The irony of the title and scripture quote (see th…

The irony of the title and scripture quote (see the right column) of this page is how well it fits both my own life but also the current crisis facing the Catholic Church. We both have imitated Zechariah more than Mary in the way we handle the grace and angelic visitations we have been blessed with…

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THANK YOU!!!! A big THANK YOU to whoever bought t…

THANK YOU!!!!

A big THANK YOU to whoever bought the ad off of this page…

The story that won’t die. Riches Of The Kingdom: F…

The story that won’t die. Riches Of The Kingdom: From The Tampa Tribune:

A Nikon camera, a Bose radio, Nordstrom designer shirts, shoes, watches, sportswear: Bill Urbanski says Bishop Robert Lynch showered him with personal gifts during their unusual 4 1/2-year relationship.

“I looked at my wife once and said, `What am I wearing that the bishop didn’t buy me?’ ” Urbanski recalls today.

Lynch’s lavish spending on the bishop’s former spokesman and near-constant companion knew few limits, Urbanski says. As they drove from a parish north of Tampa one day, the bishop’s wallet opened again.

“I was like, `I really wish I had a CD player in my car,’ ” Urbanski says. “Boom! We were in Circuit City, and he said, `I’ve wanted to buy you something. Pick it out.’ ”

I’m trying to think of Jesus leading his apostles through the Temple and rather than turning over the tables, buying them whatever they wanted. If nothing else, one wonders what the leaders of the Church really believe in? Are they of the world or against it?

Celibacy is supposed to point toward the Kingdom where they are neither given nor taken in marriage. That is the ideal, but how is it being lived out in fact?

One of the outcomes of the Vatican Sex Abuse summi…

One of the outcomes of the Vatican Sex Abuse summit may be the resignation of Cardinal Law, according to this piece in the Orlando Sentinel today that claims at least one American Cardinal holds this opinion going into the meeting:

The cardinal, who asked to remain anonymous, said Sunday that he had been “commissioned” by other senior prelates to take their case against Law directly to Pope John Paul II’s inner circle. He said he, as well as others, would do so today during private meetings at the Vatican. Today’s meetings come a day before two days of talks between America’s cardinals and Vatican leaders on the abuse scandal.

“If the Holy See wants to send a strong signal of quality and standards of leadership,” the cardinal told The Times, Law “will have to be replaced. This cannot be a phaseout.” The cardinal said he did not want to undermine his efforts by publicly disclosing his name before speaking to the Vatican.

The bishop, also speaking on a confidential basis, told The Times, “Many bishops are of the mind that the healing process really can’t begin until there’s a change of leadership in Boston.”

Amy’s blog is mentioned in Howard Kurtz’s column M…

Amy’s blog is mentioned in Howard Kurtz’s column Media Notes today in the Washington Post.

Step 4 of "73 Steps to Spiritual Communion with Go…

Step 4 of “73 Steps to Spiritual Communion with God”

4. Not to commit adultery…

Sex and worship are bedfellows. It is not without reason that those concerned about the spiritual life are the same people who seem to struggle the most with sins of the flesh. Both are fueled by passion and the goal of the spiritual life is to channel that energy in the right direction. Every thing has it’s rightful place in life.

The first question that arises in regard to this injunction, is why would St. Benedict feel a monk needed to hear this? The answer of course, is that no one is beyond the realm of the temptation of any sin. In this case a monk who left the monastery to be with another was committing adultery.

But a wider application of this maxim is that at the heart of adultery is a search for something that no human being can offer us, that sense of deep satisfaction that we truly belong.

The desire that we all feel to be loved and to belong is something that we will live with our entire lives. The connection that we feel with another human being or community is capable of giving a foretaste to the communion that we seek, but incomplete at the same time. A person who confuses the incompleteness of this sought after communion, and believes that it could be gained by going off in search for it somewhere else, is deceived.

The effect of this sin is all too evident, if we but reflect on it. Jesus said that a person who “lusts in his heart after another” has already committed adultery. It has been said that given that definition, that we all have sinned in this regard. So how then is it possible to put this maxim into practice?

The truth that underlies this injunction is perhaps best illustrated by the story in John’s Gospel of the Woman at the well. Jesus who finds himself alone at the well asks the woman for a drink. The conversation that ensues ultimately comes down to a question of satisfying the thirsts that we experience in life.

The woman had been married five times and was living with a sixth man at the time she spoke with Jesus. He points this out to her and if fits into the context of the “I thirst” and Jesus’ claim to be the source of water that will satisfy that thirst. There is something about this encounter with Jesus at the well that leads the woman to go into her village and to evangelize leading many others to Christ.

Examine her motive for setting out to bring others to Jesus, she says, “He told me everything I ever did.”

There is something in Jesus pointing out all the empty wells, that she has sought out in her life to satisfy her thirst, that leads her to accept that he is the living water that she truly seeks.

Adultery is wrong above all because it is based on a lie which is, “The reason I am not happy or fulfilled right now is because of my situation and if I was with X or Y that would change.”

We can get so caught up in the rush of excitement that new relationships promise that we can lose all objectivity when facing temptations in life. Unfortunately we may fall into the same trap and learn the lessons over and over that what we desire is not a human connection but something that every human relationship is but a foretaste.

We have no idea what happened to the Samaritan woman after her encounter with Jesus at the well. Did she marry number six? Were there more men that followed?

My hunch is that she married number six and found in him a mate who was a helper to her and that she no longer confused the lust for more as something that anyone who was a mere human could fulfill. We too, will experience a quench to that unquechable thirst when we turn to God with all our hearts.

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