I have been blessed with some great moms in my life. Moms just ‘do it’ out of love, and they have a special attachment and love for their children born from their very womb or adopted into their lives, a connection that fathers will never have, no matter how much we may love our children.

My mother, taken too soon and too young, as the years go on I realize more and more how you are missed.

My wife, mother to our children and grandmother, caring, kind, compassionate and ‘always there’ every time, even at the expense of her own personal time. The boys are richer for having you as a mother, and I am richer for having you as my wife.

Sisters, aunts, friends and acquaintances,all great examples to me at various times of motherhood and selfless love of another.

I also always think of the Blessed Virgin today, spiritual mother to us all, sacrificing her very Son for us, and ideally conforming to God’s plans and desires.

Take a few moments today to remember or thank your mom, or someone who is a great example for all as a mom. Society is better when mom’s are respected and appreciated for what they do every day out of selfless love for their children.

Into This World

“Into this world, this demented inn

in which there is absolutely no room for him at all,

Christ comes uninvited.

But because he cannot be at home in it,

because he is out of place in it,

and yet he must be in it,

His place is with the others for whom

there is no room.

His place is with those who do not belong,

who are rejected by power, because

they are regarded as weak,

those who are discredited,

who are denied status of persons,

who are tortured, bombed and exterminated.

With those for whom there is no room,

Christ is present in this world.”

– Thomas Merton 

‘Adoration of the Shepherds’ – Caravaggio, 1609, oil painting

Mary Immaculate


Immaculate Conception- Peter Paul Rubens circa 1628


Blessed Lady, sky and stars, earth and rivers, day and night – everything that is subject to the power or use of man – rejoice that through you they are in some sense restored to their lost beauty and are endowed with inexpressible new grace. All creatures were dead, as it were, useless for men or for the praise of God, who made them. The world, contrary to its true destiny, was corrupted and tainted by the acts of men who served idols. Now all creation has been restored to life and rejoices that it is controlled and given splendor by men who believe in God.

The universe rejoices with new and indefinable loveliness. Not only does it feel the unseen presence of God himself, its Creator, it sees him openly, working and making it holy. These great blessings spring from the blessed fruit of Mary’s womb.

Through the fullness of the grace that was given you, dead things rejoice in their freedom, and those in heaven are glad to be made new. Through the Son who was the glorious fruit of your virgin womb, just souls who died before his life-giving death rejoice as they are freed from captivity, and the angels are glad at the restoration of their shattered domain.

Lady, full and overflowing with grace, all creation receives new life from your abundance. Virgin, blessed above all creatures, through your blessing all creation is blessed, not only creation from its Creator, but the Creator himself has been blessed by creation.

To Mary God gave his only-begotten Son, whom he loved as himself. Through Mary God made himself a Son, not different but the same, by nature Son of God and Son of Mary. The whole universe was created by God, and God was born of Mary. God created all things, and Mary gave birth to God. The God who made all things gave himself form through Mary, and thus he made his own creation. He who could create all things from nothing would not remake his ruined creation without Mary.

God, then, is the Father of the created world and Mary the mother of the re-created world. God is the Father by whom all things were given life, and Mary the mother through whom all things were given new life. For God begot the Son, through whom all things were made, and Mary gave birth to him as the Savior of the world. Without God’s Son, nothing could exist; without Mary’s Son, nothing could be redeemed.

Truly the Lord is with you, to whom the Lord granted that all nature should owe as much to you as to himself.

This excerpt from a sermon of St. Anselm (Oratio 52; PL 158, 955-956) is used in the Roman Office of Readings for the Solemnity (Solemn Feast) of the Immaculate Conception on December 8. 



Feast of St. Andrew


Mattia Preti – The crucifixion of St Andrew – oil on canvas painting, circa 1651 

The message of the cross is complete absurdity to those who are headed for ruin, but to us who are experiencing salvation it is the power of God. Scripture says,
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and thwart the cleverness of the clever.”
Where is the wise man to be found? Where the scribe? Where is the master of worldly argument? Has not God turned the wisdom of this world into folly?

Since in God’s wisdom the world did not come to know him through “wisdom,” it pleased God to save those who believe through the absurdity of the preaching of the gospel. Yes, Jews demand “signs” and Greeks look for “wisdom,” but we preach Christ crucified‚ a stumbling block to Jews, and an absurdity to Gentiles; but to those who are called, Jews and Greeks alike, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For God’s folly is wiser than men, and his weakness more powerful than men.

Brothers, you are among those called. Consider your situation. Not many of you are wise, as men account wisdom; not many are influential; and surely not many are well-born. God chose those whom the world considers absurd to shame the wise; he singled out the weak of this world to shame the strong. He chose the world’s lowborn and despised, those who count for nothing, to reduce to nothing those who were something; so that mankind can do no boasting before God. God it is who has given you life in Christ Jesus. He has made him our wisdom and also our justice, our sanctification, and our redemption. This is just as you find it written, “Let him who would boast, boast in the Lord.”

As for myself, brothers, when I came to you I did not come proclaiming God’s testimony with any particular eloquence or “wisdom.” No, I determined that while I was with you I would speak of nothing but Jesus Christ and him crucified. When I came among you it was in weakness and fear, and with much trepidation. My message and my preaching had none of the persuasive force of “wise” argumentation, but the convincing power of the Spirit. As a consequence, your faith rests not on the wisdom of men but on the power of God.

1 Cor 1:18–2:5
(First reading from today’s Office of readings in the Liturgy of the Hours).

The bravery and spiritual strength with which the apostles approached their martyrdom is not only admirable but an example to follow for Christians through history to our present day. We may not suffer martyrdom with death on a cross, but certainly each of us can die to ourselves daily and accept our crosses, the daily slights and problems and issues that arise, accept them with the same grace and example of St. Andrew and the other martyred apostles.

From Darkness to Light – Advent


Votive candles at St. Jude Catholic Church, South Bend, IN

“Besides this you know what hour it is, how it is full time now for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed; the night is far gone, the day is at hand. Let us then cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us conduct ourselves becomingly as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” – Romans 13:11-14

We face the earthly reality of less daylight each day during Advent, the reality of shorter and shorter days, the reality of needing to ‘light lamps’ at 4pm, an earthly reality of dark and dreary winter days and long cold winter nights.  Just about when Advent ends, the days begin to get longer and longer…with the coming of Christ at Christmas, we begin to experience more physical and spiritual light.  

We also face a spiritual reality in anticipation of moving from darkness to light; moving from our inclination to the darkness of sin here on earth to the Light of Christ, our Savior and Messiah.   We await His coming, His first coming by birth in Bethlehem, and His second coming triumphantly at the end of time, coming to free us from our earthly chains and bring us to everlasting life with God.  

May we pray for Emmanuel to come to us this Advent, may he come to us in our hearts and enlighten our days.