Saturday, January 31, 2009

New Teaching

February 1, 2009

Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time

By Rev. Joe McCloskey, S.J.

I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their kinsmen, and will put my words into his mouth; he shall tell them all that I command him. Deuteronomy 18:18

In their synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit; he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are--the Holy One of God!” Jesus rebuked him and said, “Quiet! Come out of him!” Mark 1:23-25


Lord, you have authority over all things. Grant us the great calm from all needs which trouble and preoccupy us so we will not be distracted from your work. Amen.


Authority speaks to us through the reasons we have to pay attention to what is asked of us. Our piety has the reflection of the mind and heart of Christ for its authority. When we share our moments close to Christ they speak with the authority of how closely they draw us to Christ. Because the Saint is an update of Christ they speak to their time and their age in how they bring one closer to Christ. How the moment makes us a transparency of Christ is why a moment is close to Christ.

The big question of life is; “Am I really willing to be who Christ would have been if he had been lucky enough to be me?” Jesus goes on teaching in our world today by the ways he is present in our lives. How closely our moment touches on Christ is how the authority of his words and teaching touch our lives today. The goodness of our lives keeps the authority of Christ active in what we say and what we do. Saints could be called obsessive compulsives by how heroically they live the goodness of Christ. Saints are radical in how they respond to the needs of the moment they are living in. They know how to give all their life to what they are doing. They bring Christ’s authority to their work by how they give of themselves. People want to work with them because they are so giving that we find it a privilege to work with them. We have people who by their personal devotion bring the authority of Christ to their ministry.

Baptism re-birthed us into the life of Christ. Christ dwells in our souls because they are temples of the Holy Spirit. We open our hearts to others by our apostolic work. We become Contemplatives in Action by the love that opens the door of our heart to the needs of those around us.

Paul in his letter to the Corinthians gives us a plug for Celibacy. He is talking about how living with another can be a distraction from living with Christ. Matrimonial spirituality gives us a way to find Christ in the partner. The Sacrament allows two, a man and a woman to become one. The sexual union of the two partners of the sacrament becomes a symbol of how the two become on in Christ. Where ever there is love, Christ is there. The oneness of the matrimonial union is the oneness of the two in Christ. Study is the challenge of every day to find Christ in what we are doing. Matrimony commits one to better share their life. Sacraments give us back the humanness of Christ as he takes part in our lives. The historical Christ who is in heaven remains the word become flesh in the Sacramental life of the Church.


The Church is the people of God. Each of us from the child to the aged senior has the responsibility of being the word of Christ. We have the apostolic responsibility of preaching always and occasionally putting words on the meaning of the goodness of our lives. The Cursillo calls us to be companions of Christ and helps us to claim the presence of Christ in whom we are. Christ who we discover as a brother on our Cursillo becomes the deepest meaning of our lives as we work to share him in all our friendships. Make a friend! Be a friend! Lead the friend to Christ. He is not only the deepest meaning of our lives, but also the real person we are meant to be. The word he has put on our heart calls us to be Christ to one another. We are called by God to share his love by realizing our potential to be Christians, Christ for one another.

There Was Great Calm

January 31, 2009

Memorial of St. John Bosco, priest

Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1

Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. They woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!” The wind ceased and there was great calm. Mark 4:38-39


Be still and know that I am God.
Be still and know that I am.
Be still and know.
Be still.


In the two stories we hear today, who had the greater faith:
1) Abraham who never had a chance to walk the earth with Jesus or
2) The disciples who went everywhere with Jesus, witnessed the miracles, asked him about them, learned from the parables, and more?

Abraham realized what he hoped for. He had a son. He had descendants who reached to promised land. But Abraham never saw Jesus turn water into wine. He never fed 5,000 people with two loaves of bread and five fishes. He never saw the lepers healed, the deaf hear, the blind see or Lazarus rise after being dead for four days. Abraham never had the kind of evidence seen by the apostles during Jesus’ public ministry. Yet he had faith to take his son to the altar and was prepared to sacrifice Isaac because God had asked him to do it.

Sometimes, what is right under our noses, what we can see, hear, feel and touch, we take for granted. As the pace of life spins around us, many people are losing their economic footing. Jobs are lost. Businesses are closing. Some people are “bailing out” and others are asking for a bucket.

If Jesus were here in this perfect storm of economic, political and social issues, we would probably find him in the same position the disciples found him in today’s Gospel…asleep in the stern of the boat, curled up on a cushion. But ever-ready to stand up and come to our aid if we only ask Him.

The image of the scene in the boat stands in stark contrast to the image in the Garden of Gethsemane. When the apostles face the conflict of man against nature, they are afraid and turn to Jesus. He wake up and comes to their aid.

When Jesus faces the storm of anger from the religious and political leaders of his day, Jesus turns to the Father in prayer. However, while he faces this storm, the disciples who are with him can not stay awake for a few minutes. Three times, Jesus finds his friends continually falling asleep and the hour for his glory approaches.


Is there great calm in your life?

Jesus is the great calm. So how can we help Jesus move in with us and share that peace and tranquility? He wants to live with us, in us and through us. Yet we have a hard time sitting still with God for even 20 minutes every day. But he is on call for us whenever we ask.

Sit quietly today and imagine that you are on that boat. Ask God for the faith that He will quiet whatever seas are swirling around you.

Sit quietly.

Breathe deeply.

Pray to God.

Listen attentively.


Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Better and Lasting Possession

January 30, 2009

Friday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time

Therefore, do not throw away your confidence; it will have great recompense. You need endurance to do the will of God and receive what he has promised. Hebrews 10:35-36

He said, “This is how it is with the kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land and would sleep and rise night and day and the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how.” Mark 4:26-29

God, give me the wisdom to discern what you want me to do and the strength of will to leave behind what I do not need in order to answer you call without delay.


“He knows not how.”

When we don’t know something, our natural curiosity compels us to seek the answer. Sometimes the questions are big: “How did the universe begin?” “Where did I come from?” “What happens after I die?”

When we need to find out something, we can either turn to books or learn from experience. Either way, we are not among those who draw back. We are not proverbial couch potatoes. We dive in to learn and study. As the sign says, “Christianity is not a spectator sport.”

However, our quest will not be easy we are reminded in Hebrews. We will need endurance to do the will of God. We may never fully learn what the will of God is or why it works. Faith compels us onward in these cases…faith supported by the friendship we have with each other and with Jesus.


“For, after just a brief moment, he who is to come shall come; he shall not delay. But my just one shall live by faith, and if he draws back I take no pleasure in him.” We are not among those who draw back and perish, but among those who have faith and will possess life. 10:37-39

God does not hesitate to come to our aid. Do we hesitate to come to the Lord’s side? Do we draw back as introverts and leave the heavy lifting to someone else?

What do we put before our faith? Our political beliefs? Our physical needs for food, clothing, shelter, sleep and more? Our family? Our “stuff” and our quest for more “stuff?”

God put his vulnerabilities on the line for us by coming into the world as a weak and innocent child. He carried out that commitment by opening the palms of his hands to the nails that would bind him to the cross.

Take a step for mercy today. Maybe you will get some inspiration for that from a story I read last weekend. You might have seen it, too. It was the cover story in The Washington Post magazine. The headline was: “A Not-So-Simple Life: In a cramped Washington rowhouse, six women share one shower and a quest to serve God” by By Darragh Johnson. This is a story of some young adults who did not hold back. The started a small Christian (intentional) community and live to serve the poor in Washington. Here is a short passage from the story:


So how did Jesus live? And what does He expect of His followers?

"When we get to heaven . . .," writes Shane Claiborne, a leader in the intentional community movement, "I don't believe Jesus is going to say, 'When I was hungry you gave a check to the United Way, and they fed me,' or, 'When I was naked, you donated clothes to the Salvation Army, and they clothed me.' "

This is from Claiborne's essay in "School(s) for Conversion: 12 Marks of a New Monasticism." The book has become an unexpected sensation among young Christians ready to renounce their parents' pursuit of worldly success in favor of a low-income lifestyle and a commitment to working with the poor. Even more surprising has been the success of Claiborne's most recent book, "Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical," a memoir that also offers a deeper introduction to alternative Christianity and intentional communities. Published almost three years ago, it has sold almost 200,000 copies.

I think these women and men have found a better and lasting possession.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Rouse One Another

January 29, 2009

Thursday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time

We must consider how to rouse one another to love and good works. We should not stay away from our assembly, as is the custom of some, but encourage one another, and this all the more as you see the day drawing near. Hebrews 10:24-25

He also told them, "Take care what you hear. The measure with which you measure will be measured out to you, and still more will be given to you. To the one who has, more will be given; from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away." Mark 4:24-25


God, wake us up to hear your message. Jesus, stand us up to act upon your Word. Holy Spirit, bolster us to support each other on our mutual journey for justice. Amen.


“All I Really Need to Know I Learned in the Letter to the Hebrews.” Apologies to Robert Fulgum.

Consider this: We must consider how to rouse one another to love and good works.

There you have it…the entire purpose of Cursillo, Christianity and the Catholic Church summed up in one sentence. Who needs the Baltimore Catechism when you have the Letter to the Hebrews? From the Garden of Eden to Revelation. From the Annunciation to the Ascension. From John the Baptist to John the Evangelist. From Benedict to Ignatius Loyola. From Eve to Mary. From Jesus to the Holy Spirit. From the Old Covenant to the New Covenant.

We must consider how to rouse one another to love and good works.

Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. Matthew 26:41

The three-day weekend a.k.a. the short course – we rouse each other early every day and then rouse our minds and spirits through talks, table discussions, liturgy, sacraments, and more.

Group reunion is the constant rousing and supporting of each other to stay true to our program of piety, study and action. The same can be said of Ultreya at the parish or diocesan level.

Offering and receiving “Palanca” is another way to rouse each other in love and good works and to sustain our own program of live and good works.

Religious education, Knights of Columbus, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, youth ministry, family ministry, Social Action Committee, buying fair trade coffee…everything we do is summed up right there in Hebrews 10:24.

Ours is no longer only a faith lived out in the pew as the rosary beads pass through our fingers, decade by decade, Ave Maria by Ave Maria. Our faith may start in that pew. Our faith returns to that pew at least weekly. But our faith also rouses us from that pew. And if we need help, we have our companions on the journey. Last Sunday, Mark 16:15 called upon us to Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.” Now, the letter to the Hebrews echoes that by encouraging us to support each other in that faith and outreach, in that ora et labora…prayer and work.

We must consider how to rouse one another to love and good works.

As we support others, they will support us. The more generously that we share the talents God has given to us, then God will be more bountiful toward us. The more we make use of what we learn in sacred scriptures, then the more blessings will God bestow upon us.


Who can you “rouse” up in their journey today?

What part of your spirituality plan needs to get shaken up?

Write down your plan for the week and check back next Friday to see how much of the plan you accomplished.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Their Sins and Their Evildoing I Will Remember No More

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Memorial of Saint Thomas Aquinas, priest and doctor of the Church

By Melanie Rigney

The Holy Spirit also testifies to us, for after saying: “This is the covenant I will establish with them after those days, says the Lord: ‘I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them upon their minds,’ “he also says: “Their sins and their evildoing I will remember no more.” Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer offering for sin. (Hebrews 10:15-18)

The Lord says to you, my lord, “Take your throne at my right hand, while I make your enemies your footstool.” (Psalms 110:1)

(When Jesus was questioned by the Apostles and others about the parables,) he answered them, “The mystery of the kingdom of God has been granted to you. But to those outside everything comes in parables, so that ‘they may look and see but not perceive, and hear and listen but not understand, in order that they may not be converted and be forgiven.” (Mark 4:11-12)

Lord, help me to accept the forgiveness You so generously provide. Light within me the wisdom to let You judge the sins of others, and to sincerely forgive those who wrong me.


Catholic guilt.

It’s reared its pointy little head in us all.

Some of us feel guilty about things that aren’t really sins in the eyes of the Church, such as divorce. (It’s the remarrying part that gets a little tricky). Others feel guilty about sins we blow out of proportion, such as missing an occasional Mass. Others use it as a self-deprecating phrase to explain why we do good works.

But while we may think we know all about Catholic guilt, we don’t seem to believe much anymore in the sacrament God gave us to take care of it. In 2008, 87 percent of Catholics said they participated in the Sacrament of Reconciliation or Confession once a year or less, according to Center for the Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University. More than half of that 87 percent said they never receive the sacrament.

Why don’t we afford ourselves of what St. Thomas Aquinas called “a spiritual cure”? Undoubtedly, for many, there’s a discomfort in sharing our lesser selves with a human being we may or may not know, even when we understand he is in a priestly role, even if the confession is made behind a screen. For many, however, the issue is more profound: a deep fear that what they have done can’t be forgiven. And so the sin and the guilt fester and grow. We don’t trust what we’re told in today’s first reading that we need not atone further for our sins and evildoing once they are forgiven. We don’t comprehend that the word when sowed in us and brought to flowering leads to forgiveness. We don’t believe that God can want flawed beings like us by His side.

Trust. Comprehend. Believe. Kick Catholic guilt to the curb, and delight in the spiritual cure.

Don’t wait for Holy Week. Go to confession this week, and believe in the forgiveness received.

Monday, January 26, 2009

To Do Your Will

January 27, 2009

Tuesday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time

First he says, “Sacrifices and offerings, holocausts and sin offerings, you neither desired nor delighted in.” These are offered according to the law. Then he says, “Behold, I come to do your will.” He takes away the first to establish the second. Hebrews 10:8-9

But he said to them in reply, “Who are my mother and (my) brothers?” And looking around at those seated in the circle he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. (For) whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.” Mark 3:33-35


The First Principle and Foundation
(St. Ignatius of Loyola, as paraphrased by David L. Fleming, S.J.)

The Goal of our life is to live with God forever.
God, who loves us, gave us life.
Our own response of love allows God's life
to flow into us without limit.

All the things in this world are gifts from God,
Presented to us so that we can know God more easily
and make a return of love more readily.
As a result, we appreciate and use all these gifts of God
Insofar as they help us to develop as loving persons.
But if any of these gifts become the center of our lives,
They displace God
And so hinder our growth toward our goal.

In everyday life, then, we must hold ourselves in balance
Before all of these created gifts insofar as we have a choice
And are not bound by some obligation.
We should not fix our desires on health or sickness,
Wealth or poverty, success or failure, a long life or a short one.
For everything has the potential of calling forth in us
A deeper response to our life in God.

Our only desire and our one choice should be this:
I want and I choose what better leads
To God's deepening his life in me.


How do we know what someone wants us to do? We can not read someone’s mind. It takes some form of communication and relationship.

Even if there is no language involved, people have a way of figuring out the needs of others. Of course the most obvious answer is a baby…a baby who has no language. When the baby needs attention for food, warmth, hugs, fresh clothing, sleep, it cries out. Based upon the time of day, the other activities, parents figure out what specific need the baby is expressing.
God wants to be in relationship with us. However, in Group tonight, one of our members said things with Adam just did not seem to work out. God told him what was needed. Yet Adam went against that and then hid himself.

So the Lord attempted to establish a better relationship with Abraham. “Walk in my presence.” Don’t hide from me. Walk with me. Once we set out to walk with God, maybe we will strike up a conversation like the one on the walk to Emmaus. Maybe we will feel His pain like the walk up Calvary. Maybe we will help His ministry like the apostles did on their walks throughout Galilee. Whatever fruit is born from these walks, God seeks a companion for his journey.

Temptation also encroached on God’s relationship with Abraham and his descendants. Instead of establishing a personal relationship, they offered sacrifices to God. However, all the laws and sacrifices did not break Abraham’s descendants of their bad habits. So, God sent his son who would “do his will” and set an example for us.

The notes from the New American Bible for the passage from Hebrews have rich interpretation for us today:

Christian faith now realizes that the Old Testament sacrifices did not effect the spiritual benefits to come but only prefigured them. For if the sacrifices had actually effected the forgiveness of sin, there would have been no reason for their constant repetition. They were rather a continual reminder of the people's sins. It is not reasonable to suppose that human sins could be removed by the blood of animal sacrifices. Christ, therefore, is here shown to understand his mission in terms of Psalm 40:5-7 and acknowledged that the Old Testament sacrifices did not remit the sins of the people and so, perceiving the will of God, offered his own body for this purpose.

Jesus offered a single sacrifice that won him a permanent place at God's right hand. Thus he has brought into being in his own person the new covenant prophesied by Jeremiah 31:33-34 that has rendered meaningless all other offerings for sin.

So, to enter into one of the closest possible relationship with Jesus as a parent to child or as a sibling, He instructs us in Mark to follow his example and do God’s will. “(For) whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”

Have you ever been in a foreign country where you did not know the language? If you don’t have some kind of book or dictionary, you needed to find a companion along the way to help you enter into communication and relationship with the people in the land you were visiting. For us, to establish and strengthen that relationship, God sent Jesus and the Holy Spirit to support us in this new relationship, new covenant, with him.


“Vaya con dios.” Go with God. “Walk in my presence.” When we take a journey today, walking is only one way that we can get from the proverbial Point A to Point B. We also drive. Take Metro. Fly. Bike. Swim. Run.

Wherever you go today, go with God. Take a symbol of God along with you…perhaps a cross, rosary beads, or a photo that will serve as a reminder that every step you take today, you are taking with God.

How does your daily activity change with just this awareness that you have God with you in the car, on the plane, or on the bus? Even if and when you are shoveling snow, go with God. If you do, God will go with you, too.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

God Governs with Justice and Faithfulness

January 26, 2009

Memorial of Saint Timothy and Saint Titus, bishops

By Beth DeCristofaro

Say among the nations: The Lord is king. He has made the world firm, not to be moved; he governs the peoples with equity. (Psalm 96:10)

But no one can enter a strong man’s house to plunder his property unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can plunder his house. …all sins and all blasphemies that people utter will be forgiven them. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an everlasting sin. (Mark 3: 27-29)


Lord, grant that I may always allow myself to be guided by You, always follow Your plans, and perfectly accomplish Your Holy Will. Grant that in all things, great and small, today and all the days of my life, I may do whatever You require of me. Help me respond to the slightest prompting of Your Grace, so that I may be Your trustworthy instrument for Your honor. May Your Will be done in time and in eternity by me, in me, and through me. Amen. (St. Theresa of Avila)


The Good News can be found even in the bad news. Jesus uses the illogical and malicious accusations of the scribes to teach two important, awe-inspiring points: that he is taking back the world from evil and that God’s forgiveness is complete and overreaching.

Jesus is stronger than Satan. God can, and does, overpower Satan and plunders or takes the possessions of Satan back for God’s own. Each and every one of God’s children is saved by Jesus. The scribes, being religious scholars, would have recognized the references to binding and overcoming Satan. The absurdity of their words would have been also recognizable. God does not divide but conquers evil.

But further, God’s potency and profuse love is shown, Jesus says, in that no sins are above or beyond God’s forgiveness. George Martin in The Gospel According to Mark makes the point that “God’s mercy has no exceptions but rather accepting God’s mercy is another matter.” To defiantly reject the actions of the Holy Spirit is a choice not only to blaspheme but is a choice to reject God’s mercy. By this choice one does not receive God’s abundant forgiveness. Jesus does not accuse directly but one wonders what the scribes heard and how their own hearts might have been struck through his words.


How do Jesus’ words strike our hearts? Are we concerned or feel a finger pointing at us? Do we feel left out or are we reassured in the strength of God’s mercy? What do we need to work at forgiving within ourselves, particularly those parts of us that keep us bound rather than free to experience Jesus’ loving, all encompassing mercy?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Why Are You Persecuting Me?

January 25, 2009

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul

By Rev. Joe McCloskey, S.J.

“On that journey as I drew near to Damascus, about noon a great light from the sky suddenly shone around me. I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’” Acts 22:6-7

I tell you, brothers, the time is running out. From now on, let those having wives act as not having them, those weeping as not weeping, those rejoicing as not rejoicing, those buying as not owning, those using the world as not using it fully. For the world in its present form is passing away. 1 Corinthians 7:29-31

“Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned.” Mark 16:15-16


Praise the LORD, all you nations! Give glory, all you peoples! The LORD'S love for us is strong; the LORD is faithful forever. Hallelujah! Psalm 117


The Conversion of St. Paul has always been one of my favorite stories of the New Testament. I like it because it fits in its own way all of us. Bright lights have been the friendly words of others that have made the road to a greater union with Christ easier to follow. The joy of being a part of anyone’s journey to Christ has also been a sign of the truth of our journey. We are energized by each other’s story. That is why the group reunion always starts with a sharing of piety. Searching for the voice that is speaking to our heart and in our heart is what piety allows us to do. We find the voice of Christ in the invitations of piety to share a closer walk with Christ. We are encouraged in our own journey by the way people listen to us. When we pay close attention to what another is saying, our own journey clarifies itself. It becomes easier in the companionship of the journey. Christ lives again fleshed out in the story of each one of us.

Ananias becomes in the story a Spiritual Director. He does for Paul what a Spiritual director does when one accompanies us on the journey and shares where the pitfalls are and dead-end streets of the byways of the journey. God puts the companions of the journey on our road. The value of the expert we discover for ourselves and the straight and the narrow path is revealed to us. It is easy to get lost on the journey or to waste a lot of time without a guide. God can use any one of us. The Group Reunion makes us instruments of Christ to carry his name to our friends. The story of Jonah enlarges our apostolate. The Lord does not give us a threat to carry to our people. Jonah did not really believe that his word would make a difference. Our apostolic action begins on our own hearts. We have to believe we can make a difference if we depend on Christ. We have to change. If we are to carry the voice of what is wrong with our world, we have to do something about ourselves. Our lives need to be the sermon that we are preaching if we are to make a difference in our world.


The words of Jesus in our Gospel today are directed at our hearts. “Repent, and believe in the gospel.” Jesus invites the two sets of brothers to come and follow him. We need to begin our call in our own families. The job that he has for us is to make friends and be friends and by the beauty of our friendships to bring them to Christ. What we do in our Group reunion is half dead if we are not trying to bring others to the same love for Christ that we have. Christianity is the best kept secret of our world. If we are to make a difference in our world, we too must share the good news of Christ. The status quo is not acceptable if we want to follow Christ.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Cleanse Our Consciences

January 24, 2009

Memorial of Saint Francis de Sales, bishop and doctor of the Church

For if the blood of goats and bulls and the sprinkling of a heifer's ashes can sanctify those who are defiled so that their flesh is cleansed, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from dead works to worship the living God. Hebrews 9:13-14

He came home. Again (the) crowd gathered, making it impossible for them even to eat. When his relatives heard of this they set out to seize him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.” Mark 3:20-21


I recommend to you holy simplicity. Look straight in front of you and not at all those dangers you see in the distance. Let us be firmly resolved to serve God with our whole heart and life. Beyond that, let us have no care about tomorrow. Let us think only of living today well. Let us not doubt that God will provide more for us tomorrow, and all the days of our pilgrimage. (From a letter written by St. Francis de Sales in 1603 to the daughter of a friend. Reprinted in Benedictine Daily Prayer: A Short Breviary.)


Yesterday, Christ took the disciples up to the mountaintop to “ordain” them into the ministry of preaching and healing. However, any trip to the mountaintop also requires a trip back down to earth. Today, we are back down to earth seeing the nitty gritty details of ministry to crowds.

Rather than separating us from the world, Christ wants us to be a part of the world. However, when we do that, he wants us to think like he does, not like everyone else. We are not to follow the crowd but to think independently of others.

Jesus seems to spend a lot of time in crowded houses as word spreads of his ministry and healing. We encounter people lowing paralytic patients through the roof. We encounter annoyed relatives who come to pay a visit to Jesus and can not even get into the house because there are so many people with him. Word of his miracles continues to spread like a brush fire in a dry California spring.

As the people of Judea get a taste of his teaching, more and more people want to feast on that. They want to hang out with their new friend. People stream into the house in such a multitude that his relatives react to Jesus like he is some kind of crazy, eccentric Uncle Tony. “He is out of his mind.”

When we or they judge Christ’s actions by the standards of the world, then we might agree that Jesus’ mind is not of this world. His thoughts and actions are separated from the world. More correctly we might say “He is out of this world.” Jesus is in a world alone and apart from us even though he lives among us and within us.


When we let Christ into our lives, Christ returns the hospitality. Jesus invites us into his life so much so that none of the expected relatives we might find there can enter because life gets so crowded. We are not ABLE to do the normal things we would and could do in the course of a day…like eating, sleeping, etc. Life becomes inconvenient for us the more we accommodate Jesus and makes it convenient for the poor the more we fail to accommodate the rich.

What conveniences are you willing to give up for Jesus? What normal activities are you willing to let Jesus crowd out of your life? Spend some more time with Jesus by spending less time doing worldly activities like shopping and driving and more. Maybe you can spend a few less hours in front of the television and a few more in front of the Bible. Maybe you can spend a few more hours in the presence of God through prayer or chapel visits. Maybe you can spend an extra half hour in service to others and putting aside your selfish desires. Let Jesus crowd one of these behaviors out of your life.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

All Shall Know Me

January 23, 2009

Friday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time

But this is the covenant I will establish with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their minds and I will write them upon their hearts. I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall not teach, each one his fellow citizen and kinsman, saying, “Know the Lord,” for all shall know me, from least to greatest. Hebrews 8:10-11

He went up the mountain and summoned those whom he wanted and they came to him. He appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) that they might be with him and he might send them forth to preach. Mark 3:13-14


A clean heart create for me, God; renew in me a steadfast spirit. Do not drive me from your presence, nor take from me your holy spirit. Restore my joy in your salvation; sustain in me a willing spirit. I will teach the wicked your ways, that sinners may return to you. Rescue me from death, God, my saving God, that my tongue may praise your healing power. Lord, open my lips; my mouth will proclaim your praise. Psalm 51:12-17


“All shall know me.”

God has been working on us for a long time. Yet after thousands of years of salvation history (recorded and passed on to us in the Old Testament), the historic Jewish people failed to live up to their end of the covenant that God set down with Abraham.

What was that original covenant? Recall how God instructed Abraham in Genesis:

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said: “I am God the Almighty. Walk in my presence and be blameless. Between you and me I will establish my covenant, and I will multiply you exceedingly.” When Abram prostrated himself, God continued to speak to him: “My covenant with you is this: you are to become the father of a host of nations.” Genesis 17:1-4, 10

God is promising Abraham that his people will live long and be prosperous. They only have to hold us their end of the covenant – to walk in the presence of God and be blameless. The sign of that covenant in the Old Testament was circumcision. So the covenant was a two-way street, an exchange. In return for prosperity and land, the men paid a physical price.

The people did not live up to God’s expectations. They could not keep up the laws because temptations to sin were great. They needed more help. So God wanted to establish a new promise, a better promise. It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers the day I took them by the hand to lead them forth from the land of Egypt; for they did not stand by my covenant and I ignored them, says the Lord. (Hebrews 8:9)

Despite our turning away, God does not give up. First, he sent his Son to wipe the slate clean. In fact the Catechism (578) teaches us that Jesus “is in fact the only one who could keep the covenant perfectly.” In the Catechism (1964), St. Thomas Aquinas teaches us that “even though the Old Law prescribed charity, it did not give the Holy Spirit through whom “God’s charity has been poured into our hearts.”

To make sure we had help living up to the terms of the new covenant, he sent the Holy Spirit to dwell within us…We still have terms to fulfill. However, with the new covenant, we now also have the gift of the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Holy Spirit to help strengthen us as we live up to our side of the covenant.

But how will we all know God? Jesus is not here any longer. “He has obtained so much more excellent a ministry as he is mediator of a better covenant, enacted on better promises.” Hebrews 8:6

In addition to the Holy Spirit, we also have the priesthood of Jesus perpetuated through the apostles. So if God wants to dwell in our hearts, if God wants us to know Him sincerely, then we need more help…help which will always remind us of Jesus. So, to preach the words like Jesus did, the Son picks messengers to continue to carry out his mission long after his mortal life ends. Our Gospel today reminds us of that first class of apostles called directly by Jesus.

As the old covenant is now replaced by the new, God takes up dwelling within each of our hearts. Everything we do – all of our piety, study and action – is designed to know God and to make room for Him as our ever-present companion on the journey, with us every step along the way, every moment of every day.

So the full meaning of the Old Law – “Walk in my presence and be blameless” – is now revealed in the person of Jesus and all that he passes on to us in the Sacrament of the Present Moment.


How will you act if you walk in God’s presence? Just think…God is with you every step along the way. How will you react to your co-worker when you are impatient? How will you react to your neighbor who annoys you with a loud party? If you are conscious of God’s present at every moment, what will you do differently today? A contrite heart, O God, is pleasing to your sight. Psalm 51

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Approach God through Him

January 22, 2009

Thursday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time

He is always able to save those who approach God through him, since he lives forever to make intercession for them. Hebrews 7:25

He had cured many and, as a result, those who had diseases were pressing upon him to touch him. And whenever unclean spirits saw him they would fall down before him and shout, "You are the Son of God." He warned them sternly not to make him known. Mark 3:10-12


"You Are the Light of the World" (from Godspell)

You are the light of the world! You are the light of the world!
But if that light is under a bushel, it's lost something kind of crucial.
You've got to stay bright to be the light of the world.

You are the salt of the earth. You are the salt of the earth.
But if that salt has lost it's flavor it ain't got much in its favor
You can't have that fault and be the salt of the earth!


So let your light so shine before men. Let your light so shine.
So that they might know some kindness again,
We all need help to feel fine (let's have some wine!)

You are the city of God. You are the city of God.
But if that city's on a hill it's kinda hard to hide it well.
You've got to stay pretty in the city of God.



Throughout the Gospels, Jesus is often quoted as telling the disciples and people cured not to speak about what has happened. Puzzling. Does Jesus want to keep his life and works a secret? How in the world does Jesus expect this ministry to remain a secret? Is he serious in these statements?

After all, Jesus came into the world heralded by angels, visited by magi, and attracting shepherds from yonder fields. I think most would agree that, although he was living in a small town, this is not a very quiet beginning.

By the third chapter in Mark’s telling of the story, the Pharisees are already plotting to kill Jesus or turn him over to Roman authorities. So can the disciples really get Jesus into any more trouble than the Lord can muster all by himself?

His fame spread everywhere throughout the whole region of Galilee. Mark 1:28

Then he said to him, "See that you tell no one anything, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them." 1:44

The paralytic man lowered from the roof was cured in front of the Pharisees. The scribes question why he is eating with sinners and tax collectors. He cured the man with the withered hand on the Sabbath. He is shortly going to appoint the twelve apostles to go out and imitate him…driving out demons and preaching. And that is only after three chapters.

Whether he is working in the synagogue or on the shores of Galilee, Jesus probably should not have a reasonable expectation that his actions will remain a secret. After all, he is clearly working right under the noses of the Pharisees either from eye-witness accounts or from the apostles preaching about Jesus’ actions. Even when he wanted to retreat and leave the cities, people followed him. Jesus withdrew toward the sea with his disciples. A large number of people (followed) from Galilee and from Judea. Hearing what he was doing, a large number of people came to him also from Jerusalem, from Idumea, from beyond the Jordan, and from the neighborhood of Tyre and Sidon. Mark 3:7-8

On the good side, you can call what happened after each miraculous event, word-of-mouth advertising. On the bad side, you could call it gossip. But this light was NOT going to be kept under a bushel. If it were kept under a bushel, it would lose something kind of crucial. (See Mel Rigney is not the only Tripod contributor who can sneak in a reference to “Godspell.”). If we are being the City of God, if that city’s on a hill its kind of hard to hide it well.


Perhaps Jesus is saying he doesn’t need any help in spreading the news about his actions. His actions speak louder than any words that we might utter. Rather than going around like the town crier talking about what Jesus did or did not do, we should act as he does. We should imitate Christ and act among our family, our church, and our community. Jesus does not need our help to get crossed up with the Pharisees. He can do that quite well on his own. “Every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices.” So we are not called to talk about what Jesus would do. Instead, we are called to DO as Jesus would do. After all, “he is mediator of a better covenant, enacted on better promises.”

The reading from Hebrews reminds us that we are to approach God “through” Jesus, not on our own. When we do, Jesus is there to intercede and advocate for us.

Just a thought.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

You Are a Priest For Ever

January 21, 2009

Memorial of Saint Agnes, Virgin and martyr

By Melanie Rigney

(After Melchizedek blessed Abraham as he returned from his defeat of the kings,) Abraham apportioned to him a tenth of everything. His name first means righteous king, and he was also “king of Salem,” that is, king of peace. Without father, mother, or ancestry, without beginning of days or end of life, thus made to resemble the Son of God, he remains a priest forever. (Hebrews 7:2-3)

You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek. (Psalms 110:4)

Jesus entered the synagogue. There was a man there who had a withered hand. They watched Jesus closely to see if he would cure him on the sabbath so that they might accuse him. He said to the man with the withered hand, “Come up here before us.” Then he said to the Pharisees, “Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?” But they remained silent. Looking around at them with anger and grieved at their hardness of heart, Jesus said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out and his hand was restored. (Mark 3-1:5)


Lord, You have given me my commission. Let me not be influenced by those who would take me from the work You have given me. Help me to bear my cross with grace and joy in the way You have instructed me to bear it, whether others understand what I do and why I do it or not.


The Pharisees weren’t bad men—in their eyes. In fact, they regarded themselves as such superior people that they were taught to stay separate from their heathen, idolatrous neighbors, not even eating from the same board or having any social interaction with them. They were such strict followers of the law that they once refused to defend themselves from a Syrian attack that came on the Sabbath.

So it’s easy to see why they didn’t understand this Jesus, and offered conundrums in hopes of catching him in a violation of the Law. Jesus, of course, being the Son of God, always came up with a solution that served his Father. “Form follows function,” as the sculptor Horatio Greenough said and the architect Louis Sullivan made famous. You might say Jesus is a shining example of that principle at its best. In today’s Gospel, his function was to serve as a priest and cure the man’s withered hand. The Pharisees, however, were more concerned with form—and such a cure according to form could not occur on the Sabbath.

We can be overly focused on form in our lives as well. Shake your head at those who pray during Mass with hands open (or closed)? Roll your eyes at those who receive the Eucharist in their mouths (or their hands)? Does it really matter? Have they broken some law of the Church in the view of Christ?

Even if we are not designated through ordination to carry out the divine service of the Eucharistic sacrifice, we all function in some priestly ways. We offer up gifts and sacrifices of ourselves. While we are not formally appointed by the Church to do so, we offer homage to God not only on behalf of ourselves, but also on behalf of our families and communities. If we are to put Christ first, even ahead of our fathers and mothers and families, on our spiritual journey to everlasting life, are we not called on some level to “remain a priest for ever?”

Jesus was sent to redeem the human race and show us how to live. Why were you sent? To ease suffering; to spread the Good News by proclamation, song, or writing; to lead by the example of sacrifice and love? Let us focus on the “priestly” function we are called to ... and less on the form in which others are fulfilling their own call.


Just for today, do not criticize mentally or verbally the way in which others in your life serve the Lord.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Hold Fast to the Hope

January 20, 2009

Tuesday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time

“…we who have taken refuge might be strongly encouraged to hold fast to the hope that lies before us. This we have as an anchor of the soul, sure and firm, which reaches into the interior behind the veil, where Jesus has entered on our behalf as forerunner. Hebrews 6:18b-20a

“The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. That is why the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.” Mark 2:27-28


Giving Thanks for a Committed Life

A Prayer by Martin Luther King

O God, our heavenly Father, we thank thee for this golden privilege to worship thee, the only true God of the universe. We come to thee today grateful that thou hast kept us through the long night of the past and ushered us into the challenge of the present and the bright hope of the future. We are mindful, O God, that man cannot save himself, for man is not the measure of things and humanity is not God.

Bound by our chains of sin and finiteness, we know we need a savior. We thank thee, O God, for the spiritual nature of man. We are in nature but we live above nature. Help us never to let anyone or any condition pull us so low as to cause us to hate. Give us the strength to love our enemies and do good to those who despitefully use us and persecute us.

We thank thee for thy Church, founded upon the Word, that challenges us to do more than sing and pray, but go out and work as though the very answer to our prayers depended on us and not upon thee. Then, finally, help us to realize that man was created to shine like the stars and live on through all eternity.

Keep us, we pray, in perfect peace, help us to walk together, pray together, sing together, and live together until that day when all of God's children -- Black, White, Red, and Yellow -- will rejoice in one common band of humanity in the kingdom of our Lord and of our God, we pray. Amen.


Authority and Promises: appropriate themes to reflect upon this day when we experience the forty-fourth consecutive peaceful transition of power over the last 233 years.

The First Reading from Hebrews reminds us of the promises and covenant that God makes with us. Because of the original covenant and the new covenant, God is our anchor for the future. All people live under come form of civil government. Some of those forms may be better than others, some more peaceful, some more prosperous, some more just. But the society envisions by those who hold fast to their hope in God, is the kingdom that he promises us and which we pray for every time we recite the Our Father.

The days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers the day I took them by the hand to lead them forth from the land of Egypt; for they broke my covenant and I had to show myself their master, says the LORD. But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD. I will place my law within them, and write it upon their hearts; I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No longer will they have need to teach their friends and kinsmen how to know the LORD. All, from least to greatest, shall know me, says the LORD, for I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sin no more. Jeremiah 31:31-34

Now that is the promised fulfilled in Christ who dwells within each of our hearts. Every political candidate makes promises…but nothing like that! Sometimes the successful candidate lives up to the promises made on the campaign trail. Other times, they disappoint some of us or all of us.

Our political leaders say that they are like us but they are not really the common man or woman. To run for political office, it takes millions of dollars, a lot of luck and maybe good weather on Election Day if you hope to win. Jesus was different. He was a common man, the son of the carpenter from Nazareth. He not only felt our pain, he felt pain that none of us will ever freely choose to endure as he washed away our sins for all time. He came right out and admitted that he was going to be a divider.

“Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. From now on a household of five will be divided, three against two and two against three; a father will be divided against his son and a son against his father, a mother against her daughter and a daughter against her mother, a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law." Luke 12:51-53

Those are pretty harsh words when he said them and pretty harsh words even today as we struggle with their meaning.

James Morrison reminds us on his web site Scripture Insights explains it this way:

Jesus never sought to be "politically correct." He did not say what people wanted to hear, but what was true. He did not adapt to people; he expected people to adapt to God's truth as he spoke it…God's truth is a sword which divides truth from falsity, right from wrong, good from evil, and much else. It confronts us and requires us to make decisions. The way we make those decisions can divide us.

On Good Friday, it seemed that all of Jerusalem was united against Jesus as he hung on the cross like a criminal between two thieves. Herod and Pilate sent Jesus to his execution just like anyone who would oppose the empire.

Yet, there was the One who had dominion over everything in the heavens and on earth. Jesus is the only one with true authority everlasting. Others may have some power for a while but terms start and terms end. Only Jesus is the one who is Lord of all, lord even of the Sabbath. So let us all hold fast to the hope in Jesus.


The USCCB has outlined the issues which it has set as priorities for communicating with the new administration and Congress. Here are the priorities from a weekly update provided by the bishops:

As the new Administration and Congress begin their work, the USCCB is working hard to communicate the church’s concerns about issues of human life, human dignity, justice and peace. At the bishops’ November 2008 meeting, Cardinal Francis George, President of the USCCB, issued a statement expressing the bishops’ commitment to work with our new leaders to advance the common good of all. On January 13th, Cardinal George sent letters to President-elect Obama and members of the 111th Congress outlining a range of issues of concern to the Catholic community. These include:

  • Economic Justice—We support a clear priority for poor families and vulnerable workers in economic recovery measures, including new investments and strengthening the national safety net.
  • Health Care—We support comprehensive action to ensure universal health coverage which protects all human life including pre-natal life, provides access for all with a special concern for the poor, respects pluralism, contains costs, and respects the moral and religious convictions of patients and providers.
  • International AffairsWe support a responsible transition in Iraq and U.S. investments in foreign aid to overcome poverty, hunger and disease. We also support action on climate change to address the disproportionate impact of climate change and proposed responses on those who are poor.
  • Immigration Policy—We will work to fix a broken immigration system and support comprehensive reform that includes a path to earned citizenship.
  • Marriage We support the legal definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
  • Education--We support initiatives which provide resources for all parents, especially those of modest means, to choose the education that best addresses the needs of their children.
  • Faith-based Groups—We support efforts to strengthen the partnership between government and faith-based groups in ways that do not encourage government to abandon its responsibilities and do not require religious groups to abandon their identity and mission.
  • Protecting the Lives of the Most Vulnerable—We will work to defend the right to life from conception to natural death, especially for unborn children and those who are disabled or terminally ill. We will seek common ground on morally sound ways to reduce abortion and will oppose all efforts to expand it or require participation by taxpayers or others.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Bear their Cross

January 19, 2009

Monday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time

By Beth DeCristofaro

Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the skins are ruined. Rather, new wine is poured into fresh wineskins. (Mark 2:22)


Lord, you gave yourself on the cross for the unity of all humankind. We offer up to you our human nature marred by egotism, arrogance, vanity and anger. Reach out to us with compassion and take care of your people, so that we may enjoy the peace and joy integral to the order of your creation. May all Christians work together to bring about your justice. Give us the courage to help others to bear their cross, rather than putting our own on their shoulders. Amen. (Week of Prayer for Christian Unity: Prayer from Day 2)


Today is the second day of the week of prayer for Christian Unity. The week coincides with a Day of Prayer for Peace in Assisi, Italy, attended by representatives of the Orthodox Churches, the Anglican Communion, the Churches originated by the Reformation, Hinduism, the Traditional African Religions, Buddhism, Judaism and the Islamic World and marked with a speech by Pope Benedict XVI.

My family and I were in Assisi on Good Friday. It is an awe-inspiring town, howbeit the locals know how to turn the tourist trade to good use. But I can picture the Holy Father, other solemn officials and the faithful in the beautiful basilica, praying above the grave of St. Francis and be hopeful in today’s world full of tragedy and sorrow. I can picture the Pope climbing into his Popemobile for the short but very steep uphill drive to the Poor Clare’s convent where the cross of San Damiano hangs. It is awesome.

Jesus’ imagery is far from this splendid. He talks about new life supplanting in its vivacity, promise and immediacy the old code, the old precepts. If he asked me today if my wine skin was fresh or was I brittle and rigid, I would have to reflect deeply. If Jesus asked me today if the cloth of my cloak has been kept well enough to take restructuring and repair, or if I have left it to become threadbare and frayed, I would have to pause. Have I been keeping up with Jesus enough to be open to the presence of Jesus where he wills rather than where I want? Is the Spirit blowing or bottled up within me?

In the call to unity, the challenge of unity, can I be open to seeing God in the “other” to witnessing God anew? Or will it burst my comfortable bubble? Can I pray for myself and others to constantly seek the fullness of God at all times?


Spend time this week reflecting on unity and peace. Pray especially for innocent women and children caught in combat zone or regions of conflict. Pray for leaders to seek peace, not violence. Pray for those who suffer for their faith. Finally, pray for unity in our country.

Speak, Lord, For Your Servant Is Listening

January 18, 2009

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

By Rev. Joe McCloskey, S.J.

When Samuel went to sleep in his place, the LORD came and revealed his presence, calling out as before, "Samuel, Samuel!" Samuel answered, "Speak, for your servant is listening." 1 Samuel 3:9-10

Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them, "What are you looking for?" They said to him, "Rabbi" (which translated means Teacher), "where are you staying?" He said to them, "Come, and you will see." John 1:38-39

(Psalm 40:2-10)

I waited, waited for the LORD; who bent down and heard my cry, drew me out of the pit of destruction, out of the mud of the swamp, set my feet upon rock, steadied my steps, and put a new song in my mouth, a hymn to our God.
Many shall look on in awe and they shall trust in the LORD. Happy those whose trust is the LORD, who turn not to idolatry or to those who stray after falsehood.
How numerous, O LORD, my God, you have made your wondrous deeds! And in your plans for us there is none to equal you. Should I wish to declare or tell them, too many are they to recount.
Sacrifice and offering you do not want; but ears open to obedience you gave me. Holocausts and sin-offerings you do not require; so I said, "Here I am; your commands for me are written in the scroll. To do your will is my delight; my God, your law is in my heart!" I announced your deed to a great assembly; I did not restrain my lips; you, LORD, are my witness.


“Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.”

What incredible words in this time of such noise we live in where everyone seems to be speaking at once. How do we get quiet enough to hear what the Lord is saying in our lives? I tell people not to worry about falling asleep when they are praying because that is a good sign that one is present to the Lord without trying to manipulate an agenda. I even tell people that there is no such a thing as distractions in a prayer time because if work, people or events sneak into their prayer, there is a good chance that it is the Lord speaking to us. People are blessed by being in our prayer.

So how is it possible to come to prayer and to listen to the Lord?

Preparation for prayer is where we do all our work. Deciding where, when and how to pray is not something that should be taken for granted. The ritual of prayer is the beauty of having found in our lives ways of doing things with the Lord that work. We can imitate the rituals of others, but it is always better to have our own rituals of prayer. The Lord is the best teacher and what works is where good rituals come from.

We know we are open to the gift of prayer when we are willing to try a lot of different ways of praying. To make our choice of what works for us is to have freedom in our prayer. God gives us his Son and his example can really touch our hearts because he is the deepest meaning of our lives. The indwelling of the Spirit gives us the divine connection in our prayer. Freedom is the absolute gift of God to us. He will not force us to pray. He gives us the chance to go to him freely. Our hearts tell us when we are praying as we ought. Our prayer allows us to grow up with the Lord as Samuel did and the words of the Lord will be seen in the good effects of his words on our lives.


The good lives that we live overflow on our prayer. Because the Word has been made flesh, our bodies belong to the Lord and the Lord raises us up by his power that flows over our lives by our prayer. Our bodies are meant to be temples of the Holy Spirit. They have been purchased at the price of Christ dying for us. We can pray with our bodies. Fasting for the Hungry of the World makes a prayer out of our hunger. We can walk with Mary to see her cousin Elizabeth. Each step we take with her makes a prayer out of our walking. Lifting my hands to the Lord makes a prayer out of reaching for him. We are called to be Contemplatives in Action and our lives become our prayer. Our Gospel talks about Christ inviting two of the apostles to come and see where he lived. Living with Christ makes prayer out of all our contacts with each other. Watching Christ in our Meditations brings us to Contemplation. When the father calls Christ his beloved son, the hidden life grace of the thirty years makes out of our living with family and friends the beauty of prayer.

What we do for each other in the ordinary of life makes of our lives Contemplatives in Action. The good we do in our lives, makes our lives into a real prayer.