Except for the Lord

I was blessed that I had parents that loved (and still love) God. Through the sacrifices they made to send me to authentic Catholic schools from K-12 and their insistence on me going with them to Mass every single week (and don't even get me started on Holy Week - I regularly blow my boys' minds with stories about that!) I was introduced to and began to love God like they did. He has been my rock these many years and they made sure he was at the forefront of my mind and heart.

I have been stressed lately in so many areas and this morning I was reminded of a hymn we sang when I was a boy called Come to the Water and it resonated with me in a deep way. I was thankful I was alone because no one wants to see me when God reminds me of how needy I am and how rich he is:

O let all who thirst; Let them come to the water
And let all who have nothing; Let them come to the Lord:
Without money, without price; Why should you pay the price
Except for the Lord?

And let all who seek; Let them come …

Calling hours

Last week we attended calling hours to comfort a friend whose father had passed away. Everyone stood around talking about the deceased like they were not even there.

That's because they weren't. They were somewhere else.

12 boys and a coach

Like many of you I watched the news out of Thailand with great anticipation as the boys and their soccer coach were rescued when the cave they were exploring was unexpectedly flooded. Not to be overly pedantic, but the events that surrounded their finding and subsequent rescue was not, in the strictest sense, miraculous. It was, however, a a reminder of the goodness and providence of God. There is no reason other than the divine grace and mercy of God that these boys and their coach should be alive. He is good. But that is not why I am writing today.

As I watched the rescue operation kick into full gear I couldn't help but notice the amount of people involved in rescuing these boys and their coach. I am sure there were more people than what has been reported helping with the operation, but many estimates put close to 200 people on the scene planning, swimming, putting themselves in danger, and one even dying, to save the Wild Boars. That, to me, is absolutely incredible. That, to m…

The gain of forgiveness

I am trying to process this a bit, so please bear with me. I firmly believe that, even though I lose something, I gain more from forgiveness than I do holding onto the debt that others have toward me. I feel that in my soul. But my mind can't help but wander into the communicable attributes that God has, that I can participate in. One of them, of course, is that God is forgiving. There is some tension here and I am not quite sure what to make of it. Made in the image of God I see that I gain more than I lose by forgiving. But, what did God gain? This wholly other God, what would he have lost if he did not forgive?

Now I cannot even fathom to think that one iota of his glory and power would be diminished in any way had he just sent Adam and Eve into the hell that they deserved. I mean, really, who could instruct God that the wrath incurred by offense that he inherited through their disobedience would not have been perfectly displayed through their banishment from his presence foreve…

More, not less

"I thought I'd hate you more," I admitted shivering slightly as his grotesque visage gave way to the small glimmer of light. "The more I saw you seeking my loved ones, or even me I knew I would find you at least more bitter. I never thought you would be sweet."
"Who but I can take you to him?" Death asked blinking rapidly as if trying to stay awake. "I'm dying too you know." In a sense he was. In a sense he was being sifted like wheat. My heart began to reach for what began to remain. He sensed what I desired from him. "Go ahead, touch me," he offered. I was more curious but less willing to reach for him in the same manner of his reaching for me during his awful lessons. But he was now more light than wrinkles as his dry, crinkle flesh seemed to puff out smooth. "You remember these hands, don't you?" he asked holding them up in some means of admiration. How could I have not? They reminded me on the ones I had when …

This fine water

There was nothing I would have rather done nor place I would rather have been than where I was last night. I know it was a single point in time, something that was either ignored or will be forgotten by the sons and daughters of earth in a generation's time. Yet, it will be forever etched into the heart and mind of God. Not that it changed him in any way, but I pray that we made much of him last night as a church, family, dad, and son.

I baptized my brother in Christ last night. My second-born son made the decision to imitate his Savior and show the world that he is one of his. There was the customary nervousness and excitement as we descended into the fine, fine water, but that was all erased as we ignored everyone save him and each other. All of the things that could have happened didn't. All of the things that should have happened did. He was baptized in the name of the person I love the most: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 

I don't deserve him. I don't deserve a s…

This violent love

And I will put enmity between you [the serpent] and the woman [Eve],and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heal - Genesis 3:15
And, thus, the love of God for me, his fallen creature, is shown: in conflict and in violence. The heart of the Gospel, the first proclamation of God's rescuing me from the consequences of my sin is revealed as one that will do violence. I was once a child of the serpent; a child of the Devil. But God loved me too much to allow me to occupy a place at the serpent's table and began his assault. His love did so offend me that I bristled at it. I tried to ignore it. How dare he tell me what to do? He (is he really even a "he" anyway?) this "god" is going to tell me that the way I am living my life is so wrong? Who have I hurt? What have I stolen? Who have I killed? He seems to want to put me on the same plane as that guy I know who cheated on his wife or that other person on the news who sho…