Daily Thoughts

It is strange when I think of freedom to choose, it does not make me free at all. It is what I choose that makes me free. What makes me free is what is true. I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Choose carefully! There are consequences with every choice we make.

To those who are tearing down statues, with whom will you replace them? How about the Golden Calf?

The Good News of Salvation is not complex at all. What is complex is trying to sustain it in the context of Original Sin (hatred, violence, detraction, jealousy, envy, factions, lying, falsehood). The laws of humans are good but are so much tinkling brass when compared to the laws of God. Divine law always trumps human law. Every day, we fight the forces of darkness and evil both inside us and outside us. Peace, that which only comes from Christ, is the light of the World that gives us Love as its product.

This is a photo of my daughter’s dog, Teddy. He is a cavapoo (part King Charles Cavalier Spaniel and part Poodle). We share so many wonderful attributes with our pets. What makes us different from our pets (having two cats, I am not sure any of this applies to them)? We share intelligence, although one is animal intelligence and one human intelligence. Teddy, or any other living creature, can’t ask the simple question of “Why is this so?” We, humans, have a self-awareness that comes from reason. We have the ability to go against the natural law by our ability to good or evil. For those who have chosen to be signed by the cross at Baptism, we go against what the World says is good and choose the will of God for our center. That has implications in both physical and mental behaviors as well as assumptions in our spiritual well being. One such assumption is that of contemplation. Moving from self to God demands work. We must try to become what we are not originally born with, i.e., to be adopted sons and daughters of the Father. Chapter 4 of the Rule of St. Benedict has become a favorite of mine to recite each day in the hopes of becoming what I read.

What three words did God want humans to know as they begin to love Him? Don’t be afraid! Like a mother who cradles her child next to her breast, the Father wraps us in a mantel of Faith, the adoption of being heirs of the Kingdom of Heaven. His is the Life. That same mother and father would not give their children scorpions to eat, but feed them the food that will nourish them. The Son give each of us of his Real Body and Blood to sustain us against the World and the Devil (Eucharist and Penance). Christ is the Way. A mother and father guard their children from falsehood and evil. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth.

Whomever seeks to be the greatest among you must serve all. The Kingdom of Heaven is not the physical universe. We use the physical universe as a platform for life. Why is that? Only humans, of all living things, knows that it knows. Why is that? When we look out at reality (the physical and mental universes) we notice that humans are not like other living species. We know about species but they don’t know about us in the same way. Why is that? The physical universe of matter, time, energy, and space is what we look at to find meaning. The mental universe allows us to develop languages to look back in time and create languages that explain what is (mathematics, physics, chemistry, medicine, and logic). The Kingdom of Heaven has its own language, the one God uses. We have seventy to eighty years to figure out what that is and to practice living it. The language of God is the opposite of what the World says is meaningful. God told us about it in the Old Testament and show us how to do it in the New Testament with Christ (Philippians 2:5). Read that first sentence again. If you use the language of science and logic, you won’t discover the language of God. Contemplative prayer is one way to enter into a conversation with God where God does all the talking and you listen with the “ear of the heart” as St. Benedict says in his Rule: Prologue. Our Faith is about loving God with all your heart, mind and strength and loving your neighbor as yourself.

If you were to write God a letter like some do to Santa Claus at Christmas, what would be the address you would put down? How about a telephone number? Think about this one:

  • God
  • % The Only Begotten Son
  • One Heavenly Gate Estates
  • Kingdom of Heaven 00000-000

Telephone: 42694626

Most of the people with whom I have had a conversation about the infallibility of the Holy Father when speaking, “ex cathedra” on faith and moral, make their statements infallibly.

Anyone who thinks that taking up their cross every day is easy may find they have been carrying the wrong cross.

Mud thrown is ground lost. –Proverbs

Why was Scripture written? St. John tells us in 20:30-31. New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE) “The Purpose of This Book30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. 31 But these are written so that you may come to believe[a] that Jesus is the Messiah,[b] the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.

Christ did not write anything (except in the dirt in Matthew 8) John 8 NRSVCE – The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery; and making her stand before all of them, they said to him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They said this to test him, so that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once again he bent down and wrote on the ground.[a] When they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the elders; and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10 Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, sir.”[b] And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.”

Is there a difference between meditation and contemplation? Depends! Depends on what? Depends on who is defining the two. I take my meaning from Lectio Divina (oratio, meditatio, oratio, and contemplatio). Meditation is reflection on the meaning and ramifications of words. (mental ) Contemplation is moving to the ear of the heart and listening profoundly. There is no preconceived agenda. It is the presence of one heart to another, one being to another Being.

Where will you be in one hundred years? Dead? Alive? If you don’t know the answer to this or where to find out what I mean, you have a problem. The answer is right in front of you, but you have to know how to see what you cannot see and hear what you cannot hear. Do you have those skills? Easter is a time to reaffirm that you not only know the answer to that question but recommit yourself to the one with not only the questions, but also the answers.

Do not judge other Christians as to their motives. Flee from being the mouthpiece of God, telling people what to believe. Faith comes from God; belief is our assent to that Faith. St. Thomas Aquinas, O.P. grounds us in reality by exclaiming, “I believe, help my unbelief.” Humility and obedience to God’s will on earth is a daily task.

The confluence of information leads to a proliferation of knowledge. This deluge is like trying to take a drink of water from a fire hydrant. The World is flush with facts but weak and inexperienced on what they mean against the purpose of life. The modern Babel is our inability as a race to agree that we don’t know what we don’t know. This is the classic Genesis principle–humans with reason alone can’t assimilate pure energy, pure knowledge, pure love, pure service that comes from God. Christ is our transformer to translate God into symbols and language that humans can begin to understand (although through a glass darkly). Faith alone is the perspective that makes sense out of the darkness, the inconsistencies, the seeming paradoxes of being an adopted son or daughter of the Father. We are so blessed to be able to call the Father Abba.

How much does it cost to go to Heaven? Every THING you got.

Can the rich get to Heaven? Actually, only the rich get to Heaven, but it must be God’s riches, not your’s. So, what are God’s riches?

Some people think that, with Baptism, you are off the hook for salvation and just need to show up at the Gates of Heaven to get a “get in free” pass. This is the conveyor belt approach to contemplation. Using this thinking, everything depends on God and nothing depends on you. Parts of this are true and parts are not. Faith alone saves each of us from ourselves but to struggle to have in us the mind of Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:5). Faith has many parts, many levels of complexity. For example, what is greater than Faith?

As a Professed Lay Cistercian of Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Monastery (Trappist), I marvel at how much I don’t know and how far I need to go to “have in me the mind of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 2:5) Once you get the purpose of life correct (Deuteronomy 6:5), then you must work EACH DAY to keep yourself focused. You are a pilgrim in a foreign land (The World) and what is meaningful is in the Kingdom of Heaven (The Spirit). There is always dissonance when you live in the World between what is right and what is convenient. The choices we make define and inform our very center, what makes us human. Jesus said to “Come to me all you who are weary and I will refresh you.” Our response is the part that is always lacking. I am grateful for the opportunity to open myself to the energy of God to come into this poor, broken-down, Temple of the Holy Spirit and give me peace. Peace from Christ is not that I will be without conflict, but that I will possess the Love of Christ, which is beyond all telling. Joy is the result of love, not it’s antecedent.

Valentine’s Day in the World is all about giving sweets to the sweets in your life. Valentine’s Day in the Spirit is all about sacrificing yourself for someone else (Christ) because of love.


When you go to Church, there are two kinds of Catholics, those who believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist and those who don’t. Which are you? One gives life, one is meaningless.

In Baptism, we use an external sign (water) to signify that God has accepted us as his adopted sons and daughters and heirs to his kingdom. In Confirmation, we use an external sign (belief) to signify that we accept God in our hearts to be the center of our life. In Eucharist, we are fed the bread of life, and drink the cup of salvation to proclaim the death of the Lord until He comes again in glory.  In Reconciliation, we acknowledge that we have strayed from our center (Christ), ask mercy and resolve to sin no more with God’s grace. In Matrimony, the Church celebrates the covenant of two persons in faith and love and the propagation of our species. In Holy Orders, the Church celebrates the sacrifice of the Lamb of God by preparing priests of the Order of Melchizedek, and the propagation of Faith to its members. In Healing, we prepare our bodies to receive the Holy Spirit to restore resonance to the dissonance of our lives and to prepare to meet God in Heaven with love, through purified minds and hearts.

One of the greatest diseases is to be nobody to anybody. –Mother Teresa

The greatest need of our time is to clean out the enormous mass of mental and emotional rubbish that clutters our minds. –Thomas Merton

In a world of noise, confusion and conflict it is necessary that there be places of silence, inner discipline and peace. In such places love can blossom. –Thomas Merton

In Silence God ceases to be an object and becomes an experience.– Thomas Merton

Nothing has ever been said about God that hasn’t already been said better by the wind in the pine trees.–Thomas Merton

Peace is not the absence of conflict. It is the presence of love. –Michael F. Conrad

When you think of silence, think of it as God’s language, the language of love.  St. Thomas Aquinas says that, even with revelation from God, we humans are still not quite able to know who God is. Look at the window with the cup in it. You are the cup. What does it contain? The window is foggy but you can make out something the other side. Soon, all of us will see God face to face. How well we see Him depends on what is in our cup. Heaven is God’s playground and we must use his rules to play there. 

Peace is not the absence of conflict but the presence of love.  –Michael F. Conrad

You have heard the saying, “Mean what you say?”  My advice for contemplative thinking is “Mean what you pray.”

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that, just because Christ has mercy on all those who ask, that you are entitled to do whatever you want. In this way, God fits into your plans. This is the classic deceit of Adam and Eve, one that seduced them. Christ tells the woman caught in the act of adultery (one wonders what those men were doing watching her have intercourse) to go and sin no more. Did you get that? 

When your Faith in the Lord Jesus is a way of life, as those who practice monasticism and it Lay counterpoint, you don’t have to keep seeking God piecemeal in snatches of your day. Your whole day is prayer, from the beginning Morning Offering, to Night Prayers (Compline), that your gift to the Father through Christ, enabled by the Holy Spirit. 

Using the sign of contradiction, the concept of resignation to the will of God means that you must pray as though everything depends on God but work as though everything depends on you. It does not mean letting God do the work for you. Take up your cross daily and follow Christ. Is your cross made of balsawood? If so, you have the wrong cross.

When you make a profession of Faith as a Catholic Universal member using the Roman Rite, you eventually end up in two categories: a Baptismal Catholic or a Eucharist Catholic. (Remember this is just my thinking).

The Baptismal Catholic goes to Church on Sunday to worship God.

The Eucharist Catholic goes to Church on Sunday to workshop the Father through the Son and is the Church to all around him or her.

The Bapismal Catholic believes in some of the tenants of the Faith that are convenient and don’t demand sacrifice.

The Eucharist Catholic believes in the real presence of Christ in Eucharistic longs to be present to 

Moving from your false self to God means:

  • Read Galatians 5 and how to move from self indulgence (false self) to what the Spirit brings (God)
  • To the seven corporal works of mercy from the seven deadly sins.

Moving from my false self to my new self in Christ demands knowing what is good for me verses what makes me less of a human.

When speaking of the fruits of the Spirit, also called good works, you can only have three types of works: good works that come from the Spirit, bad works which come from the World, and no works, which don’t come from anything. Which do you do?  Which works will get you to Heaven.  Read Matthew 25:36.  

If fame and fortune have found a dwelling place in your life and you taste the fruits of a life of delights without the mention of God, then you die, then what?  What does it profit you if you gain the whole world but miss the purpose of life? What is the purpose of life?  When you stand before the Throne of the Lamb to give an accounting of your stewardship, that is one of the questions you must answer (Faith). What are the other two? Hint: it has to do with loving others as Christ loves you (Love); and the third? How did you do (Good Works)? Faith saves you, not good works, but Faith without good works is dead (James). 

When you get to the level of spiritual awareness that allows you to love Christ so much that you miss Him when you don’t pray the Liturgy of the Hours, complete a Lectio Divina, or be one with Him in the Eucharist or Euchristic Adoration, you are beginning to know how Christ felt about how he missed being with the Father in his humanity, even as He is One with Him in his divinity. 

Here is a prayer written by Thomas Merton (Father Mary Louis, O.C.S.O.)

 “My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does, in fact, please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always, though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”

Once, there were two men who both became teachers. One of them used to tutor slow learners after school for learning disabilities. He did so for twenty years. The other man also taught slow learners after school, but did so because Christ told him to love other as Christ loved him. Which of these people will go to heaven? 

Just because your road is rocky, doesn’t mean you are on the wrong road.  –mfc

Belief in the Real Presence of Christ is the test of Faith. For those with Faith, no answer is necessary, for those without Faith, no answer is possible.

If you can’t take it to Heaven with you, why mess with it?

One of the characteristics of love is the constant longing to be with the one you love. Do you have this feeling about Christ? If not, why not? 

Do you mean what you pray?  Sometimes that takes effort and focus. If your spiritual attention span is less than one minute, you need practice.  

Do you remember the late Sen Ted Kennedy and Sen. Alan Simpson, (R-Wyoming) debate in the early 1990s?  The era of civility in politics is out the door. Respect for the office of President is lacking among lawmakers. Oh, did you look up the latest approval rating for Congress. You won’t believe it. It is for sure that Congress does not believe it, or just doesn’t care.

Just like in the time of Moses, how quick are believers to abandon their beliefs for the Golden Calf of an easy god made in their image and likeness. I am reminded of the crisis in the Church (when was there not one) in the saying of St. Thomas More. “You wouldn’t abandon ship in a storm just because you couldn’t control the winds.” ~ Thomas More

Slow down your prayers (Eucharist, Rosary, Liturgy of the Hours, and reading Scripture) in order to grasp their meaning.

When you think about morality (behaviors that help you be a human being or hinder you), a big part of sin means you hurt someone else. There are two ways to look at morality: from the viewpoint of the World which says do what makes you happy; or, God’s counsel to us which says if you do these things you will not fulfill your destiny as a human being. Let me bring up some scenarios and you determine who gets hurt.

  • Adultery
  • Abortion
  • Alcoholism (Erich Fromm’s category)
  • Drugs (Erich Fromm’s category) 
  • Orgiastic State (Erich Fromm’s category)

Erich Fromm’s book, The Art of Loving, says that we must learn how to love; it does not come automatic. The three categories above (bolded) he says are short term fixes we use to make us happy but they have consequences that prevent us from being fulfilled. 

When you think love, don’t automatically think of the physical act of procreation, that is physical love. There is mental love and spiritual love towards which we all must travel, if we are to discover meaning.

There is a very thin line between animality and rationality. Humans have crossed over it (Adam and Eve did it first) but we still feel its pull even today.  This collective consciousness we term Original Sin. Likewise, there is also a very thin line between rationality and spirituality; once humans step over it (a voluntary act in keep with our freedom to choose), the rules are the opposite of what the World says is meaningful. For example: the word “Peace” as intrepreted by the World is the absence of strife or conflict; in the the Spiritual Universe (the Kingdom of Heaven), “Peace” means the presence of love. “Love” is not what the Word thinks it is (sex, physical love, respect, profound knowledge, and caring for a person — all good in themselves), but what Christ showed us (all the above plus the energy of God loving us fiercely and asking us only to love others as Christ loves us). We must die to self to rise to new life. We must put away our old, false self to rise to our new self in Christ. We must follow the Way, the Truth, and the Life, to the best of our ability.

If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.  –Invitatory for Liturgy of the Hours

Mud thrown is ground lost.  –Proverbs

Just because your road is rocky doesn’t mean you are on the wrong road. –Michael F. Conrad, Ed.D.

Scripture is not wrong as much as those who interpret it are. –mfc

Thank God humans are not God. None of us would ever have mercy from that self-made god.  –mfc

A friend of mine told me he does not like to get to religious but just a little. He said too many people he knows go overboard and do Church-speak and talk in riddles. He likes his religion simple and straightforward.  There is something to be said for simplicity of focus and balance between spirituality and the World. 

Custos oculos (Custody of the Eyes). I remember, back in 1954, when I was an impressionable young teenager, learning about wandering eyes at prayer. Monks, at least at that time, were cautioned to keep their eyes lowered upon the ground, unless greeting someone. It was a discipline that was to help focus on Christ and keep the mind from wandering with irrelevant thoughts. After awhile, I did not even consciously know that my eyes were averted from looking up. Of course, as seminarians, our awareness was far less than that of the monks. I still think back to praying and aversion of the eyes. It actually worked, after some time.

When you read Chapter 4 of the Rule of St. Benedict, don’t be seduced into thinking that these tools are the end product of your prayer. They are only means to an end (have in you the mind of Christ Jesus) {Philippians 2:5} and not the end itself. If all you do is say the words, your reward is saying the words. 

Although not always the case, how we approach God is a lot like how we approach others (at least it is in my life). When we are angry with God, we avoid Him. When I am happy with God, all is right between me and God. When I asked God for something and did not get it, I am grumpy at God. When we doubt or disbelieve God’s will for us, we can be belligerent and even hate-filled.

A cautionary tale. When you become hysteric over a single issue in spirituality or theology, it is usually due to misinformation or making assumptions about something someone else says that is partly true and partly not, it is disruptive to love and peace that you both give and receive from Christ. As St. Benedict says in his Chapter 4, “Your way of acting should be different from the world’s way; the love of Christ must come before all else. You are not to act in anger nor nurse a grudge. Rid your heart of all deceit.” Easy to say for us, but hard to do.


Begin each day by offering your day, whatever that may be to the praise of the Father through, with and in Christ in union with the Holy Spirit. 

In John 1:1, in the beginning was the Word, in Philippians 2:5, the Word becomes flesh, in John 13:34, Christ gives his followers one command, to love one another as he has loved them. The only command the Church has is to love one another, but as Christ has loved us. It not only takes a lifetime for us to do that, but it also takes the lifetime of the Church. Church Universal is all those who have gone before us with the sign of Faith, those still struggling to love while on earth, and those awaiting purification. http://www.usccb.org/bible/john/13


Do you know at least some of the answers to these questions? 

  • If you reduce Christianity to one sentence, what would it be?
  • Jesus gave us only one command, which is?
  • Is there anything greater than Faith? If so, what?
  • Why do some people lose their Faith (my description) even if their heritage is one of strong belief in Christ?  
  • Can God allow people to enter Heaven even if the Scriptures says they can’t? Can you name some who fit that description?
  • What was the name of Jesus’ dog?
  • When you look around at Catholics who are not faithful to their commitment to Christ (Pope, Cardinals, bishops, priests, deacons, religious, men and women consecrated to Christ, married couples, single Catholics, youth, teens, senior citizens, women, men) and you see that the Church members are corrupt and you caluminate and detract against them without knowing the circumstances, do you forget to place yourself in that group? You should. 
  • Are you merciful to others as you would have Christ be merciful to you?
  • Do you judge others will be going to Hell because they are not Baptized or non-believers or not like you?  
  • Do you think you can do commit any sin and “sin bravely” because God forgives all sin? Do you think there is reparation for the sins we have committed? 
  • When you go to Church do you think people are hyptcrites because you know them and they are just putting on aires so people will see them, while you are there to worship?

When you make choices as to what is good or bad for you, you must measure your choices against something. I hold there are two centers you use to determine what is true. Either you use yourself or God (classic Adam and Eve in Genesis 2-3). If you are your own center, and each person or individual is the center of their morality, then whatever they say or think must be correct just because they thinkit. Who is to tell them otherwise. This is called relativism. The other way is to accept that God is your center. It is a free choice, but the choice is to do what God says is good for you. These choices have consequences.

Be wary of the peudo Biblical manipulators who try to trip you up with obscure phrases and try to prove you have the wrong Jesus. Not only are they naive in their view of Faith, they are usually wrong in their interpretation. I always answer them by saying: Scripture also says, only one commandment do I give you, to love one another as I have loved you. Then, I add, do you do this? The Devil can quote Scripture for his own ends. 

There is basically only one sin (aiming for the bulls eye but missing the whole dart board), and that is choosing what I think is good or bad for me rather than respecting what God thinks is appropriate behavior. No one escapes sin or its effects (pain, doubt, sickness, sin, and death). No pope is above the Law of Christ, nor is any minister or religious leader. 

Seek first the kindgom of heaven and all else will be given to besides.  

The Scriptures (Exodus 20:3 and also Deuteronomy 5:7) state that God tells us we should have no gods but Him.. Here are some funny gods that humans have made in their image and likeness:

  • The Golden Calf (Exodus 32)
  • Baal
  • The Roman Caesars
  • All the Greek and Roman deities
  • …and most insidious of all, each one of us thinks they are their own god and their own church.  

If Christ is irrelevant,  then why do so many people hate what he says.

When Jesus challenges you to take up your cross daily and follow him, is it made of wood or styrofoam? 

Marriages are made by different personalities being able to work together without killing each other. Sometimes one partner must give more to the relationship than at other times. Authentic love, say Erick Fromm, The Art of Loving comes from mutual respect, deep knowledge of the other, being present to one another, sharing meaning with each other and helping the other to reach their potential. Unauthentic love, says Fromm is: orgiastic state (sex for the sake of sex), drugs and addiction, and drink. He call these things temporary pleasures that make you feel good but do not lead to love. 

People can be stuck in a loveless marriage. If you continue to live this type of love it is dark love (one partner at least must give up their identify or values so that the other one does not die). Dark love means sacrificing yourself for a greater good, not present pleaure.

Our Christian heritage does not make sense with the thought processes espoused by the World. It is only when we use the heart that we can sense the presence of the Sacred, informed as it is by our mind. 

For my Lay Cistercian practice, each day is a lifetime. I get up, feed myself, get rid of my waste, find meaning through work or activity, seek God where I am, pray as I can, when I can, and look back on the value of what I  have done as measured against Chapter 4 of the RB (Rule of Benedict). Life is a succession of those NOW moments linked together by loving others as Christ has loved me.

As Christ was presented to God in the Temple, he was both presenter and the one to whom He was presented. As Christ lay upon the cross in a crucifixion death, he was both the sacrifice and the one to whom He sacrificed. The Mystery of Faith uses not only human intelligence and the experiences of the Church down through time to catch a glimmer of the truth, but also the collective Faith of those believers who have gone before us marked with the sign of the cross. 

In 6/19, Anthony Davis, NBA basketball player from the New Orleans Saints, was just traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, for three Lakers players and three 1st round draft picks plus a number 4 pick in the current draft. If you just discovered that Christ was really present in the Eucharist, body and blood, soul and divinity, what would you be willing to give up to be with that person as an adopted son or daughter?

Love is what makes the world go around, not money (as Joel Grey and Liza Minnelli sing in Cabaret. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBtn2NQ5k58 Yet, God loved us so much that he gave his Only-Begotten Son to be our savior. That Son loved us so much that he emptied Himself to take on our human nature and so exposed himself to the effects of Original Sin (although he was sinless, he became sin for us) even to death on a cross. (Philippians 2:5-12)

Do you know what the Devil looks like? Does he have horns? Is he red and looks like a goat? Temptation figures prominently in Genesis 2-3.  The Devil is portrayed as being a snake. One of my favorite choreography sets by the late Bob Fosse is from the movie, The Little Prince.  Look at it and listen to the sssseduction of the ssssnake and how it explains Genesis 2-3 for me in a way in which I had not imagined before. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXonK8EBqmk

I took the complete series of instructions (including the Alpha program) to be an Anglican. I found the people there wonderful and the Church there looked and smelled very much like the one from which I was trying to leave (Catholic Universal). There was a gradual realization in my mind but more in my heart, that I would have to give up too much of what I considered to be the truth to leave my old Church. I am forever grateful for these wonderful persons of Faith who help me turn back to my heritage and re-cement the cracks I had made in my facade.

Faith makes all the difference between someone who believes that Christ is actually physically, mentally and spiritually present in the Eucharist and in the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and those who just think nice thoughts about Christ. 

Several years back, I had an encounter in one of the bathrooms at Florida Department of Community Affairs (long since dissolved) where a person with infallible certitude told me I was going to Hell because the Bible said so. I asked him where my name was in the Bible. Silence.  I asked him who appointed him God? He said the Holy Spirit told him to said it. I told him the Holy Spirit told me that he does not speak for the Church Universal, only himself, and that only lasts for seventy or eighty years. Be careful of pompous, self-righteous false prophets who believe their own press.

People who fall away from the Church have told me that they don’t think they have fallen away from anything. I suggest that is not a fall that they experienced but drought, severe and debilitating drought.

G. K. Chesterton said: It is not that people have tried God and found him wanting, but more likely that they have never tried him at all.

If there is no room for God in our heart, much less our mind, then God ends up looking and acting very much like us. That is why a God that is outside of us is far more reasonable than one who is within. Grace, God’s gift to us to make us adopted sons and daughters, comes from our choosing to be present to God in whatever way He presents Himself.

Heaven is God’s playground, not your’s. The rules are His, not your’s. The power is His, not your’s. What is authentic depends on Him, not you. There is no Two in Heaven. God is One with three distinct persons. God is love in Heaven. God is Being. God is. Maybe that is why Our Lord taught us to pray in the Our Father, …Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Are you, at least in the teeniest way, doing God’s will and not your own right now? Right now?

Don’t be so quick to judge others, as to whether they fit your definition of going to Heaven. You will be judged by the mercy you show to others. You are not God, nor are you God’s mouthpiece for judgement. 

Heresy is the official designation from the Church Universal that some teaching or part of someone’s thinking contains past assumptions that are not consistent with what Christ taught the Apostles. 

Scripture was not written as your personal guide to prove this or that thinking you have about God, nor is it a way to beat people over the head who don’t agree with your personal interpretation about what God said (who made you God?). It SHOWS us how to love others as Christ loved us.

John 13:34 New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

34 I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.

Stay away from playing God games. John 20:30-21 tells us why Scriptures were written down. Keep it simple and resist Satan’s seduction to play god. 


If you think about it, the controversy in the Catholic Church Universal (which one?) cause many people to leave the practice of their Faith. They do so because the Church is corrupt in their opinion. It is. They do so because the Church is not quick enough to respond to injustice. It is never quick enough. Like FEMA after a Hurricane, they can never be there quick enough or do enough to help people. It is full of people who are sinful. It is most definitely that. The problem is, if you kick out all the sinful people from all the churches just because they are imperfect and sinful, all you would have left, in the whole history of the human race, is Jesus and his mother. And by the way, who made you God? 

The Scriptures can be used to anyone’s advantage, even the Devil, so quoting Scripture to justify your position that you are correct is a temptation that may lead to pride. Humility is the realization that each person has an interpretation about Scripture, but that the collective heritage of what the Church Universal has held throughout the centuries forward from Christ to our time, is the fiery crucible against which we measure our individual interpretation. 

I have noticed that people use Scriptures in two ways (you might have more than two). First, they can use Scriptures to justify their belief, prove others are wrong, show how superior they are, or how dumb you are and how smart they are. Pride drives this type of thinking. The Devil uses this subtle way of using God’s own Scriptures to pervert the user. The second way is found in John 20:30-31.

John 20:30-31 New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

The Purpose of This Book

30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. 31 But these are written so that you may come to believe[a] that Jesus is the Messiah,[b] the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.

Humility is needed to use this second way to read Scriptures. Obedience to God’s will is needed to do what He tells you, be it through the written word, or the person designated to be Christ for the Church. Remember, the temptation here is to think that reading Scripture alone can justify you and make you superior to others. Quite the opposite is true. Christ, not Scriptures, properly understood, is the way, the truth and the life. Love of others as Christ loves us is the only command Christ gave us. Move from your false self to your true self in silence, solitude and with humility and obedience to what God wills, not what you will. 

Faith is God sharing his power so that you can share that love with others so they, in turn,  can love God with all their hearts, minds, and strength and their neighbor as themselves. (Deuteronomy 6:5 and Matthew 22:37)

Contemplation helps you to calm down when confronting the ultimate reality, your own death. This is existential anxiety, feeling strange in the pit of your stomach when you think about your death and what your life has meant to this point. It is best confronted head on, like Jesus did in the desert when the Devil led him into the desert to be tempted. Jesus no doubt experienced anxiety because he was like us in all things, but sin. 

Standing in line for a cup of Starbucks coffee, a person in line noticed the St. Benedict medal I was wearing, having just come from Mass at Good Shepherd Church, Tallahassee, Florida. She remarked that she thought it was nice that I believed in something, but that she did not believe in any organized religion. I asked her if she believed in any unorganized religion. Brief encounters produce brief results. If your Christ loved you for as long as you stood in line for a cup of coffee, would that be worth the struggle to convert your life to have in you the mind of Christ Jesus? Christ is today, tomorrow and forever and so His love endures Forever.

Animals don’t have human intelligence nor free will. They are hostage to the forces of nature. Humans can go against nature. Humans are hostage to their intelligence and free will. They can think that everything they do is correct. After all, it makes them happy. The spiritual person is not hostage to free will because they try to do God’s will as given and shown to us by Christ. Lent is a time to refect on the big picture. Ask yourself: Am I god? Am I my own church? Is my center in life me or God?  

Lent can be a time of giving up jelly beans and watermelon or it can be a time of penance and conversion of heart to prepare for the Resurrection of Christ once again.  

If you begin your day with the Morning Offering (60 seconds) nothing you do that day is a failure. 

When abberations (sin) becomes the rule, then there is dissonance in your spirit. Conversion of life is about seeking God in daily living through silence, solitude, prayer, work, and community.  This is resonance.

If you look up New Advent.com, under the nature of God, there is an interesting concept. It says that the theological thinking of the West (those who think that the more we know, the more real something is) tended to focus on One God first, then each of the distinct persons, whereas those in the Eastern heritage (those who think that mystery is the preferred way to look at the Sacred, and the more something is mysterious, the more real it is) tend to focus on the three distinct persons and their being One God is second.  The writings of the Sacred Writers commenting on Scripture and the Life of Christ have different approaches, both valid. 

BEFORE YOU LEAVE THE CHURCH BECAUSE IT IS CORRUPT, CONSIDER WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A HUMAN. While in Starbucks one day last month, a friend of mine asked me a question which I find intriguing. She said, “Have you ever considered joining my Church since the Roman Catholic Church is corrupt in its clergy and administration?”  I thought for just a quick moment and told her, “Tell you what. I will leave the Catholic Church because some of its priests committed horrible crimes and covered them up, but you must also do something for me.” What is that?” she said. I told her, “You must then leave the human race because some of its people commit horrible crimes of incest, adultery, fornication, murder, stealing, calumny, detraction, drukenness and drug abuse and these victims lack justice. Do this and I will leave the Catholic Church.”  “Of course not,” she said. “Neither will I leave the core of my belief because some of those who profess it have abused it,” I said.  Our conversation turned to how she thought President Trump was immoral and a failure as a President.  

The core reality in all sin is wanting to be god.

Does joy come before you love someone, or is it the result of a series of activities which you transform from just everyday experiences to truly extraordinary moments of the heart?

Do you perform reparation for your sins? Sin has consequences. Ask Adam and Eve. To make up or restore what we have lost by our sins, we must do penance or actions that remake us in the image and likeness of God. Advent is a time of penance. Penance is not just praying or doing works of charity, although it is that, but the conversion of the heart to the heart of Christ through humility and obedience to God’s will.

What you place at your center is your god, so be careful what you put there.

You are only born once. You can only die once. You are only Baptized once. You can receive the Holy Spirit daily. You can make all things new in Christ daily. You can take up your cross daily. You only go to Heaven once.

The thing about invisibility is you can’t see it. Do you SEE with the eyes of your heart or listen with the ear of your heart (Prologue, St. Benedict’s Rule). Do you live in a two universe reality (physical and mental universes) or a three universe reality (physical, mental and spiritual)?

It is wonderful to behold the face of the Lord.

Sin is an abberation in the life force, the lack of conformity to the principles of life that endure and sustain us in our journey to Forever. One thing about sin, it is not the opposite of grace, it is the abberation or misuse of grace, how not to fulfill ourselves as humans, how not to act if we are indeed adopted sons and daughters of the Father. Sin is the exception not the rule.

If it is true, as Erich Fromm postulates in his book, The Art of Loving, that we must learn how to love, then it is also true that we must learn how to love others as Christ loves us. Cistercian practices and charisms help me to do that in the context of silence and solitude. How about you?

There are three dimensions of reality. One is creation, one is the Resurrection and one is the Mystery of Faith with Christ present to the Father in each age. The Father is Lord of Creation, Christ is the Lord of Redepmtion, and the Holy Spirit is Lord of Enlightenment and Faith. The Universal Church participates in each of these three sources of energy to make Christ real for each age through Faith. Faith is a gift from God, God’s own energy, belief is from humans, our energy to be adopted sons and daughters of the Father.

Can you answer these three questions? 1. What is the speed of light? 2. What is the speed of enlightenment? 3. What is the speed of love? Well, these are three realities that permeate where we are going in Heaven. How do they fit? Do you know?

One thing about Faith. If you got it, you don’t have to make a big fuss about it, when someone says you don’t have it.

Belief is not the same as Faith. Faith comes from God, belief comes from humans. Belief may or may not be true; Faith is the way, the truth, and the life. Belief is diverse; Faith is One, as One Faith, One Lord, One Baptism. Be careful.

If your Church is easy to leave, if it doesn’t meet your standards, it is probably not the one founded by Christ.

Let me ask you something. You are military, put in over twenty years of service (thank you) to our country, have been totally immersed in your military career. All of a sudden, you are a civilian, no military, to struucture, to colleagues, different assumptions about what is meaningful, no chain of command. On what do you now stand? What is the North on your compass? What is your purpose in life?
Do you know? I do, and have what I consider the foundations on which anything you do, any direction you go, you will always be able to know North on your map of life.

Why is it that the most essential things in life always seem like the most boring? When you go to Heaven, if you go, all there will be is to glorify God…Foever. Isn’t that boring? No Kardashians! No Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible! No James Bond! No Harry Potter! No kidding!

In the confusion of our age over what is true, what is just, what is meaningful, one person can’t make a difference, do you think? Jesus did.

It is very difficult to go from traveling 100 miles an hour when you work to 1 mile an hour after you retire. The transition is sometimes more than a person can bear. Look into Cistercian spirituality as a Lay Cistercian. http://www.trappist.net/about/lay-cistercian

his one comes from a novel by Dorothy L. Sayers.

There was an old man of Khartoum
Who kept two black sheep in his room
“They remind me,” he said,
“Of some friends who are dead;
But I cannot remember of whom.”

Retirement is a time to gather all your treasures and pack your bag for the trip…to Forever.

On earth, we are successful if we do something important, in Heaven, we are succcessful if we accept our inheritance as sons and daughters of the Father, and are important.

The recent report of clergy abuse in Pennsylvania should have brought the Church there to its knees. If they had been on their knees all along, one wonders what the outcome might have been. That in all things, may God be glorified. –St. Benedict
The earth is God’s playground and you are a guest while you live where you learn the rules and practice how to play them later in Heaven. Heaven is our destiny. The more we know how to play in this playground, the more we can enjoy the next life. Life is about knowing, loving and serving God in this lifetime so that we can be happy in the next. (Baltimore Catechism, question six)

Today, when you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

INSTAGRAM FROM THE EDGE OF TIME: I just viewed a science program that said that the earth will no longer be here in 3 billion of so years. The program said the challenge foo humans is to find a way to go to other worlds that can sustain us. So far, we have found no candidates fitting that description, 3 billion years or not. So how can a God that is good and loving abandon us to oblivion? Doesn’t make sense. Actually, it makes perfect sense, if you think like God and not like the World teaches. The World says humans live seventy or eight years, then die. They need atmosphere (combination of oxygen and other gases) for us to survive. We won’t live long enough for space travel, but several generations might do it. We are prone to asteroids, rocks in space, cosmic rays, heat, radiation, in any journey we might make to another planet. We can’t land on stars. The odds don’t look good, according to cosmologists who study these things.

Let me offer you another scenario. God loved us so much that he wants us to be with him. He even adopted us as His sons and daughters and prepared a place for us where we can live comfortably as humans.
All he asks is that we learn how to love one another with the love that Christ had for us. Philippians 2:5-12. This is fierce love transcending matter and time, in the physical sense.
Our space ship to get to heaven is to die, but not just death as the World thinks of it. While on earth we are ask to die to self so that we can rise to new life. This is the Resurrection to new life with Christ. We are transported to a new world, one that has awaiting us since the beginning of time.
A world that does not exist in a way that we can comprehend time and matter but one in which there is only love and one consistent with our human senses and experiences. We know what that love is because Christ loved us with that same love. Our destiny as humans is not the earth (the name for Adam was dirt or earth) but to be with God forever.
So, we actually do have a way to get off of this earth, one that does not depend on physical universe or even the mental one (death is the end). The spiritual universe is there for us to prepare to pack our bags for what is to come.
St. Paul says we can’t imagine the good what is waiting for us in Heaven. Being a Lay Cistercian gives me the map, the suitcase, what I can pack for the trip to forever.
There are other suitcases out there, but only one destination, one way to travel, one truth about forever, one life to lead beginning now and culminating in fulfilling our destiny as a human.
We are spiritual apes, destined to love God with all our heart, all our mind, and all our strength and our neighbor as ourselves…Forever.
This is the good news of salvation.
This is the joy that comes from realizing the scope of what God has prepared for us since before the beginning of time and matter.
This is why, as St. Augustine says, our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee.
This is why the Church Universal exists, to help us make the trip to Forever.
So here you are, just died and standing before the Throne of the Father and the Lamb, and he asks ” Do not be afraid. What have you packed in your suitcase. Did you love others as Christ loved you,?  “Did you see me on earth?” Read Matthew 25:31-46.  If you used your reason and tried to love with all your heart, your mind and your strength and your neighbor as yourself, God will say, “Good and Faithful Servant, come share your Lord’s joy.” If He does not say that, well, you got what you wished for.

DUALITY OF LIFE: Scripture points us to a duality of life when it says, no one can love two Masters.Luke 16:13 “No slave can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” This either/or points to one of the crossroads of belief and the implication is, you must choose one. Choosing is of significance here. If your center is Christ, you have selected a tough but kind Master. He tells us, take up your cross daily and follow my example to love each other as I have loved you. If your spirituality is easy, you probably are not carrying your cross (crosses are very heavy), and you might be serving that other Master (yourself). Temptation comes in when we must constantly choose Christ over and over. No one time is good. Each day we are tempted to choose another Master. Christ tells us, my grace is sufficient. If your Christianity is like cotton candy (tastes good but there is no nourishment for the spirit), you have chosen the wrong Master.

DUALITY OF LIFE: Those who do not have Faith from God see a light at the end of the tunnel of life but it is only a flashlight with two Duracel batteries in it. Those who have Faith from God (grace) and see a light at the end of their tunnel of life, either because they need a neart transplant or have cancer, find out the light comes not from this life at all, but from the Light of Christ in Heaven, leaving the light on for us.
DUALITY OF LIFE: You have essentially two choices in life. One is choosing you as center of the universe with all that it implies (i.e., you are god, you make uo all the rules, no one can tell you what to do with your body, do what makes you happy, you have to be faithful to who you think you are, love is what you say it is) or God is the center (covenant relationship, Resurrection of Christ, Philippians 2:5, you must deny yourself, take up your cross daily and follow Christ, Christ is the only gateway to the Father, the Holy Spirit continues life, love others as Christ has loved you). All choices are the choice of Adam and Eve– they are god or God is God. All sin has an element of idolatry in it, in that we make outselves as the center of the universe verses doing God’s will as manifested through the Faith of the Church Universal.

The three rules of the spiritual universe are: The Rule of Threes, The Rule of Rovolving Centers, and the Rule of Opposites. Science has Laws governing matter and energy. Spirituality has Rules, but these Rules comes from God, not humans. The Rule of Threes: To be fulfilled as a human being, you must live in all three universes (physical, mental, and spiritual). The Rule of Revolving Centers (Original Sin) means you will be tempted to choose between good and evil your whole life on earth; The Rule of Opposites means, once you choose to enter the spiritual universe, everything is the opposite of what the World teaches. You are a pilgrim in a foreign land until you get to Heaven.

The one place you are afraid to look is the one place where you will find rest for your soul and peace for the anxiety of your heart. In the holy of holies of your innermost self. Christ is there. Contemplation, using silence and solitude, is the doorway to your inner self. You sit on a bench on a cold, cold day and wait for Christ to come by. It is the anticipation that is your prayer, not your words or thoughts. Love is the force that drives you out in the cold (Original Sin) to hope Christ comes by. Your waiting is a prayer, your hope to see Him is your prayer, your faith is our prayer. Blessed are those who wait for the Lord and hope in his arrival in their hearts.

When you calumniate and detract from others, your own integrity goes down the drain with the one you grasped so tightly.

I am not you; you are not me; God is not you, and you, most certainly, are not God. –mfc

I can’t stand Natonal News of any type these days. It is too hate-filled. News used to be journalism now it is just sensationalism that sells. The President is not respected by both Democrats and Republicans. One thing about respect, if you pull someone down, you lose respect yourself. Mud thrown is ground lost. What both political parties are doing to the American electorate is far worse than what Russia is alledged to have done to our elections. (I wonder who will be the Special Council to look into what our Country has done to the elections in other countries. Double standard? Triple standard?) Journalism becomes so predictable. I can tell what the news is before any publication. I know exactly what the Democrat platform is–whatever President Trump is for, we are against. That violates my intelligence. Republicans are not for President Trump but tolerate him. That violates my sense of participation and compromise–needed when you legislate.  I watch sports channels like First Things First and The Herd with Colin Cowherd, National Geographic, and History Channel.  I am even beginning to enjoy The World Cup.

Idolatry is the number one sin to which humans fall victim by Satan. It is the primal, archetypal sin of Adam and Eve and the root of all sins we commit. Modern idolatry says:

  • My body is mine to control and no one can tell me what to do with it.
  • I have the right to take my own life, if I want.
  • Stealing is okay, as long as you don’t get caught.
  • It’s just sex.
  • You people have a guilt hang up with sex.
  • Living together by two consenting adults s natural.
  • I don’t believe what I cannot see.
  • I determine what is right and wrong for me.


All sin has consequences. Adam and Eve has consequences to their Original Sin. We have consequences to the sins we commit. Granted, we don’t go about committing adultery, murder and offering incense to idols, the three big offenses that cut you off from the Body of Christ, but we do sin when we don’t love others as Christ loved us. We are the archer that misses the mark, the dart thrower that can’t hit the bulls eye, the driver who loses the road map and gets lost in the back roads of thinking he or she is God. Reparation for past sins is something I practice. There is an order of Carmelite nuns who live at the former consentation camp at Dachau whose purpose if to make reparation to God for the sins of humanity in killing all those people.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhDmUgHxzaE

Do you ask the right question, when you ask God to heal you of your physical or mental infirmity, then you don’t get better? Are you expecting that God does your will or do you do God’s will? What is the right question?

How many times should you pray before you get your prayers answered? If you pray ten times a day is that better than a prayer from the heart? Does praying make you holy or are you holy because you lift up your heart and mind to God?

Faith is not the same as belief. Faith is when God adopts you as son or daughter. Belief is when you acceept adoption. No one deserves adoption.

The practice of conversion from self to God means you must practice daily. No free lunch. Read Matthew 25:31-49. What do you practice? Eucharist is food; Reconciliation is making all things new; doing means loving Jesus as He loved us. Read Chapter 4 of the Rule of St. Benedict each day and you may become what you read. I hope that I do.

You have had a successful career in the military or government service or as a health care professional and you retire. Now what? What is your next milestone? What does it profit a man, if he should gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his soul?  What is the worth of your life in the grand design? There are seven questions that you must answer before you die. Everyone must answer them. No exceptions. Some don’t even know what the questions are. Do you? I do.

We know what love is because Christ loves us. (Phil 2:5-12).

Want to know the secrets of the gods? How about the secret of Jesus? It is this: there are no secrets. Jesus says: I have revealed to you all that my Father has revealed to me. So, what have you done with the secrets you have received from Jesus?

Just because your road is rocky, doesn’t mean you are on the wrong road.  –mfc

When you see this goldfish bowl, are you the fish looking out, or the person outside looking in?

Christ left us just one command: love one another as I have loved you.  How ironic that this seemingly innocuous statement contains all that we need to get to Heaven. Like so many other statements from Christ, there are layers upon layers of meaning hidden beneath the surface, waiting to be teased out by curious minds and hearts over a lifetime.  –mfc

When you die, stand before God, your Creator, and wait for your particular judgement before entering Heaven, there is no line with those who are bishops and clergy at the beginning, and we sinners in the rear. The line is a  horizontal one one not a vertical  one. Each person will be called by name to answer for what they have done or not done. Matthew 25::31. There is but one command Jesus us: love one another as I have loved you. Of course, everything is packed into that one drop of Faith, much like a black hole contains super ,ultra-dense matter.

Baptism is not just about your acceptance of God, but of God’s adoption of you as an heir of the Kingdom.  –mfc

A friend once asked me to explain the difference between a clergyman and a layman. I told him, the clergyman is told where to go by the bishop, whereas the layman can tell the bishop where to go.  mfc

You are not me; I am not you; God is not you, and you, most certainly are not God.  –mfc

Blessed are they who hear the word of God and keep it.

When you are more obsessed with how many times you read the bible more than hearing the Word of God and keeping it, you have the hyprocrite’s itch.  -mfc

Some people take more care of their car with tune-ups and change of tires than they do with their relationship with God. Doing nothing for a relationship, any relationship, will not sustain it. If you fell away from the Church, don’t blame it on God or the Church.  –mfc

If you are what you eat, then what are you if you hate God?  –mfc

Mud thrown is ground lost. –Proverbs

If you read Scriptures and say something is true and your brother reads the same Scriptures but says it means something entirely different, who is correct? Is truth what you say it is? Is truth what your brother says it is? Is there one truth or many truths? Who is to say? This is the big problem of relativism that permeates secular thinking and keeps us from discovering God as He is, but only as we make him in our image and likeness. Each individual is a church, each individual is a pope,, each person is the Holy Spirit, each person is god. (small g) What a mess we have gotten outselves into. There is a way out, but only one way.  –mfc

If you want to be the disciple of Christ, you must deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Him.  What does that mean? If you deny yourself, can you still be human? If you take up your cross, what cross is that? Following Christ can be hazardous to your tendencies to be god. –mfc

Today, September 29, 2017 is the Feast Day of St. Michael, my namesake.  I was baptized into the faith of the Body of Christ on September 29, 1940 at 12:00 p.m. at St. Francis Xavier Church, Vincennes, Indiana.  I did not and still do not choose Christ as much as He has chosen me to be an adopted Son. Praise the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, both now and forever; the God Who Is, Who Was, and Who is to Come at the end of the ages.  Amen and Amen.

Contemplation is your heart at rest in the presence of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It is the summit of spirituality and the most difficult of spiritual attainments (because you only approach it, you never attain it).  It is worth a lifetime of trying. –mfc

When disrespecting the symbol of our collective sacrifice for freedom becomes more important than respecting it, time to worry seriously about the future of our country.   -mfc

If God were to give you one gift, one that would provide everything you need, what would that be? I know what I think it is.  -mfc

It is important to keep a balance when talking about God or contemplative practice.  If you talk about God exclusively, you may fall into the trap of thinking that what you think is what God thinks.  Adam and Eve had that problem.. –mfc

The number one offense against God is, as it always has been, thinking that you are god, the First Commandment, the sin of Adam and Eve, the reasons why God’s wrath is kindled against humans in this age.  It does not look good for us unless we repent of our collective sin. Have mercy on us! –mfc

Treat each day as a lifetime, where you explore truth, discover the mystery of meaning and fulfill your purpose in life. –mfc

Have you ever noticed that everything in life that is meaningful is free? –mfc

?Start the day, each day, with a short prayer to God, setting up the day so that God’s will an not yours be done.  Twenty seconds means a lot, if done consistently. –mfc

What does it mean to be holy? -mfc

Who prays for you, when you are working or can’t pray?  There are people who do that as their life’s purpose. They are called religious and clergy.  In communities that follow various rules of their order, these men and women recite the Divine Office at least five times a day. They offer it for you, as part of the living body of Christ on earth. Here are some ways that people practice their faith.

http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/seil/index.htm                                         https://usfranciscans.org                                                       https://www.mississippiabbey.org/About-Us

As a member of the living Body of Christ on earth (the other parts being those saints in Heaven and those awaiting their purification), there are those who pray for the Church Universal, that we might love God with our whole hearts and minds and our neighbor as ourselves. (Deuteronomy 6 and Matthew 22:34)


Watch what you say! If you belong to the company of the saints, when you use any words, you must make sure that you use the definitions God uses and not those of the world, and your own.  You are a pilgrim in a foreign land with a foreign language, if Christ has accepted you as adopted son or daughter.  –mfc

What does “Seek first the kingdom of heaven and all else will be given to you” mean? Spirituality is more than just a way of thinking about Jesus but more about acting as He would have us do. Christ came to SHOW us how to act in such a way that we can live in the kingdom of heaven. Read John 20:30-31. –mfc

There are three universes (physical, mental and spiritual). The spiritual universe has two levels. Here on earth, and in Heaven. Our purpose is to discover the spiritual universe on earth and be happy with God in Heaven.  mfc

Humans need two basic things to survive. food and water. How does Jesus use both food and water to sustain us in the spiritual universe? -mfc

Mud thrown is ground lost. –Proverbs

The grass is greener on the other side of the fense because there is more manure over there.  mfc

We have reason for a reason.  mfc

In contemplative prayer, wordiness is weariness.  mfc

What is faith? Reflections of a broken-down, old Temple of the Holy Spirit.

Do you have it?  How do you know? Is faith just for individuals, as in, “I believe in Jesus, Son of God, Savior?” Are there multiple dimensions of faith, such as faith of the collegium of believers past, now, and awaiting purification? Why could not even Jesus work miracles in some places because of their lack of faith? Not all religions have the same view of faith. Which one is correct? Does heritage play any part in faith? Is there anything more important than faith? If so, what.  What part does faith play in your daily living as you seek God?

Let me suggest that we create together a fictional every-person called Doc. Doc represents what the world thinks is true and finds meaningful. When Doc hears the word “faith” as in “you must have faith to love God with all your mind, your heart, and your strength”, what does he hear? (Deuteronomy 6) We throw these words around with such abandon that we often forget that “faith” has a different meaning for those who have faith and those who do not. Is faith just fidelity?

To make things more complicated, “faith” even means different things to people of faith. When I was swimming at Premier gym in Tallahassee, I struck up a conversation with a retired Protestant minister. I was talking about how I had just come from an hour of Eucharistic Adoration at the chapel. He told me that he could not adore a piece of stale bread and did not believe in Transubstantiation (the Real Presence of Christ under the appearance of bread). Sincerity aside, I quoted him the words of St. Thomas Aquinas, “For those who have faith, no explanation is necessary. For those who do not have faith, no answer is possible.”  Truth is one.

Think about it.  Pray about it. Contemplate it.

That in all things, God is glorified. –St. Benedict


How full is your cup of God?  Like a cup of coffee, you have to brew the contents and make it. It may be too weak, or too strong (Starbucks). Only you can make it just right, with much practice. That is like contemplation. If you don’t fill your cup with God, you will have nothing to drink. Faith, like coffee, gets cold, stale and you can even have an empty cup. Contemplation and Cistercian spiritual practices are some ways to keep your coffee brisk and flavorful. –mfc

There are two ways to look at reality. One is with the assumption that you are the center, the Lord of  all you can see; the other is with the assumption that God is the center of all you can see and not see. One of these will get you to heaven.  mfc

Once you are authentically spiritual, you are a pilgrim in a foreign land. mfc

Render to Science that which is scientific and to God everything else.  mfc

The problem with invisibility is you can’t see it.  -Michael F. Conrad, Ed.D.

You are not me; I am not you. God is not you; you, most certainly, are not God. –mfc

Just because your road is rocky doesn’t mean you are on the wrong road.  — Michael F. Conrad, Ed.D.

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