For your Advent enjoyment…

 

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Changing the Lord’s Prayer?

Recently, Pope Francis offered that the church should modify the translation of the “Our Father” to clear up the confusion around the phrase “lead us not into temptation.” “That is not a good translation,” the Pope said. The phrase in question appear in Matthew 6:13 and Luke 11:4 as μὴ εἰσενέγκῃς ἡμᾶς εἰς πειρασμόν. The Greek verb for lead is “eisphero” and the original Greek word for testing or temptation is “peirasmos.” Continue reading

Finding Joy

I like words, their origin (or etymology if you prefer) and the ways in words affect people – and people affect words. Such as the word “peruse” which people understand to mean “glance over, skim,” etc. Yet originally the word means (and I would argue still does) to read completely and in exacting detail. Another interesting word whose meaning has done an about face is “egregious.” Today it means to be conspicuous or flagrant – and almost always in a negative sense. Yet the origin of the word from the Latin ex-“out of” and greg- “flock” to give us egregius “illustrious” or in a more modern sense, “outstanding.” Somewhere in the late 16th century the word was increasingly used in an ironic sense, until that usage became it every day meaning. Continue reading

Gratitude to Happiness

GratitudeI don’t remember – it has been so long now – but somewhere, sometime ago, I began to start emails, letters, cards and the like with the same phrase: “May the grace and peace of Christ be with you.” It is an expression that begins many of St. Paul’s letters, in one form or another, e.g., Galatians 1:3. It is not a scripted beginning; there is a great deal of intention about it. There are times when I am in a hurry, responding to emails, that I am reminded at the end to return to the beginning and insert the greeting. It often leads to editing of the email if there is some part that does not have grace or peace about it. Continue reading

Greatness

Just the other day I watched “Thor: Ragnarok.” It was another entertaining saga in the Marvel Comics universe in which Thor and some of the Avengers appear.  And of course, in such films one is always on the lookout for Stan Lee, the founder of the Marvel universe. Let me just say you will never look at your barber or hair dresser the same way after seeing his cameo.

If you are a fan or planning to see the movie, I will try to give enough context – or [spoiler alert] you can read a description of the full plot here. Continue reading

A Way of Life

I am often given to repeating St. Bonaventure’s wise counsel: humility is the guardian and gateway to all the other virtues…and the first evidence of it is gratitude. We can all have moments in which we are profoundly grateful, but are we grateful people? The first is a description of a moment in time, deeply remembered; the second is an intrinsic condition of who you are as a person. It is at the root of your being, it is the lens through which you see the world, and it is the mode by which you engage the world. Even as I write that last sentence, I am thinking, “Gosh, I want to be that person!” Continue reading

The House We’re Building

1109lateran2The Lateran Basilica in Rome is not the oldest church in Rome – that honor seems to belong Santi Quattro Coronati (314); but then that depends on what sources you believe. Old St. Peter’s, the original church on the spot where the current St. Peter’s stands dates to 324, the same year as St. Lorenzo and St. John Lateran. In fact, the Lateran Basilica is the Cathedral of the Diocese of Rome – the place from where the Bishop of Rome, Pope Francis, leads his diocese even as he leads the church universal. Continue reading

Becoming Uncle

In my youth, I had an uncle. He would visit once or twice a year, and every three years or so one of his visits would be at Christmas. He was an interesting and worldly person who was ever the font of fascinating information, experiences, and knowledge of the world beyond the confines of my neighborhood. He only had one habit that I found annoying. Continue reading

Bless their hearts

A reposting from All Souls 2016 – Part of the blessing being a parish priest is that you are invited into some of the most intimate moments of a family’s life. There is perhaps none more intimate and intense than the moments when illness passes through uncertain diagnosis, to one which blurs into the final days of a life. It is part of a life of ministry to be into a family whose loved one’s days are numbered. It is a privilege to journey with the family are they prepare for the loss that surely and steadily this way comes. In those times, Hope can seem more tentative, more distant; perhaps hovering on the edge of disappointment. Continue reading