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Bishop Scharfenberger reflects on a year in Albany

Bishop Edward Scharfenberger of Albany marks his first anniversary as spiritual leader of our Capital Region diocese tomorrow, April 10. By clicking on the photo below, you can watch a wide-ranging interview with Geoff Redick of Time Warner Cable News Capital Region on the bishop’s first 12 months at the helm of this 10,000-square-mile diocese serving 330,0o0 Catholics — from pizza and prayer, to challenges and changes. Read more

Finding time for prayer when you have no time at all

Despite our best intentions, finding a block of time to get down to the practice of prayer can be difficult — that is if we think of prayer only as a formal task that requires us to be on our knees, preferably in a church, reciting specific words. But prayer is a conversation with God, no matter what words we use or if we use any words at all.

Listen in at the link below for a conversation — and some tips — about prayer based on my book Everyday Divine, from my April 8 appearance on the Morning Air Show on Relevant Radio. I’m the first one up, so you don’t need to fast forward to find me. Just hit play.

Twisted Tuesday: Alleluias with a view

Thanks to a perfect storm of vacation, childcare, and Marriott reward points, Dennis and I turned this Easter weekend into an early 20th anniversary celebration. (Our real anniversary is April 29, but we didn’t see the possibility for a big celebration at that point.) With Noah in Italy for 10 days, we had only to find a place for the girls to land, which we did — at their grandmother’s apartment in Manhattan. It turned into quite the excursion for them as well. As Dennis and I wandered around midtown and Greenwich Village, the girls experienced the Radio City Spring Spectacular after a dinner out. Big doings for them. They loved it. Here are some of the highlights from our weekend, Twisted Tuesday done in Manic Monday style. Read more

Seven Last Words: a Good Friday reflection

Father forgive them, they know not what they do…

We see Jesus on the cross today and hear him forgiving his persecutors, forgiving us. It is a powerful scene, but it is more than just a scene out of our faith history. Jesus’ way is supposed to be our way. Forgive, forgive, forgive, even in the face of the most unreasonable suffering and injustice. Are we willing to forgive as Jesus did? Read more

Bringing the lost virtue of respect back into fashion

My latest story in the current issue of OSV Newsweekly:

If you are of a certain age, you might remember the late comedian Rodney Dangerfield’s signature line: “I don’t get no respect.” Back then it was funny, mainly because most of us were used to giving respect to our elders and getting respect from our children, so Dangerfield proved to be a silly misfit. But today that line has gone from one man’s stand-up joke to American society’s everyday reality. Read more

Holy Thursday: “I have given you a model to follow.”

Holy Thursday stained glass“So when he had washed their feet and put his garments back on and reclined at table again, he said to them, “Do you realize what I have done for you? You call me ‘teacher’ and ‘master,’ and rightly so, for indeed I am. If I, therefore, the master and teacher have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feel. I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.”

–John 13: 12-15

Detail of stained glass window from the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Albany.

 

We each harbor at least a sliver of Judas

My reflection from Give Us This Day today:

I’ve always had a tiny bit of a soft spot for Judas Iscariot. I know. It sounds crazy at best, traitorous at worst, but it’s true. When I hear today’s Gospel and fast-forward in my mind to what I know is coming, I ache a little for what I have to assume was terribly misguided good intention on Judas’s part. Read more

Manic Monday: Family, friends and feeling blessed

These are busy, crazy times here in the Poust House, and things only promise to get a bit crazier as we head toward the Triduum and Easter. That photo on the left is from last night’s Palm Sunday Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Albany. Serious palm there, people. No scrawny little stalks but full fronds, complete with the entire congregation processing in. Check it out next year if you’re nearby.  Read more

‘May it be done to me according to your word’

AnnunciationAnd the angel said to her in reply,
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.

And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God.”

Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”
Then the angel departed from her.  – Luke 1:35-38

Happy Feast of the Annunciation!

(Annunciation window in Lady Chapel of St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Delmar.)

Happiness and heartache on the confession line

I am one of those people who actually enjoys confession, hard as that may be for some to believe. It’s such an uplifting feeling, to bare you soul, receive absolution, and, as my confessor said this past week, “begin all over again.” And that’s the reality of it. Every time we leave confession, we leave as a new creation, in a sense, with nothing weighing us down or holding us back. Until we sin again, which we will inevitably do because we are human, and then we start the clearing and cleansing and healing process all over again. Read more