Finding Jesus in a Springtime Walk

A meditation on discovering God through nature.

I pull the laces tight on my sneakers and stretch my legs for a springtime walk in the woods.

As I follow the dirt path, hard packed by many feet before me, I keep my eyes fixed downward to avoid tripping.

My focus is on the path before me. Bumps and twists fill my view. Rocks crop up out of the ground, threatening to stub my toes. Continue reading “Finding Jesus in a Springtime Walk”

Life is Sacred in its Living

Life is sacred in its creation.

It’s sacred from the moment it springs into existence. The very moment a human sperm fertilizes a human egg, and God blesses it with the gift of a soul.

Life is sacred in its vulnerability. It’s sacred while at the mercy of its mother for 9 months in the womb. It’s sacred in the helplessness of old age. And in the beautiful needs of illness and disability.

Life is sacred when it needs protection.

The least of these stir up our love and compassion. They exude unspoken pleas for protection. We fight for their rights.

But our fight doesn’t end there.

Life is also sacred in its living. Continue reading “Life is Sacred in its Living”

Is God our Mother?

Why do we call God “Father?” Exploring the Catholic Church’s teaching on God’s paternal and maternal qualities, and clarifying the use of gender-based titles.

Can we call God, “Our Mother?” I mean, after all, we call Him “Father” even though we know God is neither male nor female. So what’s the big deal with replacing one title for another?

If you’re new to my blog, I’ll have you know: I’m Catholic. Strictly Catholic. I adhere to all the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, even the ones I may not fully understand.

As a Catholic, I believe that God reveals Truth to us in three ways:

  • Sacred Scripture
  • Tradition
  • The Magisterium (official teachings of the Church).

And it’s there I turned to find the answer to this question. Continue reading “Is God our Mother?”

Send a flood of prayer.

We’re all familiar with the Noah story. People were wicked. God sent a flood to destroy them. Then He promised never to destroy the earth by flood again.

Why the sudden change of heart? We look around today, and it seems like wickedness still abounds. Every news outlet is filled with stories of hate and hurt and tragedy. Why doesn’t God send another flood? Why doesn’t He just take out all the bad guys?

God, what were You thinking when You made that covenant? Continue reading “Send a flood of prayer.”

A Mountain Meditation: practicing Catholic mindfulness

A mindfulness-based meditation, exploring and appreciating the beauty of God’s creation.

What do you see?

I see the hills bumping up against the sky. They’re crowned with trees. A vibrant red dominates the leaves, but it’s softened by warm yellows and oranges. A hint of green still remains here and there, a remnant of the fading summer.

I see the paths cut through the foliage. Cleared away to make room for roads and power lines and buildings. Evidence of civilization. But I wonder what it was like in its original state. A wild sort of order. The chaotic beauty that God created it to be. Continue reading “A Mountain Meditation: practicing Catholic mindfulness”

Christlike: don’t give them leftovers

A reflection on Sunday’s Gospel

At that time Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon.  And behold, a Canaanite woman of that district came and called out, “Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is tormented by a demon.”  But he did not say a word in answer to her.  His disciples came and asked him, “Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us.”  He said in reply, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”  But the woman came and did him homage, saying, “Lord, help me.”  He said in reply, “It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.”  She said, “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters.”  Then Jesus said to her in reply, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.”  And her daughter was healed from that hour.  – Matthew 15:21-28

What are You trying to teach me, Jesus? Continue reading “Christlike: don’t give them leftovers”

5 ways to see Christ in a stranger

Jesus said, “What good is it to love your friend?  Even gangs members do that.”  Okay, He really said tax collectors… but I figured gang members would be a modern day equivalent of the cliché bad guy.

Jesus routinely calls us to do more than love our friends.  In Matthew 25 He tells us, “Whatever you do to the least of these, you do unto me.”  We have to go beyond our comfort zone.  We have to have charity that’s wider than our social circles.  It doesn’t do us any good to only love the people we know.

We also have to love the stranger. Continue reading “5 ways to see Christ in a stranger”

It would’ve been enough

A prayer modeled after the Dayenu: an ancient Passover prayer celebrating God’s blessings.

God my Father, in Your infinite Goodness You created me out of nothing.  You didn’t have to do that.  But You did it anyways, because You love me.  If You had created me and done nothing more, that would have been enough.

But in Your generosity, You did more.  You created this beautiful world and all things in it for my delight.  You filled it with incredible sights and sounds.  You gave me the changing seasons so I would never get bored. If you had done that and nothing more, it would have been enough.

But You didn’t stop there.  Continue reading “It would’ve been enough”

Mary: the perfect spouse of God the Holy Spirit

Mary is the perfect spouse of God the Holy Spirit.

Hail Mary, Spouse of God the Holy Spirit, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus.  Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.  Amen.

Mary teaches me how to love You, God the Holy Spirit, as the perfect spouse, the perfect wife.

The love between a husband and wife is total giving paired with total receiving. It’s a life-giving gift embodied by the marital embrace.

This type of love parallels the Annunciation. You my God, sent Your angel messenger with a proposal for Mary. Will she be Your bride? The mother of Your Son? Unfettered by commitment to any man, Mary humbly accepts.

You, God the Holy Spirit, came upon her.  She conceived Jesus in her womb.

Mary’s love for You was truly a spousal love. Continue reading “Mary: the perfect spouse of God the Holy Spirit”