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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The Heart of God

The Heart of Jesus Christ, Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta; R. Mulata (20th century) 

 

WHAT you are about to read has the potential to not only set women, but in particular, men free from undue burden, and radically change the course of your life. That’s the power of God’s Word…

 

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The Season of Joy

 

I like to call Lent the “season of joy.” That might seem odd given that we mark these days with ashes, fasting, reflection on the sorrowful Passion of Jesus, and of course, our own sacrifices and penances… But that’s precisely why Lent can and should become a season of joy for every Christian—and not just “at Easter.” The reason is this: the more we empty our hearts of “self” and all those idols that we’ve erected (which we imagine will bring us happiness)… the more room there is for God. And the more God lives in me, the more alive I am… the more I become like Him, who is Joy and Love itself.

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Come Away With Me

 

While writing about the Storm of Fear, TemptationDivision, and Confusion recently, the writing below was lingering in the back of my mind. In today’s Gospel, Jesus says to the Apostles, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” [1]Mark 6:31 There is so much happening, so fast in our world as we approach the Eye of the Storm, that we risk getting disoriented and “lost” if we don’t heed our Master’s words… and enter into the solitude of prayer where He can, as the Psalmist says, give “me repose beside restful waters”. 

First published April 28th, 2015…

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1. Mark 6:31

A Matter of the Heart

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for Monday, January 30th, 2017

Liturgical texts here

A monk praying; photo by Tony O’Brien, Christ in the Desert Monastery

 

THE Lord has put many things on my heart to write you in just the past few days. Again, there is a certain sense that time is of the essence. Since God is in eternity, I know this sense of urgency, then, is merely a nudge to wake us up, to stir us again to vigilance and Christ’s perennial words to “watch and pray.” Many of us do a fairly thorough job of watching… but if we do not also pray, things will go badly, very badly in these times (see Hell Unleashed). For what is needed most at this hour is not knowledge so much as divine wisdom. And this, dear friends, is a matter of the heart.

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The Storm of Temptation

Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images

 

TEMPTATION is as old as human history. But what is new about temptation in our times is that sin has never been so accessible, so pervasive, and so acceptable. It could rightly be said that there is a veritable deluge of impurity sweeping through the world. And this has a profound effect upon us in three ways. One, is that it attacks the innocence of the soul just to be exposed to the most egregious evils; second, the constant near occasion of sin leads to weariness; and thirdly, the frequent fall of the Christian into these sins, even venial, begins to whittle away contentment and his or her confidence in God leading to anxiety, discouragement, and depression, thereby obscuring the joyful counter-witness of the Christian in the world.

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Why Faith?

Artist Unknown

 

For by grace you have been saved
through faith… (Eph 2:8)

 

HAVE you ever wondered why it is through “faith” that we are saved? Why doesn’t Jesus just appear to the world announcing that He has reconciled us to the Father, and call us to repent? Why does He often seem so distant, so untouchable, intangible, such that we sometimes have to wrestle with doubts? Why doesn’t He walk among us again, producing many miracles and letting us look into His eyes of love?  

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The Storm of Fear

 

IT can be almost fruitless to speak of how to battle against the storms of temptation, division, confusion, oppression, and such unless we have an unshakable confidence in God’s love for us. That is the context for not only this discussion, but for the entire Gospel.

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Coming Through the Storm

Fort Lauderdale Airport aftermath… when will the madness end?  Courtesy nydailynews.com

 

THERE has been a great deal of attention on this website to the exterior dimensions of the Storm that has descended upon the world… a Storm that has been in the making for centuries, if not millenia. However, what is most important is being aware of the interior aspects of the Storm that are raging in many souls that are becoming more evident by the day: the storm surge of temptation, the winds of division, the rainfall of errors, the roar of oppression, and so forth. Nearly every red-blooded male I encounter these days is struggling against pornography. Families and marriages everywhere are being torn asunder by divisions and fighting. Errors and confusion are spreading regarding moral absolutes and the nature of authentic love… Few, it seems, realize what is happening, and it can be explained in one simple Scripture:

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Prisoner of Love

“Baby Jesus” by Deborah Woodall

 

HE comes to us as a baby… gently, quietly, helplessly. He does not arrive with a retinue of guards or with an overwhelming apparition. He comes as an infant, his hands and feet powerless to hurt anyone. He comes as if to say,

I have not come to condemn you, but to give you life.

A baby. A prisoner of love. 

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