Blessings by Laura Story My music tastes run a wide range of genres and close to the top is Praise and Worship. Several weeks ago, I stumbled upon this song by Laura Story. It speaks to those who are experiencing difficulties in their lives and challenges the listener to ponder them from a different perspective.  As a newlywed of only a year, Laura’s husband was hospitalized with a brain tumor. The couple faced surgery, radiation, setbacks and extensive physical therapy. Her song, Blessings, asks, “what if your blessings come through raindrops?”  If you listen to …Follow this path →

“I’ll pray for you!” Genuine promise or casual remark?

“I’ll pray for you!” This is something I’ve said to dozens of parishioners and friends, if not more,  who tell me about something going on in their life that needs some divine guidance or assistance. Until a few years ago, I never dwelled too much on those words or that promise. I received an email from a former parishioner. Her email was to inform me that her husband, in his early 50’s, had passed away after a long and hard battle with cancer. I responded expressing my condolences, writing that I would keep him and their family …Follow this path →

If the Lord offered you a wrapped package, would you take it? Worshipping a Hidden God, by Archbishop Luis Martinez

Archbishop Martinez’s book, Worshipping a Hidden God, unfolds a journey that begins with understanding the need for humility culminates with one’s participation in the Divine Life. The opening chapters focus on emptying oneself to allow room for the fullness of God in our life. The ultimate goal is perfection and that objective is a daunting task. Martinez states, “if we are to achieve perfection, an absolute renunciation of all things of this world is necessary.” He also warns, “he who will not renounce himself should not try to attain perfection.” For most of us, perfection will …Follow this path →

Purgatory What you'll experience after you die!

When it comes to books that concern heaven, hell or, as is the topic of this book, purgatory, I must admit I approach their information with a bit of caution. Not that I doubt the truthfulness of the person who tells of their private revelation, but rather I wonder how they can possibly convey in human terms that which is beyond this world. Wouldn’t our current human senses and language limit our expression of these destinations. St. Teresa of Avila describes hell as a place of watery mud and that is permeated by foul odors. A place …Follow this path →


Based on the title, The Discipline of Study, I was not overly excited to begin chapter five of Celebration of Discipline, but, there is truth in the saying, “you can’t judge a book by its cover…” or in this case a chapter by its title. As Foster continues to explore the Spiritual Disciplines, he reminds the reader that the purpose of the disciplines is to bring about total transformation of the individual by, in a very simplified summary, replacing bad habits with good ones. The disciplines are meant to lead us on a path to …Follow this path →

In the Beginning

The only phrase I remember from my one semester of Hebrew is the first few words of Genesis, בראשית ברא אלהים which translated means “In the beginning God created.” I am not sure if Fr. George Saladna would be proud that, after 40 years, I still recall those words, but my minimal vocabulary is due more to aging gray cells than his ability to teach. Fr. Saladna was the vice rector of the seminary during my brief two year stay. He had been given the nickname “Gorg” long before my arrival, when, in the pre-spellchecker …Follow this path →

Adventmas or Christvent? Has Advent become a forgotten season?

There are three camps when it comes to the proper time to begin to celebrate Christmas. In one camp, albeit a very small one, are the purists who show no hint of Christmas until the eve of December 25th. This group cherishes the unique character of Advent, a time of preparation and waiting. At the other end of the spectrum is the faction that begins to trot out the holiday decorations and music even as they are packing away the scarecrows, pumpkins and costumes. The third group consists of those folks who are just as comfortable with “O …Follow this path →

St. Jude – My Life with the Saints Learn about this Saint of the Sock Drawer

Did you ever pick up a book and know from the very first page that is was going to be one you would enjoy reading? Fr. Martin begins this inspirational work by writing about Spiderman, fake vomit, sea monkeys and his swimming Tony the Tiger toy. These were some of the childhood items he “sent away for” – enticed by the ads in comic books and on cereal boxes. His shopping habits were not confined to exaggerated ads that depleted his allowance as, for some unexplained reason, he was drawn to an ad for a plastic …Follow this path →

Detachment Thomas Merton's - New Seeds of Contemplation

“You will never be able to pray perfectly until you are detached from the pleasures of prayer.” These words capture the essence of Chapter 28, Detachment. I admit, I take pleasure in prayer time. My hour plus of God time at the end of the day, to pray the Liturgy of the Hours, to do a little spiritual reading, to listen to uplifting music, to sit in silent reflection. The pleasure continues often into the night as Relevant Radio or We Are One Body radio station plays softly through a pillow speaker or perhaps it …Follow this path →

Flash Prayers – Celebration of Discipline

Chapter 3 – The Discipline of Prayer Section – The Foothills of Prayer KISS – keep it simple stupid seems to be the advice Foster offers in this section. At times we tend to over complicate our prayer and, in doing so, move away from what should be so natural to us. Foster looks at how children interact with their parents and then encourages that same type of relationship in our interaction with our Father. Part of this section introduces Frank Laubach, another author, who has written several books on prayer. One of Laubach’s ideas …Follow this path →

Free Will – New Seeds of Contemplation

Chapter 27 – What is Liberty? Merton gives a straightforward definition of freedom, “to do the will of God.” He considers the lowest limit of freedom is our ability to choose between good and evil. That choice in itself is deceptive, for when we choose evil, it is only because we see it as an apparent good. We are caught in the trap of choosing what we really did not want and therefore not truly free. The evil one is very clever indeed! True freedom is the ability to choose what is always good and …Follow this path →