God Will Never Give Up

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for Friday of the Second Week of Lent, March 6th, 2015

Liturgical texts here


Rescued By Love, by Darren Tan

 

THE parable of the tenants in the vineyard, who murder the landowners servants and even his son is, of course, symbolic of centuries of prophets that the Father sent to the people of Israel, culminating in Jesus Christ, His only Son. All of them were rejected.

Continue reading

Bearers of Love

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for Thursday of the Second Week of Lent, March 5th, 2015

Liturgical texts here

 

TRUTH without charity is like a blunt sword that cannot pierce the heart. It might cause people to feel pain, to duck, to think, or step away from it, but Love is what sharpens truth such that it becomes a living word of God. You see, even the devil can quote Scripture and produce the most elegant apologetics. [1]cf. Matt 4;1-11 But it is when that truth is transmitted in the power of the Holy Spirit that it becomes…

Continue reading

Footnotes

Footnotes
1 cf. Matt 4;1-11

Weeding Out Sin

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for Tuesday of the Second Week of Lent, March 3rd, 2015

Liturgical texts here

 

WHEN it comes to weeding out sin this Lent, we cannot divorce mercy from the Cross, nor the Cross from mercy. Today’s readings are a powerful blend of both…

Continue reading

The Way of Contradiction

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for Saturday of the First Week of Lent, February 28th, 2015

Liturgical texts here

 

I listened to Canada’s state radio broadcaster, the CBC, on the ride home last night. The host of the show interviewed “astonished” guests who could not believe that a Canadian Member of Parliament admitted to “not believing in evolution” (which usually means that one believes that creation came into existence by God, not aliens or the implausible odds atheists have put their faith in). The guests went on to highlight their unflinching devotion to not only evolution but global warming, vaccinations, abortion, and gay marriage —including the “Christian” on the panel. “Anyone who questions the science really is not fit for public office,” said one guest to that effect.

Continue reading

The Great Adventure

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for Monday of the First Week of Lent, February 23rd, 2015

Liturgical texts here

 

IT is from a total and complete abandonment to God that something beautiful happens: all those securities and attachments that you clung desperately to, but leave in His hands, are exchanged for the supernatural life of God. It is hard to see from a human perspective. It often looks about as beautiful as a butterfly still in a cocoon. We see nothing but darkness; feel nothing but the old self; hear nothing but the echo of our weakness steadily ringing in our ears. And yet, if we persevere in this state of total surrender and trust before God, the extraordinary happens: we become co-workers with Christ.

Continue reading

Me?

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for Saturday after Ash Wednesday, February 21st, 2015

Liturgical texts here

come-follow-me_Fotor.jpg

 

IF you really stop to think about it, to really absorb what just happened in today’s Gospel, it should revolutionize your life.

Continue reading

Healing the Wound of Eden

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for Friday after Ash Wednesday, February 20th, 2015

Liturgical texts here

thewound_Fotor_000.jpg

 

THE animal kingdom is essentially content. Birds are content. Fish are content. But the human heart is not. We are restless and unsatisfied, constantly searching for fulfillment in myriad forms. We are in an endless pursuit of pleasure as the world spins its advertisements promising happiness, but delivering only pleasure—fleeting pleasure, as if that were an end in itself. Why then, after buying the lie, do we inevitably continue seeking, searching, hunting for meaning and worth?

Continue reading

Going Against the Current

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for Thursday after Ash Wednesday, February 19th, 2015

Liturgical texts here

against the tide_Fotor

 

IT is pretty clear, even by a mere cursory glance at the news headlines, that much of the first world is in a free-fall into unbridled hedonism while the rest of the world is increasingly threatened and scourged by regional violence. As I wrote a few years ago, the time of warning has virtually expired. [1]cf. The Last Hour If one cannot perceive the “signs of the times” by now, then the only word left is the “word” of suffering. [2]cf. The Watchman’s Song

Continue reading

Footnotes

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:

Continue reading

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.

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

Footnotes

Footnotes
1 cf. Gal 2:20

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:

Continue reading

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?

Continue reading

Strayed

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for December 9th, 2014
Memorial of St. Juan Diego

Liturgical texts here

 

IT was almost midnight when I arrived at our farm after a trip to the city a few weeks ago.

“The calf is out,” my wife said. “The boys and I went out and looked, but couldn’t find her. I could hear her bawling towards the north, but the sound was getting further away.”

So I got in my truck and started to drive through the pastures, which had nearly a foot of snow in places. Any more snow, and this would be pushing it, I thought to myself. I put the truck in 4×4 and started driving around tree groves, bushes, and along fencelines. But there was no calf. Even more puzzling, there were no tracks. After a half hour, I resigned myself to waiting till morning.

Continue reading

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

 

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

Footnotes

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

The Thin Line Between Mercy and Heresy – Part III

 

PART III — FEARS REVEALED

 

SHE fed and clothed the poor with love; she nurtured minds and hearts with the Word. Catherine Doherty, foundress of the Madonna House apostolate, was a woman who took on the “smell of the sheep” without taking on the “stench of sin.” She constantly walked the thin line between mercy and heresy by embracing the greatest of sinners while calling them to holiness. She used to say,

Go without fears into the depths of men’s hearts… the Lord shall be with you. —from The Little Mandate

This is one of those “words” from the Lord that is able to penetrate “between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.” [1]cf. Heb 4:12 Catherine uncovers the very root of the problem with both so-called “conservatives” and “liberals” in the Church: it is our fear to enter men’s hearts as Christ did.

Continue reading

Footnotes

Footnotes
1 cf. Heb 4:12

The Thin Line Between Mercy & Heresy – Part II

 

PART II — Reaching the Wounded

 

WE have watched a rapid cultural and sexual revolution that in five short decades has decimated the family as divorce, abortion, redefinition of marriage, euthanasia, pornography, adultery, and many other ills have become not only acceptable, but deemed a social “good” or “right.” However, an epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases, drug use, alcohol abuse, suicide, and ever multiplying psychoses tell a different story: we are a generation that is bleeding profusely from the effects of sin.

Continue reading

The Thin Line Between Mercy & Heresy – Part I

 


IN
all the controversies that unfolded in the wake of the recent Synod in Rome, the reason for the gathering seemed to have been lost altogether. It was convened under the theme: “Pastoral Challenges to the Family in the Context of Evangelization.” How do we evangelize families given the pastoral challenges we face due to high divorce rates, single mothers, secularization, and so forth?

What we learned very quickly (as proposals of some Cardinals were made known to the public) is that there is a a thin line between mercy and heresy.

The following three part series is intended to not only get back to the heart of the matter—evangelizing families in our times—but to do so by bringing to the forefront the man who is really at the center of the controversies: Jesus Christ. Because no one walked that thin line more than Him—and Pope Francis seems to be pointing that path to us once again.

We need to blow away the “smoke of satan” so we can clearly identify this narrow red line, drawn in Christ’s blood… because we are called to walk it ourselves.

Continue reading

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:

Continue reading