Archdiocese of Washington
El Pregonero
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Your Catholic Online News Magazine
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Sunday, November 18, 2018
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  • I am reading a biography of Albert Einstein. Sometimes I pick a topic or person I know very little about and try to learn something new. I may not understand his Theory of Relativity, but I have learned a few other things. Being a genius in science does not necessarily make you one in life. Einstein discovered E=MC2, but I am not sure he understood that Dad = Time + Kid. I am not trying to be unkind or judgmental because Einstein lived in a different time and emotional place than we do now. It is clear to me that we are all called to be geniuses in our own way, so I offer five ways to be a genius.
  • While I caution everyone to stay out of the sun, I am a strong advocate for catching some rays of the Son. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and Life, and if we don't get enough time with Him, we can get lost, begin to believe lies and be less alive. So this summer I strongly encourage you to catch some of His rays with my five tips for Son bathing.
  • It is almost Father's Day, and we have a problem. If you flip on the television you will see some serious dad disrespect. Men in television ads are usually pictured as television-obsessed, overgrown-adolescent dolts. How did we go from Father Knows Best to Homer Simpson?
  • It's time to dig out the swim fins, pull out the grill, and dawn some summer whites. Summer also means getting your beach reading together. To makes this year's reading a little lighter, not in content but in weight, I have gathered some great stories that only require one book. Or should I say "The Good Book?"
  • As brushes with greatness go, I have had a couple. I saw President Bush drive by when I was walking my dog, and just this past week I saw the Washington Wizards cheerleaders warming up on the Mall before the Cherry Blossom Parade. I actually wasn't attending the parade. Again I was walking my dog and was frankly annoyed by the crowd of men in the sidewalk until I realized who the men were looking at.
  • A certain magic surrounds the name "Grandpa Joe" for anyone who has read Roald Dahl's classic children's book "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" or who has seen one of the Willy Wonka movies inspired by it. In that story, a young boy named Charlie unwraps a candy bar to find one of the prized golden tickets, enabling the winner to tour the magical and mysterious chocolate factory. His Grandpa Joe, a sprightly old fellow, springs out of bed, dances a happy jig and accompanies Charlie on a wondrous adventure.
  • The Washington National's Stadium sits in my parish. On a summer night, I can sit in my backyard and hear the roar of the crowd. Being just blocks from the Capitol, we also have our fair share of Republicans and Democrats. They may not agree on much, but my "reds" and "blues" all have a Nats "W" on them.
  • About 45 years ago, amid the happy chaos of his large Bethesda home as his 13 children were coming and going in all directions, Deacon Clarence Enzler would settle onto a living room chair and write a manuscript by hand, or pull up a chair and peck at his typewriter on the dining room table.
  • 5 Ways to get to the top during Lent
    Growing in holiness is kind of like climbing a mountain. However, instead of struggling to the top on our own, we actually get to the top by letting go of the mountain and allowing Jesus to carry us up. He died on the cross so that we could be saved. As the First Letter of St. Peter puts it, "For Christ also suffered for sins once, the righteous for the sake of the unrighteous, that he might lead you to God. Put to death in the flesh, he was brought to life in the spirit." (1 Peter 3, 18) He does the lifting, we just have to be lifted. That's not always as easy as it seems.
  • 5 great quotes from Pope Francis
    The media loves to quote Pope Francis. Let's face it, he is very quotable. The problem is that certain things he says get a lot of play and nobody gets to hear the most powerful insights that are a little less interesting to the secular media.
  • This week was a sad one for me. My 13½-year-old black Labrador retriever Maggie, already blind and barely able to walk, could hardly breathe on Thursday night. The next morning I took her to her veterinarian, an almost mystical pet diagnostician named Dr. Andersen, and he discovered she had a large tumor in her chest that was pushing against her heart. It was time. My decision was difficult but right. (The right decision is usually the harder one, by the way.)
  • I never really understood the draw of St. Valentine's Day. Perhaps it is good that I am a celibate priest, because I don't see the charm in society dictating that you have to be romantic on a certain day. With a cultural gun to their temples, couples are told that the way to really love someone is submit to this norm.
  • I was in western Pennsylvania this past week leading a retreat for seminarians. The temperature was minus 11 degrees! I had two great insights as I shivered in the chilly retreat house chapel. First, I am grateful that I am not a priest of Duluth, Minnesota, where even the moose wear down jackets. I know the people are wonderful there, but I don't think I would be very effective since I am not sure I would ever be able to get out from under my covers in the morning. Second, I realized I am a big baby when it comes to temperature extremes.
  • I weigh the same that I did this time last year. I have come to the conclusion that either I am very bad at keeping to my New Year's resolutions, or I am picking the wrong ones. I prefer that latter. I need new New Year's resolutions. For those of you who are in the same boat, I am offering a way of self-improvement that is actually soul-improvement. So Happy New Year and help yourself to one of my 5 new New Year's resolutions.
  • 5 Ways to Spend Christmas with St. Joseph
    From time to time you hear about babies being born in the car on the way to the hospital. Suddenly the expectant father becomes the obstetrician. While those moments must be very stressful, I imagine that the back seat of a car in 2013 must seem like the Mayo Clinic compared to a stable in Bethlehem. I don't think that St. Joseph gets enough credit in making the Christmas story a happy one, so I offer you my 5 ways to spend Christmas with St. Joseph.
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