Life Isn’t Fair / La vida no es justa

Life isn’t fair! How many times have we heard or said this phrase in our lifetime? From a young age we think that the world isn’t fair and oftentimes, the authority figures in our lives are quick to remind us of that fact. You would perhaps think that it would be different with God. That once we have a conversion and commit our lives to Christ that life would be fair from then on out right?

The first reading today from Ezekiel makes it clear that life does indeed become fair when we commit ourselves to Christ, but maybe not in the way we think of fairness. Like a good and loving Father would do, Ezekiel reminds us that when we complain about life being unfair, it is perhaps our attitude that needs a paradigm shift. He reminds us that it is our way of life that is not fair and due to this we have to deal with the consequences of our actions. 

It’s no secret that the battle cry of the last few generations has been freedom. We want freedom to do whatever we want, whenever we want, to whomever we want, with little to no consequences for our actions. The Lord gives us a new route to true freedom, not the superficial freedom that we think will satisfy but ultimately leaves us enslaved. I would say, and I think Ezekiel confirms this, that true freedom is not so much doing whatever we want to do, but doing what we ought to do. In other words, when we live in accord with how we were created, being made in the image and likeness of God, we are most fully at peace and most fully free.

Think about it, if we believe that God created us, then it is in living in accord with God’s laws that we are most fully happy. No different from the child who does as their parents ask is most fully happy and fulfilled. It may seem unfair at the moment because we want what we want, but in the long run we know that this type of freedom that Christ offers will bring us true joy.

Freedom is a tricky thing because in allowing true freedom, God allows the possibility for sin and death. But as the Catechism reminds us in paragraph 1730, “God willed that man should be left in the hand of his own counsel, so that he might of his own accord seek his Creator and freely attain his full and blessed perfection by cleaving to him.” God gave us freedom in order that we might fully live in his life, that we might choose it, that we might want it. Let’s pray for the grace to use our intellect and will to make the right decisions that ultimately lead us to true peace and joy.

From all of us here at Diocesan, God bless!

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¡La vida no es justa! ¿Cuántas veces hemos escuchado o dicho esta frase en nuestra vida? Desde una edad temprana pensamos que el mundo no es justo y, a menudo, las figuras de autoridad en nuestras vidas rápidamente nos recuerdan ese hecho. Tal vez pensarías que sería diferente con Dios. Una vez que tengamos una conversión y entreguemos nuestras vidas a Cristo, esa vida sería justa de ahí en adelante, ¿verdad?

La primera lectura de hoy de Ezequiel deja en claro que la vida se vuelve justa cuando nos comprometemos con Cristo, pero tal vez no en la forma en que pensamos en la justicia. Como haría un Padre bueno y amoroso, Ezequiel nos recuerda que cuando nos quejamos de que la vida es injusta, quizás sea nuestra actitud la que necesita un cambio de paradigma. Nos recuerda que es nuestra forma de vida la que no es justa y por eso tenemos que lidiar con las consecuencias de nuestras acciones.

No es ningún secreto que el grito de batalla de las últimas generaciones ha sido la libertad. Queremos libertad para hacer lo que queramos, cuando queramos, a quien queramos, con pocas o ninguna consecuencia de nuestras acciones. El Señor nos da una nueva ruta hacia la verdadera libertad, no la libertad superficial que pensamos que satisfará pero que finalmente nos deja esclavizados. Yo diría, y creo que Ezequiel lo confirma, que la verdadera libertad no es tanto hacer lo que queremos hacer, sino hacer lo que debemos hacer. En otras palabras, cuando vivimos de acuerdo cómo fuimos creados, siendo hechos a imagen y semejanza de Dios, estamos más plenamente en paz y más plenamente libres.

Piénsalo, si creemos que Dios nos creó, entonces es viviendo de acuerdo con las leyes de Dios que somos más plenamente felices. No es diferente del niño que hace lo que sus padres le piden y es más feliz y pleno. Puede parecer injusto en este momento porque queremos lo que queremos, pero a la larga sabemos que este tipo de libertad que ofrece Cristo nos traerá el verdadero gozo.

La libertad es algo engañoso porque al permitir la verdadera libertad, Dios permite la posibilidad del pecado y la muerte. Pero como nos recuerda el Catecismo en el párrafo 1730, “Quiso Dios “dejar al hombre en manos de su propia decisión”, de modo que busque a su Creador sin coacciones y, adhiriéndose a Él, llegue libremente a la plena y feliz perfección.” Dios nos dio la libertad para que vivamos plenamente en su vida, para que la elijamos y para que la deseemos. Oremos por la gracia de usar nuestro intelecto y voluntad para tomar las decisiones correctas que finalmente nos lleven a la verdadera paz y alegría.

De parte de todos nosotros aquí en Diocesan, ¡Dios los bendiga!

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Tommy Shultz is a Business Development Representative for Diocesan. In this role he is committed to bringing the best software to dioceses and parishes while helping them evangelize on the digital continent. Tommy has worked in various diocese and parish roles since his graduation from Franciscan University with a Theology degree. He hopes to use his skills in evangelization, marketing, and communications, to serve the Church and bring the Good News to all. His favorite quote comes from St. John Paul II, who said, “A person is an entity of a sort to which the only proper and adequate way to relate is love.”

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St. Therese of the Child Jesus

St. Therese of the Child Jesus

Feast date: Oct 01

On October 1, Catholics around the world honor the life of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus, or St. Thérèse of Lisieux on her feast day.  St. Thérèse was born January 2, 1873 in Alençon, France to pious parents, both of whom are scheduled to be canonized in October 2016. Her mother died when she was four, leaving her father and elder sisters to raise her.

On Christmas Day 1886 St. Thérèse had a profound experience of intimate union with God, which she described as a “complete conversion.”  Almost a year later, in a papal audience during a pilgrimage to Rome, in 1887, she asked for and obtained permission from Pope Leo XIII to enter the Carmelite Monastery at the young age of 15.

On entering, she devoted herself to living a life of holiness, doing all things with love and childlike trust in God. She struggled with life in the convent, but decided to make an effort to be charitable to all, especially those she didn’t like. She performed little acts of charity always, and little sacrifices not caring how unimportant they seemed.  These acts helped her come to a deeper understanding of her vocation.

She wrote in her autobiography that she had always dreamed of being a missionary, an Apostle, a martyr – yet she was a nun in a quiet cloister in France. How could she fulfill these longings?

“Charity gave me the key to my vocation. I understood that the Church had a Heart and that this Heart was burning with love. I knew that one love drove the members of the Church to action, that if this love were extinguished, the apostles would have proclaimed the Gospel no longer, the martyrs would have shed their blood no more. I understood that Love comprised all vocations, that Love was everything, that it embraced all times and places…in a word, that it was eternal! Then in the excess of my delirious joy, I cried out: O Jesus, my Love…my vocation, at last I have found it…My vocation is Love!”

Thérèse offered herself as a sacrificial victim to the merciful Love of God on June 9, 1895, the feast of the Most Holy Trinity and the following year, on the night between Holy Thursday and Good Friday, she noticed the first symptoms of Tuberculosis, the illness which would lead to her death.

Thérèse recognized in her illness the mysterious visitation of the divine Spouse and welcomed the suffering as an answer to her offering the previous year.  She also began to undergo a terrible trial of faith which lasted until her death a year and a half later.  “Her last words, ‘My God, I love you,’ are the seal of her life,” said Pope John Paul II.

Since her death, millions have been inspired by her ‘little way’ of loving God and neighbor. Many miracles have been attributed to her intercession. She had predicted during her earthly life that “My Heaven will be spent doing good on Earth.”

Saint Thérèse was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church by Pope John Paul II in 1997 – 100 years after her death at the age of 24. She is only the third woman to be so proclaimed, after Saint Catherine of Siena and Saint Teresa of Avila.

St. Thérèse wrote once, ‘You know well enough that Our Lord does not look so much at the greatness of our actions, nor even at their difficulty, but at the love with which we do them.”

Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 Ez 18:25-28

Thus says the LORD:
You say, “The LORD’s way is not fair!”
Hear now, house of Israel:
Is it my way that is unfair, or rather, are not your ways unfair?
When someone virtuous turns away from virtue to commit iniquity, and dies,
it is because of the iniquity he committed that he must die.
But if he turns from the wickedness he has committed,
and does what is right and just,
he shall preserve his life;
since he has turned away from all the sins that he has committed,
he shall surely live, he shall not die.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9

R. (6a) Remember your mercies, O Lord.
Your ways, O LORD, make known to me;
teach me your paths,
guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my savior.
R. Remember your mercies, O Lord.
Remember that your compassion, O LORD,
and your love are from of old.
The sins of my youth and my frailties remember not;
in your kindness remember me,
because of your goodness, O LORD.
R. Remember your mercies, O Lord.
Good and upright is the LORD;
thus he shows sinners the way.
He guides the humble to justice,
and teaches the humble his way.
R. Remember your mercies, O Lord.

Reading 2 Phil 2:1-11

Brothers and sisters:
If there is any encouragement in Christ,
any solace in love,
any participation in the Spirit,
any compassion and mercy,
complete my joy by being of the same mind, with the same love,
united in heart, thinking one thing.
Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory;
rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves,
each looking out not for his own interests,
but also for those of others.

Have in you the same attitude
that is also in Christ Jesus,
Who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
something to be grasped.
Rather, he emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
coming in human likeness;
and found human in appearance,
he humbled himself,
becoming obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross.
Because of this, God greatly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name
which is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

or Phil 2:1-5

Brothers and sisters:
If there is any encouragement in Christ,
any solace in love,
any participation in the Spirit,
any compassion and mercy,
complete my joy by being of the same mind, with the same love,
united in heart, thinking one thing.
Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory;
rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves,
each looking out not for his own interests,
but also for those of others.

Have in you the same attitude
that is also in Christ Jesus.

Alleluia Jn 10:27

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord;
I know them, and they follow me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 21:28-32

Jesus said to the chief priests and elders of the people:
“What is your opinion?
A man had two sons.
He came to the first and said,
‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’
He said in reply, ‘I will not,’
but afterwards changed his mind and went.
The man came to the other son and gave the same order.
He said in reply, ‘Yes, sir, ‘but did not go.
Which of the two did his father’s will?”
They answered, “The first.”
Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you,
tax collectors and prostitutes
are entering the kingdom of God before you.
When John came to you in the way of righteousness,
you did not believe him;
but tax collectors and prostitutes did.
Yet even when you saw that,
you did not later change your minds and believe him.”

– – –

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

A Wall of Fire / Un Muro de Fuego

“But I will be for her an encircling wall of fire, says the LORD, and I will be the glory in her midst.”

The readings today remind us clearly who Jesus is and who sent him. In the first reading, the prophet wants to go to Jerusalem and take the measure of the place. But God says there is no need to do that, as Jerusalem will be encircled by a wall of fire with glory in her midst. That is how great and honored Jerusalem will be, how much God loves his people. 

In the Gospel, Jesus tries to tell his apostles how he will suffer in Jerusalem, but they do not understand even though they have been amazed by what Jesus has done. They are confused by the thought that a man so great would have to suffer. And yet, suffer he does. Right there in Jerusalem, and then he rises and ascends in glory to the Father. Indeed, glory comes after suffering.

That is the word for us as well. We are often wrecked by suffering, asking, “Why, Lord, why?” The short answer to why is that this is the human condition brought on by sin. But our faith shows and tells us that suffering can end in glory. Just as God says to Zechariah about Jerusalem, “But I will be for her an encircling wall of fire, says the LORD, and I will be the glory in her midst.” I think he says the same to us. 

He is with us, shielding us from the worst, surrounding us with his strength, and showing us his glory. This is an invitation to trust and surrender. To put our faith in the One, True God who cares and protects us, even when we feel hopeless. When you are in despair, pray that verse from Zechariah 2:9, and imagine God all around you offering protection and showing you his glory. The protection is his love, and the glory is the outcome that far surpasses our own thoughts about the best way things should turn out in a given situation. 

Let us recall St. Jerome with admiration on feast day today, a Doctor of the Church who translated the scriptures from Hebrew into the vernacular.

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“Yo mismo la rodearé, dice el Señor, como un muro de fuego y mi gloria estará en medio de ella”.

Las lecturas de hoy nos recuerdan claramente quién es Jesús y quién lo envió. En la primera lectura, el profeta quiere ir a Jerusalén y medir el lugar. Pero Dios dice que no hay necesidad de hacer eso, ya que Jerusalén estará rodeada por un muro de fuego con gloria en medio de ella. Así de grande y honrada será Jerusalén, cuánto ama Dios a su pueblo.

En el Evangelio, Jesús trata de decirles a sus apóstoles cómo sufrirá en Jerusalén, pero ellos no entienden a pesar de que han quedado asombrados por lo que Jesús ha hecho. Los confunde la idea de que un hombre tan grande tenga que sufrir. Y, sin embargo, sufre. Allí mismo en Jerusalén, y luego resucita y asciende en gloria al Padre. De hecho, la gloria viene después del sufrimiento.

Esa es la palabra para nosotros también. A menudo somos destrozados por el sufrimiento y nos preguntamos: “¿Por qué, Señor, por qué?” La respuesta corta a por qué es que esta es la condición humana provocada por el pecado. Pero nuestra fe nos muestra y nos dice que el sufrimiento puede terminar en gloria. Así como Dios le dice a Zacarías acerca de Jerusalén: “Yo mismo la rodearé, dice el Señor, como un muro de fuego y mi gloria estará en medio de ella”. Creo que nos dice lo mismo.

Él está con nosotros, protegiéndonos de lo peor, rodeándonos con su fuerza y mostrándonos su gloria. Esta es una invitación a la confianza y la entrega. Poner nuestra fe en el Dios Único y Verdadero que nos cuida y protege, incluso cuando nos sentimos desesperanzados. Cuando estés desesperado, reza este versículo de Zacarías 2:9 e imagina a Dios a tu alrededor ofreciéndote protección y mostrándote su gloria. La protección es su amor, y la gloria es el resultado que supera con creces nuestros propios pensamientos acerca de la mejor forma en que las cosas deben resultar en una situación dada.

Recordemos con admiración en la fiesta de hoy a San Jerónimo, Doctor de la Iglesia que tradujo las Escrituras del hebreo al vernáculo.

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Deanna G. Bartalini, M.Ed.; M.P.A., is a certified spiritual director, writer, speaker and content creator. The online community is a place to inform, engage and inspire your Catholic faith. Her weekly Not Lukewarm Podcast gives you tips and tools to live out your faith in your daily life.

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Friday of the Second Week of Easter

Reading 1 Acts 5:34-42

A Pharisee in the Sanhedrin named Gamaliel,
a teacher of the law, respected by all the people,
stood up, ordered the Apostles to be put outside for a short time,
and said to the Sanhedrin, “Fellow children of Israel,
be careful what you are about to do to these men.
Some time ago, Theudas appeared, claiming to be someone important,
and about four hundred men joined him, but he was killed,
and all those who were loyal to him
were disbanded and came to nothing.
After him came Judas the Galilean at the time of the census.
He also drew people after him,
but he too perished and all who were loyal to him were scattered.
So now I tell you,
have nothing to do with these men, and let them go.
For if this endeavor or this activity is of human origin,
it will destroy itself.
But if it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them;
you may even find yourselves fighting against God.”
They were persuaded by him.
After recalling the Apostles, they had them flogged,
ordered them to stop speaking in the name of Jesus,
and dismissed them.
So they left the presence of the Sanhedrin,
rejoicing that they had been found worthy
to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name.
And all day long, both at the temple and in their homes,
they did not stop teaching and proclaiming the Christ, Jesus.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 27:1, 4, 13-14

R. (see 4abc) One thing I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom should I fear?
The LORD is my life’s refuge;
of whom should I be afraid?
R. One thing I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
One thing I ask of the LORD
this I seek:
To dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
That I may gaze on the loveliness of the LORD
and contemplate his temple.
R. One thing I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD with courage;
be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD.
R. One thing I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia Mt 4:4b

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
One does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 6:1-15

Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee.
A large crowd followed him,
because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick.
Jesus went up on the mountain,
and there he sat down with his disciples.
The Jewish feast of Passover was near.
When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him,
he said to Philip, “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?”
He said this to test him,
because he himself knew what he was going to do.
Philip answered him,
“Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough
for each of them to have a little.”
One of his disciples,
Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him,
“There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish;
but what good are these for so many?”
Jesus said, “Have the people recline.”
Now there was a great deal of grass in that place.
So the men reclined, about five thousand in number.
Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks,
and distributed them to those who were reclining,
and also as much of the fish as they wanted.
When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples,
“Gather the fragments left over,
so that nothing will be wasted.”
So they collected them,
and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments
from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat.
When the people saw the sign he had done, they said,
“This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world.”
Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off
to make him king,
he withdrew again to the mountain alone.

– – –

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Trusting in God’s Direction / Confiando en la Orientación de Dios

When the disciples are tasked with feeding five thousand men across from the Sea of Galilee, they are understandably dumbfounded: How can they feed so large a crowd with no food of their own, not much money, and five barley loaves and two fish? Yet, they do not bat an eye when Jesus tells them to prepare the crowd for a meal. Instead of relying on their own intuition and arguing with Jesus about the absurdity of feeding over five thousand people with such a small amount of food, they simply do what He says, knowing that He will provide for His people.

The disciples understand our Gospel acclamation, that “one does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4). They have no idea how to approach the situation, but they have learned to trust in Jesus’ direction, even for matters of physical survival. His direction is better than anything they could come up with, even if it seems absurd at the time.

This outlook complements that of the psalmist, whose sole aim is to dwell in the house of the Lord rather than in other, more familiar places. And in our First Reading, we see Gamaliel saying something similar: “If [the gospel message] comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them; you may even find yourselves fighting against God” (Acts 5:39). He does not want to resist something that might come from God, even if he does not understand it.

Gamaliel, the psalmist, and the disciples see the point of remaining fixed on God, trusting in His direction even when it is difficult. They know that if God ordains something, guiding it with His hand, it cannot fail. If He gives direction, it will not be followed in vain. To dwell in His house is better than all else.

This is a profound trust that we need to adopt in our own lives. There is a subtle self-reliance that creeps in when we spend too much time seeking security by our own efforts alone. We plan far ahead, without consulting God concerning what He wants for our lives and for our loved ones. Inevitably, our best laid plans fail, and we make new ones, which fare no better. If we are not used to consulting God and trusting that He truly has things under control, we rely on worldly methods to maintain security, prestige, and wealth, so that we can have everything necessary for a good and peaceful life. Seeking easy steps to success, we look to social media and popular wisdom to solve our problems. If these solutions are divorced from spirituality, they never bring us the peace and security we seek.

Ultimately, we need to trust in what God has already told us through readings such as these. Even and especially when things look confusing and hopeless, God is in control. We must listen to Him and seek His will in these moments through prayer, Scripture, the sacraments, and spiritual direction, trusting in what He tells us, even if we cannot understand the reasons for it. We cannot expect to fully understand the ways of God, but that does not mean that they are inferior to the ways we can come up with on our own. Dwelling in His house is the goal, and His direction and protection are best for us in all situations.

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Cuando los discípulos tienen la tarea de alimentar a cinco mil hombres al otro lado del Mar de Galilea, se quedan estupefactos: ¿Cómo pueden alimentar a una multitud tan grande sin comida propia, sin mucho dinero, cinco panes de cebada y dos peces? Sin embargo, no se inmutan cuando Jesús les dice que preparen a la multitud para una comida. En lugar de confiar en su propia intuición y discutir con Jesús acerca de lo absurdo de alimentar a más de cinco mil personas con una cantidad tan pequeña de comida, simplemente hacen lo que les manda, sabiendo que proveerá para Su pueblo.

Los discípulos entienden nuestra aclamación evangélica, que “No sólo de pan vive el hombre, sino también de toda palabra que sale de la boca de Dios.” (Mt 4,4). No tienen idea de cómo abordar la situación, pero han aprendido a confiar en la dirección de Jesús, incluso en cuestiones de supervivencia física. Su orientación es mejor que cualquier cosa que se les haya ocurrido, incluso si parece absurdo en ese momento.

Esta perspectiva complementa la del salmista, cuyo único objetivo es morar en la casa del Señor y no en otros lugares más familiares. Y en nuestra Primera Lectura, vemos a Gamaliel diciendo algo similar: “si lo que se proponen y están haciendo es de origen humano, se acabará por sí mismo. Pero si es cosa de Dios, no podrán ustedes deshacerlo. No se expongan a luchar contra Dios” (Hechos 5:39). No quiere resistirse a algo que podría venir de Dios, aunque no lo entienda.

Gamaliel, el salmista y los discípulos ven el punto de mantenerse fijos en Dios, confiando en Su orientación incluso cuando sea difícil. Saben que si Dios ordena algo, guiándolo con Su mano, no puede fallar. Si orienta a alguien, sus indicaciones no serán seguidas en vano. Morar en Su casa es mejor que cualquier otra cosa.

Esta es una confianza profunda que necesitamos adoptar en nuestras propias vidas. Hay una autosuficiencia sutil que se cuela cuando pasamos demasiado tiempo buscando seguridad solo con nuestros propios esfuerzos. Planeamos con mucha anticipación, sin consultar a Dios sobre lo que quiere para nuestra vida y la de nuestros seres queridos. Inevitablemente, nuestros planes fallan y creamos otros nuevos, y no nos va mejor. Si no estamos acostumbrados a consultar a Dios y confiar en que realmente tiene las cosas bajo su control, nos apoyamos en métodos mundanos para mantener la seguridad, el prestigio y la riqueza, para que podamos tener todo lo necesario para una vida buena y pacífica. Buscando pasos fáciles hacia el éxito, recurrimos a las redes sociales y la sabiduría popular para resolver nuestros problemas. Si estas soluciones están separadas de la espiritualidad, nunca nos traerán la paz y la seguridad que buscamos.

En última instancia, debemos confiar en lo que Dios ya nos ha dicho a través de las escrituras, como las lecturas de hoy. Incluso y especialmente cuando las cosas parecen confusas y sin esperanza, Dios tiene todo bajo control. Debemos escucharlo y buscar su voluntad en estos momentos a través de la oración, la Escritura, los sacramentos y la dirección espiritual, confiando en lo que nos dice, aunque no podamos entender las razones. No podemos esperar comprender completamente los caminos de Dios, pero eso no significa que sean inferiores a los caminos que podemos encontrar por nuestra cuenta. Morar en Su casa es la meta, y Su orientación y su protección son lo mejor para nosotros en todas las situaciones.

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David Dashiell is a freelance author and editor in Nashville, Tennessee. He has a master’s degree in theology from Franciscan University, and is the editor of the anthology Ever Ancient, Ever New: Why Younger Generations Are Embracing Traditional Catholicism.

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Tell the Story / Contar la Historia

“When they heard this, they became infuriated and wanted to put them to death.”

The Apostles were so convicted by their experience of Jesus Christ, that they continued to tell his story even when those in power wanted to put them to death. Let that sink in for a moment. They wanted them put to death. And the Apostles did not stop. 

We live in a time when we are taught not to discuss religion and politics. We have witnessed people shamed and brought down for standing up for their convictions. It is a time of “political correctness” and “cancel culture”. 

This hits home hard for me. It is hard for me to even write these words. I am ashamed to admit that there have been times in my life when I have not brought up my faith because I was afraid it would make for an uncomfortable dinner conversation. I have neglected to share the grace I have received, because I wasn’t sure how the person would react, they might think I was weird or worse. I had a job once where I was cautioned to tuck in my crucifix because I was around people who didn’t like Catholics and I complied. No one has threatened my life, but there have definitely been times when I didn’t tell the story of Jesus Christ and the wonders he has worked. For that I am ashamed. 

A personal encounter with Jesus Christ has the ability to transform us. A personal encounter with Jesus Christ is able to take us outside of ourselves and move us into meaningful encounters with others. It is our mission to go out into the world and tell the story of Jesus Christ and his mercy. We are not to tell it once and then go back home, we are to tell the story over and over. More than that, we are to live the story. We are to live in such a way that mercy is our hallmark; where telling others how much they are loved is part of just who we are and how we operate. 

So I will take comfort from John’s words in the Gospel. “He does not ration his gift of the Spirit.” As I bend my will to conform more and more to God’s will, I can trust that God will not ration his gift of the Spirit so that each day I can start anew and along with the Psalmist “bless the Lord at all times.” Even when it feels uncomfortable. 

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“Esta respuesta los exasperó y decidieron matarlos.”

Los Apóstoles estaban tan convencidos por su experiencia de Jesucristo, que continuaron contando su historia incluso cuando aquellos en poder querían matarlos. Profundicen un momento en eso. Querían que los mataran. Y los Apóstoles no pararon.

Vivimos en una época en la que se nos enseña a no hablar de la religión y la política. Hemos sido testigos de personas avergonzadas y humilladas por defender sus convicciones. Es una época de “no ofender políticamente” y “una cultura de la cancelación”.

Esto es muy duro para mí. Es difícil para mí incluso escribir estas palabras. Me avergüenza admitir que ha habido momentos en mi vida en los que no mencioné mi fe porque tenía miedo de que se convirtiera en una conversación incómoda durante la cena. Me he negado a compartir la gracia que he recibido, porque no estaba seguro de cómo reaccionaría la persona, de que podrían pensar que era rara o algo peor. Una vez tuve un trabajo donde me advirtieron que me metiera el crucifijo dentro de la blusa porque estaba rodeado de personas que no les gustaban a los católicos, y lo hice. Nadie ha amenazado mi vida, pero definitivamente ha habido momentos en los que no conté la historia de Jesucristo y las maravillas que ha obrado. Por eso estoy avergonzada.

Un encuentro personal con Jesucristo tiene la capacidad de transformarnos. Un encuentro personal con Jesucristo es capaz de sacarnos de nosotros mismos y llevarnos a encuentros significativos con los demás. Es nuestra misión salir al mundo y contar la historia de Jesucristo y su misericordia. No debemos contarlo una vez y luego volver a casa, debemos contar la historia una y otra vez. Más que eso, debemos vivir la historia. Debemos vivir de tal manera que la misericordia sea nuestro sello distintivo; donde decirles a los demás cuánto los amamos es parte de quiénes somos y cómo operamos.

Así que me consolaré con las palabras de Juan en el Evangelio. “Dios le ha concedido sin medida su Espíritu.”. Mientras dejo que mi voluntad se conforme cada vez más a la voluntad de Dios, puedo confiar en que Dios no racionará su don del Espíritu para que cada día pueda comenzar de nuevo y junto con el salmista “Bendeciré al Señor a todas horas”. Incluso cuando se siente incómodo.

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Sheryl is happy to be the number 1 cheerleader and supporter for her husband, Tom who is a candidate for the Permanent Diaconate in the Diocese of Kalamazoo. They are so grateful for the opportunity to grow together in this process. Sheryl’s day job is serving her community as the principal for St. Therese Catholic School in Wayland, Michigan. Since every time she thinks she gets life all figured out, she realizes just how far she has to go, St. Rita of Cascia is her go-to Saint for intercession and help. Home includes Carlyn, a very, very goofy Golden Retriever and Lucy, our not-so-little rescue puppy. 

Feature Image Credit: Justice Amoh,

St. Anselm

St. Anselm

Feast date: Apr 21

On April 21, the Catholic Church honors Saint Anselm, the 11th and 12th-century Benedictine monk and archbishop best known for his writings on Christ’s atonement and the existence of God.

In a general audience given on Sept. 23, 2009, Pope Benedict XVI remembered St. Anselm as “a monk with an intense spiritual life, an excellent teacher of the young, a theologian with an extraordinary capacity for speculation, a wise man of governance and an intransigent defender of the Church’s freedom.”

St. Anselm, the Pope said, stands out as “one of the eminent figures of the Middle Ages who was able to harmonize all these qualities, thanks to the profound mystical experience that always guided his thought and his action.”

Anselm was born in Aosta, part of the Piedmont region of present-day Italy, around 1033. While his father provided little in the way of moral or religious influence, his mother was a notably devout woman and chose to send Anselm to a school run by the Benedictine order.

The boy felt a profound religious calling during these years, spurred in part by a dream in which he met and conversed with God. His father, however, prevented him from becoming a monk at age 15. This disappointment was followed by a period of severe illness, as well as his mother’s early death.

Unable to join the monks, and tired of mistreatment by his father, Anselm left home and wandered throughout parts of France and Italy for three years. His life regained its direction in Normandy, where he met the Benedictine prior Lanfranc of Pavia and became his disciple.

Lanfranc recognized his pupil’s intellectual gifts and encouraged his vocation to religious life. Accepted into the order and ordained a priest at age 27, Anselm succeeded his teacher as prior in1063 when Lanfranc was called to become abbot of another monastery.

Anselm became abbot of his own monastery in1079. During the previous decade the Normans had conquered England, and they sought to bring monks from Normandy to influence the Church in the country. Lanfranc became Archbishop of Canterbury, and asked Anselm to come and assist him.

The period after Lanfranc’s death, in the late 1080s, was a difficult time for the English Church. As part of his general mistreatment of the Church, King William Rufus refused to allow the appointment of a new archbishop. Anselm had gone back to his monastery, and did not want to return to England.

In 1092, however, he was persuaded to do so. The following year, the king changed his mind and allowed Anselm to become Archbishop of Canterbury. But the monk was extremely reluctant to accept the charge, which would involve him in further struggles with the English crown in subsequent years.

For a three-year period in the early 12th century, Anselm’s insistence on the self-government of the Church – against the claims of the state to its administration and property – caused him to be exiled from England. But he was successful in his struggle, and returned to his archdiocese in 1106.

In his last years, Anselm worked to reform the Church and continued his theological investigations – following the motto of “faith seeking understanding.” After his death in 1109, his influence on the subsequent course of theology led Pope Clement XI to name him a Doctor of the Church in 1720.