March 25, 2023

Schizophrenia is regarded as a tragic personality condition that makes it practically impossible for human thriving.  Literally meaning, “broken mind,” a schizophrenic person, because of genetic predisposition and experiences of emotional trauma, loses touch with reality, struggling to survive in a constant state of disorientation among the mental shadows.  While this diagnosis may seem like a death sentence, perhaps it could instead serve as an invitation to serious discipleship:  embracing the brokenness of Jesus (Gal 2:19-20), hoping against hope in resurrected life (Rom 4:18), learning to choose reality (Ps 1:1-2), becoming humble (Phil 2:7-8), and trusting in the living God amidst it all (Prov 3:5).  Indeed, when the eternal pattern of dying to self and being raised to new life is established in the soul of a schizophrenic person, a broken mind is transformed into a beautiful mind that bears witness to the healing power of the truth in our lives.  Let’s therefore accompany our schizophrenic sisters and brothers in solidarity by finding creative ways for the spirit to enter our wounds and make something beautiful of our brokenness.  Ave Crux, Spes Unica.

March 18, 2023

Children are often our best teachers in the spiritual life.  Because their intellectual structures are not yet fully developed, they do not get stuck in the same logical traps that we adults do.  Rather, children necessarily live by the spirit, showing emotion, being honest, feeling deeply, giving freely, and letting things go.  It is no wonder then that Jesus proclaims children as heirs to eternal life! (Lk 18:16).  The next time therefore we start taking ourselves too seriously, or are tempted to pull a power-move on a colleague, or simply get in the habit of going through the motions of daily life, let’s not forget that we were once children ourselves and that our salvation is nothing more than the slow work of remembering this child-like identity, our deepest and most authentic self.  Indeed, out of the mouths of such babes and infants (Ps 8:2) the whole world shall be reborn (Jn 3:1-10).  Ave Crux, Spes Unica.

March 11, 2023

You may be familiar with a certain sari-clad nun who was known for serving the poorest of the poor in the streets of her mission country.  She apparently kept two coins in her pocket that she would rub together throughout the day, explaining that, just like the relationships among the sisters in her religious community, it is the friction and grinding that makes them shiny.  The next time, therefore, we are tempted to withdraw from colleagues, spouses, friends, or any other person because of a painful interaction or an uncomfortable experience, let’s remember that it is precisely in having our faces set “like flint against a stone” (Is 50:7) that our hard exterior may be broken up and some new person revealed.  May we thus trust the circumstances into which the divine hand has chosen to place our souls, and may we be generous and open in the way that we give and receive such rubbing.  We shall “shine like the stars of heaven” (Dan 12:3) with the one who was ground down for our sake (Is 53:5).  Ave Crux, Spes Unica!

March 4, 2023

“The thing about money,” says a friend of mine, “is that you can either have not enough of it…or too much!”  Money, indeed, has a way of captivating the human heart (1 Tim 6:10).  It is instant power, leverage, influence, and control.  Perhaps we stockpile cash or investments under the delusion that we may need them one day, or we rationalize that we have earned them or deserve to have them – all the while our souls grow distant from the source of life who insists that we do not need to store up riches for ourselves (Mt 6:26) and that our vulnerability will be met with great care, if only we trusted!  During this season of self-awareness, therefore, let’s find quiet and creative ways to share our wealth with friends and neighbors in the communities that surround us.  Like playing the stock market, we shall discover that people grow in miraculous ways and bear unexpected dividends when someone takes the time to invest in them.  We shall thus learn to deal in a spiritual currency that actually increases in value the more we spend it (Acts 3:6).  Ave Crux, Spes Unica!