The Word Among Us

May 2005 Issue


Has any saint received more negative press than Martha? All she did was ask Jesus to tell her sister to help her with the chores, and she ended up being branded as spiritually dull, overly anxious, or even worse, spiteful. After all, Jesus rejected Martha's request and even told her that her own priorities were out of order. More »

So spoke King Claudius as he tried to repent of the murder of his brother. He tried to kneel in prayer, but couldn't feel any sense of comfort or mercy from God. Claudius realized that because he had no intention of confessing to the crime or changing his life, his words were empty and meaningless. Consequently, the weight of his sin kept him bound to earth, with no hope of touching heaven. More »

One night, Peter asked Jesus if he could come and meet him. Jesus looked at Peter and said, "Come." While this seems to be an ordinary request, it was quite extraordinary: Jesus was standing on the waters of the Sea of Galilee during a violent storm. So if Peter wanted to be with Jesus, he too had to walk on the water. And he did! As long as he kept his eyes on Jesus, Peter remained on top of the sea. However, at some point, Peter shifted his focus to the storm around him. You know the rest of the story. More »

Special Feature

As the Carmelite monks chanted psalms in their church across the courtyard, the head cook labored in the monastery kitchen. There, against the background hiss of boiling water and the steady beat of his knife against the chopping block, stood a middle-aged man—a lay brother whose duties prevented him from joining the others in prayer. Some people might have resented being left with stacks of dishes while other monks were praying, but not this fellow. As he saw it, everyday duties were no hindrance to what he identified as "the holiest, most ordinary, and most necessary practice of the spiritual life." More »

My father was a rather quiet person who hid his emotional side with a teasing sense of humor. He taught us charity by example, corrected behavior when necessary, and gave sound advice for making decisions. More »

The story is familiar, yet always gripping. On the afternoon of the Sunday following Jesus' crucifixion, two of his followers are trudging to the village of Emmaus, despondently discussing their Master's death. Sunk in gloom, they fail to recognize the risen Jesus when he joins them on their way. Still, they become riveted as he enters the discussion and explains the meaning of the biblical prophecies about the Messiah. More »