The Welcoming Church

odoors3Pope Francis opening “doors of mercy”, December 8th, 2015, St. Peter’s, Rome
Photo: Maurizio Brambatti/European Pressphoto Agency

 

FROM the very beginning of his pontificate, when he refused the pomp that often accompanies the papal office, Francis has not failed to stir controversy. With deliberation, the Holy Father has purposely tried to model a different kind of priesthood to both the Church and the world: a priesthood that is more pastoral, compassionate, and unafraid to walk among the fringes of society to find the lost sheep. In so doing, he has not hesitated to sharply rebuke his confréres and threaten the comfort zones of “conservative” Catholics. And this to the glee of modernist clergy and the liberal media who intoned that Pope Francis was “changing” the Church to become more “welcoming” to gays and lesbians, divorcées, Protestants, etc. [1]eg. Vanity Fair, April 8th, 2016 The rebukes of the Pope toward the right, coupled with the assumptions of the left, has led to a cascade of downright anger and accusations toward the Vicar of Christ that he is attempting to alter 2000 years of Sacred Tradition. Orthodox media, such as LifeSiteNews and EWTN, have openly questioned the Holy Father’s judgment and rationale in certain statements. And many are the letters I’ve received from laymen and clergy alike who are exasperated with the Pope’s soft approach in the culture war.

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1. eg. Vanity Fair, April 8th, 2016

Mercy Christmas

 

DEAR brothers and sisters of the Lamb. I want to take a moment to thank so many of you for your prayers, love, and support this past year. Both my wife Lea and I have been incredibly blessed by your kindness, generosity, and the testimonies in how this little apostolate has touched your life. We are grateful to everyone who has donated, which has enabled me to continue my work that is now reaching hundreds of thousands of people each year.

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He Wants to Touch Us

jt2_FotorArtist Unknown

 

ON the first night of my missions in Louisiana this past autumn, a woman approached me afterward, her eyes wide open, her mouth agape.

“I saw her,” she quietly whispered. “I saw the Blessed Mother.”

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The Torrent of Grace

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for Thursday, October 22nd, 2015
Opt. Memorial of St. John Paul II

Liturgical texts here

 

THE temptation many of us face today is to discouragement and despair: discouragement that evil seems to be winning; despair that there seems to be no humanly possibly way for the rapid decline in morals to be stopped nor the subsequent rising persecution against the faithful. Perhaps you can identify with St. Louis de Montfort’s cry…

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All is Grace

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

Liturgical texts here

 

WHILE many Catholics are caving in to a certain panic as the Synod on the Family in Rome continues to swirl in controversy, I pray that others will see something else: God is revealing our sickness through it all. He is revealing to His Church our pride, our presumption, our rebellion, and perhaps above all, our lack of faith.

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The Scandal of Mercy

 
The Sinful Woman, by Jeff Hein

 

SHE wrote to apologize for being so rude.

We had been debating on a country music forum about excessive sexuality in music videos. She accused me of being rigid, frigid, and repressed. I, on the other hand, tried to defend the beauty of sexuality in sacramental marriage, of monogamy, and marital fidelity. I tried to be patient as her insults and anger mounted.

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The Glance of God

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for Tuesday, July 21st, 2015
Opt. Memorial of St. Lawrence of Brindisi

Liturgical texts here

 

WHILE the story of Moses and the parting of the Red Sea has frequently been told in both film and otherwise, a small but significant detail is often left out: the moment when Pharaoh’s army is thrown into chaos—the moment when they are given the “glance of God.”

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Opening Wide the Doors of Mercy

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for Saturday of the Third Week of Lent, March 14th, 2015

Liturgical texts here

 

Due to the surprise announcement by Pope Francis yesterday, today’s reflection is slightly longer. However, I think you will find its contents worth reflecting on…

 

THERE is a certain sense building, not only among my readers, but also of mystics with whom I’ve been privileged to be in contact with, that the next few years are significant. Yesterday in my daily Mass meditation, [1]cf. Sheathing the Sword I wrote how Heaven itself has revealed that this present generation is living in a “time of mercy.” As if to underline this divine warning (and it is a warning that humanity is on borrowed time), Pope Francis announced yesterday that Dec. 8th, 2015 to Nov. 20th, 2016 will be a “Jubilee of Mercy.” [2]cf. Zenit, March 13th, 2015 When I read this announcement, the words from St. Faustina’s diary came immediately to mind:

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1. cf. Sheathing the Sword
2. cf. Zenit, March 13th, 2015