There's Something Happening Here

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Do you ever get that "feeling"? The "feeling" that something is going to happen, something big?

I've been having that "feeling" lately. There are times when I think it just might be my nerves getting the best of me but that isn't exactly it. While I don't doubt that nerves have something to do with it, there is something more. I’ve started taking to the idea that this is the Holy Spirit. While driving to work recently, I heard that song by Buffalo Springfield – “For What It’s Worth” – and it has the lyrics: “There's something happening here, what it is ain't exactly clear.” There truly is something happening here at St. Dominic that isn't exactly clear, but it is feeling really good. There is an energy, a life, a spirit. I can't quite put my finger on it but this "feeling" is causing me to well up with pride, with joy, with excitement.

Many Saints write about conversion and surrender, as it is a pathway to holiness. St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta would say, "We have to love until it hurts. It is not enough to say I love. We must put that love into a living action. And how do we do that? By giving until it hurts." This loving until it hurts is conversion. It is surrender because it is counter-cultural. St. Faustina brought us the depiction of surrender through the image of the Divine Mercy and the simple yet powerful prayer "Jesus, I trust in you!" Releasing oneself to the will of the Father is liberating yet terrifying. 

It is not enough to say yes to God when he has called us for himself. It's very important to put that “yes” into a living action. And how do we put that into a living action? By our total surrender to Him. We understand that He has chosen us for Himself - all that follows is that we allow Him to use us without consulting us. We are human beings and we like to know exactly what He wants, how He wants, and so on. But if we really want to be only all for Jesus, it is important that we give Him a free hand to do with us what He wants, as He wants. Only then can we really say we are only all for Jesus. - Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Thirsting for God, 2000.

There is something happening here, what it is ain't exactly clear, but guaranteed is it is guided by the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit through the intercession of our Blessed Mother.

The Cross and the Light

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 It was an honor and privilege to carry our Lord’s cross into the church this past Good Friday. The week before ordination my spiritual director asked me if I had thought of a gift to ask God for at ordination. This very idea had been on my mind for a while. I responded too him that I desired the grace of clearly recognizing someone who was suffering and the ability to accompany and assist them in carrying a portion of their cross.

After venerating the cross Good Friday afternoon, I sat in the sanctuary, a witness to our parish family bringing forward their personal sorrows. It was difficult for me to hold back my tears.  My heart was heavy with those burdens which many of you have shared with me these past seven months. The mysteries of ordination have been astonishing. All I could do in those moments was to pray for each of you, asking Jesus to carry some of the weight of your cross as you united your suffering to His.

In our second reading today, Peter addresses a working class of Christian slaves. Peter asks those slaves to respond to unjust treatment without resorting to violence. His request for patient suffering is compared to that of Jesus who won righteousness for all humanity. God’s grace and strength is available for us when we endure our suffering with that same patience. 

Someone asked me this past week if the Easter Candle which I brought into the sanctuary at Easter Vigil was heavy. In contrast to the heaviness of the many sufferings in our world today, the Easter Candle was lightweight, almost buoyant. The Roman Missal summarizes the light symbolism of the Easter Candle perfectly, “May the light of Christ rising in glory dispel the darkness of our hearts and minds.” This connects the Easter candle to Jesus as the “light of the world,” as Jesus describes himself in the Gospel of John.

From the Easter candle all the other candles in the church are lit showing how Jesus is the source of our light. May you carry the light of Christ with you this Easter Season and continue to share the weight of your cross with Jesus. God’s Easter blessings to you all.

Proof of His Love

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Recently, I was blessed to help direct lines during the 12 Hours of Reconciliation day. As I was in the church, my eyes were drawn over and over again to the large crucifix in the back of church. It seemed as if the outstretched arms of the Lord were reaching out to embrace the whole church full of people seeking forgiveness.

Today in the Gospel, we hear Jesus’ encounter with Thomas who needs proof of the Resurrection in order to believe. So often, we ask God for proof. Maybe not of the Resurrection, but of his love for us, of his providence, that he is good, that He cares for us. But we already have the proof. Look to the Cross. The pierced hands, feet, and side, the crown of thorns. They’re all proof of his love for us. And if that’s not enough, look at an image of the resurrection. He rose from the dead! For you! He gave us the Church and sent us the Holy Spirit. He promised that He would not leave us orphans.

As you continue to reflect on God's love for you, here are some of my favorite lines of poetry from St. Thomas Aquinas’ meditations on the Gospel of John 20:19-31:

I am not like Thomas, wounds I cannot see, but I plainly call thee Lord and God as he.
This faith each day deeper be my holding of, daily make me harder hope and dearer love.

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