While You Still Have Time

It’s the feast of St. John of God today. This is such a great saint to venerate during Lent, because he was full of compassion for the poor, homeless, and sick; and most of the people he served and physically cared for were all three. Essentially, he sought out all of the people that most of us spend our lives avoiding (consciously or unconsciously).

We roll up our windows as we come to the stop light next to the scruffy man with the cardboard sign. When the elderly get to the point that they need help caring for themselves, we move them to “a facility” and rarely visit them. When we encounter people who are ill, our first thought is often whether or not they are contagious, not whether they need help caring for their basic needs or those of their families.

In truth, we live in an individualistic culture that holds self-sufficiency as an ultimate good and ideal state of the human person. Not only do we not run to help those in need (offering many excuses for how they should help themselves), but we keep others at arm’s length when we are going through hard times, have fallen ill, or have reached the point of needing care and assistance ourselves. Continue reading “While You Still Have Time”

Ending and Beginning the Liturgical Year Without Regrets

nov-dec-calendarThat time of year is about to be upon us — the stretch between Halloween and New Year’s that contains a lot of busyness in our society. Right in the middle of this busy time the liturgical Church year comes to an end, and the season of Advent begins a new one. It’s a season with a lot of holidays and feast days, and sometimes (more often than we may want to admit) we come to the end of it exhausted and full of regrets about being so busy and rushed and not having had the time to reflect and prepare ourselves for the Christmas season (which extends at least 3 weeks past Christmas day!).

How can things be different this year? How do we walk through this time of year and these Church seasons with restful and joyful hearts? I have a few thoughts. Continue reading “Ending and Beginning the Liturgical Year Without Regrets”