Returning to Our Center

offcourse_Fotor

 

WHEN a ship goes off course by only a degree or two, it is barely noticeable until several hundred nautical miles later. So too, the Barque of Peter has likewise veered somewhat off course over the centuries. In the words of Blessed Cardinal Newman:

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My Young Priests, Be Not Afraid!

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

Liturgical texts here

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AFTER Mass today, the words came strongly to me:

My young priests, do not be afraid! I have put you in place, like seeds scattered among fertile soil. Do not be afraid to preach My Name! Do not be afraid to speak the truth in love. Do not be afraid if My Word, through you, causes a sifting of your flock…

As I shared these thoughts over coffee with a courageous African priest this morning, he nodded his head. “Yes, we priests often want to please everyone rather than preach the truth… we have let the lay faithful down.”

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Jesus, the Goal

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

Liturgical texts here

 

DISCIPLINE, mortification, fasting, sacrifice… these are words that tend to make us cringe because we associate them with pain. However, Jesus did not. As St. Paul wrote:

For the sake of the joy that lay before him, Jesus endured the cross… (Heb 12:2)

The difference between a Christian monk and a Buddhist monk is precisely this: the end for the Christian is not the mortification of his senses, or even peace and serenity; rather it is God himself. Anything less is falling short of fulfillment as much as throwing a rock in the sky falls short of hitting the moon. Fulfillment for the Christian is to allow God to possess him that he may possess God. It is this union of hearts that transforms and restores the soul into the image and likeness of the Holy Trinity. But even the most profound union with God can also be accompanied by a dense darkness, spiritual dryness, and sense of abandonment—just as Jesus, though in complete conformity to the Father’s will, experienced abandonment on the Cross.

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The Summit

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for Thursday, January 29th, 2015

Liturgical texts here

 

THE Old Testament is more than a book telling the story of salvation history, but a shadow of things to come. The temple of Solomon was but a type of the temple of Christ’s body, the means by which we could enter into the “Holy of holies”—the very presence of God. St. Paul’s explanation of the new Temple in today’s first reading is explosive:

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Living in the Divine Will

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for Monday, January 27th, 2015
Opt. Memorial for St. Angela Merici

Liturgical texts here

 

TODAY’s Gospel is often used to argue that Catholics have invented or exaggerated the significance of the motherhood of Mary.

“Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking around at those seated in the circle he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”

But then who lived the will of God more completely, more perfectly, more obediently than Mary, after her Son? From the moment of the Annunciation [1]and since her birth, since Gabriel says she was “full of grace” until standing beneath the Cross (while others fled), no one quietly lived out the will of God more perfectly. That is to say that no one was more of a mother to Jesus, by His own definintion, than this Woman.

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1. and since her birth, since Gabriel says she was “full of grace”

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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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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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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