March 30, 2019

Theses on the Parable of the Prodigal Son

(Luke 15: 11-32)

Those who deny, ignore, or hate God are still happy to make use of the good things he has given them. In fact, we have all done this because we have all used or sought gratification in ourselves, from other people, and in other created things apart from the proper identity and purpose with which God creates these persons and things. And this is what we call sin.

We tend to think of repentance as a returning to God, but it is more properly a 'coming to our senses,' a 'coming back to ourselves' that puts us back in touch with our most real and best selves, the true selves that God created and that recognize that this God is always arriving in order to meet us.

Sin is a sort of death. Repentance is a participation in the Resurrection.

The confession of the sins that have separated us from God's embrace is only of interest to him insofar as it is the means by which we accept that embrace anew.

It is just as easy for 'religious' people to lose their sense of God's goodness as it is for 'sinners.' Perhaps even easier. This is because righteous people easily forget that they are just as much sinners as are the 'sinners,' first, because all sin is overwhelmingly offensive before the infinite loving-kindness of God, and second, because people who ought to know better are that much more guilty. It is also because righteous people sometimes don't recognize--and confess--that the righteousness of their religion (as it is for everyone) is mixed with some elements of the flesh, such as fear, vainglory, or pride.

Helpfully, however, this latter condition is revealed by the emotion of resentment that arises at the gifts God gives to another, and in this it can be recognized and perhaps mortified.

March 17, 2019


Today the friars of the Capuchin General Curia are off to Assisi for their annual esercizi spirituali, which is what, in the USA anyway, we would call guided retreat. I will be grateful for the charity of your prayer, as I will also pray for you.

Cat, Via San Francesco, Assisi