Towards a Radical Forgiveness

Chapter Talks

“If your brother or sister sins against you…” (Mt 18:15): what are we to do? This is the theme for this Sunday’s Eucharist. All three readings circle around this theme. On the surface, the response about what to do may appear simple…It is not. Here in the gospel narrative the nascent Church is attempting to establish a paradigm for followers of Jesus. We all form and are part of the body of Christ…and this includes those who sin, or even when we sin…No matter, sinners or not, we are still part of this one living body of forgiveness and love. The epistle from Romans I would suggest is the key to unveiling the approach Jesus is asking. What we ‘owe’ to one another is nothing but ‘love’: “Love does no evil to the neighbor, hence, love is the fulfillment of the law” (Rm 13:10). ‘Love’ in this context contains other virtues such as mercy, compassion, humility….

September 06, 2020 Read More

Our Daily Crosses - Large and Small

Chapter Talks

Pope Francis was drawn to this epitaph of Saint Ignatius: “‘Not to be confined to what is greater, but to be concerned with what is smaller: this is divine’” (The Mind of Pope Francis, p.10). Pope Francis commented on this epitaph: “’We could translate it this way: without turning away from that which is higher, we must bend down to pick up what is apparently small in the service of God; or while remaining attentive to what is farther away, we must worry about what is closer’” (p.10). What is this saying to us? There is a tension in this epitaph between the ‘greater’ and the ‘smaller’. Held in the tension of these two opposites is potential life…the larger goal we are to keep our heart’s eye upon, while doing the daily work of the ‘small’, which as St. Ignatius says, is divine.

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August 30, 2020 Read More

The Interior Eye

Chapter Talks

What is the ‘interior eye’? In the gospels of Matthew and Luke we have this pithy saying by Jesus: “The lamp of the body is the eye. It follows if your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light” (Mt 6:23). What is a ‘sound’, healthy eye? In what follows I will be quoting St. Bernard on this saying of Jesus. On Precepts and Dispensation Bernard writes: “I believe two things are necessary for the interior eye to be truly simple; that is, charity in the intention and truth in the choice” (XIV, 36, p.133). ‘Charity in the intention and truth in the choice’: St. Bernard’s statement on the ‘interior eye’ should cause us to pause. Have we really grasped the utter necessity and importance of the interior eye that observes all that is going on within the heart and soul? How essential this is for monastic life and for any life seeking God, seeking truth and justice, seeking to love even our enemies. Bernard connects the ‘interior eye’ that radiates light with simplicity, meaning integrity, clarity, purity. With the simplicity or integrity of the interior eye, one has charity in intention and truth in choice…love and truth partner to make the interior eye sound…

August 23, 2020 Read More

Do Not Be Afraid

Chapter Talks

Once again for this Sunday’s Eucharist we have very rich readings. In the gospel (Mt 14:22-33), Jesus leaves his disciples after the feeding of the multitudes and goes off to pray. The disciples, meanwhile, get in the boat and head for the opposite shore, without Jesus. Very quickly a storm erupts with strong winds. Jesus later starts out towards them walking on the water and they become fearful before this sight. Seeing their fear, Jesus says: ‘Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.’

August 09, 2020 Read More

In Search of God

Chapter Talks

God’s gifts of love and grace are abundant….To put it stronger: they never stop flowing…and most often they come gratis, that is without us doing anything…but do we ‘have eyes to see and ears to hear’

August 02, 2020 Read More
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