Losing Our Children

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for January 5th-10th, 2015
of the Epiphany

Liturgical texts here

 

I have had countless parents come up to me in person or write me saying, “I don’t understand. We took our children to Mass every Sunday. My kids would pray the Rosary with us. They would go to spiritual functions… but now, they’ve all left the Church.”

The question is why? As a parent of eight children myself, the tears of these parents has sometimes haunted me. Then why not my kids? In truth, every one of us has free will. There is no forumla, per se, that if you do this, or say that prayer, that the outcome is sainthood. No, sometimes the outcome is atheism, as I’ve seen in my own extended family.

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The Reign of the Lion

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for December 17th, 2014
of the Third Week of Advent

Liturgical texts here

 

HOW are we to understand the prophetic texts of Scripture which imply that, with the coming of the Messiah, justice and peace would reign, and He would crush His enemies beneath His feet? For would it not appear that 2000 years later, these prophecies have utterly failed?

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Knowing Jesus

 

HAVE you ever met someone who is passionate about their subject? A skydiver, horse-back rider, a sports fan, or an anthropologist, scientist, or antique restorer who lives and breathes their hobby or career? While they can inspire us, and even spark an interest in us toward their subject, Christianity is different. For it is not about the passion of yet another lifestyle, philosophy, or even religious ideal.

The essence of Christianity is not an idea but a Person. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, spontaneous speech to the clergy of Rome; Zenit, May 20th, 2005

 

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Hell is for Real

 

THERE is one terrible truth in Christianity that in our times, even more than in previous centuries, arouses implacable horror in the heart of man. That truth is of the eternal pains of hell. At the mere allusion to this dogma, minds become troubled, hearts tighten up and tremble, passions become rigid and inflamed against the doctrine and the unwelcome voices that proclaim it.” [1]The End of the Present World and the Mysteries of the Future Life, by Fr. Charles Arminjon, p. 173; Sophia Institute Press

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1. The End of the Present World and the Mysteries of the Future Life, by Fr. Charles Arminjon, p. 173; Sophia Institute Press

What it Means to Welcome Sinners

 

THE call of the Holy Father for the Church to become more of a “field hospital” to “heal the wounded” is a very beautiful, timely, and perceptive pastoral vision. But what exactly needs healing? What are the wounds? What does it mean to “welcome” sinners aboard the Barque of Peter?

Essentially, what is “Church” for?

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We are God's Possession

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for October 16th, 2014
Memorial of St. Ignatius of Antioch

Liturgical texts here

 


from Brian Jekel’s Consider the Sparrows

 

 

‘WHAT is the Pope doing? What are the bishops doing?” Many are asking these questions on the heels of confusing language and abstract statements emerging from the Synod on Family Life. But the question on my heart today is what is the Holy Spirit doing? Because Jesus sent the Spirit to guide the Church to “all truth.” [1]John 16:13 Either Christ’s promise is trustworthy or it’s not. So what is the Holy Spirit doing? I will write more about this in another writing.

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1. John 16:13

The Inside Must Match the Outside

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for October 14th, 2014
Opt. Memorial of St. Callistus I, Pope and Martyr

Liturgical texs here

 

 

IT is often said that Jesus was tolerant towards “sinners” but intolerant of the Pharisees. But this isn’t quite true. Jesus often rebuked the Apostles as well, and in fact in yesterday’s Gospel, it was the entire crowd to whom He was very blunt, warning that they would be shown less mercy than the Ninevites:

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A House Divided

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for October 10th, 2014

Liturgical texts here

 

 

“EVERY kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste and house will fall against house.” These are Christ’s words in today’s Gospel that must surely reverberate among the Synod of Bishops gathered in Rome. As we listen to the presentations coming forth on how to deal with today’s moral challenges facing families, it is clear that there are great gulfs between some prelates as to how to deal with sin. My spiritual director has asked me to speak about this, and so I will in another writing. But perhaps we should conclude this week’s meditations on the infallibility of the papacy by listening carefully to Our Lord’s words today.

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The Two Guardrails

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for October 6th, 2014
Opt. Memorial for St. Bruno and Blessed Marie Rose Durocher

Liturgical texts here


Photo by Les Cunliffe

 

 

THE readings today could not be more timely for the opening sessions of the Extraordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Family. For they provide the two guardrails along the “constricted road that leads to life” [1]cf. Matt 7:14 that the Church, and all us as individuals, must travel.

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1. cf. Matt 7:14

On Angel's Wings

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for October 2nd, 2014
Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels,

Liturgical texts here

 

 

IT is remarkable to think that, this very moment, beside me, is an angelic being who is not only ministering to me, but beholding the face of the Father at the same time:

Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven… See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father. (Today’s Gospel)

Few, I think, really pay attention to this angelic guardian assigned to them, let alone converse with them. But many of the saints such as Henry, Veronica, Gemma and Pio regularly spoke with and saw their angels. I shared a story with you how I was awakened one morning to an interior voice that, I seemed to know intuitively, was my guardian angel (read Speak Lord, I am Listening). And then there is that stranger who appeared that one Christmas (read A True Christmas Tale).

There was one other time that stands out to me as an inexplicable example of the angel’s presence among us…

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