Rosary as Contemplation: Homily for Saturday, October 7, 2017

Readings for Today

This feast has its roots in a battle.  As the story goes, the praying of the rosary led to victory.  That is why the original name of this day was Our Lady of Victory.  But as wonderful as the title is, I prefer the name the celebration has today: Our Lady of the Rosary.  Why?

The biggest reason is the way in which the rosary itself gets highlighted.  The rosary is such a powerful prayer of contemplation.  While it is true the victory of God is constant in the contemplation of the rosary, the connection to the events of our salvation, and to Jesus, seems clearer when compared to the rosary.

The rosary is the pathway to contemplation.  In its truest form, the rosary leads us to Jesus.  We reflect on his life, death and resurrection. The rosary also leads to discipleship. Just as the disciples responded to Jesus, Mary’s responded perfectly to God.  She too was sent.  She too was a devout follower of God.  Her constant yes is worthy of our imitation.

Fire: Homily for the 19th Week, August 16, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

I had a little bit of a challenge when I took a psychological test called the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, or the MMPI for short.  The test is a long (very long) series of statements that are either marked true of false by the person taking the test. The test is constructed in such a way that it can be determined whether or not someone is trying to lie on the test.  I found one of the questions a challenge.  The sentence read, “I am fascinated by fire.” Well, the truth is, well, yes.  Yes, I am fascinated by fire.  But would the test scorer read too much into this? While I am fascinated by a campfire or a fire in a fireplace, I am not fascinated by a building fire.  I have no interest in arson.

The response to the psalm today mentions being filled with fire.  Fire is a powerful image of faith.  There is the fire at the Easter Vigil.  Saint Catherine of Siena said that if we became what we were created to be we would set the world on fire.  When looking at a campfire, we realize its complexity.  There is an interesting chemical process in a fire.  There are many different temperatures.  There are many different chemicals.  There is a power in fire.  And today we realize the same is true for us when we experience the fire of faith in our soul.


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.

Daily Prayer for Wednesday, July 19, 2017

This prayer comes from the United States Bishops’ Website.

“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ But how can they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how can they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone to preach? And how can people preach unless they are sent?”
–Romans 10: 13-15

Heavenly Father,

Pour forth your Holy Spirit to inspire me with these words from Holy Scripture.

Stir in my soul the desire to renew my faith and deepen my
relationship with your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ so that I
might truly believe in and live the Good News.
Open my heart to hear the Gospel and grant me the confidence to proclaim the Good News to others.

Pour out your Spirit, so that I might be strengthened to go
forth and witness to the Gospel in my everyday life through my words and actions.

In moments of hesitation, remind me:

If not me, then who will proclaim the Gospel?

If not now, then when will the Gospel be proclaimed?

If not the truth of the Gospel, then what shall I proclaim?

God, our Father, I pray that through the Holy Spirit I might hear the call of the New Evangelization to deepen my faith, grow in confidence to proclaim the Gospel and boldly witness to the saving grace of your Son, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Homily for Sunday, December 7, 2014

Readings for Today

I do not know of anyone who likes being sick. I know I do not. But not only is it bad to be sick, when I am sick, I feel like a scared little kid. I want my mom. There was something reassuring about having my mom around when I was sick. Unless it was a school day. Then it was necessary first to prove that you were sick. Well, not too much. Sometimes the sickness was obvious, like throwing up or diarrhea. Other times it involved a fever which also usually provided enough of a clue. There was the time I missed a week of school to pneumonia, and my parents suggested that after a week maybe I needed to get up an around to feel better. I was so tired of being stuck in the house I agreed. The problem was that while it did feel good to get out of the house on Saturday, the next day, Sunday brought the compression of multi-ton concrete blocks on my chest that is typical of being sick with pneumonia. I felt awful. The time with pneumonia was the only time ever I think I did not go to a Sunday Mass. (I even insisted on the day of my First Communion, even though I really was quite sick, that I felt well enough to make my First Communion that day. Unfortunately, I was really sick, and got sick and had to leave church. Oh well.

In one way or another, we all seek comfort when we encounter something unpleasant. It is only natural that we try to avoid suffering. When I was sick with pneumonia, there were a number of ways I could have tried to avoid suffering. But it was only the skill of the doctor who knew which medicine would make me well that I was able to get well. Unfortunately, avoiding suffering does not always seem to provide such an obvious choice. We sometimes seek to avoid suffering in a way that cannot eliminate it. The choice is knowing where to look to receive the right type of healing that actually has worth.

We know there are a variety of options. But we know that what appears to be healing is not always so. Sometimes things are presented as a healing but rather than complete healing, it only provides partial relief. Sometimes not even that, as what appears to be healing can actually make things worse. People who seek to avoid pain by using drugs or alcohol often discover the solution ultimately is worse than the suffering. Or, sometimes we throw ourselves so much into work to get the most our of life, but they lose what is most valuable in their lives.

Sometimes someone experiences a great trauma early in their lives which causes a great deal of pain. Sometimes the pain is no where near as great. Whatever it is, again and again we can face choices about what will bring relief. Just as real healing from my pneumonia came from medicine, and not anything else, to receive real healing, real comfort we must seek for it in the right place.

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