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July 25, 2018 - An Embodied Faith

Feast of Saint James, Apostle

Scripture Readings

A distinguishing feature of Gnosticism – a set of ancient religious ideas originating in first and second century Judaism and Christianity – is that matter is evil. This includes the human body. As a result, redemption requires an escape from our material selves.

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July 24, 2018 - Family Vacations

Tuesday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

Bill (my husband) and I just returned from a week we spent with our four children, two sons-in-law, and three grandchildren in a house on a lake in northern Wisconsin. Our time there was wonderfully blessed by cool mornings perfect for long hikes on the trails, sunny afternoons plenty warm enough for splash time on the beach, and breezy evenings well spent taking a bike ride or sitting on a bench watching an egret fish for dinner in a nearby bay. Other than the occasional challenge of one child wanting to be noisy just when another was finally settling down to sleep, everyone got along splendidly. There was much laughter and a whole lot of joy all week long. That’s pretty amazing for any family and perhaps especially for ours since our children didn’t grow up all together since they came to us via our previous marriages.

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July 23, 2018 - Living Out the Word of God

Monday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

At our recent small discipleship gathering, our group was discussing the challenges of understanding exactly how to live out what we read about in scripture.  God gives us guidelines, but He many times leaves out the details for what that looks like in our day to day living.

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July 22, 2018 - Gut-Wrenching Merciful Love

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

The other day, I met with a young mother of three beautiful children. After merely seven years of marriage, she feels abandoned. Now she must file for a divorce for the sake of getting support for her children. While her sadness came from the fact that her marriage was falling apart, she also felt that as a Catholic if she sought for divorce, she would go to hell. She said that her faith in God was completely crushed. She felt abandoned by God. She cried through the entire hour-and-a-half she spent with me.  After much listening and some thought, I invited her to consider God’s presence in her life just a little differently. I said to her, God is not sitting up somewhere these disconnected from you or your life. God has not abandoned you. I said to her that God is beside you, crying with you. As you cry, there are tears in God’s eyes. God cannot forcefully change your husband’s behavior. God can give you the inner strength to go on. Perhaps, this meeting with me is God’s way of caring for you. By the end of the conversation, she was a lot more at peace, even though life ahead seemed to be an uphill climb. But, most of all, she was consoled that she was not going to hell. 

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July 21, 2018 - Recognizing the Needs of the Heart

Saturday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

Before I was a parent I used to spend some real energy deliberating things that seem less significant to me these days. Questions like, “Will my coffee be better if I reheat for 40 seconds or 45 seconds?” or “Where should Bess and I go out to eat?” Now, as my wife and I play zone defense to keep our three lovely children out of too much trouble these questions are less impactful. “Where should we eat?” has been replaced by making sure Bess has remembered to eat and is usually asked as I extract my coffee from the microwave (having been microwaved for 2 minutes so that it will stay warm for the 20 minutes it sits forgotten behind the beeping microwave door). As these questions fade in importance, others consume us daily and they are best summarized this way, “How do we best care for our children’s bodies, minds, and hearts?” In particular, we lose sleep over how we best instruct, correct, and love our children so that they may walk as disciples.

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