Violence Why is there seemingly so much more violence in the world today? Progress in technology seems to have created greater means of violence and easier access to it. Explosives used to be in the hands of few people. We have made progress in the manufacture of explosives, e.g. plastics, and it is more readily and cheaply available to individuals. We used to attack someone with a stick. Now we have powerful automatic guns and rifles. Weapons that are more destructively advanced are now simpler and easier to obtain. Manufacture of weaponry is big time and profitable. Though we seems to worship at the foot of the god of "progress" we might need to keep in mind that more is not always

The Other Side

The Other Side There is a bible story about Jesus walking on water. His disciples are in a boat and it is a stormy sea. When they first see Jesus, they are frightened, thinking it is a ghost. But Peter asks to walk on water to come to Jesus. For a moment he walks on water, but then he becomes afraid and begins to sink. I believe that there is something in all of us that is drawn to the non-body experience beyond time and space. It is where we came from before being conceived and it is where we are going after we pass through death. It is an instinct that goes beyond body limits, earthly realities, and sense of separation one from another. But there is a fear of it because we are flesh

Walking on Water

Walk On Water HOMILY NOTES FR. TERRY RYAN, CSP MATTHEW 14: 22-33 August 13, 2017 Jesus tells his disciples to go to the other side of the lake in their boat. The other side symbolizes going from the flesh and blood, limited, human, earthly side of ourselves, over to the spiritual, transcendent, side beyond space and time. To go from one side to the other one must go through the storms of transition. The storm is the doubt that there is anything else but the mundane, daily routine, or there is the fear of entering into another dimension in which we do not have control. But there is a natural attraction for the transcendent. We came from it before conception and we retur

Then Immigration Quagmire

The Immigration Quagmire We are, as we have been taught to say over and over, a "nation of immigrants." So you would think, given our national experience as a "nation of immigrants," that we would be well positioned to get immigration policy right. There is, alas, plenty of evidence to the contrary. Indeed, it seems to be one of the harder issues for us to resolve - rendered, if anything, even more so by our present political dysfunction. Even so, our actual national experience should serve to illuminate for us a better path to follow. I say better path, rather than best, because our experience also teaches us that there is no one obviously best solution, that any policy has its pluses and

Monastery Life

Monastery Rule In the monastery where I spend the summer, the monks live by the "Rule of St. Benedict." What is it about his rule that can apply to all of us. He believed in moderation over against rigorous asceticism and self-denial punishing the body. He focused not on the externals, but on the internals, not the flesh/body, but the will. He focused on you not being the center of the universe which in his rule came from obedience and learning to live with one another in community. How would this help you? Well, don't get into a spiritual practice that beats yourself up. This is really one more ego trip. The spiritual gym needs moderation, but a regular visit to prayer. You don'