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The CEO and The Chemist

Last night I offered a reflection at St. Edward the Confessor, my home parish. It is based on experiences that I have had here at Immaculate Conception, as I pondered yesterday’s Gospel.

If you would like to read it, please come on over. Here is a preview:

5113f6469e198d56afff4ac8b8843fc7Although I am a member of this parish community, I work in the office of another parish. Recently, two men of that parish died. When people come in to get a mass card, they often tell a story about the deceased person. In the past few weeks, I have heard so much about these two men, much more than usual. I knew one of them, but not the other; they both appeared to live lives of generous service and were highly esteemed in their careers and their lives. It is the work of a lifetime.

One of the men was a CEO, the other was a chemist, both were highly successful, both following the rules to achieve that success. Someone told me that the CEO would always spend time with his all of his employees, especially those with the most menial jobs. He would talk with them as they worked, ask them questions, and even help with some aspect of their jobs. The other man, the chemist, long retired, could have spent his days relaxing, but he did not. I knew this man – he was (continue reading at St. Edward’s blog.)


Thy will, not my will

blahblahblah2In today’s Gospel

Jesus said to his disciples: “In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Well, that is pretty clear, isn’t it? Sometimes I begin to pray and do I ever ramble.

Just like me in Continue reading

Fast day? I’ll have the rocky road, please!

In 1990, I went on a pilgrimage* as a means of thanksgiving for something that had happened. One day, I was part of a small group attempting to climb a path strewn with rocks, on a very, very hot day.

Someone decided, quite sincerely as I recall, that they should go up on their knees, an idea that lasted about sixty seconds. Others were known for doing it, so this person thought it was possible desirable even. I must admit, I agreed, but I was not going to try it.

A discussion of this practice began as we stopped to rest; it was a very hot day as I recall. Our guide, who had led people up and down this path many times, very gently asked why any of us thought we should do this. A few answers sprung up, most of them saying that we thought that God wanted us to make sacrifices. She shook her head, I recall thinking that her large blue eyes looked like seas of compassion, and she said that maybe we shouldn’t always be deciding what God wants. She went on to say that what if God wanted us to go home and forgive the person we had the greatest grudge against, rather than climb rocks on our knees?

Our small group fell silent. Who wanted to do that?

Can’t we climb rocks on our knees, please? I’ll have the rocky road, please!

Today’s first reading delivered me back to that rocky path in an instant, as I read these words from Isaiah 58: Continue reading

Thursday, February 14 – Lenten Reflection by Sean Caron

Mt. Nebo, Jordan. Where Moses addresses the people about to cross the Jordan, into the promised land.

Mt. Nebo, Jordan. Where Moses is believed to have addressed the people, about to cross the Jordan River to the promised land.

L’Chaim! To Life!

(today’s readings found here)Today’s readings resound with calls to Life. I think it’s interesting to see how the various Biblical Authors address the topic of life in these readings.In Deuteronomy, Moses speaks of a “long life for you to live on the land that the LORD swore he would give to your fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob” (Dt 30:20).  He also promises, “and the LORD, your God, will bless you in the land you are entering to occupy” (Dt  30:16).For Moses, and in the Old Testament in general, the concept of “Life” often refer to “life on the land” – life lived here in the earthly kingdom – lived richly and well in the praise of God. Think here of “a land flowing with milk and honey”(Ex 33:3)! Promises also extend to the earthy future to the decedents of Israel living in the promised land.

David, too, picks up this theme in Psalm 1:

He is like a tree planted near running water, That yields its fruit in due season,and whose leaves never fade.Whatever he does, prospers.

These are beautiful promises, and they inspire Continue reading

Wanted: You. By whom? God.

(Originally published at the Times Union.)
What is it about Ash Wednesday? What calls so many people into church? Is it the desire to show off our marked foreheads? If so, that runs in contradiction to today’s Gospel.

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Take care not to perform righteous deeds
in order that people may see them;

But I got my ashes, shouldn’t people know? I mean, how can they not know?

I thought that I was announcing the Good News via the smudge on my forehead! Hey! Look! I went to church today and I am sorry for my sins! Can’t you see that? Continue reading

Almost ready

At about 5pm on Tuesday, the blog will be back with an Ash Wednesday posting.


rise-and-shineThe blog will be back very soon. It has been a great period of rest and reflection. That that too much resting actually took place, but it was a necessary step away from the keyboard.

Posting will resume on Ash Wednesday, but you may see something pop up before then.

Thank you for reading the blog, thank you for walking and praying with us out here. It is good to be almost back!

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