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The Word Is Life

All our Christmas blessings to you

If you think you’ve had it rough this year, what with covid-19 morphing into the Omicron variant and new restrictions on our freedom looming, you have our sympathy. We have all had a tough year and we need a break. Christmas is that time to escape, even if only figuratively. Within the public health restrictions…

IN REMEMBRANCE

Wars not only destroy human lives; they destroy homes and heritages, they ravage fields, trees, lakes, and soil. But the life that God bequeathed to all creation is stronger than death. And so it was that, the chalky, bomb-pummeled, soil of a burial ground in Northern Belgium was transformed into a lime-rich environment perfectly suited…

PRAYING FOR PEOPLE LIVING WITH DEPRESSION

Winston Churchill referred to it as his “black dog.” American writer and educator Parker Palmer speaks of, “the snake pit of the soul.” Whatever we call it, depression is a hard thing – and incredibly common, though often not spoken of openly. Those who experience depression, and those who watch someone they care about go…

TAKE ME TO THE MOVIES!

On this Commemoration of All Souls, I am reminded of the chant Dies Irae, a liturgical meditation on the Last Judgment. From at least the mid-14th century it was sung as a Sequence on this day and in Funeral Masses. The Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) removed the Sequence to shift the liturgical emphasis from judgment…

A PERFECT SAINT

Last week, a relatively young friend of mine died after a long battle with cancer. As his close friends, my wife, Christine and I were asked to offer words of reflection at his memorial service. As Christine spoke of her friend, she was careful to point out that our task in such moments is not…