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What It Really Means that God is Everywhere

Each of the divine attributes is both a cause for wonder at the majesty of God and a source of comfort for us in our daily lives. This is particularly true of divine omnipresence, the reality that God is everywhere and is absent from no place. Natural reason tells us this naturally follows from God’s very nature. It’s also affirmed...

Love at First Sight: A Baroque Master’s Vision of Conversion

Christianity burst upon the pagan world with an astounding message— God wanted a personal relationship with every man and woman in creation. Friendship with Christ conferred dignity on all humanity— slaves, women, the sick, and the disabled—a fact that was reflected in the art Christians had produced in the catacombs and in early churches. Protestant...

Feast of Saint Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist

Saint Matthew’s story is an unlikely vocation story with an unlikely candidate called by Jesus to be a disciple. The story simply tells us that Jesus is walking by, sees Matthew at his tax collector’s table and says: “Follow me.” Matthew stops business at once, closes his books and goes off behind Jesus. Matthew follows the call from Jesus immediately,...

The Lord is Much More Than Fair

“But that’s not fair!” Most parents have heard this phrase umpteen times.  The notion of fairness, also known as justice, is wired into us.  It makes us aware that each of us has certain rights that need to be respected. But it also means that we each have duties.  If others have the right to be paid for their work, those who benefit from that...

Would We Ever Grumble About God’s Generosity?

Jesus tells a parable that poses an interesting question:  Would we ever grumble about God’s generosity? Gospel (Read Mt 20:1-16a) In the verses preceding today’s Gospel, Jesus told the disciples “it will be hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 19:23).  A “rich young man” had just gone away “sorrowful” from Jesus, because...

Friday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

In some societies, the men almost always seem to have the upper hand over the women. This becomes more obvious just by observing certain gatherings and other significant celebrations. In some places, there are designated areas for the girls and special places for the boys. In today’s Gospel, we find out that there were active female followers...

Saint Hildegard of Bingen, Doctor of the Church

Today’s saint has a strange name and an even stranger resume. Her name alone seems to relegate her to the 12th century, where she clearly belongs: Saint Hildegard of Bingen. It’s just so very German, and so very…ancient, sounding. She seems like one of those saints that we should just let rest, in peace.  Yet, less than 10 years ago, Pope Benedict...

Thursday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

Are we grateful to God for all the gifts and talents that he has given us? Do we show that gratitude through fervent love? The woman in this story is a beautiful example of the transforming power of Jesus’ love. She carried with her the burden of a sinful life that left her soul starving for truth and goodness. Her first contact with Jesus must have...

General Audience

San Damaso courtyardWednesday, 16 September 2020 Dear brothers and sisters, good morning! To emerge from a pandemic, we need to look after and care for each other. To look after and care for each other. And we must support those who care for the weakest, the sick and the elderly. Ah, there is the tendency to cast the elderly aside, to...

Ten Practical Steps to a Sanctified Life

Let us turn to some practical aids that can encourage us to establish a strong spiritual life. This is by no means an exhaustive list; rather, it’s simply a starting point. As St. Philip Neri says, “One should not wish to become a saint in four days but step by step.” And remember this: Show me a room with seven different Christians who are committed...

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