Evangelizing through the Catholic Arts

Feast of Saint Thomas, the Apostle

Saint ThomasWith today being the Feast of Saint Thomas, the Apostle, we read from the Gospel of John, regarding Jesus’ appearance to the Apostles, post His resurrection. It is Easter Sunday evening, and the Apostles tell Thomas, (who had not been present) that Jesus appeared to them. Thomas tells them in oh, so many words, “you’re nuts.” He refuses to believe their audacious comment. Fast forward one week later, when all the Apostles were present behind locked doors, and Jesus appears to them.

Revelation

I find this Gospel passage quite revealing of God’s omnipresence. One week earlier, when Saint Thomas heard the audacious comments from his fellow Apostles, he responded to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails Continue reading

Are You Sometimes Careless? Then Embrace Diligence!

Embrace DiligenceDo you sometimes act, without considering the consequences? Or might you sometimes say something offensive, without thinking of the other person’s feelings? Do you rush to complete tasks, just to get them done, with little thought to how well they get done? I think we could all answer “yes” to these questions, if not consistently, then at a minimum, at least occasionally.  When we act, or say something, inappropriate, when we don’t care about an outcome, we exhibit carelessness. The antidote: Embrace diligence!

Embrace Diligence

With diligence, we think before we act. We evaluate the consequences and determine the best course of action. We seek a positive outcome that will be beneficial to all parties. Why? Because we care Continue reading

Are You True Prophets of Christ? Or, False Prophets?

True Prophets of ChristThe quality of your deeds determines the goodness of the fruit that you produce for Christ. In today’s Gospel from Matt 7:15-20, we hear Jesus ask a tongue-in-cheek question. “Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles” (Matt 7:16)? With this question, Jesus is warning us to be on watch for false prophets. How might we identify false prophets? We will know by their deeds, because good fruit cannot be borne from bad acts. Good fruit can only come from a good source. That is why grapes do not come from thornbushes. They come from the vine. Figs, associated with prosperity, well being and security (all good things) come from a fig tree; not a thistle. Both grape Continue reading

Enough of the Rude Behavior! Seek Courtesy!

Seek CourtesyThe discourse within our society has reached a level of vitriol that I have not seen in my 60+ years on this planet. We hear the barbs on the nightly news. We read the foul language on social media. And then there is the face-to-face disagreements. Everywhere we turn, we come up against rude behavior.  When we cannot be civil with each other and thus, resort to name-calling, cursing and arguments, we have lost our way. It’s time that we take that unwanted rude behavior and change our ways to seek Courtesy.

Courtesy is polite and respectful behavior towards others. Courtesy requires us to be considerate of others in both word and deed. It all comes down to following Continue reading

Overwhelmed with Prejudice? Consider Disinterestedness

PrejudiceWe all experience prejudice. Sometimes we deliver it, and sometimes we receive it. Either way – not good. Sometimes prejudice is unconscious and not deliberate. Yet, for the person on the receiving end – there’s no difference. The pain caused by such vitriolic speech, and behavior, still stings. In our society, and across the world, this insidious behavior is rapidly on the rise; becoming acceptable in our discourse. And that, is totally unacceptable.

Prejudice is not restricted to rearing its ugly head only in cases of race, gender or sexual orientation. Oh no – it can be far more subtle, yet just as insidious as the more overt expressions. For example:

Tired of the Being Petty? Seek Magnanimity

seek magnanimityDo you feel compelled to always be right? Does the slightest offense send you on a warpath? Do you find yourself complaining, a lot? Your common sense tells you that no one likes to be around a know-it-all. Nor, do others appreciate interacting with people who get so easily offended. And let’s face it, chronic complainers have few friends. So, if you exhibit any of this unwanted behavior, then it’s time to seek Magnanimity!

Seek Magnanimity

What is Magnanimity? It is the pursuit of honor and greatness, even in the presence of adversity, in correlation to one’s own ability. It is a call to use the talents given to us by God, to the best of our ability. Magnanimity pursues Continue reading

Feeling Lost? Find Faith!

Find FaithAs a Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) Coordinator, I work with people who search for a deeper relationship with Christ.  Some come from other faiths, and others come to my program having never been baptized. When I hear their stories, I hear a common theme; a search for truth. Those that come from the Protestant denominations, come with questions that their former pastors/preachers cannot answer. The unbaptized appear like a clean slate; open to learning how to develop a relationship with Jesus. What is everyone’s goal? To find faith!

If you are feeling lost, then look for the gift of faith in your own heart. God infused within you, at birth, the capability to believe in Him, Continue reading

Noticing Intolerance? Seek Charity!

Seek charityWe live in a very intolerant society. We see it in the actions of our politicians, as well as our co-workers. Intolerance rears its ugly head in our communities, and even in our churches. It shows its spiny bristles in the forms of anger, hatred, racism, vengeance and vindictiveness – all violations of the Fifth Commandment! How so? Well each one of these forms of behavior, when applied, diminishes the dignity of others – each behavior kills the spirit of the victim. How do we combat intolerance? We seek Charity. If we would embrace the concept of loving our neighbor, we can eradicate intolerance from our society.

So, what does it really mean to love one’s neighbor? Well, if we Continue reading