I’ve heard it said that the shofar (ram’s horn trumpet), with its curving shape, represents the way a repentant heart “bends” before the Lord in supplication. When it’s blown, it has a unique sound that can trumpet victory or a mournful wail. In the liturgy of Rosh Hashanah, today’s Jewish “Feast of Trumpets,” three types […]
CREATE IN ME A CLEAN HEART: Psalm 51
“You’re the man!” According to the Urban Dictionary, that’s a cool way of saying “you rock!” You’re comparing the person to someone everyone knows is awesome, like Jesus (or Allah, or Buddah, or even Chuck Norris, according to that source!) Somehow I don’t think that’s what the prophet Nathan meant in 2 Samuel 12 when […]
DIVINE MERCY: WHAT’S IT TO YOU?
It is part of our human condition that grief and fear blind us to heavenly realities. On Easter Sunday, St. Paul challenged us with Colossians 3:1-4: “If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above…. Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. For you have died, and your life […]
CASTING OUT THE ROOTS OF BITTERNESS: Luke 17
They say forgiveness is easy, until you have something to forgive. And if the reason for that hurt continues – if the person responsible comes back and does it again and again and even, which is worse, apologizes every time and then repeats her sin – forgiveness is not easy at all. What can be done? […]
CARING FOR PEARLS (Or, Turning Trials Into Things of Beauty)
Talk about a “pearl of great price”! A Filipino fisherman this week revealed the unusual good-luck charm he’d kept hidden under his bed for ten years: a 75-pound pearl. No, that’s not a typo – his two-foot-long, fresh-water treasure weighs as much as your average 5th-grader. The extraordinary beauty of natural pearls comes from the […]
THANKS-GIVING, THE DOOR TO HAPPY HOLIDAYS
An “emotional survival guide” for the holidays showed up on my facebook feed the other day, a sad reminder that not everyone has fun around the Christmas dinner table. Why is it that those we love have the most power to hurt us? People gather at the holidays, hoping for the best. Then out come […]
FORGIVENESS: WHAT IT IS AND HOW TO DO IT
“Forgiveness is a beautiful idea – until you have something to forgive.” (C.S.Lewis) (Listen here to the reflection that this post is based on. Length: 12:32) Maybe you’ve heard of Corrie Ten Boom, who grew up in Holland before WWII. Her family had a hiding place for Jews in their home, and one day […]
BE NOT AFRAID!
“Be Not Afraid!…Swing wide the gates to Christ!” Karol Wojtyla proclaimed this from the balcony at St. Peter’s Square back in 1978, the day he became Pope John Paul II. How fitting that today, as he is canonized in that same square, we read the gospel of Jesus “swinging wide the gates” of the Upper […]