So, have you?

 

THROUGH a series of divine interchanges, I was to play a concert tonight in a war refugee camp near Mostar, Bosnia-Hercegovina. These are families that, because they were driven from their villages by ethnic cleansing, have had nothing to live in but little tin shacks with curtains for doors (more on that soon).

Sr. Josephine Walsh—an indominable Irish nun who has been helping the refugees—was my contact. I was to meet her at 3:30pm outside her residence. But she didn’t show up. I sat there on the sidewalk beside my guitar until 4:00. She was not coming.

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The Sin of the Century


The Roman Coliseum

DEAR friends,

I write you tonight from Bosnia-Hercegovina, formerly Yugoslavia. But I still carry with me thoughts from Rome…

 

THE COLISEUM

I knelt down and prayed, asking for their intercession: the prayers of the martyrs who shed their blood in this very place centuries ago. The Roman Coliseum, Flavius Ampitheatre, soil of the seed of the Church.

It was another powerful moment, standing in this place where popes have prayed and little layman have aroused their courage. But as the tourists whisked by, cameras clicking and tour guides chattering, other thoughts came to mind…

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The Road to Rome


Road to St. Pietro "St. Peters Basilica",  Rome, Italy

I AM off to Rome. In just a few days, I will have the honor of singing in front of some of Pope John Paul II’s closest friends… if not Pope Benedict himself. And yet, I feel this pilgrimage has a deeper purpose, an expanded mission… 

I have been pondering about all that has unfolded in writing here the past year… The Petals, The Trumpets of Warning, the invitation to those in mortal sin, the encouragement to overcome fear in these times, and lastly, the summons to "the rock" and refuge of Peter in the coming storm.

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The Unfolding Splendour of Truth


Photo by Declan McCullagh

 

TRADITION is like a flower. 

With each generation, it further unfolds; new petals of understanding appear, and the splendor of truth spills forth new fragrances of freedom. 

The Pope is like a guardian, or rather gardener—and the bishops co-gardeners with him. They tend to this flower which sprung in the womb of Mary, stretched heavenward through the ministry of Christ, sprouted thorns upon the Cross, became a bud in the tomb, and opened in the Upper Room of Pentecost.

And it has been blossoming ever since. 

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A Personal Testimony


Rembrandt van Rinj, 1631 — Apostle Peter Kneeling 

MEMORIAL OF ST. BRUNO 


ABOUT
thirteen years ago, my wife and I, both cradle-Catholics, were invited to a Baptist church by a friend of ours who was once a Catholic.

We took in the Sunday morning service. When we arrived, we were immediately struck by all the young couples. It dawned on us suddenly how few young people there were back in our own Catholic parish.

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Mountains, Foothills, and Plains


Photo by Michael Buehler


MEMORIAL OF ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI
 


I HAVE
 many Protestant readers. One of them wrote me regarding the recent article My Sheep Will Know My Voice in the Storm, and asked:

Where does this leave me as a Protestant?

 

AN ANALOGY 

Jesus said He would build His Church on “rock”—that is, Peter—or in Christ’s Aramaic language: “Cephas”, which means “rock”. So, think of the Church then as a Mountain.

Foothills precede a mountain, and so I think of them as “Baptism”. One passes through the Foothills to reach the Mountain.

 

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My Sheep Will Know My Voice in the Storm

 


Vast sectors of society are confused about what is right and what is wrong, and are at the mercy of those with the power to "create" opinion and impose it on others.  —POPE JOHN PAUL II, Cherry Creek State Park Homily, Denver, Colorado, 1993


AS
I wrote in Trumpets of Warning! – Part V, there is a great storm coming, and it is already here. A massive storm of confusion. As Jesus said, 

…the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered… (John 16:31) 

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Evaporation: A Sign of the Times

 

 MEMORIAL OF THE GUARDIAN ANGELS

 

80 countries now have water shortages that threaten health and economies while 40 percent of the world — more than 2 billion people — have no access to clean water or sanitation. —The World Bank; Arizona Water Source, Nov-Dec 1999

 
WHY is our water evaporating? Part of the reason is consumption, the other part is dramatic changes in climate. Whatever the reasons are, I believe it is a sign of the times…
 

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