December 16, 2018

Our Pagan Culture and Its Gods V: Bacchus

Bacchus is the Roman god of wine, of abandon, and of freedom from restraint.  (His Greek counterpart is Dionysius.) Traditionally Bacchus was presented as offering wine, music, and ecstatic dance that freed his followers from the limits of daily life.  Is this sounding familiar?
September 1, 2013

Silence Before Mass: A Reminder

(This is a reprint of a column from earlier this year; perhaps it may help you know what to do in the silence.) I’m faced with a pull from two sides: I regularly hear from one group of parishioners that they find the noise of chatter before Mass distracting and […]
June 30, 2013

“Plays Well with Others” for Grownups

In my final column before the summer break, I’d like to suggest some things about loving and serving one another well here in Our Lady of Grace and at home. Here’s my list:
June 23, 2013

Dealing with Gossip – III

Say nothing that does not improve on silence. Here are some more guidelines for making sure that our speech is truly helpful:
June 16, 2013

Dealing with Gossip – II

Once the emperor was coming to visit the monastery, and the monks urged the abbot, a well-known holy person, to honor the emperor’s request for a few words of guidance. The abbot said, “If the emperor is not edified by my silence, he will not benefit from my words.” –From […]
June 9, 2013

Dealing with Gossip – I

What to do about gossip? This question nags at people — in families, in workplaces, and in parishes. In the past I gave some advice in a homily, and people told me that what I said was helpful.
June 2, 2013

Information, Confidences, Gossip

“The biggest myth about communication is that it happens.” — Alan Mulally, CEO, Ford Motor
May 26, 2013

More Thoughts on Silence

In the days following the Boston Marathon bombings I listened to the radio a lot more than I usually do, and I learned something. Not about the bombing, since there was little that was known for the first few days. I learned how our widespread mass-media educate us away from […]
May 19, 2013

Silence Before Mass: A Reminder

I’m faced with a pull from two sides: I regularly hear from one group of parishioners that they find the noise of chatter before Mass distracting and even damaging to their spiritual growth.
May 12, 2013

Two Visions

We’ve got to get ourselves back to the Garden. — Joni Mitchell, “Woodstock” (‘60’s folk song)