“I will not leave you orphans…”

In today’s gospel, Jesus says to his disciples, “I will not leave you orphans…” In this time of so many ordeals, crises, and tragedies, how do these words sound to us? Do they sound discordant? Facetious? Comforting? Hopeful? Continue reading ““I will not leave you orphans…””

Seven Songs for this Season

Here are several of the songs I’ve been listening to during this season of life. Thanks to the friends who have shared these with me. Would love to hear what you think of them and to receive your recommendations. Continue reading “Seven Songs for this Season”

The day John Paul II died

On this date, fifteen years ago, Pope John Paul II died. I remember this time well because I was 14 at the time and the news of his death was, paradoxically, also the biggest news to me of his life. Before his death, I’d heard his name my whole life but I hadn’t really gotten to know much about him or his remarkable biography. But then, in 2005, every magazine cover had his face on it and it seemed that there was unending coverage of this Catholic leader whose life had made a profound difference not only in the Church but throughout the whole world in the drama of the twentieth century. Continue reading “The day John Paul II died”

Suffering without flinching

Viktor Frankl, author of Man’s Search for Meaning, also wrote a book titled The Doctor and the Soul. In the introduction, Frankl argues that life has meaning as long as we have the capacity to suffer: “For the possibility of realizing values by the very attitude with which we face our unchangeable suffering—this possibility exists to the very last moment. […] The right kind of suffering—facing your fate without flinching—is the highest achievement that has been granted to man.” Continue reading “Suffering without flinching”

“Do you want to be made well?”

I’ve always been struck by Jesus’ question to the man he encountered who had been paralyzed for 38 years. Jesus finds him at the pool called Bethesda and asks him, “Do you want to be made well?” (Today’s gospel, John 5:2-18)

The strange question would seem to elicit one obvious answer – ‘Yes.’ However, this is not what the man responds.

Instead he says, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; and while I am making my way, someone else steps down ahead of me.”

Maybe this means what the man wanted was to have someone to help put him into the pool. Continue reading ““Do you want to be made well?””