A few weeks ago, on a blazing-hot afternoon, I ventured to a local arts and crafts store. It was a Saturday and the store was crowded with shoppers.
Watching the videos of the hordes of people protesting in Venezuela, braving water cannons and rubber bullets, risking death or imprisonment for speaking out against a repressive government, the rallying cry comes back to me again and again: Freedom isn’t free.
Standing there before the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, we waited to pass through a small, very low entryway known as “the Humble Door.”
It had been a long, hot afternoon with visits to nearly a dozen parishes. By the time I pulled up in front of St. Stephen Byzantine Cathedral in North Phoenix, I was thirsty, tired and a bit discouraged.
There were maybe a dozen or so of us in the Bible study group, seated on comfortable chairs, a candle flickering on the table in the center of the room as we discussed a chapter of Acts.
Hope is a concept we can speak about blithely until everything falls apart. It’s when troubles abound that we find out how much we need the unshakeable hope that’s rooted in Christ and His triumph over sin and death.
Years ago I met a man from the former Soviet Union who had grown up in a family of atheists. He was living with his girlfriend when I first got to know him, but a few weeks later, he had moved out.
They finished praying the Rosary and then started in on the singing of hymns. We sat there in the little mission church, waiting for Mass to begin. But would it?
Ah, January. From sales on treadmills and exercise equipment to late-night commercials hawking weight-loss schemes, the country, it seems, is determined to get in shape after indulging in too many Christmas cookies.
I’ve been blessed to write for The Catholic Sun since 2002, and last year, I was asked to write for a small community newspaper. Many of my articles have had a Christian focus to them and recently, I approached the owner of the publication about establishing a special section in the paper devoted to local churches (something newspapers used to do once upon a time.)