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The Blog of Father Michael Seavey

Fr. Michael Seavey is parochial vicar of St. Anne Parish, Gorham; St. Anthony of Padua Parish, Westbrook; and Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Windham.In addition to his diocesan responsibilities, Fr Mike also makes time for issues related to Catholic social teaching, particularly issues of workplace justice and immigration, as he advocates for low-income workers and secures rights for workers here as refugees, immigrants, and those seeking asylum.

for low-income workers and secure rights for workers here as refugees, immigrants, and those seeking asylum. - See more at: http://portlanddiocese.org/FrMichaelSeavey#sthash.UXOjEPwt.dpuf
for low-income workers and secure rights for workers here as refugees, immigrants, and those seeking asylum. - See more at: http://portlanddiocese.org/FrMichaelSeavey#sthash.UXOjEPwt.dpuf
for low-income workers and secure rights for workers here as refugees, immigrants, and those seeking asylum. - See more at: http://portlanddiocese.org/FrMichaelSeavey#sthash.UXOjEPwt.dpuf

Fr. Seavey's blog begins below. To view his seven-part series explaining the Catholic Church's teachings on immigration, click here.

Fr. Seavey co-wrote two articles for the Maine Sunday Telegram addressing the collapse of Rana Plaza in Dhaka, Bangladesh, which killed more than a thousand people and injured more than 2,500. Many of those killed and injured were migrant girls who were employed in a garment factory in the building. To view the articles: Maine Sunday Telegram, April 27, 2014 / Maine Sunday Telegram, June 9, 2013


Love the Church

After Cardinal Bergoglio was elected to the Chair of St. Peter and took the name Pope Francis, many were amazed with his simplicity when he was introduced to the waiting crowds in St. Peter’s Square. He came forward in simple attire, dressed only in the white papal clothing. Why was he not wearing all the other regal vestments and apparel? There was a story that circulated regarding that. Whether the story is true or not, it indicates a new moment in Roman Catholic Church life. Read Full Entry


Falling in Love with God

Over many years of priesthood, several married couples have talked to me about difficulties in their relationships. Sometimes, what happens is one spouse decides to make the other spouse completely responsible for all their well-being, their happiness, their security, and their peace of heart and mind. In other words, one spouse is the center of the universe whether or not there is any desire to be there. It is a form of idolatry. Eventually, that relationship drifts apart. Either one spouse is tired of being constantly disappointed in the other for not taking care of all his/her needs, or the other spouse is tired of constantly being disappointing and walks away or both. When relationships reconnect to their proper order and God becomes the center, and the One fulfilling all our desires, needs, and happiness, there is healing and reconciliation. Read Full Entry


Respect Life Sunday

In many ancient pagan cultures, any newborn infant was placed at the feet of the father of the household. If the father decided to accept the baby, he lifted the child into his arms. If the father rejected the baby, he simply got up from his chair and left the baby to die unattended. This practice was common in pagan cultures. Why did it cease? Christian missionaries proclaiming the Gospel transformed entire cultures, making this practice forbidden and ultimately extinct. Read Full Entry


Phillipian Canticle

St. Vincent’s name is almost synonymous with charitable works for the poor. The St. Vincent de Paul Societies are committed to serving the poorest of the poor at the local level. Beginning over 200 years following St. Vincent’s death, and now located worldwide, they are a testament to the strength of his name in the church’s history of caring for the poor of the world. But his early life gave no indication of this commitment to the poor, or to any depth of faith commitment. Although St. Vincent came from a poor peasant family in rural France, he was ashamed of his deprived background. Once, when his father visited the seminary he attended, he refused to receive him. His biographers tell us, he initially became a priest because it was a position of privilege that allowed him a steady income and the opportunity to retire early! But a major conversion experience led him to cast off a life of privilege for a life of humble service. Read Full Entry


Parable of the Merciful Landowner

Someday each of us will stand before God for judgment. We will stand alone before God with no spin doctor and no defense attorney. God’s love and our life of faithful love will stand before each other. Assume God has three standards of judging us and we get to choose the standard God will utilize. Assume the three standards for judging are “fairness,” “justice,” or “mercy”. Which one will you choose? Read Full Entry


Forgiveness

The Scriptures’ focus on forgiveness presents a great challenge of the spiritual life. Perhaps of all the Lord’s moral commands, “forgiveness” and “love of enemies” are the most difficult and challenging. We are all happy to seek and receive God’s forgiveness for what we have done; and rightly express great gratitude for that forgiveness. But forgiving someone else is a different story. We can express our care for the poor with generosity, but generosity with forgiveness is a different story. Read Full Entry


Constantly Perfecting Our Love

How is Christian marriage called to manifest the divine love pouring from the Lord’s paschal mystery? The foundation of Christian marriage as a sacrament begins with baptism. In Catholic Tradition, marriage is the only sacrament not ministered by an ordained priest or deacon. Rather, the couple minister the sacrament to each other by the exchange of their vows and union of their bodies in conjugal love. Only baptized people can minister sacraments, thus the sacrament of marriage rests on both spouses having been baptized. Baptism, already a life changing immersion into the Lord’s dying and rising, shapes the heart for the offering of one’s self as a gift of generous and sacrificial love in daily life. That is true for everyone baptized. For marriage, the baptized couple continually shape their hearts into an offering of self-giving to each other and for their family. This is one way Christian marriage is called to be a “permanent reminder for the Church of what took place on the cross.” Read Full Entry


The Cross

The essence of sacrifice is not “destruction” but “transformation” (a “making sacred”). We are not called to self-destruction, but the transformation of our entire self in communion with the Lord’s sacrifice on Calvary. Every time we gather at the Eucharist, the Lord’s sacrifice at Calvary is present to us and draws us into its transforming power. We are not here merely to observe it. We are not here only to worship or express gratitude, important and essential as that is. Rather, we are here to enter into the paschal mystery and to let the Lord’s death and Resurrection embrace and absorb us. The cross both cleanses and transforms us. Read Full Entry


St. Peter's Keys

Reading Church history can be sobering and depressing when we witness human sinfulness and the forces of hell attacking the Church from outside and from within. But reading Church history can also be incredibly hopeful when we witness the fidelity of God and the power of St. Peter’s keys to unleash the forces of heaven. We can rightly be concerned about the challenges the Church faces today: decline in ordained priests, generations casting off the faith and increased secularization along with more hostility toward organized religions. While these are serious challenges, we must not fall into despair. As one who enjoys reading Church history, it seems to me we are in a healthy period of time. For many decades, the Church has been in a transition, but maintained vitality and manifested many strengths. Read Full Entry


Acceptance

Those terms were meant to sow seeds of fear among Americans that Catholics or “Papists” were really under the control of a foreign absolute monarch sending people here to undermine our system of rights and liberties. Catholics were considered a subversive force ready to corrupt the American way of life ultimately uniting the American government under the Pope of Rome. Refusing to call us by our preferred name robbed us of beauty of our faith, instead labeling us with evil intentions and sinister goals in this country. Does this sound familiar? Elements of Christian churches including Roman Catholics have similar fears of people who are gay. Can we learn from our own history? Ignorance and misunderstanding lead to fear; and fear is the great divider and instigator of violence. Referring to people by their preferred term is respectful and “respect” is the hallmark of a decent people. Read Full Entry


Greater Faith

Stepping out in faith does not mean we will not feel fear; just as feeling afraid does not mean we don’t have faith. Faith and fear often live simultaneously in our hearts. We decide which voice gets our attention. We decide which one will ultimately rule our life. Read Full Entry


Going to Mass

In other parishes I have served, sports were the priority regardless of cost. One city where ice hockey was significantly important, parents and children often got up at 4 AM or 5 AM on Sunday morning for time at the ice rink, but some of those same parents would inform me, the Mass times are too inconvenient. If faith is boiled down to simply “religious practice” in all its dull and boring repetitive mannerisms, then small things will keep us away every time and we will hardly miss it. But if faith leads us to an encounter with the Living God, we will be shaken at the core of our lives, and only those life emergencies or restrictions will keep us from attending. Read Full Entry


The Wheat and the Weeds

The Holy Spirit groans for those locked in sinful patterns of life, or abusive patterns and understands completely humanity’s weaknesses. Let the Spirit’s groaning and interceding lead us beyond the power of sin and abuse. Let us lean on the merciful and gracious God the psalmist speaks of, and prays to for mercy. Read Full Entry


Christian Hope

In the darkest times of our life, we need to know the Lord is not only present to us and not only accompanies us. In the darkest moments of our life when we can’t see where we are let alone where God is. In those times, God shepherds us through the darkest of times. In many ways, our mission as disciples is to accompany one another in times of dark suffering and pain. The power of the cross gives us light to see beyond the darkness of our current suffering, our past horrors, or future anxieties. It is that power that may only light the very next step we walk, but offers us the most precious commodity of our time: Christian hope. Read Full Entry


Baptism

Baptism connects our life to the transforming power of the Lord’s death and Resurrection. Baptism joins our life to this pattern of salvation: we “die with Christ”, we are “buried with Christ” and “we rise with Christ.” Our life in baptism joined to Christ is not merely static, something over and done with. Rather, our baptism in Christ is dynamic. Our baptism calls us to let this pattern of “death, burial, and rising again” to be let loose within us. This pattern shapes our entire life, becomes the basis for our life’s decisions and opens before us the way we should live. Read Full Entry


Living Sources of "Good News"

The Gospel is both gift and responsibility, blessing and burden, freedom and binding. The religious makeup of our nation is becoming more and more “unaffiliated.” In the most recent Pew Trust polling, almost 30% of all Americans do not affiliate with any religious body or worship. Most of these are younger Americans. This presents us with both a challenge and an opportunity. We must believe our Catholic faith is not only a gift, but can be attractive to those without faith. Our witness and life as Catholics in the everyday world of our society can and should be an invitation for others to seek out the source of our joy, our commitment to justice, our desire to see all people freed from their burdens. Our fears will find common ground with all people. But our choice to not let fear be the motivation of our life choices will make us an attraction to many. Read Full Entry


Trinity Sunday

One summer almost twenty years ago, I was temporarily assigned as a hospital chaplain at Maine Medical Center. One day I was called to the maternity section and was told a young couple would soon deliver an infant boy that had no chance of surviving for more than a few hours after birth. They asked me to be in the delivery room to baptize the baby immediately after the birth. I stood beside the mother and a cloth curtain propped up maintained the dignity of the moment. The young dad was on the other side of the curtain awaiting the birth. Immediately after birth, the young father with newborn son moved from behind the screen coming towards me for a baptism. He had a look of intense and passionate love; a look of incredible pride and gratitude. His face glowed with an aura of joy as though the son he held could live for 80 years and not only 80 minutes. Read Full Entry


Pentecost

he Pentecost experience reminds us that God has created us, shares our human experience including suffering, rejection and death. The Holy Spirit continually presents God’s invitation to friendship and salvation to every human heart. The Pentecost experience reshapes our heart and soul into the very heart and soul of the Risen Lord, Jesus Christ. This is the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit, alive in the Church. Read Full Entry


"Sacramental Imagination"

A “sacramental imagination” understands that everything and everyone is connected to everything and everyone else in creation. The “sacramental imagination” then understands God connected to all of it, everyone and everything. Read Full Entry


Good Shepherd Sunday

Throughout the Bible, God calls people by name. When first experiencing God calling, there is often a response of overwhelming awe and a sense of being insignificant enveloped in the powerful glory of the divine. But as God remains with the one called, that sense of awe and littleness begins to be accompanied by a deep sense of intimacy, friendship, and a relationship based on love and trust. God’s love is first and foremost revealed in relationship. Read Full Entry


Divine Mercy Sunday

Before entering the seminary, I was involved in my local parish with various responsibilities. One day, a priest and I were in the main church preparing for a major holy day. The church at this time had a beautiful crucifix on the wall behind the altar. The knees on this corpus depicted the Lord having fallen three times with bruise marks and blood running down the lower leg. On the right hand side of the altar, there was another statue of the Lord ascending into heaven. As we were working, a young boy perhaps aged 7 or 8 came into the church. It appeared his living situation was impoverished and simply being unaccompanied at that age was another sign of needing to fend for himself. Read Full Entry


Easter Sunday

Billy came home from his second grade faith formation class and his mother quizzed him as to what he had learned. “Well,” Billy said, “today we learned about what happened at Easter. After Jesus died they put his body in the tomb. Then his disciples came and beat up the soldiers guarding the tomb. Then they stole his body and buried it somewhere else. Then they pretended he had been raised and gone back to heaven. Then they told everyone everywhere that’s what happened.” Billy’s mother walked over to him and said, “Is that really what they taught you today?” Billy said, “Well not really. But if I told you what they said really happened, you wouldn’t believe it.” Read Full Entry


Holy Thursday

As Church, we are always about remembering, but such remembering is not about simply recalling what has already happened. Remembering is always about being present to the Risen Lord and his saving actions always fully present to us in the Church’s life and most especially in the Eucharist. Read Full Entry


Raising of Lazarus

True spiritual life draws us out of our self-absorption and into the needs of the world around us. Jesus had the people remove Lazarus’ burial cloths. Jesus had them set Lazarus free. There are no spectators in the life of faith. True spiritual life joins Jesus at the sealed tombs of those held bound. True spiritual life witnesses the power of Jesus’ words calling those bound to come forward. True spiritual life participates in the Lord’s salvation by participation in the removal of their bonds. But it often begins simply by shedding tears. Read Full Entry


The Samaritan Woman

Have we met the Samaritan woman? Do we recognize her? Is she or he someone close to us? Does she represent someone in our family, our neighborhood, our workplace or circle of social acquaintances?  Has this person suffered from out jokes, or whispers accompanied by glances and giggles? What does the Samaritan woman’s story encountering Jesus tell us about the power of compassion, mercy and acceptance? What potential do they have to be evangelizers if they know their story can be told and welcomed? Read Full Entry


The Transfiguration

Our baptism gives us hope at the same time it makes a claim for our lives. Remaining on the mountaintop as Peter suggests is not an option. The sacramental life is meant to accompany us in our daily life, faithfully living out our baptismal commitments. As we prepare to renew our baptismal promises at Easter, let us spend the remainder of Lent paying attention to the Lord’s presence in our daily life by opening the ears of our hearts and listening to the beloved Son of the Father in heaven. Read Full Entry


Facing Temptations

Temptations come with whispers of greatness, promises of actions without consequences, assurances of escaping responsibility and offers of sweetness of revenge. The result is a decline in trust, a rise in cynicism, a breakdown in community and a society bent on self-destruction fueled by blaming others, “getting what’s coming to me”, and “taking what I deserve”. “After all, everyone is doing it, aren’t they?” Well, frankly, no, everyone is not doing it! Many people live lives of integrity and honor. Their word is their bond, their heart is gold and their soul sees the world through the eyes of pure love. Their motivation is the innate dignity of every person, the sacredness of all creation, and ultimate value of true community. Read Full Entry


Righteousness

How do we seek the Kingdom of God and the righteousness of God? What is God’s righteousness? “Righteousness” is a life choice of fidelity to living in imitation of God. “Righteousness” acknowledges the deprivation and suffering of others around us and throughout the world. “Righteousness” then reaches out in compassion serving others by providing for their basic needs and advocating for them to the “powers to be.” Read Full Entry


Sermon on the Mount

A few months ago, I saw the movie Hacksaw Ridge. This movie is based on the true story of the first and only soldier awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor who was also a conscientious objector. Desmond Ross enlisted in the United States Army during World War II knowing he would never agree to use a weapon or hold one in his hands, even during his time in basic training. Serving as a medic, he was the only soldier in World War II to never carry a firearm on the battlefield. In spite of hostility from his fellow soldiers and officers, including beatings and actions of vandalism, he held to his convictions. Eventually, he won the day, even if not at first winning their respect. Read Full Entry


Habits of the Heart

There was a television show a few years ago featuring a veteran police detective taking on the task of mentoring a young detective known for being rash and impulsive but with the potential for brilliance. The veteran detective at one point sits his younger colleague down and says words similar to these, “Inside of you and inside of all of us are two hungry wolves desperate to be fed. One is integrity and the other is ambition. The one you feed the most is the one that will run your life.” Read Full Entry


Light of Truth

Speech and communication ultimately must assist in the search for truth. They are God’s gifts for humanity’s task of building relationships with trust, dignity, respect, and mutual care. When we use speech to tear down, humiliate, abuse, harass someone, or slander someone’s good reputation, we are guilty of violating God’s intent for the gifts given to us. We have gravely sinned. Sometimes the sin is not what is said, but rather what has not been said. For the last several years, the United Nations has sponsored a worldwide Holocaust Remembrance Day. Every year, the president has issued a statement commemorating the event and committing this country to never allowing it to happen again. Presidential statements by both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama took pains to mention the particular targeting of Jewish people throughout Europe by Hitler’s regime. Their statements also referred to new anti-Semitic movements in the world today. This year was different. Read Full Entry 


Beatitudes and Bruce

Lately when asked, “What are you reading for spirituality these days?”, I respond, “Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography Born to Run.” Taking a cue from the writings of the late Father Andrew Greeley, searches for “grace” and a “Catholic imagination” are to be sought in places not usually considered to be spiritual. Read Full Entry


Holiness

Ultimately it is love the purifies, cleanses, transforms, renews and sets free. Ultimately it is divine love pouring through the human heart of the Lord Jesus Christ that becomes the ultimate source of holiness. And love cannot be earned or bought or stolen or borrowed. Love is only received as free gift and responded to with love in kind. The Sacraments are really all about the privileged rituals of love celebrated by those baptized. This is the relationship the Church is called to manifest to the world around us. Read Full Entry


Make Christ Known

Our mission to identify Christ’s presence and make Christ known to others needs to begin with an inventory of our life. Where is Christ present within us? How do we know Christ from our own life, our personal history, our present daily life? Logic may dictate we begin by naming our blessings, our successes, our moral virtues, and our spiritual strengths. Perhaps the inventory should begin with our weaknesses, our moral failures, or our moments of tragedy, disappointments or trauma. We should be ready to re-examine our darkest times and our most troubled moments from the past. No matter how dark and isolating, we are asked to look again and see if God was indeed present when God seemed most absent, most distant from us. We do this not to remain chained by shame, guilt, or a sense of personal failure. On the contrary, we go back to those moments to be touched by grace and to know the Lord Jesus Christ and his merciful love. Read Full Entry


Epiphany

In our spiritual search, I assure you that God will lead us to places where we would not ordinarily go. But led by an inner voice and wisdom, we will go where we are called, and where we are led. We may not travel far geographically, perhaps only a few blocks or a few houses away. But we will travel in the dark of human suffering, and we will witness both humanity’s ability to visit evil upon one another and the indomitable human spirit persevering with fidelity in the face of that evil. Read Full Entry


New Year's Day

New Year’s Day is one of the few times I recycle a homily. The basic structure of this homily has been utilized on New Year’s Day for probably at least fifteen to twenty years of preaching on this solemnity. It has been well received. So I have chosen not to make too many changes to the basic message. Read Full Entry


Christmas

Several years ago, National Public Radio once had a series of personal stories entitled “What I Believe.” This series welcomed people to submit their experiences of faith or other religious experiences. Around Christmas time that year, one installment was a particularly moving story that helps unfold the great mystery of the holy season. Read Full Entry


Fourth Sunday of Advent

There is little said about the great person of St. Joseph in the New Testament. St. Joseph himself is not recorded as saying anything at all. Yet, his life speaks loud and clear in the decisions he makes on behalf of his wife Mary and the child Jesus. Read Full Entry


Third Sunday of Advent

The Third Sunday of Advent in Latin is referred to as “Gaudete Sunday,” or “Sunday of Joy.” Joy comes from hope, and all who look forward to the coming Kingdom in glory have great reason to hope. Our awareness of the Kingdom in our midst comes from the reality of God’s grace in every moment of everyday life. This awareness requires a constant conversion and giving over to God all that we are. This is a lifelong process, requiring discipline, generosity, an open heart and a deep trust in God’s merciful love for each of us. The foundation of our faith is “love.” Love God, neighbor and our self is universal standard for judgment. That this standard sounds simple does not translate to being easy. Read Full Entry


Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

As Church, each of us and all of us are called by God to respond to the horrors of our time. Our response involves the very kindness, mercy, and compassion of Christ alive in us and working through us. We may never stop “feeling afraid,” but we can begin today to stop allowing fear to govern us or paralyze our communities. Read Full Entry


Second Sunday of Advent

Advent’s penitential focus, the preaching of John the Baptist, calls for the need to humanize our communities again. Each one of us and each community: parish, neighborhood, workplace, town, nation, and community of nations needs constant transformation to what is truly human. The more human we become, the more divine we become. The more we become the person God created us to be, the more we are filled with the very life of God. Read Full Entry


The Season of Advent

The Advent season is one of the best kept secrets of the Catholic Church. It is rich in imagery and spiritual renewal and not simply a countdown to Christmas. Advent offers its own spirituality attention related to Christmas but also distinct. Read Full Entry


Jubilee Year of Mercy

Jesus was a man totally void of self-interest. Every miracle he performed was always and only a service to those in need. He never performed a miracle to provide proof of his real identity, and he would certainly not begin now as his life slipped away in the agonizing and cruel horror of crucifixion. Those voices “save yourself if you are the King of the Jews,” spoken as much in mockery as opportunity of proof passed through him with no attraction or interest. For Jesus, his only interest was fulfilling the will of his Heavenly Father by proclaiming and revealing the Kingdom of God. Read Full Entry


Through the Eyes of the Risen Lord

Opening our hearts and minds through prayer, education, and open discussions with heartfelt listening can lead us to new and creative possibilities. Developing communities based on human dignity, justice, and mutual respect creates true freedom and true peace. Governments cannot build community, only people can, and Christian communities have the best tools for building communities where everyone is welcomed, everyone is cared for, everyone’s gifts are called to flourish, and everyone is safe. As our national election mercifully comes to a close, we can use these truths to begin the healing our nation so desperately needs. Read Full Entry


"Salvation has visited this house."

My years of seminary formation included serving time as hospital chaplain. One hospital had a residential alcohol and drug treatment program. For those trying to remain sober, their days included 12 step meetings, individual and group counselling and spiritual help. For some in early stages of sobriety, the idea of spirituality and even “God” is a new one. Often these people were raised in homes so consumed by everyone’s drinking and drugging, there was little care or attention given to children. Therefore, there was no exposure to spirituality or to any notion of God. One day as I was walking through the hospital to visit patients, a 12 step meeting was just ending. As the folks passed me in the hallway, one man noticed my chaplain’s badge and asked for a moment of time. Read Full Entry


Prayer

In this conversation, we can speak honestly to God about our fears, doubts, concerns and challenges. We can express our gratitude for many blessings, our need for conversion and mercy, our joy regarding our faith and our burdens regarding our struggles. We know from faith, that God’s response will always be merciful, loving, consoling and challenging. But this conversation is also communal as God speaks to us with the same message shared within the privilege of the church’s faith. Our personal prayer joins the church throughout the world and the saints in heaven in a constant prayer worship and rejoicing. Prayer draws us deeper into the heart of the Church and there we encounter the heart of Christ. Praying with the Church bonds us together and lifts our hearts to God as one Body of Christ. Read Full Entry


The Healing of Ten Lepers

“Fall guys” and scapegoats have been prominent targets on both sides of the presidential election this year. Such tactics serve to generate more fear and less community. Many unfounded or discredited accusations have taken American politics to new lows, and lowered the bar of decency and acceptable standards of political discourse. This is a profound moral issue needing to be addressed as such. We need to listen to the many voices of our political life and discern what is good even if we are in disagreement and reject what is divisive even if in agreement with goals that are worthy. But before we decide who to welcome and who to reject, we should first remember our own history as Catholics in the United States and the fear generated among many convinced of our malicious motives. We must avoid at all costs the attitude of the nine lepers who can’t see new opportunities to discard old prejudices and divisions. Read Full Entry


A Small Seed Waiting to Be Harvested

Generous and compassionate service can heal wounds and quiet rage in human hearts. I often wonder if so much anger in our nation comes from a feeling of detachment, a sense of abandonment, a simple lack of care and being cared about. The ultimate face of evil is the death of compassion; something we all have the ability to respond to. Most of the time, it will be simply continuing to do what we are already doing. Read Full Entry


Two Rich Men and Lazarus

An old and wise proverb can assist us to open the mysteries of this parable, “Wealth is a loyal servant but a demanding master.” This parable is often referred to as “The Rich Man and Lazarus.” But that is the wrong name for this parable. It is not about “one rich man” and Lazarus. Rather it is about “two rich men” and Lazarus. Abraham mentioned in heaven with Lazarus in his bosom was also a rich man. Of the two rich men, Abraham is in heaven and the other, unnamed, is in a place for the damned. The poor man Lazarus is also in heaven but we know nothing of his life to appreciate why he ended up there. But we do know of Abraham and the other rich man. Read Full Entry


Reality of Sin

Throughout the gospels, Jesus uses parables to reveal the Kingdom of God in daily life. He only uses those events of daily life people would be familiar with. His parables are about a fisherman casting a net, a woman baking bread, a shepherd looking for the lost sheep, the woman looking for a lost coin, the farmer casting seed on to the soil, invitations extended to a royal wedding banquet, or a grower hiring workers for his fields. Read Full Entry


Works of Mercy

In the history of the Catholic Church, especially in times of either great oppression from outside the church or great corruption within the church’s life, the works of mercy served to cleanse the church, renew her and revive her life in the wider world. The simple and gentle works of care and consolation became powerful experiences for healing and restoration for entire countries. Read Full Entry


Seeing Humanity

Are there people in our life we often ignore their full humanity? They might be people we see but dismiss, people we take advantage of, people we can take for granted. Seeing them again in a completely new way enables us to see their complete humanity. This new way is seeing others and the whole world through the eyes of the glorified humanity of the Risen Christ. How is this possible? Read Full Entry


Pursuit of "Perfection"

Every religious movement has its own recipe and paths for perfection, and often many secular cultures and societies adopt their own standard for becoming perfect. For American culture and society, perfection is often summed up in one word “winning.” If we are winning or sometimes “winning’s” first cousin “succeeding,” we are moving to perfection. This path of perfection brings with it a lot positives to our society and nation. We have the world’s strongest economy and the most powerful military. At the same time, this path also brings considerable negatives including great stress and pressure young people often experience to succeed and win beyond their own capacities. Read Full Entry


"Strive to enter through the narrow gate..."

Over centuries and millennia, saints, mystics and spiritual writers have reflected on this image of the “narrow door” that Jesus speaks of in this passage from St. Luke’s Gospel. Synthesizing their meditations could come in these words, “The wider we live our lives, the narrower our heart will be. But the narrower we live our lives, the wider our heart.” Read Full Entry


The Peace of Christ

When Jesus says in the gospel, “I have come not for peace but for division,” the peace Jesus rejects is the attitude of burying deep wounds, tolerating abusive behavior, living with exploitation and hateful racism. That is a false peace that has nothing to do with the Kingdom of God. Read Full Entry


Encountering the Living God

Mark Twain once said, “There are two important days in your life. The first is the day you were born and the second is the day you found out why.” Read Full Entry


Farewell to Portland

On August 1, Fr. Seavey began his appointment as parochial vicar of St. Anne Parish, Gorham; St. Anthony of Padua Parish, Westbrook; and Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Windham.

Prior to his departure, he wrote a farewell column to parishioners and community members in Greater Portland.


First Anniversary of Laudato Si'

This month marks the first anniversary of Laudato Si’, Pope Francis’ groundbreaking encyclical on global warming and environmental responsibility. The encyclical placed papal authority squarely on the issue of global warming and humanity’s irresponsible behavior fostering the conditions allowing it to develop. Pope Francis did an exhaustive study on the issue before writing the encyclical and as a former science teacher in Jesuit schools, he had a background to do so. Read Full Entry


Joyful Call to Mercy

We are told constantly that the church is considered irrelevant, and we need to make the church relevant again. We all too often look for some elaborate plan or social media solutions to make this happen. But French Catholics discovered in the late 1800’s that simple works of mercy, touching the many wounds of our world, are far more effective and far more worthwhile. Read Full Entry


Response of Mercy

Human suffering needs to open our eyes to the common ground that we all share one humanity, the only humanity there is. A response of compassionate mercy then creates more common ground where wounds can be healed and community can grow strong. Read Full Entry


Conscience Formation

In the life of the Church, Christ delivers his identity over to us. In his identity, we do not dissolve into a mass of mob. Rather, in the Risen Lord, our identity is brought to its fulfillment and completion. While darkness hovers over mob mentality, the identity with Christ casts a light of discovery, and a path to justice, forgiveness and ultimately reconciliation. If conscience formation disappears in mob mentality, conscience formation develops in most difficult circumstances in the life of the church. The lives of the saints, particularly the lives of the martyrs are witnesses to this conscience development and become examples for us to imitate. Read Full Entry


What Do We Do Now?

In the gospel, Jesus is gathered with the disciples at The Last Supper. The Lord prepares them for the transition of his dying and passing from this world to the Father in heaven. His disciples cannot comprehend the Son of God experiencing death, let alone being tortured and sentenced to death for crimes he was not capable of committing. Yet, such would be the case, leaving the disciples scattered in grief and hiding in fear. Read Full Entry


Holy Family

Children can teach us a lot about what “holy families” are. Read Full Entry  


Jubilee Year of Mercy

Pope Francis has emphasized God’s mercy since his election and this Jubilee Year is a wonderful way of both celebrating God’s mercy in our own lives and becoming sources of mercy for the world around us.
Read Full Entry


Experiences During Papal Visit: Part II

In addition to sitting in the House gallery to witness Pope Francis’ speech to Congress, I was also able to read an advance copy earlier that morning. The written words themselves brought tears to my eyes as I read the beauty and poetry of his thoughts. I have selected five significant quotes from that speech and offer my own commentary. Read Full Entry


The Right Number

During my two days in Washington D.C., Senator King also invited me to sit in on his staff meetings with various discussions on both domestic and foreign policy. I must admit that sitting in on those meetings stirred the juices of earlier desires to enter that career and again realized how much I would have loved that type of work. I share this story because I relate to the man who approaches Jesus and kneels before him. Following graduate school in Minnesota and receiving a Masters’ Degree in Public Policy, I began to wrestle with the felt call to priesthood. After completing six years of study and hoping to return to Maine, and eventually hoping to marry and raise a family, I was convinced that God had dialed the wrong number. Read Full Entry


Realities of Divorce

When divorced people are able to move forward in their life, they manifest the healing power of the cross and the mercy of God. In an ironic sense, divorced people testify to marriage’s great sacramental beauty as they grieve its loss much like widowed people grieve. Read Full Entry


Pope Francis' Visit to the United States

On September 23, I was the guest of Senator Angus King at a White House reception welcoming Pope Francis. The following day, he arranged for me to sit in the gallery of the US House of Representatives while the Holy Father addressed The Joint Session of Congress. Having known Angus since I was 18 years old, this gift was an opportunity of a lifetime and beyond my ability to imagine. Read Full Entry


Compassion and Commitment

The photo of the body of three year Aylan Kurdi washed ashore on a Turkish beach in the refugee crisis captured and broke the heart of almost the entire world. Although over 140,000 have died in Syria since the civil war began, including seven thousand children, the photo of one child brought home the evil of war and the massive humanitarian crisis. We can see and hear the numbers of those fleeing so many war torn areas of our world. But the photo of one child’s body suddenly gives the story “a human face” the numbers all too often simply can’t convey. Read Full Entry


Deeds First, Then Words

If we say “Jesus is the Christ,” those words of faith need to be translated into action of daily life. The words of faith without the action in St. James words, become “dead.” By the same token, “the actions without words” can become self-serving and vainglory instead of “God serving and giving glory to God.” Read Full Entry


Speaking Kindness

Curt Schilling is a retired major league baseball pitcher completing his career brilliantly with the Boston Red Sox. Last spring, his daughter Gabby was admitted into Salve Regina College in Rhode Island, and like a proud dad, he posted the good news on his social media account along with a picture of his beautiful daughter. Read Full Entry


The Real Presence

Our mission is not to bring Christ into the world. Christ is already present there. Rather, our mission is to witness the Lord’s divine presence to others unable or unwilling to acknowledge Him in their daily lives. Uncovering this truth brings the light of God’s merciful love as liberating truth. Read Full Entry


Solidarity

Solidarity requires us to see ourselves and see the world around us through the vision of the Risen Lord. We are to re-evaluate our own values and society’s values through the lens of morality flowing from the glorified humanity of Christ. We are to seek the healing and renewal of the human community empowered by the presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Read Full Entry


Joy is Discovered in the Eucharist

When we join our life to the Risen Lord’s and when we imitate his offering of life as a sacrifice of gratitude and sacrifice of praise, we discover joy. We discover “joy” because we come to realize the value God places on our life. Read Full Entry


What is Our Vocation?

We are sent out to tear down walls of hostility throughout our society, communities and throughout the world. There are many walls and barriers in our world and society today. Some walls are physical and visible. Other walls are less visible but as divisive. Walls between the haves and have nots keep many from realizing their full potential as humans in the human community. Read Full Entry


Why Do We Need the Church?

This reality helps us respond to the question confounding our society and culture. “Why do we need The Church?”  Why Church at all? “I can be with God in the beauty of nature and in the warmth of my own home.” That is true as well and need not be denied or minimized. We are indeed called to relationship with God in a personal way and we are called to find God everywhere. But that is not the full realization of God. Read Full Entry


God's Mustard Seeds

Throughout the two plus millennia of Catholicism, it is often one man or one woman in a challenging set of circumstances called by God to take a stand against a prevailing social catastrophe or to change a prevailing attitude within the Church itself. Read Full Entry


Asking the Right Questions

One of the most dangerous questions we can ask is, “What’s in it for me?” This question contains the five most dangerous words in the English language. Read Full Entry


Among the Saints

The greatest of saints are those who love, and love with the very love of the Lord Jesus Christ. The saints never stopped loving and never stopped growing in love. They grew in the Lord’s love for them and grew in loving others with God’s own love. The saints loved regardless of social status, ethnicity, family of origin, personal background, or past sins. They loved and grew loving those most marginalized, most excluded, and most convinced they simply do not measure up or belong. Read Full Entry


Time to Sing His Tune

St. Barnabas provides a wonderful model for a ministry so desperately needed in our church, society and world today. Recognizing the terrible and hostile divisions separating us, ministries of breaking down barriers separating and building bridges uniting are essential. Transforming hostility into hospitality might be one of the greatest ministries in the church today. Read Full Entry

A full archive of Fr. Seavey's blog entries can be found along the right side of this page. 


 

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Blog of Father Michael Seavey

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Health Care is a Human Right (Part 1)

Health Care is a Human Right (Part 2)

Health Care is a Human Right (Part 3)

Health Care is a Human Right (Part 4)

Health Care is a Human Right (Part 5)

Labor Day Prayer

Funeral Homily

Internet Porn Addiction: An Epidemic

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Asylee Assistance Statement

Fairpoint Rally Speech

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Living Sources of "Good News"

Trinity Sunday

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Light of Truth

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Epiphany

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Second Sunday of Advent

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Through the Eyes of the Risen Lord

"Salvation has visited this house."

Prayer

The Healing of Ten Lepers

A Small Seed Waiting to Be Harvested

Two Rich Men and Lazarus

Reality of Sin

Works of Mercy

Seeing Humanity

Pursuit of "Perfection"

"Strive to enter through the narrow gate..."

The Peace of Christ

Encountering the Living God

Jesus Visits Martha and Mary

Gift of Speech

First Anniversary of Laudato Si'

Joyful Call to Mercy

Do You See This Woman?

Response of Mercy

Solemnity of Corpus Christi

Conscience Formation

The Octave of Easter

Passion Sunday

The Woman Caught in Adultery

The Prodigal Son

Encounter with Mercy

Wisdom vs. Information

St. Francis de Sales

Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

Holy Family

Christmas

Visitation

Moral Choices

God's Word

Jubilee Year of Mercy

Solemnity of Christ the King

Experiences During Papal Visit: Part II

The Right Number

Realities of Divorce

Pope Francis' Visit to the United States

Deeds First, Then Words

Speaking Kindness

Chastity

The Whole Christ

The Real Presence

Solidarity

Joy is Discovered in the Eucharist

Love Takes Imagination into Infinity

What is Our Vocation?

Why Do We Need the Church?

"Can Anything Good Come from Nazareth?"

God's Mustard Seeds

Asking the Right Questions

Among the Saints

Time to Sing His Tune

Living Mercifully: The Two Streams of Mercy

Good Friday

Resuscitate or Resurrect?

"Unless the Grain of Wheat Falls to the Ground and Dies..."

Contemplating the Pierced Side of Christ...

"We Proclaim Christ Crucified!"

"Divine Love Pouring Through and Outward From."

What Will We Profess?

"A Leper Approached"

Sacrament of the Sick

God is Always Present

The Beloved Community

Christ is Risen and Alive!

The Power of Words

Rededication of Sacred Heart/St. Dominic Parish Tower and Bell

Reclaiming Humanity

Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed (All Souls' Day)

Come to the Wedding Banquet

Who Do You Say that I Am?

The Canaanite Woman

The Man Born Blind

The Feast of the Triumph of the Holy Cross

Nothing Fair about Mercy

Go and Point Out His Fault...

A Matter of Love

"We know that all things work for good..."

The Mystery of Evil

"Come to me all who labor and are burdened."

Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul

The Hour

The Storm on the Sea

The Feeding of Thousands

Temptations in the Desert

"Do Not Worry"