Tag: suffering

Patience and Suffering: Homily for Friday, January 27, 2017

Patience. Suffering. These two words can both be words that remind us it is difficult to live life. That is because we all know that life is hard. Buddhism sees that as one of the Four Noble Truths. It is the rare person that does not suffer. Almost everyone suffers. Almost everyone experiences pain and difficulty. The life of faith means understanding that life is hard.

And yet people do not recognize this. We can feel singled out for a difficult life. It seems sometimes that we are the only ones who suffer. We can become jealous, or envious of what we think others have. Things seem to be easy for others. It can feel difficult for us. We need patience in our suffering.

At other times we can feel threatened by the suffering of others. We can think that they suffer because they are lazy. They suffer because they do not want to work. They suffer because they have defects in their character. In fact, it has become quite fashionable to blame the poor for being poor. It has become fashionable to blame addicts for being addicts. It can become fashionable to believe that people endure hardships and suffering because they want to endure hardships. Today’s first reading reminds us that being a follower of Jesus means patience in suffering, and accompanying those who suffer.

Listen to the entire homily be clicking the links above.

Homily for Wednesday, April 22, 2015

It may not seem this way, but we live in an age of martyrs. People all over the world, but especially in the Middle East and in Africa are being killed simply because they are Christians. Speaking to the Shalom Community who sponsored a relay to raise awareness of the terrible persecution of Christians, the pope said this:

“Your itinerary on the streets is over, but what must continue on the part of all is the spiritual journey of prayer, intense prayer; the concrete participation and tangible help in the defense and protection of our brothers and sisters, who are persecuted, exiled, killed, beheaded, for the only reason of being a Christian.”

Homily for Good Friday, April 3, 2015

Readings for Today

One challenge in life, it seems to me, is to be a person of balance. Centuries ago, Aristotle discussed the ideal location for virtue was in between two extremes. There can be a value to being generous. But real generosity lies between being foolhardy with the gifts we have been given on the one hand, and resisting the type of stinginess that never gives away anything.

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Homily for Monday, November 24, 2014

Readings for Today

Today we celebrate the large number of Vietnamese martyrs who suffered some of the most brutal deaths in the history of the church. There were literally thousands of martyrs in Vietnam. The 19th century in Vietnam was a particularly difficult time for those who were Catholic. While we do not know the names of all of the Vietnamese martyrs, we do know a few. And  As a Dominican, I would be remiss if I did not mention the 11 Dominicans whose martyrdom we  celebrate today.

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Homily for Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Readings for Today

I do not know if you have noticed on Facebook, but there is an increasing number of people who are being challenged to be grateful. I have seen three day challenges, seven day challenges and even thirty day challenges. The idea is that for three, seven or thirty consecutive days a person who accepts the challenge is supposed to publicly post on Facebook what they are grateful for, so that these things are not taken for granted.

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Homily for Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Readings for Today

Christianity is not for wimps. When I taught high school students I often introduced the year with this phrase. What I was trying to impress upon the students was that while God loved them, it was not to mean that nothing is required of us. Too often I found that while they believed in God, they never had thought much about what this belief in God may mean. What I mean to say is, I was not sure how they were really living differently as those who believe in God, from those who had no faith at all. The point was that to live as a Christian was hard.

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Homily for September 15, 2014

Readings for Today

Perhaps the worse type of suffering is that suffering that comes in watching someone else suffer, and knowing there is nothing that can be done about it.  Consider the absolute pain of the parents of James Foley, who was savagely beheaded by ISIS.  Or the profound suffering of parents who have a child with a terminal illness.  Or the often disregarded suffering of parents whose children commit some horrible crime, and are executed for it.

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Homily for Sunday, September 14, 2014

Readings for Today

The Roman practice of crucifixion was particularly brutal. It was designed not only to execute a criminal or political dissident, it was also designed to be as painful for as long as possible.It was also designed to be public. It was important that those persons being crucified be witnessed by his many people as possible. It was to be a significant deterrent, crime,to disobedience slaves, and in particular to political dissidents.

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Homily for Friday, June 27, 2014 (Sacred Heart)

Readings for Today

Pope Pius XII, in discussing devotion to the Sacred Heart, has this to say: “For these reasons, the Heart of the Incarnate Word is deservedly and rightly considered the chief sign and symbol of that threefold love with which the divine Redeemer unceasingly loves His eternal Father and all” human beings. (HAURIETIS AQUAS, ON DEVOTION TO THE SACRED HEART (1956)

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Homily for Monday, May 26, 2014 (Memorial Day)

Readings for Today

Today we celebrate St. Philip Neri, a 16th century saint from Florence.  Writes Catholic online about St. Philip Neri, “If one had to choose one saint who showed the humorous side of holiness that would Philip Neri.”  In yesterday’s homily I spoke about the importance of joy in our lives, if we are to be authentic witnesses to the life-giving change our relationship with Jesus gives us.

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