St. Thomas More Catholic Church

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Midweek Reflections
with Fr. Brad

Word On Fire

What Peter and Christ Teach Us about Dealing with Past Sins

We all know that Peter was the first pope. What we often forget is that Peter was also a terrible sinner. I can think of at least five times in the Gospels where Peter messed up; but the time that he denied Jesus was the absolute worst. St. Matthew tells us that it was a maid who first approached Peter in the courtyard. The maid recognized Peter as a friend of Jesus, but Peter denied knowing him. Then, another girl—not a woman, but a girl—saw Peter and said, “This man was with Jesus the Nazarene.” Again, Peter denied it. The third time St. Matthew tells us that it was some bystanders who recognized Peter as a friend of Jesus by his speech. And once more, Peter denied knowing Jesus. That’s about as bad as it gets. Just when your best friend needs you most, you deny even knowing him. And it’s…

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Buzz Aldrin and the Laws of Spiritual Physics

Last year, on the fiftieth anniversary of the first lunar landing, I bought a box set of archival footage from that historic time. Included in the coverage was an interview with Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin from 1979, on the tenth anniversary of the moon landing. In the interview, Buzz talked about his struggles with alcoholism and depression since he shot to fame as the second man to walk on the moon on July 20, 1969. As he spoke about his recovery, he mentioned the “changes in outlook of a spiritual nature” that helped him to become a different person and beat his addiction. When asked to elaborate, Buzz Aldrin shared how his views towards a higher power have matured over the years and said: Just as there are physical laws that govern material objects, I believe there are spiritual laws that govern the behavior and the…

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Embracing the Great Wide Empty of Advent

As we approach the season of Advent, you may be looking forward to liturgical traditions. Perhaps you’ll be lighting the Advent candles cradled in an evergreen wreath on dark winter evenings or decorating a Jesse Tree with ornaments that tell the story of God’s love and care for humanity. Maybe you’ll play the season’s haunting hymns like O Come, O Come, Emmanuel. Each of these traditions are designed to orient our hearts toward the Incarnation. We need Advent, and not just as a liturgical season, but as an attitude in our souls oriented toward spiritual growth.  My experience of Advent was forever changed after I read the twentieth century English Catholic writer Caryll Houselander’s The Reed of God. Houselander’s writing about Mary, the Mother of God, in this beautiful spiritual classic helped me to encounter the Advent spirituality of our Lady…

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