DeSales Weekly

Of all his feasts, Sr. Matilda thinks Jesus loves Easter best

Of all his feasts, Sr. Matilda thinks Jesus loves Easter best

Ninety-two-year-old Sr. Matilda looked up at me and asked: Do you think the Easter season is celebrated with as much joy and energy in heaven as it is here on this earth?” Before I could reply, she answered with absolute surety, “It sure is!” When we consider Sister’s question, it does contain terrific insight. Why? For Jesus, the Son of God, the second person of the Trinity has accomplished His mission. 

Holy Week 2019

Holy Week 2019

It took me quite a while to let go of the conviction that Easter, not Christmas, was the preeminent event of our Christian faith. For a long time, I clung stubbornly to my fond childhood memories of Christmas: family gatherings, gifts, decorations, special foods and that pervasive atmosphere of good will, joy and peace. I almost forgot: and no school! Christmas, I thought, must be first!

The Hardened Heart

The Hardened Heart

If you ask people the question, “What is the worst thing that can happen to the human heart?”, many folks will almost instinctively respond by answering, “When it breaks.”

However painful a broken heart may be, a heart capable of being broken is nonetheless a heart that is alive, capable of feeling any number of emotions. In the event, there is something much, much worse than a broken heart — that is, a hardened heart.

NOT JUST ANOTHER LENT!

NOT JUST ANOTHER LENT!

During the forty days of Lent we journey with Jesus as he makes his way to Jerusalem and his saving death on the Cross for each of us. During this holy season, let us heed the advice of St. Francis de Sales never to see this as just another Lent. If we do approach this Lent as just another Lent, we run the risk of not approaching it with the spiritual energy, seriousness and attention that it deserves.

The Salesian “Now”

The Salesian “Now”

I was recently hospitalized for an abdominal issue. Thanks be to God, I am on the mend. My experience led me to reflect on St. Francis de Sales’ words: “Do not look forward to what might happen tomorrow; the same everlasting Father who cares for you today will take care of you tomorrow and every day.” My translation is: “Live each “now” to the best of your ability and trust in God.”

Today is a true February day

Today is a true February day

Today is a true February day: sunny but cloudy, cool but blustery, bright but the darkness still comes early each evening. I love the winter but not the stronger winds or the shorter days. The gales and darkness can seem to win. Nature is a very good teacher for us. How often in life do the dark moments seem to overwhelm the light or the blowing winds outrun our desire for peace and calm?

“Your...life...matters”

“Your...life...matters”

In the closing pages of his book entitled American Church, author Russell Shaw describes “New Evangelization”:

“The key to new evangelization as a high priority of a new American Catholic subculture isn’t institutions and programs. Where to begin? It must start with the idea of vocation: with preaching and teaching and writing and broadcasting in every available forum the message that God intends each of us to play a unique, unrepeatable role in his providential, redemptive plan. Every life is a vocation. Today, it is not merely desirable but imperative that we acknowledge the reality of unique, personal vocation as preached and taught by such figures as Saint Francis de Sales…”

The Price of Attention

The Price of Attention

As a casual NFL fan, whose attention is drawn to the gridiron only once the playoffs begin, the defensive stalemate that characterized the most recent Super Bowl was thankfully punctuated for me by the regular interlude of this year’s lineup of Super Bowl commercials. While feeling slightly guilty for being so intrigued by such unabashed invitations to American consumerism, I’m always curious to see what the best in current televised marketing can come up with.

When Babies Cry in Church

When Babies Cry in Church

The crying infant in her dad’s arms may have just found her voice and was testing its volume in church. Her embarrassed father was trying to quell her enthusiasm. Pushing back all attempts, she was ardently enjoying her “new toy” and the new boundary her voice opened for her.

St. Francis de Sales: A Man for Others

St. Francis de Sales: A Man for Others

January 24 is the feast day of St. Francis de Sales. In honor of his feast day, I would like to reflect upon a few lesser-known aspects of his life.

If we were to ask Francis de Sales for the briefest and best summary of his spirit and doctrine, he would probably answer us with what he wrote at the end of his spiritual masterpiece, Treatise on the Love of God: "Live Jesus whom I love!" (Bk 12, ch. 13)

Come on in! There’s plenty of room inside!

During the four weeks before Christmas, many churches put on Christmas pageants in which the story of the birth of Jesus is acted out, usually by young children. One of my favorite Christmas stories is about one of those Christmas pageants. It took place in a small Church in a little village somewhere in New England. You may have heard it too..........…