Our Lady of the Storm

The Breezy Point Madonna, Mark Lennihan/Associated Press

 

“NOTHING good ever happens after midnight,” my wife says. After nearly 27 years of marriage, this maxim has proven itself true: don’t try to sort out your difficulties when you should be sleeping.Continue reading

The Storm of Our Desires

Peace Be Still, by Arnold Friberg

 

FROM time to time, I receive letters like these:

Please pray for me. I am so weak and my sins of the flesh, especially alcohol, strangle me. 

You could simply replace alcohol with “pornography”, “lust”, “anger” or a number of other things. The fact is that many Christians today feel swamped by the desires of the flesh, and helpless to change.Continue reading

Becoming an Ark of God

 

The Church, which comprises the elect,
is fittingly styled daybreak or dawn…
It will be fully day for her when she shines
with the perfect brilliance of interior light
.
—St. Gregory the Great, Pope; Liturgy of the Hours, Vol III, p. 308 (see also The Smoldering Candle and Wedding Preparations to understand the coming corporate mystical union, which will be preceded by a “dark night of the soul” for the Church.)

 

BEFORE Christmas, I asked the question: Is the Eastern Gate Opening? That is, are we beginning to see signs of the ultimate fulfillment of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart coming in to view? If so, what signs should we see? I would recommend reading that exciting writing if you have not yet.Continue reading

Finding True Peace in Our Times

 

Peace is not merely the absence of war…
Peace is “the tranquillity of order.”

Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2304

 

EVEN now, even as time spins faster and faster and the pace of life demands more; even now as tensions between spouses and families increase; even now as cordial dialogue between individuals disintegrates and nations careen toward war… even now we can find true peace. Continue reading

Striking God’s Anointed One

Saul attacking David, Guercino (1591-1666)

 

Regarding my article on The Anti-Mercy, someone felt that I was not critical enough of Pope Francis. “Confusion is not from God,” they wrote. No, confusion is not from God. But God can use confusion to sift and purify His Church. I think this is precisely what is happening at this hour. Francis’ pontificate is bringing into full light those clergymen and laymen who seemed as though waiting in the wings to promote a heterodox version of Catholic teaching (cf. When the Weeds Begin to Head). But it is also bringing to light those who have been bound up in legalism hiding behind a wall of orthodoxy. It is revealing those whose faith is genuinely in Christ, and those whose faith is in themselves; those who are humble and loyal, and those who aren’t. 

So how do we approach this “Pope of surprises”, who seems to startle nearly everyone these days? The following was published on January 22nd, 2016 and has been updated today… The answer, most certainly, is not with the irreverent and crude criticism that has become a staple of this generation. Here, David’s example is most relevant…

Continue reading

The Anti-Mercy

 

A woman asked today if I’ve written anything to clarify the confusion over the Pope’s post-Synodal document, Amoris Laetitia. She said,

I love the Church and always plan to be a Catholic. Yet, I am confused about Pope Francis’ last Exhortation. I know the true teachings on marriage. Sadly I am a divorced Catholic. My husband started another family while still married to me. It still hurts very much. As the Church can’t change its teachings, why hasn’t this been made clear or professed?

She is correct: the teachings on marriage are clear and immutable. The present confusion is really a sad reflection of the Church’s sinfulness within her individual members. This woman’s pain is for her a double-edged sword. For she is cut to the heart by her husband’s infidelity and then, at the same time, cut by those bishops who are now suggesting that her husband might be able to receive the Sacraments, even while in a state of objective adultery. 

The following was published on March 4th, 2017 regarding a novel re-interpretation of marriage and the sacraments by some bishop’s conferences, and the emerging “anti-mercy” in our times…Continue reading

Getting Ahead of God

 

FOR over three years, my wife and I have been trying to sell our farm. We’ve felt this “call” that we should move here, or move there. We’ve prayed about it and surmised that we had many valid reasons and even felt a certain “peace” about it. But still, we’ve never found a buyer (actually the buyers that have come along have been inexplicably blocked time and again) and the door of opportunity has repeatedly closed. At first, we were tempted to say, “God, why aren’t you blessing this?” But recently, we’ve realized that we’ve been asking the wrong question. It shouldn’t be, “God, please bless our discernment,” but rather, “God, what is Your will?” And then, we need to pray, listen, and above all, wait for both clarity and peace. We haven’t waited for both. And as my spiritual director has told me many times over the years, “If you don’t know what to do, don’t do anything.”Continue reading

The Cross of Loving

 

TO pick up one’s Cross means to empty oneself out completely for love of the other. Jesus put it another way:

This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:12-13)

We are to love as Jesus loved us. In His personal mission, which was a mission for the entire world, it involved death upon a cross. But how are we who are mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, priests and nuns, to love when we are not called to such a literal martyrdom? Jesus revealed this too, not only on Calvary, but each and every day as He walked among us. As St. Paul said, “He emptied himself, taking the form of a slave…” [1](Philippians 2:5-8 How?Continue reading

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1. (Philippians 2:5-8

The Cross, the Cross!

 

ONE of the greatest questions I’ve faced in my personal walk with God is why I seem to change so little? “Lord, I pray every day, say the Rosary, go to Mass, have regular confession, and pour myself out in this ministry. Why, then, do I seem stuck in the same old patterns and faults that hurt me and the ones I love the most?” The answer came to me so clearly:

The Cross, the Cross!

But what is “the Cross”?Continue reading

You Be Noah

 

IF I could collect the tears of all the parents who have shared their heartbreak and grief of how their children have left the Faith, I’d have a small ocean. But that ocean would be but a droplet compared to the Ocean of Mercy that flows from the Heart of Christ. There is no One more interested, more invested, or burning with more desire for the salvation of your family members than Jesus Christ who suffered and died for them. Nonetheless, what can you do when, despite your prayers and best efforts, your children continue to reject their Christian faith creating all kinds of internal problems, divisions, and angst in your family or their lives? Moreover, as you pay attention to the “signs of the times” and how God is preparing to purify the world once again, you ask, “What about my children?”Continue reading