If you are looking for my blog titled, The Contemplative Catholic Convert, you are at the right spot.

Sunday, August 27, 2017


You’ll find the two juxtaposed in the 14th chapter of Mark’s gospel.

The first is the unnamed woman who anointed Jesus’ head with a vial of perfume worth a lot of money.

When some angrily criticized her, Jesus rebuked them: “Leave her alone,” He said. “Why do you bother her? She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for the burial.” (14:3-8).  Then He added, “Wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her.”

The second is Judas. Immediately after the Lord’s comment, Judas went off to the chief priests – and got a lot of money to betray Him to them.

Two people, side by side in the text. Wherever the gospel story is read or told – we learn about each one.

And if we’re listening, we’ll hear the Holy Spirit ask us, “Which of the two do you want to imitate?” 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

A Word About Death

Have you lost someone to death? Here is a word of encouragement straight from the mouth of God – encouragement to all those who have lost loves ones in Christ:

1 Thessalonians 4:13 “We do not want you to be unaware, brothers, about those who have fallen asleep, so that you may not grieve like the rest, who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose, so too will God, through Jesus, bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15 Indeed, we tell you this, on the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will surely not precede those who have fallen asleep.”

16 “For the Lord himself, with a word of command, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God, will come down from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore, console one another with these words.”

Yes, yes, yes. As God is always faithful to His promises, we can surely BE comforted – and we can comfort one another – about the eternal destiny of those we love and who have died in Christ.

We need never, ever grieve like those who do not have the right to such a confidence in God’s promise.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Not So Hard to Understand

At times, I wonder if the book of Revelation is difficult for some to understand because they choose to reject the idea that God is not only “Love,” but also of judgment and wrath. It is as if they cling unknowingly to the Marcion heresy.

But for those who acknowledge judgment and wrath as also part of God's character, the Book of Revelation, despite its symbolism, is not difficult to decipher – certainly not its central message.

Indeed, if the central message of Revelation was hard to understand then Jesus’ warning in 1:3 makes no sense: "Blessed is the one who reads aloud and blessed are those who listen to this prophetic message and heed what is written in it, for the appointed time is near.” Neither does His warning in 22:7: “Behold, I am coming soon.” Blessed is the one who keeps the prophetic message of this book.”

God would not command us to heed or keep something we cannot understand.

However, when we acknowledge that God’s patience has its limits, and that He will indeed judge His creation at a final and eternally definitive judgment, then the central message of Revelation takes on a very weighty exhortation:

Everyone on planet earth must meet Jesus as either the Lamb of God who takes away their sin, or they will meet him as He warns in chapter 19 of the book:

11 "Then I saw the heavens opened, and there was a white horse; its rider was called “Faithful and True.” He judges and wages war in righteousness. 12 His eyes were like a fiery flame, and on his head were many diadems. He had a name inscribed that no one knows except himself. 13 He wore a cloak that had been dipped in blood, and his name was called the Word of God. . . . "

15 "Out of his mouth came a sharp sword to strike the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod, and he himself will tread out in the wine press the wine of the fury and wrath of God the almighty. 16 He has a name written on his cloak and on his thigh, “King of kings and Lord of lords.”

17 "Then I saw an angel standing on the sun. He cried out in a loud voice to all the birds flying high overhead, “Come here. Gather for God’s great feast, 18 to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of military officers, and the flesh of warriors, the flesh of horses and of their riders, and the flesh of all, free and slave, small and great.”

Symbolism aside, the message is not shrouded in mystery.

Please do not ignore God’s requirement to repentance and conversion, and to a life of obedience toward God who would rather be your gentle Savior than your wrathful Judge.