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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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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