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.

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The Progression of Totalitarianism

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for Thursday of the Third Week of Lent, March 12th, 2015

Liturgical texts here

Damiano_Mascagni_Joseph_Sold_Into_Slavery_by_His_Brothers_FotorJoseph Sold Into Slavery by His Brothers by Damiano Mascagni (1579-1639)

 

WITH the death of logic, we are not far from when not only truth, but Christians themselves, will be banished from the public sphere (and it’s already begun). At least, this is the warning from the seat of Peter:

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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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What it Means to Welcome Sinners

 

THE call of the Holy Father for the Church to become more of a “field hospital” to “heal the wounded” is a very beautiful, timely, and perceptive pastoral vision. But what exactly needs healing? What are the wounds? What does it mean to “welcome” sinners aboard the Barque of Peter?

Essentially, what is “Church” for?

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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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Hell Unleashed

 

 

WHEN I wrote this last week, I decided to sit on it and pray some more because of the very serious nature of this writing. But nearly every day since, I have been getting clear confirmations that this is a word of warning to all of us.

There are many new readers coming aboard each day. Let me briefly recap then… When this writing apostolate began some eight years ago, I felt the Lord asking me to “watch and pray”. [1]At WYD in Toronto in 2003, Pope John Paul II likewise asked us youth to become “the watchmen of the morning who announce the coming of the sun who is the Risen Christ!” —POPE JOHN PAUL II, Message of the Holy Father to the Youth of the World, XVII World Youth Day, n. 3; (cf. Is 21:11-12). Following the headlines, it seemed that there was an escalation of world events by the month. Then it began to be by the week. And now, it is daily. It is exactly as I felt the Lord was showing me it would happen (oh, how I wish in some ways I was wrong about this!)

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1. At WYD in Toronto in 2003, Pope John Paul II likewise asked us youth to become “the watchmen of the morning who announce the coming of the sun who is the Risen Christ!” —POPE JOHN PAUL II, Message of the Holy Father to the Youth of the World, XVII World Youth Day, n. 3; (cf. Is 21:11-12).

When a Mother Cries

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for September 15th, 2014
Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows

Liturgical texts here

 

 

I stood and watched as tears welled in her eyes. They ran down her cheek and formed drops on her chin. She looked as though her heart could break. Only a day before, she had appeared peaceful, even joyful… but now her face seemed to betray the deep sorrow in her heart. I could only ask “Why…?”, but there was no answer in the rose-scented air, since the Woman I was looking at was a statue of Our Lady of Fatima.

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Prophecy Properly Understood

 

WE are living in a time when prophecy has perhaps never been so important, and yet, so misunderstood by the vast majority of Catholics. There are three harmful positions being taken today regarding prophetic or “private” revelations that, I believe, are doing at times great damage in many quarters of the Church. One is that “private revelations” never have to be heeded since all we are obligated to believe is the definitive Revelation of Christ in the “deposit of faith.” Another harm being done is by those who tend to not only put prophecy above the Magisterium, but give it the same authority as Sacred Scripture. And last, there is the position that most prophecy, unless uttered by saints or found without error, should be mostly shunned. Again, all these positions above carry unfortunate and even dangerous pitfalls.

 

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