02 May 2016

On Crafting Ships in a Bottle

"Fluttering canvas sails become paper. Masts become toothpicks, and the hull is formed from a block no bigger than a finger instead of planks and planks of wood. The raging sea becomes a colored mass of carefully pressed clay. Nails and rope become Elmers glue. Epoxy.

"'One time I sneezed and I lost, like, six cannon,' Dana Perkins tells me, shaking his head and laughing at the memory. 'I looked up and they were just gone.'

"It's not easy working in miniature. Even harder? Putting everything together through an opening less than an inch wide."

In a recent commentary, writer Micky Bedell reflected on the bottled artwork (ships in a bottle) crafted by Maine resident Dana Perkins.

To access Ms. Bedell's complete essay, please visit:

Made in Maine: More than ships: Maine man's bottled art mystifies (28 APR 16)

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for hope and encouragement given to us in dark times.

Fr. Longenecker on St. Maximilian Kolbe

"We were graced this month to travel to Poland on a parish pilgrimage. It was my first extended visit to the country, so it was therefore a great joy to visit Niepokalanow - the friary of St. Maximilian Kolbe. The visit started with Mass in the simple chapel founded by the saint. We continued by visiting his cell, viewing his relics and then worshipping in the modern basilica that stands on the site.

"The next day our pilgrims visited the great Marian shrine of Czestochowa before going on to Auschwitz. The amazing accomplishments of St. Maximilian Kolbe climaxed in his death at the extermination camp, and to visit his monastic cell one day and his death cell the next was an awesome, moving and troubling experience. Here was a man, who, from his early life, decided to live for others and ended his life dying for another."

In a recent commentary, Father Dwight Longenecker (parish priest at Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, Greenville, SC) reflected on Saint 
Maximilian Kolbe and on the meaning of his sacrifice at Auschwitz.

To access Fr. Longenecker’s complete post, please visit:

Aleteia: Maximilian Kolbe and the Redemption of Auschwitz (28 APR 16)

Background information:

Dwight Longenecker - Catholic priest and author

Reflection Starter from St. Maximilian Kolbe

"No one in the world can change Truth. What we can do and and should do is to seek truth and to serve it when we have found it. The real conflict is the inner conflict. Beyond armies of occupation and the hetacombs of extermination camps, there are two irreconcilable enemies in the depth of every soul: good and evil, sin and love. And what use are the victories on the battlefield if we are ourselves are defeated in our innermost personal selves?" - Saint Maximilian Kolbe

01 May 2016

Sixth Sunday of Easter

Today the Church celebrates the Sixth Sunday of Easter. The assigned readings are Acts 15:1-2, 22-29; Revelation 21:10-14, 22-23; and John 14:23-29. The Responsorial Psalm is Psalm 67 (Psalm 67:2-3, 5-6, 8).

The Gospel reading is as follows:

Jesus said to his disciples: "Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; yet the word you hear is not mine but that of the Father who sent me.

"I have told you this while I am with you. The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. You heard me tell you, 'I am going away and I will come back to you.' If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father; for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you this before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe."

Reflections on these readings:

Oblates of St. Francis de Sales: Sundays Salesian: Sixth Sunday of Easter (May 1, 2016)

Oblates of St. Francis de Sales: Salesian Sunday Reflection: Sixth Sunday of Easter (May 1, 2016)

Community in Mission: Four Gifts of Grace - A Homily for the 6th Sunday of Easter (30 APR 16)

The Sacred Page: Kingdom of Peace: 6th Sunday of Easter
 (30 APR 16)

The Sacred Page: The Promise of the Holy Spirit: The Lectionary Readings Explained (The Sixth Sunday of Easter) (29 APR 16)

Word on Fire: The Holy Spirit in the Life of the Church (Cycle C * Easter * Week 6)

St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology: Counsel of Jerusalem: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Sixth Sunday of Easter (25 APR 16)

Spirituality of the Readings: What Will We Do? (Sixth Sunday of Easter C)

Let the Scriptures Speak: Spirit-Led Decision-Making (Sixth Sunday of Easter C)

The Word Embodied: Necessary Things (Sixth Sunday of Easter C)

Historical Cultural Context: The Paraclete (Sixth Sunday of Easter C)

Thoughts from the Early Church: Commentary by Bernard of Clairvaux (Sixth Sunday of Easter C)

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the blessing of our work and for the many ways in which Your grace works in and through us as we do the work You call us to do.

Msgr. Pope on God Sculpting Us into the Persons He Created Us to Be

"Michelangelo was asked how he could make a beautiful sculpture like his 'Moses' out of a block of marble. His famous response was that he simply chipped away everything that wasn’t 'Moses.'

"This is a paradigm for us in two senses.

"First, the Lord must chip away everything within us that is not Jesus. Yes, everything that is not of the Lord must go. St. Paul said, 'I live; no not I, Christ lives in me' (Gal 2:20). The Lord chips away all in us that is not of Him, so that we may become the image of God in Christ.

"Second, there is also a very personal sense. Not only must we become Christ, but we must authentically become our very selves. We are called to reflect Christ, but the Lord has made each of us individually to reflect something particular about Him in a unique way. You and I therefore must become the man or woman that God made us to be."

In a recent commentary, Monsignor Charles Pope (pastor of Holy Comforter-Saint Cyprian Parish, Washington, DC) reflected on God's sculpting each of us into the person He created us to be.

To access Msgr. Pope's complete post, please visit:

Community in Mission: Chipping Away Everything That Is Not of God or of You - A Meditation on God as Sculptor (28 APR 16)

Reflection Starter from Pope Francis

"Work is proper to the human person and expresses the dignity of being created in the image of God.Pope Francis