We Were Born For This

by Deacon Jeff Strom  |  05/25/2023  |  Images of Faith

“I am not afraid, because God is with me. I was born for this!” St. Joan of Arc proclaimed this going into battle, and the Holy Spirit empowers this in us at Pentecost. She is the only person of either gender to ever hold supreme command of a nation’s military forces at only 17 years old. St. Joan of Arc, whose feast day is May 30, inspired the French against the English in the 15th century. She was wounded during battle, her fame spread, and she became perhaps the most famous person in Europe. The English put her on trial, but it turned political. Joan was charged with heresy, witchcraft and cross-dressing like a man by wearing armor into battle. Yes, the court alleged that this violated divine law. She was found guilty and burned to death before thousands. Her martyrdom helped spur the French to drive the English out. A king’s trial review years later reversed Joan’s guilty verdict. Mark Twain’s favorite book he wrote was “Joan of Arc.” “I am not afraid because God is with me. I was born for this!”


Seeing With The Eyes of Faith

by Larry Fraher, Ph.D  |  05/18/2023  |  Images of Faith

Saint Benedict, in the prologue for his Rule, admonishes his monks to “Listen… with the ear of your heart.” Christians in the world today are called, as we were at the time of St. Benedict, to not only listen with the ear of the heart, but also to see with the eyes of our hearts.

A few weeks ago, I was walking into the church classroom. From the corner of my eye, I noticed what looked like a cross in the wooden door. Upon further inspection, not only a cross was visible, but, indeed, what appeared as a crucifix. Many who also saw the image stated that they could see, in the dark shape behind the cracks in the wood, what appears as the form of a child in an ultrasound. One person noticed the five dashes and remarked about the five wounds of Christ. This “accidental image,” is a series of cracks in a wooden door. Seen with the eye of the heart, however, it appears as a crucifix. The experience reminded me of a deeper call and need in our Catholic culture and society.


6th Sunday of Easter

by Fr. Williams Abba  |  05/11/2023  |  Images of Faith

The scene is the courtyard of a prison. The time is dawn. A prisoner is led out to be shot; he is a priest who has been sentenced to death because he has opposed the Portuguese policy of slave trade in the country's colony. He stands against an outer wall facing seven members of the firing squad, all of them, his countrymen. Before the officer ties the blindfold, he asks the prisoner for the traditional last request. The reply comes as a surprise: the man about to die wants to play his flute for the last time.


5th Sunday of Easter

by Fr. Devaraju Gangolu  |  05/04/2023  |  Images of Faith

The early church in Jerusalem had two groups of Jewish Christians: the first group lived in and around Jerusalem and spoke only Hebrew and Aramaic. The second group had lived elsewhere among the Greeks but now returned to Jerusalem and knew Greek rather than Hebrew and Aramaic. The complaint that quickened a kind of tension between these two groups is that the widows of the immigrants were neglected in the daily distribution of food. Such neglect was an honest mistake, as no one apostle was accused of this. Perhaps the existing system broke as Jews embraced the faith so overwhelmingly that it was impossible for the Twelve to keep an account of distribution, especially considering the language differences. The apostles solved the problems by ordaining seven reputable men who were selected to distribute food. Though these seven men started their ministry by serving food, they too will end up preaching the gospel. The whole incident shows that the church alone has the power to conquer prejudices through reconciliation, and it has power to adapt its ministries so that the risen Lord does his ministry in and through the church.