Blog Posts from January, 2017

Keeping the Sabbath Today

15210816500 342e81bd46 b St. Anthony, Monk Mark 2:23-28 When I was growing up in Milwaukee, there were many stores that were not open on Sunday in observance of the Sabbath.  Several states still had “blue laws,” which prohibited various kinds of commercial activity.  Some still do.  In addition, many of our brothers and sisters who are orthodox or conservative Jews still follow the practice (from sundown Friday until sundown Saturday), as well as some more conservative Christians (on Sundays), to varying degrees.  However, in most places the observance of the Sabbath seems almost quaint.  In the

Supporting and Strengthening Vocations

Img 4691 This past weekend I had the privilege to attend at meeting at which 25 young men and women gathered to learn how to fundraise for the Labouré Society. Why, you might ask, would 25 young people gather to learn how to fundraise for a non-profit organization? How about a little background first! It is estimated that each year in this country there are thousands of young men and women who would like to explore the possibility of a vocation to the priesthood or religious life but are hindered in doing so because of the student loans they've

Starting Over…Again

15536110699 a4a9e3c7c7 b Tuesday of the 1st Week in Ordinary Time Mark 1:14-20 After about a year off, I recently decided to begin journaling again as part of my spiritual discipline.  My resolution for this year is to live more mindfully, and I hope that journaling will help my focus and also provide some good things to ponder, share and work through in spiritual direction and confession. Of course, I have a lot of work to do before I approach the radical single-mindedness that Peter, Andrew and the sons of Zebedee seemed to have in responding to the call of Jesus to

other people’s funerals

Old-photo-funeral-procession     It has now been over six months at the novitiate.     What are the possible symptoms of such a prolonged stay in the realm of contemplation?     One might very well acquire an outlook of prayer, gentleness, and silence. Perhaps half of a year of novitiate could transform an ordinary young man into a saintly friar. Maybe this is when friars can start preaching to birds.          To be honest, it hasn’t gone totally according to that plan. As it turns out, six months at the novitiate