choices

34 posts

“Awake, O Sleeper! Arise from Your Sleep!”and “Get On Board, Little Children, There’s Room For Many A’more”

On this Holy Saturday, as we wait in silence by the tomb of our Lord, it can be difficult to understand that Jesus is actually still going about the work of His Father today. In fact, I would argue that the work He is “doing” today is just as important as the work He did leading up to His Passion and death–the work of bringing about the redemption of everyone. Yes, that’s right. Everyone. Because today, Jesus has “descended into hell.” This ancient homily from the 2nd century explains exactly what the Lord’s Descent into Hell did, as Jesus proclaims […]

Spy Wednesday, Gollum, Judas, and Our Choices

Today is Wednesday of Holy Week, also traditionally known as “Spy Wednesday”, because this is the day that we read the Gospel account of Judas’s betrayal. I also read a brilliant article entitled,“How Judas is the Gollum of the Gospels” written by Philip Kosloski in which he presents a great case that Gollum represents the disciple, Judas, in the great fantasy epic, The Lord of the Rings, written by J.R.R. Tolkien. Thinking further about the comparison of Gollum and Judas, I soberly realized that I can be a lot like Gollum, pursuing “my precious” (be it a promotion, a degree, […]

Pivot Into The Arms of God (Or the Easy Way to Still Experience God’s Love and Mercy this Lenten Season)

We stand at the advent of Passiontide–that often forgotten, but intense time that occurs just prior to the beginning of Holy Week. In some churches, all the statues and crucifixes are covered, and the absence of these signs make our worship space seem even more barren and forsaken. But that’s actually the point. Passiontide is about stripping away anything, even good things like a crucifix, that might prevent us from being open to entering into the darkness and hopelessness and abandonment of the Way of the Cross. And the Way of the Cross is becoming more apparent with each passing […]

Why Can’t We Just Stick To Our Lenten Resolutions?

We are now a week into the Lenten season, I am frequently hearing from those around me, “I just can’t seem to stick to my Lenten resolutions.” I can easily identify with this frustration since I have often struggled with this issue myself in the past, but I wasn’t quite sure exactly why that was. My insight about this began to come about as I read an article entitled, “Why is it So Hard to Stick to Good Habits?” by James Clear, author of the book, Atomic Habits. In this article, he talks about how we tend to want to do life-changing things, but we […]

Setting Aside Our False Idols

The Gospel for the First Sunday of Lent is always the story of Jesus going out into the desert for 40 days and being tempted by Satan. Saint John Chrysostom tells us that Jesus never said, or did, anything that was not for our instruction, and the temptations in the desert are no exception. Because in the wilderness, Jesus experiences the very temptations that each one of us faces each and every day–the temptation to make idols out of pleasure, honor, or power. So why did Jesus go into the desert and allow Himself to be tempted? So that we, […]

Oh, No! I Ate Meat On A Friday Of Lent!

Oh, No! I Ate Meat On A Friday of Lent! So did I just ruin my entire Lent? In a word, no. No, your Lent has not been ruined. In fact, I would contend that you have actually been given an opportunity to have an even MORE grace-filled Lent than if you hadn’t eaten meat on a Friday. How so? Will get back to this in a moment. First though, we need to do an interior check on whether we actually forgot about not eating meat on a Friday of Lent, or whether we intentionally chose to “forget.” If your […]

Immediate and Delayed Gratification for Lent and Beyond

Was reading an article today entitled “The Evolution of Anxiety: Why We Worry and What to Do About It.” by James Clear, author of the book, Atomic Habits. Why am I highlighting an article concerned primarily with behavioral psychology and stress management? Because yesterday marked the beginning of the season of Lent for most of the Christian world. (I say most because my fellow Orthodox do not begin Lent for another week. But I digress…) So what does Lent have to do with stress? Well, the image above might give you a clue. Lent is FULL of things that we […]

Proclaim A Year Acceptable To The Lord

Today, the Gospel is the story of Jesus in His hometown of Nazareth, reading from the prophet, Isaiah, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.” And then Jesus responds by proclaiming “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”    For me, this passage is almost a no-brainer. Like, duh, of course this passage is being fulfilled. This is Jesus! By this time in […]

First Things First

Merry Christmas! (And yes, it is STILL Christmas!) I hope this finds you still rejoicing in the great gift of Him who humbled Himself to become like us as a babe in the manger at Bethlehem! My post today is an outgrowth of my spiritual mentorship ministry work, and the great need that I have seen for people to come to know and understand and embrace that the reality that God loves us so deeply, passionately and profoundly, that He desires nothing more than to love us, and to that end, He invites us to enter into life with, in […]

Family Is Our School of Love

Today was spent in quiet reflection as I prepared to make my promises to become a member of the AVI (Apostles of Interior Life) Family. In the midst of quiet time in Adoration with Jesus, all of us who were gathered together were encouraged to reflect upon not only the promises that we would be making, but even more so, to reflect upon what does it mean to be family? One of the AVI Family members shared some wisdom given by Dr Greg and Lisa Popcak, national speakers on issues of marriage and family, in which the Popcaks suggest that […]