Thursday, August 17, 2023



- Customers knock teen restaurant host unconscious during seating dispute, officials say.

- 12 teens beat man in ‘animalistic’ attack outside gas station, Ohio officials say.

- Naked woman gets out of car at major Bay Area bridge, starts firing gun.

- An intoxicated United Airlines pilot, who turned up for a transatlantic flight 'staggering' and with 'glassy' eyes, was given a 6-month suspended prison sentence, report says.

- Man wrongly jailed for rape may have to pay prison accommodation and food costs.

- Leprosy cases in central Florida account for nearly 20% of national cases. What to know.

- A Virginia woman received more than 100 Amazon packages she didn't order, including 1,000 headlamps and 800 glue guns.

- Largest School District in Texas Eliminates Libraries, Converts Them to Disciplinary Centers.

- Chinese internet panics as clueless man swims toward poop ejected by another man in pool.

- Social media is fawning over 19-year-old influencer Milla Sofia — but she's not even real. 

- Costa Rica soccer player eaten by crocodile in front of horrified onlookers.

- Japanese man who spent $16,000.00 to become a ‘dog’ shares video of 1st public walk.

- Daredevil climber plunges 68 floors from skyscraper.

-‘I can’t believe we’re having this conversation’: the states pushing for 14-year-olds to serve alcohol.

- A British Airways passenger was stuck in his seat for 3 hours after landing and had to be taken out of first class with a hoist.

- Arrests made in 200-person fight near Louisville skate park.

- Rampant crime has become a regular part of life': CNN reporter witnesses 3 thefts in 30 minutes at a San Francisco Walgreens. 

- A snake fell from the sky onto a woman in Silsbee, Texas, while she mowed her lawn — then a hawk attacked them both.

- Woman gives birth to ‘Tesla baby’ in front seat of car driving itself to hospital on autopilot.

-Virginia teacher shot by 6-year-old student in classroom says she'll 'never forget the look on his face.'

- Family sues Georgia doctor after baby was decapitated during delivery, lawsuit alleges.

Tuesday, August 15, 2023



Don’t Just Sit There and Spiritually Starve to Death!

When you were a child, you needed someone else to feed you. As an adult, you have learned to feed yourself. The same rings true when it comes to your spiritual life, especially your attendance at Sunday Eucharist.

There are many adult Catholics who believe they need to be fed spiritually by somebody else every Sunday. Since that expected help doesn’t always come, you will need to take immediate action to save your own spiritual life when it doesn't! When it comes to spirituality, whatever you do, don’t just sit there and starve to death! Get up, stand on your own two feet and learn to feed yourself!

Start by focusing on the pulpit where you can wallow in the Word. Read the Scripture readings, re-read the readings, study the readings and pay focused attention to them when they are read at Mass. This is the best way to survive a disappointing homily. When it comes to feeding others spiritually, some preachers just don't know how to "cook!" Don't go hungry because of their shortcomings! Don't give up! Get up and feed on the Word! Feed on it! 

Next, turn your attention to the altar and deliberately and consciously choose to “feed on” the Body and Blood of Jesus in the Eucharist, your "bread and drink for the journey and strength for the trip" so that you will have the courage and strength to carry out the Word that you have hopefully just wallowed in!

Think of the Sunday Eucharist as the place where you are given spiritual direction from the Word of God announced from the pulpit and the nourishment you will need to live it out in the coming week shared from the altar.  Whatever you do, take charge of your own personal spiritual growth. For your own good, don't go hungry! Learn to feed yourself spiritually - at the pulpit and at the altar! 

Sunday, August 13, 2023



Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw how
strong the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me!"
Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught Peter, and said to him, "O you of little
faith, why did you doubt?" After they got into the boat, the wind died down.
Matthew 14:22-33

Even though I have been a priest for fifty-three years now, I have never forgotten that I was ordained during one of the most tumultuous periods of modern church history. I have been reminded of it almost every day! As I was being ordained in 1970, many priests and Sisters were leaving. In days previous, their leaving was certainly looked down on and some who left were given a religious cold shoulder socially! Before my day, priests and Sisters were placed on pedestals. Staying was praised and rewarded. Then, about the time I was ordained, the tables flipped. Those who left were admired for their courage, while those of us who stayed were pitied for our cowardice! Personally, I do not want to go back to those so-called "good old days" of pedestals! I would much rather be in the ring where the real struggles are taking place. In the words of Theodore Roosevelt, I would rather be "the man who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly...."

I was in the thick of all that leaving as I was preparing for my First Mass. I decided right then and there that I needed an image that would remind me to “hold on” no matter how much the winds howled and how deep the water rose! I was adamant that my tombstone would not say in the end, “Ronald Knott, Former Priest!” The image of “solid rock” seemed to be one I could identify with! It so happened that there was a popular Quaker Hymn at guitar Masses back then that seemed to fit my needs. I had it sung at my First Mass and I have sung it, or listened to it sung, on every one of my 52 anniversaries. That hymn is called “How Can I Keep From Singing?” It talks about being “anchored to a rock” in spite of the "darkness and chaos" of the world around us, all the while hearing the faint, but steady far-off music, that sings of joy and hope.

My life flows on in endless song;
Above earth's lamentations,
I hear the real, tho' far-off hymn
That hails a new creation;

No storm can shake my inmost calm
While to that rock I'm clinging;
Since love is lord of heaven and earth,
How can I keep from singing?

Through all the tumult and the strife
I hear that music ringing;
It sounds an echo in my soul—
How can I keep from singing?

Although the tempest loudly roars,
I hear the truth, it liveth.
What though the darkness 'round me close,
Songs in the night it giveth.

When tyrants tremble, sick with fear,
And hear their death-knell ringing,
When friends rejoice both far and near,
How can I keep from singing?

In prison cell and dungeon vile,
Our thoughts to them are winging;
When friends by shame are undefiled,
How can I keep from singing?

On my 25th Anniversary, I chose today's gospel reading about Peter’s walk on water and how he was able to accomplish that feat by keeping his eyes fixed on Jesus, rather than how deep the water was or high the winds blew! I had learned, by my 25th anniversary, that the secret to surviving constant change was having something solid to hang onto and that there was nothing more solid and dependable than clinging to Jesus the "rock!” That required "having your priorities straight," as we say today!

After my 25th anniversary, I started publishing my own books. To encourage myself even more, going forward, I chose the Greek word "sophronismos," from Paul's Second Letter to Timothy (1:7). Sophronismos means, "the ability to know what to do in the face of panic" or "knowing how to keep your cool under pressure." (Ah, yes, that's exactly what I need going into old age "the ability to control myself in the face of panic.") I want to be able to handle any storm without being upset and falling apart all the time! As a reminder, I named my little publishing company "Sophronismos Press."

Timothy, fellow missionary of Paul, was a young man who faced his own crisis at the beginning of his ministry and offers us a model of fidelity in spite of crushing disappointment. In his second letter to Timothy, Paul writes to a young man who wants to give up and come home. His ministry was bordering on being a total failure. Paul reminds Timothy that the Spirit gives pastoral ministers three things during difficult times to help them continue their work: dunymis, agape and sophronismos. Dunymis means "strength." Agape means "practical support" not sentimentality. Sophronismos means "the ability to control oneself in the face of panic." 

Every priest, every married person, indeed every believer, if he or she is to survive and thrive in today’s church and in today's world, must find that peaceful center, that inmost calm that no storm can shake, that anxiety-free place where one waits in joyful hope, that place of grace under pressure, that solid foundation on which they can withstand any storm, that peace of mind and heart that only God can give. This is why our prayer life is so essential! Our relationship with Christ is that "sure foundation" where we can withstand any storm headed toward us!

These times of crisis are a normal part of life whether it's in ordained ministry or marriage or membership in a faith community. These crisis times are not signs that we have made a mistake, but signs that we are on the right path. If they are normal and to be expected, then we need to develop the inner strength to face them, deal with them and overcome them. I actually feel sorry for those who have nothing solid to hang onto these days! Eleanor Roosevelt put it this way, “You gain strength, courage and confidence every time you look fear in the face. We must do the thing we think we cannot do.” Why must we do it? In the end, we must never forget the gospel's final words of Jesus to us, “I will be with you always.”

No storm can shake my inmost calm while to that rock I'm clinging!