Priests, and the Coming Triumph

Procession of Our Lady in Fatima, Portugal (Reuters)

 

The long-prepared and ongoing process of dissolution of the Christian concept of morality was, as I have tried to show, marked by an unprecedented radicalism in the 1960s… In various seminaries, homosexual cliques were established…
—EMERITUS POPE BENEDICT, essay on the current crisis of faith in the Church, Apr 10, 2019; Catholic News Agency

…the darkest clouds gather over the Catholic Church. As though out of a deep abyss, countless incomprehensible cases of sexual abuse from the past come to light—acts committed by priests and religious. The clouds cast their shadows even on the Chair of Peter. Now no one is talking anymore about the moral authority for the world that is usually granted a Pope. How great is this crisis? Is it really, as we occasionally read, one of the greatest in the history of the Church?
—Peter Seewald’s question to Pope Benedict XVI, from Light of the World: The Pope, the Church, and the Signs of the Times (Ignatius Press), p. 23
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Recovering Who We Are

 

Nothing remains for Us, therefore, but to invite this poor world that has shed so much blood, has dug so many graves, has destroyed so many works, has deprived so many men of bread and labor, nothing else remains for us, We say, but to invite it in the loving words of the sacred Liturgy: “Be thou converted to the Lord thy God.” —POPE PIUS XI, Caritate Christi Compulsi, May 3rd, 1932; vatican.va

…we cannot forget that evangelization is first and foremost about preaching the Gospel to those who do not know Jesus Christ or who have always rejected him. Many of them are quietly seeking God, led by a yearning to see his face, even in countries of ancient Christian tradition. All of them have a right to receive the Gospel. Christians have the duty to proclaim the Gospel without excluding anyone… John Paul II asked us to recognize that “there must be no lessening of the impetus to preach the Gospel” to those who are far from Christ, “because this is the first task of the Church”. —POPE FRANCIS, Evangelii Gaudium, n. 15; vatican.va

 

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Five Means to “Be Not Afraid”

 

Do not be afraid! Open wide the doors to Christ”!
—ST. JOHN PAUL II, Homily, Saint Peter’s Square 
October 22, 1978, No. 5

 

YES, I know John Paul II often said, “Be not afraid!” But as we see the Storm winds increasing around us and waves beginning to overwhelm the Barque of Peter… as freedom of religion and speech become fragile and the possibility of an antichrist remains on the horizon… as Marian prophecies are being fulfilled in real-time and the warnings of the popes go unheeded… as your own personal troubles, divisions and sorrows mount around you… how can one possibly not be afraid?”

The answer is that the holy courage St. John Paul II calls us to is not an emotion, but a divine gift. It is the fruit of faith. If you are afraid, it may be precisely because you have not yet fully opened the gift. So here are five ways for you to begin walking in holy courage in our times. (These five means are also “hidden” in a homily Pope Francis gave during the dark hours of Easter Vigil in April, 2013)…

 

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Climate Confusion

 

THE Catechism states that “Christ endowed the Church’s shepherds with the charism of infallibility in matters of faith and morals.” [1]cf. CCC, n. 890 However, when it comes to matters of science, politics, economics, etc., the Church generally steps aside, limiting herself to being a guiding voice in terms of ethics and morality as pertains to the development and dignity of the person and stewardship of the earth.  Continue reading

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1. cf. CCC, n. 890

The Divine Arrow

 

My time in the Ottawa/Kingston region in Canada was powerful over the course of six evenings with hundreds of people attending from the area. I came without prepared talks or notes with only the desire to speak the “now word” to God’s children. Thanks in part to your prayers, many experienced Christ’s unconditional love and presence more deeply as their eyes were opened again to the power of the Sacraments and His Word. Among many of the lingering memories is a talk I gave to a group of junior high students. Afterward, one girl came up to me and said she was experiencing the Presence and healing of Jesus in a profound way… and then broke down and wept in my arms in front of her classmates.

The message of the Gospel is perennially good, always powerful, always relevant. The power of God’s love is always capable of piercing even the hardest of hearts. With that in mind, the following “now word” was on my heart all last week… Continue reading

Practically Speaking

 

IN response to my article On Criticism of the Clergyone reader asked:

Are we to be silent when there is injustice? When good religious men and women and laity are silent, I believe it is more sinful than what is taking place. Hiding behind false religious piety is a slippery slope. I find too many in the Church strive for sainthood by being silent, out of fear of what or how they are going to say it. I’d rather be vocal and miss the mark knowing there may be a better chance of change. My fear for what you wrote, not that you are advocating for silence, but for the one who may have been ready to speak up either eloquently or not, will become silent out of fear of missing the mark or sin.  I say step out and retreat into repentance if you must…  I know you’d like everyone to get along and be nice but…

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