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Living the Christian life has never been easy. In the beginning belief in Jesus was a death sentence. Over the centuries many faithful have faced persecution. Thankfully for us we don’t have such problems, at least not in the States. But one of the challenges we do have in being Christians in our modern world is making sure that we are the ones influencing the world and not making the mistake of allowing the world influence us. The Parable of the Sower is a perfect example of this.
Author, speaker, and radio host Jon Leonetti recently invited me on to his morning show for a brief discussion about my conversion to Catholicism and to ask me about our non-profit The ROCK Association.
I was baptized as an adult. Many people don’t remember their baptisms, because they were only days or weeks old at the time. In my case, I remember being dressed in white, walking down the aisle, standing at the front of the Church overcome with nervousness. Of course, I was excited, but being the center of attention—all eyes on me—was very distracting. The priest was a large man, much larger in stature than I, and seemed like a giant towering over me. Yet as he scooped up the water from the baptismal font and poured it time after time over my forehead proclaiming boldly “Ricky, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” in my mind I was waiting for something miraculous to happen. And although at the time I didn’t feel it or hear it or even sense it, in hindsight I know that something miraculous did happen that day.
As you know I’m a big proponent of marriage as it has been seen traditionally for thousands of years. I believe that the family is also an essential part of society and the Church. Without the family, society crumbles. Without the family, the Church dies. That is why these are two very important institutions that I think people don’t fully understand.
I’m feeling down today. I woke up to 23 new messages from a good friend of mine. His name is Father Switbert Mujuni. We’ve only been acquainted for about a year and a half, but I consider him one of my most intimate friends. Father Swit is the pastor of a poor parish in a rural area of Tanzania called Bumai.
Every moment of every day is an opportunity for blessing. Each encounter wherever it occur is an opportunity for grace. You and I are meant to be channels, instruments through which the blessings of God pour out into the lives of others. Yet, so often we let fear get in the way, we prevent those blessings from ever occurring for the tiniest of fears.
Our reflections on the Last Supper usually focus on the table. We talk about the bread and the cup and the institution of the Eucharist. But in the Gospel of John we hear a different take on this gathering, namely, the washing of the disciples' feet. Tonight I realized something rather profound about this simple act of humility that I had never before considered—Jesus washed Judas' feet at t...
I'm not big on jewelry, but one thing you might notice about me is that I always wear a crucifix around my neck. It is not a cross, but a crucifix. There is a reason for that. In fact, I want to share three reasons why I wear a crucifix.
Catholic priests don't always have the reputation of setting the pulpit on fire with their preaching. In fact, many Catholics would complain about their pastor not being a good preacher at all. This is certainly unfortunate in a time when so many people are searching for purpose, encouragement, and truth.
Earlier this week the topic of friendship came up in one of my other posts, then today the first reading at Mass from the book of Sirach brought me back to reflect on friendship, what it is, why we need it, and how it's part of God's plan for our own spiritual well-being.
The world looks at suffering in a negative light, as misfortune. But as Christians we should be able to see the bright side of suffering and how its purpose is to purify our souls and bring us back to God if we've strayed or closer to Him otherwise.
Although Pope Francis has come up with the term "missionary disciples" in his latest exhortation, it isn't necessarily a new idea although it is important that we be reminded of it. For we are called not only to follow Jesus, but also to change the world, to proclaim the good news, to bring about the kingdom. But what exactly does that all mean?
Do you have friends and family members who have left the Church, have turned their backs on God, and want nothing to do with their faith?
I do. And I’m sure you do too. So how do you get this message across to someone who doesn’t want to hear it? How do you share your faith with people in a way that will lead them to life change?