The Joy of Lent!

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for Ash Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

Liturgical texts here

ash-wednesday-faces-of-the-faithful

 

ASHES, sackcloth, fasting, penance, mortification, sacrifice… These are the common themes of Lent. So who would think of this penitential season as a time of joy? Easter Sunday? Yes, joy! But the forty days of penance?

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The Gentle Coming of Jesus

A Light to the Gentiles by Greg Olsen

 

WHY did Jesus come to earth as He did—clothing His divine nature in the DNA, chromosomes, and genetic heritage of the woman, Mary? For Jesus could very well have simply materialized in the desert, entered immediately upon forty days of temptation, and then emerged in the Spirit for His three year ministry. But instead, He chose to walk in our footsteps from the very first instance of His human life. He chose to become little, helpless, and weak, for…

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Returning to Our Center

offcourse_Fotor

 

WHEN a ship goes off course by only a degree or two, it is barely noticeable until several hundred nautical miles later. So too, the Barque of Peter has likewise veered somewhat off course over the centuries. In the words of Blessed Cardinal Newman:

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The Jaws of the Red Dragon

SUPREME COURTThe Supreme Court Justices of Canada

 

IT was a strange convergence this past weekend. All week long at my concerts, as a preamble to my song Call Your Name (listen below), I felt compelled to speak about how truth is being turned upside down in our day; how good is being called evil, and evil good. I noted how “judges are getting up in the morning, having their coffee and cereal like the rest of us, and then go into work—and completely overturn the Natural Moral Law that has existed since time memorial.” Little did I realize that the Supreme Court of Canada was planning to issue a ruling last Friday that opens the door for doctors to help kill someone with a ‘grievous and irremediable medical condition (including an illness, disease or disability)’.

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My Young Priests, Be Not Afraid!

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

Liturgical texts here

ord-prostration_Fotor

 

AFTER Mass today, the words came strongly to me:

My young priests, do not be afraid! I have put you in place, like seeds scattered among fertile soil. Do not be afraid to preach My Name! Do not be afraid to speak the truth in love. Do not be afraid if My Word, through you, causes a sifting of your flock…

As I shared these thoughts over coffee with a courageous African priest this morning, he nodded his head. “Yes, we priests often want to please everyone rather than preach the truth… we have let the lay faithful down.”

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Jesus, the Goal

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

Liturgical texts here

 

DISCIPLINE, mortification, fasting, sacrifice… these are words that tend to make us cringe because we associate them with pain. However, Jesus did not. As St. Paul wrote:

For the sake of the joy that lay before him, Jesus endured the cross… (Heb 12:2)

The difference between a Christian monk and a Buddhist monk is precisely this: the end for the Christian is not the mortification of his senses, or even peace and serenity; rather it is God himself. Anything less is falling short of fulfillment as much as throwing a rock in the sky falls short of hitting the moon. Fulfillment for the Christian is to allow God to possess him that he may possess God. It is this union of hearts that transforms and restores the soul into the image and likeness of the Holy Trinity. But even the most profound union with God can also be accompanied by a dense darkness, spiritual dryness, and sense of abandonment—just as Jesus, though in complete conformity to the Father’s will, experienced abandonment on the Cross.

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Touching Jesus

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015
Opt. Memorial St. Blaise

Liturgical texts here

 

MANY Catholics go to Mass every Sunday, join the Knights of Columbus or CWL, put a few bucks in the collection basket, etc. But their faith never really deepens; there is no real transformation of their hearts more and more into holiness, more and more into Our Lord himself, such that they can begin to say with St. Paul, “yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me; insofar as I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who has loved me and given himself up for me.” [1]cf. Gal 2:20

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1. cf. Gal 2:20