Dear Grandpa Diff,
Remember the Kennedy-Nixon debate? It was the first on television and, naturally, the first I watched. You were pretty old then; I believe it was the first and last televised debate you witnessed before going to you final reward.
That first debate was mostly about policy – at least on the surface. Economics, Taxes, Foreign policy. Continue reading
God listens especially to the attitude with which we pray. To God it doesn’t matter who we are in the image of the world, but the fact that we are His son or daughter makes all the difference. He wants us to come to Him in this attitude, not pompous like we deserve something from Him. He loves us not for who we have made ourselves to be, but rather for who He has made us to be. He wants us to see the great image He has of us in His eyes. He made us with so much love, and wants us to know that we are loved above all by Him. Sometimes we are so focused on who we want to create ourselves to be, that we forget that God loves us without all that, and wants us to know that we are even loved when we are sinners. May we turn to Him and ask for His mercy because it is in His mercy that we are able to see ourselves and be who He has made us to be.
Last Saturday I was accompanying a group of high school boys and girls for a monthly service project. This first one of the year was visiting a local nursing home.
On the back of their missions t-shirt was the quote in Spanish saying “Jesus calls you to be a disciple in action” by Pope Francis. It caught the attention of one elderly resident.
“What’s that you got there on the back of your shirt?”
When the teenager realized what she was asking and translated it, the elderly woman gasped. Continue reading
A silent, beaming testament
Of something just behind,
Beauty blankets earth and sky
That something more may find.
The Catholic Church has faced many crises over the centuries.
- Persecution by unfriendly Roman emperors like Nero.
- The Crusades.
- The Inquisition.
- The Reformation
- Post-Vatican II confusion
- The sex abuse scandal.
Through these and many other challenges, the Church has persevered. The faithful have retained faith. Flawed humans have preserved the Church that Christ founded.
But now the Church faces a challenge like none before. It strikes at the very heart not only of the Church, but the culture of Rome, the character of Italy. Continue reading
Today prayer is presented to us in the liturgy. We all need time to pray. Not just to ask God for things, but to build a loving trusting relationship with Him. Prayer is a battle and we must persevere in the battle. Moses has to hold up his arms in prayer to keep the battle in favor of Israel. We have to fight, but also have to learn to lean on others to help us through the fight and to persevere. How often when we are tiered we ask ourselves, where are those who are supposed to be holding up my arms to keep going? At those moments I find that we have to take the moment to look around us and see that there are many others who feel the same. By holding up their arms, our arms are also held up in prayer. We will never tier when we are all holding one another’s arms.
Who says a fourteen-year-old can’t be a great saint?
Not our Holy Father.
This Sunday, Pope Francis will canonize – officially declare a “saint” – one very special fourteen-year-old, José Sánchez del Río. José is patron of both boys’ and girls’ ECYD, Regnum Christi’s youth counterpart.
José was martyred for the faith in February 1928 in Sahuayo, Mexico. Given the chance to regain his freedom numerous times in exchange for denouncing Christ, José refused. Continue reading
The rosary is a very easy prayer to “do” rather than “pray.” I was sitting on the plane the day after Christmas as a sixteen-year old waiting on the runway to take off. I was on my way to visit my family on the farm for Christmas from the high school seminary. Due to a snowstorm, my flight from New Hampshire to Minnesota had be re-routed through Charlotte, taking a big bite out of my already short holiday visit. I was a bit disappointed to say the least. Continue reading
Americans are asking this day how is that we have come to this place in our history where we are choosing between people who demonstrate narcissistic behavior and are proven public liars, both of whom are banking on the voters to care more about their personal agendas than about the good of their neighbors.
History proves civilizations come and go. And although Jesus promised the gates of hell would not prevail against His Church, He didn’t say how close we might come to their entrance. Continue reading
“For, after all, how do we know that two and two make four? Or that the force of gravity works? Or that the past is unchangeable? If both the past and the external world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is controllable – what then?”— George Orwell, 1984
This might be a good time to re-read “1984.” Of course, if you are among the younger generations, you might have missed this important book…better catch up. It is a clever story about how totalitarian government creeps up and enslaves a population. Continue reading