Want to Feel Better in Church? Reenvision the Sacrament of Penance

The following is the personal sacramental exploration and expression of one individual. The expressed view does not necessarily represent the views or teaching of any current or future institution with whom the writer may be associated. The Problem I’ve never been a fan of something I always referred to as “Bacon Strips Theology”. The whole – “whip me, beat me, take away my charge card” thing truly has no place in the church given the healing and salvific mission in which our +Christ engaged so …

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Co-creators of a New Creation – The +Christ Made Manifest

The featured image (top) is copyrighted by Fr. Kenneth J. Nelan. It is part of a shield given to him by his one-time friend, +Brother, and former bishop after his installation as Vicar of the Diocese under his former jurisdiction. Fr. Kenn has since retired the shield but the image remains a permanent part of his charism. We are – co-creators of a created +Creation; aware of our own created-ness and of our participation in the ongoing creation of the +Created. We are not merely beings; we are BEing itself manifest in beings. Created and creating, we wander this sacred …

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And When You Pray; Use Your Heart

We know the words so well that whenever we recite them we race through them as if we are in some imaginary competition to finish first. Each time the race begins, I am bothered deep within my soul. You see, for me as the Mass is deeply personal. It is an opportunity to commune wholly and completely with our Christ in a spiritual moment of Creation – a time when we can finally still our hearts, minds, and soul so that we are refreshed and renewed through the “Holy and Living sacrifice.” The prayers we recite become mantras that help …

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Photo by Josh Applegate on Unsplash

Doing Isn’t Enough

For me, it’s very real. I don’t care what others think anymore, because for me, the presence is my daily call. It is what moves my entire being into service. But experiencing a thing is so much different than doing a thing – and trust me, it is such with the Eucharist. Each time I celebrate there is a moment – no matter how brief – where… Sorry. My mind must have wandered off. I have experienced the two forms of “doing” mass and “celebrating” mass at various times in my ordained life. In “doing”, I get up to the …

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Optimism as a Way of Life

Relentless Optimism The original article was published August, 2016 in Convergent Streams – this is the heavily edited version for personal publication. Take a moment to sit back, sip on whatever beverage is beside you, and reflect on the major changes in your life – specifically how you reacted to those events. The events themselves are important, but for this moment I want you to focus on your reaction to the event. You see, most of us will react in extremes. We either knee-jerk react to what we hear without bothering to stop and think, or we do not react …

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Photo by Nolan Kent on Unsplash

I Still Cry at the Eucharist: Descending Into the Sacred

“The thorn in my side deepenswith every breathand has become a knife; deftly wielded by an invisible hand,it prods me on to continue my journey;it is my lover and my most hated friend.My mind is full of awe and wonder for things I can never understand.My soul cannot separate from mysteries better left to those who understand such matters whileI wander in anticipation of my beloved I am a fool returning to every celebration.Through the invisible pain, I celebrate;the pain deepens and I am satisfied,again my soul is filledwith awe and wonder for things I can never hope to understand.”~Fr. …

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