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Archive for January, 2017

A Matter of the Heart

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for Monday, January 30th, 2017

Liturgical texts here

A monk praying; photo by Tony O’Brien, Christ in the Desert Monastery

 

THE Lord has put many things on my heart to write you in just the past few days. Again, there is a certain sense that time is of the essence. Since God is in eternity, I know this sense of urgency, then, is merely a nudge to wake us up, to stir us again to vigilance and Christ’s perennial words to “watch and pray.” Many of us do a fairly thorough job of watching… but if we do not also pray, things will go badly, very badly in these times (see Hell Unleashed). For what is needed most at this hour is not knowledge so much as divine wisdom. And this, dear friends, is a matter of the heart.

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Published in: HOME, SPIRITUALITY | on January 30th, 2017 | No Comments »

Fake News, Real Revolution

A scene from The Apocalypse Tapestry in Angers, France. It is the longest wall-hanging in Europe. It was once 140 meters long until it was vandalized
during the “Enlightenment” period

 

IF you stand close enough to a tapestry, all you will see is a portion of the “story”, and you can lose the context. Stand back, and the whole picture comes into view. So it is with the events unfolding in America, the Vatican, and all over the world which, at first glance, may not appear connected. But they are. If you press your face up against current events without understanding them in the larger context of, really, the past two thousand years, you lose the “story.” Fortunately, St. John Paul II reminded us to take a step back…

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Published in: HOME, SIGNS | on January 27th, 2017 | No Comments »

The Great Ark


Look Up by Michael D. O’Brien

 

If there is a Storm in our times, will God provide an “ark”? The answer is “Yes!” But perhaps never before have Christians doubted this provision so much as in our times as controversy over Pope Francis rages, and the rational minds of our post-modern era must grapple with the mystical. Nonetheless, here is the Ark Jesus is providing for us at this hour. I will also address “what to do” in the Ark in the days ahead. First published May 11th, 2011. 

 

JESUS said that the period before His eventual return would be “as it was in the days of Noah…” That is, many would be oblivious to the Storm gathering around them: “They did not know until the flood came and carried them all away.” [1]Matt 24:37-29 St. Paul indicated that the coming of the “Day of the Lord” would be “like a thief in the night.” [2]1 These 5:2 This Storm, as the Church teaches, contains the Passion of the Church, who will follow her Head in her own passage through a corporate “death” and resurrection. [3]Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 675 Just as many of the “leaders” of the temple and even the Apostles themselves seemed unaware, even to the last moment, that Jesus had to truly suffer and die, so too many in the Church seem oblivious to the consistent prophetic warnings of the popes and the Blessed Mother—warnings that announce and signal a…

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1. Matt 24:37-29
2. 1 These 5:2
3. Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 675
Published in: HOME, FAITH AND MORALS | on January 25th, 2017 | 4 Comments »

The Storm of Confusion

“You are the light of the world” (Matt 5:14)

 

AS I attempt to pen this writing to you today, I confess, I have had to start over several times. The reason is that The Storm of Fear to doubt God and His promises, The Storm of Temptation to turn to worldly solutions and security, and The Storm of Division that has sown judgments and suspicions in people’s hearts… means that many are losing their capacity to trust as they are engulfed in a whirlwind of confusion. And so, I ask you to bear with me, to be patient as I too pick the dust and debris from my eyes (it’s awfully windy up here on the wall!). There is a way through this Storm of Confusion, but it will demand your trust—not in me—but in Jesus, and the Ark He is providing. There are crucial and practical things I will address. But first, a few “now words” on the present moment and the big picture…

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Published in: HOME, THE GREAT TRIALS | on January 23rd, 2017 | No Comments »

The Storm of Division

Hurricane Sandy, Photograph by Ken Cedeno, Corbis Images

 

WHETHER it has been global politics, the recent American presidential campaign, or family relationships, we are living in a time when divisions are becoming more glaring, intense and bitter. In fact, the more we are connected by social media, the more divided we seem to be as Facebook, forums, and comment sections become a platform by which to disparage the other—even one’s own kin… even one’s own pope. I receive letters from all over the world that mourn the terrible divisions that many are experiencing, particularly within their families. And now we are seeing the remarkable and perhaps even prophesied disunity of “cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against bishops” as foretold by Our Lady of Akita in 1973.

The question, then, is how to bring yourself, and hopefully your family, through this Storm of Division?

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Published in: HOME, THE GREAT TRIALS | on January 20th, 2017 | No Comments »

The Storm of Temptation

Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images

 

TEMPTATION is as old as human history. But what is new about temptation in our times is that sin has never been so accessible, so pervasive, and so acceptable. It could rightly be said that there is a veritable deluge of impurity sweeping through the world. And this has a profound effect upon us in three ways. One, is that it attacks the innocence of the soul just to be exposed to the most egregious evils; second, the constant near occasion of sin leads to weariness; and thirdly, the frequent fall of the Christian into these sins, even venial, begins to whittle away contentment and his or her confidence in God leading to anxiety, discouragement, and depression, thereby obscuring the joyful counter-witness of the Christian in the world.

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Published in: HOME, SPIRITUALITY | on January 18th, 2017 | No Comments »

Why Faith?

Artist Unknown

 

For by grace you have been saved
through faith… (Eph 2:8)

 

HAVE you ever wondered why it is through “faith” that we are saved? Why doesn’t Jesus just appear to the world announcing that He has reconciled us to the Father, and call us to repent? Why does He often seem so distant, so untouchable, intangible, such that we sometimes have to wrestle with doubts? Why doesn’t He walk among us again, producing many miracles and letting us look into His eyes of love?  

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Published in: HOME, SPIRITUALITY | on January 13th, 2017 | No Comments »

The Storm of Fear

 

IT can be almost fruitless to speak of how to battle against the storms of temptation, division, confusion, oppression, and such unless we have an unshakable confidence in God’s love for us. That is the context for not only this discussion, but for the entire Gospel.

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Published in: HOME, SPIRITUALITY | on January 11th, 2017 | No Comments »

Coming Through the Storm

Fort Lauderdale Airport aftermath… when will the madness end?  Courtesy nydailynews.com

 

THERE has been a great deal of attention on this website to the exterior dimensions of the Storm that has descended upon the world… a Storm that has been in the making for centuries, if not millenia. However, what is most important is being aware of the interior aspects of the Storm that are raging in many souls that are becoming more evident by the day: the storm surge of temptation, the winds of division, the rainfall of errors, the roar of oppression, and so forth. Nearly every red-blooded male I encounter these days is struggling against pornography. Families and marriages everywhere are being torn asunder by divisions and fighting. Errors and confusion are spreading regarding moral absolutes and the nature of authentic love… Few, it seems, realize what is happening, and it can be explained in one simple Scripture:

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Published in: HOME, SPIRITUALITY | on January 9th, 2017 | No Comments »

Christmas is Never Over

 

CHRISTMAS is over? You’d think so by the world’s standards. The “top forty” has replaced Christmas music; sales signs have replaced ornaments; lights have been dimmed and Christmas trees kicked to the curb. But for us as Catholic Christians, we are still in the midst of a contemplative gaze at the Word who has become flesh—God become man. Or at least, it should be so. We still await the revelation of Jesus to the Gentiles, to those Magi who travel from afar to see the Messiah, the one who is to “shepherd” God’s people. This “epiphany” (commemorated this Sunday) is, in fact, the pinnacle of Christmas, because it reveals that Jesus is no longer “just” for the Jews, but for every man, woman and child who wanders in darkness.

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Published in: HOME, TIME OF GRACE | on January 6th, 2017 | No Comments »