Peace in Hardships

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for May 16th, 2017
Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Easter

Liturgical texts here

 

SAINT Seraphim of Sarov once said, “Acquire a peaceful spirit, and around you, thousands will be saved.” Maybe this is another reason why the world remains unmoved by Christians today: we too are restless, worldly, fearful, or unhappy. But in today’s Mass readings, Jesus and St. Paul provide the key to becoming truly peaceful men and women.Continue reading

On False Humility

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for May 15th, 2017
Monday of the Fifth Week of Easter
Opt. Memorial of St. Isidore

Liturgical texts here

 

THERE was a moment while preaching at a conference recently that I felt a slight self-satisfaction in what I was doing “for the Lord.” That night, I reflected on my words and impulses. I felt shame and horror that I might have, in even a subtle way, attempted to steal a single ray of God’s glory—a worm trying to wear the King’s Crown. I thought about St. Pio’s sage advice as I repented of my ego:Continue reading

A Crisis of Community

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for May 9th, 2017
Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Easter

Liturgical texts here

 

ONE of the most fascinating aspects of the early Church is that, after Pentecost, they immediately, almost instinctively, formed community. They sold everything they had and held it in common so that everyone’s needs were cared for. And yet, no where do we see an explicit command from Jesus to do as such. It was so radical, so contrary to the thinking of the time, that these early communities transformed the world around them.Continue reading

The Refuge Within

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for May 2nd, 2017
Tuesday of the Third Week of Easter
Memorial of St. Athanasius

Liturgical texts here

 

THERE is a scene in one of Michael D. O’Brien’s novels that I have never forgotten—when a priest is being tortured for his faithfulness. [1]Eclipse of the Sun, Ignatius Press In that moment, the clergyman seems to descend to a place where his captors cannot reach, a place deep within his heart where God resides. His heart was a refuge precisely because, there too, was God.

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1. Eclipse of the Sun, Ignatius Press

God First

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for April 27th, 2017
Thursday of the Second Week of Easter

Liturgical texts here

 

don’t think it’s just me. I hear it from both young and old: time seems to be speeding up. And with it, there is a sense some days as if one is hanging on by the fingernails to the edge of a whirling merry-go-round. In the words of Fr. Marie-Dominique Philippe:

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The Great Unveiling

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for April 11th, 2017
Tuesday of Holy Week

Liturgical texts here

 

Behold, a whirlwind of the Lord has gone forth in fury—
A violent whirlwind!
It will fall violently on the head of the wicked.
The anger of the Lord will not turn back
until He has executed and performed
the thoughts of His heart.

In the latter days you will understand it perfectly.
(Jeremiah 23:19-20)

 

JEREMIAH’s words are reminiscent of the prophet Daniel’s, who said something similar after he too received visions of the “latter days”:

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Turn On the Headlights

 THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for March 16–17th, 2017
Thursday-Friday of the Second Week of Lent

Liturgical texts here

 

JADED. Disappointed. Betrayed… those are some of the feelings many have after watching one failed prediction after another in recent years. We were told the “millenium” computer bug, or Y2K, would bring the end of modern civilization as we know it when the clocks turned January 1st, 2000… but nothing happened beyond the echoes of Auld Lang Syne. Then there were the spiritual predictions of those, such as the late Fr. Stefano Gobbi, that foretold the climax of the Great Tribulation around the same period. This was followed by more failed predictions regarding the date of the so-called “Warning”, of an economic collapse, of no 2017 Presidential Inauguration in the U.S., etc..

So you might find it odd for me to say that, at this hour in the world, we need prophecy more than ever. Why? In the Book of Revelation, an angel says to St. John:

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Hymn to the Divine Will

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for March 11th, 2017
Saturday of the First Week of Lent

Liturgical texts here

 

WHENEVER I have debated with atheists, I find that there is almost always an underlying judgment: Christians are judgmental prigs. Actually, it was a concern that Pope Benedict once expressed—that we might be putting the wrong foot foward:

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