Posts Tagged ‘Commandments’

Call To Observance

In 05 Homilies by Fr. Reid on 2014/09/05 at 12:00 AM

 Our readings today call us in a very direct way to learn, accept, and obey God’s commandments. In our first reading Moses tells the Israelites that it is by hearing and observing God’s commands that they will live and prove themselves wise.

 The second readings from the Letter of St. James encourages us to “humbly welcome the word that has been planted in [us] and is able to save [our] souls.”

 And in the Gospel Christ calls us to purity of intention in keeping God’s commands, not paying our Lord lip service, but truly giving Him our hearts. The underlying message of these readings is that obedience to God’s commands leads to salvation.

 As Americans we value independence, self-determination, and individual freedom. At times, these American values can make obedience seem like a bit of a hindrance and a burden.

 But as Catholics we must understand that being obedient to God’s laws is not an act of blind submission to an unknown or uncaring god. We must also understand that God gave us freedom not as a license to do as we will, but rather as the capacity for obeying His will.

 Our beautiful Catholic faith teaches us that God knows us more intimately than we know ourselves and loves us more than we can imagine, and so God is worthy of our obedience.

 Thus, obedience to God and His commands does not make us any less free. To the contrary, our faith teaches us that it is sin alone that enslaves us, and that it is in choosing to do what is right and good in God’s sight that we are made truly free.

 Furthermore, our Lord does not desire us to be obedient to Him out of fear of punishment or retribution. God desires our obedience to Him to be an act of loving and humble faithfulness, a form of homage to His omniscience and omnipotence.

 In recognizing that God is indeed all-knowing and all-powerful, and yet all-loving and all- merciful, the well formed and mature Catholic understands that obedience to God’s commands is a tacit recognition that, as a good Father, God knows what’s best for us.

 All the saints teach us that we cannot honestly profess to love God without obeying His commands. The saints also teach us that as our faith in God’s love and mercy grows, being obedient to Him becomes not only easier, but it becomes our greatest desire.

 Furthermore, the experience of the saints shows that our peace in this life and in the next can only be found in obeying the Lord with faithfulness and love.

 This week our fair city will be put into the national spotlight as the DNC takes place. As our national political process unfolds once again, moral issues of all types will be debated – for laws that govern mankind must necessarily consider the moral realm.

 So there will always be a nexus between politics and morality; it’s unavoidable. Thus, it’s as good a time as any to consider the importance of obeying God’s laws as we approach the next election.

 Certainly we are living in very confusing and divisive times in our country, and sorting out what we should believe and consequently whom we should vote for can be a difficult task for the average American.

 As Catholics we are blessed that our faith provides us with clear guidance on moral issues.
 Because we belong to the one, true Church founded by our Lord Himself, and because weknow that our teachings reflect the revelation of Jesus Christ and have been safeguarded by the Holy Spirit, we can have full confidence in the truth of our Catholic teachings.

 While the Catholic Church does not explicitly tell us whom to vote for in any given election, Holy Mother Church does provide principles for us to follow in the voting booth.

 Now I realize that discussing voting from the pulpit is a touchy issue with some people. As voting is one of the great privileges we enjoy as Americans, some tend to view what we do in the voting booth as a sacred right upon which no one may trespass – not even God.

 But as your pastor I want you to know that, despite whatever misinterpretations of the division between Church and State are being pedaled by politicians and the politically correct, we should not cease to be Catholic in the voting booth.

 As your pastor, I don’t want any of you to fall prey to the delusion that voting is an amoral act that has no consequences for your soul. It does have consequences!

 If we are to be true to our Lord and His commands, we must vote in a way that is consistent with our Catholic beliefs. And so rather than thinking of ourselves as Democrats or Republicans in the voting booth, we should think of ourselves first of all as Catholics.

 What does it mean to vote as a Catholic? Recently, Archbishop Lori of Baltimore gave some good advice on this issue. He said: “The question to ask is this: Are any of the candidates of either party, or independents, standing for something that is intrinsically evil, evil no matter what the circumstances? If that’s the case, a Catholic, regardless of his party affiliation, shouldn’t be voting for such a person.”

 When it comes to issues of intrinsic evil, we must look at those issues that deal with life. In particular, abortion, same-sex unions, human cloning, embryonic stem cell research, and euthanasia are all intrinsically evil acts, and therefore as Catholics we cannot support candidates who promote or support these evils.

 Moreover, while issues such as health care, immigration reform, and the economy are important and may certainly have a moral dimension to them, they must not be accorded greater value in our decision-making than the life issues because they do not deal with intrinsic evils.

 Furthermore, in addition to the life issues, we must also now consider the issue of religious freedom. On this issue Archbishop Lori advises that: “The defense of religious liberty should not be a Democratic or Republican issue. This should be fundamental, as people of faith.” Thus, this issue – along with life issues – must be given the most weight in our considerations for whom to vote.

 You may have seen the article on the front page of the Catholic News Herald that talks about 2 banners that have been hung outside at St. Peter’s on Tryon Street. One of them reads: “Religious Liberty: The Soul of Democracy.” It’s so true.

 Our country was founded, in part, to give people the right to worship as they choose. It’s fundamental to who we are as Americans. If we lose this right, there is no limit to the other rights we could lose. If we lose this right, we will no longer be “the Land of the Free.”

 So we must ask ourselves in the voting booth which candidates will best safeguard our sacred, God-given, and therefore inalienable right to practice our Catholic faith.

 Unfortunately, even with clear principles to guide us, choosing for whom to vote can still be a tricky issue because candidates may be strong in some areas and weak in others. Too many times in recent history, voting as a Catholic has meant choosing the lesser of two evils.

 In looking at this reality, I can only conclude that we, as Catholics, need to do a better of job of being leaven in our world!
 The Catholic Church possesses the fullness of the Truth. We are the Church founded by Jesus Christ, who Is Truth, and we have a responsibility to bear witness to that Truth, who is Jesus.

 As your pastor it is my job to teach our Catholic faith with clarity so that you may form your consciences properly. And then you, the laity, must take our beautiful faith out into the world to transform it!

 One of the ways you exercise your responsibility and preach the truth is by voting in a way that is consonant with the teachings of the Church, and by helping others to do the same. And considering the state of our country, we need to do this now more than ever.

 My dear brothers and sisters, God calls us today to fidelity to His commands. He calls us to recognize Him as the way, the TRUTH, and the life, and to share that knowledge with others.

 Let us obey our Lord and His commands with gratitude, humility, and great love by voting inthis year’s elections not as Democrats or Republicans, but as CATHOLICS.

 And by God’s grace, may we recover our country’s Christian roots, and reclaim America asthe Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave.

 May our Lady intercede for us, and may God bless America.

2 September 2012

© 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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Help Wanted: Spiritual Direction

In 04 Fr. John McCloskey on 2014/08/15 at 12:00 AM

The only question truly worth asking is that of the rich young man of the Gospel: “What must I do to gain eternal life?” This question naturally leads to others, such as “How can I achieve holiness in this life?” or “What is God’s will for me?” God answers these questions for us in many ways.

Simply following the Ten Commandments is a good start, as Jesus himself advised the rich young man. We can also look to God’s Revelation to us through Sacred Scripture and Tradition – the guidance of the Church through its teaching authority and sacraments. We can then consider our present state in life and our past life experiences for good clues as to what God wants for us in any present moment.

Beyond these useful strategies, however, the best way for Catholics to find trustworthy answers to the crucial questions is to have a spiritual director. As Saint Josemaria Escriva put it, “You wouldn’t think of building a good house to live in here on earth without an architect. How can you ever hope, without a director, to build the castle of your sanctification in order to live forever in heaven?” This is true for everybody, whether simple or uneducated, or complacently successful.

During his pontificate, Benedict XVI several times urged faithful Catholics who desired to pursue holiness and grow closer to God to make use of a spiritual director: “We always need a guide, dialogue, to go to the Lord… We cannot do it with our reflections alone. And this is also the meaning of the ecclesiality of our faith, of finding this guide.” By this means, he explained, we can avoid being limited by our own subjectivist interpretations of God and what he might be calling us to do, as well as benefiting from our guide’s “own supply of knowledge and experiences in following Jesus.”

Continue reading…

Becoming Catholic

In 15 Audio on 2013/10/24 at 12:00 AM
Becoming a Catholic
Host – Fr. Ed Krause
Fr. Ed Krause instructs, encourages, and inspires listeners with the wisdom and strength of the Catholic creed, moral tradition, and sacramental life. He demonstrates that becoming a Catholic is a lifelong struggle, beginning with Baptism and ending in Heaven.
Becoming Catholic Back to Series List
Program Name Audio File Name – Click to download
1. Preambles of the Faith Host – Fr. Ed Krause bc01.mp3
Fr. Krause talks about the basics of the Faith including proofs for the existence of God and the first article of the Creed.
2. The Second Commandment Host – Fr. Ed Krause bc02.mp3
Fr. Krause discusses the ways that the Lord’s name is taken in vain today in phony religions, and how the Catholic Faith, the true faith has shown herself to be true since its foundation 2000 years ago.
3. On Christ, Christology, and the Incarnation Host – Fr. Ed Krause bc03.mp3
Fr. Krause talks about the teaching of Jesus Christ on the Kingdom of God, the beatitudes, and how the Incarnation was God’s answer to suffering and death.
4. The Church and its Mission Host – Fr. Ed Krause bc04.mp3
Fr. Krause concentrates on the mission and task that Jesus gave us: to break beyond selfish isolation and share a richer life in communion with God and all the Saints.
5. Baptism, Confirmation and Penance Host – Fr. Ed Krause bc05.mp3
Fr. Krause talks about the sacraments of initiation, their scriptural sources, and what the Catechism teaches on them.
6. The Sacrament of the Eucharist Host – Fr. Ed Krause bc06.mp3
Fr. Krause concentrates on the Sacrament of the Eucharist and the scriptural references to it.
7. Marriage and Orders: Vocational Sacraments Host – Fr. Ed Krause bc07.mp3
Fr. Krause talks about how Love is perfected within Marriage or Holy Orders.
8. The Anointing of the Sick Host – Fr. Ed Krause bc08.mp3
Fr. Krause discusses the issue of suffering and illness, and how God uses evil to produce a greater good, but also how, without God, suffering would lead to anguish, self-absorbtion or despair. He also talks about how the Sacrament of the anointing of the sick gives people the grace to carry their crosses and healing.
9. The Moral Imperatives of any Faith Host – Fr. Ed Krause bc09.mp3
Fr. Krause talks about how Morality is objective, and perceived by the Conscience through Natural Law
10. The Fifth Commandment: You Shall not Kill The Fifth Commandment: You Shall not Kill Host – Fr. Ed Krause bc10.mp3
Fr. Krause talks about the sacredness of human life, the heinousness of abortion, and how even hatred against your brother is a sin.
11. The Fourth, Sixth, and Ninth Commandments Host – Fr. Ed Krause bc11.mp3
Fr. Krauses ties together the sins of adultery, lust, and dishonor to parents into one theme of preserving the sacredness of family life.
12. The Eighth Commandment and the Media Host – Fr. Ed Krause bc12.mp3
Fr. Krause talks about how bearing false witness has affected society today, on a small scale and a larger scale with the media.
13. The Paschal Mystery and the Last Things Host – Fr. Ed Krause bc13.mp3
Fr. Krause talks about the culmination of Christ’s life in His death and resurrection, the culmination in our lives through our death to self and our rising in Christ, and the culmination of the Church’s mission at the end times.

auntie joanna quote

In 11 Joanna Bogle on 2011/09/24 at 6:06 AM

I came across this quote

…from the Holy Father and I love it.”The generally prevailing idea is that Christians have to observe an immense number of commandments, prohibitions, precepts, and other such restrictions, so that Christianity is a heavy and oppressive way of living, and it would therefore be more liberating to live without all these burdens. But I would like to make it clear that to be sustained by this great Love and God’s sublime revelation is not a burden, but rather a set of wings – that it is truly beautiful to be a Christian. It is an experience that gives us room to breathe and move, but most of all, it places us within a community since, as Christians, we are never alone: first of all, there is God, who is always with us; secondly, we are always forming a great community among ourselves: a community of people together on a journey, a community with a project for the future. All of this means that we are empowered to live a life worth living. This is the joy of being a Christian; that it is beautiful and right to believe!”