Hanging Out after Fifteen Years.

An old friend called me today right out of the blue.  I hadn’t heard from him in fifteen years. He and his wife had visited with me when I worked in Southern Mexico among the Zapotecan indigenous in the mountains outside of the city of Oaxaca. It was good to hear his voice again.

We picked up our conversation as if we last talked yesterday and not fifteen years ago. He still has strong ties to Chicago and the archdiocese here. He went on to tell me that he spends time with patients in hospice, just sitting with them and also volunteers at the Newman center at his local college. He and his wife are very active in the Church even now in their senior years. It felt good to hear his voice again as distinctive as a fine wine. He’s aged, too, around eighty but he is just as sharp as ever.

I could have phoned him from time to time during those fifteen years but I never did. Why do I expect people to call me while I do not think to call them? Part of the problem is a silly idea that maybe my call might bother them. If so, I ought to find this out.  If not, I should reconnect.

This surprise call got me to thinking.  Maybe, someone else from my past would like to talk. I’m going to look over my old relationships that have lain fallow and see if anyone wants to hang out again.

 

Pope Francis to Visit Philadelphia in 2015.

Pope Francis will be attending the World Meeting of Families to be held in Philadelphia in September 22-27. It seems fitting that Pope Francis’ first visit to the U.S. will be to the “City of Brotherly Love.” Not “Sin City” nor the “Windy City” but the brotherly city of love.

We could use some fraternal love here in the U.S. I’m using the word “fraternal” but intend to include women in that embrace. As far as I know, there is no word like “sisterly” but there should be and Pope Francis is sure to remind us about this and the essence of love.

From out of the pages of the New Testament, St. Paul stares at the Corinthian Christians –and at us– to remind us that “Love is patient. Love is kind.” In words that seem to echo throughout our country these days, it’s not about you. It’s about someone else, about other people.

If you hope to love, you’d better learn that love requires humility, enough to change dirty diapers. Love allows someone else first place rather than me.   Kindness shown to anyone is genuine love.

Pope Francis will bring the message of Our Lord Jesus Christ and it is going to be a stunning moment for people looking for the meaning of life, the reality of love in the “City of Brotherly Love.”

Pope Francis to Visit Philadelphia in 2015.

Pope Francis will be attending the World Meeting of Families to be held in Philadelphia in September 22-27. It seems fitting that Pope Francis’ first visit to the U.S. will be to the “City of Brotherly Love.” Not “Sin City” nor the “Windy City” but the brotherly city of love.

We could use some fraternal love here in the U.S. I’m using the word “fraternal” but intend to include women in that embrace. As far as I know, there is no word like “sisterly” but there should be and Pope Francis is sure to remind us about this and the essence of love.

From out of the pages of the New Testament, St. Paul stares at the Corinthian Christians –and at us– to remind us that “Love is patient. Love is kind.” In words that seem to echo throughout our country these days, it’s not about you. It’s about someone else, about other people.

If you hope to love, you’d better learn that love requires humility, enough to change dirty diapers. Love allows someone else first place rather than me.   Kindness shown to anyone is genuine love.

Pope Francis will bring the message of Our Lord Jesus Christ and it is going to be a stunning moment for people looking for the meaning of life, the reality of love in the “City of Brotherly Love.”

Baptized in the Spirit of Christ.

Ever heard of being baptized in the Holy spirit?  It’s a  huge belief of some evangelical churches who expect that anyone who says he is Christian must manifest that conversion outwardly.  Being slain in the spirit, speaking in tongues and speaking prophetic utterances are all signs of being baptized in  the Holy Spirit.

John the Baptizer announced that if and when he saw the spirit of God descend in the form of a dove on a man, then he would be in the presence of the messiah.  After the flood, Noah caught the dove that returned with an olive branch in its beak , a symbol of hope. That dove of peace would return, John proclaimed: “I baptize you with water.  One is coming who will baptize you with water and the Holy Spirit.

 
A Cross for a Christian ,New Mellory Abbey, IowaA Cross for a Christian ,New Mellory Abbey, Iowa
 
A Cross for a Christian ,New Mellory Abbey, Iowa

The Hebrew word meaning dove has the same root as the given name, “Jonah.”  Jonah, the prophet, experienced the sea engulfing him as the great fish opened his mouth and carried Jonah into the maw of darkness. When, three days later, the fish spewed him into the sunny shore of the Holy Land, Jonah had undergone a baptism by water and the Holy Spirit.  Jonah then preached in Nineveh with such a power that the entire country repented of sin and were saved. He was a dove who brought salvation to an entire people.

As we grow in our Catholic Faith, we become more aware of the power in us first given at our baptisms.  By faith in Jesus Christ we were baptized. By Faith we live.  If we allow the Holy Spirit to act in us, we become more like our Savior.  Our daily lives not only change for the better but our witness becomes a powerful call to lead others to the Savior .