Today’s find: Abba

Vacation videos: They’re not for the faint of heart. But every once in a while, a real gem emerges—as was the case a few years ago, when my brother-in-law was showing us clips from his trip to the Holy Land.

He had happened upon a playground in Jerusalem, packed with four- and five-year-olds clambering on a jungle gym—many of them, bleating for attention for their feats of derring-do: “Abba! Abba! Abba!” the kids would shout.

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Today’s find: Sparrows

Today’s find: Sparrows…

Yesterday was ‘laundry day’ at our house, and in the late winter months, that means adding an extra step to the dreary routine. Along with sorting, soaping and spin drying, I also have to make a short trip outside—trudging through the snow and mud to remove the duct tape from the dryer vent opening on the exterior of our home.

You see, there’s this sparrow who thinks the dryer vent hose would make a DANDY place for a nest. Continue reading

Today’s find: A good measure…

Today’s find: A good measure…

At Mass this morning, we heard one of my favorite passages from the Gospel according the Luke (6:38):

“Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in turn be measured out to you.”

I love meditating on these words… Continue reading

Today’s find: ‘seeing’ and ‘believing’…

Today’s find: ‘seeing’ and ‘believing’…

I heard an intriguing question at my ACTS team meeting on Saturday morning. As is our custom, the team members were breaking open the word—reflecting on the scripture passages we’d be hearing at Mass on Sunday morning.

The Gospel, in this case, is the familiar account of the transfiguration—this year, Luke’s version (Luke 9). Afterwards, in his reflection, our team’s spiritual companion asked something along these lines: ‘How did the apostles know that it was Moses and Elijah standing on either side of Jesus?’ Continue reading

Today’s find: He also serves who only types…

Today’s find: He also serves who only types…

I learned something intriguing about a dear priest-friend of mine today: Sent to Rome in 1959 for his philosophy and theology studies, he had a ringside seat for Vatican II.

Although I’ve known Fr. Jim Allen, OMI, for more than 40 years (he even concelebrated our wedding), I don’t ever recall him telling that tale. You can find his recollections of those heady days here.

As for myself, I was tickled to read about the summer job he landed in 1963, between the first and second sessions of the Council. Continue reading

Today’s find: Roses…

Today’s find: Roses…

When I started this blog, I had a notion of roses in mind.

I was familiar with St. Thérèse of Lisieux and her shower of roses—sent as signs that our compassionate Father has heard our prayers. Indeed, both my wife Gerri and my daughter Ellen love to tell of the roses they have received when they’ve asked for St. Thérèse’s intercession.

So while I didn’t have a grand plan in mind when I started Steadfast Spirit last week, I figured, ‘What the heck? Launch the site, and maybe the good Lord will send a few roses my way, too.’

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Today’s find: Big sin. REALLY big sin.

Today’s find: Big sin. REALLY big sin.

Now that I’ve got your attention, a disclaimer: I’m not about to let you peek under the hood at my most grievous personal faults—not via the blogosphere, at any rate.

I have a different kettle of “big sin” in mind, stirred up by a couple of biographic notes I’ve encountered over the past couple of days—one profiling Peter Damian and the other featuring Claude Heithaus S.J.

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Today’s find: Court awareness.

Today’s find: Court awareness

My beloved Saint Louis University Billikens won a big game last night—and I had the chance to be among those in the sell-out crowd, thanks to the generosity of one of my best friends in life. As it happens, his seats are directly behind the visiting team’s bench. Most games, that doesn’t matter much…because few of the “away” teams who play the Billikens ever muster much of a crowd.

Last night’s opponent, though, brought a sizeable contingent—several hundred VCU fans, clad in black…and seated right next to us in Section 116. In the basketball scheme-of-things, this game really mattered to them and to us—because at least for now, first place was at stake. And as the game wore on, I was struck by something kind of intriguing.

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Today’s find: The mystery in seeds…

Today’s find: The mystery in seeds…

Seeds are in the news today—soybean seeds. A farmer and a biotechnology giant are tangling over who “owns” the genetically-engineered germplasm in a strain of biotech seeds after the harvest. Or to put the issue another way, can you really patent an item in nature that regenerates on its own?

The legal questions at stake in this dispute are far beyond my pay grade. But I found it intriguing what one lawyer said when asserting the company’s position: “…to suggest that plants just grow themselves is preposterous.”

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