Notes on Homilies: Sacrifice and Suffering

by Karina Fabian

Saw an interesting blog post by Roman Catholic Cop. He was challenged to record one thought from the weekly homilies at Mass.

In Matthew Kelly’s talk, “The Seven Pillars of Catholic Spirituality” he suggests taking ONE thing from father’s homily on Sunday and to write it down in a journal. He says after one year of going to mass you will have an amazing guide to spirituality.

I like this idea, so I’m going to attempt to do the same here. Too often, I find something at Mass really touches me, but as soon as I get out the doors and have to deal with lunches and kids and to-do’s, I forget what it was that made such an impact. Writing them will give me a chance to remember, and I thought you might like to share in them as well.

Today’s homily was about sacrifice and suffering, and how our vocations in life involve each. The priest spoke of a high school boy paralyzed in a hockey accident, and in an interview he said that this was his calling, his vocation. “It is a mystery, but I embrace it.”

What an amazing attitude for a teen to take. I think about the days I just want to give up on everything because I’m tired or have a headache or someone got mad at me, but this kid may never walk again, but he’s not only not giving up, but embracing this mystery he’s been dealt. I’m humbled.

The other thing I’m taking, which applies to the first, is the idea that suffering can mean putting yourself aside to serve others. That’s one I have a hard time with because (like I said in my book, Why God Matters), I tend to have a martyrdom streak, and a loud martyrdom streak at that. Instead of putting myself aside in my suffering in order to serve others, I tend to make a noisy point of my suffering as I serve others.

What about you? What did you take from today’s homily or sermon? What do you think about suffering and service?

About Karina Fabian

Karina Fabian writes everything from devotionals to serious sci-fi to comedic horror. Her latest novel, Live and Let Fly, stars a Catholic dragon and his magic-slinging partner, Sister Grace, as they save the worlds from maniacal middle managers and Norse goddesses. (Coming April from MuseItUp) Karina also teaches writing and marketing online. Learn more at
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5 Responses to Notes on Homilies: Sacrifice and Suffering

  1. KathrynCunningham says:

    The idea of “repent” really resonated for me from today’s homily. It’s a cause for me to rethink this idea all week, the measure of a good homily. As far as suffering……..everyone experiences some kind of suffering in life. It can be a great school to sharpen our spiritual tools. Easier said than done! Sienna said this: “[The enemy] likes to give us lots of annoyances and different sorts of struggles, and suggest false judgments against what we are commanded in obedience….[He] tries to lead us to unreasonable sadness and spiritual discouragement. [Hoping] we become frustrated with ourselves and abandon our spiritual practices…”

  2. Karina Fabian says:

    Kathryn, FABULOUS quote. I’m going to copy it and post it on the refrigerator!

  3. KathrynCunningham says:

    Glad you liked it……..she was a gem!

    • Leslie Lynch says:

      Karina, I love Matthew Kelly’s concept of writing down a point or two from each homily that resonates – and then revisit them after time has passed. What a fantastic way to tap into what God is trying to tell each individual, because we all hear different messages in the Word and the homily! I’m going to do that, and look foward to keeping the reminders close to my heart, as well as getting a big picture view sometime down the road.

  4. KathrynCunningham says:

    From the homily on 1/29. Both the Scribes(the equivalent of canon lawyers) and Jesus has perfect knowledge of the scriptures. They both taught the SAME material. Yet when people heard Jesus they were amazed at his “authority”. Difference? The scribes taught from their perfect “head knowledge”. Jesus taught what he was actually living! When you witness do you separate what you know from who you are?