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

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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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.

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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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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:

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For Freedom

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for October 13th, 2014

Liturgical texts here

 

 

ONE of the reasons I felt the Lord wanted me to write the “Now Word” on the Mass readings at this time, was precisely because there is a now word in the readings that is speaking directly to what is happening in the Church and the world. The readings of the Mass are arranged in three year cycles, and so are different each year. Personally, I think it is a “sign of the times” how this year’s readings are lining up with our times…. Just saying.

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A House Divided

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for October 10th, 2014

Liturgical texts here

 

 

“EVERY kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste and house will fall against house.” These are Christ’s words in today’s Gospel that must surely reverberate among the Synod of Bishops gathered in Rome. As we listen to the presentations coming forth on how to deal with today’s moral challenges facing families, it is clear that there are great gulfs between some prelates as to how to deal with sin. My spiritual director has asked me to speak about this, and so I will in another writing. But perhaps we should conclude this week’s meditations on the infallibility of the papacy by listening carefully to Our Lord’s words today.

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The Power of the Resurrection

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for September 18th, 2014
Opt. Memorial of St. Januarius

Liturgical texts here

 

 

A LOT hinges on the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. As St. Paul says today:

…if Christ has not been raised, then empty too is our preaching; empty, too, your faith. (First reading)

It’s all in vain if Jesus is not alive today. It would mean that death has conquered all and “you are still in your sins.”

But it is precisely the Resurrection that makes any sense of the early Church. I mean, if Christ had not risen, why would His followers go to their brutal deaths insisting on a lie, a fabrication, a thin hope? It’s not like they were trying to build a powerful organization—they chose a life of poverty and service. If anything, you’d think these men would have readily abandoned their faith in the face of their persecutors saying, “Well look, it was quite the three years we lived with Jesus! But no, he’s gone now, and that’s that.” The only thing that makes sense of their radical turnabout after His death is that they saw Him risen from the dead.

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