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Jesus Prayed

In 06 Scripture & Theology on 2012/09/27 at 9:11 AM

The individual human soul a temple of God – this opens to us an entirely new, broad vista. The prayer life of Jesus was to be the key to understanding the prayer of the church. We saw that Christ took part in the public and prescribed worship services of his people… And this is precisely how he transformed the liturgy of the Old Covenant into that of the New.

But Jesus did not merely participate in public and prescribed wor­ship services. Perhaps even more often the Gospels tell of solitary prayer in the still of the night, on open mountain tops, in the wilderness far from people. Jesus’ public ministry was preceded by forty days and forty nights of prayer (Mt 4,1-2). Before he chose and commissioned his twelve apostles, he withdrew into the isolation of the mountains. By his hour on the Mount of Olives, he prepared himself for his road to Golgotha. A few short words tell us what he implored of his Father during this most dif­ficult hour of his life, words that are given to us as guiding stars for our own hours on the Mount of Olives. “Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me. Nevertheless, let your will be done, not mine” (Lk 22,42). Like lightning, these words for an instant illumine for us the innermost spiri­tual life of Jesus, the unfathomable mystery of his God-man existence and his dialogue with the Father. Surely, this dialogue was life-long and uninterrupted.

Edith Stein (St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross)

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David Gray’s Faith Journey

In 12 Converts on 2013/08/23 at 12:00 AM

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In my articles ‘Losing and Finding it All’ and ‘The Day I Heard the Lord’s Voice; The Day I Knew Jesus Is Real’I talked about how I moved from being an Agnostic to a Christian. I wish I could say that I went to prison and found Christ, but that would not be the truth – It was Jesus who found me in very bad condition and gave me a new opportunity at life.

After Jesus spoke to me as I was in the process of trying to commit suicide and said, “I love you. I am here,” everything was different. I could no longer deny that Jesus was real and that He was interested in having a personal relationship with me, but some of those issues that troubled me about Christianity for all those years still lingered in my heart.

Ever since I was teenager, I could never understand how those Christians could be in so many different denominations, and each of them teaching so many radically different things that were at odds with what the other denominations were teaching, and, yet, all insisting that they each believed in the same God.

I kept asking myself how could they all believe in the same God and simultaneously accept that their God was confusing them with opposing and competing truths? As far as I was concerned, that was not a God worth believing in.

Moreover, I was not very knowledgeable about the New Testament, but one thing I knew for sure was that the YHWH of Old Testament always kept His people together and for His children there was nothing more important than the Shema, “Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God is one LORD” (Deuteronomy 6:4).

I knew that in the Davidic Kingdom there was only one God, one Temple, and one priesthood. Therefore, as an Agnostic, I concluded that either these Christians were not of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as they claimed, or there was no God.

There in October of 2004 it was good enough for me to finally know that God is real, and He truly does have a Son named Jesus Christ who loves me more than I love myself; so the restlessness and questions in my heart about those Christian denominations would wait until a later time. I was on my way to prison – my new life, and I had to figure out how I was going to adjust to that.

On August 31st, 2005 I was Baptized in prison in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. I suppose that I could have been classed as Protestant at that time and until my conversion to Catholicism, because that (Protestantism) was the brand of theology that I subscribed to at least; even without knowing what I was ‘protesting’ against exactly or knowing anything about the Catholic Church, except what I heard, such as they worship Mary and the Pope. Yet, the Baptism itself was huge step for me in the right direction, because, for me, it meant commitment; it meant that I was ready to take my walk with Christ Jesus seriously. In the light of Christ having deigned to speak to me personally to save me from myself, I felt that I owed that commitment to God. He gave me my life back, so I felt that I owed Him mine.

It was shortly after my Baptism that all the old restlessness and those questions arose in my heart again. By that time I had become more familiar with the New Testament and it had become absolutely clear to me that I had to belong to a Church, because that was the ‘gift’ that Jesus gave us through his Apostles, He prayed that we would be one (Cf. John 17), Paul admonished us to be of one faith, one Lord, on Baptism, and one God (Cf. Ephesians 4:5-6), and the writer of Hebrews commands us not to forsake the assembly (Cf. 10:23).

I was just starting year two of a five to nine year sentence, so I felt that I had plenty of time to make up my mind which Church I would join, but for awhile I assumed that I would join the African Methodist Episcopal Church because that was the one my Grandmother Minnie always took me to.

CONFUSION SET IN

In January of 2006, still restless over this issue of competing Protestant denominations, two questions arose in my heart that changed my life for good. It is true; the fruit of our life is only as good as the questions that we ask ourselves. That is, if I don’t ask myself good questions, then the result is that my answers in regards to life’s difficulties are no good either. In other words, it is only through the process of asking and answering questions that we discover who we are in relation to God and neighbor.

The questions I asked myself that day were, “Well, what happened to the Church that Jesus started through his Apostles? What happened to the Churches in the Bible?” What basic and fundamental questions were these? I thought I was silly for not asking them a long time ago. And, simultaneously, I was worried that I would not be able to find their answers, or that the answers that I would find would be some church that was so small and reclusive that I would not be able to join. Yet, I knew that my heart would be restless until I went on this journey to find the true Church of Jesus.

THE SEARCH BEGINS

My journey began with a challenge to God. First, I thanked Him for saving my life and added that if that experience was real and if the Bible is true and you told the truth when you said that gates of Hell would not prevail against your Church (Cf. Matthew 16:18) and you do not want your people to be divided and fighting each other, then the Church that you started through your Apostles should still be here today.

I told Him that I believe that you are that powerful and that loving that you would not leave your people guessing for the truth or dividing in competing factions, but if you could not do that little thing then you are not worth my believing in. Finally, I told him that I needed Him to help me answer this question and that I would go wherever He led me.

My search for the Church of Christ began with Scripture. More precisely, it began with the premise of ‘truth’ and that would remain as the underlying foundation of my search. There are two things that Scriptures says are always true: the first is Christ Jesus, who calls Himself ‘The Truth’. “I am the way, the truth, and the life . . .” (John 14:6); the second is the CHURCH, – “But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the Church of the living God, the Pillar and Foundation of Truth” (1 Timothy 3:15).

Because I started with the foundation of the Old Covenant, it allowed me to understand Jesus’ words “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill” (Matthew 5:17) under the context that everything that was in the Old Covenant is now in the New Covenant, but in its fulfilled sense. That is why I immediately dismissed the Protestant notion of some ‘invisible’ unity, because the Old Covenant offered a clearly visible unity amongst the people, priesthood, Temple, and God.

I understood that all Christians are one in ‘Spirit’, but, clearly, Scripture is not talking about an invisible unity. Jesus prayed that we would be one so that the world will believe and know that the Father sent the Son. He did not pray that we would be thirty- three thousand different denominations. Moreover, the unity that Jesus prayed for is a right now unity; meaning that it was something was instantly present, as opposed to something that Protestants believe will come at the end.

Because Jesus prayed that we would be one, so that the world will believe and know that the Father sent the Son, it follows that if we are not one, then the world has every reason not to believe and every reason not to know that the Father sent the Son. I am an example of the failure of Christians not living up to Jesus’ prayer. The disunity of Christians harmed me as a youth. Because they were not one – I rejected them. I had not known about the Catholic Church.

It troubled me greatly back in January of 2006, after I started the process to find the Church of the Apostles, when I immediately had to dismiss every Protestant church on the grounds that not a single one of them is older than five hundred years. That meant that none them could be the actual Church that the Apostles started.

On top of that, each of them was started by some man: the Lutherans by Martin Luther; the Presbyterians by John Calvin; the Anglicans/Episcopalians by King Henry VIII, the Baptist by John Smyth; the Methodist by John Wesley, and etc. In addition, the motives of these men starting these Churches seemed to be scurrilous and suspect – clearly not of God. I began to be scared of what I was about to find.page3image26256 page3image26416 page3image26576

Soon thereafter, I saw that the Catholic Church was actually Christian, and I understood that because it was the Church that the Protestants were protesting against meant that it was older than them. Still today, most Protestants today have no clue what they are protesting against. Yet, at this point in my research, I figured that I would eventually discover that the Catholic Church was started some time in the middle ages (like I had always heard from Protestants). Having heard so many strange things about Catholics and what they believe, I had no reason to believe that it was the Church that Jesus Christ started through His Apostles.

THE PAPER TRAIL

Whenever I research, I never go straight to a biased source. My initial research here was done through good encyclopedias and non-religious books. What I discovered from a number of sources is that by the late first century, the same Churches that we read about in the Bible had begun to call themselves catholic.

That was an odd discovery for me, but I didn’t immediately connect it with the Catholic Church, because ‘in context’ all they were expressing is what the word ‘catholic’ means in Greek (that is, one, whole, united, complete). In addition, I was just like everyone else in this country – I had a built in prejudice against Catholics and the last thing that I wanted to be was a Catholic, more especially a Black Catholic.

Next, I came across some documents from the first and second century – they were letters to and from the Bishop of Rome. He was not being called the ‘Pope’ yet (‘pope’ only means ‘father’ in Italian), but the new questions that I was being forced to answer myself was: ‘Why were these Churches far outside of Rome writing to the Bishop of Rome to resolve their disputes at a time when the Apostle John was still alive?’ ‘Why was the Bishop of Rome writing to Churches far outside of Rome, like Corinth, and telling them what to do?’ ‘Who did the Bishop of Rome think he was?

Ok, the answers to these questions were problematic, but I kept prayerfully going. I was starting to tell God that He had to straighten me out, because I was far off track in my research. The Church that He started could not be the Catholic Church.

Next, I backed up a little bit and started studying the teachings of the Catholic Church, because if I could prove that what they teach is not what the Bible actually teaches then I could dismiss this weird religion and find the error in my research, and get back to finding the true Church of the Apostles. I actually was starting to think that Jesus is a liar and a false God that can’t even provide the means to keep His people homogeneous. So I went back to the library and checked out several books on Catholic theology and history.

The first books that I dug into were the history books written by Catholics, and they made me feel pretty stupid! Why had I not asked myself basic questions like: ‘When was the Bible put together?’ ‘Who made up our foundation doctrines like the Trinity?’page4image27040 page4image27200 page4image27360 page4image27520

‘Who set the dates for Christmas and Easter?’ I found that not only did the founders of the Church, that eventually began calling itself Catholic, write the books of the New Testament, but it was also the Catholic Church who preserved these writings and canonized (listed the books) of the Bible in 382 A.D.

It was the Catholic Church who formulated the doctrine of the Trinity and who set the dates of Easter and Christmas. In a way, we are all Catholics because we accept so many of the Church’s teachings. I found that Protestants cannot truly say that they reject the teachings of the Catholic Church, because out of the side of their mouth they must confess that those same teachings form the foundation of their faith.

There are some teachings that are very peculiar to the Catholic Church, like Purgatory, intercessory prayer with the saints (in Heaven), belief that the communion bread and wine is the Real Flesh, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ, and the high honor they pay the Virgin Mary. I deduced that if I could prove that some of the main people of the first three centuries of the Church rejected fundamental and key Catholic teachings then I could rightfully dismiss the Catholic Church.

In other words, because the Catholic Church holds that what She believes now that She has always believed, then if I could prove that orthodox Christians from the first and second centuries believed something other than what the Catholic Church teaches then I could get back on track to find the true Church of Christ.

I was troubled again by what I discovered. Not only was it clearly evident that what the Catholic Church believes today what has She has always believed, but that the saints and martyrs of the first three centuries were clearly members of that Church. The real shocker was the finding out that everything that the Catholic Church believes is Scriptural. But why wouldn’t it be?

If this is the Church that gave us the Bible, then why wouldn’t She agree with everything in the Bible? I was starting to realize that the problem was not what the Catholic Churches understandings of Scripture. On the contrary, the problem was my understanding of Scripture. Who was I to interpret a book different than its own author has been interpreting it for two thousand years?

Like most people, I had heard some things about the Emperor Constantine creating the Roman Catholic Church and formulating doctrine. I already knew that this old wives tale (demonic lie) had some problems because I had already proven to myself that the Catholic Church evolved out of the first Churches of the Apostles, but what was up with the Council of Nicaea and all those early councils?

MORE QUESTIONS

By March of 2006 I had done a lot of research. God has blessed me with signs that I was on the right path. Yet, a part of me still did not want to be Catholic, but I could not deny where the Spirit  was leading me. I had to admit to myself that this was not my idea to be Catholic, and it felt good that I was not following my own will. It also felt good that I might be able to trust God. If I did not have to figure out the Bible on my own, but, rather, trust the theology of the Church who has been working on explaining Her own book for two thousand years, then that would take a lot of weight off of my back. My next task was to go in undercover and investigate. I had to figure out what the Catholic Church and that Mass thing was about.

The first Mass that I attended changed my life forever. It was everything that I ever dreamed of in a Church. Don’t get me wrong – there is a Catholic Church in every country in the world and they all celebrate the Mass slightly different. Even in this country where some Catholic Churches that are predominately Black, Hispanic, or Charismatic, they get down with music, dancing, and tongues and you name it, but the first Mass that I attended was perfect for me.

Besides the ritual and drama, what I love about the Mass the most is that it is all about Jesus! It is never about some man or his preaching. There are three to four Scriptures read at every Mass and all Catholics in every part of the world hear the same Scriptures every day, because Mass is not just on Sunday – it is everyday. ‘They Broke Bread Daily’ the Scripture says and Catholics do just that.

Again, the focus of the Mass is not on some man preaching, but, rather, on Jesus. Not on the music, but on Jesus. Not on people praising God, but on Jesus. Yes there is good preaching, music, and praise, but that is not why Catholics go to Mass. They go to the Sacrifice of the Mass to see Jesus. He is there physically and spiritually in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. It is incredible!

I cannot see myself going through life without the Real Manna that came down from Heaven. God is so good and compassionate to come to us in such a little and humble way.

First He came to us as a little infant and now He continues to come to us in a little morsel of bread and sip of wine – that, through the ordained priest, He actually turns into His real Flesh and Blood. I know it sounds crazy, but it is what Jesus and the Apostles taught, Scripture teaches, and what we Christians have always believed for fifteen hundred years until some men came along said it actually wasn”t.

Satan won when Christians became divided over the Body of Christ. I feel so sad for people who do not receive the real Flesh and Blood of Jesus. God has never been more intimate with us than He is at the Mass when we take Him into our mouths just as John 6 says we must do to have eternal life. I found that there is only one reason why all Christians are not Catholic and it is the same reason why all Catholics leave the Catholic Church; that is, they believe something different about the Holy Eucharist than what the Catholic Church actually teaches that it is. For, if they truly believed that the Eucharist is the actual Body and Blood of Jesus Christ then they would refuse to go even a day without receiving it.

I had lots of other issues with the Catholic Church, such as: confession to a priest, the Virgin Mary, praying with dead people (saints), and you name it, but I always came back to some basic facts: (1) That I asked for this; (2) The issue was usually my pride, not Catholic teaching; (3) What the Church teaches is what they have been teaching for two thousand years; therefore, who was I, who had only been around for three something years, to declare that I know the whole truth; (4) The Catholic Church has been consistently counter-cultural and strong on all of Her moral and social teachings (e.g. pro-life, human rights, natural marriage, and etc.), while the Protestant church has been blowing in the wind on everything; (5) The alternative is belonging to some Church that was not started by the Apostles and has only been here for five hundred or less years; and (6) The fact that the Catholic Church has been tested for two thousand years and has withstood the adversity is a sign of grace from God. Therefore, I resolved those issues in two ways; first, by researching what the Church teaches and why; and second, by trusting God not to lead me wrong.

It feels good to be able to tell God on the day of judgment that I only believed what the Church that He started taught and nothing else. That is to say, that if I was wrong about anything it was His fault – not mine! I don’t know what is going to happen to those people who meet God and tell Him that they believed what they wanted to believe or what Martin Luther or John Calvin (not Apostles) taught.

Ultimately, I found myself in a position that I couldn’t find a way out of. I had found what I went looking for. It is true – the Catholic Church was not what I expect to find when I began my journey, but it turned out to be everything that I always wanted. The Church of the Apostles is still with us. The Catholic Church is the Church that Jesus started through His Apostles. Still feeling a bit reluctant, the next question I asked myself was the question that concluded my research: -Why would I belong to any other Church, but the Church that was started by the God who saved my life?

On August 8th, 2006 I was Confirmed and received into the Catholic Church, taking St. Joseph as my patron Saint. It was funny; St. Joseph was there as a kid, as I use to ride my bike past St. Joseph Hospital in Warren, Ohio, and there he was again at my hour of conversion in St. Joseph Parish. I suppose he has always been there watching me move along.

God has been so merciful and gracious with me and has never led me wrong. I am so happy that He brought me to His Church kicking and screaming all along the way, because I appreciate the struggle and the journey. Even today, as I knell down at Mass, I have to shake my head with a grin that I am actually a Roman Catholic and the happiest I have ever been in my life.

Appeared on Steve Ray’s blog: http://www.catholic-convert.com

Fr. George Rutler – Christ in the City III

In 15 Audio on 2012/11/16 at 12:00 AM

Christ in the City, 2006

Host – Fr. George Rutler, S.T.D.

Fr. George Rutler, S.T.D., discusses varied themes relative to finding Christ in daily life, even amongst the bustle of urban living. His topics for reflection include faith, entering the “narrow gate,” the feast of Pentecost, the “high priestly prayer” of Jesus, the Sermon on the Mount, hearing the divine music, and seeing works of art as representations of the holy or divine. Dealing with matters of everyday life, Rutler presents the topics of fanaticism, procrastination and distractions.

Please click on this link to access these programs: : http://www.ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/seriessearchprog.asp?seriesID=7088&T1=Rutler

Christ in the City, 2006

1. Pentecost…Fr. Rutler presents the relevance of the Churchʼs feast of Pentecost–the presence of the Holy Spirit in the lives of Christians today–using metaphors derived from events transpiring within the Upper Room in Jerusalem, Pearl Harbor, Ground Zero in New York, as well as the death of Pope John Paul II and the election of Benedict XVI in Rome.

2.Divine Music…Fr. Rutler speaks of beauty and truth originating with God, who is the perfection of every virtue. Hence light and music are forms of the divine harmony and luminescence. All human creations owe their debt of inspiration to their Creator. It is a revelation to realize that natural gifts come from the supernatural. Hence to listen to the divine music is to hear the voice of God spoken to our consciences or souls. Such an art of quiet listening would be considered a refined art in noisy city life.

3.The High Priestly Prayer…Fr. Rutler uses illustrations from the life of Pope John Paul II, the Titanic and Pearl Harbor to lead into discussion of Christʼs prayer for unity among his Church. Before his impending death, Jesus prayed that believers not necessarily be delivered from the often troubling circumstances of living in the world, but that they be preserved in the truth and kept safe from the evil one.

4. Fanaticism…Fr. Rutler refers to the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States, as well as the life of John Paul II and the example of the Dead Sea to show the difference between following the truth in a healthy way as opposed to acting out of a blind, unhealthy zeal. Fanatics are marked by a lack of balance, whereas a manʼs life can only be perfectly balanced in God. Christ gave us the sacraments to help us to live out the virtues in a way unaided human disciple could never attain.

5. Sermon on the Mount…Fr. Rutler emphatically states that the Sermon on the Mount was not given by Christ as a lesson in ethics, merely as a philosophical system or code of moral behavior requiring intellectual assent only. This summation of Christianity serves as an announcement that Christ is God, and that as such he wants to give supernatural help to be what God wants us to be. He declares that he was sent to show us the way to heaven, to bid us understand what it means to thirst for righteousness, to hunger for it. He even opens up the way to heaven by dying on the cross for us.

6. Procrastination…Fr. Rutler praises Christʼs attitude of obedience, always knowing where he was going, heading resolutely toward his Passion and resurrection in Jerusalem, and bidding his disciples to follow him on this narrow way to salvation. He encourages his disciples on this way because he knows how easy it is to go astray and to procrastinate, a danger to the soul more persistant and more subtle than a willful denial. As examples of his argument, Rutler cites the prophet Elijah on Mount Carmel, Hank Williams, Sr., Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan.

7. Faith…Fr. Rutler makes the point that faith requires admitting that there is a being with a higher intelligence than we have. The beginning of wisdom is to recognize the limitations of our intellect and our need for assistance. An act of faith needs to be made, and then the object of our faith will give us what is good. St. Paul uses the image of the mirror to say that now we see dimly only, as in a reflection, but in the next life, face to face with God. Faith is the beginning and love the end of our perception of God, and God brings the two together so that the mind is no longer isolated.

8. The Narrow Gate…Fr. Rutler makes the clear distinction between the narrow way of Christ and the narrowmindedness of bigotry. People often make a habit of narrowing the circle of those they choose to love and those they exclude. Christ came into the world to help us to see clearly, to focus our attention on him as the very presence of the Divine Love in time and space. To come into his presence is to encounter a narrowness that gives access to all races. This specificity is not one of opinion, but of the precision of truth that anyone, anywhere can accept. Choosing to follow his universal way is the condition by which people can come to sit at table in the kingdom of God.

9. Distractions…Fr. Rutler presents distraction as one of the problems of the modern age. People have the technology to have so much information at their fingertips and so many modes of communication available at all times that they can lose their presence of mind at the given moment, giving way to numerous distractions. Christ provides the answer to this lack of focus, notably in his Transfiguration. The Father is well pleased with Christ because he always does his will. The apostles find direction in as much as they look to Christ. Modern-day examples of being rooted in God include the prayer of GeorgeWashington before the battle of Valley Forge, the Apparitions at Fatima, and the ministry of Pope John Paul II.

10.Works of Art…Fr. Rutler views works of art as representations of higher realities. The works stand for something larger than or beyond themselves; even more than the technical merit of their appearance, their value is determined by what they represent. Such is the case

especially when dealing with sacred art. Artworks connote the presence of an artist, and behind him or her, even the supreme artist, God. The whole universe is his masterpiece, and we are his favorite works of art. Art of the saints beckons us with very holy and eternal glances to contemplate him whose will is that we may rejoice with him forever.

Please click on this site to access programs: http://www.ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/seriessearchprog.asp?seriesID=7088&T1=Rutler

INDEX

In on 2011/07/15 at 7:06 PM

Following is a list of all articles according to Category.

Please click on link to access article.

1 DAILY MEDITATIONS

Most Recent First

“Blessed are those who hunger and third after justice, for they will be satisfied.”

“In God’s name, do not dispair”

“Never give way to fear or routine”

“It is now Christ who lives in you”

“God is good and He loves us”

“Temptation to weariness”

“We have to toil away each day with Jesus”

“Let us always be brutally sincere”

“Penance means being full of tenderness and kindness towards the suffering”

“With Him there is no possibility of failure”

“Get to know the Holy Spirit”

“The Charity of Christ should compels us”

“You have to live in harmony with your fellow men and understand them”

“With your help, Lord, I’ll fight”

“If you want to be useful, serve”

“The richness of our faith”

“Practice Fraternal Correction”

“I put my trust in you. I know you are my Father.”

“Serenity.  Why lose your temper?”

“We have to toil away each day with Jesus”

“Seek first the Kingdom of God”

“Renew your joy for the struggle”

“To pray is to talk with God.  But about what?

“Make life more pleasant for others”

“Struggling for so many years”

“Come, Sanctifier, almighty and eternal God”

“Lord, I don’t know hope to pray”

“You should walk at God’s pace, not your own”

“Serve Our Lord and your fellow men”

“Learn how to do good”

“The strong man will at times suffer, but he stands firm”

“Do not fix your heart on anything that passes away”

“He Calls Each One of Us By Name”

“Implore Divine Mercy”

“We are ordinary people who lead an ordinary life”

“Without Him we can do nothing”

“May you not lack simplicity”

“Our Lord wants us to be both very human and very divine”

Marriage: Where Do We Go From Here?

“Go with confidence to Mary”

“To love means to renew our dedication every day, with loving deeds of service”

“Let Him make demands on you”

“The new commandment of love”

“We have to be strong and patin and, therefore, calm and composed”

“You will be able to support one another”

“To love means to renew our dedication every day, with loving deeds of service”

“You are able to call yourself a son of God”

“Getting to know Jesus will give rise to love”

“Don’t be afraid to know your real self”

“Work with cheerfulness”

“Mary, Teach of unlimited self-giving”

“The holy Rosary is a powerful weapon”

“Mary is close beside you”

“Here I am, for you called me”

“Carry each other’s burdens”

“Keep calm in the face of worries”

“I am with him in the time of trial.”

“Being children you will have no cares”

“Ask for true humility”

“You will follow Jesus in everything that he asks of you”

“To follow Christ, that is the secret”

“You will never love enough”

“We need humility if we are to obey”

Be docile to the Holy Spirit

“Your human vocation is a part of your divine vocation”

“Mary teaches us to have charity”

“Mary’s throne is the Cross”

“With Mary, how easy it is!”

“Mother! Call her again and again!”

“Lord, if you will You can make me clean”

“Saint Joseph, a teacher of the interior life”

“Do whatever He tells you”

“We will serve everyone”

“Through daily life, give a proof of faith”

“Do what you ought and concentrate on what you are doing”

“Christ is also living now”

“Where is He that is born king?”

“Christians should sanctify everything that is good in their lives”

“We are going to receive our Lord”

“Christ tells you and me that he needs us”

“Develop a lively devotion for Our Blessed Mother”

“The value God places on marriage”

“You have Him always at your side”

“Mary, teacher of prayer”

“Sowers of peace and joy”

“Exercise care in little things”

“Get to known Joseph and you will find Jesus”

“We cannot preach what we do not practice”

“He encourages and teaches and guides us”

“The enormous importance of the task of parents”

“Married life: an occasion for God’s presence on earth”

Love is Shown with Deeds

God Humbled Himself

Jesus is Still Looking for Shelter

God’s Benevolent Plan for Humanity

“A Personal Meeting With God”

“God Is Always Near Us”

“Each one of us should strive to become another Christ”

“Our Lord wants us to be glad”

“The only freedom that can save man is Christian freedom”

“I want to give myself without holding anything back”

“We have to be strong and patient and therefore composed”

“Whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me”

“May I never become attached to anything”

“Jesus is with us”

“He calls us each to holiness”

“Jesus came to reveal the love of God to us”

“A person who loves God gives his very self”

“Don’t be afraid to know your real self”

“Struggling for so many years”

“Get to know the Holy Spirit”

“An action of God, of the Trinity”

“It is a time of hope, and I life of this treasure”

“Through daily life, give a proof of faith”

“Sowers of peace and joy”

“There is no reason why the Church and the State should clash”

“About prayer”

“We must see in work a way to sanctity”

“There are no unimportant posts”

“This is a personal meeting with God”

“Develop a lively devotion for Our Mother” 

Meditative Prayer

“To come close to Christ”

“The Mass is the action of Christ”

Divine Healing

“Come, Sanctifier, almighty and eternal God”

 “Renew your joy for the struggle”

“Is he not the carpenter?”

“Make the lives of others more pleasant”

‘Do not be sorry to be nothing”

“Are you sad, my child?”

“Be a Eucharist soul”

“Take courage, Jesus said, it is myself; do not be afraid?

“Help them unobtrusively”

“My daughter, God is counting on your help”

“He has triumphed over death”

“He is there. with His flesh and with His Blood”

“The mystery of Holy Thursday”

“Holy Wednesday – Love is with love repaid”

“The God of our faith is not a distant being”

“God who created you without you, will not save you without you”

“Forgiving” 

“You need to think about your life calmly and ask for forgiveness”

“He will give you His strength”

“Do not enter into dialogue with temptation”

“God is calling you to Serve Him…”

“The only possible measure for the love…without measure?

“The way to cut short all the evils is to pray”

“It’s not enough to be good; you need to show it”

“To pray is to talk to God.  But about what?”

 “He listens to us and answers us”

“No greater love”

“We have to pray at all times….”

“Sanctifying one’s work is no fantastic dream”

“We have to meditate on the life of Jesus Christ”

“Examine yourself: slowly, courageously”

“Fight against that weakness”

“To meditate for a while each day benefits conscientious Christians”

 “Try to enter into the scene as just one more person there”

“What should a Christian hope for?”

“Feeling that I am a son of God fills me with real hope”

“Place everything in God’s hands”

“Stages: Seek Him, finding Him, getting to know Him, loving Him”

“The great friend that never lets you down”

“Are you living in the presence of God”

 “The greatest revolution of our times”

“God does not lose battles”

“People who are perfect are only found in heaven!”

“You have failings – and such failings!”

“Let us try never to lose our supernatural outlook”

“God is continually leading us forward”

“May I never cease to practice charity

“The greatest gift of God to man”  

“He made Himself food, He became Bread”

“Off to a fresh start”

“Forgive everyone”

“Brief is our time for loving”

“We must also love our enemies”

“You do not trust yourself at all, but trust in God for everything”

“Here I am, Lord, ready to do whatever you want”

“Rest means recuperation”

“Carry each others troubles”

Serenity.  Why lose your temper?

With Him there is no possibility of failure

“Christian prayer: a loving conversation with God”

“When you have to correct, you should do so with charity”

“You are obliged to give good example”

“Learn how to do good”

“You should walk at God’s pace, not at your own”

“Work is a blessing from God”

“Be docile to the Holy Spirit”

“The solemn coming of the Holy Spirit”

“Heroism is expected of the Christian”

“The strong man will at times suffer, but he stands firm”

“Saint Joseph, a teacher of the interior life”

“Do whatever He tells you”

“Mary, Queen of Apostles”

Gospel Guide

“Mary’s throne is the Cross”

“She opens to us the way to the Kingdom of Heaven”

“Nothing is worthwhile if we are not close to Our Lord”

Apostolate of Faith

“Help of Christians”

“Mary, Teacher of unlimited self-giving”

“Mother! Call her again and again”

“Your human vocation is a part of your divine vocation”

“Jesus came to reveal the love of God to us”

Late Have I Loved You Echoes

“The Risen Christ is Our Companion”

“Everything is already there, in Christ”

“He has triumphed over death”

Christian Women

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

Maturity Level

Holy Week Meditations

Padre Pio’s Prayer

02 POPE FRANCIS

Most Recent First:

A Christian Without Mary is an Orphan

Anointing the Sick: Sacrament of God’s Compassion Towards Human Suffering

India: St. Thomas’ Orthodox Syrian Church

Look out for idolatry and hypocrisy

Destructive power of money

A population that does not care for children and the elderly abuses the memory of the past and the promise for the future.

Saintliness is a vocation for all

Christians must guard against the slyness of the devil

Christian Families: Salt and Leaven of Faith in Daily Life

Spiritual Maternity of Christians

Breaking New Ground in Jewish-Catholic Relations

Just like a nurse, God heals our wounds with His hands

The Church is God’s Call to Be Part of His Family

Ten Commandments Are Indications For Freedom

Jews and Catholics face the challenges of religion in contemporary society

Gossip is a form of murder

What gate?

Be Open to God’s Surprises

More Christian Persecuted Than in the First Centuries

Eucharist Is Not Magic

Pope Francis to Pilgrims to Rome from Charlotte, NC

Jesus’ Compassion Is Like A Mother’s Love

Mary and Martha

Not Peace But the Sword

Really Knowing Jesus

Sacrament of Confession is not a “torture chamber”.

Your Salvation

How Can We Have Unity Among Christians If As Catholics We Are Not United?

Corrupt Christians Cause Great Damage to the Church

Faith is a gift that begins in our encounter with Jesus

The Pope Convokes a Day of Prayer and Penance for Peace in Middle East

Pope Francis’ first published book: On HEAVEN and EARTH

Pope Francis to Brazilian Youth

Pope and Archbishop of Canterbury

Financial Reform Along Ethical Lines

Financial Crisis Rooted in Rejection of Ethics

Children’s Train: A Journey Through Beauty

Chasm Exists Between Pope Francis and Liberation Theology

 Worldwide Eucharistic Adoration on Sunday, June 2 11am to 12pm EDT

The Holy Spirit Teaches Us to See with Christ’s Eyes

What the Resurrection of Christ Means for Our Lives

Christ’s Message Is Mercy

Christ Has Risen, He Has Risen Indeed!

Following Jesus is Learning to Go Out of Ourselves

“We Must Live Faith with a Young Heart”

“If God Didn’t Forgive, the World Would not Exist”

To Walk, to Build, to Witness, Always with the Cross of Christ

Pope Francis’ Inaugural Sermon

Render Your Hearts Not Your Clothing

03 ARCHBISHOP CHARLES CHAPUT

Most Recent First:

A Man For All Seasons

A Light to the Nations; The Meaning and Future of the Catholic Church, Part I

A Light to the Nations; The Meaning and Future of the Catholic Church, Part II

A Light to the Nations; the Meaning and Future of the Catholic Church, Part III

Archbishop Chaput’s Take on Pope Francis

Catholic Teachers

Repair My House: Renewing the Roots of Religious Liberty

Being Human in an Age of Unbelief – Part I

Being Human in an Age of Unbelief – Part II

Being Human in an Age of Unbelief – Part III

Politics and the Devil – Part I

Politics and the Devil – Part II

Politics and the Devil – Part III

Living within the Truth – Part I

Living within the Truth – Part II

Living within the Truth – Part III

04 FR. JOHN McCLOSKEY…………………………………………………………

Most Recent First:

The Final Confrontation

Heart-to-Heart Preaching

Becoming Catholic

Station Churches of Rome

St. Thomas More: Faithful Statesman

Praying Litanies

Hope for the Gospel of Life in America

Belloc, Benson and Knox: three renowned Catholic writers

Help Wanted: Spiritual Direction

Who Do You Say That I Am?

Renewal: How the New Generation of Faithful Priests and Bishops Is Revitalizing the Catholic Church

American Women and the Culture Wars

The Role of Church History in Conversion to the Catholic Church

Will Many Be Saved?

Tea Party Catholic

Catholic Guide to Depression

Wining the World, One Friend at a Time

Navigating the Interior Life

God in Action

The Magisterium and Catholic Social Teaching

Why Faith Prevails Over Doubt

On the Meaning of Sex

Ten Way to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child

40th Anniversary of Roe v Wade and Dr. Nathanson, the prophet

Christians in the Movies

Closing of the Muslim Mind

The Appalling Strangeness of the Mercy of God

 Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman: Why is he important today.

The Difference God Makes

Charity, Grace and Force

Private Charity Versus Government Welfare

Laymen: “Resolve to Discern God’s Will for You”

Justice and Mercy: As Relevant Today as Ever

05 HOMILIES BY FR.REID

Most Recent First:

St. Dominic

St. Bernadette Souborious

The Great Schism

Capacity for Sanctity

Body and Blood of Christ

An Opportunity to Expand Our Soul

Mt. Zion

Good and Evil

St. Kateri Tekakwitha, “Lily of the Mohawks”

St. Thomas Aquinas

On Free Will

Christianity in Eastern Europe

Cultivating a Spirit of Generosity

Having Hope

Wheat and Weeds

Bridge Between Liturgical Seasons

Sts. Perpetua and Felicity

Notre Dame de Chartres 

St. Ann

Transfiguration of Our Soul

Charles de Foucault

St. Clare

Angelic Hosts

Value of Faith

Worship

Most Holy Trinity

Joy in Suffering

Holy Trinity

Pentecost II

Pentecost I

The Ascension of Our Lord

Accepting God’s Grace

Crucifixion of St. Peter

Sts. Peter and Paul

The Essence of Christian Perfection

Humility in Key 

On the Mercy of God

Easter Sunday

Easter Vigil

Holy Saturday

Good Friday

Mass of the Lord”s Supper

Holy Thursday

Order

St. John of the Cross

Suffering is the End Result of Selfishness

The Healing Power of Suffering

St. John Vianney

Order

Washing of the Feet

Wedding Feast at Cana

Baptism of the Lord

Mary, Mother of God

Holy Family

Nativity of the Lord 

Mystery of the Mass

Power of the Holy Name

Gaudete Sunday

Solemnity of Christ the King

In the Holy Land

Our Fate’ Our Choice

The Tax Collectors

All Souls Day

Marian Devotion

Rosary

Last Judgment

Four Last Things

St.Ann

Consecration to theBlessed Virgin Mary

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Learning to Imitate

Peter Saw the Truth

Losing a Colleague and Friend

Time Counts

Body and Blood of Christ

Most Holy Trinity

Pentecost

Gianna Beretta Molla

Ascension

Letter from Bishop Jugis and Bishop Burbidge

Good Shepherd

Easter Sunday

Easter Vigil

Passiontide

Holy Sepulcher

Palm Sunday

St. John Paul the Great

Divine Light

Easter Duty

Call to Repentance

St. Catherine of Siena

The Benefits of Baptism

Unworthy But Loved

Importance of Family

Model Saints

Epiphany

Mary, Mother of God

Christmas Mass

Rejoicing

St. Catherine of Siena 

Suffering

All Saints Day

Realities

Religious Orders

Victory at Lepanto and the Rosary

St. Therese of Lisieux

St. Francis of Assisi

St. Lawrence

Call to Observance

Re-purposing

Pearl of Wisdom

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

St. John Mary Vianney

Basilica of St. Mary’s Major

Shepherding

Being Commissioned

Rebels and Rebellions

Mary Magdalene

Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist

Importance of Faith

The Most Holy Trinity

Nativity of the Lord

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

Excerpts from Sermon by Fr. Timothy Reid (9/22/13) clarifying media spin on Pope Francis’ statement.

Catholic Prayers

Passions

Major Threat to Life

Marital Commitment

Major Threat to Life

Sacred Heart

Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ

Pentecost

Ascension of the Lord

Easter Sunday

Good Friday

Holy Thursday

Palm Sunday

Prayer by Fr. Reid

Prodigal

Sin

Actions

Utopia

Christ by Fr. Reid

Ability to Choose

Good Friday

Palm Sunday

Cathedral of Chartes

The Annunciation

St. Joseph

Holy Mass

Temptations

Ash Wednesday Approaches

St. Augustine by Fr. Reid

Do You Love Jesus?

Atheism

Respect for Life

The Holy Family by Fr. Timothy Reid

Nativity of Our Lord

Advent: the Coming of Christ

Season of Advent

December 8 Feast of the Immaculate Conception

Christ the King (Whose feast is this Sunday)

All Souls’ Day, November 2nd 

All Saints’ Day, November 1st

The Major Threats to Life

August 15 Assumption

Faith

Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ by Fr. Reid

Most Blessed Trinity by Fr. Reid

Solemnity of Pentecost by Fr. Reid

The Ascension of Our Lord, Jesus Christ by Fr. Reid

Marital Commitment by Fr. Reid

St. Ignatius Loyola by Fr. Reid

Blessed John Paul II by Fr. Reid

Baptism of the Lord by Fr. Reed

Love is…

Blessed are the peace makers…”

“Blessed are the clean of heart…”

“Blessed are those who mourn…”

Transfiguration of Our Soul

Gospel of the Annunciation

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.”

The real Mary of Nazareth

Who? Me?

Isaias: Bible Study

The New Testament From a Jewish Perspective

“Speak Lord, your servant is listening.”

Immaculate Conception

Beatitudes

Unity of Pentecost Overcomes Division and Enmity

The Three Comings of Christ

New Chinese-English Bible Marks Major Evangelization Breakthrough

The Deutero-canonical Books of the Bible

Come Up Higher

Re-oriented World

Incarnation: God Assumes a Human Condition to Heal It

All Saints and All Souls

Does God’s Holy Spirit Living in Us Make Any Difference?

Eucharistic Communion and Contemplation Are Inseparable

The Church Becomes Fully Visible in the Liturgy

Faith Means Believing in the Love of God Which Redeems Us from Slavery

Christians’ Firm Hope in the Resurrection

Transmitting the Passion for Christ to the World

Man is a Seeker of the Absolute

Christ Guides the Journey of Humanity

Saying “I believe in God the Father Almighty” Is Saying “I believe in the power of God’s love”

The Logic of God Is Different from the Logic of Man

Three Ways to Know God: the World, Man and Faith

Human Intelligence Can Find Key to Understanding the World in Sacred Scripture

Why Temptations?

God Doesn’t Consider As Much the Quality of the Chosen as their Faith

Seeking the Face of God

Incarnation: God Assumes Human Condition to Heal It

Divine Revelation Does Not Follow Earthly Logic

Mary’s Faith in the Light of the Mystery of the Annunciation

The Coming of the Lord Continues

The Infancy Narratives

Divorced People Are Not Outside the Church

Praying to the Father in Order to Help Those Who Suffer

Each Human Person is Miracle of God

Jesus Prayed

The Closeness of God Transforms Reality

Jesus in the Gospel According to St. John

Dying Prayer of Our Lord

Pope Address USA Bishops on Crisis of Marriage and the Family

“They returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth”

Christmas: Eternity Enters into Confines of Time and Space

Daughter of Zion

Pope Benedict on the Subject of the Prayer of Christ

Advent Spiritual Journey by Fr. Mark Lawlor

Validity of Gospels

Mary, Our Mother

Benedict XVI – It is necessary to restore the primacy of God in the world

Benedict XVI – Parable of the Sower 

Benedict XVI – “Upon this rock I will build my church.”

How Do I Love You? Let Me Count the Ways

Beatitudes Vocabulary

Letter to a Baptist friend

Correct viewpoint

Listen to the Little Child

Who “WAS?”

Your Portrait?

Marriage Sermon for William and Kate and All Young People Today.

Resurrection of Jesus

ΧΡΙΣΤΩΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΙ (CHRIST IS RISEN)

Real Truth

New Order

Evangelistic Prophets

Mount of Olives Psalms

Sweet Nails, Sweet Tree

Peter or Judas?

Holy Week

Generosity

Psalm 34 and the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ

Knowledge Enhanced

First Easter

Divine Love Affair

Pray Always?

The Risen One, the New Temple

Scripture Defiled

Can You Answer?

Calumny

Parables Unravelled?

07 OBSERVATIONS
 Most Recent First:

Calibrating Your Life Successfully.

“Catholax” by Deacon James H. Toner

Blessed are those who are persecuted for sake of righteousness…

Prayerful Poems

A Word to the Wise

Guiding Beatitudes

“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”

Father’s Day

Lovingkindness

Soul

Praying the Psalms

Father’s Day and Trinity Sunday

God Is Good and He loves you

Best Advice

Mary, Our Spiritual Mother

Views on Prayer

Merciful Forgiveness

Liberation From Sin

Devotional Poems by Jackie Duick

For Hurting Daughters

Christ, Our Model

We are all one in Christ

The Worldview That Makes the Underclass

Fiat

Become  Who We Are

Assumption

Sojourn in the Land of the Bible

Race Relations and Law Enforcement

What does this tell your heart and mind?

Mother and Child

What is dealing gone on (and the media is skewing).

Feasts pf St. Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, Archangels

Sts. Peter and Paul

Pope Paul VI Address to Women

Theological Explanation of the Mass

The Mystical Body of Christ and the Church

What Is Love?

Mary, Mother of God and Mother He Gave Us While on the Cross

Early Church Fathers International

Who Gives a Hoot About You? – International

Truth to Ponder International

Essential Truths

Culture of Death

Holy Innocents

Come Let Us Adore Him

Protect Your Children in This Electronic Age

The Undefeated: A New Pro-Life Generation Rises in California

Day of the Unborn Child Passed by Lawmakers

Introducing Fisher More College: A Truly Traditional Catholic Education

“Wholeness of Vision” on Abortion by Thomas J. Ashcraft

Holy Wood rather than Hollywood

Influencing today’s culture

Epiphanies of Beauty

Communion of Saints by Aida Tamayo

Friendship by Fr. Jason Voitus

St. Ireneaus and the Knowledge of God by Rev. Robert A. Connor

The Unexpected Debate

Learning From His Holiness Francis by Fr. Patrick Winslow

Bishop Jin of Shanghai

Questions About Marriage

Prince William and Kate…second anniversary

Message to Catholic Women’s Group by Vicki Borin

“A Spiritual Immersion Program” by Linda Granzow

Benedict XVI: The Same Security That a Child Feels in the Arms of a Loving and All Powerful God

Benedict XVI: Is It Rational to Believe?

Pope Benedict to Those Afflicted by Sickness: You Are the Liming Image of Christ

Man is Considered in Biological Terms or As “Human Capital”

The Aim of Ecumenism is the Unity of Divided Christians

Man Is Considered in Biological Terms or As “Human Capital”

Relationship Between Faith and Marriage

The Pope Emphasizes the Importance of Education in the New Context of our Age

Pope: Do Not Give In to the Temptation to Instrumentalize God

Can You Fool Mother Nature?

Inspirational video of a beautiful but short life on earth /2011 in blogging

Pope on Twitter: His first three answers to questions

Montini and Ratzinger

Gireersh Gupta: Prayer is a gift from God to us

The Idea of Sainthood Has Often Been Distorted

 Seeing Is Believing

Post-Comfortable Christianity and the Election of 2012

Repair My House: Renewing the Roots of Religious Liberty

Spiritual Nourishment From Msgr. Romano Guardini

Wisdom or Chance?

Our Will?

David Hains: Marriage – more than a word

Questions About Marriage

The Unexpected Debate

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith Has a New Domain

The Stations of the Cross at St. Vincent de Paul’s Church

Pope Warns Against the Power of Finance and the Media

Forgiving Love

Epiphany Traditions

In What Type of Soil Are Rooted In?

Learn to “see” God again

What is this practice of Adoration?

Challenge of the Media

New Victims of Discrimination

Many Aspects of the Christian Apostolate

Kid Brother – In Memoriam

Assumption

Unheeded Warnings from Pope Pius XII and Thucydides

 An Essential Virtue: Fortitude

Picture a Pedal

Reconstruction Replaces Resurrection

Address of Pope Benedict to International Convention on Woman and Man

Aquinas and Bonaventure: Twin Guiding Lights

Cyberspace Benedict

Bonaventure on Heart of Jesus

A Question You Need to Answer

Fr. Gabriel Carvajal’s farewell sermon at St. Vincent de Paul Church

Oh Thomas, What Did You See?

A Timely Message That We Need to Hear Again and Again.

Came and Went Before; Now Appears and Vanishes

Ascension: Go and Come?

Problems and Difficulties

Interior Life

Artist’s Purpose

O, Divine Redeemer

Repentance

Eucharistic Church

Three Crosses

Retain What You Read

Inductive/Deductive Thinking

Spiritual Reading Advice

Observe Jesus Christ

Actions Count

08 MUSINGS BY JACK REAGAN

Most Recent First:

On the Mercy of God

What Did You Expect?

Deceptive Labels

Forgotten, But Not Gone

Complete List of All Articles by Jack Reagan

Being Objective About Being Subjective

What’s In a Name?

Baal and the Tooth Fairy

Is It Just Semantics?

Dabbling With Dogma

Taking Chances

And the Blind Shall Lead

The Semantics of Easter

Some Truths About False Gods

Searching For What Is Not Lost

The Wanderers

With All Due Respect…

Ideas and Consequences

Good Intentions Are Not Always Good

Abstractions?

The Bible – A Perspective

The Siblings of Christ

Response to article of 7/19/13 Life in a Mirage

Life in a Mirage

Contemporary Mischief

Signs for Our Times – Part IV: Apostolicity 

Signs for Our Times – Part III: Catholicity of the Church

Signs for Our Times – Part II: Holiness

Signs for Our Times – Part I: Unity

A Sign For Our Times -Introduction

The Unpreached Sermon: a Layman Thinking Like a Priest.  Part I

The Unpreached Sermon: a Layman Thinking Like a Priest.  Part II

Consequences, part I

Consequences, part II

Rest in Pieces

Correct Answer

What Is Truth?

Is God God Or Are You God? 

Freedom – A Paradox by John Reagan

A Trilogy of the Unreal – Part 1 – Separation of Church and State

A Trilogy of the Unreal – Part 2 – “Jesus” Might Offend

A Trilogy of the Unreal – Part 3 – The Reality of Evil

Mind Over Matter

A Helluva Place

And the Blind Shall Lead

The Mythical God

The Coming Storm

The Great Deception

What Could Have Been

Let’s Get Real, part I

Let’s Get Real, part II

The Dropouts

Is Any Religion True? Part I

Is Any Religion True? Part II

The Eight Hundred Pound Gorilla

Some Truths About False Gods

Blessed Mary, Ever Virgin

Is This Fr. Phyllis? by J. Reagan

The Art of Conscience by J. Reagan

Reconsider: Is God God or Are You God? by J. Reagan

Abortion, A Realistic Viewpoint by J. Reagan

“Now Let’s Not Be Judgmental!” by J. Reagan

Rest in Pieces by J. Reagan

Baal and the Tooth Fairy by J. Reagan

What’s in a Name? by J. Reagan

Another Easter! by J. Reagan

Correct Answer? by J. Reagan

Freedom, a Paradox by J. Reagan

Catholic Christian? by J. Reagan

Being Objective About Being Subjective by J. Reagan

Moslems/Muslims by J. Reagan

What Is Truth? by J. Reagan

Is God God or Are You God? by J. Reagan

Is It Just Semantics? by J. Reagan  

09 MARY SUMMA, JD

Most Recent First:

Juridical Tyranny at Work

Parental Rights: Guardian of Freedom

The Myth of Sexual Liberty

The Changing Definition of Parenthood: How Adult Whims Have Superseded Children’s Needs in American Family Law

A Threat to Liberty: Same-sex Marriage

Designer Babies: The Slipper Slope of Artificial Reproduction Technology 

Hijacking Conscience:Manipulating the Law to Protect the Right to Kill?

Silent Killer: the Argument Against Euthanasia

Do No Harm: The Shifting Standard in Medicine

Parental Rights: The Guardian of Freedom

Slip-Sliding Down the Path of Euthanasia

Babies for Sale: Buying and Selling of Human Life in Surrogacy Agreements

Evil Silence

A Threat to Liberty: Same-sex  “Marriage, Domestic Partnerships and Civil Unions”

Informed Consent: A Woman’s Right to Equal Treatment in Medicine

Myth of Sexual Liberty

Poisonous Fruit: Abortion’s Dark Beginnings in Eugenics

10 COLLEEN CARROLL CAMPBELL

Most Recent First:

My Sisters, The Saints

The Enduring Costs of John F. Kenney’s Compromise

For the “saint of the gutters,” Suffering and love interwinded

Young Catholics Meet a man who can understand them.

The Wisdom of the Aged – Finding God in All Things

Growing Old in the Culture of Perpetual Adolescence

Perils of Post Modern Girlhood

Too Much Screen Time

Holy Boldness – the Big Success of Evangelical Christianity

Learning from the Deadly Dutch Mistakes

So Long, Freedom of Thought

Personhood Begins When Life Begins

Legal, But Not Safe Or Rare

Catholic;s Disregard of Teaching Does Not Make It Untrue 

A Reality Check Before an Abortion

Judicial Tyranny at Work  

A Relative Value?

Pope John Paul II: Staunch defender of the dignity of Women By Colleen Carroll Campbell

Christmas story says bodies matter, even microscopic ones

Benedict and the Young

Spiritual Market Place-Baby Boomers and the Remaking of American Religion

The Cult of Busyness by Colleen Carroll Campbell

“The Pope on Pick-and-Choose Catholics” by Colleen Carroll Campbell

“Benedict’s Better Plan” by Colleen Carroll Campbell

“Dangers of Religious Ignorance” by Colleen Carroll Campbell

11 JOANNA BOGLE

Most Recent First:

City of Bath

Bishop Von Galen

Catholic Heritage (audio)

Unyielding Faith: the Martyrs of Uganda

Bishop Von Galen

Verbum Domini

Former Anglican Clergymen Bolster British Catholicism

Death of Marriage

Meet the Ordinariate’s Ordinary

Lessons from Poland: Open wide the doors to Christ

Childrens’ Project

Henri de Lubac

Jesus Comes to Me – First Communion Book

Has Europe Lost It’s Soul? by Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks

Death of Marriage

Re-Christianizing Hallowe’en

London’s Annual Rosary Rally

auntie joanna quote

Lunch with an Evangelical Friend

Two Converts

Joanna Bogle Recommends

12 CONVERTS

Most Recent First:

Complete Sharing –  John Mann’s Faith Journey

Importance of the Eucharist – Andrea Montgomery’s Faith Journey

A Question Converts Answered

Fisher of Men

Visions of Jesus Appearing to Moslems

Convert from Judaism

A Virtual Library of Converts

Conversion: What’s the Key?

A Letter on Finding Faith – Karen Kerley

Pentecostal Pastor to Catholic Deacon

Conversion Insights – Part I = The Gospel Written on my Heart = by Kathleen Prevost

Conversion Insights – Part II – Chastity – by Kathleen Prevost

Conversion Insights – Part III – The Real Deal by Kathleen Prevost

Fr. Conrad L. Kimbrough – Part I: Methodist

Fr. Conrad L. Kimbrough – Part II: Episcopalian

Fr. Conrad L. Kimbrough – Part III: Catholic

Reflections of recent converts: My first year as a Catholic

Miraculous Journey Home by Gail Buckley

The Power of Example: Lynn Erfird’s Faith Journey

Tony Snow

Conversion by Fr. Timothy Reid

New Catholics; Former Muslims

David Gray’s Faith Journey

Dr. Bernard Nathanson

Evangelization

13 HISTORY

Most Recent First:

THANK YOU

St. Peter Canisius

Edmund Campion

The Real Henry VIII

More on the Tudors

Basilica of St. Paul

Milestones in Modern Catholic-Jewish Relations

Digitalization of Ancient Manuscripts

Matteo Ricci

Theodore Ratisbonne

Pilgrimage to Auschwitz-Berkenau

Slaughtered Christian Brothers

Thanksgiving for Catholic Faith

Preservation of Catholic Heritage

Pius XII knew he would be misunderstood, theologian says

Two Saintly Popes

The Cripple Saint

I Told You So

First American Diocese Celebrates 500 Years of History

Coptic Christians of Egypt

Otranto Revisited: Who is winning the battle and what are the implications?

A Tribute to Margaret Thatcher

Messenger of the Truth

Historic Meeting Between Pope Francis and Pope Tawadros II, Head of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill re Pope Benedict XVI

Jews and Catholics: Dialogue, Reconciliation and Cooperation

Pope Benedict XVI’s Final General Audience: “I asked God to enlighten me to make the right decision, not for my own good, but for the good of the Church”

Text of Pope Benedict’s Humble Resignation

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Mount of Olives Psalms

In 06 Scripture & Theology on 2011/04/22 at 3:35 PM

The early church began to recite the Psalms with new insight, having recognized Jesus as the new David.  They heard Christ speaking through the Psalms.  They recognized the unity between the two Testaments which Jesus had consistently demonstrated.

On the Mount of Olives, Jesus prayed the Psalms of which he was the subject.  “Jesus’ utterly personal prayer and his praying in the words of faithful, suffering Israel are here seamlessly united.” J. Ratzinger

St. Bernadette Souborious

In 05 Homilies by Fr. Reid on 2016/10/07 at 12:00 AM

After a wonderful pilgrimage to France, it’s so very good to be home and with all of you again. I am very grateful to all of you who prayed for us while we were away. Please know that I was praying for all of you in the holy sites we visited.

Truly, this pilgrimage to France was a tremendous opportunity to pray, to visit very holy places, and to honor our Lady and learn more about her and the saints.

On this particular trip the saint who captivated me the most was the humble St. Bernadette Soubirous, and the place that made the greatest impression upon was Lourdes, Bernadette’s hometown.

Born in 1844 into a pious family, Bernadette’s early years were relatively happy and peaceful. But financial devastation was visited upon her family when she was 9 or 10, and the Soubirous family fell increasingly deeper into debt and penury as Bernadette grew into adolescence. They all suffered terribly from their poverty.

Eventually the family became homeless and was forced to move into a single-room dwelling that was once the city jail of Lourdes, but it had been abandoned because it was deemed unfit for the prisoners.

Throughout her childhood Bernadette was small and sickly, and she was considered mentally dull – so much so that by the age of 14, she had still not yet been allowed to receive her first Holy Communion.

But it was at the age of 14 that something happened to Bernadette that not only changed her life and that of her family, but that changed the town of Lourdes and indeed the whole world.

While out collecting firewood near a grotto alongside a river on February 11, 1858, the Mother of God appeared to Bernadette. Dressed in white with a blue sash and with golden roses on her shoes, the Blessed Virgin Mary invited Bernadette to come back to the grotto every day for a fortnight.

Between February and April of 1858, Our Lady appeared to Bernadette 18 times, and she revealed herself as the Immaculate Conception, confirming a dogmatic teaching that had been solemnly proclaimed just 4 years earlier by Pope Pius IX.

Over the course of the apparitions, our Lady gave several messages to Bernadette that led the small town of Lourdes to become one of the most important religious shrines in the whole world, hosting 5 million visitors each year.

One of the key messages our Lady gave to Bernadette is that that we must be willing to pray and to do penance for sinners.

And like so many other saints, St. Bernadette suffered greatly throughout her life, offering up all that she endured for sinners until she died in 1879 – praying for the conversion of sinners and making reparation for their sins.

In addition to poverty and frequent illnesses, as the apparitions to Bernadette occurred, she was subject to many humiliations and tough examinations by various authorities.

And for years after the apparitions, inquisitive townspeople and visitors alike constantly harassed her.

But Bernadette bore all these things with equanimity, eventually entering a convent in Nevers, where she died at the age of 35 after a long and extremely painful illness.

Through all that she suffered, St. Bernadette was steadfast in making a sacrifice of herself for the sake of sinners. And it is for this reason, and not because she received apparitions from Our Lady, that St. Bernadette is a great saint.

Bernadette is a great saint because she imitated Jesus so well by suffering for the sake of sinners.

In our first reading from Isaiah we hear of the prophecy that tells of how Jesus will give His life as an offering for sin. Isaiah prophesies of how our Lord will justify sinners through His suffering.

Our Gospel confirms this prophecy as Jesus tells His apostles that He did not come to the earth to be served, but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many.

And Jesus did this because He is our great and merciful high priest, our priest who sympathizes with our weaknesses – even though He Himself never committed a sin.

In His great love for all souls, even those He knew would turn away from Him and ostracize and persecute Him, Jesus our great high priest was willing to mount the altar of the cross and humbly offer Himself in sacrifice for our sins so that we might be saved.

And it is for this reason that the author of the Letter to the Hebrews tells us that we should “confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.”

Think about it: if Christ was willing to die such an awful death for us, is there anything necessary for our salvation that He would ever deny us?

Truly, my dear brothers and sisters, there is no sin, no matter how great and terrible we may think it is, that our Lord is unwilling to forgive. His mercy is like a vast ocean, and our sins are like a drop of water that is quickly lost in the greatness of His mercy.

And so as we meditate on today’s readings, we should understand that we have nothing to fear from God if we are willing to turn away from our sins and humbly confess them in the great Sacrament of Reconciliation. For God wants to show us His great mercy!

So please, my dear brothers and sisters, make use of this great sacrament. Go to confession, repent of your sins, and do your best to make reparation for them.

Our dear and blessed Lord will never deny mercy to anyone who asks for it with integrity.

And if your sins are great, then take consolation in the fact that your repentance and conversion will give our Lord and the saints & angels even greater joy and satisfaction!

But let us, too, meditate on the life of humble and great St. Bernadette. And like her, may be willing to imitate our Lord by offering all that we suffer in this life not only in reparation for our own sins, but also for the sake of sinners everywhere.

May we pray daily that those who are in a state of mortal sin may repent and be reconciled with our Lord through His never-ending mercy. And may we be willing to suffer whatever our Lord allows so that sinners may be converted.

St. Bernadette once wrote the following brief prayer: “O Jesus, keep me under the standard of your cross. Let me not just look at you crucified but have you living in my heart.”

Truly, my brothers and sisters, it is by imitating our Lord through a willingness to suffer for others that He comes to live so deeply in our hearts. May this simple prayer of St. Bernadette become our prayer too.

O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make our hearts like unto thine. St. Bernadette, pray for us.
21 October 2012

© Reverend Timothy Reid

Fr. Reid is the pastor of St. Ann Catholic Church, Charlotte, NC

Homilies from June 17, 2012 onward have audio .
To enable the audio, please go directly to Fr. Reid’s homily homilies and select the matching date.

Link to Homilies:
http://stanncharlotte.org/content/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&id=8&Itemid=61

 

Praying the Psalms

In 07 Observations on 2016/05/27 at 12:00 AM

While the Gospels narrate facts of Christ’s life, it is in the Psalms that we learn of His feelings. Out of love for us, God has given us the ability to think and to understand the feelings He expresses through the Psalms. In Holy Scripture, you can find God’s point of view on every type of person and every possible situation. If you look at life from God’s point of view, you will know what is right vs what is wrong.”Gain understanding from His precepts” and in them find peace. Ps. 119 It certainly will be different from the pyrite (fool’s gold) which the world treasures, unlike true values that are everlasting.God’s point of view opens wide the horizons of reality.
As in all things, Christ is our model. In the presence of His disciples, after the Last Supper, Christ prayed a psalm of praise and by this He demonstrated to us our need to pray. We can also praising God by using the Psalms in our prayers. We will be praying with Him when we use the Psalms. When He made made Himself one with us, He praised His Father in our name also. Let us pray together with Him.  Actually, when we recite the Psalms, we are praying with God’s own words. In the Psalms, Christ reveals His sorrows ands sufferings as well as His triumph. In the Psalms we also find we can express our feelings and our hearts can soar as we pour out to God of fears and needs.
Pray the Messianic Psalms to unite yourself with the feelings of Christ. Lean on Christ your Savior. Lean on Him for support.  Join yourself to Him and you will never go astray. This will enable you to enter into His thought in a living manner that will unite you intimately with Him in the hope of having the same mind.
Faith is the prerequisite for understanding the Holy Scriptures.By reading the Bible we learn about eternal life and how it can be ours. It is the Holy Spirit who grants us the gift of faith so that we can come to the Father through Jesus Christ. Read the Psalms carefully and listen to their message because which show you the way to eternal happiness
Some examples of psalms paraphrased and/or applied:
Psalm 13  How long, O Lord, will I keep forgetting You? How long, O Lord, will I avoid your face?    How long, O Lord, will you put up with me?  How long, O Lord, will I continue in my stubbornness?   (Answer: As long as you keep rejecting My grace. Response: I ask your forgiveness and trust in Your merciful love.)
Psalm 42  Why should my soul feel dejected? I can have hope in my Savior who is there for me with His lovingkindness. So, I will not let myself get upset when I am disturbed, frazzled or out of sorts.  Instead, I shall ask my Savior for His help with the sure knowledge that He will support me
Psalm 15  Lord, I want to be admitted into Your presence. Grant me the grace to: Behave properly. Act justly.  Speak the truth from my heart. Never to slander anyone. Never to injure anyone. Never to cast slurs on anyone’s reputation.   To stay away from those who say You are unreal.  To respect those who follow You. To keep my promises.To give without expecting return.  To not manipulate others or let myself be manipulated.

Some psalms you might want to look up:
Ps.4 Be gracious to me, and hear my prayer.  Ps.5 Lead me in your righteousness.  Ps.15 Preserve me, for in you I take refuge.  Ps.25 Make me know your ways.  Ps.43 Send your light and your truth, let them lead me. Ps.51 Have mercy on me, in your kindness…. 51 A pure heart create in me. nPs.69 Make haste to help me.  Ps.71 Be not far from me.   Ps.86 Gladden the soul of your servant.nnPs.102Hear my prayer; let my cry come to you.  Ps.119 Let your steadfast love be ready to comfort me.Ps. 130Let your ear be attentive to the voice of my supplication. Ps. 143 Teach me to do your will

The Essence of Christian Perfection

In 05 Homilies by Fr. Reid on 2016/04/15 at 12:00 AM

• That last line of the Gospel is a bit of a doozy, isn’t it? Jesus says to us: “So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Of course the question we must ask is: what does it mean to be perfect?
• If it means never to commit a sin, then we are all in trouble, aren’t we? Certainly refraining from sin is part of Christian perfection, but refraining from sin cannot be the totality of Christian perfection, for Jesus would never command the impossible of us.
• Lots of saints spoke or wrote about the meaning of Christian perfection, and the explanation that I find most satisfactory comes from St. Anthony Mary Claret.
• St. Anthony wrote that: “Christian perfection consists in three things: praying heroically, working heroically, and suffering heroically.”
• Notice that he uses the word “heroically.” What’s interesting about this is that “heroic” is the word the Church uses to define the standard of virtue a person must meet in order to be declared a saint.
• In other words living a life of Christian perfection means living a life of heroic virtue.
• In fact, the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints issues a “Decree of Heroic Virtues” when a
person who is up for sainthood has been found to have lived a life of profound union with God and
fidelity to Church teaching.
• So in calling us to perfection today in the Gospel, Jesus is calling all of us to be saints!
• Certainly we know of lots of saints who prayed heroically, like St. Teresa of Ávila who prayed so
heroically that she went into ecstasies, or St. Rita, who through her heroic prayers was able to
obtain miracles for even the most impossible of causes.
• We also know of lots of saints who worked heroically, like St. Anthony of Padua who died at the
age 36 from exhaustion, or St. Raymond of Penyafort, who lived to be 100 and worked strenuously
for almost all of those years.
• Perhaps of most interest, though, are the heroic sufferings of the saints. In this vein it’s hard to top
St. Lawrence, who was roasted to death on a gridiron but still managed to crack a wry joke to his
tormenters as they were martyring him.
• While we generally remember saints for one or two aspects of their lives, in truth all of the saints
prayed, worked, and suffered heroically in that they prayed, worked, and suffered as God willed
them to do so. This heroic union with God’s will is what made them saints.
• And the saints were able to pray, work, and suffer heroically because they loved both God and neighbor in heroic fashion. They were heroic in their charity – and so should we be.
• Our readings today remind us that we are not only called to a life of perfection, a life of holiness, but our readings also set the bar for the charity we must exercise if we hope to reach the Christian perfection of the saints.
• In particular, our readings speak of charity toward others with regard to how we must bear with those who have hurt us or who have treated us unjustly, which is probably the truest measure of one’s charity.
• Our first reading from the Old Testament Book of Leviticus commands us: “You shall not bear hatred for your brother or sister in your heart.” We are told to “take no revenge and cherish no grudge against any,” but to “love [our] neighbor as [ourself].”
• In the Gospel, which like last Sunday’s Gospel is part of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, our Lord tells us that we must love even our enemies, famously calling us to turn the other cheek when struck, and to pray for those who persecute us.
• In saying all of this to us, Jesus is teaching us how to exercise heroic virtue. Christian perfection requires that we love everyone, even our enemies. He tells us that if we are able to pray for our enemies, this will make us children of God.
• Really, to understand what Jesus is asking of us, we must put ourselves on the cross with Him and remind ourselves of how Jesus looked upon those who had crucified Him during those agonizing hours atop Calvary.
• Do you remember His words? “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Even in the most terrible and agonizing moments of His suffering, Jesus was merciful to those who had crucified Him. He was merciful to all of us.
• The responsorial psalm captures this well: “Merciful and gracious is the LORD, slow to anger and abounding in kindness. Not according to our sins does He deal with us, nor does He requite us according to our crimes.”
• Thus, all of us who are serious about holiness must learn a certain detachment from ourselves, from our pride, in order to grow in heroic virtue. Instead of indulging our pride and selfish anger, we must be willing to endure suffering at the hands of others for the sake of growing in virtue.
• We must be willing to go the extra mile for others when they don’t deserve it, and to some degree, patiently overlook the bad behavior of others. Doing these things is how we love others in heroic fashion rather than merely exercising love as the pagans do!
• While I have always been fascinated by the stories of the martyrs, I’m also quite fascinated by those saints who were heroic in their love for others, especially in their forgiveness of those who wronged them.
• One beautiful example of a saint who practiced heroic forgiveness is St. Maria Goretti, who is also one of the modern martyrs of the Church.
• At the age of 12, Maria was grabbed by an 18-year old neighbor, named Alexander, who tried to rape her, and when she said that she would rather die than submit to something so offensive to God, he took her at her word and began stabbing her.
• As Maria lay dying in the hospital that same day, she forgave Alexander, who was eventually captured, convicted, and sentenced to 30 years of imprisonment.
• Unfortunately, Alexander remained unrepentant in prison, until one night he had a dream of being in a garden, and of Maria handing him a bouquet of flowers. Upon waking, Alexander was a changed man and repented immediately.
• When he was finally released from prison, Alexander went straight to Maria’s mother to beg her forgiveness. To her credit Maria’s mother said, “If my daughter can forgive you, who am I to withhold forgiveness.”
• Alexander was present at St. Peter’s Basilica in 1950 when Maria Goretti was canonized.
• As we consider today’s Gospel, we may be tempted to ask if we should ever oppose evil. Should
we not hold people accountable for their sins or at least correct them?
• Certainly we should. Justice is one of the four Cardinal virtues, and admonishing sinners is a
spiritual work of mercy. So it is a noble and good thing to seek and practice justice.
• However, we must learn to temper justice with mercy, just as Christ did on the cross. In justice
Jesus could have condemned us all, but He chooses to have mercy on us.
• If we seek only to employ justice in a strict fashion and fail to show mercy, we may find that we are
denied God’s mercy at the final judgment.
• Through the intercession of Our Lady, St. Joseph, and all the saints, may each of us learn to pray,
work, and suffer heroically in this life so that we, too, might be saints in the next!
• May we learn to balance justice and mercy as Christ did so that we may love and forgive in heroic fashion. St. Maria Goretti, pray for us!

© Reverend Timothy Reid

Fr. Reid is the pastor of St. Ann Catholic Church, Charlotte, NC

Homilies from June 17, 2012 onward have audio.
To enable the audio, lease go directly to Fr. Reid’s homily homilies and select the matching date.

Link to Homilies:
http://stanncharlotte.org/content/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&id=8&Itemid=61

Milestones in Modern Catholic-Jewish Relations

In 13 History on 2015/12/11 at 12:00 AM

by Lucy Thorson nds & Murray Watson

Since the Second World War, the Catholic Church has been involved in a deliberate process of rethinking its relationship to Judaism and the Jewish people. Especially in the wake of the Second Vatican Council, Catholic-Jewish relations have improved tremendously-on local, national and international levels.

As several Jewish and Catholic leaders have noted, there have probably been more positive encounters between Jews and Catholics in the last sixty years than in the previous fifteen hundred. These years have been a time of renewal, hope and growing cooperation between these two faiths evidenced by the multitude of Catholic-Jewish dialogue groups, organizations and institutions that have emerged throughout the world since Vatican II.

The following listing of events provides a taste of how relations between Catholics and Jews have been changing and developing in recent decades – and this is a journey that has only just begun.

1947 Ten Points of Seelisberg: An international conference of Jews, Protestants and Catholics, gathered in Switzerland to confront the reality of anti-Semitism and the Holocaust, issues a series of ten principles to guide Christian teaching and preaching when referring to Jews and Judaism.

1959 Good Friday Prayer: Pope John XXIII modifies the intercessory prayer for the Jews in the Church’s Good Friday liturgy by suppressing the term “perfidious (faithless, unbelieving) Jews.” Over the years, the prayer continues to undergo revision to bring it more in keeping with the renewal in Church teaching about the Jews and Judaism.

1960 Pope John XXIII and Jules Isaac: Jules Isaac, a noted French Jewish historian, presents Pope John XXIII with historical documentation on Christian anti-Judaism and attitudes which contributed to the Holocaust.

1965 Vatican II and Nostra Aetate: Called by Pope John XXIII, the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) issues Nostra Aetate (The Declaration on the Relationship of the Church to Non-Christian Religions.) Nostra Aetate No. 4 addresses the issue of Christian attitudes towards the Jewish people. This document marks the end of a long era in the history of Catholic-Jewish relations and the beginning of a new age of dialogue between the two ancient communities.

1974 New Vatican Commission: What was formerly the Office for Catholic- Jewish Relations – created in 1966 and attached to the Secretariat for the Promotion of Christian Unity – is renamed the Holy See’s Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews.

1974 “Guidelines and Suggestions for Implementing the Conciliar Declaration Nostra Aetate (No. 4)”: This Vatican document proposes some concrete suggestions born of experience to help to promote in the life of the Church the attitudes towards the Jewish people articulated in the 1965 declaration Nostra Aetate No.4. In particular, this document encourages Christians to “acquire a better knowledge of the basic components of the religious tradition of Judaism and to learn by what essential traits the Jews define themselves in light of their own religious experience.”

1978 Karol Wojtyla elected Pope: From the beginning of his twenty-six year pontificate, the newly elected Pope – John Paul II – sets out to build a new relationship between the Church and the Jewish people.

1980 Pope John Paul II – A Covenant Never Revoked: Addressing the Jewish community in Mainz, Germany, John Paul II insists on the eternal validity of God’s covenant with the Jews, a theme repeated in subsequent Church teachings.

1985 “Notes on the Correct Way to Present Jews and Judaism in Preaching and Catechesis in the Roman Catholic Church”: This Vatican document provides a helpful reference for those who teach and preach about Jews and Judaism and wish to do so in accord with the current teaching of the Church.

1986 Pope John Paul II Visits Rome Synagogue: John Paul II becomes the first Pope in history to visit Rome’s chief synagogue. In his speech he reiterates the Second Vatican Council’s condemnation of all discrimination toward the Jews and states: “The Jewish religion is not ‘extrinsic’ to us, but in a certain way is ‘intrinsic’ to our own religion. With Judaism therefore we have a relationship which we do not have with any other religion. You are our dearly beloved brothers and, in a certain way, it could be said that you are our elder brothers.”

1993 Israel-Vatican Accord: Israel and the Vatican establish full diplomatic ties, easing decades of diplomatic tensions between the two states.

1997 Vatican Symposium “Roots of Anti-Judaism in the Christian Milieu”: Addressing the symposium, John Paul II says, “In the Christian world…erroneous and unjust interpretations of the New Testament regarding the Jewish people…have circulated too long engendering feelings of hostility toward this people.”

1998 “We Remember: A Reflection on the Shoah”: In a long -awaited document on the Holocaust, the Church expresses repentance for those Christians who failed to oppose the Nazi persecution of the Jews.

2000 Visit of Pope John Paul II to Israel: Following a Lenten liturgy in which he prayed for God’s forgiveness “for those who have caused these children [the Jews] to suffer” Pope John Paul II undertakes a historic visit to Israel, during which he visits Judaism’s holiest site, the Western Wall, and places in the Wall a copy of his Lenten prayer.

2000-2002 Historic scholarly documents: In 2000, an interdenominational group of Jewish scholars issues Dabru Emet, a consensus document offering eight suggestions about how Jews and Christians might better relate to one another. In 2002, the Christian Scholars Group on Christian -Jewish Relations publishes its response to Dabru Emet, entitled “A Sacred Obligation”.

2002 “The Jewish People and Their Sacred Scriptures in the Christian Bible”: The Pontifical Biblical Commission publishes a thorough study of the relationship between the New Testament and the Hebrew Scriptures. The document notes that Christians have much to learn from Jewish interpretation of the Bible and confronts the problem of anti-Jewish passages in the New Testament.

2002 Bilateral Commission of the Israeli Chief Rabbinate and the Holy See: As a result of Pope John Paul’s visit to the State of Israel in 2000, the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and the Holy See established a joint commission which has continued to meet annually, to address topics of shared concern, and to strengthen the relationship between the Vatican and the religious leadership of Israel. Together hey have explored the role of Scripture in each faith’s central teachings, the sanctity of human life, freedom of conscience, religious education and other significant matters.

2005 Joseph Ratzinger elected Pope: As a cardinal, Pope Benedict had been a close collaborator with Pope John Paul II in many of his historic interfaith initiatives and writings. In his homily for the Mass inaugurating his papacy, the new Pope specifically mentioned the Jews among those to whom he extended greetings: “With great affection I also greet … you, my brothers and sisters of the Jewish people, to whom we are joined by a great shared spiritual heritage, one rooted in God’s irrevocable promises.” His first official correspondence as Pope was a letter of congratulations to the Chief Rabbi-emeritus of Rome’s Great Synagogue, Dr. Elio Toaff, on the occasion of his 90th birthday.

2005-2010 Pope Benedict pays visits to three synagogues: In August 2005, as part of his pilgrimage to Germany for World Youth Day, the Pope visited the synagogue of Cologne, where he said: “We must come to know one another much more and much better. Consequently, I

would encourage sincere and trustful dialogue between Jews and Christians … Our rich common heritage and our fraternal and more trusting relations call upon us to join in giving an ever more harmonious witness.”

On April 28, 2008, Pope Benedict was the guest of Rabbi Arthur Schneier and the congregation of Park East Synagogue. In his remarks, the Pope said: “”I find it moving to recall that Jesus, as a young boy, heard the words of Scripture and prayed in a place such as this,” and he encouraged everyone present “to continue building bridges of friendship”. In January 2010, Pope Benedict marked Italy’s annual “Day for Judaism” by visiting the main synagogue of Rome, repeating the historic visit first made by his predecessor. There, he invited Jews and Christians to come together to proclaim the religious and ethical teachings they share: “Reawakening in our society openness to the transcendent dimension, witnessing to the one God, is a precious service which Jews and Christians can offer together … Bearing witness together to the supreme value of life against all selfishness, is an important contribution to a new world where justice and peace reign …”.

2005 Papal recommitment to the vision of Nostra Aetate: On the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of Nostra Aetate’s promulgation, Pope Benedict wrote: “The Jewish- Christian dialogue must continue to enrich and deepen the bonds of friendship which have developed, while preaching and catechesis must be committed to ensuring that our mutual relations are presented in the light of the principles set forth by the council.”

2007 Pope quotes Jewish rabbi-scholar in his own book about Jesus: In April, Pope Benedict published the first volume in a trilogy, “Jesus of Nazareth”. In it, he quotes extensively from a 1993 book by Rabbi Jacob Neusner, a distinguished scholar of Judaism, called A Rabbi Talks With Jesus.

2009: Visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Israel and the Palestinian Territories: From May 8 to 15, Pope Benedict visited the Holy Land, meeting with religious and political leaders in both Israel and the Palestinian Territories, visiting major Jewish sites and expressing the solidarity of the Catholic Church with the peoples of that region.

2009 International Council of Christians and Jews issues “A Time For Recommitment” (The Twelve Points of Berlin): More than sixty years after the ICCJ published its seminal “Ten Points of Seelisberg,” the “Twelve Points of Berlin” is issued in July, as an attempt to address key topics in Jewish-Christian relations in the light of the considerable progress in this dialogue, and to provide guiding principles for the future.

Sisters of Sion  Dynamic Movement of the Spirit #33

The Tax Collectors

In 05 Homilies by Fr. Reid on 2015/11/13 at 12:00 AM

 

Once again this Sunday a tax collector figures prominently in our Gospel story. And once again mercy is shown to a tax collector, even though tax collectors were considered to be the most morally bankrupt people in ancient Hebrew society.
Today we hear the story of Zacchaeus, Jericho’s wealthy tax collector who, because of his short stature, climbs a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus as He passes through town.
Like the humble tax collector begging for mercy as he prayed in the Temple that we heard about last week, Zacchaeus, too, shows remarkable humility.
When Jesus honors him by saying He must stay at his house, Zacchaeus makes a public declaration that he will make reparation for his sins by giving half of his possessions to the poor, and by repaying 4-fold any money he has extorted.
And what does Jesus say in response? “Today salvation has come to this house”, which is wonderfully reminiscent of our Lord’s words spoken to the Good Thief as they hung together on Calvary: “This day you shall be with Me in Paradise.”
What we can see here, both with Zacchaeus and the Good Thief, is that our humility disposes our Lord to grant us His mercy! Humility makes us pleasing in God’s eyes, and it thereby gives us a claim on our Lord’s mercy.
Note as well the opening line of the Gospel: “At that time, Jesus came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town.” In other words, our Lord didn’t plan on staying in Jericho; He was merely passing through.
But Jesus cannot resist an opportunity to show His mercy! Upon seeing Zacchaeus in the tree, He saw an opportunity to test him. Jesus saw the opportunity to bring a sinner to repentance.
And by deciding to make such generous restitution for his sins, Zacchaeus passes this test with flying colors, and thus he receives the gift of our Lord’s mercy.
Last Sunday I mentioned that sin should be avoided at all costs because it is so offensive to God. I mentioned that sin is the most destructive force in our world, capable of robbing a man of his eternal salvation.
Yet while sin is the most destructive force in the world, it is not the most powerful! God’s mercy is the most powerful force in our world – more powerful than any sin we can commit.
Our first reading from the Book of Wisdom speaks of God’s omnipotence in poetic fashion. We are reminded that, before our God, “the whole universe is as a grain from a balance or a drop of morning dew.”
But even though God is all-powerful, even though all things that exist only exist because God wills it, our Lord is a lover of souls. The Lord “loves all things that are,” and He “spares all things, because they are [His].”
So His omnipotence, though very real, is tempered by His mercy. Therefore, He rebukes “offenders little by little, warn[ing] them and remind[ing] them of the sins they are committing that they may abandon their wickedness and believe in [Him].”
So while God’s omnipotence shows us what God is capable of, His mercy shows us Who He Is. Our Lord’s mercy reveals His nature! And God’s perfection and love shines forth most poignantly and powerfully in His mercy!
We all know that one day we will all die and have to face Jesus as our Judge, but we shouldn’t fear this, for the Gospel tells us that He: “has come to seek and to save what was lost.”
Our Lord desires our salvation! God is a lover of souls! He calls each and every one of His children to an eternity of bliss, and so He wants us to be worthy of this calling.
But for this to happen, we’ve got to be like Zacchaeus. We’ve got to be desirous ofseeing Jesus and be willing to go to any lengths to do so.
Like Zacchaeus who descended from the sycamore at Jesus’ command, we, too, must beperfectly obedient to our Lord in all matters, most especially when He calls us toHimself.
You see, even though we are sinners, our Lord still wants to be with us, just as Hewanted to be with Zacchaeus and even asked to stay in his home.
While we cannot host our Lord for dinner, as did Zacchaeus, if we have been baptized, we host our Lord in our souls. He dwells within us! Thus, we should make our souls ahome worthy of our Lord.
Whenever we invite guests into our homes, most of us go out of our way to make ourhomes inviting and comfortable for our guests. We clean our homes and do our best tomake them look nice.
And if we are willing to go to such lengths for our fellow sinners, should we not go outof our way to make our souls a comfortable and inviting dwelling place for our Lord?
This we do by our worthy reception of the sacraments, through our constant prayer,through the cultivation of the virtues – most especially the theological virtues of faith,hope, and charity – and through the love we bear our Lord in our hearts.
Lastly, just as Zacchaeus was repentant of his sins and willing to make amends for them, we, too, must confess our sins and do penance regularly in order to make reparation forour sins.
A penance is not really a punishment for our sins, but rather a medication, a treatment,for a spiritual illness. While we tell God we’re sorry for our sins when we make ourconfession, our penance is the way we show God we’re sorry for our sins.
My dear brothers and sisters, our blessed Lord cannot resist a soul in need of His mercy,but we’ve got to be willing to accept His mercy. And this we do by following theexample of Zacchaeus.
In the spiritual life there are two constants: our sinfulness and God’s overwhelmingmercy and compassion. And as Zacchaeus shows us today, there is only one way torespond to this reality if we wish to receive God’s mercy.
We must humbly acknowledge our sins, and we must seek to make reparation for oursins. We must be desirous of seeing God, be obedient to Him, and make our souls acomfortable home for Him.
Through the intercession of Our Lady and all the angels and saints, may God make eachof us worthy of His calling so that we may enjoy His mercy at the hour of our death and His blessed company for all eternity.

03 November 2013

© Reverend Timothy Reid

Fr. Reid is the pastor of St. Ann Catholic Church, Charlotte, NC

Homilies from June 17, 2012 onward have audio.
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