How Are Your Lessons Calling People to Repent?

This Sunday’s Gospel (Mark 1:14–20) invites us to hear the first words out of Jesus’ mouth as he begins his public ministry: “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” One of the reasons that we find this passage difficult to take to heart is because of a lack of understanding of what it means to repent. Here’s how I understand it. Among the many […]

State Farm Shouldn’t Be the Only Good Neighbor

For years, State Farm Insurance has promoted itself as being a “good neighbor” with its popular jingle, “like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.” httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRS4shfH1Pw The gospel for this Sunday challenges us to be a good neighbor but adds a definition for what it means to be a good neighbor: it means to be one who shows mercy. Being a good neighbor means more than just maintaining a clean lawn and keeping the noise […]

The Conversion Process – “Stirrings”

The New Evangelization is a renewed invitation to conversion. Unfortunately, conversion is a word that is often misunderstood. We tend to think of conversion as either the changing from one Christian denomiation to another or a dramatic bolt of lightning in which we hear God’s voice loud and clear, calling us to a major change in life.  As a result of these rather limited understandings, most people don’t feel that they have experienced, are, experiencing, or […]

In Honor of Dorothy Day: “Mercy Experiences” Instead of “Service Hours/Projects”

If Dorothy Day stood for anything, it was the centrality of the corporal and spiritual works of mercy in the life of Catholics. She once said that everything a baptized person does should be, directly or indirectly, related to the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. Unlike some who reduce Christianity to a philosophy, Dorothy Day knew that Christianity was an embodied set of practices: things that we DO for others. In his book, The […]

Year of Faith Retreat – Week 3, Day 5: What Were You Thinking? (Conscience and Moral Decision Making)

WEEK THREE: The Moral Life (Life in Christ) DAY 5:  What Were You Thinking? (Conscience and Moral Decision Making) Do you know who scores highest on religious literacy tests? Catholics? Protestants? Mormons? Jews? The answer is: ATHEISTS! Does that surprise you? It does and it doesn’t for me. In truth, I would say that it disappoints me more than it surprises me. Why doesn’t it surprise me? Because too many of us Christians approach our faith as simply […]

Year of Faith Retreat – Week 3, Day 4: Learning to Detect Patterns (Social Justice)

WEEK THREE: The Moral Life (Life in Christ) DAY 4:  Learning to Detect Patterns (Social Justice) The children’s show Sesame Street has a feature called One of These Things is Not Like the Others in which they show a series of images, inviting the viewer to identify which of the things was different or doesn’t match or belong to the group. The activity is accompanied by a song with the following lyrics: One of these things is not […]

Year of Faith Retreat – Week 3, Day 2: What’s Your Secret? (The Commandments, Beatitudes, and Virtues)

WEEK THREE: The Moral Life (Life in Christ) DAY 2:  What’s Your Secret?  (The Commandments, Beatitudes, and Virtues) Did you ever try to find out if someone was planning a surprise party for you or try to find out what kind of gift they may have gotten you for your birthday or Christmas? It’s not easy to pry a secret out of someone!  Thankfully, we have a God who does not keep secrets. In fact, God is quite the opposite. God […]

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