The Art of Beginning Again – Part I

HUMBLING

 

First published November 20th, 2017…

This week, I am doing something different—a five part series, based on this week’s Gospels, on how to begin again after having fallen. We live in a culture where we are saturated in sin and temptation, and it is claiming many victims; many are discouraged and exhausted, downtrodden and losing their faith. It is necessary, then, to learn the art of beginning again…

 

WHY do we feel crushing guilt when we do something bad? And why is this common to every single human being? Even babies, if they do something wrong, often seem to “just know” that they shouldn’t have.Continue reading

The Numbering

 

THE new Italian Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, gave a powerful and prophetic speech that recalls the prescient warnings of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. First, that speech (note: adblockers must may need to be turned off if you cannot view it):Continue reading

The Victors

 

THE most remarkable thing about Our Lord Jesus is that He keeps nothing for Himself. He not only gives all glory to the Father, but then wills to share His glory with us to the extent that we become coheirs and copartners with Christ (cf. Eph 3:6).

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An Invincible Faith in Jesus

 

First published May 31st, 2017.


HOLLYWOOD 
has been overrun with a glut of super hero movies. There is practically one in theatres, somewhere, almost constantly now. Perhaps it speaks of something deep within the psyche of this generation, an era in which true heroes are now few and far between; a reflection of a world longing for real greatness, if not, a real Savior…Continue reading

On the Threshold

 

THIS week, a deep, inexplicable sadness came over me, as it has in the past. But I know now what this is: it is a drop of sadness from the Heart of God—that man has rejected Him to the point of bringing humanity to this painful purification. It is the sadness that God was not allowed to triumph over this world through love but must do so, now, through justice.Continue reading

The Real False Prophets

 

The widespread reluctance on the part of many Catholic thinkers
to enter into a profound examination of the apocalyptic elements of contemporary life is,
I believe, part of the very problem which they seek to avoid.
If apocalyptic thinking is left largely to those who have been subjectivized
or who have fallen prey to the vertigo of cosmic terror,
then the Christian community, indeed the whole human community,
is radically impoverished.
And that can be measured in terms of lost human souls.

–Author, Michael D. O’Brien, Are We Living In Apocalyptic Times?

 

I TURNED off my computer and every device that could possibly stalk my peace. I spent much of the last week floating on a lake, my ears submerged under the water, staring up into the infinite with only a few passing clouds glancing back with their morphing faces. There, in those pristine Canadian waters, I listened to the Silence. I tried not to think about anything except the present moment and what God was carving in the heavens, His little love messages to us in Creation. And I loved Him back.Continue reading

The Warning of Love

 

IS it possible to break God’s heart? I would say that it is possible to pierce His heart. Do we ever consider that? Or do we think of God as being so big, so eternal, so beyond the seemingly insignificant temporal works of men that our thoughts, words, and actions are insulated from Him?Continue reading

The Growing Mob


Ocean Avenue by phyzer

 

First published March 20th, 2015. The liturgical texts for the referenced readings that day are here.

 

THERE is a new sign of the times emerging. Like a wave reaching the shore that grows and grows until it becomes a huge tsunami, so too, there is a growing mob mentality toward the Church and freedom of speech. It was ten years ago that I wrote a warning of the coming persecution. [1]cf. Persecution! … and the Moral Tsunami And now it’s here, on Western shores.

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Footnotes

Courage in the Storm

 

ONE moment they were cowards, the next courageous. One moment they were doubting, the next they were certain. One moment they were hesitant, the next, they rushed headlong toward their martyrdoms. What made the difference in those Apostles that turned them into fearless men?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

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…

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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