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Book of the Month: Schola Caritatis: Learning the Rhythms of God's Amazing Love

  Starting a new feature for the next several months called Book of the Month.  I will present one of my books and tell you a little of the ...

Thursday, November 25, 2021


“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in every circumstance, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Gratitude is not a feeling, it is a choice.  It is a way of seeing, and then a way of being.  It is a way of looking at life that recognizes that everything is a gift.  It is a way of trusting that even in the most challenging of circumstances there is something to be grateful for.  God is still at work.  That’s why Paul reminds us to “give thanks in all circumstances.”  In fact, that is God’s will for us in Christ Jesus.  God’s will is not for us to complain and ask “why” and get frustrated and angry about the things in this life that we can’t control, it is an invitation to find him and his goodness in the midst of them.

Unfortunately, that is not always easy to do.  Sometimes we let our circumstances get the best of us.  Sometimes we let our circumstances turn us into the worst possible version of ourselves: frustrated, angry, and entitled.  In fact, one of the biggest enemies of gratitude is entitlement.  Entitlement does not see everything as a gift that should be received, but as a right that must be possessed and defended, which, seemingly, makes loving each other an impossibility.

So let’s choose gratitude instead of entitlement.  Let’s make each day an opportunity for joy and thanksgiving, because joy is the fruit of gratitude.  As a wise saint once said, “Gratitude makes the heart great.”  So let’s make each day great.

Give us, O Lord, a heart of gratitude, rather than a spirit of entitlement.  Help us to see that all of life is a gift to be received and not a right to be possessed and defended.  Amen.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 13, 2021

keep watch

My guess is that one of the main reasons the angels came to the lowly shepherds was because they were the ones “keeping watch.” (Luke 2:8-15) It was an art they were well-practiced in; such an integral part of their everyday lives.

Keeping watch is so important in the spiritual life.  Yet, it is not as easy as it seems.  Oftentimes, our expectations of what we will see, or how, where, or when we will see it, get in the way.  We are busy looking for one thing, when God is doing another.  We are expecting him to make a grand entrance, when he is trying to sneak in the back door.  He is often more quiet and hidden and subtle than we give him credit for.

I mean, who in their right mind would expect God to come into his world as a baby?  Yet that’s exactly what he did.  So if we are trying to “keep watch” over these next days or weeks or months, we might do well to look for God to come in the ways we least expect.

Teach us, O Lord, to keep watch for your coming.  For you are likely to come in a way that we least suspect.  Amen.

Saturday, November 6, 2021

the fruit of humility

oh humility
do your
good work
in me

set me free
from self
and teach me
how to love

Friday, November 5, 2021


rise above

is not the
way of jesus
but stoop below

freedom comes
from forgetting
about self

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

not shaken

“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.  He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.” (Psalm 62:5-6)

I am continually amazed at how fragile my sense of well-being and identity can be.  The least little comment, or lack thereof, can throw me into a bit of a spin.  How I long for a greater durability, a rootedness that is not dependent on mood, whim, or circumstance.

That’s where the words of this ancient prayer are such a great companion.  They remind me that if I am easily shaken, it is most likely because my soul is not resting in God alone.  And, thus, they re-center me and allow me to set my feet, once again, on the rock of his unfailing love.