To Experience Charity is to Know God

10-29-2023Weekly Reflection© LPi Fr. John Muir

In our secularized culture, we all struggle with belief in God, at least to some degree. An atheist man named Robert Bridges once wrote to his friend, the Jesuit poet Gerard Manley Hopkins, asking how he could possibly learn to believe in God. Hopkins pithily responded: “Give alms.” Would that help someone tempted by atheism today, like you and me?


He is Lord of All

10-22-2023Weekly Reflection© LPi Fr. John Muir

With little more than a year until the United States’ national elections, I find myself feeling, like many Catholics, both dread and energized. Dread, because our democratic republic can be a messy endeavor and campaigns a long, nasty, and unedifying slog; energized, because hope for positive societal change can be enticing and engaging. As a pastor, I see similar conflicting attitudes in those whom I serve. How can Catholics best engage our political arena in a way which is truly helpful and worthwhile?


God's Love Calls Us Relentlessly

10-15-2023Weekly Reflection© LPi Fr. John Muir

I confess that I have a soft spot for the scary things Jesus says because they are usually ignored. But there’s gold in them thar hills, if we have courage to look. This week Jesus gives us a terrifying warning in his parable about the king who gives a marriage feast for his son and promptly goes berserk when people don’t respond. The point: those who do not properly respond to God’s generous invitation will face totally devastating consequences. The invitees who don’t show up get their city burned to the ground. The poor homeless man is tortured for not wearing the correct clothes. Scary indeed.


Seek God's Kingdom Passionately

10-08-2023Weekly Reflection© LPi Fr. John Muir

Jesus’ parables are much stranger than most people realize. This week is an attention-getting example. He tells the religious leaders a parable about a completely absurd situation. Blood-thirsty and insane tenants violently abuse and kill the servants of their landlord. Inexplicably, the owner keeps sending them more victims of increasing value — up to and including his own son. Weird.


Called to do God's Will

10-01-2023Weekly Reflection© LPi Fr. John Muir

A life-long Catholic friend of mine recently mumbled to me, “I can’t stand all these converts to the faith. They’re always rocking the boat.” It surprised me because he is dedicated to evangelization, and yet he struggles with openness to new Catholics. It made me realize how easily I close my heart to those whom I perceive to be outsiders who become new members of the Catholic community. Almost unconsciously I reduce the world to the categories of “us” and “them.” The result is that meaningful community silently shrinks in my life. Don’t we all do that to some degree?