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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On Criticizing the Clergy

 

WE are living in super-charged times. The ability to exchange thoughts and ideas, to differ and debate, is nearly a bygone era. [1]see Surviving Our Toxic Culture and Going to Extremes It’s part of the Great Storm and Diabolical Disorientation that is sweeping over the world like an intensifying hurricane. The Church is no exception as anger and frustration against the clergy continues to mount. Healthy discourse and debate have their place. But all too often, especially on social media, it is anything but healthy. Continue reading

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Walk With the Church

 

THERE is a bit of a sinking feeling in my gut. I’ve been processing it all week before writing today. After reading public comments from even well-known Catholics, to “conservative” media to the average layperson… it’s clear that the chickens have come home to roost. The lack of catechesis, moral formation, critical thinking and basic virtues in Western Catholic culture is rearing its dysfunctional head. In the words of Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia:Continue reading

The Divine Orientation

An apostle of love and presence, St. Francis Xavier (1506-1552)
by my daughter
Tianna (Mallett) Williams 
ti-spark.ca

 

THE Diabolical Disorientation I wrote about seeks to drag everyone and everything into a sea of confusion, including (if not especially) Christians. It is the gales of the Great Storm I have written about that is like a hurricane; the closer you get to the Eye, the more fierce and blinding the winds become, disorientating everyone and everything to the point that much is turned upside down, and remaining “balanced” becomes difficult. I am constantly on the receiving end of letters from both clergy and laity that speak of their personal confusion, disillusion, and suffering in what is taking place at an increasingly exponential rate. To that end, I gave seven steps you can take to diffuse this diabolical disorientation in your personal and family life. However, that comes with a caveat: anything we do must be undertaken with the Divine Orientation.Continue reading