Communion: Defined

personThe word “Communion” can mean so many different things in the Church: we have the Communion rite at Mass, we call the Eucharist “Communion,” we talk about communion in a group, communion with the Pope, communion with the poor and downtrodden, and communion with God just to name a few of the ways we use this word.

In his essay “All Things Proceed,” Fr John Pietropaoli attempts to get down to the essence of communion. Instead of giving a quick two-line philosophical definition, he tries to go around the concept and see it from various aspects like one might view a human person from aspects like biology, sociology, and theology. This method reminds me of John Paul II rather than Thomas Aquinas. Continue reading

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Path to Heaven

humilityOver the past few weeks the gospels have been warning us in a positive way for eternity. Today the liturgy tells us how to make it – humility. Humility is the only way to have communion with God. God is not present in the proud heart. As we journey on, the path seems less and less clear. It isn’t clear how to be humble. We can think that humility is being weak and helpless. Rather, humility is the firm conviction of who we are and who God is. The humble person is able to discover God’s voice and to act on it without putting limits. Humility doesn’t limit us, but rather makes us great in God’s eyes. We all are holding on to something which makes us secure in the eyes of others. Having the faith to place our only security in God rather than in what others think of us is the past of the humble soul. May we ask God for the strength necessary to be able to confide in Him and walk humbly behind Him as He shows us the path to heaven.

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Led by the Holy Spirit

renounce“[Renounce] the attempt to plan and control everything to the last detail, and instead [let the Holy Spirit] enlighten, guide and direct us, leading us wherever he wills.” – Pope Francis

Fr. Ron May, pastor of St. Dominic’s in Southington, has taught me the importance of never stifling the work of the Holy Spirit. His parish is alive with families and many men engaged in lay ministries. No wonder he was named pastor of the year for the Archdiocese of Hartford.

Today allow the Holy Spirit to change some of your plans!

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Louisiana in need

louisianaLong as I remember the rain been comin’ down
Clouds of mystery pourin’ confusion on the ground.
Good men through the ages tryin’ to find the sun.
And I wonder still I wonder who’ll stop the rain.

I went down Virginia seekin’ shelter from the storm
Caught up in the fable I watched the tower grow
Five year plans and new deals wrapped in golden chains.
And I wonder still I wonder who’ll stop the rain.

Heard the singers playin’, how we cheered for more.
The crowd had rushed together tryin’ to keep warm.
Still the rain kept pourin’, fallin’ on my ears
And I wonder, still I wonder who’ll stop the rain.

— Creedence Clearwater Revival

The picture with this article identifies the house of a Regnum Christi family in Louisiana. Continue reading

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Love the children?

We share the same biology, regardless of ideology.
Believe me when I say to you,
I hope the Russians love their children too — Sting


The Cold War threatened the destruction of humanity.  A musician wrote of his love for children.  And he hoped the Russians loved their children.

The implication was that if both sides in this tense conflict loved their children, we would pull back from the brink.  Continue reading

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The summer of rage in the Year of Mercy

churchSummer 2k16 has shaken all of us in some way or another… the instability of politics, the violence of terrorist attacks, the arguments over the direction the church is going and so many other things have polarized our communities in a major way. In one of those paradoxes that God is so good at bringing to life, the summer of rage falls squarely in the Year of Mercy.

As Catholics, we have to ask ourselves what our role is in this time.  How should we view the events around us and how should we react? How do we bring the peace of Christ to a world so enraged? Continue reading

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Love Creates

heartOur pilgrimage group visited Auschwitz late last month. Seeing the gas chambers with our own eyes brought home the horrendous reality of history.

We asked ourselves, “How could a person become able to inflict such suffering and death on another?”

Another question followed, “How was Maximilian Kolbe able to offer his life for a complete stranger?”

The answer is that both heinous crimes and heroic virtues are born in the heart.

Today, let us consecrate our heart to Jesus through his Immaculate Mother Mary.

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“An International Encounter”

prayerWe had the realization all at once.

Out of the 9 people in the room, there were 6 countries represented: United States, Mexico, Spain, Hungary, France, and El Salvador.

Each week for our Encounter with Christ, during our final vows course in Rome, we would grab our bibles and randomly break into groups for a time of community prayer and enrichment. That week, after a particularly intense and deep moment of sharing, it suddenly hit us all how amazing it was to think we were all together, in the same room and experiencing an interior spiritual resonance, when we had hardly known each more than a month.

The Room

Sure, we were all consecrated women, but other than the three Americans I had come with and three others who had spent formation time in the United States, they were all new people.

And yet, if anyone were to enter the room, they would never have known that.

The charism is alive. It’s in our hearts.

What a gift to experience that communion.


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a view from the asphalt

weddingLast Saturday I officiated at my second wedding, and it was beautiful. Well, except for the fact that the wedding was at 6pm, and the priest showed up at exactly 6pm. And the rest of the story is…

I was trying to make good time as I drove from Chicago to Cinncinati, but an Ordination I attended earlier in the day went a little longer than planned. The GPS said I would arrive at 5:30, not exactly an hour early as I had hoped for, but still respectable.

During my morning prayer time earlier that day I had been reading one of my favorite authors, Ruth Burrows. She was talking about how we need “constant watchfulness for the call of God,” and how “we miss countless opportunities when he is there offering himself because we don’t notice him, we are not really looking for him.” Continue reading

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Fire of Christ’s Love

loveLuke tells us the greatest desire of Christ’s heart – to start a fire. Fire which is God’s love in us. Christ burns with love for us and His desire is that we know this and experience first hand His love. The baptism with which He needed to be baptized was the cross, which was the place where He showed us how extreme His love is. We can help Christ set fire to the world by first letting His love penetrate our hearts. This fire needs to blaze and once it is blazing it can do nothing but spread. God is burning for us. His love doesn’t leave us inert, but urges us on. We won’t remain the same after having encountered Him, but changes us and gives us a new identity free from any other constraints to be be able to be totally available to His loving touch. Heart of Christ, inflame our hearts with love for You!

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