Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Faith Moving Mountains

Everyone has faith, in some form or other – values, hopes, maybe even a sense of God, to carry them through the hard times, to encourage self-giving in the good times – to look upon others with charity and do their best however they can, whether they be a single-mom in ER worriedly waiting for a doctor to see her sick child, or a Wall Street CEO caught up in the financial tornado of recent weeks.

Faith is what God looks upon … faith stirs the heart of God.

But just how much faith?

Jesus said it well, “faith, the size of a mustard seed can move a mountain.”
It doesn’t take much.
Even the smallest piece will do.
The mountain may not move overnight, or in two weeks, or even ten years, but it is moving! And beside you, God’s shoulder pushing.

Give thanks for your faith today - it's moving mountains!

Monday, October 27, 2008

I Have a Dream

I remember when John Kennedy ran for President. Some Protestant folks were adamant: “If a Catholic becomes President, the Pope will run the country.”

Yesterday, on radio, I heard a lovely, elderly white woman say, “If a Black man becomes President, …”

I’ll let you fill in the blank. What she said was irrational and deeply troubling. She wasn’t proud of it – that was obvious - but there it was – this incredibly ugly thought.

I write as a Christian, a man of faith, who knows the power of deep-seated ideologies – like anti-Catholicism, or any of the various forms of racism and prejudice that mar our character.

None of it makes any sense, but somehow or other, our minds, our souls, are capable of harboring the senseless, and believing it to be true.

Our great nation is broad-minded and generous – we are America the Land of the Free … our Statue of Liberty stands witness to a universal welcome – that in this great Republic, every human being can find a home and a future, regardless of race, creed or color.

This is what makes America great.

I end with some lines from the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., and his “I Have a Dream” speech:

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.


And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

Friday, October 17, 2008

Pay Attention!

Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep; but since they had stayed awake, they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him.

When my children travel, I always say to them: “Stop, look and listen; see, smell and taste, and tuck it away in your memories.”

Pay attention! Don’t be inward; be outward.

The disciples where weary and ready to hit the sack, but they stayed awake, and look what they saw: the glory of Jesus and the “two men” with him. A moment of profound insight and energy. They saw Jesus in a new light (that’s a pun – read the story: Luke 9:28-36).

Today, practice alertness; don’t be inward; be outward.
Really see the person next to you in the checkout line … pay attention to their face (don’t stare. Ha!).
Turn off your radio while driving to work, roll down your window and listen to the sounds of LA.
Look up and see the mountains (if it’s clear); look at a tree and study it’s shape.
Look at the folks waiting for the next bus.
Watch your hands type something.
Pay attention to the food you’re eating – flavors, spices, texture, temperature.

It’s said, “the devil’s in the details.” So is goodness and beauty, truth and wonder, joy and marvel. So is God!

Today, “Stop, look and listen; see, smell and taste, and tuck it away in your memories.”

Who knows? You may see Jesus and the two men with him.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Don't Be Too Sure

They were all weeping and wailing for her; but he said, “Do not weep; for she is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. But he took her by the hand and called out, “Child, get up!” Her spirit returned, and she got up at once. Then he directed them to give her something to eat. Her parents were astounded; but he ordered them to tell no one what had happened (Luke 8).

How certain they all were, that it was all over with, hope gone, no way through, or out.

Have you ever been “certain” about something only to discover later on that life was moving in another direction, with possibilities and options galore? If only you had been a little more alert, a little less convinced of your own take on things, a little more open, you might have gotten on board a little sooner.

Paul the Apostle writes of God: Who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do no exist.

It says they laughed at Jesus.

Cynical … scornful … the laughter of the “knowing” – “Who does he think he is?”

The next time you hear yourself saying, “I know for certain,” remember this little story from Luke’s pen, and remember that God has plenty of things up the sleeve, more than we can ever imagine, for helping us through life.

Friday, October 10, 2008


To be holy - which is what God wants for us - is to be wholly devoted to God! Whole-devotion not the easiest thing in the world ("take up your cross and follow me"), but failing to try for whole-devotion is the hardest thing in the world!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Night Shift

Come, bless the LORD, all you servants of the LORD,
who stand by night in the house of the LORD!
Lift up your hands to the holy place,
and bless the LORD.
May the LORD, maker of heaven and earth,
bless you from Zion.

Lots of folks work the night shift … the donut maker, the police officer, the fire fighter and the pilot; the nurse, the doctor and the bus driver.

Psalm 134 celebrates those who “stand by night in the house of the LORD” – specifically, those who said the nighttime prayers and maintained the various candles and incense offerings.

As I write, I hear a helicopter overhead … a Sig Alert on the 405? a police search for a suspect?

Do you know someone who works the night shift?

Send them a note of thanks.