What God Wants

What God Wants
Daily Homilies

 
 
00:00 / 6:31
 
1X
 

Readings for Today

Mother Theresa is known to have said that sin is wanting for ourselves something that God does not want for us. This quote does not simply refer to wanting something sinful. In fact, it can also refer to wanting a spiritual gift that God does not give us. It can frustrate us. It can make us jealous of others who have this gift. But any gift that God wants us to have is only good to the degree it leads us into deeper relationship with God.

Homily given at Saint Dominic Priory, Saint Louis, Missouri, on October 6, 2018.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Want what God wants

Readings for Today

Mother Theresa is known to have said that sin is wanting for ourselves something that God does not want for us. This quote does not simply refer to wanting something sinful. In fact, it can also refer to wanting a spiritual gift that God does not give us. It can frustrate us. It can make us jealous of others who have this gift. But any gift that God wants us to have is only good to the degree it leads us into deeper relationship with God.

Homily given at Saint Dominic Priory, Saint Louis, Missouri, on October 6, 2018.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Saint Augustine – A reminder of hope

Saint Augustine – A reminder of hope
Daily Homilies

 
 
00:00 / 2:52
 
1X
 

Readings for Today

So much of what happens in our lives is about finding what is important. What things are we going to prioritize? In whom will we trust? Which persons will get our time? What endeavors will receive energy and attention? Reading the life of Saint Augustine informs us that he changed completely his priorities. Living a selfish, sense-filled life led to unhappiness. Developing a relationship with God led to fulfillment. If you feel your life is not on track, Saint Augustine might be the reminder that we have reason to hope. God forgives our sins. God stills our heart. God reaches out to us over and over again, allowing us to rest in God.

Saint Augustine – A reminder of hope

Saint Augustine – A reminder of hope
Daily Homilies

 
 
00:00 / 2:52
 
1X
 

Readings for Today

So much of what happens in our lives is about finding what is important. What things are we going to prioritize? In whom will we trust? Which persons will get our time? What endeavors will receive energy and attention? Reading the life of Saint Augustine informs us that he changed completely his priorities. Living a selfish, sense-filled life led to unhappiness. Developing a relationship with God led to fulfillment. If you feel your life is not on track, Saint Augustine might be the reminder that we have reason to hope. God forgives our sins. God stills our heart. God reaches out to us over and over again, allowing us to rest in God.

Prove God’s Holiness

Prove God’s Holiness
Daily Homilies

 
 
00:00 / 2:29
 
1X
 

Readings for Today
“I will prove the holiness of my great name.” In an age of doubt and unbelief, God must prove his holiness. For most of us, that has occurred numerous times. But when Ezekiel mentions becoming clean by the sprinkling of clean water, we think of the ultimate proof of God’s holiness: salvation. When we were baptized, we were saved. God does not need to forgive us, extend mercy, or prove anything to us. But he does. And that is because God is holy. So today, seek to prove God’s holiness by living a life that witnesses to the power of the gospel.

Homily given at Christian Brothers College High School, Town and Country, Missouri on August 23, 2018.
Photo by Pixabay.

Prove God’s Holiness

Prove God’s Holiness
Daily Homilies

 
 
00:00 / 2:29
 
1X
 

Readings for Today

“I will prove the holiness of my great name.” In an age of doubt and unbelief, God must prove his holiness. For most of us, that has occurred numerous times. But when Ezekiel mentions becoming clean by the sprinkling of clean water, we think of the ultimate proof of God’s holiness: salvation. When we were baptized, we were saved. God does not need to forgive us, extend mercy, or prove anything to us. But he does. And that is because God is holy. So today, seek to prove God’s holiness by living a life that witnesses to the power of the gospel.

Homily given at Christian Brothers College High School, Town and Country, Missouri on August 23, 2018.
Photo by Pixabay.

I have no words

I have no words
DePorres Pages Podcasts

 
 
00:00 / 7:54
 
1X
 

Readings for Today 

“Brothers and sisters:  Watch carefully how you live, not as foolish persons but as wise, making the most of the opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not continue in ignorance, but try to understand what is the will of the Lord.”
This has been a hard week. There are no words I can use to make this better. This is one of those rare times where I really do not know what to say. I do not know how to make my words helpful. But I know I need to try. I need to do my best.  This is it. The revelations about Archbishop McCarrick, and the grand jury report from Pennsylvania were all too much to absorb. Having been a priest in New England witnessing the horrors of the revelations in Boston, I should have been better prepared. Having seen priests removed from ministry for actions I knew nothing about, was really hard. Were it not for the unbelievable support from the people of God, I do not know what would have become of me.
But I thought, at least, we had moved forward. While in some ways we have, in other ways we have not. There was the failure of Archbishop Finn in Kansas City to report to authorities when he should have done so. There was Archbishop Myers who allowed a priest with credible allegations not only to continue in ministry, but to work with youth. There are other circumstances as well. But you get the point.
Despite these actions, I still (naively) thought that changes had been made. But the problem for many priests in 2002 was the fact bishops exempted themselves from oversight. To be fair, only the Vatican can discipline bishops. But it would have sent an important statement to the Vatican about the seriousness of the offenses. I am really having a hard time with all of this.
But this is not meant to be about me. I will struggle. Many priests will. In fact, I believe most will. But as an official minister of the Church, I must begin with an apology. While it seems like so little, it is a necessary beginning. I am sorry. To the victims of sexual abuse, especially those abused by clergy, I am sorry. To those who loved these persons victimized by clergy and had to watch them suffer, I am sorry. To those whose faith in God and in the Church has been profoundly shaken by these revelations, I am sorry.
I am also not ready to leap to suggestions about what should be done. I am still feeling like I have been punched in the gut. In some ways, I am still numb. But what I do know is this: the bishops of this country must recognize they have no credibility on this issue. The path forward must rightly be led by the laity. And if I had any immediate recommendations for bishops it would be to say that what is needed from you all now is public penance. It is to let go of power and prestige. It is to have the courage to do what is right.
And for me, personally, the path now involves penance. While I am still working out what forms my penance will ultimately take, the first step for me is to read the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report. As I read about each victim, I pray for them. This is a very, very hard report to read. But I remind myself it is much harder for the victims who experienced it.
The ultimate path forward must be holiness. It is, as Saint Paul tells us, “to understand what is the will of the Lord.”  Thankfully the Church is bigger than any one of us. The Church is about working to strengthen a relationship with Jesus, and it is his promise to always be with the Church that reminds me that there is hope. But I know I must become more holy. I must pray more. I must work to listen to the voice of God more. And I must focus on allowing God’s grace to work more completely in my life, so that I can be an authentic witness to the gospel. In short, I must become a better priest. There is no other way forward for the Church than holiness. And I am not there yet.
This is not easy. I still sin too much, though in his mercy God forgives me in the sacrament of confession even though I do not deserve it. And every time I sin, I contribute to the circumstances that make greater evil possible. I do believe, Lord; help my unbelief.
Homily given at Our Lady of Lourdes, University City, Missouri on August 18, 2018.
Photo by Pixabay.

I have no words

I have no words
DePorres Pages Podcasts

 
 
00:00 / 7:54
 
1X
 

Readings for Today 

“Brothers and sisters:  Watch carefully how you live, not as foolish persons but as wise, making the most of the opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not continue in ignorance, but try to understand what is the will of the Lord.”

This has been a hard week. There are no words I can use to make this better. This is one of those rare times where I really do not know what to say. I do not know how to make my words helpful. But I know I need to try. I need to do my best.  This is it. The revelations about Archbishop McCarrick, and the grand jury report from Pennsylvania were all too much to absorb. Having been a priest in New England witnessing the horrors of the revelations in Boston, I should have been better prepared. Having seen priests removed from ministry for actions I knew nothing about, was really hard. Were it not for the unbelievable support from the people of God, I do not know what would have become of me.

But I thought, at least, we had moved forward. While in some ways we have, in other ways we have not. There was the failure of Archbishop Finn in Kansas City to report to authorities when he should have done so. There was Archbishop Myers who allowed a priest with credible allegations not only to continue in ministry, but to work with youth. There are other circumstances as well. But you get the point.

Despite these actions, I still (naively) thought that changes had been made. But the problem for many priests in 2002 was the fact bishops exempted themselves from oversight. To be fair, only the Vatican can discipline bishops. But it would have sent an important statement to the Vatican about the seriousness of the offenses. I am really having a hard time with all of this.

But this is not meant to be about me. I will struggle. Many priests will. In fact, I believe most will. But as an official minister of the Church, I must begin with an apology. While it seems like so little, it is a necessary beginning. I am sorry. To the victims of sexual abuse, especially those abused by clergy, I am sorry. To those who loved these persons victimized by clergy and had to watch them suffer, I am sorry. To those whose faith in God and in the Church has been profoundly shaken by these revelations, I am sorry.

I am also not ready to leap to suggestions about what should be done. I am still feeling like I have been punched in the gut. In some ways, I am still numb. But what I do know is this: the bishops of this country must recognize they have no credibility on this issue. The path forward must rightly be led by the laity. And if I had any immediate recommendations for bishops it would be to say that what is needed from you all now is public penance. It is to let go of power and prestige. It is to have the courage to do what is right.

And for me, personally, the path now involves penance. While I am still working out what forms my penance will ultimately take, the first step for me is to read the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report. As I read about each victim, I pray for them. This is a very, very hard report to read. But I remind myself it is much harder for the victims who experienced it.

The ultimate path forward must be holiness. It is, as Saint Paul tells us, “to understand what is the will of the Lord.”  Thankfully the Church is bigger than any one of us. The Church is about working to strengthen a relationship with Jesus, and it is his promise to always be with the Church that reminds me that there is hope. But I know I must become more holy. I must pray more. I must work to listen to the voice of God more. And I must focus on allowing God’s grace to work more completely in my life, so that I can be an authentic witness to the gospel. In short, I must become a better priest. There is no other way forward for the Church than holiness. And I am not there yet.

This is not easy. I still sin too much, though in his mercy God forgives me in the sacrament of confession even though I do not deserve it. And every time I sin, I contribute to the circumstances that make greater evil possible. I do believe, Lord; help my unbelief.

Homily given at Our Lady of Lourdes, University City, Missouri on August 18, 2018.
Photo by Pixabay.

The most important gift is holiness

The most important gift is holiness
Daily Homilies

 
 
00:00 / 4:06
 
1X
 

Readings for Today

Today we celebrate Saint John Vianney, who is the patron saint of priests. Much goes into the training of a priest. There are theological studies, spiritual direction and other formation programs to strengthen the skills a priest needs for pastoral ministry. But Saint John Vianney provides a helpful insight into the priesthood. Most important is holiness. This is not to say theological studies are not important, or that there should be no pastoral training. What it is to say is that all of this is for not if it does not lead to holiness. Our purpose is holiness. We answer the call to holiness in our personal lives, and witness this holiness so others may answer God’s call.  So today, be holy as the Lord, your God is holy.

The most important gift is holiness

The most important gift is holiness
Daily Homilies

 
 
00:00 / 4:06
 
1X
 

Readings for Today

Today we celebrate Saint John Vianney, who is the patron saint of priests. Much goes into the training of a priest. There are theological studies, spiritual direction and other formation programs to strengthen the skills a priest needs for pastoral ministry. But Saint John Vianney provides a helpful insight into the priesthood. Most important is holiness. This is not to say theological studies are not important, or that there should be no pastoral training. What it is to say is that all of this is for not if it does not lead to holiness. Our purpose is holiness. We answer the call to holiness in our personal lives, and witness this holiness so others may answer God’s call.  So today, be holy as the Lord, your God is holy.

Homily given at Saint Dominic Priory, Saint Louis, Missouri, on August 4, 2018
Photo courtesy Pixabay.