The signs on the inside: Homily for Saturday, December 2, 2017

Readings for Today

Reading the signs of the times is not just about looking at what is all around us on the outside.  It is also about paying careful attention to the presence of God on the inside of our lives. In a world with so many distractions, it can become so easy to become lethargic about the presence of God. In a world with so many challenges, we need to be attentive and awake. We need to be ready to see the presence of God within.

What have you done to help be awake spiritually? In what ways have you looked inside yourself to see the presence of God? How do you make yourself available to see and learn from God? As we review our past year, and as we stand on the cusp of a new year, ask God to make you more and more aware of his love for you.

The Dominican Moment: November 30, 2017

The DePorres Pages features short prayers from the tradition of Saint Dominic in this new series known as The Dominican Moment. These are short pieces for meditation and prayer. They are either quotes from Dominican saints, (Saint Dominic actually wrote little), or by those inspired by him. At the end of each clip, there are reflection questions to pray about and reflect on during the day.

Today Saint Catherine of Siena discusses the relationship between body and soul.

 

Signum Fidei: Homily for November 1, 2017

Readings for Today

Do you witness to sanctity? Do you show forth holiness in your life? The bishop that ordained me said this: “Don’t wait until you die to be a saint.  That’s too late.  Become a saint now.” Are you a saint? On the seal of the high school where I teach is the Latin phrase, “signum fidei.” It means sign of faith. It suggests that in all things we are to see ourselves as signs of faith.

How do we do this? We are a sign of faith when we are generous, faithful, prayerful and kind. We are a sign of faith when Jesus becomes the center of our lives.  Each time we see another human being as the image of God, we are a sign of faith.  So do not wait to become a saint.  Do so now.

The Power of One Man: Homily for Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Readings for today

The first reading today compares two men.  The power of one of the men led to sin and death.  The power of the other man led to salvation.  How is it possible that two men could impact us so differently? Simple.  The one powerful action by the fully human and fully divine man was enough to save.  It overcame the detriment of the sinful action.  We can be saved.

This happens when we open our hearts to the gift from the man of life.  When we trust in Jesus, we open our souls to the forgiveness and mercy which saves.  We are able to receive the grace of God.  We become more and more alive because of Jesus.  So, you can trust in the actions of the one man of sin, or place your lives into the divine and human person of Jesus.

Failing to Grow: Homily for Saturday, September 23, 2017

Readings for Today

I am one of those who was a little sceptical of the sanctity of Saint Padre Pio.  There seemed to be a lot of questions for me, and for the Church, around the authenticity of his holiness.  But what could not be denied was the way in which Padre Pio led people to God.  And is not that the definition of a saint? One who is so holy the witness of life leads people to God?

Today’s gospel is a familiar one.  We have likely heard it many times.  And we may even have tried to find ways to prove to ourselves that the soil of our soul is the one that produces 100-fold.  But is it true? Do not I have to consider my scepticism as a potential way in which the seed, the Word of God, misses my heart?

Sanctifying: Homily for Thursday, August 31, 2017

Listen to the homily.

Readings for Today

Jesus tells his followers to pray always.  Just how is this done? In the midst of our responsibilities, how can we follow this command? The Church, thankfully, through the saints, and through her liturgies, provides the solution.  There is the prayer known as the “Liturgy of the Hours”, with prayers designed to occur at various moments of the day.  There are websites like the bishops’ website that provide the daily readings.

And then there is the little effort to see that all we do can be seen as a way of praying and sanctifying the day.  Loving actions parents make for the children is a type of sanctification.  Making a meal, working at a job, and other aspects of our daily endeavors can be seen as ways to sanctifying our day.  Hopefully, though, it is by taking a little time in silent prayer that we find the presence of God in our lives.

Daily prayer for July 4, 2017

Dear Father God, we live in a world where injustice is rife, freedoms are rapidly being removed and persecution of believers is on the increase. We come to You Father to lay before You men and women we may know personally, who have had their freedoms removed, together with the thousands of believers, whom we do not know. Lord – each one is precious in Your sight, for each one is a blood-bought child of Yours.

Be with all who are suffering injustice and loss of their freedoms, whether through government restrictions or groups that are intent on harming those that belong to You – and give wisdom to the men and ministries that are seeking to support those that have been affected in this way.

Lord we know that only when Jesus returns will true justice be restored and true freedom be established. Keep each one of Your children under the protection of Your wing, and may all who trust in Christ find their rest in Him – knowing that He is able and willing to support in time of need and to help in time of trouble – for He is our ever present …

Amen

From: http://prayer.knowing-jesus.com/Prayers-for-Freedom

Inquiry for the Process of Canonisation of the Dominican Pope Benedict XIII

After five years of investigations, the diocesan inquiry for the process of beatification and canonisation of the Dominican Pope Benedict XIII will officially be closed on the 24th of February 2017. The closing ceremony will take place at the Lateran Palace with Cardinal Agostino Vallini, the Vicar General of the Diocese of Rome presiding. The members of the Diocesan Tribunal which conducted the investigation will also be present: Monsignor Giuseppe D’Alonzo, Chief Judge, Don George pacifiers, Promoter of Justice, and Marcello Terramani, notary actuary. The Master of the Order, fr Bruno Cadoré will lead the Dominican contingent at the ceremony.

Pope Benedict XIII (Pier Francesco Orsini) was born in Gravina, Puglia on 2 February 1649/50. The first of six children of Ferdinando III, Duke of Gravina and Giovanna Frangipani of Tolfa, daughter of the Duke of Grumo. He had a strong desire for the religious life from a very young age which his family strongly opposed. At a young age and with the guardian of his mother, he inherited the reign as the Duke of Gravina after his father’s death. Under the pretext of the desire to know other parts of Italy, he travelled to Venice where he met the Dominicans. On 12 August 1668, he received the habit and took the name fra Vincenzo Maria.

To read the entire story, click here.

Opposites: Homily for Thursday, February 23, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

Opposites.  The readings for daily Masses are usually simply sequential.  What that means is that the first reading starts with a book, and the whole book of the bible is divided up into sections read each day.  The same is true of the gospel.  Unless there is a special day, in which case readings are special as well, there is no inherent connection between the first reading and the gospel.  Despite this, there are moments where the readings seem to compliment each other in an interesting way.

Today’s readings do not provide so much a compliment as they do a contrast.  The first reading outlines a way of life that I must say I find tempting.  Power.  Riches.  Security.  These basic values can become illusive idols in our lives.  The gospel stresses the small.  A cup of water given to a disciple.  A concern with holiness more than with success.  A focus on eternal life more so than this life.  The contrasts are dramatic.

The question is clear: In whom do we trust?  Is it in our own efforts, our own strength, in promises that offer guarantees, even though there is no such thing?  Or, do we trust in God, whose gifts are not always as tangible but whose promise to us is much more sure?  This is the powerful question.

Yet, again and again in the gospels, Jesus challenges us to be attentive to the poor, the marginalized, the outcast.  It is not our own earthly security that matters, but our heavenly security resting in God.  It is not about powerful relationships in this life but in the most powerful relationship with God.  Both readings offer a different way to go about life.  Trust in self, or trust in God.  Choose well.

Patience: Homily for the Feast of the Presentation, February 2, 2017

To listen to this homily, click the links above.

Readings for today

Patience.  How long did Simeon and Anna have to wait? Did they ever want to give up? Did they ever feel abandoned by God?  We do not know.  But we do know that today God fulfilled his promise.  Simeon and Anna see the Messiah.  And they rejoice.

I simply am not patient.  I want everything right away.  I want God to answer prayers NOW.  I hate waiting.  I do not have patience.  And no where is that more true than in prayer.  I want God to speak to me dramatically, to tell me in no uncertain terms what to do.  And yet at those times when he does, I do not always want to do it.

Our lives are hectic and busy.  We have so many distractions in our lives.  It is so easy not to pray.  It is so easy to give up on God because we do not stick with it.  It is so easy not to pray because it can be boring.  Prayer does not always have the flashiness of technology, television, movies or sports.  Prayer does not always provide constant stimulation.

Simeon and Anna came to know God.  And in knowing God, they came to experience the pathway to salvation.  It is not hard to imagine they are mystics.  They are the ones who day in and day out sought for the loving presence of their God.  As a result, they were shining examples of the way to holiness. They were the light that guides us to Jesus.  In teaching us to wait, Simeon and Anna teach us how to have a holy relationship with God and others.  they teach us patience.  They teach us the way to holiness that is God himself.