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St. Ignatius Loyola's Prayers and Mary

Pastor's Column 25th Sunday Ordinary Time September 22, 2019 When in Rome, one can venerate the tomb of St. Ignatius Loyola in a Church called the Dominus Jesu. Inside this most interesting church, in addition to the body of St. Ignatius, there is a famous image of Mary called "Our Lady of the Wayside", which I have reprinted here for those who might wish to see it (I brought the image to Mass some time back). This Madonna and child image seems to date back to the time right after Christianity was legalized in Rome, and originally appeared along a Roman road in an outdoor shrine. Later, it was brought indoors. During his era, Ignatius would pray before this beautiful image daily. Here I wi

Forgiveness is Not a Feeling

Pastor’s Column 24th Sunday Ordinary Time September 15, 2019 It is amazing how often Jesus insists that we forgive our neighbor for what he or she has done to us. We all get offended by others at times, sometimes very deeply. We want to fulfill the gospel. How do we do this? Here are a few simple rules of forgiveness: 1. Forgiveness is not a feeling. Jesus isn’t commanding us to “like” our enemy, or to “feel good” about the person who hurt us. After forgiving, I may still have terrible feelings about the offender, but that does not mean I haven’t forgiven! 2. Forgiveness means not talking badly about the offender to everyone who will listen! 3. Forgiveness means being cordial toward

The Challenge of Discipleship

Pastor’s Column 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time September 8, 2019 If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:26-27 In my bedroom there is a large oval picture of my great-great grandparents in Poland. My great-grandmother (their daughter) left home as a young woman of perhaps 18 or 19 at the turn of the last century. She took very few possessions with her. She left home for a better life in the United States because there was no work in Poland and no prospects. She came seeking a better life and we

Humility Isn’t Easy

Pastor’s Column 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time September 1, 2019 Almost everyone has been to some kind of banquet or award dinner in which there is a head table. Usually it is reserved for those who are being honored in some way or who are part of the program for the evening. Even in monastic communities, there is often an “abbot’s table” where a guest would not normally sit unless invited to. In this Sunday’s gospel (Luke 14:1-14) Jesus is attending a dinner party and is watching human nature being played out. Apparently, there were more people trying to sit in the most prominent seats than there were seats for them. Also, it would seem that Jesus was not one of those to be honored at the

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