During his homily at the closing Mass of the World Meeting of Families, Pope Francis spoke on the importance of sharing little gestures of love within the family. These little acts of love are vital to the heart of a parish family, too. Here are some examples of little gestures we can do within our parishes to welcome others and foster a culture of encounter. What ideas can you add?
I recently had a few text exchanges with a friend about a ministry project I’m working on. My texts went something like this: I’m freaking out. I didn’t sign up for THIS!! Get me off this crazy train!!! My holy friend responded something on the order of: Hold up, girl. There’s a grace for that. […]
Humility. That little rascal keeps chasing me down and running me over. Why, oh why, won’t you leave me alone, humility? For weeks now, several people I spiritually admire have used that word when chatting with me. They are in good company. St. Augustine once said the three most important factors in the spiritual life are humility, humility, and […]
“All these evils come from within, and they defile.” – Jesus to the Pharisees
Some research indicates the average woman speaks 20,000 words a day. And man? 7,000. But no matter the number of words uttered, our daily conversations say a lot about the state of our relationships and whether we view our spouses as true partners. Are our conversations more positive than negative? Do our words lift one another up or tear one down? Do they reflect a sense of working together or of working at cross-purposes? Every word that comes out of our mouths has the ability to either undercut or underscore our marriages. To defile or purify. All those words greatly matter when it comes to demonstrating commitment to our spouses. Here are two thoughts on how to purify the “evils from within.”
During diaconate formation, commitments were mostly structured and mandatory. Now, after ordination, little is mandatory. How to meet expectations is largely discerned, not dictated. It’s been a year, and we still haven’t figured out the magic formula.
During spiritual direction yesterday, the priest and I talked a lot about Our Lady of Guadalupe. She kind of popped up out of nowhere into my heart, and when the priest asked me why this particular image of Our Lady speaks to me as she does, I had trouble articulating an explanation. I didn’t even realize […]
God’s call for us can be revealed through the people the Holy Spirit has placed in our lives. I blame Deacon John McCully. Whenever someone asks about my vocation story, I start with him. He played an integral role in planting the “diaconate seed.”
One day 2,000 years ago in Capernaum on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee many people walked away from Jesus in the Eucharist. Would you have walked away, too? Deacon Joel shares his homily for the Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time.
When I first spotted her, Our Lady of Grace that is, I immediately noticed her broken off left hand. It greatly bothered and disrupted my sense of order. Our perfect and flawless Mother was missing her left hand. Not very becoming for our Immaculata, the one who bore our Lord and Savior. But there she was, Our […]
As a deacon, I’m becoming more comfortable with the idea that people are watching me and my family. I may not like it, but I’m learning to embrace it. To a large degree, that’s what I signed up for, to be a symbol of something different, a sign of contrast, to represent Christ in a way I hadn’t done before. But as Christians, aren’t we all called to represent Christ in a way that’s visible, that makes Him known to the rest of the world, through the witness of our lives?