One of my students made this statement to me the other day, “You Catholics are psycho; you believe in things you can’t see, you hear voices, and see things that aren’t there!”

My reply was, “Yes, it does sound crazy to believe in something I can’t see and I do hear God calling me and I have had a vision of an angel! It might make all of us Catholics seem crazy but we are not psycho!”

Having faith, believing in God, following God’s call, laying down your life for another, sacrificing your needs and wants for others, giving your money, time and talent to strangers, reading a book inspired by God, going to Church; all of these things are counter cultural. Our culture says if you cannot scientifically prove something it is not real. You should look out for your needs first, then your wants. Other people should help themselves, they are not our responsibility, every man for himself. No one deserves our hard earned money but the one who earned it, my time is valuable and I should spend it on ways that bring me pleasure. There is no need to share my talents with others unless I am being paid for it. Reading an ancient book and believing that a “god” inspired it is just unrealistic. Going to Church is just a waste of my precious time.

Faith doesn’t make logical sense to someone who doesn’t have it. If you don’t have faith in God it is very difficult to listen for his voice and to wait for his direction in our lives. If you do not feel the love of God it is difficult to understand how much fulfillment will come from giving everything to others without counting the cost, including your life. If you do not have an intimate relationship with God you will not understand the words he has inspired to guide us through the Bible. If God is not a part of your life then church is empty and meaningless. Without faith you will just think the rest of us are crazy. If having faith, knowing God well, sharing my life with others and becoming selfless is counter cultural I am happy to be outside this culture! Just call me crazy but I have faith and my life has purpose because of it.

What about you? Are you crazy like me? Do you have faith?

In my Catholic Morality class I am teaching my students how to apply the Paschal Mystery to their own lives. I did not know what the Paschal Mystery was until about ten years ago on my first Koinonia Retreat. It is the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ physically died so that each of us could live an eternal life in heaven with him. In other words, if we are to live out the Paschal Mystery through our own life then we must die to our own wants and needs so that others may live. That is an unbelievably difficult idea to teach within a self- absorbed culture. Continue reading

A good friend of mine gave a talk at Church yesterday about stewardship. Many people in the Catholic Church equate stewardship with tithing. They often forget it goes beyond the money to our time and our talents. Its all about sharing the gifts we have been given with others. Ted came from a different perspective and it was well received and it was easily related to our own lives.

Ted spoke about the love we feel for others, spouses, children, parents and friends. He talked about the sacrifices we make of our time daily. Continue reading

“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss
It’s difficult in life to not want to go back to what we believe were the best days of it all. When we are in those times we rarely realize that they are the best times. It is when we look back on them in comparison that we begin to think they looked so good. There are few people who in the moment can appreciate the moment and savor it while it is happening. But no matter how much we savor it we can never keep it for long. Time is fleeting and we cannot stop it. However, like Dr. Seuss says so well, “Smile because it happened.” We should revel in every joyous moment of life, daily.

I asked the department chair of the Theology department at a local high school for some words of advice, from a person who had been teaching for 13 years or more. I asked her this before I became a teacher. I said, “If you could only give me one piece of advice, the most important thing you have learned about teaching, what would it be?” She replied with a serious face, “Love them, love your students.” I thought to myself she must be crazy.

Now I am a teacher and I believe that some of my students will take some of the skills I have taught them about meditation and creative prayer into their own lives and hopefully a new found faith and prayer life. However, I have learned it is not what you are teaching that they remember. It is how you taught them. It is the respect you give them, the understanding and yes,the love. That teacher was completely correct. The most important part of teaching is caring for and loving your students. Turns out she knew exactly what she was talking about. It is the most important part!

“I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die to find out there isn’t, than live as if there isn’t and to die to find out that there is.” -Albert Camus

One of my students quoted this today in class. This speaks volumes! My students witness daily how passionate I am about following the purpose that God gives me. I have told them several times I go where God leads. I don’t know if I will be a teacher two years from now, it just depends on where God is calling me. Continue reading

I try my hardest not to listen to the 11:00 News. Instead I listen to the 3 minute reports on the radio, they have less time to recount the gruesome details of all the inhumanity of the world. Hearing about child abuse, neglect, murder, drugs, crimes, and war make me sick to my stomach. I learn of all the hate and evil in the world and I always think, what is going on with our world? Many think if there is a God then why would he allow such cruelty, evil, and hatred to exist?

The only answer I can find is free will. God created us in his image to love him and one another freely. If we were forced to love then it could not be authentic love. So what happens when people don’t love? They pass that on to their children through learned hate and cruelty? Then it just gets worse and worse. But what happens when people choose to love freely? They pass it on to their children and everyone they meet. If God controlled us then we could not truly love. One must have freedom to choose love. Continue reading