Walking with Christ

christJesus in the gospel today finds his disciples walking away from Jerusalem. At times, we can think that all seems to be going really well, but all the sudden a fork in the road appears and we continue along the path that seems to be the surest, where our securities lie. Along that path, Christ comes out to our encounter, through thousands of different ways, and we being to see our life under a different light, our heart begins to burn, and we feel we can’t move on. Then all the sudden our eyes are opened and we recognize Christ’s action in our life seeing that this is the only true security that we can hold on to. We recognize Him in the breaking of the bread. Our faith gives us security in this ever-changing world. May we find our security there, and find its transforming value that invites us to go and share it with others, only to find that they have had a similar experience.

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Small town global

globalI’ve been hearing for years that the world is getting smaller, that we live in a global community.  And it is true, right in a small American town, in a small American state.

This week, teaching a short course to Humanities students at our seminary in Cheshire, CT, I’ve experienced “global” in person.  The seminarians I’m working with are, well, from all over the globe:  Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, Korea, Hong Kong, Germany.  The Americans are from around the country, including Texas, California, Ohio and a pair from Kansas City. Continue reading

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Cheshire: I wouldn’t last a week

cheshireThere are so many things in the world I could never do.

I could be a brain surgeon, but I have poor fine motor skills.

I could be an astronaut, but I get motion sick easily.

I could be a professional basketball, but my speed matches someone a foot taller.

I could be a seminarian, but I would have to give up… Continue reading

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Behind the black curtain

curtainIt was a dark and stormy night.

Well…it really was just overcast with a little drizzle.  But the plane ride had been a bit bumpy, the road slightly slick from rain – and I was passing behind the black curtain.

There really isn’t a black curtain, any more than Wisconsin has a cheese curtain or the Soviets had an actual iron curtain.  But when you enter a place where everyone is dressed in black, it feels like there is a curtain.  And I’m on the other side this week.

Depending on one’s state of mind and angle of observation, this could generate foreboding and fear – or joyful anticipation.  I have a certain uneasiness, partly because the people I will be with expect me to be a capable partner in their quest for truth.  I also feel a bit like the only dandelion in a lawn of perfect Kentucky blue grass. Continue reading

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Gift #3: Nikki

nikkiNikki works at Macaroni Grill. She is a beautiful African-American woman in her late thirties, and I met her when my community was invited to join a family for dinner there last month.

Right away I realized that she wasn’t just a typical waitress. She was personable and thoughtful in a way that it was evident that she wasn’t just trying to get a good tip or just doing her job; the person she is just shone through.

One thing that impressed me about her was the way she intentionally made eye-contact when speaking or interacting with one of us. She seemed to enjoy what she did and making sure people knew that they were being taken care of.

Thank you, Nikki, for taking the time to interact with each person individually and seeing each one as the person they are.

 

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Gift #1: Elsa

elsaEDITOR’S NOTE:  This is the first in a series of reflections of people writer Rachel Peach encountered in everyday life.

Reading John Paul II’s meditation on “givenness” both inspired and challenged me on my outlook on life; am I able to recognize “every person, in some way, as a gift” to me?

I decided to start seeing and celebrating those little moments when others are instruments of God’s goodness to me.

Elsa is the teller at the Wells Fargo bank nearest to where my community lives. She’s probably in her middle-late 20’s, and happens be working mostly every time I got to the bank. Every interaction with her, I am always amazed at her genuine joy, which is simply contagious. In fact, I realized that I actually LOOK FORWARD to stopping by the bank for deposits of other banking transactions, just because of her.

There aren’t always those people who you find are always joyful; not just happy, positive, or helpful, but genuinely and deeply joyful. No matter the day, no matter the moment, I am always edified and encouraged by her simple testimony.

Thank you, Elsa, for letting your light shine and spreading it to the hearts of the people you encounter!

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Undeserved Redemption

choose

You didn’t have to choose this road,

Unnecessary gift.

When wounded, fallen child did run,

Yet back to Father lift.

Continue reading

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Gift #2: Joshua

joshuaJoshua works at Lowe’s. I met him back in December when I needed to get more a more specific type of light bulbs for some of the light fixtures in my community’s home.

It was at the end of the day; it was already dark out, and I wasn’t the only customer trying to get home.

When I was finally the next one to be rung up at the cash register, as the couple ahead of me turned to go, I heard him say, “Merry Christmas!” and then surprisingly, “God bless!”

What? Maybe I hadn’t heard correctly…who would actually say “God bless”? Continue reading

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An unexpected conversation

easterNow Jesus did many other signs in the presence of [his] disciples that are not written in this book. But these are written that you may [come to] believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through this belief you may have life in his name. – John 20:30-31

Each day of the year has something for Catholics to celebrate.  Feast days, Saint birthdays, Holy Days (some of obligation), days to fast, plain old ordinary times when we are blessed to practice our faith.

In my mind ,the two BIG days are Christmas and Easter. Continue reading

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Empty

emptyThe tabernacle is empty.

Last night’s Mass of the Lord’s Supper was a beautiful liturgy.  The incense.  Glorious music. Washing of the feet.  Procession and repose.

The tabernacle is empty and there is an uneasy aching in my heart, a sense that something – no, someone – is missing.  But my discomfort leaves quickly.  I know that in a couple days the tabernacle will hold my best friend and savior.  All will be as it should be – as it must be.

But today, the tabernacle is empty. Continue reading

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