¡Be Back Pentecost 2016!

A new work year has resumed, so I will not be publishing new posts until May 15, 2016 (Pentecost Sunday), but below here in the Nov. 2 “Pause” post — Lo! — will appear new reflections now and again. The difference? Mysterium hoc magnum est

Psalm 19:1-7, by Raja Ramakrishnan, chromecastbg.alexmeub.com

65 comments on “¡Be Back Pentecost 2016!

  1. Jerry Deegan says:

    Enjoy the new balance in your life!

  2. Carol says:

    Enjoy your time. Always enjoy reading your blog. We miss you here at Dowling!

  3. Victorious Love says:

    You, kind sir always make me smile. Thank you for your devotion to your beautiful bride and for listening to the promptings of the Holy Spirit in your life. 😊 So refreshing to the soul. Peace, good brother.

  4. Ona says:

    I am honored to know you, brother in Christ. Or as the kids say ‘Srsly, dude??’

  5. marta says:

    Thank you for the time you so generously give to all of us. Until Pentecost I Wii continue to listen to your prayer reflections and looking at the face of Christ in Eucharistic Adoration. Both of those gave me lots to ponder and I have shared them profusely. But best of all your butterfly effect has been my favorite and recently sent it to a dear friend. Unbeknownst to me she was feeling very unloved that day and she was so grateful. See how something so small can change someone’s world. I’m blessed to have stumbled upon your blog (Godincident).

  6. AMDG says:

    Our prayers go with you!

  7. LP says:

    Dr Tom, I am sure that God will grace your year – personally and professionally. While you were “away”, I re-read many of your earlier posts and found new insights and inspiration. Your poem from 14 Sept has been the source of most of my meditations for the last few weeks – wheat and grapes, crushed as we crushed Jesus with our sins and yet…transformed by His love to give us LIFE. I will continue to ponder past posts.

    I look forward to your return but till then, May God Be With You (and yours) Always.
    with prayer and gratitude, LP

  8. Melissa T says:

    Will miss your wise and always timely posts…but completely understand your need to pare down and focus on the first vocation and tasks at hand- that too is a mature and wise choice, albiet difficult. Will keep you and your sweet family in prayer- pax Christi!

  9. Jennifer says:

    Aha! Clever way to sneak in a new blog post (again), sir 😉

    All joking aside, this revamp is painfully beautiful. I thank you from a deep place in me that you have written this.

    I’ve been stumbling over this lately. Looking out across the landscape it looks like so much chaos, disorder, carnage, distress. So much life wasted so much seemingly pointless destruction. Overwhelming. Too much to process. So easy to find myself feeling defeated and feeling so out of control.

    Yet at the same time, when I’m up close to someone’s suffering, leaning in near enough as to be able to hear and taste and see and smell and feel what the other hears and tastes and sees and smells and feels I am awestruck because the beauty is overwhelming and His love is visceral in that space. And hope bubbles up and gushes forth. Lord, what is this mystery? You became flesh and dwelt among us and now you dwell within us!? You became so small and so weak, condescended to us, to know us, to let us know you, to guide us, to shepherd us, to love us palpably.

    We are human beings, built for union, communion, intimacy, deep and abiding love with our Father and with those who He perfectly, providentially ordained for us. Incredible.

    Dr. Tom, my friend: Keep going, keep trusting, keep praying, keep loving. And may every tear of grief you shed be transformed into a shower of blessings and protection for those who bear your heart in them. Thank you for being a powerful witness to trust and to God’s awesome goodness. Much love to you and yours.


    • Yes, JF, this is my way of allowing the valve to remain discreetly open in a way that puts no pressure on me. It’s my idiosyncratic way. Thank you for your rich an dmoving comments on my post — I am extremely grateful for them and they offer me material for my prayer tomorrow morning. Thank you. Keep me in mind. Blessings, Dr. T

  10. nos... says:

    Take nothing about your babies for granted,nothing…for the last three and a half years I have taken moment to moment solace in St.Faustinas telling h e r LORD……. “JESUS I trust in you” one of my favorite acronyms… JITIY oh yeah JIYIY … lots . Of photos this thanksgiving day Thomas and enjoy all your favorite foods…

    P.S.save me a slice of . Pumpkin pie…

    • Jennifer says:

      so great to see your name here, nos! Have a beautiful, blessed Thanksgiving. Got that turkey thawed yet? Thanks for always always reminding us to trust in Him. Love, your Canuck sister, JF

  11. nos says:

    “Small scale ,J” it is you and others of this blog who are to be thanked,for your continued sharing of your human weakness and your desire to follow GODS commandment of love by getting back in the “mud” to help backsliders such as me myself and I … stay warm my northern friend ……… the goose is definitely loved this time of year up yonder…

  12. Jennifer says:

    “Last night I let go, succumbed to it, surrendered the blows to love.” Whoa.

  13. nos says:

    And the moment you let “GO” of the cross , Simon the Cyrene was there to help you …his strength and the first martyrs cry were there to carry that weary beaten canuc k to the foot of the alter where she said with great love and contrition… JESUS I trust in YOU…… JIYIY oh yeah I do …. “J” your weakness is your strength. P.B.W.Y. your warmer than you brother in CHRIST … nos…

  14. AMDG says:

    The black night — how well I know it. I cling to Him in the Jesus prayer, sometimes repeating it hour upon hour until dawn creeps through the trees. Your friend is right I think. My sufferings, some most-deserved, are sweet offering as I beg MERCY for my failure to be Christ to those whom I love, who looked at me to find His face. What suffering my failures have caused for them! Jesus be their All. It is a sweet begging because I ask for what He longs to give and He is glorified in the begging. May Our Lady, the perfect Mother — theirs and ours — wrap us in her mantle and lead us to her Son.

    • Thank you for this insider’s view, and your prayerful sentiments — I receive them with gratitude, always. I love that we have our tiny, secret blog group now that I am off the radar. Now I can post and surrender it to forgetfulness to attend to the rest of life without distraction. Peace and all good, AMDG

  15. LP says:

    Dear Dr Tom

    Your words so move me that I hesitate to reply with my small thoughts. But I too have pondered in the quiet of the night. Here in the northern hemisphere we are fortunate to have the hope and beauty and inspiration that Our Lord comes to our earth in the midst of our darkest days and longest nights. And yet, His light is so magnificent that it banishes all else and brings us much joy in anticipation of what is to come.

    I found the following words on another website I visit (www.spiritualdirection.com) and thought of you. I hope they help. They are taken from the Advent Homilies of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, Doctor of the Church

    Circumstance 5: It is now fitting that we should consider the time of our Lord’s coming.

    He came, as you know, not in the beginning, nor in the midst of time, but in the end of it. This was no unsuitable choice, but a truly wise dispensation of His infinite wisdom, that He might afford help when He saw it was most needed. Truly, “it was evening, and the day was far spent” (Luke 24:29); the sun had well nigh set, and but a faint ray of his justice light and heat remained on earth. The light of Divine knowledge was very small, and as iniquity abounded, the fervour of charity had grown cold. No angel appeared, no prophet spoke. The angelic vision and the prophetic spirit alike had passed away, both hopelessly baffled by the exceeding obduracy and obstinacy of mankind. Then it was that the Son of God said “Behold, I come” (Hebrews 10:7). And “while all things were in quiet silence, and the night was in the midst of her course, the almighty word leaped down from heaven from thy royal throne” (Wisdom 18:14-15). Of this coming the Apostle speaks: “When the fullness of time was come, God sent his Son” (Galatians 4:4).

    Dr Tom, I wish for you the healing of Our Lord during this precious season. But we can take comfort from remembering that Jesus, too, prayed during the night and early mornings. God bless you.


    • LP — I read this early in the week and re-read. It’s very beautiful and I am so touched you make time to share your caring thoughts with me. I received them to good effect. Peace be to you and Advent joy, Dr. Tom

  16. nos says:

    “”” I expect to pass thru this world but once… Any good therefore that I can do,or any kindness or abilities that I can show any fellow creature, let me do it now… let me not defer it or neglect it for I shall not pass this way again…””” quote from William “bic” Penn.

    DEAREST NEALS AS another year begins let this advent season be filled with thoughts from St. Faustina JITIY “BABY” l do l do i do…
    P.B.W.Y.A.A. love and hugs from US …

  17. Jennifer says:

    Beautiful! You are making me fall in love with your wife every time you write about her.

    Your other non-post about carrying and being carried aligns with what I was meditating on as I showed my icy driveway who was boss this morning (that would be me). Accepting being the carried one was once soooo hard for me and my stubborn pride. I remember swallowing hard when I realized that I was the carried one in a particular friendship at a particular stage. So happy that I did surrender to accepting that with gratitude – that this woman had embraced me and taken me under her wing when I was lost and broken, rather than feeling insulted for being seen as weak..or less than. In light of his mercy we are all so weak and miserable and snivelling. ah! so freeing to realize this! think i’ll write my next post about this.

  18. nos says:


  19. Jennifer says:

    I was playing my favourite game of what did Dr. Neal not not write about today. My money was on St. John of the Cross, so I lose, BUT, your response to the ”Mary, did you know” critique was so great. Thank you for sharing that, it does add so much richness! God bless you!

    • j, my hope of low profile and remaining undiscovered is again thwarted by you! 🙂 No telling what this eccentric man will do on any day. Blessings on this feast of St. John! Ok, so here’s my quote from him for you today: “Lord, you gladly and lovingly lift up the one who offends you, and yet I do not turn to raise and honor the one who annoys me.”

  20. LP says:

    Blessings to all who inspire me via this blog, especially the beloved Dr Tom.

    Jennifer, Dr Tom occasionally makes a guest appearance at the Word on Fire blog. He did so yesterday for St John of the Cross so you could find more inspiration there.

    Re devotion to our Blessed Lady: I recently participated in an Advent Retreat Day. I learned that Bethlehem means House of Bread. How fitting that Jesus, the Bread of Life, should be born there. We also sang a hymn that was new to me that I found amazing – how Mary participated in our salvation (and hers) and that her Immaculate Conception was just the beginning. I’ve copied the words below.

    May each of you be showered with God’s special blessings this season as every parent showers his family at the birth of a new child (yes, I realise that Jesus was and is forever, so this is a fanciful thought on my part). MGBWYA, LP


    1. The bakerwoman in her humble lodge
    received a grain of wheat from God.
    For nine whole months the grain she stored.
    Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
    Make us the bread, Mary, Mary.
    Make us the bread, we need to be fed.

    2. The bakerwoman took the road which led
    to Bethlehem, the house of bread.
    To knead the bread she laboured through the night,
    and brought it forth about midnight.
    Bake us the bread, Mary, Mary.
    Bake us the bread, we need to be fed.

    3. She baked the bread for thirty years
    by the fire of her love and the salt of her tears,
    by the warmth of a heart so tender and bright,
    and the bread was golden brown and white.
    Bring us the bread, Mary, Mary.
    Bring us the bread, we need to be fed.

    4. After thirty years the bread was done.
    It was taken to town by her only son;
    the soft white bread to be given free
    to the hungry people of Galilee.
    Give us the bread, Mary, Mary.
    Give us the bread, we need to be fed.

    5. For thirty coins the bread was sold,
    and a thousand teeth so cold, so cold,
    tore it to pieces on Friday noon
    when the sun turned black and red the moon.
    Break us the bread, Mary, Mary,
    Break us the bread, we need to be fed.

    6. And when she saw the bread so white,
    the living bread she had made at night,
    devoured as wolves might devour a sheep,
    the bakerwoman began to weep.
    Weep for the bread, Mary, Mary.
    Weep for the bread, we need to be fed.

    7. But the bakerwoman’s only son
    appeared to his friends when three days had run
    on the road which to Emmaus led,
    and they knew him in the breaking of bread.
    Lift up your head, Mary, Mary.
    Lift up your head, for now we’ve been fed.

    • Jennifer says:

      Thank you, LP. I actually first discovered Dr. Tom via “Word on Fire”. I’m glad I did as I’ve been so blessed to have subsequently met you and so many other wonderful souls here on Dr.T’s site! Thank you, Father!
      May you too be showered with the blessing of the fullness of Christ come into the world. God bless you and your dear husband and may you both have a sacred, beautiful Christmas. Love from Canada.

    • LP: Thank you for this lovely, lovely song and comment. I am grateful for all who post, even if I don’t reply. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  21. nos... says:

    Dearest thomas , beautiful song, the visual truly beautiful ,such love such love… went to the children’s mass at the co- Cath.we were blessed to have not only the surfer priest but deacon feddon as, well the kids however stole the show … May the merciful GOOD GOD shower your gathering tomorrow with much love and joy … from our family to yours P.B.W.Y.A. love from us…

  22. LP says:

    Dr Tom
    Thank you so much for your last few posts. They are precious gifts to us with such dimension and challenge. That they are “hidden” makes them even more exciting once found. Your courage in sharing yourself and your family is the most precious gift of all.
    with thanks and best wishes for God’s continued blessings in 2016. MGBYA, LP

  23. Jennifer says:

    Suddenly feeling totally inspired to live St. Basil’s directive. Thank you for this! Feeling like my thanksgiving muscles have atrophied. My new year’s resolution will now be to whip them into shape.
    Thank you, thank you dt for always inspiring me to see Him in all things. Happy New Year, my friend.

  24. number one sinner says:

    For the new year??????? To far ahead for me to fathom how about this … that song that has some line that says I’ll live each moment in perfect harmony , let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me… thank you thomas for st basils words … humble me LORD… when we do this for the least… love to all hugs to all and prayers for all who bless this blog with their weaknesses and strengths… Thomas tell the pope to smile more… P.B.W.Y.A.A. nos and family…

  25. AMDG says:

    “On behalf of all and for all” ,,, “Thine own of Thine own, we offer unto Thee, on behalf of all and for all.” The Canon repeatedly says: “We offer you this sacrifice for all those…We offer you…a spotless victim…for…” We = an agreed on self-offering to God. We are those sealed by covenant promises to the sacrificial offering of Christ. Co-offered with Christ’s pro vobis et pro multis, “for you and for many.” Who am I carrying? By whom am I carried?
    Out of my unresolved and insignificant struggles, woven into the fabric of Christ’s wound-riven Body, is born a new creation built out of the ruins of the old.

    I am stunned (again) by this truth and long to understand and live it deeply.

  26. nos says:

    “There but for the grace of GOD , go I ” — oh when the saints come marching in — . Thank you FATHER for the gift of your army of saints . The communion of saints oh how wonder full is our TRIUNE GOD+++++++ ,dearest doctah kneel… thank you for your recent stories of those who need not my constant judgement,but that agape love GOD asks of us all… as I have loved you……. JITIY baby JITIY… P.B.W.Y.A.A. the weakest of the weak the nos

  27. Jennifer says:

    And the narcissist in me delights at any suffering I experience because I take it that it means He must really be love me 😉 But, seriously, thank you, thank you for these posts. No struggle, no disability, no mental illness is beyond the realm of His plan for redemption -which if I understand redemption at all, it is fascinatingly simultaneously one single plan for everyone- Christ- yet also innumerable intimately-designed individual plans for each of our unique roads – our moment-by-moment response to Christ’s presence in our lives?

    Thanks be to our loving, tender, glorious, perfect, holy, wonderful God, my only hope ❤

  28. nos says:

    The voice of an angel

  29. nos the holier than thou sinner says:

    As I recall , which in my case is quite suspect… I was participating in a men of St. Joseph’s group at the co cathedral of St T.M. … our guest speaker was Dr. Will Ganzi… his dad was in town visiting so he brought him along… a decision that has affected me profoundly since. The talk was on the beauty of the MASS… I made a comment on how I wished people who” attended” were more ” into ” it. He promptly but gently chastised me by saying you have to be careful not to assume anything by interpreting people’s actions at MASS… that I didn’t know what struggles they were dealing with causing them not to be ” into ” the HOLY MASS…he said they need ,as do we all, your charity in prayer… wow. Thank you LORD for humbling me yet again… and thank you Mr. Ganzi for your humble heart… thank you dictate kneel yet again

  30. nos says:

    “””Being open to learning from +++anything AND anyone+++, without prejudice.”
    T. N. phd…

    “”” GOD made the angels to show him splendor,as he made animals for innocence and plants for their simplicity. But man HE made to serve HIM wittily, in the tangle of his mind…”””
    St Thomas More

    Something that you do with great passion and love good doctahh.. P.B.W.Y.A.A.
    the jew

  31. nos. says:

    I’m sorry thomas I could not persevere , he like you are twenty thousand leagues above this simple mind …I am contented to know that GOD is the FATHER ,,,CHRIST is the SON ,,, and the HOLY SPIRIT who proceeds from the FATHER and SON are my compass … enjoy the good doctors talk and thank him for all we simple folk… P.B.W.Y.A.A.

    • Jennifer says:

      Hey NOS: The video that Dr. Tom posted seems to start half way through the interview… there is a part one and if you watch that part it sets up his argument a lot and then the second half is easier to follow. Here is a link for the whole 30 minutes if you want to try again 🙂

  32. nos says:

    For as I have loved,

    With a lot of help from my CHRIST…

  33. nos says:

    Oh how the most gracious of HOSTS has given us such an abundance of virtues and graces , on knees ( mine ) which should be scabbed and scarred but through indifference and selfishness are shamefully not… I pray GREAT GOD forgive me my trespasses as I forgive those who trespass against me …

    Dearest dochtah thank you so much for your recent posts my heart weeps with sadness but so much more with hope faith , and love…” small scale ” “j ” thanks for the link and good decision on the no to tattoos your warm southern brother in CHRIST nos. P.B.W.Y.A.A.

    • Jennifer says:

      lol! My brother is actually a licensed tattoo artist so I could get some quality work done for a great price…. but I will stick to just scribbling on my arm with a washable marker whenever the urge to get inked arises. PBWYB

  34. nos says:

    — in everything we think ,do ,and say— . Thomas enjoy the retreat ??? Is that like a regift hmmmm… P.B.W.Y.Y.A.A. the jew…

  35. nos says:

    From the mouths of babes and popes… Pat is resting quite comfortably for sure … Faith ,hope and charity ,,, the pope had them firing on all cylinders that d a y… P.B.Y.A.A. love from us …

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