Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Chaminade Year concludes

Marianist Brother Robert prepares
the music in the Crypt Chapel.
Blessed William Joseph Chaminade was looking for a new kind of missionary, a community that would take as its mission to make Christ, his mission and his works present wherever it was lacking. 
The entire group gathered at the end of the day on the
steps of the Basilica.
The Chaminade singers pause during
their practice time.
They would do this by living in such a way that the presence of Christ was felt among them, his message shared and his works carried out. They would be eager to establish other communities  and to absorb new members into their own.
Above is the entrance procession for
the Eucharist celebration.
Every group being such a "permanent mission." Every member of the community, consequently, was a missionary, because he or he was important for building up and spreading the community. So each of us here today, is a missionary. We carry out our mission wherever we are. we might think that missionaries must go to foreign places. 
Wherever Christ is not known or is not accepted is mission territory. Blessed Chaminade said,  "Perhaps the word mission tends to fatigue the minds of some who imagine that to be a missionary one must go and preach from town to town or parish to parish because they have never had the idea of a permanent or stable mission. You are all missionaries, carry out your mission."

Monday, January 30, 2012

Marianist Monday

Jack Kilkenny, Pat Fitzgerald, Marianist Father Garrett
and Robert McCarthy pause after Mass.

Blessed William Joseph Chaminade

For Blessed Chaminade, faith is the basis of everything in our life

Our call to live Marianist spirituality is first of all a call to live by faith.

But what does it mean in practice?

The Chaminade Chamber Ensemble provided
beautiful music for the celebration.
Faith makes real for us things which before were not real.

This takes place in one way in our mind and in another way in our heart.

First, faith means we accept with our mind something as true or as fact which we cannot prove.

It means accepting with our mind
something which we cannot demonstrate by reason
and which our senses cannot directly experience.

There is a second dimension t our faith.

For Blessed Chaminade, an act of faith meant,
not only accepting something s true with our mind,
but likewise embracing it with our feelings.

That is what he called  "faith of heart."

He taught that acts of faith should
not only shape our thinking,
but should also affect our feelings.

As he said,

"our faith should include...
attitudes of the heart.
It is faith of the heart that justifies:
by believing from the heart you are made righteous.
Faith of mind alone does not sanctify."

Sunday, January 29, 2012

250th Celebration Concludes

Four bus loads of pilgrims departed from Long Island at 7 am and travelled to the National Shrine of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception for the conclusion of the Chaminade Year.
Above the final bus arrived at the front steps of the Basilica
Marianist Brother Robert prepares the liturgy music at the organ console of the Crypt Chapel.
Dr. William Mattison gave the keynote address yesterday. His  study of the life of Blessed Chaminade contributed to his address, but his personal experiences of the legacy of Blessed Chaminade  was more influential.
Many contributed to the festivities of the day. Above, some members of the Gregorian prepare the music for Adoration.
Mrs. Peggy Clores participated in the General Intercessions for Mass.
The four banner carries pause for a photo.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

We Celebrate 250 Years since the Birth of Blessed William Joseph Chaminade

Join us today in prayer as we conclude the Chaminade Year with a National Gathering in Washington, D.C. 
to celebrate the birth of 
Blessed William Joseph Chaminade

January 22, 2011 to January 22, 2012

William Joseph Chaminade was born on April 8, 1761 in Perigueux, France and died on January 22, 1850. Pope John Paul II declared him Blessed on September 3, 2000. His feast day is celebrated on January 22.

Exiled from Bordeaux, France during the French Revolution, Fr. Chaminade fled to Zaragoza, Spain, where he spent many hours in prayer and meditation at the shrine of Our Lady of the Pillar. During these moments of quiet contemplation, he experienced a spiritual awakening and conceived a vision for reviving the faith of the Catholic Church in his homeland.

Blessed William Joseph Chaminade believed that Christian communities needed to bring the story of Jesus and the Gospel to life through their daily activities and outreach to others. Mary, the Mother of God, was the model for his renewed faith formation. In Mary, he saw Christian discipleship, simplicity and hospitality. Fr. Chaminade thought an “alliance with Mary” would transform the Church.

Today the Marianist Family travels to the National Shrine of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. to conclude this year-long celebration as we pray that the life and mission of Blessed William Joseph Chaminade would inspire a transformation of the Church in our own day.

May the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit be glorified in all places through the Immaculate Virin Mary. Amen.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

March for Life 4

On Monday at the Verizon Center as part of the March for Life,  Msgr. Charles Pope, from the Archdiocese of Washington, delivering a terrific homily before a crowd of 18,000 young people.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

March for Life 3

The theme of this year's March is “Unite on the Life Principles to Overturn Roe v. Wade and, With Love, Protect Mothers and Preborn Children. No Exception! No Compromise!” The “life principles” refer to a comprehensive statement of the position motivating the pro-life movement and serve as the basis for pro-life moral and legal theory by which the American people can overturn Roe v. Wade.

Both of our high schools attended the March for Life as a community. Our students are active in pro-life work year round, leading retreats and attending weekly meetings.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

March for Life 2012

"We are facing an enormous and dramatic clash between good and evil, death and life, the "culture of death" and the "culture of life." We find ourselves not only "faced with" but necessarily "in the midst of" this conflict : we are all involved and we all share in it, with the inescapable responsibility of choosing to be unconditionally pro-life." (#28) 
Truly great must be the value of human life if the Son of God has taken it up and made it the instrument of the salvation of all humanity! (#33) 
The Gospel of Life is both a great gift of God and an exacting task for humanity....In giving life to man, God demands that he love, respect and promote life. (#52) 

The deepest element of God’s commandment to protect human life is the requirement to show reverence and love for every person and the life of every person. (#41)  

Sunday, January 22, 2012

March for Life DC

Our two Marianist high schools will be traveling to Washington, D.C. to participate in the annual March for Life this Monday.  The March is a yearly reminder that life is good and given to us by almighty God.

But life always seems to have plenty of difficulty and suffering to spread around. What we need is a group of people around us to shoulder the burdens of life. We need people who will draw us toward interdependence and away from individualism, isolationism and consumerism. We need biblical community.

That's the good life.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Turn the page

What did Jesus make known to his disciples?
He was the Son of God.

What had Jesus shared with his first disciples?
The Good News of the gospel.

What had Jesus revealed to his disciples?
The miracle of his resurrection. No wonder Jesus called for this kind of news to be hollered out for all to hear.

 Too many Christians look as if they have been born in crab-apple season. Christians are not supposed to have "poker faces." If anything, we should all go around looking like "the cat that swallowed the canary." We should be as wiggly and excited about the Good News. In fact, Jesus intimates that if we sit dour and quiet about God's miraculous working in our lives, there may come a day when God will be equally quiet about us.

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Sunday Word

I remember many years ago traveling out to Greenport, L.I. to do a little fishing. We went out to catch blue fish and we hauled them in until the buckets were quite full. Much of fishing today involves not only going where the fish are but being downright deceptive. Hence the words "bait" and "lure." We actually try to trick the fish into believing that what they are biting on is something that it isn't. Jesus went to where the fish were, but once there, cast a net and grabbed them. No deception. No tricks. No lures. Just a net, and the bigger and wider -- the better.

Now if we're going to reel in disciples, we've got to cast a wide net. This means taking another look at how we nurture the souls of today's world. Researchers have found that what many baby boomers are looking for are high-quality youth programs, uplifting worship experiences, and meaningful, authentic small group experiences.

So what should we offer the souls that swim by us? Contemporary praise songs and drama in worship? Special ministries for singles, children and youths? Computer courses, with a chance to work on the web site? Saturday prayer groups and Wednesday evening classes, as well as dance lessons? Don't laugh -- some are doing it, and they're netting people for Christ!

Fortunately, our call is to hook people for the most life-enhancing and soul-expanding of reasons: a connection with Jesus Christ. We are reeling in disciples to get people online with the Divine, and to introduce them personally to the Source of salvation.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I'm Human

Jean Vanier, the founder of l’Arche writes:

Our brokenness is the wound through which the full power of God can penetrate our being and transfigure us in him.

What is it in these turning points or experiences of fracture or conditions of brokenness that particularly open us to God’s love dwelling and working in us?

When we break the communion wafer we break it significantly into two. But then we go on breaking it into smaller pieces; fragments on a silver paten. It would take some time to put the jigsaw of these fragments back together again. The point is we don’t. Christ isn’t put back together again. And when we are broken neither are we. We can never be the same again. Christ was broken. For us. For all time. And in his actions he took bread and he broke it and gave it to his disciples and said take, eat, this is my body which is given for you, do this in remembrance of me.

Being broken is what makes us. It makes us a community, diverse fragments of Christ’s body together making something whole. Expressed by the words we use in Lent at the Eucharist ‘We break this bread, communion in Christ’s body once broken’.

It is in our being broken, by life, sometimes by God that new understanding comes. Not a brokenness to be repaired or stuck back together but broken for life, for beauty, for being in the world as his people, like the fragile clay pots, filled with his love. At our weakest, most open to receive the greatest love; his life laid down for us. Because in weakness we know that.

When we are not - he is He is the yes, when all around are saying no He is the hope when all feels hopeless He is the life when everything speaks of death He is the wholeness when everything speaks of brokenness.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The call is in you -- and it's there for a reason.

As some might know, we just finished National Vocation Awareness Week. And hopefully it isn't news to anyone, but this is of universal importance to all of us as every single one of you has a vocation.

Now, don't panic: this doesn't mean you're to drop everything and make for the nearest monastery, convent or seminary. If that's what you're feeling called to do, though, then go for it(!), thanks for your "yes"(!) and know you've got all our prayers and support!

For somewhere around 99% of this Church, however, our vocation lies elsewhere. These tend to be categorized but, in reality, that's only the beginning; indeed, the easy part.

Truth be told, there are as many wildly diverse, desperately needed vocations out there as there are the number of us -- and whatever form it might take, what you (yes, YOU!) are called to do, the gift you've got to share, is something no one else can bring to life as well or as fully as you can.

And, thing is, much as some might not realize it, think it too crazy or needless or (worst of all) try and fight these movements of the Spirit, try as you might, the call is in you -- and it's there for a reason.

Whatever it might be, the signs are universal: it's what makes you burn, brings you joy, makes life good, gets you up in the morning (sometimes keeps you awake in the night, too) and -- even with the knowledge that it'll never be fully perfect nor without its sufferings, burdens and trials -- you really can't see yourself doing any other thing with your days and giving it everything you've got.

In a nutshell, your call is that one thing above the rest which makes you happy and gives life to you and others. You'll know it simply by finding it and knowing you can't be anywhere else -- and in some cases, even now, even if you don't think you know or have found it, somewhere down deep inside, it's already there and maybe just needs a little extra figuring out.

Many of us have been blessed to find this "project of God" in our lives, summon up the courage to try and -- warts, limitations, sins and all -- start down the path. Something seems to say, though, that just as many of us either haven't found it or, for one reason or another, are holding back from it.

For those of the latter bunch, a simple word of advice from one who's been there: whatever the call is, whatever's keeping you from moving with it, don't be afraid -- just do it, because you never know what'll happen until you let it fly... and in case you could use an example of what can come to pass when you do, well, you're reading this right now, aren't you?

So, friends, "what about today? What are you seeking? What is God whispering to you?"

As with every other good thing, only in the silence can we truly hear and know its answer, and only then can we begin to move closer to the place we each belong.

"What are you seeking? What is God whispering to you?" And if you've already heard it, well, what're you gonna do about it?

Even for those of us well-set along our paths, our seeking and listening days are never really behind us. So in that light, once the latest round of chaos is all sorted out -- and because, once it's found, every vocation needs its nourishment and renewal -- these pages are going quiet for a few, that the daily feed of what's doing elsewhere doesn't distract this scribe from hearing the most important Whispers of all. In a wild time, so it seems, that's all the more necessary.

God loves you a lot forever... and in a special way, wherever we might find ourselves along the road, Happy Listening.
Lectio Magistralis
Aquinas Institute of Theology
St Louis
7 May 2010

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

John 3:16

While the recent NFL divisional playoff game between the Denver Broncos and the New England Patriots was widely watched, you might have noticed a Focus on the Family ad highlighting the Bible verse John 3:16. It is also Christian quarterback Tim Tebow’s favorite.

While Tebow and the Broncos didn’t advance to the AFC Championship game, the evangelical Focus on the Family hoped its ad would help extend the online curiosity about John 3:16.

On the Monday following the  Broncos’ unexpected win over the Pittsburgh Steelers a week ago, John 3:16 was the most-searched term online. In that game, Tebow passed for 316 yards and averaged 31.6 yards per completion.

The ad featured children reciting and elaborating on the verse, which reads, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

So, here it is and enjoy:

Monday, January 16, 2012

You are called.

Was anyone else knocked out as I was by today’s Reflection in Give Us This Day?


Jesus. Lamb. Rabbi. Teacher. Messiah. Christ. Names for One who walks right by you, obscured, perhaps, by the verbiage of ages and by your own tired expectations. Take a second look, a new look altogether, and see who looks for you.

You seek because you are sought, and caught. You have been found, and lovingly found-out. The desire and discipline, the curiosity and perseverance that bring you to this moment in a newly dawning year are your response to the One who wants you, who teaches you, questions and pursues you, who urges you to behold and perceive: the very object of your longing passes by.

Will you be bypassed? Will all the old familiar names for the inviting One of God—however reverent—keep you from hearing your own new name when it’s called?

You are called like Simon to leave aside your plans and go when summoned, to be beheld and known by God’s own, and be renamed.

You do have a choice. You can retreat, take comfort in the familiar, and risk missing your calling. Or you can set out, take on the discomforts of the strange and the stranger, and live into, live up to, your new identity.

Who will you be this day, this year? Who will lead you?

Answer by beholding. Perceive in a passerby your seeker, your teacher. Look into a life you might otherwise overlook, and let yourself be beheld. Is not this unfamiliar gaze—fearless, mutual, and clear—a revelation? Is not this new name your name?
Rachel Srubas

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Discernment in the Spirit of Mary

Discernment Retreat - January 6 - 8, 2012

During the weekend of January 6 - 8th, six young men, from as close as a half-hour’s drive and as far away as Texas and California, met in Muttontown at the Meribah Retreat House to pray and learn about “Discernment in the Spirit of Mary.”

Marianist Brother Timothy Driscoll assisted in leading the group through some wonderful reflections on Mary in Scripture, art, and in the context of discerning one’s vocation.

On Saturday afternoon all sojourned to a nearby arboretum where all enjoyed the amazingly warm, sunny winter day.

The retreat ended on Sunday with a celebration of Epiphany.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Come and See

Jesus surely sees something special in this candid chap from Cana: “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit." Jesus gives him credit for stepping forward in faith, even though Nathanael has doubt and skepticism. Jesus pays him this compliment because Nathanael is at least open; he’s at the very least going to check it out — see what Jesus is all about.

Jesus loves it, and loves him. This willingness to step forward in faith is a commendable quality, one that is every bit as impressive as a top SAT score. But Nathanael was probably not a brainiac — but who knows? He did have faith. He may or may not be in top intellectually, but clearly he’s in the top of the faith life.

He’s perceptive: “Rabbi, you are the Son of God!” says Nathanael, after Jesus divines his identity, having spotted him under a fig tree. “You are the King of Israel!”

And Jesus answers, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these." Jesus invites Nathanael to continue to follow him in faith, and he promises that he will see even more amazing things, including the opening of heaven, and the ascending and descending of the angels of God.

It is clear to Jesus that Nathanael is only at the beginning of his faith journey. But if he continues to step forward, he will see things that will make him even more faithful.

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Sunday Word

Sunday offers us the opportunity to reflect on the Scriptures. What better way to prepare to hear the Word of God by reflecting on the Gospel.

An attentive listening to the Good News, to the voice of God spoken to us, is what Jesus had in mind when he often enough asks us, "Do you have ears to hear, and fail to listen?"

Paying attention to God's voice, really listening to what is being said, is difficult when our ears and minds are cluttered with the honks and hoots, the toots and beauty and the bothers of life. Who has the time or the tools to calm the sounds inside and outside our heads, to quiet the muddle of our thoughts and of life to say to God: Here I am, I am listening?

These seven simple words of prayer, "Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening." It's a request that God help you to hear what he has to say -- hear his still, small voice among the many other competing voices in a sound-saturated society. It's a conscious and concerted effort to tune out the distracting babble of billions of fellow beings, and tune in the divine bandwidth of Almighty God. It's a prayer that you will be able to listen to the Lord and determine together what he is calling you to do and to be today.

Virtually everybody and anybody can hear God's voice, but few choose to listen. After all, who has the time? Who has the temperament? Who has the tools?

You do.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Be a saint!

Here is Bible Geek, Mark Hart as he reflects on how to be a saint. In reality, we are all called to be saints. It is our vocation. And below, ten quick reflective quotes on sanctity.

1."Become a saint, and do so quickly.” Pope John Paul II

2. “If you will look into your own heart in complete honesty, you must admit that there is one and only one reason why you are not a saint: you do not wholly want to be one.” William Law

3. “Do you know any better way to make saints than to be one yourself?” Peter Kreeft

4. “Be not afraid! Open wide the doors to Christ!” Pope John Paul II

5. “Do not be afraid to become the saints of the new millennium!” John Paul II

6. “I think nobody alive today is a more powerful agent of conversion than someone like Mother Teresa. You can refute arguments but not her life. When she came to the National Prayer Breakfast and lectured President Clinton about abortion, he had nothing to say to her. He can't argue with a saint. It's too bad there isn't an easier way, because becoming a saint is not the easiest thing in the world. It's much easier to become an apologist or a philosopher or a theologian.” Peter Kreeft

7. “If you are what you should be, you will set the world on fire.” St. Catherine of Siena

 8. “The saints are the only really happy people on earth.” Fr. John Hardon, S.J.

9. “The great saint may be said to mix all his thoughts with thanks. All goods look better when they look like gifts.” St. Francis of Assisi

10. “Holy communion is the shortest and safest way to Heaven.” St. Pius X

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

National Vocation Awareness Week

The Catholic Church in the United States will celebrate National Vocation Awareness Week, January 9-14.

God calls us all to live our faith and seek out our vocation to become a deacon, priest, religious, married or single person.

Little Sister of the Poor enjoys singing with students
Perhaps God is calling you to the priesthood or consecrated life. Will you have the courage to follow your heart? We are all called to love and serve Him and one another. As we continue to walk in the light of Christ and to serve our Lord with our whole heart, mind and soul, may we be filled with the love of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and seek to forgive all who have hurt us. 

National Vocation Awareness Week is a time for reflection. During the week of January 9th-14th, we encourage all Catholics to:

Marianist Brother Thomas and World Youth Day pilgrims
pause for the camera
- Take time to pray for vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life.

- Reflect on our own vocation and strengthen your personal relationship with Christ.

- Educate our young people about the importance of silent prayer and taking the time to truly listen to God's voice in our hearts

Monday, January 9, 2012

Marianist Monday

Bl. Kateri at Founders Hollow

Just before Christmas the news announcing the canonization of Blessed Kateri was heard in the lodge at Founder's Hollow which bears her name.

With Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha about to be declared a saint, new attention is focusing on the American boy whose miraculous healing is making that possible:

Pope Benedict XVI has decreed that a Sandy Point boy’s recovery from the flesh-eating bacteria that nearly killed him in 2006 is a miracle that can be attributed to Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha’s help, making possible the canonization of the first American Indian saint in the Catholic Church.

Monsignor Paul A. Lenz, the vice postulator for the cause of Blessed Kateri, confirmed on Monday, Dec. 19, the link to Jake Finkbonner.

Doctors who treated Jake, as well as a committee of doctors at the Vatican, came to the same conclusion, Lenz said.

“They didn’t think any of their medical expertise was the cure,” he explained. “They thought every night he was going to die.”

As Jake lay near death, the Rev. Tim Sauer, a longtime family friend, advised his mom and dad, Elsa and Donny Finkbonner, to pray to Blessed Kateri, who is the patroness for American Indians, for her intercession.

That is akin to asking Blessed Kateri to pray to God to perform a miracle on Jake’s behalf. The boy is of Lummi descent.

The Vatican decided Jake’s recovery was a miracle that is beyond the explanation of medicine and that could be attributed to the intercession on his behalf by Blessed Kateri, who was born in 1656.

To his family, who are devout Catholics, there’s no question that a miracle occurred.

“In my heart, in all of us, we’ve always found that Jake’s recovery, his healing and his survival truly was a miracle. As far as Blessed Kateri becoming a saint, it’s honorable to be a part of that process,” Elsa Finkbonner said.

She said Jake, now a sixth-grader at Assumption Catholic School in Bellingham, was excited by the news and also the opportunity to attend a ceremony for the canonization.

“He’s excited to meet the Pope. I think that’s going to be the icing on the cake for him,” Elsa Finkbonner said.

Sunday, January 8, 2012


So, what can you give to your Savior?

Do you have time? Then spend time on your Savior. Offer an hour to the Lord as you visit someone in the hospital or an elderly shut-in. Have you been blessed with voice that loves to sing? Present that gift to the Lord and use it in the choir. Have you been given two hands? Fold them in prayer for someone in need. Do you have two good feet? Use them to carry you to the neighbor’s house and invite them to church. Do you have one heart? Offer it to your Savior as a throne. It’s been said, “You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.” God has proven that to us. He gave himself to us because he loves us. God’s love is revealed in his Word. And his love is reflected in our lives as we worship him with our lives. Now, that’s an epiphany.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

From darkness to light

Tomorrow is the official beginning of the Epiphany season of the Church year. What does the word "epiphany” mean? An “epiphany” is when something reveals itself, or shows itself. For example, in Barrow, Alaska, after 65 days of darkness, the sun finally reveals its glory for everyone to see. That’s an epiphany.

In the Church year, the Epiphany season is when the Son of God reveals his glory for everyone to see. Everything that you see and hear and sing and pray will serve one purpose, and that is this – to reveal to you, to show you, the glory of your Savior Jesus Christ.

You can sum up the festival of Epiphany with one phrase, and that one phrase is: FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT. “Arise,” God says to us, “Shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.” The Scriptures pictures you and me and the rest of the world as a group of people living in darkness, people who have been waiting and waiting and waiting for the sun to rise: “See,” God says, “darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples.”

Friday, January 6, 2012

What gifts do you bring?

This weekend we recall the visit of the three wise men. While they are often referred to as kings, it is probably more likely that they were astrologers familiar in some way with the coming of the Messiah.

Whatever their background; they were wise men from the East who were provoked to action by a star which signaled Christ’s birth. They came to worship at the feet of the new born King, each bearing a uniquely valuable gift.

So, what gifts do you bring to the King?

The Magi came before Jesus bearing gifts of incredible value. God has placed gifts of incredible value inside of each one of us. Just as the Magi brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, each of us bears unique and valuable gifts for the Kingdom of God.

Our calling from God is to share whatever gifts we have in common for the benefit of the mission of the community of faith. I’m terribly afraid that many believers today do not recognize or have not been told what that mission is.

The mission of the church is twofold; to edify the saints and to share the love of Christ with this world which is in desperate need of hope.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Worship always involves SACRIFICE

As we approach the Solemnity of the Epiphany this Sunday consider preparing for Sunday Mass by taking some time in the week before by reading, studying and praying over the scriptures we'll hear proclaimed.

"When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea,
in the days of King Herod,
behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying,
'Where is the newborn king of the Jews?
We saw his star at its rising
and have come to do him homage."

The Magi came to do Him homage. They came to worship Him. Now, we kinda know that worship always involves SACRIFICE.

Was there a price to be paid for the wise men’s worship? You bet. They had given themselves to a journey. Travel in those days was not very comfortable, in fact, it could be down right dangerous. The wise men had sacrificed their own personal comfort to find the king and worship Him.

Old Testament King David put it this way:

“ I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God that cost me nothing." 2 Samuel 24:24

To truly worship requires sacrifice.

The greatest gift – the greatest sacrifice – you can give to God is yourself.

You say but I have given nothing to Him today. I say yes you have!

Even today you have given Him something of yourself.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Where are you looking for God?

It's time for us to consider the weekend's readings for the Epiphany, "Behold, magi from the east came to Jerusalem."

There is a story from a collection of the lives of saints - the saints of Islam - which concerns a king of Balkh (now northern Afghanistan) named Ebrahim ibn Adam. Ebrahim was wealthy according to every earthly measure. At the same time, however, he sincerely and restlessly strove to be wealthy spiritually as well.

"One night the king was roused from sleep by a fearful stumping on the roof above his bed. Alarmed, he shouted: 'Who's there?' 'A friend,' came the reply from the roof. 'I've lost my camel.' Perturbed by such stupidity, Ebrahim screamed: 'You fool! Are you looking for a camel on the roof?' 'You fool!' the voice from the roof answered. 'Are you looking for God in silk clothing, and lying on a golden bed?' " The story goes on, according to Jesuit theologian Walter G. Burghardt, to tell how these simple words filled the king with such terror that he arose from his sleep to become a most remarkable saint (Still Proclaiming your Wonders: Homilies for the Eighties [New York: Paulist Press, 1984], 55).

The camel on the roof raises the Epiphany question, Where are you looking for God? This compelling question of life properly stands at the beginning of a new year, just as, Where have you found God? nicely serves as a question to cap a year's closing. Each one of our texts raises the camel-on-the-roof question in one form or another. Each text is a camel-on-the-roof reminder that God is not to be found where the world's princes and powers reside. Each text calls us to be like the king's friend, willing to make a fool of ourselves asking the camel-on-the-roof question to a world busy seeking God in all the wrong places, willing to rouse the world with the message of "Arise, shine, for your light has come."

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Most Holy Name of Jesus

What is it about that Name? -- what is it about the name of Jesus that causes some people to react?

When Franklin Graham was invited to offer a prayer at the inauguration of President George W. Bush in 2001 -- before he prayed, a fellow participant asked him if he intended to pray in the name of Jesus Christ -- Graham said, “Yes -- and you should do the same” -- Graham told him, "That's the only thing we've got." 

-- and, sure enough, Graham ended his prayer with these words, “We pray this in the name of the Father, and of the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”

-- within days, a lawsuit was filed against President Bush for Graham’s prayer, alleging that it was an unconstitutional endorsement of religion -- they were outraged that Graham invoked the name of Jesus -- Graham responded, "If you don't want someone to pray in Jesus' name, don't invite an evangelical minister."

More recently in the news there has been some controversy about one football player, Tim Tebow. A while back he took the opportunity to do what was right when he was afforded the chance -- During the BCS National Championship football game, Tim Tebow, the quarterback for the University of Florida, ran onto the field with John 3:16 inscribed on the black under his eyes.

-- every time the TV focused on Tebow, you could clearly see that Bible verse -- as a result of Tebow standing up for Jesus in such a bold way during the national championship, Google reported that the biblical reference subsequently became the most popular search item for the next several days -- because Tebow was not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, thousands -- if not millions -- of people were exposed to the Gospel.

-- what are the odds that we will ever have the chance to stand on the national stage like Tim Tebow?

--we still have the opportunity every day of our lives to speak the name of Christ to others.

-- when you have that opportunity this week, will you stand like Peter and John and boldly name the Name of Christ?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Marianist Monday

24 Hours

JANUARY 4-5, 2012

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Daily Spiritual nourishment at www.intothedeepblog.net

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Mary, Mother of God

I extend a warm welcome to the English-speaking visitors here today. On the first day of the year the Church pays special honour to the Mother of God, recalling how in humble obedience to the Lord’s will she bore in her womb and gave birth to him who is the Light of the World. On this day, too, we pray especially for peace throughout the world, and I invite all of you to join in heartfelt prayer to Christ the Prince of Peace for an end to violence and conflict wherever they are found. Upon all of you, and upon your loved ones at home, I invoke God’s abundant Blessings for the year that lies ahead. Happy New Year!
A happy New Year to you all!
Pope Benedict XVI