Lightning Bug Catholics


We do indeed need to show joy as Catholics.

My motto… “Be happily and uncomplicatedly Catholic.”
Michael J. Sheehan
Archbishop of Santa Fe

Lightning Bug Catholics

Recently, my wife and I enjoyed an evening cookout in the park. At dusk as we sat looking over a grassy area towards the woods, we had a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Suddenly the area became alive with hundreds of lightning bugs. They put on a show like quiet fireworks on the 4th of July. One of the little fellows landed on the top of my hand and stayed long enough for me to observe his orange head. Then he lighted up his lower abdomen and took off.
Return home, still tingling from the awe of having witnessed this phenomena of nature, I did some research. I learned that “the bug’s light production (bioluminescence) is caused by enzyme luciferase acting on luciferin in the presence of magnesium ions, ATP, and oxygen to produce light with wavelengths from 510 to 70 nanometers.” Wow!
During the week I realized that we Joyful Catholics are the lightning bugs in the Church. Those other staid, conservative and me-only Catholics are the non-lightning bugs who go about doing their own thing, unnoticed and unnoticing. By contrast, we Joyful Catholics brighten the world around us by demonstrating our concern and love for others—perhaps with a warm smile for a stranger, a call to the lonely, an act of kindness or a note of thanks and appreciation.
As I have said before, a complacent Catholic is third rate. What great joy there is in being a Joyful Catholic!

Recommended readings

– “No Third Reading” in Homiletic & Pastoral Review
– “Saint Teresa of Avila: Prayer-Centered Reformer” in Spiritual Life
– “A Reckoning- the Price Tag for America’s Wars” in Commonweal 7/16
“The Jesus Controversy” in America 8/2-9 (Comment: I get annoyed at us Catholics who enjoy debating “the historical Jesus”. Why can’t we just accept that he was God-Made-Man, and ponder that forever.)


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