Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Holy Week

Christ washing the feet of the Disciples

Holy week

think about it
this week represents the world forever changed
nothing has been the same after that week
2000 years ago
all of life, reality,art, music, education, spirituality,
everything changed
a room where a few celebrated the passover
a garden where a few tried to stay awake
a mock trial
a crown made of brittle thorns
a mother weeping for her son
a cross
a day of deafening silence
an empty tomb
nothing has been the same since
and it never will be.


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

like a child

morning Mass
at Christ the King here in Nashville,
the students attended
there must have been 700 kids
i could hear them coming from inside where i was sitting
but as they entered,
they became quiet, reverent,
genuflecting before they took their seats
from the youngest to the oldest..
It was a beautiful thing to see
the Mass was beautiful,
the scripture read by the 7th graders,
it spoke of Judas' betrayal,
Peter's denial,
and the ever giving heart of our Lord..
Fr. Brewer didn't preach to the kids,
he spoke to them with deep and reverent passion for the Word,
they hung on every word
for even the young know of betrayal and denial,
the kids received Jesus with grace
i tried to receive Him anew
like a child


Monday, March 29, 2010

Weeds and Wheat

the Church of Jesus is His Body
He is the Head
He has one head
He told the apostles,
"let the weeds grow with the wheat",
He knows the heart of man
there is always going to be scandal
and in this,
we pray for grace and mercy,
justice and truth
we don't throw the baby out with the bath water..
we don't set fire to the wheat along with the weeds
when the smoke of Satan is in our midst,
we must cry for mercy
the gates of hell are raging today
and they seem pretty dang powerful,
cause sometimes the weeds seem to have a foothold,
the wheat seems to be strangled
but He is the Head
His body willl not be burned in the fire
the weeds will,
but not the wheat
so we must pray and strive not to be weeds
cause one day the angels will come to gather the harvest,


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday
is such a bitter sweet day
we praise Him as he rides the little donkey,
rides into Jerusalem,
we wave branches
shout Hosanna!
such a wonderful moment...
but soon,
of course,

we will shout,
He truly is mad for us sinners,
i am thankful scripture says He never changes..


Saturday, March 27, 2010

tender mercies

my son drove over from Oxford yesterday

i baked Salmon with Greek pasta
we drove downtown and walked along Broadway
listening to the numerous house bands
one was playing "Working Man Blues" by Haggard,
i was informed yesterday that it's not "danger all my life",
but instead,
"dang near all my life"..
as we listened the cover band singer,
trying to sound like the Hag,
he growled into the mic,
"danger all my life.."
at least it sounded like that's what he said
Wes and I had a good time hanging together,
we ended up back at the condo around 11:00,
played guitars till after midnight..
i thank God for these tender mercies...
Everything is grace.


Friday, March 26, 2010


the music we listen to says something
there is always a message
sometimes we don't hear it,
the message,
but every word carries a thought
the melody carries a meaning
i heard a Merle Haggard tune coming to work
"I've been a working man,
danger all my life
but I'll keep on working"
this tune means a lot to me
it was one of my dad's favorites
he was a working man,
danger all his life..
listen to the songs you hear today,
it might be surprising what they are speaking to your soul..


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Carole King

got an email this morning from a bro in Vermont

his story of listening to God in the midst of anxiety
how a song came to him,
not even a song he liked,
but every time he would quiet his mind,
the song returned..
"when you're down and troubled,
and you need a helping hand,
and nothing, oh nothing is going right,
close your eyes and think of me,
and soon i will be there.."
when he finally listened to the words,
you know what happened..
his email lifted my head and heart out of some anger i was feeling,
some frustration..
ain't it just like God to use Carole King.
and a buddy from Vermont?


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

old friend

i saw an old friend last night

one of my dearest friends
it was a much needed reunion
his little 20 month old girl kept hugging me
i almost started crying
but i kept it together
it was great to just be there
to sit and talk
he grilled some steaks
we drank a great IPA
these are tender mercies of our God
times like this
to know that days and distance
silence and sorrow
can't break the true bond of brothers

for Jody

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

bitter-sweet of being

And when you get blue

And you've lost all your dreams
There's nothin' like a campfire
And a can of beans--Tom Waits from his song Lucky Day

it seems in every sweet thing
there is a bit of bitter
in every happy dream
there is a bit of nightmare
it somehow has to do with the garden
with Adam
with Eve
with us being made in the image of God
Imago Dei
and before a resurrection
there is a cross
a friend has a very ill father
another friend a very ill wife
we all live in the hope of resurrection
until then,
we walk in the way of the cross
in the bitter-sweet of being

for Scott and Jess

Monday, March 22, 2010

the pearl

finding a treasure
a pearl
sell all to buy the field
our faith
His Church
the gates of hell are storming it with fury
watch the news
but guess what?
they won't prevail..
He said it,
not me
dig deeper today brothers,
the treasure,
the pearl of great price,
is endless in its giving
is eternal..


Sunday, March 21, 2010

we laugh

*how does the mind find rest?
i don't know
it strains for peace
for understanding
it reels with decisions
with incredible distractions
faith hope love
we all have the desire to connect
with others
wives with husbands
priests with parishioners
tabernacle and truth
we believe, we doubt
we love, we wonder
we laugh,


Friday, March 19, 2010

these maneuvers of the heart

the rambling heart is never still
the roving eye never restful
every single soul longs for peace
for a true sense of fruition at the end of the day
the end of a life
we all feel these maneuvers of the heart
and sometimes we don't know what to do with them
there is great mystery in every step we take
there is beauty
sometimes there is worry
and always there is this nagging human condition
and thank God He knows it too
the Incarnation
Jesus born of Mary
this does my rambling heart good,
when i meditate on this..


Thursday, March 18, 2010


walking is a wonderful thing
since coming to Nashville,
i have walked 2 miles evey morning
i miss Jack walking with me,
but Renee and Jack are coming tomorrow!
we will go to Radnor Lake and walk on the trails
there is big joy in the smallest things
if i would just open my eyes and see
Lord, thanks for Your mercy,
thanks for the sound of an old friends voice,
for a walk in the woods
or around a neighborhood,
we can do nothing without You Father,
forgive me for forgetting this
forgive me for my damnable pride
and my willful weakness..
help us always walk closer to You
no matter where we walk..please.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

and tamed the Lion

St. Patrick was incredible
born in 387
born to a Christian family in Roman Britain
kidnapped by Celts as a young man
brought to Ireland as a slave
escaped after many years
became a Roman Catholic Priest
chose to go back to Ireland as a missionary
by God's grace,
He converted the entire island to Jesus
He used a three leaf clover to teach the doctrine of the Trinity
He was an amazing speaker
His writings, though few, are Augustinian in there brilliance and honesty
so today we wear green
have parades
green beer flows
but how many really know?
how many truly care?
how many will remember the man of God who followed Jesus into a lions den,
a lions den called Ireland
and tamed the lion..


Tuesday, March 16, 2010


working is freedom
i heard a song at the Bluebird Cafe' last night
a song called "Jobs"
it spoke of the daily grind
as opposed to the pie in the sky dream jobs
he sang about the jobs that no one wants
and how these jobs pay the bills
thankful to have one
the catechism speaks highly of work
how important it is to the well being of souls
we are made in the image of God
creative to the bone
hungry for fruit
for accomplishment
for purpose
and as we follow behind Jesus,
in all this,
we can learn the simple beauty of work
all the while learning to love more deeply
all the while learning to trust more fervently
all the while learning to seek His will with abandon


Monday, March 15, 2010


if God is for us?
the day is overcast
cold wind from the north
this is a cosmopolitan town
so many humans
each with a soul dear to Jesus


Sunday, March 14, 2010

we shall see

the music playing in this Starbucks is soothing
Renee and Jack just left for Oxford
I am now truly alone in Nashville
God is mysterious
and He never makes a mistake
His love is the reason we can go on adventures
the reason we can hope in our decisions
doors fling open and as the priest at the Vigil Mass said last night,
"The Lord is always doing things in our lives,
and very often we do not give Him the credit,
we look for other reasons and explanations."
He then said,
"We do not believe because we see,
we see because we believe."
for some reason, just now,
my dad comes to mind
he died a few years ago and i often think of him
he was a character,
a quiet man, but with a dry blue-collar sense of humor
he loved Nashville and country music..
I start my new job here in Music City tomorrow,
i believe the Lord is behind these things,
we shall see...


Saturday, March 13, 2010

silence of His voice

we are all called to love
being holy is learning to love deeply
God and man
pray for me
no matter where we are,
big city, little town,
the solemnity of His heart
the silence of His voice
i can't do anything without His grace,
except screw up royally
loose track,
but the Hound of Heaven is relentless in His pursuit


Friday, March 12, 2010


the laughter of friends is music
the rain is pouring today in music city
i am tired
after a night out with Glen and Susan
you may not know them,
but they are two of the kindest and craziest people we know
we are so thankful for their friendship
their giving hearts..
we walk in and out of the lives of others
others walk in and out of our lives
i pray i see the Christ in those i meet
that they see Him in me,
though even a good man falls 7 times a day
our hope is mercy
in Jesus living in us
He and the Father making their abode in our pitiful souls
souls He cares for with such abandon
not pitiful to Him at all
repent, the kingdom is at hand
i must never forget
you must never forget
He is mad for us!
Lord, help us walk with You


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Driving to Nashville

Driving to Nashville
in the pouring rain
rolling through a storm
life won't be the same

the adventure continues
the road goes on
sell another pipe
sing another song

keep on digging
wherever this leads
lean on the Family
and the Trinity

one thing for sure
the storm will end
and the blue skies hidden
will appear once again

Driving to Nashville


Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Found out last night a friend's mother has Parkinson's disease
my friend is a very devout priest in Pennsylvania
His love for Jesus, the Church, others, his family,
inspires me
He has cared for his mother for years
now, she is going through this uncertainty,
they are going through this suffering
He is there for her
how beautiful and merciful
we should think of someone today,
someone alone
whether they are young, old, mentally ill, physically ill, etc..
maybe go sit with them,
listen to them,
at least call them,
like Fr. Ron does every day,
whether it is his mother,
or a sheep in his fold,
we can all help someone..
it is a wonderful gift we can give


Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Jesus said His followers would fast
fasting is the soul of prayer
Jesus said to do so in secret
where our Father sees
Jesus said to care for the poor
to do so is to do so unto Him
Jesus said the merciful would receive mercy
blessed are those who show mercy
this is what Lent is all about
what our lives are all about
lent is 40 days of focusing on these things Jesus said to do
it's not complicated or odd,
but it is radical


Monday, March 8, 2010

on the bosom of God

humble hearts
placing our heads on the bosom of God
when it's hard to rest
hard to be still
hard to know
our pride
damnable pride
keeps us from so much intimacy
with Father
and others
humble hearts
placing our heads on the bosom of God
St. John the beloved disciple,
pray for us.


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Simply Beautiful

something starts to happen
last night someone asked me,
"why are you Catholics so into suffering?"
she had been asking me about Lent
i told her we are not really into it,
but it is really into us,
"us" meaning all humans
i tried to explain,
Jesus suffered in every way
emotionally, etc
He fulfilled all things pertaining to salvation through His passion, death, and resurrection.
His suffering didn't take away all suffering,
but His suffering redeemed all suffering
and there is one thing every human, rich or poor,
young or old knows,
Jesus used His suffering for our salvation
nothing can be added to His perfect sacrifice.. it is finished..
and now, we as His brothers and sisters, and as St. Paul calls us, "Co-workers with Christ",
can use our suffering for ourselves and others as well,
this is what St. Paul meant when he wrote,
"Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and I complete in my flesh what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of His Body,
 which is the Church" (Col 1:24)
it is a wonderful mystery of Father God once again allowing His children to know an eternal purpose of loving deeply while we journey home.
we don't embrace our sufferings for the sake of suffering,
that would be pointless,
but we join in with our Lord and grow even closer to Him and His body, the Church.
it's a simply beautiful thing.


Saturday, March 6, 2010

He calls us His bride

we are the bride
He is the groom
of all the metaphors
why does God use this one?
Why does He use this explain our relationship with Himself?
for one, marriage is the height of commitment between man and woman
if you have been married for any length of time,
you know a bit about the journey of becoming one
He calls us His bride....
as with all romance,
it begins with deep emotion and feelings of eternal devotion
over time the romance and feelings ebb and flow
there are days when it is a frightening and trying thing to give one's self to another all day everyday
faithfulness isn't a one time decision
it is a choice we make over and again
He calls us His bride....
the desired destination of the journey is married love
married love
this is the love that has dealt with everything from betrayal to boredom
from asking forgiveness to granting forgiveness
from personal anxieties to illness,
from financial worries to wrecked dreams
learning to desire the good of other for the sake of other
learning to trust and give when it is not easy to trust and give
what begins in bliss and butterflies,
by grace,
becomes a mature expression of abandonment toward the other
is it any wonder why He calls us His bride?


Friday, March 5, 2010

It starts with me.

why did God give us truths we are to embrace in the face of a world of lies?
why did He give us the law?
St. Paul said if it wasn't for the law, for right doctrine, he would not have known how lost he was.
Right doctrine and rules of the Church are for the good of souls,
they guide us to a deeper love for God and others,
a sacramental life is a life of humility and staying before the Lord,
why did and do people die for the right doctrines of the Church?
why did the early Church Father's constantly write against the heresy of dissension?
but if you look at Christianity today in our culture,
"right doctrine" is a personal choice
"personal relationship" with Jesus has become an excuse in many cases for a "do what i want" lifestyle.
Luther said on his death bed, "without the Magisterium of the Church,
there are now as many interpretations of scripture as there are heads."
people who believe in Jesus can easily disagree on what it means to follow Him,
the numerous "prophets" on television have just as numerous and differing, "words from God".
mainline denominations are crumbling under the accepted heresies of birth control, pro-choice, and homosexual agendas,
something is badly wrong with modern Christianity
is it possible that if we stay on this path,
the future will hold greater disloyalty to Jesus and to the humans race He died to save?
will it hold more confusion, lead many astray, and turn more away from the Lord?
reason this,
why did St. Paul constantly say he was concerned for his "children in the faith" being led astray?
how could they be led astray if they were Christians?
it must be because they could be led astray.
nothing has changed,
Jesus still calls us to unity, John 17,
let's pray for humility to seek His heart in this,
it starts with me.
Lord have mercy!


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Where He Abides

with much hope we walk out again this morning
last night is behind us
everything is in God
the peace we look for
the peace we long for
the peace we taste every so often
we have much to do today
and He says, "apart from me you can do nothing."
truth is a warm south wind
standing in this wind is humbling
our Beloved is the Youth of a Thousand Summers..
we can know these summers deep within our souls
where He abides
all of these thoughts come in the last gasp of winter
as we walk out into another day..


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

helping out with a calling..

I have a dear friend who needs help
she has been called by God,
called to the religious life
to dedicate herself entire to Jesus
to live a life of prayer, contemplation,
service, and meditation
her name is Christina Fleury
she went to law school,
became a lawyer helping the poor and mostly forgotten
often being payed very little
but she has big loans to pay
before she can enter the novitiate,
and become a nun,
the debt must be paid
we have the great opportunity to help out with a high calling
it's how our Father often does things
He let's the family in on His work
if you or anyone you know wants to help this courageous young woman follow the Shepherd,
email her at
but no matter what else,
please pray..


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

sea change

"Sea Change" is a broad transformation
something happens deeply
down in the very core of things
the wind blows from the east
a new fragrance fills the air
mystery fills the heart
this was not planned
or expected
the sun breaks through the clouds
a new color kisses the eye
this is beyond a nice day
beyond luck
a bit frightening
you may even lose your wits for a time
something has shifted
as if someone has been secretly praying for you
and their prayers are answered
and best of all,


Monday, March 1, 2010

Seasons ( for Glen, Susan, Olivia, Grace, and Natalie)

coming is the moment
when the bluebird sings
when the moon is waning full
over valleys lush and green

winter will be leaving
spring is soon to bloom
March winds April showers
another summer coming soon

love made the seasons
for the creature they were made
the Creator ever giving
His heart of beauty on display

in our fleshy hearts
in our weary souls
there comes winter

there comes cold

there comes laughter
there comes light
death and birth
courage to fight

Grace to hope
Faith to stand
within the cruel wind
He grasps our hand

so as we walk now in the desert
as our Beloved leads the way
we can shout a hallelujah
for all seasons He has made

for Glen, Susan, Olivia, Grace
, and Natalie