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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Without a Vision

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for October 16th, 2014
Opt. Memorial of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

Liturgical texts here

 

 

 

THE confusion we are seeing envelop Rome today in the wake of the Synod document released to the public is, really, no surprise. Modernism, liberalism, and homosexuality were rampant in seminaries at the time many of these bishops and cardinals attended them. It was a time when the Scriptures where de-mystified, dismantled, and stripped of their power; a time when the Liturgy was being turned into a celebration of the community rather than Christ’s Sacrifice; when theologians ceased studying on their knees; when churches were being stripped of icons and statues; when confessionals were being turned into broom closets; when the Tabernacle was being shuffled off into corners; when catechesis virtually dried up; when abortion became legalized; when priests were abusing children; when the sexual revolution turned nearly everyone against Pope Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae; when no-fault divorce was implemented… when the family began to fall apart.

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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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Can the Pope Betray Us?

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for October 8th, 2014

Liturgical texts here

 

The subject matter of this meditation is so important, that I am sending this to both my daily readers of the Now Word, and those who are on the Spiritual Food for Thought mailing list. If you receive duplicates, that’s why. Because of today’s subject, this writing is a bit longer than usual for my daily readers… but I believe necessary.

 

I couldn’t sleep last night. I woke up in what the Romans would call the “fourth watch”, that period of time before dawn. I began to think about all the emails I’m receiving, the rumors I’m hearing, the doubts and confusion that are creeping in… like wolves on the edge of the forest. Yes, I heard the warnings clearly in my heart shortly after Pope Benedict resigned, that we were going to enter into times of great confusion. And now, I feel a bit like a shepherd, tension in my back and arms, my staff raised as shadows move about this precious flock that God has entrusted me to feed with “spiritual food.” I feel protective today.

The wolves are here.

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The Two Guardrails

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for October 6th, 2014
Opt. Memorial for St. Bruno and Blessed Marie Rose Durocher

Liturgical texts here


Photo by Les Cunliffe

 

 

THE readings today could not be more timely for the opening sessions of the Extraordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Family. For they provide the two guardrails along the “constricted road that leads to life” [1]cf. Matt 7:14 that the Church, and all us as individuals, must travel.

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1. cf. Matt 7:14

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).