Author: Byron Miller, CSSR

Another Year, A Different Me

Imagine receiving a traffic ticket in the mail for a violation you didn’t commit! That’s what happened to a relative of mine after an overnight hotel stay for a work-related seminar. When the valet at the hotel’s parking garage appropriated her vehicle at 4 am, he unwittingly sped through a...

A Treasure Found, a Lesson Learned

Writings of long ago make clear why forever friends are so invaluable. After the death of my father, I returned to the city of my youth to sort through accumulated belongings in our old family home. To my surprise, I discovered my high school journal, written when I was between...

Challenges Left and Right

At an art museum, three patrons gathered in front of a painting of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, executed by an anonymous artist. The first said, “Notice the great attention to detail in the vegetation. The artist must have been a botanist.” The second countered, “Observe how...

Where Are the Better Angels?

There once was a poor, elderly man who lost his only horse shortly before harvest. His friends commiserated with him about his misfortune, but the old man quietly countered, “How do you know this is misfortune?” Later, the old man’s steed came home, accompanied by a pack of wild horses,...

A Pro-vaccine Parable

“Having seen this up close and personal, I’d encourage ALL of you to put politics and other concerns aside and get it,” posted Mark Valentine on Facebook about the COVID-19 vaccine. He added that his brother Phil’s fight for his life “has persuaded me to go get vaccinated when I...

Driven by Vengeance

“An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth” is one of the oldest laws in the world, appearing three times in the Old Testament (Exodus 21:23–25, Leviticus 24:20, Deuteronomy 19:21). It was originally intended to limit a proportional punishment to the individual who committed the injury, rather...

Eroding Reality

Father, my car broke down on the highway and my wife and children are waiting on the side of the road. Can you give me money to fix the car?” Based on the frequency of this request, priests could be most helpful in ministry if we operated a car-towing service....

“The Best Name for God”

A mother sent her little girl to the store with instructions to come home immediately after making her purchase. When she returned more than an hour late, her worried mother asked, “What took you so long?” “I’m sorry, Mommy, for being late, but Annie broke her doll and I stopped...

Riddled with Faith

On his eighty-first birthday in 1962, Saint John XXIII said, “Any day is a good day to be born and any day is a good day to die.” Six months later, he was dead. On the other hand, according to Margaret Mitchell, there’s never a convenient time for “death and...

Tarnished Treasures

The poet John Keats wrote, “A thing of beauty is a joy forever.” However, several art restoration projects gone awry in recent years suggest otherwise. Consider, for example, the seventeenth-century Spanish artist Bartolomé Murillo’s painting of the Virgin Mary disfigured by a furniture restorer in 2020; a wooden fifteenth-century statue...

Sunday-morning Satire

“Welcome to our parish, Father. Do you have the Mass this morning?” grumbled the woman in the sacristy. “Yes. I’ll be taking your good pastor’s place at all three Masses today,” the replacement priest replied. “Anything I should know?” “Well, Father, we prefer no incense; it sets off the smoke...

Our Sharpest Tool

Children know thirty to forty offensive words by the time they enter school, suggests data from psychology professors Timothy Jay and Kristin Janschewitz, though no one knows if kids are aware of what the words mean. Likewise, children may not fully understand all the words they use in prayer. I’ve...

Let Us Firmly Resolve

May all your troubles in the coming year be as short-lived as your New Year’s resolutions,” quipped an anonymous realist. Recall the ambitious list of resolutions often created with good intentions at the beginning of each year—intentions to start walking, stop smoking, floss more, fuss less, lose weight, gain indulgences…you...

A Communion of Memories

Meet Liguori Publications new President, Fr. Byron Miller, CSsR. November, 2015 marks Fr. Miller’s first “From the President” column. I hadn’t heard from Vernon in decades—until an email last summer made a sacred trinity of time—past, present, and future—converge at midlife. As it turns out, his daughter and my sister’s son...