Quo Vadis

As many of you know I am a hospice chaplain. In my work I have the opportunity to meet with a wide variety of people with a wide variety of beliefs.

In 2014 I met a man who came to hospice because he was dying of cancer. He told me that he is Catholic and attended Catholic school as a child. When he graduated he participated in an annual ritual: the sisters who taught them predicted their profession. They told him he would be a writer. Alas, he didn't pursue writing but instead found his calling in the military and while he found his life fulfilling he couldn't shake the idea that he disappointed the good sisters by not writing. After he retired he wrote a small book that he self published called, "Quo Vadis II." Quo Vadis is a Latin term that means "Where are you going?" and it's a popular book by Henryk Sienkiewicz.

My patient asked me to publish his book on the internet after he died. He asked that I not name him and I'm honoring his wishes.



The Fallibility of Scientists (There Is No God)

Pseudo Gods and Earthly Idols (I Am Your God)

One God, Thousands of Religions (Mine Is Best For You)

The Cross At the Appian Way (The Eternal Message)


These words are not so much new as they are reassuring. They are especially for those who have reached the "Appian Way." For those who cry out "Quo Vadis Domine" but unlike Saint Peter , hear only a chorus of disharmony. A chorus not easily tuned out because it is composed of prominent scientists, religious and government leaders. Leaders who sing conflicting tunes of, "There is no God," "I am your God," "My religion is best for you." It is not surprising that we would grow weary from all of the discord, and at time, even confused. But if we take the time to filter the babel, tune by tune, we will be pleasantly surprised that the infallible guidance we sought was ever present. God has spoken and we need only to remove the barriers to permit His message to enter our hearts.

The Fallibility of Scientists (There is No God)

To some, scientists are the most difficult to tune out because their claims are supposedly based on sound scientific principles and conclusions. It will suffice to say that as new and improved methods of observation, measurement and calculation are developed, new and improved scientific principles will evolve. Past and present scientific conclusions will be cast away in the light of verification. Scientists today still don't know what time it is, nor how far it is from one point to another. They are limited by systems of measurement which make comparison to arbitrary standards. But yet, some scientists, whose egos overshadow their limitations, would absolutely define the universe and humanity to be an evolution of a haphazard event. The concepts of a child hold equal validity. It is not only difficult, but also paradoxical, to the logic process of scientists to accept events which do not conform to their self-established principles. Therefore, if one is seeking heavenly truths, one should not expect to find them among those who have bound themselves to earthly principles. Telescopes and microscopes, alone, will not reveal the Creator, they will only permit man to marvel at His creation.

Pseudo Gods and Earthly Idols (I Am Your God)

The mystique that rulers of nations and governments are supremely wise, just and benevolent is most likely rooted in man's subconcious yearning for his Creator. By surrendering his will and wealth, willingly or unwillingly, he elevates ordinary man to a god-like level. To some extent this satisfies his subconcious yearnings for he now has a supreme being which he can see, hear, and perhaps even touch. This is a self-imposed sham. For history has well recorded the failures and mortality of our synthesized gods, of power seized, and of power ultimately surrendered. The good and bad have all vanished. Unfortunately, man's earthly idols of money, power and glory remain, seemingly imbedded in the frailty of man's character. Those who aspire to earthly grandeur craftily use the idols to entice, manipulate and to ensnare their following. In order to rise higher and higher man must often be willing to lower his morals. Enraptured by success, he seldom perceives the extent his earthly stature influences the character of his society He loses sight of the correlation between immorality and human suffering. The sufferings inflicted on others are considered an unavoidable necessity. It is his appeasement offering to his pseudo god. Too soon are the lessons of history abandoned, often too late does he recognize the transient nature of his earthly idols. For time is the great equalizer, and in the end all earthly riches, power and glory must be surrendered. Strength, beauty and intellect are all eventually humbled. Therefore, keep your earthly values in perspective lest they become the cornerstone of your eternal damnation. Eternity is not to be found in that which itself is transient, but is found only in He who is sinless and Himself eternal

One God, Thousands of Religions (Mine Is Best For You)

In the beginning man marveled at the creations on earth, in the sky and the sea. What he worshipped in superstition, was not God, but His creation. One of the great revelations to man was God Himself. Why God did not reveal Himself to all, and in His eternity, is of His own design. One can hypothesize God's actions, but in essence, our egos are attempting to reveal more than God has chosen. Today, tomorrow and forever there will be but one God, but in absence of His full revelation religions continue to sprout, claiming they have deciphered the eternal truth. Their popularity stems from the babel of their religious leaders who tailor their dogma to suit the personality and intellect of their confused following. But how does noe who has not been gifted with true faith, or has not yet been enlightened, filter the truth from the babel? In order to do so, we must be willing to accept the "Good News" that the gates of heaven have been reopened to all. If we can accept this wonderful truth it would seem logical that God would also provide us with clear guidelines as to what we must do from our exile. Once we are attuned for a clear and simple message, one which even little children can understand, then the voice of Jesus Christ booms like thunder above all the babel. That is, "Love God above all and your neighbor as I have loved you." A message which is not cryptic nor requiring great intellect and study to decipher. A message for all generations. Adherence implicitly satisfies all of God's commandments, commandments which nurture mutual respect and permit heavenly attitudes to grow.

The problem at the time of Christ's ministry was that man was not attuned for a message of love and forgiveness. Man's image of God was instinctively as one of boundless power and might. A God who would intervene, as he did in Egypt, and destroy their Roman conquerers. John the Baptist, himself, wondered whether the moment of God's intervention was at hand, and was his mission of preaching repentance complete? For while imprisoned, and facing death, he went a message to Jesus Christ asking, "Are you the one?" Christ's response was, "The blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the dear hear, and the dead are raised to life." John needed no more assurance, his mission was indeed complete. He was beheaded, a fate he refused to alter. But the apostles faith would nearly be shattered by the shock of Christ's crucifixion. They did not, as yet, comprehend that God's message was to be of love and forgiveness, not of power and destruction. It was only after a resurrected Christ appeared to them, and they were by the Holy Spirit that they were transformed into zealous messengers of the "Good News." Martyrdom became a joyous fulfillment rather than a tragic end.

So today and tomorrow, as the generations pass, our faith remains securely anchored in the written, spoke and living word. The devout lives and miracles of the saints and martyrs continue to inspire the generations. But one must keep in perspective that the blood of all the saints, martyrs and devout people cannot compare to one drop of Christ's blood. Is alone is sinless and when one drop fell our opportunity for salvation was assured. A God, who took the nature of man, and endured human indignities, scourging and crucifixion for our salvation, indeed is to be marveled. We have heaven as a reward for our sufferings, but what reward was there for Christ? He already possessed the Kingdom of Heaven. Man contemplate for eons but he could never fashion a greater act of pure love. What more can we ask of God? Are not His miracles, crucifixion and resurrection sufficient? Unfortunately, there are some who will not believe unless they can put their fingers in the holes in Christ's hands. The danger for them, and others like them, is that God is not obligated to reveal more than what He already has chosen. It would be prudent for all to keep in mind the words a resurrected Christ spoke to His Apostles, You believe because you have seen me, blessed are they that have not seen and yet believed.

When Christ returns again all mankind will become believers, but unfortunately for some, the time and opportunity for salvation will have ended.

The Cross At the Appian Way (The Eternal Message)

When we consider all the violence and crimes man has committed over the generations we have to agree that God was no too harsh in banishing our original parents from heaven. Why he did not destroy us then and there was our good fortune. Our good fortune because whatever the true reason may be, the "Good News" is that the gates of heaven have been reopened to all. The Cross, enshrined by the blood of His only Son Jesus Christ, stands as the eternal sign that our exile has been transformed into a heavenly opportunity.

Standing between us and our heavenly destiny are the temptations of short-lived earthly pleasures. Bombarded by stimuli that evoke the worst in human behavior, it is not surprising that we grow weary and falter. Self-anointed experts, whose own lives are tragic, instruct us in every aspect of living. Supposedly, we no longer know how to raise our children, what our roles in life are, nor right from wrong. We are asked to accept the most perverted lifestyles as normal simply because they exist. Somehow the statistics of numbers normalize sin and make them acceptable. Scientists infer they have achieved creation when all they have done is to distort existing life process. Religious leaders acquiesce to the whims of the masses in order to sustain their earthly power. So it is that we find ourselves at the "Appian Way" somewhat confused and our confidence diminished. But if we take the time to tune our the conflicting messages of our experts and leaders we will discover that the guidance we so eagerly sought was ever present and was only masked by the babel we permitted into our lives.

As we cry our, "Quo Vadis Domine," it is the spirit of the Cross that pierces our darkness. Like Saint Peter, we realize that it is the Cross that will light the path to our eternal destiny. It is the cross that radiates His love and compassion and permits us to see that we are all brother and sisters. The Cross that inspires us to rise each time we fall. The Cross that assures that salvation is within us. The Cross that forgives and rejuvenates our soul. By comparison, everything else in this world is trivial. The infallible guidance we so eagerly sought is ever so clear, "Go love one another as I have loved you." A clear message that gives purpose and direction to our lives. As we ponder and absorb the magnificence of the Cross, God's extraordinary intervention into the destiny of mankind, our souls feel refreshed. So with renewed confidence and determination we are ready to continue on our earthly journey. our heavenly path clearly illuminated.

But we know the last part of a race is seldom the easiest. We can expect the devil to continue to cast earthly temptations on us each step of the way. His most successful ploy still is, "What harm is there in one little bite?" Fame and fortune are his opiates. He knows the more we gain the more we crave. Each success gives us only temporary satisfaction and slowly we become desensitized to the sufferings we inflict on others and ourselves. Once entrapped, we become our own worst enemy. Ashamed of our transgressions, like Adam, we try to hide from God. The devil nurtures our despondency, his temptations seem incessant each time we try to reform. He wants us to feel hopeless and totally unworthy of forgiveness. He hopes that, like "Judas," we will choke off our opportunity for salvation. He tempts us to abandon the Cross, our faith in God's forgiveness, but he lacks the power to take it from us. He knows that he wins only if we fail to rise. His great anguish is that at the last moment, many, like the thief on the cross, will recognize the divinity of Jesus Christ and be saved. Like many unbelievers, past and present, he taunts God to display His power and might. But as in the beginning, and unto the end, the time for God's full revelation shall be his own choosing. If it was God's intention to motivate our repentance out of fear, the crucifixion would never have taken place. The Cross, and its message to man, is clear: that is, if man is to achieve his own glorious resurrection it shall be accomplished by a sincere love for God and his fellow man.

Without the Cross who of us would have dared to dream of salvation, with it, who of us would be foolish enough not to!


Dedicated to the Blessed Mother Mary and Her Sisters of the Immaculate Conception


Other Writings:

The Gift of Christmas

Glory and Joy of Easter

Until I Come Again