Year: 2021

What Questions Get You Thinking?

How do I want the world to be different because I lived in it?
How do I want to be different because I lived in this world?
What is wrong with the picture I see?
What is the next thing that needs to be done?

I Predict the Synod will…

The Church has just begun a three-year process focused on not only truly listening to each other. We are called to listen to the Holy Spirit whose view spans all of time and eternity. Most visitors to Vincentian Mindwalk are aware that Pope Francis is playing the “long game”on reading the signs of the times today just as Vatican II did in the mid 20th century. I predict … at least 3 simultaneous “synods”!

Do we need a reset?

Over the next three years of the “synodal process”, Jesus is asking us to gather in the upper rooms of our homes, dioceses, countries, and finally in Rome. To respectfully wait for and listen to the Spirit speaking not only to our hearts but in the hearts of our sisters and brothers. He is asking us to walk together.

Playing the Short Game Or the Long Game?

Jesus could have handed out copies of his encyclicals – the Sermon on the Mount, Beatitudes, the Our Father. Rather, he gave us his preaching as guides to understand the next stage of the journey of the Body of Christ to discover the fulness of eternal life in God!

How Can You Disagree With the Pope… and others?

The church is a family, “God’s people”. Family fights are the worst. But disagreements are part of any family or community. Suppressing them leads to frustration and dysfunctional behavior. Our goal must be to be reconcilers, not dividers.

How Christ-like Do You Think You Are?

When St. Paul asks us to “put on the mind of Christ” he has much more in mind than mouthing Jesus’ words. I believe he is asking us to look at our attitudes and actions. We are called to “walk the talk”!

Who Are You Calling a “Cafeteria Catholic”?

Many of those who take cudgels to anyone who disagrees with a Pope now often lead the charge seriously asking whether the current Pope is Catholic. And those who tended to ignore some Popes in the recent past cheer on the current Pope.
But the truth is larger than what either is willing to see and struggle to understand.

The “Dead Horse Theory” of Ministry

Organizations… and individuals… develop all kinds of strategies to cope with change. Some strategies are more successful than others. There is one strategy that has many lives … the “dead horse” theory.

The Courage to See Ourselves As God Sees Us?

As I think about contemplation, I realize that the phrase “the courage to be” might be adapted to understanding of contemplation. It takes courage to become aware of God’s long, loving look at me.

Have You Tried Christianity?

“… in the modern world we are primarily confronted with the extraordinary spectacle of people turning to new ideals because that have not tried the old. Men have got tired of Christianity; they have never found enough Christianity to get tired of.” Chesterton

Pope Francis Wants To Hear From You!

The Synod is “intended to inspire people to dream about the church we are called to be, to make people’s hopes flourish, to stimulate trust, to bind up wounds, to weave new and deeper relationships, to learn from one another, to build bridges, to enlighten minds, warm hearts, and restore strength to our hands for our common mission.”

The Gift and Challenge of Vincentian Imagination

We talk, perhaps too glibly, of the Vincentian charism. For a moment, I would like to reframe the conversation. Let’s talk about the Vincentian imagination!… and how it led to the “Vincentian Question.”

Lots of Words But… What’s the Issue?

I offer just two words not in any of the lists of racisim-related words… but at the heart of any discussion. Our Father! These two words, taught by Jesus himself, are key to who he is and who we are.

Why Is There So Much Hatred Today?

Recently, I prepared to lead a discussion on why there is so much hatred in our world. What follows draws heavily from Why People Hate: The Science Behind Why We Love to Hate.

Is “Our Father” a Challenging Prayer?

God willing, after all this, we will think no longer in terms of ‘them’ and ‘those’, but only ‘us’” (No. 35).
For this reason, I have wished to devote the Message for this year’s World Day of Migrants and Refugees to the theme, Towards An Ever Wider “We”.

Pledging a “Better Kind of Politics”?

Pope Francis calls us to “build a better kind of politics”. The USCCB suggest almost a “12 step program” for building community as envisaged when we truly commit to what we pray for in the “Our Father”.

Looking At 9/11 Through Generational Eyes

Looking At 9/11 Through Generational Eyes – While students struggle to imagine the emotions felt by those who witnessed the tragedy, however, many faculty members are struggling to forget.

Has Anything Changed In 20 Years?

Almost twenty years later I find myself, for different reasons, thinking anew “The world will never be the same.” The only difference is that it seems to have gotten even worse.

Stories of Jesus’ Interruptions

Living with the Jesus of Interruptions. – How many times are you interrupted in the middle of your plans? Do you think of interruptions as annoyances … or opportunities encounter a body of Christ?

Mark’s Gospel – Coping … Part 2

In Mark’s there are many ordinary we tend to skip over. But they are there for a reason. Mark subtly proposes them as signs of encouragement to the ordinary Christians under attack in Rome.

Mark’s Gospel – Coping With a New Normal

Mark, as any good pastor would, uses Jesus stories circulating in oral tradition to help a community understand how the gospel is “good news” … even in the face of catastrophe and persecution.

If Nuns Ruled the World…

Nuns built America’s largest private school system , created America’s nonprofit hospital systems building over 800 hospitals, were some of America’s first feminists, are not strangers to dangerous situations.

Why Did Jesus Ask So Many Questions?

Contrary to some common assumptions, Jesus is not the ultimate Answer Man, but more like the Great Questioner. We know that Jesus asked over 300 questions. He is asked 183. He only answers 3.

Our Original Sin

G.K. Chesterton wrote “original sin is a fact, an observable fact one can “see in the street.”

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