  And once we realize that, we are happy indeed.

Spiritual Gardening: Homily for Sunday, July 23, 2017

Readings for Today

To listen to this homily, click here.

One of the first jobs I ruled out was to become a farmer.  It was too hard.  There was so much hard work that needed to be done.  Likewise, one of the first hobbies I ruled out was that of gardening.  While my recollection might be a bit skewed, I felt like I was dragged out by my father to weed the garden constantly.

And yet, the image in today’s gospel is a good one.  Do we engage in spiritual gardening, spiritual weeding? It is not difficult to see the areas of our lives where we need to remove the weeds that keep us from encountering a deep relationship with God.  And whether it is through the sacraments, the bible, silent time with God, adoration, or some other way, we are called to be sure that we make the soil of our soul fertile.  All God needs is our openness to him.  God will take care of the rest.

Daily Prayer: July 22, 2017

St Mary Magdalene, you came with springing tears to the spring of mercy, Christ; from him your burning thirst was abundantly refreshed through him your sins were forgiven; by him your bitter sorrow was consoled.

My dearest lady, well you know by your own life how a sinful soul can be reconciled with its creator, what counsel a soul in misery needs, what medicine will restore the sick to health.

It is enough for us to understand, dear friend of God, to whom were many sins forgiven, because she loved much.

Most blessed lady, I who am the most evil and sinful of men do not recall your sins as a reproach, but call upon the boundless mercy by which they were blotted out.

U.S. Bishops Domestic Justice Chairman Exhorts Senate For More Reasonable Approach On Health Care

WASHINGTON—In light of uncertainty about how the Senate will proceed on health care in the coming days, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, called on the Senate to fix problems with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in a more narrow way, rather than repeal it without an adequate replacement.

“Before any legislation had been proposed, the bishops were clear that a repeal of key provisions of the Affordable Care Act ought not be undertaken without the concurrent passage of a replacement plan that ensures access to adequate health care for the millions of people who now rely upon it for their wellbeing,” wrote Dewane in the July 20 letter to the full Senate. “To end coverage for those who struggle every day without an adequate alternative in place would be devastating.”

The Fruits of Prayer: Preaching. Homily for Saturday, July 22, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

Contemplare aliis tradere.  To contemplate in order to give the fruits of contemplation to others. That is the connection between prayer and action.  For Dominicans, it is the connection between prayer and preaching.  Remember the Baltimore Catechism question about why God made us.  “To know, love and serve Him in this life and to live forever with Him in the next.” All prayer should lead to God.  God should be the focus of our prayer.  This week we have looked, with the help of the readings, at prayer as praising, resting and thanking.  Besides our own sanctification, what is all of this for?

On this feast of Saint Mary Magdalene, by looking at her example, we get an answer.  It is this service of others.  And if we examine the life of Saint Dominic, and the driving question he asked God (What is to become of sinners?) we understand he founded the Dominican Order for preaching and the salvation of souls.  While we know Saint Mary Magdalene as one who was transformed by God’s grace, we may not always think of Mary Magdalene as the first preacher.  She was the first to proclaim to the others the resurrection of Jesus.

Do you bring new life to those around you? Are you concerned with the salvation of others?  Do you take the time to contemplate the love of God so as to share the power of that love to others who may not know Jesus? The purpose of prayer is to get to know God more.  In prayer, we come to love God more. Authentic, true love must be shared.  So, share, what God in His mercy, has done for you.

The Power of Thanks: Homily for Friday, July 21, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

If you are like most, there are many things in your life for which to be thankful.  Some are obvious.  We are thankful for people we love and care about.  Parents are usually grateful for their children, and vice-versa.  We might be thankful for a job, or a nice place to live.  But do we express this thanks to God?  Or do we take all of the people and things in our life for granted? It can be easy to do so.  The very fact we love someone can easily be forgotten.  We can assume they know how we feel.  Expressing to God and others our thanks is important.

But have you ever thought about giving thanks for those things that seem to be bad in our life?  For example, maybe there is that co-worker in your life that really gets on your nerves. Have you ever thought about giving thanks to God for that person? Maybe they are helping you to learn patience.  Or maybe what seems like a hardship is really a path to detachment.  By experiencing something negative, but searching for God in that experience, we can grow in faith.  So whether it is good or bad, be sure to give thanks to God today.

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