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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Footnotes

Footnotes
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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St. John Paul II

Giovanni Paolo II

ST. JOHN PAUL II — PRAY FOR US

 

 

I traveled to Rome to sing in a concert tribute to St. John Paul II, October 22nd, 2006, to honor the 25th anniversary of the John Paul II Foundation, as well as the 28th anniversary of the late pontiff’s installation as pope. I had no idea what was about to happen…

A story from the archives, first published October 24th, 2006….

 

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Planted by the Stream

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for March 20th, 2014
Thursday of the Second Week of Lent

Liturgical texts here

 

 

TWENTY years ago, my wife and I, both cradle-Catholics, were invited to a Baptist Sunday service by a friend of ours who was once a Catholic. We were amazed at all the young couples, the beautiful music, and the anointed sermon by the pastor. The outpouring of genuine kindness and welcoming touched something deep in our souls. [1]cf. My Personal Testimony

When we got into the car to leave, all I could think of was my own parish… weak music, weaker homilies, and even weaker participation by the congregation. Young couples our age? Practically extinct in the pews. Most painful was the sense of loneliness. I often left Mass feeling colder than when I walked in.

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Footnotes

Fulfilling Prophecy

    NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for March 4th, 2014
Opt. Memorial for St. Casimir

Liturgical texts here

 

 

THE fulfillment of God’s Covenant with His people, which will be fully realized in the Wedding Feast of the Lamb, has progressed throughout millennia like a spiral that becomes smaller and smaller as time goes on. In the Psalm today, David sings:

The LORD has made his salvation known: in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.

And yet, the revelation of Jesus was still hundreds of years away. So how could the salvation of the Lord be known? It was known, or rather anticipated, through prophecy…

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The Consequences of Compromise

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

Liturgical texts here

What’s left of Solomon’s Temple, destroyed 70 A.D.

 

 

THE beautiful story of Solomon’s achievements, when working in harmony with God’s grace, came to a halt.

When Solomon was old his wives had turned his heart to strange gods, and his heart was not entirely with the LORD, his God.

Solomon no longer followed God “unreservedly as his father David had done.” He began to compromise. In the end, the Temple he constructed, and all its beauty, was reduced to rubble by the Romans.

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Fighting the Ghost

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for January 6th, 2014

Liturgical texts here

 


“The Running Nuns”, Daughters of Mary Mother of Healing Love

 

THERE is much talk among the “remnant” of refuges and safe havens—places where God will protect His people during coming persecutions. Such an idea is firmly rooted in the Scriptures and Sacred Tradition. I addressed this subject in The Coming Refuges and Solitudes, and as I reread it today, it strikes me as more prophetic and relevant than ever. For yes, there are times to hide. St. Joseph, Mary and the Christ child fled to Egypt while Herod hunted them; [1]cf. Matt 2;13 Jesus hid from the Jewish leaders who sought to stone Him; [2]cf. Jn 8:59 and St. Paul was concealed from his persecutors by his disciples, who lowered him to freedom in a basket through an opening in the city wall. [3]cf. Acts 9:25

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Footnotes

Footnotes
1 cf. Matt 2;13
2 cf. Jn 8:59
3 cf. Acts 9:25

2014 and the Rising Beast

 

 

THERE are many hopeful things developing in the Church, most of them quietly, still very much hidden from view. On the other hand, there are many troubling things on the horizon of humanity as we enter 2014. These too, though not as hidden, are lost on most people whose source of information remains the mainstream media; whose lives are caught in the treadmill of busyness; who have lost their internal connection to God’s voice through a lack of prayer and spiritual development. I am speaking of souls who do not “watch and pray” as Our Lord asked us.

I can’t help but call to mind what I published six years ago on this very eve of the Feast of the Holy Mother of God:

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