FROM the first night of the St. Gabriel, LA parish mission:

    Pope John Paul II seemed to speak as the eternal optimist — the glass was always half full. Pope Benedict, at least as a Cardinal, tended to see the glass half empty. Neither of them was wrong, for both views were rooted in reality. Together, the glass is full.

TODAY’s best line on the tour bus (writing from St. Gabriel, Louisiana):

Mommy, I lost my gum!

Where is it Greg?

In Levi’s mouth!

JESUS continues to send me to near empty churches… but there is at least one lost sheep in attendance. This I am sure of.

Which of you men, if you had one hundred sheep, and lost one of them, wouldn't leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one that was lost, until he found it? –Luke 15:4

AT times God seems so far away…

But He is not. Jesus promised to remain with us until the end of the age. Rather, I think there are times when He draws so near in His transfigured brightness, that one’s soul squints until it closes its eyes. Thus, we think we’re in the dark, but we are not. The soul is blinded by Love itself.

There are other times also when the sense of abandonment comes because of adverse trials. This too is a form of Christ’s love, for in permitting this particular cross, He is also preparing for us a tomb from which to rise.

And what is supposed to die? Self-will.

Wings of Charity

BUT can we really fly to heaven on just the lift of faith (see yesterday’s post)?

No, we must also have wings: charity, which is love in action. Faith and love work together, and normally one without the other leaves us earthbound, chained to the gravity of self-will.

But love is the greatest of these. Wind cannot lift a pebble from the ground, and yet, a jumbo fuselage, with wings, can soar to the heavens.

And what if my faith is weak? If love, expressed in service to one’s neighbour is strong, the Holy Spirit comes as a mighty wind, lifting us when faith cannot.

If I have faith to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. –St. Paul, 1 Cor 13

    FAITH is not believing because we have proof; faith is trusting when we’ve run out of proof. –Regina concert, March 13, 2006

Consolations, warm feelings, spiritual experiences, visions, etc. are all like fuel to get one down the runway. But that invisible thing called faith is the only force which can lift one toward heaven.

That Shining Moon

It shall be established for ever as the moon,
and as a faithful witness in heaven. (Psalm 59:57)


LAST night as I looked up at the moon, a thought burst into my mind. The heavenly bodies are analogies of another reality…

    Mary is the moon which reflects the Son, Jesus. Though the Son is the source of light, Mary reflects Him back to us. And surrounding her are countless stars–Saints, illuminating history with her.

    At times, Jesus seems to "disappear," beyond the horizon of our suffering. But He has not left us: at the moment He seems to vanish, Jesus is already racing toward us on a new horizon. As a sign of His presence and love, He has also left us His Mother. She does not replace the life-giving power of her Son; but like a careful mother, she lights the darkness, reminding us that He is the Light of the World… and to never doubt His mercy, even in our darkest moments.

After I received this "visual word", the following scripture raced by like a shooting star:

A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. –Revelations 12:1

I JUST walked into my prayer room, and my third son Ryan, who just turned two, was standing on his tippy-toes trying to kiss the feet of a crucifix. He just turned two… So I lifted him up and held him there for the kiss. He paused, and then turned his head and kissed the wound on Christ’s side.

I began to tremble and was overwhelmed with emotion. I realized that the Holy Spirit was moving deep within my son, who cannot even form a sentence, to comfort Christ, who is looking over a fallen world about to enter its Passion.

Jesus have mercy. We love you.

HIS mercy is always His love for us precisely in our weakness,

our failure, our wretchedness

and sin.

–Letter from my spiritual director

The Light of the World



TWO days ago, I wrote about Noah’s rainbow—a sign of Christ, the Light of the world (see Covenant Sign.) There is a second part to it though, which came to me several years ago when I was at Madonna House in Combermere, Ontario.

This rainbow culminates and becomes a single ray of bright Light lasting 33 years, some 2000 years ago, in the person of Jesus Christ. As it passes through the Cross, the Light splits into a myriad of colors once again. But this time, the rainbow illuminates not the sky, but the hearts of humanity.

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