Wormwood and Loyalty

 

From the archives: written on February 22nd, 2013…. 

 

A LETTER from a reader:

I totally agree with you — we each need a personal relationship with Jesus. I was born and raised Roman Catholic but find myself now attending the Episcopal (High Episcopal) church on Sunday and becoming involved with the life of this community. I was a member of my church council, a choir member, a CCD teacher and a full-time teacher in a Catholic school. I personally knew four of the priests credibly accused and who confessed of sexually abusing minor children… Our cardinal and bishops and other priests covered up for these men. It strains belief that Rome didn’t know what was going on and, if it truly didn’t, shame on Rome and the Pope and the curia. They are simply horrid representatives of Our Lord…. So, I should remain a loyal member of the RC church? Why? I found Jesus many years ago and our relationship has not changed — in fact it is even stronger now. The RC church is not the beginning and the end of all truth. If anything, the Orthodox church has just as much if not more credibility than Rome. The word “catholic” in the Creed is spelled with a small “c” – meaning “universal” not meaning only and forever the Church of Rome. There is only one true path to the Trinity and that is following Jesus and coming into relationship with the Trinity by first coming into friendship with Him. None of that is dependent upon the Roman church. All of that can be nourished outside of Rome. None of this is your fault and I admire your ministry but I just needed to tell you my story.

Dear reader, thank you for sharing your story with me. I rejoice that, despite the scandals you have encountered, your faith in Jesus has remained. And this doesn’t surprise me. There have been times in history when Catholics in the midst of persecution no longer had access to their parishes, the priesthood, or the Sacraments. They survived within the walls of their inner temple where the Holy Trinity resides. The lived out of faith and trust in a relationship with God because, at its core, Christianity is about the love of a Father for his children, and the children loving Him in return.

Thus, it begs the question, which you have tried to answer: if one can remain a Christian as such: “Should I remain a loyal member of the Roman Catholic Church? Why?”

The answer is a resounding, unhesitating “yes.” And here is why: it’s a matter of staying loyal to Jesus.

 

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Interpreting Revelation

 

 

WITHOUT a doubt, the Book of Revelation is one of the most controversial in all of Sacred Scripture. On one end of the spectrum are fundamentalists who take every word literally or out of context. On the other are those who believe the book has already been fulfilled in the first century or who ascribe to the book a merely allegorical interpretation.Continue reading

Papal Puzzlery

 

A comprehensive response to many questions directed my way regarding the turbulent pontificate of Pope Francis. I apologize that this is a bit lengthier than usual. But thankfully, it is answering several readers’ questions….

 

FROM a reader:

I pray for conversion and for the intentions of Pope Francis everyday.  I am one who initially fell in love with the Holy Father when he was first elected, but over the years of his Pontificate, he has confused me and made me very concerned that his liberal Jesuit spirituality was almost goose-stepping with the left-leaning world view and liberal times. I am a Secular Franciscan so my profession binds me to obedience to him.  But I must admit that he scares me… How do we know he is not an anti-pope?  Is the media twisting his words? Are we to blindly follow and pray for him all the more?  This is what I have been doing, but my heart is conflicted.

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What If…?

What’s around the bend?

 

IN an open letter to the Pope, [1]cf. Dear Holy Father… He is Coming! I outlined to His Holiness the theological foundations for an “era of peace” as opposed to the heresy of millenarianism. [2]cf. Millenarianism: What it is and is Not and the Catechism [CCC} n.675-676 Indeed, Padre Martino Penasa posed the question on the scriptural foundation of an historic and universal era of peace versus millenarianism to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: “È imminente una nuova era di vita cristiana?” (“Is a new era of Christian life imminent?”). The Prefect at that time, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger replied, “La questione è ancora aperta alla libera discussione, giacchè la Santa Sede non si è ancora pronunciata in modo definitivo”:

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1. cf. Dear Holy Father… He is Coming!
2. cf. Millenarianism: What it is and is Not and the Catechism [CCC} n.675-676

The Popes, and the Dawning Era

Photo, Max Rossi/Reuters

 

THERE can be no doubt that the pontiffs of the last century have been exercising their prophetic office so as to awaken believers to the drama unfolding in our day (see Why Aren’t the Popes Shouting?). It is a decisive battle between the culture of life and the culture of death… the woman clothed with the sun—in labor to give birth to a new era—versus the dragon who seeks to destroy it, if not attempt to establish his own kingdom and “new age” (see Rev 12:1-4; 13:2). But while we know Satan will fail, Christ will not. The great Marian saint, Louis de Montfort, frames it well:

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Why Aren’t the Popes Shouting?

BenedictCap_Fotor

 

With dozens of new subscribers coming on board now each week, old questions are popping up such as this one: Why aren’t the Pope’s speaking about the end times? The answer will surprise many, reassure others, and challenge many more. First published September 21st, 2010, I have updated this writing to the present pontificate. 

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The Surprise Welcome

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for Saturday of the Second Week of Lent, March 7th, 2015
First Saturday of the Month

Liturgical texts here

 

THREE minutes in a pig barn, and your clothes are done for the day. Imagine the prodigal son, hanging out with swine, feeding them day after day, too poor to even buy a change of clothes. I have no doubt that the father would have smelled his son returning home before he saw him. But when the father did see him, something amazing happened…

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Servants of the Truth

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for Wednesday of the Second Week of Lent, March 4th, 2015

Liturgical texts here

Ecce HomoEcce Homo, by Michael D. O’Brien

 

JESUS was not crucified for His charity. He was not scourged for healing paralytics, opening the eyes of the blind, or raising the dead. So too, rarely will you find Christians being sidelined for building a women’s shelter, feeding the poor, or visiting the sick. Rather, Christ and His body, the Church, were and are persecuted essentially for proclaiming the truth.

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Mercy for a People in Darkness

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for Monday of the Second Week of Lent, March 2nd, 2015

Liturgical texts here

 

THERE is a line from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings that, among others, jumped out at me when the character Frodo wishes for the death of his adversary, Gollum. The wise wizard Gandalf responds:

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Do Not Be Shaken

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for January 13th, 2015
Opt. Memorial of St. Hilary

Liturgical texts here

 

WE have entered a period of time in the Church that will shake the faith of many. And that is because it is going to increasingly appear as though evil has won, as though the Church has become completely irrelevant, and in fact, an enemy of the State. Those who hold fast to the whole of the Catholic faith will be few in number and be universally considered antiquated, illogical, and an obstacle to be removed.

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