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Author Archive
 

 
Best Graces of 2021

May I ask: Are people still greeting each other, ‘Happy New Year’? If so, good, because it’s still the new year, there are still opportunities to grow, and we all want to grow.
Publish date: 2022 - 1 - 9


 
Desire for a Better Year

Happy New Year again, everyone! I’m going to make a statement, and I’d ask for your honest reaction, either a thumbs up, halfway, or thumbs down. And the statement is this: 2022 is not going to be easier than 2021. How do you feel about that?
Publish date: 2022 - 1 - 2


 
Four Distractions from Intimacy

One spiritual truth that we need to keep in mind is that it’s the good things that distract us from Jesus. For many people, the devil doesn’t tempt us with sinful things because it doesn’t work. So, he tempts priests to think more about his people than Jesus—that’s my problem. He tempts parents to think more about their children than Jesus. He tempts us to think more about COVID than Jesus. What have we been discussing during Christmas get-togethers? Did we talk about important things, such as how we’re doing spiritually, our deep hopes for the next year, where we want to grow, and the best graces of 2021? Or did we talk about COVID, and problems in the world? Did that help? We seem to talk about everything except Jesus, the Person Who loves us.
Publish date: 2022 - 1 - 1


 
Parents Know Best

Merry Christmas, everyone! On this Feast of the Holy Family, let’s look at the parenting of Joseph and Mary, and compare it to how parents are portrayed in popular animated films. Deacon Steven Greydanus is a Catholic film critic and a voting member for the Oscars, and he’s written a few articles on the theme of ‘Junior Knows Best’
Publish date: 2021 - 12 - 26


 
Where Humility Will Help Us

Merry Christmas, everyone! We’re going to talk about humility tonight, because Christmas celebrates Jesus’ humility. He didn’t come to earth as a powerful, grown man, but as a baby. Why? To disarm us, to help us let down our guard. Let’s consider three ideas: • First, where do we need to admit our need for help? Where would we like to grow in the upcoming year?
Publish date: 2021 - 12 - 25


 
Strengthening Weak Points

I want to tell you a story about Bryan. In his mid-20s, he and his girlfriend were far from God and sexually active. Bryan had such a strong addiction to pornography that he was no longer able to be physically intimate, and so he found a new girlfriend. (He said that he had a fourth-degree black belt in selfishness.) But his intimacy problems continued. Eventually, he and his former girlfriend got back together and decided to marry in the Church because she was Catholic.
Publish date: 2021 - 12 - 19


 
Console Others, Not Yourself

For years now, when I hear Confessions, one of the penances I sometimes give is this: “I want you to thank Jesus for three things in your life that are going well… and you have to do it with a smile.” And the person usually laughs. Why? Because it helps when we smile; and sometimes we have to choose to do it in order to cheer us up; and this penance shows how a little action can help, right?
Publish date: 2021 - 12 - 12


 
Patience in Desolation

Our opening question is: When will the darkness pass? In the book Discernment of Spirits in Marriage, which we’re using as an aid, Anne sees a pattern: When we’re in dark times, it feels like it’s “going to continue, all day, all week, maybe even forever if the darkness is heavy enough. Then you find that it doesn’t. It ends sooner, usually a lot sooner than the darkness wants you to believe” (80-81).
Publish date: 2021 - 12 - 5


 
Recognizing and Deflecting Desolation

Mark wrote in his journal that things are a mess. This past month for him has been dark, and he’s keeping his wife at a distance. He’s not praying as before, and has skipped his prayer meetings with other men for the past two weeks. Today has also been tiring. He hasn’t stopped from the moment he left home. As an optometrist, he had to tell two patients that they would likely lose their sight, and one got very angry with him, saying that she would find another doctor. Because of all this, Mark left the family dinner as soon as he decently could (Fr. Timothy Gallagher, Discernment of Spirits in Marriage, 45-47).
Publish date: 2021 - 11 - 28


 
Celebrating the Greatest Decision

Today’s homily is about three great reversals, where Jesus flips our expectations. Let’s start with a video of today’s Gospel, and see if you can spot these reversals.
Publish date: 2021 - 11 - 21


 
Following the Truth

When was the last time you changed your opinion about something important? It’s hard to do. We don’t like admitting that we were ‘wrong’ about something. However, part of being an intellectually honest person, and especially if we’re disciples of Christ, is following the truth wherever it leads us, even if it means changing our minds.
Publish date: 2021 - 10 - 31


 
You’re Free to Choose

Today’s homily is about freedom, because some people have been wondering if anyone will feel pressure in our upcoming Christ the King Challenge. ‘What will my wife think if I don’t put up my hand? What will my parents think? Will Fr. Justin be disappointed if I don’t put up my hand?’ I hope no one is pressuring you. And I promise you that I won’t be angry if you don’t put up your hand.
Publish date: 2021 - 10 - 24


 
This is Justice, This is Mercy

Mr. Perry, our school principal, once shared a story about when he was young, he and his family took the ferry to Salt Spring Island. He had a friend who led him down to the door of the engine room, where they snooped around, and when a worker looked angrily at them, his friend threw something at the man. Then he and Mr. Perry ran away. At the end of the trip, the ferry company called Mr. Perry’s home (because, back then, they had a list of all the passengers and knew who had children), and they asked Mr. Perry’s father if his children had anything to do with the incident. His father asked his sons if they knew anything about it, and Mr. Perry lied right to his face.
Publish date: 2021 - 10 - 17


 
Our Bodies Are Good

A few weeks ago, some students in our school asked me if Catholics should support the LGBTQ movement—it’s wonderful that they spoke about what was really on their minds. I tried to answer by exposing the worst parts of transgender ideology: The confusion of and harm towards children, with the advocacy of puberty blockers and surgery for children, who have their bodies irrevocably altered.
Publish date: 2021 - 10 - 3


 
Are Socialists Greedy?

About whom is St. James talking in the Second Reading? He writes: “Come now, you rich people, weep and wail for the miseries that are coming to you” (Jas 5:1). A Washington Post article two years ago wrote about “a growing resentment that the richest people… have somehow managed to get richer while most working stiffs are just one or two missed paychecks away from a food bank”–this gap between the rich and poor is unfair.
Publish date: 2021 - 9 - 26


 
Honesty With God About Our Envy

Sometime in the past year, I actually felt envious of Fr. Richard Conlin. I can’t remember exactly why, but it was either because people were leaving St. Anthony’s to go to his parish, Corpus Christi, or because he was getting more YouTube views. In one moment, it dawned on me: I’m insecure; he’s doing better than I am, he’s 15 years my junior, and he’s not even that good! Anyway, it wasn’t a big deal, but I bring it up because everyone can be tempted to envy, and, just as I’m being vulnerable right now (because it’s petty for an older priest to be envious of a younger one), I hope you can be, too, in your heart.
Publish date: 2021 - 9 - 19


 
Perfect Freedom is Found in Christ

In June of this year, I read an article by Sohrab Ahmari, an Iranian who converted to Catholicism in 2016, and about his anxiety as a new father. The anxiety wasn’t about his son’s health, education, or anything like that, but, “What kind of a man will contemporary Western culture chisel out of my son?”
Publish date: 2021 - 9 - 12


 
Change Myself

Let me get right to the point today: Whatever’s bothering us, or is on our mind, has made the day or week hard, don’t focus on that. Jesus wants us to look at ourselves instead. Other people aren’t our problem, we are. If something is stealing our happiness, that’s our choice. The key word in the Gospel today is ‘defile.’ The Pharisees and scribes believe that eating with unclean hands defiles a person, making them ritually impure so that they can’t worship God.
Publish date: 2021 - 8 - 29


 
Whom Will You Serve?

A number of us are struggling in our love of God, and I’m referring to those of us who are disciples, who chose to make Jesus the centre of our lives, but there are signs we’re falling out of love with Him. A number of you has shared how you’re feeling lazy, you’re avoiding coming to Mass in person for no good reason. This is shocking, because you’re the ones who love Jesus. I wouldn’t be worried if you were at the beginning of the spiritual journey, but I’m concerned because you made a commitment to Jesus and are going back on your promise. So, Jesus is leading us to renew and deepen our choice of love for Him.
Publish date: 2021 - 8 - 22


 
Did You Earn It, or Were You Given It?

When I was 18 years old, it was the end of the season at the Richmond Tennis Club, the coaches were handing out awards, and the final award went to the most valuable player. Nicholas was by far our best player, so I was shocked when I got the award. I knew why they gave it to me: It was my last year as a junior,
Publish date: 2021 - 8 - 15


 
Get Up and Eat

If a person wants to get in shape, they have to eat well and exercise—which of the two, according to most trainers, is more important? Eating well. There are lots of people who go to the gym but they don’t eat sensibly, and that’s why they can’t build muscle and lose weight.
Publish date: 2021 - 8 - 8


 
Having Compassion on Yourself and Others

When I was 25, volunteering at St. Joseph’s Medical Centre in New York, I always finished my days exhausted. When driving back to the seminary with Guillermo, he was always energized by his visits, while I reclined my car seat and passed out. His patients could speak, whereas I was assigned to patients who could not! I was depleted by trying to communicate the whole day with people who could barely respond.
Publish date: 2021 - 7 - 18


 
Living From an Overflowing Tank

Robert Morris once thought of his life’s mission as refuelling others: his wife, children, his church, and everyone who came to him. God told him in this metaphor, “Your job involves going… to fill up their tanks with the fuel from your truck.” But he was serving so often that it crept into his sabbath day of rest. It started with checking emails, then having meals to support people, and then scheduling work meetings.
Publish date: 2021 - 7 - 11


 
Boasting of Our Weaknesses

We’ve just started our annual Sabbath Summer season at St. Anthony’s, and here are my six recommendations for a restful, renewing, and re-creative summer: 1) Read good literature, because good books are the simplest way to renew the whole person, body, mind, and soul; 2) Go on vacation, because you’re so tired; 3) Waste time with friends, in the sense of enjoy their company and don’t try to accomplish anything; 4) Go on retreat,
Publish date: 2021 - 7 - 4