Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I've been meeting with members of the Campus Ministry Leadership Team this week. Being with these faithful young adults face to face reminds me of why I enjoy what I do and of the importance of real, human contact. Other forms of communication - Facebook, Twitter, blogging, email, Skype, etc. - have some value, but they are grossly over exaggerated and devilishly deceptive. There is no substitute for being in the presence of another human person - seeing, hearing, feeling connected - all the senses engaged. This is relationship.

This is also the power of the Eucharist, the real presence, that sustains our relationship with God, and our commitment to be that presence to others is what helps carry others through the spiritual valleys. Of course, we cannot offer a gift we have not opened ourselves; thus, the ongoing need for personal conversion and prayer. Recognizing God's awesome love, freely given to all, is the first step toward authentic relationship and effective evangelization.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Ultimate in Peer Pressure

Today (June 24) in the Church we remember the cruel death suffered by John the Baptist who was beheaded by the order of King Herod. After being promised anything she would ask for, Salome, at the urging of her mother, asked for the head of the Baptist on a platter. Though Herod regretted the promise he made, he felt compelled to honor it because all the guests at his party had heard him.

It takes a strong person to admit a mistake and reverse direction despite the anticipated ridicule. Changing one's mind is hardly a sign of weakness; rather it is the ultimate sign of confidence and strength. Needing to save face (or public image) and honor an inappropriate or immoral commitment is truly the ultimate sign of weakness.

Thanks be to God who loved Herod and John the Baptist the same!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The empathetic college student

A recent study at the University of Michigan suggests today's college students lack empathy when compared to college students of previous generations.

Certainly our college students are engaged in activites such as service learning and community service at a higher level than ever before, right? What, then, is the relationship between empathy and engagement? Are we failing to create emotional engagement/identification despite a higher level of physical involvement?

Perhaps the self-centered voices are simply louder.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Tragedy in the Gulf

We will continue to mourn the unimaginable losses in the Gulf and around the globe for years to come. Pictures like this must be viewed over and over again so all experience the righteous anger and profound sadness that will hopefully lead to change.

God's plan for creation cannot include this. There is no lesson to be learned later, some mystery we do not comprehend. No, both the reasons and the solution for this disaster are apparent. The manifestations of greed - over consumption, power mongering, self-indulgence - must end. We must demand better of ourselves, those we elect and those we support.

Sacrifice without a price, a toll, is not sacrifice at all. We cannot sacrifice and live excessively at the same time. The two cannot coexist; either we sacrifice for the good of all, or we hoard for ourselves. Anything else is mere deception.