Holy Thursday 2014

by Paul on April 17, 2014



Whenever a pastor washes the feet of his parishioners, it always seems a little contrived.  He takes off his vestments, does the symbolic washing and then puts on his vestments again and goes ahead with the Eucharist.

I imagine that when Jesus washed the feet of his disciples, it was far different. It must have been truly shocking for those who had come to believe in Jesus as the true Son of God, to see him get down on his knees and wash their dirty feet.

There are many reasons that I love Jesus – but the washing of the feet speaks very powerfully to my heart.

I wish you a deeply prayerful and meaningful Holy Week.


Spy Wednesday 2014

by Paul on April 16, 2014


In Genesis, we read of Joseph (the one with the “Technicolor Dreamcoat”) who was betrayed by his older brother, Judah, who sold him into slavery in Egypt. Joseph, of course, prefigures Jesus who was later betrayed by another Judas (this one from the town of Kerioth, from which comes his nickname of “Iscariot.”)

Betrayal is always destructive and tragic. But to be betrayed by a kiss must be unbearably wrenching because it is so direct and immediate

I’ll bet that each one of us has experienced some form of betrayal in our lives and has been scarred by it. Many of us would also have to admit that, at some point, we have in some way betrayed others.

Isn’t it good to know that, unlike Judas, we don’t have to commit suicide but, like St. Peter, we can face Our Lord again and accept His love and forgiveness?


Other6 Prays Lent: Preparing for Easter

by Paul on April 15, 2014

Other6 Prays LentWhere did you find God in… or Where do you need to find God in… your preparations for the celebration of Easter?

To be truthful, my preparations for Easter have been somewhat haphazard and spread thin this year (like, sigh, almost every other year I can recall.)

I’ve been concentrating more participating in the 19th Annotation Retreat (of the Spiritual Exercises.) Admittedly, we’ve been in the “First Week” for quite some time and its themes tie in well with Lent.

I’ve gotten a new appreciation for how how close God is to me, how I’m created and sustained in love.  I guess that means that I have found God.  But I’m also very much aware of how much I need to find God. I’m a sinner. I’m a mess.

I’m deeply grateful that Easter is coming regardless of my readiness, or lack thereof.  There is nothing I can do on my own.  All comes to me through grace and I shall embrace the Resurrection this year with simple and profound joy.

I can hardly wait to start singing “All**uia” again.


Monday Music Moment – He Was Despised

by Paul on April 14, 2014

For the beginning of Holy Week, “He was despised” from Handel’s Messiah.

May we watch with Our Lord this week so as to rejoice with Him at Easter.


Wisdom Story – 195

by Paul on April 11, 2014

TR002481Daiju visited the master Baso in China. Baso asked: “What do you seek?”

“Enlightenment,” replied Daiju.

“You have your own treasure house. Why do you search outside?” Baso asked.

Daiju inquired: “Where is my treasure house?”

Baso answered: “What you are asking is your treasure house.”

Daiju was delighted! Ever after he urged his friends: “Open your own treasure house and use those treasures.”



Unless Christians are revolutionaries…

by Paul on April 10, 2014

The Church of Mercy quote by Pope Francis

I wonder how many Christians consider themselves revolutionaries, even if only through grace?

For many of us, the notion of “revolution” brings to mind the barricade scenes in “Les Mis” or photos of Fidel Castro waving a gun or a myriad of other images planted into our brains via the mass media.  Revolutionaries, for the most part, don’t get great press in the First World.

And yet, God clearly sets about a revolution in sending us Jesus Christ. A baby born in a manger in the backwoods of an insignificant province of the Roman Empire is the Son of God. This Son tells us to love our enemies, not to judge others and to trust not in riches but in the Word of God.

If that isn’t revolutionary, I don’t know what is.

Dear God, help me to become a more fervent, grace-filled revolutionary.

Read The Church of Mercy by Pope Francis.


Our Customers

by Paul on April 9, 2014

CAM01396Several of us were recently invited to present how our faith formation resources correlate to the “Lifelong Faith Formation” targets of the Galveston-Houston Archdiocese.

It involved many meetings and rehearsals to get our presentations ready, we had to schlepp loads of materials down there with us, the plane was late, etc.

But it was such a joy to meet more than a hundred catechetical leaders.  Our faith formation customers are, almost without exception, underpaid and undervalued.  And yet they are fiercely devoted to their ministry, endlessly creative and constantly going the extra mile.

Whether at L.A. Congress or at a diocesan gathering, it is always an honor and a privilege to spend time with these extraordinary women and men.

They are a huge blessing to our Church.  Thank God for such generous souls.


Other6 Prays Lent: Finances

by Paul on April 8, 2014

Other6 Prays LentWhere did you find God in… or Where do you need to find God in… finances?

Zoiks!  What a topic for me to have to write on…

Can I find God in my finances?  What finances?  My entire salary goes to the Community and I am given a monthly stipend… which is adequate. So, I need to give thanks to God for that and, therefore, I can find God in finances.

That having been said, I still get stuck on “money is the root of all evil.”

I know a few people who have little money and still manage to be quite content.  I’ve met others who have lots of money and who don’t seem to be imprisoned by their wealth, but for most people, I think, their finances are a source of concern.

Can God be found in the places where we worry?  I certainly hope so.

Do I not profess to try and find God in all things?


I was doing my usual hopscotch around the internet looking for some music I’d like to share with you and I found myself going back to Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World.”  Instead of recycling it again, however, I found this new version.  It’s not as polished as Satchmo’s version, of course, but the children’s voices are very sweet and I love their energy.



Wisdom Story – 194

by Paul on April 4, 2014

Chick With Egg ShellsOne Day a scholar came to the court of Emperor Akbar and challenged Birbal to answer his questions and thus prove that he was as clever as people said he was.

He asked Birbal: “Would you prefer to answer a hundred easy questions or just a single difficult one?”

Both the emperor and Birbal had had a difficult day and were impatient to leave.

“Ask me one difficult question,” sad Birbal.

“Well, then, tell me,” said the man, “which came first into the world, the chicken or the egg?”

“The chicken,” replied Birbal.

“How do you know?” asked the scholar, a note of triumph in his voice.

“We had agreed you would ask only one question and you have already asked it” said Birbal and he and the emperor walked away leaving the scholar gaping.