Skip to content

Pope Francis: The Parish in a Contemporary Context

"Parishes will need to be transformed into a culture of missionary discipleship. This will need changes in the current ways parishes see themselves and act" (Pope Francis)

Read more

Pope Francis: Parish Conversion

What does a "missionary decision" look like?

Read more

Lord, Deliver Me from Evil

From a Saint Monica Sojourner June 18-19, 2022

Lord, Deliver Me from Evil

“But deliver us from evil . . .” (Matt. 6:13b). Why did Jesus include these words in the prayer, the Our Father, that he taught his apostles? “Deliver us from evil” acknowledges the existence of evil. Jesus doesn’t pretend that evil is a mere state of mind. To the contrary, Jesus says we live in a fallen world—a world in which people steal from others, lie to others, hurt others, hate others, and even try to kill one another. I admit that it’s the evil inside me that hooks me to the evil outside me, and I must seek grace’s rescue especially when I repeat the same sins over and over again.

What’s a common scenario? If Billy pushes Joanie, causing her to fall and hit her head, and you ask Billy why he did it, he won’t talk about himself. He’ll talk about what Joanie did or how he tripped over the toys in the room, but he won’t say: “I’ve got sin in my heart that makes me selfish, so, I push others when they get in my way.” You won’t hear that because, even though Billy is only five years old, he has already bought into the lie that his biggest problems in life exist outside him, not inside him. He wants to believe that the big dangers are all “out there.”

If we’re honest, we will admit we are all very skilled at explaining away our wrong behavior by pointing to the situations, locations, events, and people in our lives. We work very hard to convince ourselves that the problem cannot be us. We take ourselves off the hook by saying: “She misunderstood me.” “I was busy.” “I really didn’t mean it that way.” “I wasn’t feeling well.” “It’s just my personality.” “Sorry, I just forgot.” “I must not have heard you.” “He talked me into it.” “You don’t know how difficult he/she is to live with.” “I just ran out of time.” “I’m sorry—other things just got in the way.”

Read more

Transitions and the Pastoral Conversion of the Parish (Part 2)

What should the parish of the future look like? Pope Francis and the congregation for the Clergy have some ideas. The first of several articles on this topic.

Read more

Discernment 2: St. Monica and the Disciple Maker Index

What is discernment? What does God say it is? How should St. Monica discern its future?

Read more

Christian Leadership, Prayer and The Focus on Christ

A person's focus on Christ is the key to move to a deeper, more virtuous, selfless leadership style.

Read more