Healing the Wound of Eden

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

Liturgical texts here

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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?

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Going Against the Current

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

Liturgical texts here

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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

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Returning to Our Center

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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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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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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

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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:

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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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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.

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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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Footnotes

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