Monday, June 29, 2015

The Primordial Sacrament: An Encounter With God

Original Photo from Pixabay.
I recently went on retreat on the seven sacraments, and the retreat master closed his first talk with a fairly cryptic statement, which he didn’t expound upon. He said, “The primordial sacrament is an encounter with God.” This is where I thought his talk really should have begun.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Teaching Generosity

Original Photo from Pixabay. Modified by Shannon Ball.

13th Sunday of Ordinary Time

This Sunday, the second reading will be from 2 Corinthians 8: 7, 9, 13-15, As usual, I am going to suggest that you read more: verses 1-15, and the other readings.

So… what is “this gracious act,” that St. Paul refers to?

Thursday, June 25, 2015

No post today

Hey guys, the reading reflection kind of got away from me this week. We've been super busy planning a birthday party for a certain little girl.

I'll get it up as soon as I can. It will probably be sometime tomorrow at the earliest, or Saturday evening at the latest

Sorry about that!

Monday, June 22, 2015


Everybody is ready to take up their colored pen
and mark up where they think Laudato Si' needs corrections.
This is a wrong attitude.
Original image from Pixabay. Text Added by Shannon Ball
I’d love to know how all of those people who had a statement on Laudato Si’ on the day it was released managed to read and digest a 184-page document in the four and a half hours between the time it was officially released and the time the encyclical was actually posted for public consumption on the Vatican’s website.

There’s no way I could actually digest that amount of theological writing in that amount of time.

Publishing something definitive that quickly is for the people who had their minds made up already.

Friday, June 19, 2015

{7 QT 13} - Diet Updates, a "Small" Announcement, and Insomnia

So... you don't have to have been reading my blog very long to know about my "condition". Nothing serious, just a couple of major diet modification.

There are a few things I've discovered in the process of looking for eligible substitutes, but the most important thing on the list is this:

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Out of Love for Us, God Gave Us a Job to Do

Original photo from Pixabay.

12th Sunday of Ordinary Time

This Sunday, the second reading will be from 2 Corinthians 5:14-17. I would recommend reading verses 11-21, and also the other readings for this week. It's Lectionary # 95, if you're reading from a hard copy.

The first reading and Gospel speak of God’s mastery over the sea. He set their boundaries when he made them, and he can speak a word to calm a mighty storm at sea. Clearly, his power is great, and greater still is his love for us.

Monday, June 15, 2015

It's Hard to be a Dad

In Holly Pierlot’s book A Mother’s Rule of Life, she identifies the five main priorities of a mom’s life, in this order: (1) Prayer, (2) Person (meaning, “self care”), (3) Partner, (4) Parent, (5) Provider.

I think they apply equally to a dad’s life, and in at least one way, I think Dads have things harder than moms, with these priorities.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

At Home in the Lord

This Sunday, the second reading will be from 2 Corinthians 5:6-10. I strongly suggest reading from verse 1, for context, as well as the other readings for this week. It’s lectionary # 92, if you’re reading from a hard copy.

Life is short, right? So short, in fact that Paul describes our bodies, the most permanent things that any of us experience in our lives as a tent - an imminently temporary dwelling. Most of us are accustomed to using tents for… no more than a week at a time, right? So, the analogy of our bodies being like tents is very jarring to us.

Monday, June 8, 2015

I Didn't Start Out With That Great Attitude

You may have caught this on my Quick Takes on Friday, but I’ve recently been diagnosed with a “condition." It not curable, but as far as I know, it is not fatal either. Have a look at that post, it kind of explains the condition.

When I wrote that post, I was contented with the new terms of my healthy existence, and even kind of excited about the diagnosis, but I didn’t start out that way.

No, I had received a voice mail from the doctors office at six on a Friday that we were on vacation, and on Monday I called back at 8AM and spent the morning and part of the afternoon tapping my foot and waiting for them to call back.

Friday, June 5, 2015

{7 QT 12} - Eating with Hashimoto's Disease

So, I was diagnosed this week with Hashimoto's Disease. It's an autoimmune disease (like diabetes) that affects the thyroid. Now, it's not horribly serious; I've evidently had it for a very long time - my thyroid problem has always been caused by this disease, but until now, no doctor has ever thought to check me for antibodies.

According to my sources on the internet and my doctor, there's no "treatment" or "cure" for this, just like there's no cure for diabetes (yet - but I'm sure someone's working on it!)

There are some things you can do to make it better, and I'm starting to work on at least some of it. There's a diet. Apparently, cutting all gluten and (this is the part that stinks...) all dairy really helps most people's thyroid function.

So... here are seven things I've learned about cooking and eating with this disease.

(I'm trying to stay positive about this, so please don't take this as "complaining.")

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Transubstantiation: Prefigured in the Old Testament

  Feast of Corpus Christi

Original photo from Pixabay.
This Sunday, the second reading will be from Hebrews 9:11-15. I’d suggest starting at verse 1, for context, and also reading both of the other readings. It's lectionary #168, if you're reading from a hard copy.

Why do we believe in transubstantiation? Logistically, it seems to cause us nothing but trouble, so why is it theologically so important?

This Sunday, the readings point us to one of the reasons as laid out in the Bible. (To my mind, a case based solely on the Last Supper, when Jesus says, “this is my body”, is not a good one, because it doesn’t lay out any evidence that might actually convince a skeptic.)

In John 6, Jesus says, “Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink,” and at the last supper he says of the bread they shared, “this is my body.”

These (or something like them) is what most Catholics quote when challenged on transubstantiation and think that’s the end of it, but it can’t be. It may be enough for someone who already trusts the Church, but when you’re challenged like this, you’re speaking to someone who doesn’t yet have that trust. You need to show them the Church’s work, so that you can help lay a strong foundation of reasons to trust.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Building the Kingdom with Less-than-Ideal Materials

Photo from Pixabay.
So, this weekend, we went on vacation to the Sand Castle Festival in Galveston.

It was a whole world of fun. The weekend included Pitter patter’s very first trip to the beach. She found the waves really captivating, and she kept running into them without any trepidation whatsoever. And she kept trying to drink the water, much to our chagrin.

But the real highlight of the trip was going to watch the early stages of building on Saturday morning (we couldn’t stay all day, because Pitter Patter is really miserable in the afternoons if she doesn’t get her nap)… We hoped to return Sunday to see the finished products, but it poured Saturday night.