National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Spiritual Reflections

Experiences of God

 | 

When I began studying Scripture years ago, I also began giving some scriptural confessional penances. But I'd always first inquire, "Do you have a Bible?"

If there was any hesitancy in the response, I'd relieve the tension by lightheartedly suggesting, "Maybe, as a birthday gift next year, you could buy yourself a Bible. But in the meantime ..."

CEL_October_20_2013.jpg

Passionate gratitude

 | 

In today's first reading from 2 Kings, we are told of the healing of Naaman, a Syrian commander in the army of his king, Benhadad II. In the Gospel we become acquainted with the uniquely Lucan narrative of the 10 lepers. All were healed, but only one returned to Jesus to offer worship and thanksgiving.

CEL_October_13_2013.jpg

Heart disease

 | 

As I consider today's story about Lazarus, I recall chauffeuring a visitor from our sister parish in El Salvador through Kansas City, Mo. The quiet, the order, the lack of people walking in the neighborhoods were all part of the cultural puzzle he was trying to piece together. But perhaps more than anything, he was astounded at the large homes we passed in a nice area of town.

Fundamental option

 | 

Today's three readings bring up some essential questions of faith: Where are we going with our lives? Do we have a specific direction? If so, does the way we actually live our everyday lives fit into the path we've decided to take?

CEL_Sept222013.jpg

Finding the lost

 | 

Students of Scripture know, in dealing with any biblical text, it's often more important to know the issues being addressed by the author in his or her own time than to know the history of the past events being recalled.

Plan ahead; count the cost

 | 

A first sergeant at a military base on the outskirts of Tokyo was trying to motivate his soldiers to think clearly, plan purposefully and execute their orders with competence. As a visual aid, he hung up a sign in the day room that said: PLAN AHE. Of course, it was supposed to read PLAN AHEAD; for years that sign hung on the wall, serving as an example of one who hadn't.

Embracing humility

 | 

Today, God’s word speaks to us through Sirach and the Lucan Jesus -- and the theme of this word is humility. “Humility” is derived from the Latin word humus or earth; the humble person has his or her feet on the ground. Levelheaded and truthful, those with humility are not the center of their own universe. Rather, they are centered on God and on others.

CEL_Sept012013.jpg

Everything is sacred

 | 

Most of us dread hearing the central words of today’s Hebrews pericope: “Do not disdain the discipline of the Lord or lose heart when reproved by him; for whom the Lord loves, he disciplines, he scourges every [child] he acknowledges. ... At times, all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain, yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who are trained by it.”

Cel08252013.jpg

Real prophets

 | 

Immediately after Paul’s oft-quoted 1 Corinthians 13 pericope on the importance of integrating love into every gift of the Spirit, he encourages his community, “Strive eagerly for the spiritual gifts, above all that you may prophesy” (14:1).

Cel08182013.jpg

Pages

Subscribe to Spiritual Reflections

Laudato-Si_ff3.png

NCR Email Alerts