Totally Dependent on God

Father's Hands

Editor’s Note: One of the graces throughout Joel’s diaconate discernment has been the opportunity to become friends with the wives of the other discerning men. One, Charlotte Hunkele, has become a spiritual mentor; she has a gift to articulate and explain the faith in such beautiful ways. During one of our retreat weekends, Charlotte shared […]

I Don’t Want To!

I Don't Want To

I wonder how many times during my lifetime I have said or thought “I don’t want to do that.” I wanted healthier, happier, richer or better. I wanted more. I wanted something different than what I had at the moment. I didn’t want to serve. I didn’t want to suffer. I didn’t want to give […]

When You Can’t Hear the Mass

American Sign Language for "Jesus"

While on pilgrimage this spring, Joel and I attended the Beatification Mass for Blessed Pope John Paul II in the piazza outside St. Peter’s Basilica. Much of the Mass was spoken in Latin, a language I don’t speak. Some other parts were said in Italian, some Polish, and even a little English thrown in at times. […]

Spiritual Sticker Shock

Sticker Shock

August 28, 2011: Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time The juxtaposition of this week’s readings against last week’s readings is hard to ignore. Last week, Peter was “all in” when Jesus commanded him to build a Church, essentially to marshal a spiritual army of disciples and storm the gates of the sinful world with the power of […]

Do Churches Have A Right to Mandate Moral Standards for Employees?

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Last night’s lead story on a local newscast caught my attention and was one I had trouble mentally putting down. Here’s a summary of the story: a childcare and preschool center located inside an evangelical Christian mega-church in the Des Moines metro area recently changed management. The center temporarily closed last Monday and will reopen […]

Learning to Discern God’s Will

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Have you ever wondered how other people have learned to discern God’s will? George Mueller, a nineteenth century English pastor who was known for his life of prayer and his close walk with God, once shared this simple method for determining God’s will through prayer and the Word: I seek at the beginning to get […]

It’s a War out There

St. Peter holding the keys

August 21, 2011: Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time This week’s Old Testament readings are filled with contrasting images of leaders, often depicted in battle, in action. Those whose faith is in God are exalted and do great things in His name; those whose faith is in themselves are humbled. Don’t Flatter Yourself. In the first […]