Mark Saucier
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Years ago, a friend gave me a copy of a lithograph of St. Lazarus — the one held in the bosom of Abraham, not the Lazarus awakened by Jesus from a four-day death nap. There’s a church … more
If you find yourself in a group of inmates and the conversation starts to lag, ask them about their grandmothers. I’ve seen hardened men come to tears talking about their grandmas, many of … more
There is an old story in the Jewish Hasidic tradition of the Rabbi Eizik, son of Yekel. He was a poor rabbi who lived in Cracow. One night, Rabbi Eizik had a dream. In this dream, he was led to … more
I have a friend who could have been a great pastor, but he spent his professional life as a machinist instead. He never went to seminary, barely made it through high school. The Navy was going … more
“Can the sister get an Amen?” She’d get it, too, from little Black kids to aging white bishops. A Franciscan whose death at 52 cheated the Church, Sister Thea Bowman spoke in a … more
An old Roman philosopher said, “There is no easy way from earth to the stars.” Nearly 2,000 years after Seneca’s death, we still haven’t made it, but we are getting … more
When Moses was standing barefoot before the burning bush, getting his marching orders against Pharaoh, he asked, “Who shall I say sent me?” The Voice then identifies itself as Yahweh: … more
I was in a vain denial. Then I realized that most of our dinner conversations consisted of me saying, “What?” And then my pretense backfired when deafly nodding with a big grin to a … more
“Our thoughts and prayers are with you.” It’s a genuine response by some unable to say anything else in the face of another’s pain. It may be cliché, but it is … more
 “... Do unto others as you would have them do to you ...” Familiar, but these words in Matthew were not the source of the Golden Rule. It can be traced more than 4,000 years, … more
As a kid, I knew that St. Blaise was the patron saint of throat ailments because his blessing was on my birthday, and I narrowly escaped the horror of being named Blaise. After that, I never paid … more
An iconic image in Celtic spirituality is the apostle John reclining next to Jesus at the Last Supper. According to the Gospel of John, the apostle lays his head on the chest of Jesus to look up … more
So, what’s it to you? It wasn’t taunting but haunting, relentlessly popping up over the past few days. The “it,” in this case, is the cross, and the question a bit of … more
It is one of the most familiar parables. The son demands the inheritance from his father, gets it, blows through it living the high life, and then sinks into destitution. Penniless, hungry and … more
It’s a wonder where a word will take you. In a book I’m reading, the author briefly references “Dayenu,” a song sung at Passover, recalling the kindness of God in the … more
For many of us, Lent begins with those sober words: “Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return.” This echo of Adam and Eve’s expulsion from the Garden cautions us … more
Last Sunday, a line in the first reading from Jeremiah hit me. The “weeping prophet” struck a joyful note when he described one who trusts in the Lord as “a tree planted beside the … more
Meteorologists were cooking up the perfect storm with every ingredient they could find. “Blizzard conditions,” they said, and people ran out to buy up milk and ice-melt. Kids got off … more
I don’t know if it is a lack of creativity in the deepest doldrums of winter, but I tend to write a kind of personal State of the Union message about now. It is another birthday this week. … more
He knew it wasn’t his best sermon. He wandered, gave too much information, and few got his hilarious joke. He failed to read the room and lost most listeners before he got … more
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