Ignatius found the pearl of great price

Tuesday, 8/1/18

Ignatius was an illiterate Spanish soldier in 1551 when he was wounded in the hip, and had to spend almost a year regaining his footing. He learned how to read the lives of the saints, and he devised a thirty-day exercise for turning himself to God.

He regained his abilities by leaning to read and write properly by going to school with children. Mentally equipped then, he enrolled at the University of Paris. The other Spanish soldiers there at first laughed at him, but his sanctity so won them over that together they decided on going to Jerusalem to win the people there for Christ.

After they had failed in finding passage there they came to the attention of the Holy Father who constituted them as the Jesuit Fathers. The pope used them for doing missionary work in Canada and India, he also enrolled them to write out the resolutions of the council of Trent.

His priests had great respect for Ignatius. Francis Xavier always knelt while writing to Ignatius.

TV watching has robbed our speech of poetry,

Monday, 7/29/18

Jesus taught the people only in poetry, and he compared the sudden spread of Christianity
to the smallest of seeds springing up as a tree,

Jeremiah was consistently poetic in his teaching. Like he compared a politician who never  changes his approach to a nan who never changes his underwear.

Our substituting watching TV for good reading has turned us into dull teachers.

God does not punish sinners immediately

Saturday, 7/28/18

Thinking back over the twenty-five years I taught at our parish school, I recall 270 graduates, and most of them benefitted from the training that we and their parents showered on them. I am saddened by the way twenty or thirty of them turned out. They gave in to addictions, and they deserted the little families God gave them.

The sad thing about them is that with driving their big cars, they seem to be getting away with  self-centered living,  In today's Gospel Jesus says that God cannot be cheated. He will see to it that their sins will catch up with them.

God pitied the foreigners that Jonah wanted destroyed

Monday, July 23, 2018

At the year 450BC, the Jewish people were brought to avoid all foreigners. They went so far in their hatred of the people of Nineveh, that God inspired a humorous writer to compile the fictional story of Jonah.

In this humorous story when God inspired this fictional character Jonah to go and save the people of Nineveh, Jonah tried to travel west over the sea to get away from God. God delivered a storm that caused Jonah to be swallowed by a whale. After the whale threw Jonah up on his native shore in obedience to God, Jonah went to Nineveh, he walked through its streets calling out, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be destroyed.”

The people of Nineveh repented and reformed their lives.  This disappointed Jonah so much that he complained to God. God said, “Why should I not have pity on the 30,000 people of Nineveh along with their animals?”


Jesus gave would-be shepherds two bits of advice.

Sunday, 7/22/18

Jesus gave would-be shepherds two bits of advice. First, he told us to learn God's truth by silently speaking with him in prayer. We question God about his truths, then we silently wait for him let us see things the way he does.

Secondly, he told them to give immediate attention to all who are seeking help from God,

If we want to please God, we must keep our priorities straight.

Monday, 7/16/18

Isaiah in the first reading. and Jesus in the Gospel, tell us  that to be a good person you must have your priorities straight.

So, Isaiah tells us that forwarding the prosperity of family members is s good thing, but not if  conflicts with our prior duty towards advancing the will of God.

And, celebrating Religious rituals is a good thing, but not if it conflicts with pleasing God through acts of kindness toward his children.   

Jesus left us examples of how we are to spread the Gospel together.

Sunday, 7/15/18

For the final three years of his life Jesus travelled from village to village through Galilee, leaving examples for us to follow.

1. We must work together as loving couples

. 2. We must free people from the demons of addictions/

3. Rather than paying our own way at expensive inns, we should stay  with people, encouraging  them to be hospitable.

4. Just as people snake the world's dust from their sandals on entering the temple's holy ground. so should they shake a house's inhospitable dust from their feet before stepping out into God's holy world

We should never utter his name without respect.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

I have sat near a couple of ladies in a restaurant recently, and more than twenty times I heard one or the other of them say, "Oh my God," "For God's sake," or "God damn it." I bring this up to mark the degrees of reverence we have for God.

Isaiah the greatest of the prophets was called to speak for God in the year 742 BC.

God's greatness and holiness struck him so deeply that before he could even utter the name of God, he had to have his lips singed clean with a red ember.

Some contrast to those who are casual with the name of God.

Jesus tells us he will give us the right things to say

Friday, July 13, 2018

Today's Gospel is one that priests often used to joke about... Jesus  tells us not to worry in advance about what we are to say when we are brought before people. He said the right thing to say would be given to us at that time.

Our priest joke dates from the time when we had to study and speak in Latin. Back then, our Lord's saying, "What you are to say will be given to you" in Latin was "dabitur vos."

So, whenever a priest preached a homily without first preparing his words, other priests would remark that he went on the "dabitur."

The Feast of St. Benedict

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Today we honor Benedict who was born of a wealthy family north of Rome in the year 485AD. Although he had been given in marriage to  he became he wanted to avoid the immorality of young men of his age. that led him to become a hermit in a cave called Subiaco east of Rome.

In Subiaco, Benedict began remaking his life by the pattern of St. Anthony as it was written by the bishop of Alexandria.

After Benedict had spent several years in the cave of Subiaco, he inherited land on Monte Carlo. The monastery he built there became the mother house of all the benedictine monks and nuns throughout the world.

We cannot follow other Gods.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Let us take a look at today's first reading.

It comes from 800BC, one hundred years after Israel's ten northern tribes had broken away from the Temple of Jerusalem. When the people of those ten northern tribes wanted to consult with God they replaced Him with a God mounted upon a golden calf.

In the reading the prophet Hosea warns the people that by sowing their seed in the wind they will reap the whirlwind. By this he is warning them of a time when driven to hunger they would accept the cruel rule of Asyria.

The reading is a warning against away from God and turning to other Gods.

Bring your troubles to the Lord

Monday, July 9, 2018

The readings today touch on the three troubled women: one already dead, one addicted to adultery, and one who for eight years had exhausted her funds on useless cures.

Whatever our failings may be, one could bring them to the Lord for a cure.

We cannot be proud of the gifts given to us

Sunday, July 8, 2018

The readings today remind us that while some of us are gifted in many ways, others of us are broadly lacking. To those of us who are highly gifted, Jesus says, “What have you that you have not received? And if you have received these gifts from God, how can you glory as though they were of your own doing?”

In the second reading Paul thanks God for the shortcomings that have kept him from becoming proud.

Taking the readings altogether, they ask us to be patient with all of God’s creatures who are not gifted.

The disciples of Jesus do not punish their bodies

Saturday, July 7, 2018

In the gospel the disciples of John asks the disciples of Jesus ask why they did not fast and do penances. There is a similar division between old time Catholics and modern ones. This division can be traced back to the split between those who follow Apollo and those follow Aristotle, Apollo said that our souls are created before our bodies and need to go through life punishing our bodies. While dieethose who follow Aristotle, bgoelieve that our bodies and souls are created together can go through life seeking to have healthy bodies and healthy souls.

Who would Jesus eat with in Jacksonville?

Friday, July 6, 2018

In the gospel Jesus is said to have sat and eaten with sinners. We wonder how far he would go with that.

Like here in Jacksonville, we have unclean people with absolutely no place to bathe. Do you think Jesus would sit down with them? Would you? As Christians do you feel obliged to mix with such people?

Heroes come to mind on the Fourth of July

Thursday, July 5, 2018

A little over four weeks ago I fell and broke my leg in the hip joint. Badly hung up, I couldn’t write these daily homilies.

Coming back to these posts after the Fourth of July I want to thank our Founding Fathers for guaranteeing us the freedoms that protect our rights to grow into what God wants us to become.

The Statue of Liberty welcomed my grandparents, allowing them to learn, to grow, and to start new stable families. Today I recall my boyhood friend Johnny Burkheart who gave his life for us on D-Day during the invasion of France. I also remember Barry Albright who died for us in Korea. I remember a soldier friend named Stephen who wanted to become an operatic baritone but he was cut down by a sniper in Korea. I had to zipper up his dear face in a body bag, ending his singing ambitions.


pain brings healing

Per aspera ad astra
Through hardships we reach the stars.

Coming soon...

Thank you for visiting Father Sullivan’s webpage. He is back at home after a hospital stay. He will return soon to his regular posts.