Author: Fr John

The loneliness of the priest

A holy priest was buried this week. Fr Luke Pirone, OFM. The death of priests like him seems like a great loss, but I suppose their ministry of prayer may be more fruitful than ever in the next life. I’m thinking now of St Thérèse’s prophetic remarks: “My mission – to make God loved – will begin after my death. I will spend my heaven doing good on earth.” Having said that, I have no desire to canonise Fr Luke. Quite the contrary. He would insist on his need for ongoing prayers, and I echo his request. Pray for this...

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You walk weird, and you don’t even know it

So I watched an online video yesterday which blew my mind. There’s plenty of dissent in the Youtube comments, but that’s par for the course. I find it pretty compelling. Roland Warzecha runs a European martial arts school in Hamburg, and he’s apparently obsessed by all things medieval. In a video he published a month ago, he claims that medieval Europeans walked very differently to you and me. They walked “toe to heel,” not “heel to toe.” So many lessons can be derived from this revelation. Here are two which captured my imagination: So much of what we do,...

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Christians in a heavy sea: the gay marriage vote

Today’s Gospel presents a perfect analogy of our situation – yours and mine — as Catholics in Australia today. Our Lord has sent us ahead, on a boat, to cross the Sea of Galilee. He will meet us on the other side. But now we are battling in a heavy sea, and we’re sailing into a headwind. This is the destiny of Christians in every age. As Christians, we have to navigate against the current. There’s no other way. Jesus himself had to go against the current. So did the Apostles, and every disciple since. Every single person, in every age,...

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The scandal of religious hypocrisy

There’s nothing to add to this self-explanatory headline, nor even much reason to follow the link. The title says it all: SCANDAL: Vatican police raid cardinal’s apartment to stop drug fueled gay party. The lede is easy to believe: “Pope Francis is reportedly furious at the news as he has worked hard to clean up the Vatican.” It evokes the anger Jesus directed at the scribes and Pharisees. The Lord, who was a friend to sinners in other contexts, always eager to minister divine mercy and foster conversion, had no time for hypocrites: “But woe to you, scribes and...

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Jerusalem

Full disclaimer: in my first hour in the Holy Land, I gazed at the desolate horizon several times and wondered at it. “This is the Chosen Land? Wars have been fought, and countless lives lost, over this?” On second thought, I recalled this underwhelming choice is God’s typical MO. He often chooses the most unassuming, the most unimpressive — like the shepherd children at Fatima who became some of the greatest prophets of the twentieth century. Or the timid and illiterate farmhand, who became Curé of Ars and parish priest to the world. Or the impetuous Galilean fisherman upon whom Jesus founded...

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Recent Comments

  • Fr John on The boundless limits of God’s mercy: “In further research, I learned that Höss did endure cruelty in one Krakow prison which "almost had me at the…Apr 10, 18:38
  • Peter on The boundless limits of God’s mercy: “This is where as a mere mortal I cannot begin to understand the depth of God’s forgiveness. I…Apr 10, 18:06
  • Peter on 12 Rules For Life: “I have the book, it is terrific.Apr 5, 06:10
  • Fr John on The Easter story: “Thanks Peter! It's a new resolution of mine to blog at least three times a week. Hence the "renovations," to…Apr 2, 22:28
  • Peter on The Easter story: “Dear Father it is a long time between posts. I always look forward to your posts. I pop in every…Apr 2, 12:46
  • Terry Maher on Living the sabbath: “Thank you Father John for celebrating the Mass for Life on January 27.Jan 5, 14:17
  • Maryse on Living the sabbath: “Sundays is the heaviest workday for priests – but what a great schedule for their usual day off, Monday, Father!…Jan 4, 09:09
  • Caroline on Living the sabbath: “I need the opposite – more work and less rest! There are too many sabbath days in my week! My…Jan 2, 12:40
  • Peter on Choosing an Advent motto: “Thank you Father, for your writings, I find them very inspiringDec 18, 18:24
  • Cisca on The loneliness of the priest: “Thank you for sharing such a beautiful insight to priesthood life.Dec 14, 13:29