Written on Dec, 22, 2015 by in | Leave a comment

I can’t really love my neighbor unless I also love God. What causes me to have this realization, according to Bernard of Clairvaux, are the life’s troubles. These teach me the limits of human strength and my dependence not simply on my neighbor but on God. It is because we “suffer troubles” that we “begin to love God through our own love for ourselves.” As troubles wax and human strength wanes, we learn that “in God we can accomplish anything and without God we can do nothing.”

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Written on Dec, 21, 2015 by in | 1 Comment.

Without inner stillness and the disciplines that support it, my life becomes superficial. I am at the mercy of ever-changing fashions and desires—my own as much as those of the people around me. So what are the disciples we need to foster?

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Written on Dec, 17, 2015 by in | 5 Comments.

When I talk with people about their spiritual lives I often come away with the impression that they don’t think praying counts unless it hurts. So many of us think we need to stand at attention to pray; so many of us undermine our own spiritual lives because we act like a soldier on guard duty and not like a small child on our Father’s lap.

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Written on Dec, 16, 2015 by in | 3 Comments.

The problem is that I’m not listening to the person but to my own, internal monologue. Basically, I’m talking to myself in the presence of another person. This doesn’t just happen with my neighbor but with God as well.

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Written on Dec, 15, 2015 by in | 1 Comment.

Building on the grace of the sacraments—especially Holy Communion and Confession—through the practice of the Jesus Prayer God can restore us first to a wholeness of being and heal our relationships with Him and with our neighbor.

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Written on Dec, 04, 2015 by in | Leave a comment

Faith in Jesus Christ requires from us both humility and boldness. Awareness of my sin makes me humble; confidence in God love makes me bold. One without the other is of no use; both together sets us brings healing, forgiveness and a share in divine glory in this life and the life to come.

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Written on Dec, 04, 2015 by in | 1 Comment.

Though the dioceses and monastic communities had by the end 6th century in the aggregate amassed a great deal of wealth, what mattered most was the ability of Church leaders—clerical and lay—to use that wealth in a manner consonant (or sadly not) with the Gospel. Or what today we call “property rights.”

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Written on Dec, 03, 2015 by in | Leave a comment

Whatever we do, it will only be a small portion relative to what God has done for each of us. Though we are always the junior partner in the great mystery of salvation, we are still God’s partners, His co-workers in our own salvation and the salvation of the world. This is why God asks us only “for some fruit.”

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Written on Dec, 02, 2015 by in | Leave a comment

Consumer disapproval of Black Friday has caused a drop in demand. Consequently, retailers have curtailed their investment in these kinds of sale events. If economics is agnostic as to what motivates the change in demand, as a Christian I can’t be. Retailers are responding to the moral cues of shoppers and so changing their marketing strategy to conform to the moral demands of consumers.

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Written on Dec, 02, 2015 by in | Leave a comment

In the Gospel Jesus’ authority—His rights if you will—is for something. It has a purpose. Jesus has authority, power, to proclaim the Gospel in both words and deeds. The authority that Jesus exercise liberates us from “the law of sin and death.”

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