Grosse, Jeremiah R.
130 Articles at

My name is Father Jeremiah R. Grosse, OSB of St. Mary's Abbey in Morristown, NJ. For two years I taught a course on Medical Ethics at the Delbarton School here in Morristown before entering seminary. I was ordained to the priesthood on April 12, 2008. Rev. Jeremiah R. Grosse, O.S.B. St. Mary's Abbey 230 Mendham Road Morristown, NJ 07960 973-538-3231 x. 2054




The Kindness of Others

The simplest acts of kindness on the part of one person can be understood as signs of weakness by someone else. There are some who have a certain childlike innocence about them which is often mistaken for either naivete or stupidity. Has our society become so blind to the concept of basic human goodness that we feel the need to attempt to take advantage of someone or show our superiority over that person simply because they are kind and gentle?

Date posted: 2011-07-11

Making a Deal with the Devil

Since the dawn of creation, mankind has always wanted to do thing his own way. Individual initiative is certainly not a bad thing; however, doing things one's own way without listening to any guidance or directions from others can have disastrous side effects which not only impact us directly, but also our loved ones and others we encounter.

Date posted: 2011-06-18

The Absurdity of Reality

One of the challenges with educating the people is that those in charge may actually be confronted by the very people they have educated. By not teaching someone to think critically it is possible to make them more compliant. Those who do think critically and question what is going on will quickly be referred to as "trouble makers", "negative", or "dissidents" and can more easily be removed or silenced.

Date posted: 2011-06-18

Climbing the Ladder at Any Cost

Climbing the ladder of success is certainly not a bad thing. Every parent would want his or her children to be more successful than they are; however, climbing the ladder does not mean that we step on the fingers of the person on the rung below us in order to lift ourselves up.

Date posted: 2011-05-28

Mother of Seven Sons: Witness to the Truth

Martyrdom, the giving of witness, as displayed by this woman and her sons, is something that not everyone is called to; however, when we read the life story of someone who actually does lay down his or her life for their faith we marvel at their convictions. It takes a super human level of commitment to be able to give up your life like that which is a strong indication that they were given the grace of God in order to do so.

Date posted: 2011-05-10

The Truth about Post-Partum Depression

There is no objective medical test that can be performed to determine if a woman is suffering from post-partum depression. This same United States government website lists some of the possible symptoms of post-partum depression including: tiredness after delivery, tired from a lack of sleep or broken sleep, feeling overwhelmed with a new baby, doubts about one's ability to be a good mother, stress from changes in home or work routines, unrealistic need to be a perfect mother, loss of a feeling of who one is after having a baby, feeling less attractive, and a lack of free time.

Date posted: 2011-04-19

Pilate's Wife: The Power of Dreams

What little we do know about Pilate is much more than we know about his wife. She appears only once in the entire New Testament in Matthew 27:19: "While he (Pilate) was sitting in the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, 'Have nothing to do with this innocent man, for today I have suffered a great deal because of a dream I had about him.'" There is no mention of what the dream entailed or what kind of suffering she had undergone.

Date posted: 2011-04-04

The Problems with ECT

The history of electroconvulsive or electric shock therapy began in 1938 in Italy when two Italian psychiatrists, Ugo Cerletti and Lucio Bini, were visiting a slaughterhouse. They watched the butchers shock the pigs with electrodes hooked up to wall current in order that they would become more docile before being slaughtered. This practice gave them the idea that perhaps they could do this to their human patients in order to help become more docile as well.

Date posted: 2011-04-01

She Trusted in God and Prevailed

The Book of Judith tells the story of a woman who trusted in God so completely that she was able to overcome her enemies and save her town from the wrath of the Assyrian army. The historical facts are actually more of a compilation than an actual time-line. Some of the events may have been taken out of order and others would not have occurred at this point in history; however, that is not important to the story.

Date posted: 2011-03-20

The Truth about Mental Illness

There is no denying the fact that certain people do suffer from one or more mental health issues either at one point in their life or throughout their entire life. However, there are alternatives to psychotropic medications even for those who have suffered their entire lives with mental illness. Putting highly toxic chemicals into your body in order to "manage" your condition when the method of action listed in the information provided by the manufacturer is "unknown" is, at the very least, dangerous.

Date posted: 2011-03-07

Hagar: Mother of Abraham's Eldest Son

Hagar is someone about whom very little is known, but she is someone who had a major impact on an entire group of people, namely those who follow the Prophet Muhammad. We know more about Sarah since she is a rather central character in the Book of Genesis. Even though very little is known about Hagar, she is an interesting figure because of her relationship to Abraham.

Date posted: 2011-02-27

The Bible's Most Famous Courtroom Drama

In the Greek version of the Bible, the story of Susanna appears as chapter thirteen of the Book of Daniel. This is an interesting thing since from chapters one to twelve we have read various stories introducing us to Daniel and now in chapter thirteen we are being introduced to a very young Daniel. According to some sources, this story may actually have appeared as chapter one of the Book of Daniel at some point since it introduces us to this character when he was much younger.

Date posted: 2011-02-25

Deborah: The Prophetess Who Fought for God

Prior to the establishment of the Kingdom of Israel, the people were led by a series of judges, including Gideon and Samson. One of those judges was a young woman named Deborah who was a prophetess as well as a judge. The Israelites had once again done what was evil in God's sight and He gave them into the hands of King Jabin of Canaan, who reigned in the city of Hazor. Jabin's chief army commander was Sisera. Due to his large army, the people cried out to God for help, for Jabin had oppressed them for twenty years.

Date posted: 2011-02-23

Consequences of a Vow

Many of us, especially those of us who are either married or members of a religious community have taken a vow. A married couple makes a vow in the presence of others to live their lives together as husband and wife and eventually begin a family. A religious professes a vow in the presence of his or her community to live his or her life in accordance with the rule which the community follows for the remainder of their natural life. The story of Jephthah in the Book of Judges (11:1-12:40) tells us about a different kind of vow.

Date posted: 2011-02-21

Bless the Lord with All that We Have

Psalm 103 invites us to bless the Lord with everything that is within us. He forgives our iniquities, heals all our diseases, and redeems our lives from the Pit. The challenge is that all too often this is not the God which most people imagine when they attempt to conceive of God. There notion of God is someone who is so completely “Other” that they cannot even contemplate the idea of Him having any impact on our lives.

Date posted: 2011-02-20

Esther: A Female Savior Figure

Throughout the Hebrew Scriptures, most of the major characters are men who have responded to God and were rewarded for their efforts. The Book of Esther presents us with the story of a woman who can actually be understood as a "savior" of her people. This story takes place after the Babylonian exile in 586 BC when King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem and exiled all of the residents of the southern kingdom to Babylon.

Date posted: 2011-02-19

Relying Upon our Own Strength

While we might not have the strength of Samson, we all have gifts and talents which were given to us by God for His greater glory. Samson could have chosen to become a judge like Gideon, a great warrior; however, it appears that God's plan for Samson was that he would offer glory to God by giving his own life for his people. How will we use the strengths God has given us to be of service to others?

Date posted: 2011-02-18

Sibling Rivalry: The Story of Leah and Rachel

The story of Leah and Rachel is rather unique in terms of sibling rivalries since we rarely hear of two sisters married to the same man at the same time. The fact that they are both sisters as well as wives to the same husband adds an entirely new dimension to such rivalry, especially when the husband openly professes his love for only one of the sisters.

Date posted: 2011-02-15

Ruth: A Model of Fidelity

Ruth's act of fidelity left a profound mark on the history of the Jewish people. God calls us to fidelity on a daily basis. We may never know what impact our own fidelity might have on the lives of future generations.

Date posted: 2011-02-15

Encountering God

How one relates to God depends largely upon their image of who God is. Since we cannot truly know as He is, it is necessary for us to use allegory and images in order to develop an understanding of God. God as Judge, God as Shepherd, God as Father, God as Lawgiver, are among the more popular images that people have of God. Some view God as a grandfatherly figure with white hair and a long white beard sitting on a throne in the clouds.

Date posted: 2011-02-14

God Gives Us the Choice: Choose Wisely

Our society teaches us that a choice which makes you feel good cannot possibly be the wrong choice. The fact is that there are basically two options when it comes to many choices, they are either “life giving” or “death dealing”. There are many choices which may make one feel good in the present moment, but long term are not good for them at all.

Date posted: 2011-02-13

Cain and Abel: The Pain of Rejection

There is no mention of why God chose Abel's offering, but rejected Cain's. Cain never asks God for an explanation; however, after being rejected by God Himself he is asked, "Why has your countenance fallen?" Whose countenance would not have fallen after his or her offering was rejected by God for no apparent reason?

Date posted: 2011-02-10

Finding Guidance to Deal with Family Struggles

The experience of being taken away from his family and sold into slavery had the effect of helping Joseph to grow and mature. Gone was his sense of grandiosity. He did not see himself as reigning over his family. He was now much more humble and perhaps God was rewarding him for his humility.

Date posted: 2011-02-08

The Akedah and its Meaning in Our Lives

These nineteen verses give us no indication of what was going through Abraham's mind as he built an altar, placed the wood on it, bound Isaac, and place Isaac atop the wood. Abraham seems to be have almost transfixed on his mission. There is no emotion emanating from Abraham, he is not crying as he binds his son, the son promised to him by God and born to him when Abraham was ninety-nine years old.

Date posted: 2011-02-07

Jewish and Islamic Views on End of Life

Jewish and Islamic views on medical ethics are rather similar. This should come as no surprise to those familiar with Islam considering the fact that the Prophet Muhammad borrowed quite heavily from the Hebrew Scriptures while composing The Qur'an. While it is true that there are numerous political differences between Jews and Muslims, dating back thousands of years, it is important to realize the common ground that these two religions have in the area of medical ethics.

Date posted: 2011-02-03

Restoring the Divine Sparks to Their Source

Being made in the image and likeness of God means that we are meant to enter into the very life of God and assist Him in His acts of creation and redemption. We truly are called to be co-creators and co-redeemers with God Himself. While it is true that we may come across various individuals throughout our lives who show little to no interest in being of service to others, but appear to be here simply for the purpose of using others to achieve their own end, the fact is that there are many good people who are willing to do whatever they can to assist others.

Date posted: 2011-02-02

The American Health Care Boondoggle

Forty five years after Medicare became Federal law it appears that the program is more of a boondoggle than could have been imagined by many Americans. As we have seen, there were those who recognized the problems with Medicare at the time that it was being debated and discussed in Congress; however, President Johnson and his supporters were bound and determined to see that this would become the law of the land, even to the point of pressuring insurance companies to stop offering coverage to their elderly customers to insure that they would be forced to take part in the program.

Date posted: 2011-01-30

Government Intervention into the Health Care Industry

The American people want quality medical service at a fair price. Physicians want to offer that quality service; however, the prices are not under their control for those who choose to remain beholden to third party providers. The options are few and the choices are very clear. Unless something is done to change and improve the health care system as we know it things will only get worse. Looking at the Canadian model or even the model currently offered by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts provides evidence that the universal health care idea is not the way to go.

Date posted: 2011-01-29

ObamaCare: Not Good for America

There are other powerful legal arguments against the constitutionality of the bill. Some note that the exemption from the mandatory insurance requirement for religious groups such as the Amish is too narrow to satisfy the constitutional protection for the free exercise of religion by all Americans. There are also objections to the procedures used by Congress to enact the bill. There is a privacy-based objection, because forcing citizens to purchase insurance intrinsically forces them to divulge confidential medical information to insurance companies.

Date posted: 2011-01-20

Opting Out of Medicare

At a time in their lives when the number of illnesses and/or medical conditions is on the rise, many Americans are having much more difficulty gaining access to their physician. Unfortunately, Medicare has actually contributed to the problem instead of helping to provide a solution.

Date posted: 2011-01-18

The Challenges of Modern Medicine

The issues facing medical doctors in the twenty-first century are numerous. The fact that the Federal government is more of a hindrance to the medical profession than a help is unconscionable. These are not luxury items, but basic medical care.

Date posted: 2011-01-16

Paternalism, Informed Consent, and the Doctor-Patient Relationship

It is difficult, if not impossible, to enter into any discussion of the doctor-patient relationship without broaching the subject of informed consent. Informed consent assumes that a patient will receive all the information that he or she needs in order to make a decision regarding whether or not to undergo a particular set of tests or a particular operation. This assumption is based upon the belief that there will be a dialogue between the physician and the patient and that a course of action will take place as a result of said dialogue. Informed consent's implicit demand for joint decision making confronts the painful realization that even in their most intimate relationships; human beings remain strangers to one another. One can only know and understand another to a limited extent. However, the problem runs even deeper. One can only understand oneself to a limited extent. The latter impediment powerfully reinforces the former, making it even more difficult to know another.

Date posted: 2011-01-10

Artificial Insemination: A Religious Perspective

These days there is much writing - books, articles, reviews, and monographs - in the medical and lay press, concerning this subject from the moral, legal, religious, medical, psychological, sociological, genetic and other standpoints. From the standpoint of many couples, the begetting of children is understood as almost a right of marriage. There is Biblical evidence, from a Jewish perspective, that barrenness is understood to be a source of shame for a couple, particularly on the part of the mother. Sarah, Abraham's wife, was barren until she was in her nineties before giving birth to Isaac and Jacob's wife, Rachel, told her husband, "Give me children or I will die!" (Gen. 30:1) She eventually gave birth to two sons, Joseph and Benjamin.

Date posted: 2011-01-08

The Case Regarding Capital Punishment

Capital punishment, popularly referred to as the "death penalty" is a long standing practice in jurisprudence. There is a very strong belief on the part of many deeply religious people that the Biblical admonition, "an eye for an eye" (Lev. 24:20) provides complete justification for sentencing someone to death who has been convicted of first degree murder in a court of law.

Date posted: 2011-01-03

Judaism and End of Life Care

When it comes to issues such as medical ethics, it is more difficult to speak of a "Jewish" position than it would be of a "Catholic" position. A great deal would depend upon which branch of Judaism one is referring to. It is true that there are some very consistent basic principles which would be taught by rabbis across the three major branches, namely Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform Judaism. For example, Judaism teaches that in regard to the topic of abortion the most important consideration is the physical, psychological, and spiritual life of the mother.

Date posted: 2011-01-01

The Peace Which The World Cannot Give

While worldly peace is fleeting, the peace which the world cannot give is a constant source of comfort because it will remain with us even in the midst of the daily trials of life. This peace cannot be taken away; however, it can be surrendered. In order to lose the peace of God one must surrender that peace. That peace is a sense of the Divine presence within us. Such peace can calm any fear and allow us to move forward with our lives knowing that all will be well.

Date posted: 2010-12-30

The Love of God Can Transform Anyone

The love of God truly can transform anyone. One thing we all have in common is that we are all sinners. Our baptism has freed us from the power and death and taken away the punishment we deserve by virtue of Original Sin. If the love of God can transform the life of a man like Lt. General Nathan Bedford Forrest, CSA, just imagine what it can do for us.

Date posted: 2010-12-28

Fear Can Be a Good Thing

Fear is generally not something that we would see as a positive thing; however, this morning’s responsorial psalm is telling us that “Blessed (or happy) are those who fear the Lord and walk in His ways.” For most of us, fear is something which causes panic, anxiety, and inspires us to flee from a given situation. This is certainly not what God is telling us in Psalm 128.

Date posted: 2010-12-25

Ascending the Mountain of the Lord

Psalm 24 tells us that those who have clean hands, pure hearts, do not swear a false oath, and are not deceitful will be able to ascend the mountain of the Lord. For some this mountain may be understood to be Mount Sinai, where Moses received the Ten Commandments. For others, this mountain may be Mount Mariah, where Abraham was told that he did not have to prove his devotion to God by sacrificing his son, Isaac.

Date posted: 2010-12-24

The Issue of Trust

For many people the issue of trust is something that they struggle with all of their lives. They put their trust in various people and they are disappointed time again. In most cases, they are not placing their trust in people who are intentionally trying to cause this person harm; however, they are fallible human beings who for one reason or another cannot live up to the expectation of those who placed their trust in them.

Date posted: 2010-12-24

Patient Confidentiality, HIPAA, and Public Health

Guaranteeing privacy and confidentiality in the doctor-patient relationship is as old as the practice of medicine itself. The Hippocratic Oath, written in 400 BC states, "Whatever, in connection with my professional practice or not, in connection with it, I see or hear, in the life of men, which ought not to be spoken of abroad, I will not divulge, as reckoning that all such should be kept secret." and this oath is still maintained by countless physicians throughout the world.

Date posted: 2010-12-15

The Impact of China's One Child Rule

Unmarried women, including teenagers, are now having a rising number of abortions, and even constitute a majority of cases in Shanghai and parts of Beijing, according to academic studies and health experts. Many of these women - migrant workers, urban professionals, students, and prostitutes - are having multiple abortions.

Date posted: 2009-12-05

Sexism, Health Care, and the Role of the Church

Another positive aspect of religion in regard to health care is that religious traditions place human practices and projects against the horizon of transcendent meaning and value. Cahill gives the example of how Jesus’ passion as an act of solidarity with His people is relived among the militant, protesting Filipino women who have taken up the struggle on behalf of their sisters and the rest of the suffering poor. She also mentions how many feminist theologians in the Third World find in the spirituality and sufferings of Christ a divine identification with women’s suffering and an inspiration to take an active role in changing human conditions so that they more accurately reflect the in-breaking “reign of God.”

Date posted: 2009-11-16

Truth Telling and the Doctor-Patient Relationship

The doctor-patient relationship is based upon trust. In order for a physician to properly treat a patient it is essential that the patient feel comfortable with his or her doctor so that sensitive and important information be provided. The patient, for his or her part, believes that any information provided to the physician will be kept confidential, provided that the patient has no intention of hurting herself or others. Based upon her professional training and knowledge of a given patient, the physician is in the best situation to whether that person has the capacity to be able to handle difficult or painful information and it is essential that information be provided clearly and in a way that the patient clearly understands what is being said. Lying undermines trust and once that trust is gone the doctor-patient relationship is over.

Date posted: 2009-11-05

Solemnity of All Saints (Year B)

The Church presents us with countless witnesses such as St. Benedict, St. Paul of the Cross, St. Francis and others for guidance and emulation. The only difference between any of those saints and us is that they are already where we want to be. On this Solemnity of All Saints we honor all those men and women who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith, but we also keep in mind that as long as we remain faithful to the end we too will one day join them at the Heavenly banquet. What a joy it will be to be able to spend time with the Blessed Mother, St. Benedict, St. Francis or any of the other saints that we have turned to throughout the years for intercession and get to know them on a personal level.

Date posted: 2009-10-24

Judaism and Abortion: What Does the Tradition Teach?

When it comes to any position, one of the most important things is that it is logically consistent. The Jewish teaching on abortion certainly is that. While it does not share the Church's view regarding the ensoulment of the child at the moment of conception, one should not conclude that abortions would be permitted for any reason at all. In fact, it is quite the contrary.

Date posted: 2009-10-16

Abbot Baldwin of Ford's Treatise in Praise of the Perfect Monk

Bodily beauty may have glory in the eyes of men, but not in the eyes of God. It lacks the virtue of merit and has no hope of reward. God is the inner judge and sees into the heart (Proverbs 24:12), and He loves the beauty which is interior. When the Psalmist addresses the king's daughter, he says, "The king shall desire your beauty" and so as not to hide the fact that it is an inner beauty, he adds, "The daughter of the king is clothed with splendor, her robes embroidered with pearls set in gold" (Ps. 45:12-13).

Date posted: 2009-08-22

Taste and See the Goodness of Our Lord

Psalm 34 is one of several acrostic psalms; each verse beginning with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The verses express praise for God's protection and deliverance. The psalmist blesses the Lord at all times, his praise for God is ever in his mouth. The psalmist calls upon us to fear the Lord, for those who fear Him lack nothing. Lions are reduced to starvation, but those who turn to the Lord shall not lack any good.

Date posted: 2009-08-15

The Hidden Experience of Jesus

While we have not met Jesus face to face, the fact is that many people are convinced that they know someone because they have seen an actor or actress on television. For example, if Sam Waterston, who plays Jack McCoy on Law and Order, were to get arrested for drunk driving it should not surprise any of us if we heard someone say, "Jack McCoy would never do that!" Well, that is very true. Jack McCoy cannot do anything that is not written into the script; however, Sam Waterston is not Jack McCoy.

Date posted: 2009-08-06

We Were Given What Angels and Archangels Could Not Receive

Psalm 78 begins by the psalmist speaking to the reader about the glories of God's action in the lives of His people.It is God's command that we make known to these things to our children so that they do might place their hope in Him and never forget what He has done for us.

Date posted: 2009-07-30

God's Plans Never Truly Go Awry

Psalm 145 is an example of an acrostic psalm which is not evident to those who cannot read the psalm in the original Hebrew. Each line of the psalm begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. One of the main themes of this psalm is its orderliness and structure. Unlike the plans we make, God's plans will come to fruition according to His time and nothing will interfere with those plans.

Date posted: 2009-07-24

Being Reconciled with God and Neighbor

There are those people who have not made use of the sacrament of Reconciliation for decades and have walked around on a daily basis with an anchor weighing down their heart and soul. This is not what God intends for any of us. The sacrament has a profoundly cathartic dimension. The experience of having one's sins absolved and knowing that he or she is free of its burden is unlike any other feeling one can have.

Date posted: 2009-07-19

God Will Shepherd the People Himself

Jesus is that promised Good Shepherd who knows each one of His sheep, who offers his life for them and who wishes to gather them together as one flock with one shepherd. He is the shepherd who has come not to be served, but to serve, who in the paschal action of the washing of the feet leaves to His disciples a model of service to one another and who freely offered himself as the innocent lamb sacrificed for our redemption.

Date posted: 2009-07-16

Answering the Church's Call for Evangelization

While the Catholic Church's message is timeless, how that message is proclaimed from one generation to the next may vary. The Church must constantly bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to every nation on earth. Pope John Paul II called for "A New Evangelization" on numerous occasions. He was not asking us to present new truths, but to present the truths of our faith, in keeping with the teachings of Second Vatican Council.

Date posted: 2009-07-14

God Bestows Blessings on His People

Facing the wrath of a sovereign was certainly not something that many Christians were unfamiliar with. On several occasions, John Chrysostom was exiled from his position as archbishop of Constantinople for challenging Empress Theodora and the corrupt actions of her government. Like the ancient prophets, John took his life in his hands when he openly challenged the empress; however, he knew that he had to speak out and was willing to risk his life for the truth.

Date posted: 2009-07-04

Never Let Them See You Sweat

Each of us having some thorn in our flesh; however, few, in any of us, would brag about this thorn as though it was a badge of honor. I cannot imagine any teenager saying, "I rejoice in the fact that I have attention deficit disorder" or someone saying, "My weight has been a problem all of my life and I am so thrilled about that." In fact, people who would boast about these things would be looked at rather strangely. These are the types of things that most people would keep hidden from others for various reasons, including the fact that they might not be accepted by others if anyone else knew what they were going through.

Date posted: 2009-06-30

Indifferentism and its Effect on the Church in the Third Millennium

The issue of indifferentism is not limited to the nineteenth century, even though we do not hear much about it now. On November 21, 1964, the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council promulgated Unitatis Redintegratio (On the Restoration of Unity) which is also known as the Decree on Ecumenism. This document teaches that while we believe that the separated Churches and Communities are deficient in some respects, they have been, by no means, deprived of significance and importance in the mystery of salvation. However, they have not been blessed with the unity which Jesus Christ wished to bestow on all those who through Him were born again in one body, and with Him quickened to newness of life-that unity which the Holy Scriptures and the ancient Tradition of the Church proclaim.

Date posted: 2009-06-26

The Power of Touch

The Lord Jesus touches us through our brothers and sisters. He touches us through the sacraments and He touches us in a deeply personal way by sending us the Holy Spirit to sustain us on our earthly journey.

Date posted: 2009-06-23

Abbot Baldwin of Ford's Treatise on the Order of Charity

When it comes to modern American parlance we have some very interesting expressions regarding the impact that love has on us. If someone, particularly an adolescent, is languishing with love we refer to that person as "love sick" and when someone's demeanor has changed as a result of a new relationship we often hear it said that the person has been "bitten by the love bug".

Date posted: 2009-06-19

Abbot Baldwin of Ford's Exhortation to Priests

Those who involved with the business of the salvation of others should take care for their own salvation. Those who are entrusted with watching over moral discipline ought to live their own lives correctly. Those who must first account for themselves should begin with themselves and not neglect themselves. He suggests that the priest consider what he is with others, what he is for others, what he is above others, and what he is below others.

Date posted: 2009-06-17

The Love of God Impels Us to Act

St. Paul's Second Letter to the Church at Corinth speaks to us about what it means to finally come to the realization that Jesus died for all of and therefore we, too, have died. While this morning's reading refers to "us" and "we", the fact is that Paul is speaking about himself. He is not doing what he does out of a desire for riches or glory, but because the love of God impels Paul to do it.

Date posted: 2009-06-15

The Blood of Christ Helps Us Grow into His Likeness

The Precious Blood of Jesus is our ransom from death. The Son of Man came to give His life as a ransom for the many. It is actually a compensation made on our behalf to the outraged justice of God. We are not to think of our Lord's death as if it were merely an inevitable result of His conflict with the leaders of the Jewish people; as if it were a regrettable accident of history.

Date posted: 2009-06-05

Abbot Baldwin of Ford on the Sacrament of the Altar

Throughout the centuries much has been written about the Sacrament of the Altar. Abbot Baldwin of Ford's (d. 1191) De sacramento altaris (On the Sacrament of the Altar) is not an examination or defense of what one might call the mechanics of the Eucharist, but an investigation of its meaning in the Christian life. It is not that he was unaware of the various controversies surrounding the Eucharist, he simply chose to deal with the sacrament from a different perspective.

Date posted: 2009-06-05

Jesus: The Compassionate Healer

The story of Jairus' daughter and the woman with the hemorrhage (Mk. 5:21-43) portrays Jesus as a compassionate healer who showed us the importance connection between faith and healing. The story of the woman with the hemorrhage, which is sandwiched between the beginning and end of the story of Jairus' daughter, portrays this image quite clearly.

Date posted: 2009-06-01

Being Adopted Makes Us Part of the Family

This morning's passage from St. Paul's Letter to the Romans speaks to us of a relationship brought about by adoption. St. Paul tells that as children of God we did not receive the spirit of slavery which would cause us to fear. Elsewhere in the Scriptures, Jesus tells us that we are called to be His friends, not slaves. Adoption is much more than mere friendship.

Date posted: 2009-06-01

The Role of the Aliquis

The writings of Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955), especially the passages quoted in Enchantment by Thomas King (1929-?), speak to the heart of the struggle of being a Christian in the world. As embodied spirits, human beings yearn for the Transcendent while at the same time exist in a world that, all too often, does not seem responsive or open to the presence of God. Teilhard de Chardin refers to God as “the Omega Point” which bears a strong resemblance to Paul Weiss’ understanding of God as Invitor. Thomas King’s assessment that one (namely the Aliquis for Robert J. McTeigue) must not approach this “Omega Point” from either the standpoint of Experience or Revelation which allows one to see that there is a possible harmony between the two instead of these avenues being at odds with each other.

Date posted: 2009-05-28

50 Days after the Lord’s Resurrection

Why did the Holy Spirit appear as tongues of fire? Fire purifies, fire cleanses, and fire brings new growth. It is the fire of God’s love which purifies the human heart, cleanses our conscience, and brings new spiritual growth to our lives.

Date posted: 2009-05-28

Taking the Prophetic Stance

Josef Pieper states, “One becomes an intellectual only by virtue of a certain attitude toward the ‘status quo’, ‘the Establishment’ or ‘the system’ ‘the existing order’. (p. 257) He is referring to the modern German definition of an “intellectual” and goes on to say that in order for one to be presented as an intellectual that person must not identify oneself with the phenomenon in question. Another major factor is that the intellectual have no vested interest in the topic at hand. “As an author who wrote on theological topics, Jean Danielou was an ‘intellectual’; but clearly intellectuals ceased to accept Danielou as one of their own as soon as he became a cardinal”

Date posted: 2009-05-28

The Gospel of Life in a Culture of Death

Any discussion of Catholic morals and ethics must begin with a proper foundation based upon the intrinsic worth of the human person. His Holiness John Paul II (1978-2006) began his encyclical letter Evangelium Vitae, in just that way. Christian anthropology teaches us that all men and women have intrinsic value and worth due to the fact that we are made in the image and likeness of God. We are called to live our lives in imitation of the Holy Trinity, a Divine relationship of Persons, and therefore mankind is relational, by nature. After laying the foundation, Pope John Paul II made reference to the various threats against human life.

Date posted: 2009-05-25

The Splendor of the Truth

Pope John Paul II (1978-2006) began his encyclical letter Veritatis Splendor, by discussing the need to reflect upon Catholic moral teaching. The Pope made reference to the fact that he had a goal of recalling certain fundamental Catholic doctrines which, in the present circumstances, risk being distorted or denied (sec. 4). What makes this situation unique is that the present circumstances are coming from within the Church community itself rather than from outside of her communion. The Pope delayed publishing this encyclical until after the printing of the Catechism of the Catholic Church since the Catechism goes into great detail to explain Catholic moral teaching.

Date posted: 2009-05-24

Liturgy as Festival

Throughout the history of Metaphysics and Liturgical Theology there have been discussions of the “sacred” as presented by Josef Pieper in his article, “In Tune with the World: A Theory of Festivity”. These discussions involve such issues as leisure and an understanding of the role of liturgy in the “sacred”. Both of these issues will be discussed in this article.

Date posted: 2009-05-21

An Understanding of Heidegger’s Tool Analysis

For Heidegger one must begin his or her discussion of being by looking at the world around us. Things are perceived from a sense of concern for the world. “Understanding” is a new interpretation of imagination. Imagination opens up the realm of the possible to us. The thing most primordially experienced in the world is equipment. We never have direct access to mere things or direct knowledge of them. Being is not pure presence for Heidegger, but involves an existential engagement with the world.

Date posted: 2009-05-21

The “All Ready and Not Yet” Tension

These eleven men were living in the tension of the'already but not yet'. They had spent three years traveling with Jesus from Capernaum to Jerusalem. They were all locked in the Upper Room after Jesus' crucifixion and had seen Him again after He had risen from the dead. They heard the story from Cleopas how he had met Jesus on the road to Emmaus and how Jesus had opened the Scriptures to him and how Cleopas and his companion had come to know that it was Jesus in the breaking of the bread.

Date posted: 2009-05-21

The Power of the Holy Spirit Enlivens the Church

While it is true that the Church grew by leaps and bounds, being one of the Twelve was not easy. These men were dragged before the Sanhedrin on a regular basis, imprisoned, beaten, and, aside from St. John, all were eventually killed. Tradition teaches us that St. Peter felt that he was unworthy of being crucified as Jesus was, so he was crucified upside down. St. James the Great was killed in Jerusalem, and the others were killed elsewhere.

Date posted: 2009-05-19

Putting Grief Counseling Theory into Practice

An important aspect of pastoral ministry is reflection on practice. One could argue that there are four basic goals that are associated with grief counseling. These four goals are: 1) To increase the reality of the loss, (2) To help the counselee deal with both expressed and latent affect, 3) To help the counselee overcome various impediments to readjustment after the loss and 4) To help the counselee find a way to remember the deceased while feeling comfortable reinvesting in life. I intend to address all four goals,
while showing how the theological concept of incarnation is expressed in my interaction with my counseling “patient”

Date posted: 2009-05-16

A Brief Summary of Catholic Medical Ethics

Prior to 1970 there was no such thing as “Catholic” Medical Ethics. All teachings on the topic of Medical Ethics were presented from the standpoint of official Catholic Church teaching. This teaching was based upon the inherent dignity of the human person and the fact that there are, in fact, transcendent values. Certain things are always either right or wrong, regardless of the situation or any other factors.

Date posted: 2009-05-14

Music Strengthens the Human Heart

Music is powerful. Music does not forget. Emotions are never dead, only dormant. Singing a joyful song to the Lord has the power to summon each of us to our history, to the Apostles and martyrs who helped to lay the foundation for the Church, and to all those who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith.

Date posted: 2009-05-12

Life from the Vine

This morning’s reading for St. John’s Gospel presents us with the image of the vine and the branches. This passage could easily be interpreted to contrast Christian fidelity with Jewish infidelity; however, the author appears to be making a much different point in this passage. While it is true that there is a contrast between fidelity and infidelity, the measure of fidelity is not along racial, ethnic, or religious lines, but whether or not a person is willing to follow the teachings of Jesus.

Date posted: 2009-05-06

Use of Symbols in Heidegger, Rahner, and Weiss

The value of a symbol cannot be overstated. As stated above, symbols allow one to become existentially engaged with a metaphysical ‘reality’. The use of symbols, particularly in liturgical worship, can help to illustrate this point. The Catholic Eucharistic liturgy involves the use of simple items such as bread and wine which becomes, through a process known as transubstantiation, the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.

Date posted: 2009-05-03

Abbot Baldwin of Ford and the Christian Vocation

Our actions do not always match up with our profession of faith. Two aspects of the same difficulty prevent us from responding in the proper way to God’s outpouring of love. Those two aspects are the Original Sin which we inherited from our first parents, Adam and Eve, and the actual sins which we commit on a regular basis.

Date posted: 2009-05-03

The Reality of Death and Dying

The very issues of death and dying are rarely considered by healthy individuals, except for those who deal with them as a result of their career, such as health care professionals. However, these issues are very much on the minds of those who are either sick or dying. In our culture, death is understood to be a morbid topic for discussion largely because we do not know what to say to those who are dying. This is made quite evident by the fact that the dying receive few visitors while they are in the hospital or nursing home.

Date posted: 2009-04-30

The Shepherd Leads Us to the Promised Land

Speaking to the people of Jerusalem about God's care for them, the Prophet Isaiah says, 'Like a shepherd He feeds His flock; in His arms he gathers the lambs, carrying them in His bosom, and leading the mother sheep with care.'

Date posted: 2009-04-28

Abbot Baldwin of Ford on the Love of God

One of the main forces, if you will, guiding our society is a sense of hopelessness and despair, the ultimate end of hopelessness. These “forces” may be seen to a greater or lesser extent in vocation guests considering entering the monastery at this time in our history. It is by accepting our status as God’s creation and acknowledging the fact that we need to remain close to Him that we climb the ladder of humility and make progress on our journey to Heaven.

Date posted: 2009-04-23

Misunderstanding the Message

The trouble is that these two did not fully comprehend their own tradition. They had an image in their minds of what the Messiah was supposed to be like and what had taken place did not fit with their ideas. Their new companion realizes this and begins to explain the Scriptures to them in great detail. As devout and as loyal as these two people are, they still did not get it.

Date posted: 2009-04-23

Jesus Helps Us Overcome our Fears

Jesus understood very well what impact fear had on his disciples. On numerous occasions He would tell them, “Be not afraid” because He knew that fear would drive them to do things that they would otherwise not normally do. The Letter of St. John tells us that God is love. God is also perfect and we know from the Scriptures that perfect love casts out fear.

Date posted: 2009-04-14

The Legacy of Margaret Sanger

In 1916, Mrs Sanger founded Planned Parenthood in New York City for the purpose, as described by Planned Parenthood, of providing reproductive information and assistance to men and women who might not otherwise be able to afford it. On the surface, this sounds rather benign; however, when one carefully examines the philosophy of the organization’s founder and reads her own words, the reader is left with a much different impression of Mrs Sanger

Date posted: 2009-04-14

Salvation History Has Changed Forever

The transforming power of God has changed the course of human history forever. No longer are we slaves to the sin, but we are truly free. By rising from the grave, Jesus broke the chains of death and made us, once more, heirs to the Kingdom of Heaven.

Date posted: 2009-04-13

Let Us Revere the Lord

We are invited to share the riches of paradise. All who have been reborn have the way open before them to return to their native land, from which they have been exiled. Unless indeed they close off for themselves the path that could be opened before the faith of a thief. It was Dismas, the Good Thief, who suffered what he believed to be a just punishment for his crimes, who was given immediate entry into Heaven by Our Lord.

Date posted: 2009-04-11

The Heraclitus-Jesus Connection

I intend to show a connection between the philosophy of Heraclitus and the preaching of Jesus Christ, particularly in regard to Heraclitus' principle of Many acting as though they are asleep and Heraclitus' teaching regarding the Logos.

Date posted: 2009-04-05

The Reformation and the Enlightenment

The period of philosophical history known as the Enlightenment lead to a return to the paganism of a much earlier generation. One major event which preceded the Enlightenment and had an enormous impact on the future of Christianity was the Protestant Reformation. In order to see the connection between the Reformation and the Enlightenment it is essential that we spend a few minutes reviewing the history of the Reformation, beginning with Martin Luther.

Date posted: 2009-04-01

The Cutting of the Covenant

The covenant which God offers the people will not be like the covenant which He made with earlier generations. There is no mention of repentance on the part of the people and yet God offers to place His law within them and write it upon their hearts. The people will no longer need to teach their friends and relatives how to know the Lord since everyone shall know Him.

Date posted: 2009-03-30

From Exile to Freedom

The people are taken from their homeland and brought to a place where they are forced to surrender their faith and customs and required to live among a group of people who have no regard for them. This is confirmed in Psalm 137 when the author writes that the people hung up their harps and wept by the rivers of Babylon as their remembered their lives in Zion. Whenever the people remembered Zion they wept and the author of the psalm asks God to make his right hand wither if he ever forgets about Jerusalem. He asks God to let his tongue cling to the roof of his mouth if he does not prize Jerusalem above his highest joys.

Date posted: 2009-03-23

Justice Tempered with Mercy

We live in a society where, for many, vengeance is more important than mercy. God does not desire His “pound of flesh” from us even though He would certainly be entitled to it. Instead, as far as the east is from the west does God put our sins away from Himself. Sharing God’s mercy with others can do more to bring a person to accepting God in their lives than anything we might ever be able to say to them. Let us share the mercy we have received from God with those we meet so that they can know the source of our joy and be willing to turn their lives over to God as well.

Date posted: 2009-03-18

Resurgence of the Benedictines

With its rich spiritual tradition, the Benedictines have weathered the various storms of history. Providing stability in a chaotic and ever changing world and offering hospitality to those who valiantly search for meaning and purpose in their lives, the Benedictines are in a position to restore the beauty of Christian culture to the world just as they brought Christian culture to western Europe so many centuries ago.

Date posted: 2009-03-10

Where in the Lamb for a Burnt Offering?

One of the most challenging passages in the Hebrew Scriptures is the story known in Hebrew as "The Akedah", the binding of Isaac. Abraham waited until he was in his nineties to have God's promise of a son with his wife, Sarah, fulfilled and he is asked by God to offer Isaac as a sacrifice. Why in the world would God do this? The God of Abraham had given no indication that He was like many of the other deities around Him who needed to be appeased by human sacrifice. In fact, up until now, the relationship which Abraham had with God has been intensely personal. God spoke to Abraham, unlike those idols of wood or stone, which were incapable of giving, even the slightest indication, that they heard the prayers that the people offered to them.

Date posted: 2009-03-08

We have more, but less…

The world around us and its attempts to pull us in so many directions that we lose sight of what is most important will still be with long after Lent is over. However, during this time of repentance it would beneficially to us to make an effort to slow down and take time to cherish our friendships and family. There is an old saying, “No one has ever seen a U-haul following a hearse”. Nothing is more important than our relationship with God and our neighbors, who are also made in His image and likeness.

Date posted: 2009-03-01

The Use of the Jewish Scriptures in the Letter to the Hebrews

The Letter to the Hebrews contains more Old Testament references than any other book in the entire New Testament. With that said, I would like to begin by discussing the various Old Testament authors that the letter makes reference to and see how those texts are made use of in the letter.

Date posted: 2009-02-25

The Enemy in our Midst

Treachery and betrayal is a difficult pill for anyone to have to swallow; however, it becomes even more distasteful when such betrayal comes at the hands of someone you once considered your friend.This is the experience that the psalmist is speaking about in Psalm 41 which we heard this morning. “My enemies whisper together against me. They all weight up the evil which is on me. They say, a deadly thing is fixed upon me and I will not rise again from where I lie. Thus even my friend, in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has turned against me.”

Date posted: 2009-02-22

Abbot Baldwin of Ford’s Treatise on the Common Life

God must not be loved merely with word and tongue. Instead, He should be loved so that the love of Him shines forth in deed and in truth. Since God has no need for any benefits Himself, He has put in His place, as it were, our brothers and neighbors who need these things, so that they might receive from us the good deeds which are due to Him. No one, therefore, should flatter himself that he loves God; no one should deceive himself by thinking that he loves God, if he does not love his neighbor, for if he does not love his neighbor, than he does not love God. (1 Jn. 4:20)

Date posted: 2009-02-21

Listening for God with the Ear of the Heart

When St. Benedict urges one to listen, he is not simply speaking about listening as we traditionally perceive it. He is not speaking about listening in the way that we might listen to a song or a joke, instead, he invites us in this phrase from the Book of Proverbs and Psalm 43 to “incline the ear of our heart” We must have a receptive understanding, a trustful attitude towards the truth that is proposed to us.

Date posted: 2009-02-20

Do Not Call Unclean what the Lord has Made Clean

While the Book of Leviticus states that the leper is to be placed outside the community, the Gospel presents us with a very different image of how to deal with our brothers and sisters who struggle with a socially unacceptable illness. A leper approaches Jesus, kneels down in front of Him and says, “If you wish, you can make me clean.” This leper does not ask to be healed, but to be made clean. It is the feeling of being a social outcast which plagues this leper more than the pain of the illness.

Date posted: 2009-02-15

It is Not God’s Answers, but His Presence Which Sustains Us

It is not God’s answers, but God’s presence which sustains Job.Unlike his friends, Job is not concerned with discovering why he suffers. His only concern is feeling God’s mysterious presence before him in his journey. Job yearns to see God. This yearning to see God was not simply a wishful thought for Job, but an anxious fulfillment of a promise, which we refer to as the virtue of hope.

Date posted: 2009-02-10

Our Relationship with the Ultimate Authority Figure

Our faith must include a process of developing an abiding, growing, organic relationship with our Creator. “I am Catholic because my father or grandfather was a Catholic” is a misguided view of what Christianity is all about. We must always develop and commit to a personal faith in God through Christ. We serve a personal God who cares about the little things as well as the big things in our lives. He desires from us a personal relationship.

Date posted: 2009-02-02

It is Difficult for Thee to Kick Against the Goad (Homily)

In this morning’s first reading from the Acts of the Apostles we hear about the call of a man who would have a profound impact on the history of Christianity. It is this same man who was mentioned earlier in Acts as the one at whose feet the people threw their cloaks as they prepared to stone Stephen to death. “And they placed their cloaks at the feet of the young man named Saul.”

Date posted: 2009-01-26

A Concise History of Benedictines in the United States

When asked the question, “Which religious orders would be considered missionary?” the average Roman Catholic would typically respond by saying, the Jesuits, Maryknoll, and the Franciscans. The missionary history of the Benedictines goes back centuries including, but certainly not limited to, Pope Gregory the Great sending Augustine and his companions to evangelize the British isles in the latter sixth century and eventually found a series of monasteries which had a profound impact on the English people and established the Roman Catholic Church in that part of the world.

Date posted: 2009-01-26

Samuel's Call and Response

God's call is not limited only to a chosen few like Samuel or one of the other prophets. He daily calls us to be of service to others. There may be someone here this morning who has heard the call to become a priest, deacon, or religious. I would encourage you to follow the same advice that Eli gave to Samuel and say, 'Speak Lord, your servant is listening!'

Date posted: 2009-01-19

The Jewish Understanding of Resurrection

The two primary texts in the Old Testament which make reference to the resurrection of the dead are the Book of Daniel and the Book of the Prophet Isaiah. Chapter Twelve of the Book of Daniel makes direct reference to the fact that there will be a resurrection of the dead at the end of time for both of the just and the unjust.

Date posted: 2009-01-16

Eucharist and the Monastic Life

It is true that the reception of the Eucharist has a transforming effect upon the lives our students, but what impact does it have on the lives of the monks of St. Mary's Abbey? Our daily reception of the Eucharist as monks calls to mind our vow of conversatio morum (conversion of life) which we professed in the presence of our abbot and confreres. We come to our evening celebration of the Eucharist as we are and are transformed through the efficaciousness of the sacrament to become an alter Christus to those we will meet. It is in the celebration of the Eucharist that we are most alive.

Date posted: 2009-01-15

Through Baptism Outsiders Become Insiders

Cornelius and his family would definitely qualify as outsiders according to God’s initially missionary plan of speaking only to those of the House of Israel; however, the revelation of the universality of God’s message has now made them insiders.

Date posted: 2009-01-11

Finding Joy in the Holy Season of Lent

Finding Joy in Lent is not merely a great suggestion, but is actually something that each of us can truly experience.While there is certainly nothing wrong with giving something up for Lent, it is important to keep in mind the spirit with which it is given up. Giving up dessert, for example, such be done because the person wants to, not because he or she feels they are required to because of the season.It is also worthwhile to consider engaging in some form of behavior, such as showing greater charity to others, which will have a transformative effect on one’s life and benefit them and others long after the Season of Lent has ended.

Date posted: 2009-01-08

Jesus, Our King and Gracious Lord

On this Epiphany Sunday, there are many who struggle with fear and anxiety brought about by the current problems in the financial market and the fall of housing prices, but God is telling us that our faith must not be placed in any earthly possession. The Lord Jesus possessed nothing throughout His life. He even stated that He had nowhere to lay His head; however, possessing nothing He gave us everything that we could ever need.

Date posted: 2009-01-04

Children are Indeed a Blessing

From the beginning of his encounter with God, Abram was told that he would be the father of many nations and have offspring as numerous as the sands of the seashore. Abram did not ignore God’s words or turn his back on this God that he could not see. Instead he gave up everything in his hometown, left his father behind, took his wife and servants and his nephew, Lot, and traveled to the place where God was leading him.

Date posted: 2008-12-28

The Light in the Darkness

What came to be through Him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light that shines in the darkness...” Darkness calls to mind not only the absence of light, but the presence of evil in the world around us. It is under the cover of darkness that satan be believed to operate. The name given the satan prior to his fall from Heaven is Lucifer (Light Bearer), but after the fall he is simply known as satan or the devil and he operates under the cover of darkness.

Date posted: 2008-12-25

A Search for the Meaning of Suffering

Summary: The experience of human suffering takes many forms; however, it is something that all of us have in common. The amount of suffering that a person can handle will vary greatly from person to person. There are people who can deal with, what would appear to the rest of us, as a great amount of suffering and continue to persevere while others seem to fall apart at the slightest amount of suffering.

Date posted: 2008-12-22

The “Yes” that Changed the World

Direct encounters with the Divine are not that uncommon in our day; however, given the fact that we have been heavily influenced by science and its reliance upon empirical evidence, we often do not recognize such encounters.

Date posted: 2008-12-22

Rejoice in God our Savior

This morning we celebrate Gaudete Sunday. All three readings speak about rejoicing over what God has done for us. It is the Lord Jesus who came and freed us from the shackles of our sinfulness and gave us the freedom to live as children of God.

Date posted: 2008-12-15

Give Comfort to My People

God is telling His people to live as though everything had been restored to them even though they do not see it yet. God does not make promises that He will not keep. Even though the people are struggling as they attempt to rebuild what had been destroyed, God tells them to go up on a high mountain and cry out in a loud voice that the people of Judah should not fear because ‘Here is your God.’

Date posted: 2008-12-08

We Await the Coming our Lord with Joy

The Lord asks us to be watchful and alert as we await His arrival. Let us continue to give witness to the coming of Our Savior to everyone we meet by living lives of joyful expectation. Our joyful demeanor will be a stronger witness for many than anything we could ever say.

Date posted: 2008-12-05

The Cross is the Glory of God

The cross is something wonderful and honorable. The cross is honorable because it is both the sign of God's suffering and the trophy of His victory. It stands for His suffering because on it He freely suffered unto death. It is also His trophy because it was the means by which the devil was wounded and death was conquered; the barred gates of hell were smashed, and the cross became the one common salvation of the whole world.

Date posted: 2008-11-27

Listen to the Shepherd's Voice

One of the greatest signs of God's presence is the Holy Eucharist. Our Lord gave us his own body and blood as true food and true drink to help us on the journey to his Kingdom. At the Eucharistic table, we come to share in the divinity of Christ, who humbled Himself to share in our humanity. On this Solemnity of Christ the King, we give thanks and praise to God who offered his life on the altar of the cross and redeemed the human race by this one perfect sacrifice of peace.

Date posted: 2008-11-24

An Analysis of Mit Brennender Sorge

Summary: There has been a great deal of discussion in recent history regarding whether or not the Catholic Church did all that it could in regard to challenging the Nazis during World War II. There are still many voices which continue to preach that Pope Pius XII was Hitler's Pope and that the Church really did not care at all about the extermination of the Jewish people. The fact that Pope Pius XII was a strong supporter of this encyclical and the fact that he was the victim of an assassination attempt as papal legate to Germany should provide ample evidence that the Church's support of Nazism is completely contrary to the facts.

Date posted: 2008-11-23

Parable of the Lost Sheep

One of the most beloved and most ancient images of Jesus is the "Good Shepherd". In various places throughout the Gospels, the image of the disciples of Jesus Christ as "sheep" is used in different contexts. It is my intention here to focus upon the parable of the Lost Sheep, as found in Matthew 18:10-14 and uncover the possible origins of this parable as well as show how this particular passage was reflected upon and referenced in the early Church.

Date posted: 2008-11-22

"Overcoming our Blindness"

Summary: The Gospel reading for today's Mass is taken from Matthew 23:13-22. The "woe" statements offered by address the blindness of the Pharisees and how such blindness is a genuine impediment to one's relationship with God. Jesus refers to them as hypocrites who lock the Kingdom of heaven before men and those who would traverse sea and land to make one convert only to make that one a child of Gehenna, twice as much as themselves. Jesus then goes on to accuse the Pharisees of being blind guides.

Date posted: 2008-11-21

God and Self-Sacrifice

As we receive from this altar the sacred Body and Blood we are transformed into a living sacrifice of praise to our God. As ambassadors for Christ and living stones who make up the structure of the Church, let us go forth this morning to build up those around us and bring the Good News we have received to them through our acts of self sacrifice.

Date posted: 2008-11-20

Living in the Power of God

The Body and Blood of Jesus are not meant to simply transform us alone. While it is true that we are called to daily conversion so that we may become more and more like Jesus, we are also called to be his ambassadors to the world around us. At the end of the liturgy we will be sent forth to bring Jesus to those we encounter. This is our way of showing the world that Jesus is still very much alive in the Church today.

Date posted: 2008-11-20

Love and Fear

The Sacrament of Reconciliation helps us to live in the peace of God by restoring the relationship between each other and the Church which had been destroyed by our sinful and selfish acts. We need not live in fear that we must live our lives trapped in our sinfulness since we are able to confess to sins and receive absolution and the peace which allows to begin again.

Date posted: 2008-11-19

Suffering and Loss in the Book of Job

Summary: Suffering is endemic to the human condition and few books speak about the topic the way that the Book of Job does. While the story of Job is quite "simple", the content becomes problematic because of the reason given for Job's suffering. In the beginning of chapter one, Job is referred to as an upright and blameless man who feared God and turned away from evil. There is no indication in the story that Job is Jewish, in fact there is a strong possibility that he was not an Israelite at all. The story continues that Satan was roaming about the earth and God asks him if he has considered God's servant, Job. Satan replies that the only reason why Job is so faithful to God is because of all that he has been given. However, if all of this is taken away Satan is convinced that Job would turn away from God instantly. How the topic of suffering is addressed in the Book of Job and the pastoral implications may prove beneficial to others as well.

Date posted: 2008-11-16

The Issue of Ligamen and Catholic Marriage

Summary: It is extremely important that any priest or deacon preparing a couple for marriage ask questions about any prior marriage, regardless of whether or not such a marriage took place in the Catholic Church. This article deals with the topic of ligamen. Ligamen is a impediment based upon a prior marital bond according to Canon 1085 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law. A few examples are given regarding how this issue has been dealt with by Rome.

Date posted: 2008-11-16

End of Life Care: A Time for Listening and Caring

Summary: There is a new model of end of life care available which is much more holistic than the traditional model. In addition to looking at the patient's physical needs, this model also looks at the social, emotional, and spiritual needs as well. Many medical schools are now offering courses on spirituality in medicine. Since the patient is not simply a collection of diseases, but a living, breathing, rational, human being it is essential that every aspect of a patient's life be taken into consideration when discussing treatment options and end of life care when treatment options are no longer beneficial.

Date posted: 2008-11-12

The Case of the Sexual Reassignment Patient

The theological concept, incarnation, is fitting to Jackie's struggle. According to the Dictionary of Pastoral Care and Counseling (DPCC), incarnation pastoral care is understood in two senses: first, human existence as embodied or incarnated and second, as the doctrine of the Incarnation, that is the mystery of the Second Person of the Trinity's becoming human, Jesus Christ being both fully human and fully divine. The fact that human existence is embodied is primary datum. Humans simply do not exist in a body, but are a body. The idea of bodiliness, as a theological datum, implies that body as a sign of all that a person is. It is in and through our bodies that we experience God's loving self-communication to us.

Date posted: 2008-11-03