Letters From a Pastor to His People

  • 29 March 2020 | By

     

    Letters from a Pastor to His People- March 29, 2020

    Dear Parishioners,

    The raising of Lazarus is one of my favorite Gospels.  There is so much to pray with in the account.  On my private retreat I make every year, whenever it is, I spend at least one afternoon meditating and reflecting upon this powerful scene.  In last year's parish mission, I offered an extended meditation on the passage.  There is so much to glean from Jesus' encounter at Bethany that I encourage you to pray with this yourself.  You have time!

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26 Jan

The Conversion on the Way to Damascus

The 17th Century painting by Caravaggio, The Conversion on the Way to Damascus, is a brilliant depiction of the monumental moment for Christianity.  Saint Paul lies on his back on the ground, below his horse.  Finely dressed as a soldier, the young man exudes strength and vigor.  His face is calm, his eyes are closed, and his muscular arms are extended heavenward, as if receiving a hug. 

19 Jan

The Two Popes

I watched the Netflix movie The Two Popes recently and, I must say, I was not impressed.  Aside from it being unhelpful fiction, a profound spiritual lesson was distorted.  Towards the end, Benedict XVI, played by Anthony Hopkins, explains to Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio why he desires to retire.  God has abandoned him.  Benedict feels nothing in prayer.  He asks, he pleads, and "Silence!" is all he receives in return.  This abandonment the pope takes as a sign that God no longer is with him and no longer desires him to lead the Church.  He must resign.

12 Jan

Jesus Christ As Leader

After I became pastor, I found myself reading biographies.  The stories of the great figures of history gave me just the advice and encouragement I needed.  Biographies on Abraham Lincoln were particularly insightful.  But I also found interesting the stories of LBJ, Napoleon, Douglas MacArthur, Harry Truman, Andrew Jackson, Al Smith, Cardinal Bernardin, George Washington, and Ulysses S. Grant, just to name a few that I have read over the past few years.  I have been given many books on leadership and administration from parishioners, but the best I have received have been these biographies. 

12 Jan

What Type of Leader Are You?

After I became pastor, I found myself reading biographies.  The stories of the great figures of history gave me just the advice and encouragement I needed.  Biographies on Abraham Lincoln were particularly insightful.  But I also found interesting the stories of LBJ, Napoleon, Douglas MacArthur, Harry Truman, Andrew Jackson, Al Smith, Cardinal Bernardin, George Washington, and Ulysses S. Grant, just to name a few that I have read over the past few years.  I have been given many books on leadership and administration from parishioners, but the best I have received have been these biographies. 

05 Jan

The Gift of Peace

In a press conference to announce his cancer was terminal and he would die by the end of the year, Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, the Archbishop of Chicago from 1982 until 1996, said to reporters that he was "at peace." Death was his friend and peace was a gift God had given him.  In fact, a compilation of his reflections from the last three years of his life, which not only saw his battle with cancer, but also a false accusation of sexual abuse, was put together in a book titled "The Gift of Peace."