Wednesday, August 29, 2007

On the Feast of the Beheading of John the Baptist

I have to preach at adoration tonight and I've been thinking...

We were created to fall in love with God
To know Him and serve Him.

That is why we are here
That is the purpose of
each and every one of our days.
each and every one of the breaths we take

We are here
To love God and to find our way home to Him

God longs for us to find Him
Our destiny is to be with God forever.
Our mission is to bring as many as we can.

God did not just create us and say "see ya..."
God is not some distant watchmaker who winds up creation and let's it run its course

God's desire for us is so strong that
He sent his son to come to us,
And Jesus
paid the price of our sin and taught us how to live and love

Yes God is present in our lives
even those who don't know Jesus or have never heard his Word
can find their way home

You see God
Always acting
Always seeking our attention
God is forever placing in our path little signs
which if we are attentive
draw us to him

The ability to love
and the experience of being loved
All of these

Our experience of all of these things and so many more
lead and draw home to God

Have you ever watched a moth and a light... It comes to the light and flies away but it always comes back

It can't stay away
It is drawn to the light.
So are we..
We are naturally drawn to God

What does all of this have to do with the Beheading of John the Baptist ?

Herod was a worldly man
a man of worldly pleasures
Power, influence, sensuality, whatever..

But his was intrigued by John the Baptist
He was drawn to him and indirectly drawn to God

Even though John did not mince his words about Herod's relationship with his brothers wife.

The Gospel even said Herod liked to listen to him.
Respected Him

And when the request for the head of John the Baptist was made he regretted his offer
but his pride,
what people might think of him took precedence over everything else

And he gave the girl her mother's wish

You see holy ones...
sadly as strange as it might seem
even with all that God does for us

... It is possible to say no to Him.

And while we really don't know what Herod's ultimate fate was...
It doesn't look good

He was lost in himself
Lost in his power and wealth
Lost in his pride
So very lost.

And I guess the question we all have to ask is this
Are we aware of God's Presence in our Lives ?
Are we aware of all of the signs which God places on our path to guide us Home
Are we walking toward Him

And if not
What is holding us back..
Why can't we make progress

Why don't we see, hear or respond to the many invitations of God

I really thought a lot about that today here are a few possibilities....

I guess
For some it could be a lack of silence

I think many of us set up sound barriers to keep us from hearing or experiencing the quiet invitations of God
We hide in our noise

So many of us keep hyper active schedules busy lives so that we don't or can't
take time to see and experience the beauty and harmony around us.
To feel the gentle embrace of a loving creator in a gentle breeze.

Some of us are just full of ourselves, lost in ourselves not willing or afraid to let God
in... to give God control
We hold on so tight....

For a while there was hope for Herod..
He was listening
His heart was moved..
Remember ...He liked listening to John

God is speaking to us
God is active in our lives
God is continually calling us home

Let's pray for the grace to listen
Let's pray for the grace to seek Him
Let us thank God for the good people
the prophets who call us to more

Let pray for the Grace to find our way home


Sunday, August 26, 2007

Were you really sleeping ....

... Almost.. at least I was. Student Staff training is one of the busiest times of the year. You have to get ready. It is a wonderful time to bond and get to know the new Student Ministers it is an important time because we do our best to make sure that they are prepared and able to start the new year off running. We have been at it for two weeks since August 14th. Training often begins at 9:00 AM and goes to 9:00 PM. We practice and role play pastoral conversations and student encounters in the Residence Halls. We learn about making and keeping appropriate boundaries in ministry and professional staff members from our Counseling Center speak about challenges that many of our students face.. helping our Student Ministers and RAs to learn how and when to refer. There is bonding time like the day on the Shenandoah River. There is lots of prayer time with Morning Prayer, Mass and Night Prayer everyday. We cover office procedures, and how to program events, reserve space and publicize your programs. The list goes on and on. This year there were 17 Student Ministers and 6 professional staff members who worked together on this important project. A few of our staff members even stayed on campus overnight to get things done.

Was it worth it Absolutely...

Sorry I have posted for a while. I will try to do better...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Some of our Finest (CUA's Resident Assistants)

I had the privilege of speaking with our Resident Assistants today. They are our student leaders who help supervise our Residence Halls... To be honest they do so much more than that. They really serve as mentors and do everything within their power to help our Residents be the people God created them to be...

Let's help our Residents come out better people

PS Did you notice even St. Vincent De Paul is smiling ;)

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Hillary

What a wonderful weekend..I was in Conshohocken PA for Matt and Moe's wedding it was great seeming them so happy. The church was beautiful and the parish very hospitable. Fr. Donilan is the Pastor and he is a few years away from retirement. The people love him and are very solicitous of his needs... it was obvious to me that he cares very much about them. It was good seeking Kathleen again and getting to know Patrick a little. Matt's family was there as was the crew from Manassas VA. Very good down to earth people...

I got a chance to see several CUA Alumni... All of them are doing well successful, there were money managers, currency trader a derivative trader, a future teacher a nurse, One told me she was on her parish council, another working for a non-profit in Boston.. I never cease to be amazed at how the vast majority of our students go off into the world and do great things. How can these be the same people we used to chase around Conaty and Spellman... I guess the answer is two fold time and grace.

The student ministers are coming
The student ministers are coming
The student ministers are coming
The student ministers are coming
The student ministers are coming
And we are ready

Year 10 begins

Here they are ....

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Fishers of Men (Part 1) AWESOME!

Fishers of Men (Part 2) AWESOME

T-minus 4 days and counting....

The student staff is back on this Saturday and we are excited and ready.
This year there is so much potential... we have great returners and some fired up first-timers.

I can't wait, enough already with all of this free time.

Tonight we had our pre-training dinner with the our Ministry Staff.. As always it is so easy to enjoy their company. Each person on our staff brings different gifts and talents. I appreciate every one of them for what they bring to God's Church here on campus. I enjoyed being with and the people important to them... For the people who work in our Campus Ministry Office what they do is so much more than a job.

I had a beautiful meeting with a young man who is entering the Seminary today. I have had the privilege of spending some time with him and he has been on my prayer list for a long time.As leaves his families and friends may he find what make his heart quicken. He mentioned a video which presents the priesthood and the role of a Catholic priest in Society in a very moving way. I hope to include to find it on youtube and post it here...

God Bless who ever reads this rambling..

Lord bless any good I have done and repair my mistakes

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Goodbye Fr. Romano

CUA students Elizabeth Bonner, Samantha Giusti and Dominic Bonaduce say goodbye to fr. Romano the former Guardian of the Franciscan Monastery on 14th Street. Fr. Romano served as the Chaplain to the House this year and was instrumental in getting our students involved in the life of the Monastery. He was welcoming to a fault, kind and a good friend. We wish him well and welcome Fr. Jeremy his successor.

Fr. Romano's closing prayer...

Lord Bless the good I've done
Repair the mistakes I've made

Friday, August 03, 2007


To live in the midst of the world
without wishing its pleasures;
To be a member of each family,
yet belonging to none;
To share all suffering;
to penetrate all secrets;
To heal all wounds;
to go from men to God
and offer Him their prayers;
To return from God to men
to bring pardon and hope;
To have a heart of fire for Charity,
and a heart of bronze for Chastity
To teach and to pardon,
console and bless always.
My God, what a life;
and it is yours,
O priest of Jesus Christ.



Wednesday, August 01, 2007

A prayer...

Thank you Lord for all of the gifts you have given me today

Excellent co-workers
The pride I have in their skills and the gratitude I have for their dedication
Some surprise calls from friends
The health and stamina to run around campus
The giddy mood I enjoyed yesterday afternoon
And the surprise visit from a former student.

Keep me focused on alwas doing Your will
and alert to anyone who need to be loved by You through me.

I ask all of these thing through Christ our Lord

Whoever is reading this....
Please keep fr. James, one of our Canon Law students, in your prayers he is in Washington Hospital Center..