My Inner Abbey – Where I Meet Jesus

The “Rebuilding My Inner Abbey” webcast has finally relaunched! After months of messing around trying to get live video to work, I’ve finally come to the conclusion that our rural connection is just not going to work. So I’m pre-recording all the episodes. But you can still join the conversation, ask questions and get bonus…

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Don’t Take Vacation from God

We all know that things slow down over the summer. School is out. Parish activities stop, except possibly for a parish picnic. Every institution assumes everybody will be traveling or camping. So it’s understandable that we consider summer a time to take a break from everything – including our faith. Summer activity and travel are…

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What Are We Really Celebrating Tomorrow?

Welcome to the last day of Advent! Tomorrow we shift our celebration from joyful anticipation to full-out celebration. To maximize our joy this Christmas season, let’s reflect on what we’re celebrating. If your parish is stuck in “Jesus birthday” mode, you’re going to love reflecting on the full meaning of Christmas. During Christmas, God enters…

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Celebrate Advent – Wait for Christmas

H.L. Mencken famously quipped that “Puritanism [is the] haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.” A similar attitude is applied to the Catholic Church. There is a horrible assumption in the world – and sometimes within the Church as well – that the world is about having fun and doing whatever you desire while…

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Fourth Sunday of Advent: The Week of Charity

This past weekend, my family was watching the movie “The Year Without a Santa Clause.” Early in the movie, one of the characters says, “No Santa Clause? Christmas would have no meaning!” My nine-year-old daughter immediately said, “That’s not true! Jesus’ birth is the meaning of Christmas!” I guess we’re doing something right. Later in…

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Our Hearts Are Ready, Lord . . .

Back in June, Pope Francis gave a homily based on St. Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians. He taught that, while grace is freely given, we need to prepare our hearts to receive God’s grace so that we do not “receive the grace of God in vain.” This means to be attentive to God in…

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The World Pines for a Savior

Oh, Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining! It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth. My favorite Christmas hymn is “Oh Holy Night.” The lyrics speak of the emptiness in the heart of the world after Original Sin. The world is pining for a savior. Long lay the world In sin and error…

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Gaudete Sunday: The Week of Joy

This Sunday we light the roses colored candle on our Advent wreath and this week we celebrate Gaudete Sunday! Gaudete is the Latin word for joy. So what makes the third week of Advent different from the rest? We get the term Gaudete from the first line of the introit of the Mass. The introit…

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Why Should We Give Alms?

We’re all familiar with the 3-fold discipline of Advent: prayer, sacrifice and alms giving. Prayer and sacrifice prepare our hearts to receive Jesus. They have the power to truly change our hearts. But what about alms giving? Obviously we know that giving food and money to the poor us a good thing to do. But…

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Eyes on the Prize: The Beauty of Heaven

The seasons of Advent and Lent call us to special spiritual discipline. But to think that their only purpose is to help us prepare for the feasts of Christmas and Easter is a bit shortsighted. Of course, they do help us prepare for the feasts. But ultimately the entire Liturgical Year is crafted to remind…

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