St. Raphael's Little Healing

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for Friday, June 5th, 2015
Memorial of St. Boniface, Bishop and Martyr

Liturgical texts here

St. Raphael, “Medicine of God”

 

IT was late dusk, and a blood moon was rising. I was entranced by its deep color as I wandered through the horses. I had just layed out their hay and they were quietly munching. The full moon, the fresh snow, the peaceful murmur of satisfied animals … it was a tranquil moment.

Until what felt like a bolt of lightning shot through my knee.

Continue reading

Touching Jesus

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015
Opt. Memorial St. Blaise

Liturgical texts here

 

MANY Catholics go to Mass every Sunday, join the Knights of Columbus or CWL, put a few bucks in the collection basket, etc. But their faith never really deepens; there is no real transformation of their hearts more and more into holiness, more and more into Our Lord himself, such that they can begin to say with St. Paul, “yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me; insofar as I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who has loved me and given himself up for me.” [1]cf. Gal 2:20

Continue reading

   [ + ]

1. cf. Gal 2:20

Speak Lord, I am Listening

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for January 15th, 2014

Liturgical texts here

 

 

EVERYTHING that happens in our world passes through the fingers of God’s permissive will. This does not mean that God wills evil—He doesn’t. But he permits it (the free will of both men and fallen angels to choose evil) in order to work toward the greater good, which is the salvation of mankind and the creation of a new heavens and new earth.

Continue reading

The Surprise Arms

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for December 10th, 2013

Liturgical texts here

 

 

IT was a freak snowstorm in the middle of May, 1987. The trees bent so low to the ground under the weight of heavy wet snow that, to this day, some of them remain bowed as though permanently humbled under the hand of God. I was playing guitar in a friend’s basement when the phone call came.

Come home, son.

Why? I inquired.

Just come home…

As I pulled into our driveway, a strange feeling came over me. With every step I took to the back door, I felt my life was going to change. When I walked into the house, I was greeted by tear stained-parents and brothers.

Your sister Lori died in a car accident today.

Continue reading

The Field Hospital

 

 
 

BACK in June of 2013, I wrote to you of changes that I have been discerning regarding my ministry, how it is presented, what is presented etc. in the writing called The Watchman’s Song. After several months now of reflection, I would like to share with you my observations from what is happening in our world, things I have discussed with my spiritual director, and where I feel I am being led now. I also want to invite your direct input with a quick survey below.

 

Continue reading

Charismatic? Part III


Holy Spirit Window, St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City

 

FROM that letter in Part I:

I go out of my way to attend a church that is very traditional—where people dress properly, remain quiet in front of the Tabernacle, where we are catechized according to Tradition from the pulpit, etc.

I stay far away from charismatic churches. I just don’t see that as Catholicism. There is often a movie screen on the altar with parts of the Mass listed on it (“Liturgy,” etc.). Women are on the altar. Everyone is dressed very casually (jeans, sneakers, shorts, etc.) Everyone raises their hands, shouts, claps—no quiet. There is no kneeling or other reverent gestures. It seems to me that a lot of this was learned from the Pentecostal denomination. No one thinks the “details” of Tradition matter. I feel no peace there. What happened to Tradition? To silence (such as no clapping!) out of respect for the Tabernacle??? To modest dress?

 

I was seven years old when my parents attended a Charismatic prayer meeting in our parish. There, they had an encounter with Jesus that profoundly changed them. Our parish priest was a good shepherd of the movement who himself experienced the “baptism in the Spirit.” He permitted the prayer group to grow in its charisms, thereby bringing many more conversions and graces to the Catholic community. The group was ecumenical, and yet, faithful to the teachings of the Catholic Church. My dad described it as a “truly beautiful experience.”

In hindsight, it was a model of sorts of what the popes, from the very beginning of the Renewal, wished to see: an integration of the movement with the whole Church, in fidelity to the Magisterium.

 

Continue reading

Charismatic? Part II

 

 

THERE is perhaps no movement in the Church that has been so widely accepted—and readily rejected—as the “Charismatic Renewal.” Boundaries were broken, comfort zones moved, and the status quo shattered. Like Pentecost, it has been anything but a neat and tidy movement, fitting nicely into our preconceived boxes of just how the Spirit should move among us. Nothing has been perhaps as polarizing either… just as it was then. When the Jews heard and saw the Apostles burst from the upper room, speaking in tongues, and boldly proclaiming the Gospel…

They were all astounded and bewildered, and said to one another, “What does this mean?” But others said, scoffing, “They have had too much new wine. (Acts 2:12-13)

Such is the division in my letter bag as well…

The Charismatic movement is a load of gibberish, NONSENSE! The Bible speaks of the gift of tongues. This referred to the ability to communicate in the spoken languages of that time! It did not mean idiotic gibberish… I will have nothing to do with it. —T.S.

It saddens me to see this lady speak this way about the movement that brought me back to Church… —M.G.

Continue reading

Charismatic? Part I

 

From a reader:

You mention the Charismatic Renewal (in your writing The Christmas Apocalypse) in a positive light. I don’t get it. I go out of my way to attend a church that is very traditional—where people dress properly, remain quiet in front of the Tabernacle, where we are catechized according to Tradition from the pulpit, etc.

I stay far away from charismatic churches. I just don’t see that as Catholicism. There is often a movie screen on the altar with parts of the Mass listed on it (“Liturgy,” etc.). Women are on the altar. Everyone is dressed very casually (jeans, sneakers, shorts, etc.) Everyone raises their hands, shouts, claps—no quiet. There is no kneeling or other reverent gestures. It seems to me that a lot of this was learned from the Pentecostal denomination. No one thinks the “details” of Tradition matter. I feel no peace there. What happened to Tradition? To silence (such as no clapping!) out of respect for the Tabernacle??? To modest dress?

And I have never seen anyone who had a REAL gift of tongues. They tell you to say nonsense with them…! I tried it years ago, and I was saying NOTHING! Can’t that type of thing call down ANY spirit? It seems like it should be called “charismania.” The “tongues” people speak in are just jibberish! After Pentecost, people understood the preaching. It just seems like any spirit can creep into this stuff. Why would anyone want hands laid on them that are not consecrated??? Sometimes I am aware of certain serious sins that people are in, and yet there they are on the altar in their jeans laying hands on others. Aren’t those spirits being passed on? I don’t get it!

I would much rather attend a Tridentine Mass where Jesus is at the center of everything. No entertainment—just worship.

 

Dear reader,

You raise some important points worth discussing. Is the Charismatic Renewal from God? Is it a Protestant invention, or even a diabolical one? Are these “gifts of the Spirit” or ungodly “graces”?

Continue reading