Getting Answers from God

Recently my eight-year-old daughter asked me the following question during our ride to school, “Daddy, what does CCC stand for? I see it in my religion book at school.” Regan is in the second grade in Catholic school and is preparing to receive her first Holy Communion in April of 2016. I replied, “Honey, CCC stands for Catechism of the Catholic Church, it is where we can learn much about our Catholic Faith. We are able to look things up in the CCC when we have questions about our Faith.” Regan replies, “Okay, Daddy.”

My wife told me later that day that Regan made it a point to tell her teacher that she knew what CCC stood for. Regan’s teacher subsequently asked the sixth grade class if anyone knew what CCC stood for to which no one could provide a an answer. The teacher then exclaimed, “Even one of my second graders knows the answer to that question!”

When I learned of what happened that day. I was so proud of my little girl, but more importantly grateful that I was given the opportunity to answer the question that she cared enough about to ask. I was reminded of how important it is for us as parents to share the knowledge of our Faith with our children, and that it is never too early to do so.

On a side note, I learned from my wife that Regan also informed her that she had “an in with God.” When Liz asked what she meant by that, Regan replied, “When I want to know something, I ask God the question and He answers me, not with words, but by showing me pictures in my head.” I immediately thought to myself, do we have a mystic in our midst?
How nice it is to know that my eight year old has that kind of relationship with God! Regan, and all of my children have always been an absolute source of pride and joy in my life, thanks be to God!


Good Teachers Make a Difference!

Good Teachers make a difference!

St. Thomas Aquinas was a brilliant theologian and great teacher. He is the patron saint of Catholic schools, colleges, and students. But St. Thomas was mentored by a great teacher who recognized the brilliance of his shy and very often reserved student, St. Albert the Great. TEACHERS MAKE A DIFFERENCE!  

The following quotes below are excerpts from a 2014 homily given by Rev. Thomas Petri, O.P. during a Mass honoring St. Thomas Aquinas.

For St. Thomas, “seeking truth was the guiding principle of his life, and when he found it wherever he found it, he wanted to share it with his students; he wanted to share it with the world. St. Thomas was a great teacher, and a very prolific one at that.”

THIS IS AMAZING! “Just to give you an example, toward the end of his life during a three year stint at the University of Paris, he wrote the central and largest part of his massive work, the Summa Theologiae, a couple thousand questions all answered very thoroughly; thousands and thousands of words, page after page, but not only that, in those three years he wrote commentaries on virtually every work of Aristotle, commentaries on the Book of Job, the gospel of Matthew, the gospel of John, and virtually every letter of St. Paul in the New Testament. He wrote an entire treatise on evil in the world and on virtue, among other things, there was more, there’s more, IN THREE YEARS, before there were word processors, or typewriters, or even a printing press.”  

Thank you, Fr. Petri, for this awesomely inspiring homily!

Here is the link to Fr. Petri's homily

Don't Miss the Call!

Sometimes I wonder how many calls to the priesthood have gone unanswered. I sometimes feel that I could be counted among those whom have ignored or failed to answer such a call.

I recall an experience I had around the age of ten. I constructed an altar in my attic and even made a thurible out of an old Campbell’s soup can and a string in order to incense the altar. Oh, yeah, I would light up a Kingsford charcoal briquette in that can and incense around the altar before pretending to celebrate Mass. Wow, if my Mom only knew how many times a house fire was imminent! I was an altar boy at the time and loved to serve at Mass and pray the responses in Latin, even though I didn’t understand half of what I was saying. I memorized all of the Latin responses in order to be able to serve. Was this a call to the priesthood? I’m not certain, but looking back, it sure doesn’t seem like normal activity for a ten year old boy.

Fifty years have passed since that initial “calling,” yet despite being a father of seven children and a husband, something still stirs in my heart when I’m at Mass and participate attentively as I observe the celebrant, through the grace conferred through the sacrament of Holy Orders, become instrumental in changing the ordinary gifts of bread and wine into the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of our Lord.

I write this post in hopes of reaching out to all the young men who think they may have experienced a call to the priesthood. If you think you are being called, please don’t ignore or dismiss it. Pray about it and follow up on it by speaking to your parish priest, spiritual director, or diocesan director of religious vocations, parents and grandparents. Let us all pray for an increase in vocations to the priesthood, as well as for all the priests and religious throughout the world whom have answered the call!