From Praise to Scorn

This past Sunday we celebrated Palm Sunday, aptly called for the branches laid at Christ’s feet for his triumphant entry into Jerusalem. Interestingly the name for this celebration has varied through time and among different cultures. At one point, the celebration was referred to as Pascha Floridum. This can roughly be translated and interpreted as the Flowering of Christ’s Passion. It is upon his entry into Jerusalem that His ministry is in full bud and preparing to bloom with its true beauty and purpose. This is also why the peninsula discovered by the Spanish on Palm Sunday in 1513 was named “Florida.”

What may confuse many Christians about Palm Sunday is how the Jewish crowds overwhelmingly welcome the arrival of Jesus for the celebration of the Passover only to demand his crucifixion five days later. A more full unpacking of the symbolism employed in Jesus’s entry reveal the nature of their change of heart.

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The Power of Adoration

Something that I know a lot of Catholics have lost sight of, is the absolute fact that the Eucharist is the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ. I think a lot of people don’t realize the power of visiting Jesus in the Eucharist at the adoration chapel. Even if it is stopping by for a few minutes just to say hi to Him.  It can make a dramatic difference in your life. The power of adoration is something that I have seen firsthand.

Growing up, I was always told that going and visiting Jesus in the Eucharist was very powerful.  If I ever needed anything or was just feeling down, I could go see him. I remember hearing different stories here and there about miracles that have happened during adoration. Many people have experienced profound visions, apparitions, and physical healing. I remember one of my old grade school teachers telling us about a time when she was in the adoration chapel praying because she was feeling very run down in her life. She was in the chapel crying to Jesus.  She looked up at Jesus on the cross and saw His eyes open and He looked at her and smiled. Continue reading “The Power of Adoration”

“Unplanned” Our Movie Review

When I met Abby Johnson in 2016 at a training session for pregnancy center volunteers in Overland Park I came away with a distinct impression that she was strong, resilient, and courageous. After seeing the movie, Unplanned, which details how she left her career at Planned Parenthood, I’ve learned more about the “strong-willed child” as her film mother referred to her and about how our merciful God can draw good from anything, even the tragedy of abortion.

The power of this movie is in its unflinching yet compassionate portrayal of women who are vulnerable to the big lie of abortion. It shows the truth: so many women are victims of the abortion industry’s slick campaign about choice and its hidden campaign to make money. By the time they learn what the big lie is, it’s too late.

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Prayer and Contemplation with St. Joseph

The most important aspect of prayer and contemplation is silence, and it’s more than just finding a quiet space somewhere. That certainly does help, but what is even more essential is inner silence. And while it can be difficult to achieve among the chaos of our daily lives, silent prayer and contemplation is where we find our most fruitful results to problem solving and decision making.

In 1Thes 5:16-18, we’re told “Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” St. Joseph knew the will of God for him, and being a virtuous man, he was able to sanctify each of his days. His heart and mind were firmly fixed on only doing God’s will. The only way a human being can discover God’s will is by prayer and contemplation. We need prayer and contemplation in our lives to maintain inner peace. It recalibrates our disposition. But “who on earth has time for that?!” is a very common response. The answer: we all do. We all get the same 24 hours per day but choose to use them differently. Continue reading “Prayer and Contemplation with St. Joseph”

St Joseph: When Silence Speaks Volumes

It is often mentioned that St. Joseph is the only person in the bible that never speaks. There are several passages that recount his experiences, but not a single word is recorded that came directly from him. St. Joseph, as he is portrayed in the bible, is a man of action. Furthermore, He’s a silent witness to God, His teachings, a model for Christians (men and women), and more particularly a model of manhood. Like the Virgin Mary, St. Joseph demonstrates a meekness, but it is by no means to be interpreted as weakness. Continue reading “St Joseph: When Silence Speaks Volumes”