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Archive for the ‘Prayer’ Category

The Two Doors

Saturday, October 23rd, 2010

Homily preached at the Church of the Good Shepherd, October 24, 2010

I don’t know how many of you have been to the Museum of Tolerance just down on Pico Boulevard. It is dedicated not only to remembering the Holocaust, but also many other forms of prejudice throughout history, and it’s definitely worth a visit. If you have time this afternoon, why put it off? It’s open today until 5 p.m.

The experience of self-examination begins right at the entrance to the exhibits. There are two doors. One is labeled “Prejudiced” and the other is labeled “Not Prejudiced,” and visitors are invited to enter through the door they think describes themselves.

Unfortunately, the door marked “Not Prejudiced” cannot be opened. Every visitor must humble himself or herself and enter through the door marked for the prejudiced.

In today’s gospel reading (Luke 18:9-14), we are also presented with two doors. One is labeled “Judgmental” and other is labeled “Non-judgmental.” But just like at the museum, we all must enter through the door marked “Judgmental.” (more…)

Ask and You Will Receive

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

Homily preached at Good Shepherd Church, July 25, 2010

Ask and you will receive.

The simplicity of this statement is astounding. And yet it is at the same time so full of meaning that we have spent 2,000 years trying to understand it.

We stand on the shoulders of those who came before us, great teachers of prayer: Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Therese of Lisieux, Thomas Merton, Henri Nouwen, and so many others. We travel prayerful roads with them and with others we know in our own lives as we unravel the mystery of prayer. We learn, we practice, we seek, and yet the wonders of prayer are never exhausted.

Still, there is the stark simplicity of Jesus’ words: “Ask and you will receive.” But what do we receive? Ah, there is the mystery.

But before we tackle that, let’s take a look at some of the basics of prayer we can learn from today’s Gospel. (more…)