Posts Tagged ‘Eucharist’

Biblical Story of the Mass

In 15 Audio on 2015/11/20 at 12:00 AM

Host – Tom Nash, Fr. Wade Menezes

Prefigured in the Old Testament and fulfilled in the New, the biblical story of the Mass spans the breadth of Scripture and beyond. What Jesus began on Calvary culminated in everlasting glory in the heavenly sanctuary, and is made present on earth every time Catholics celebrate and partake of our Eucharistic Lord in the Sacrifice of the Mass. Join Father Wade Menezes and EWTN Theology Advisor Tom Nash as they explore “The Biblical Story of the Mass.”

The Biblical Story of the Mass Tom Nash, Fr. Wade Menezes

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On Earth as It Is in Heaven: Rediscovering the Biblical Story of the Mass 

Host – Tom Nash, Fr. Wade Menezes


The biblical story of the Mass didn’t begin at the Last Supper and Good Friday, nor did it end there. Sacrifices from Abel and Abraham to Melchizedek and Moses set the stage for Jesus Christ, “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” The Mass sacramentally re-presents or makes present again Christ’s one Sacrifice of Calvary, which began on the Cross and culminated in everlasting glory in the heavenly sanctuary.


In God We Trust? Paradise Lost 

Host – Tom Nash, Fr. Wade Menezes


It might be a surprise to hear, but the biblical story of the Mass actually begins in the Garden of Eden. See what happened when Adam and Eve failed to trust God, and how the tree of life prefigures the Eucharist.


Worthy is the Lamb? 

Host – Tom Nash, Fr. Wade Menezes


Lambs are known to be vulnerable and in need of being saved, so how did they become the prime image of the Savior? Learn why God chose the docile, “little lamb” as the sacrificial paradigm of discipleship.


What’s Your Name? Who’s Your Daddy? The Priesthood of Melchizedek 

Host – Tom Nash, Fr. Wade Menezes


Who was Melchizedek and what was the nature of his priesthood? And how did he become the priestly model for Jesus instead of the Levites, who served in the Temple of ancient Israel?


Like Fathers, Like Sons: Abraham and Isaac Receive God’s Saving Word 

Host – Tom Nash, Fr. Wade Menezes


God doesn’t ask more of us than he asks of himself. Learn how Abraham’s offering of his only son Isaac prefigures the Sacrifice of the Son of God, whom our heavenly Father sent to save the world.


Thanks for the “Memories”: Passover, Yom Kippur and the Sacrifice of the Mass 

Host – Tom Nash, Fr. Wade Menezes


For the ancient Israelites, liturgical “remembrance” was never a mere recollection. See how “yesterday impacts today” in the Old Covenant through God’s blessing, and how Jesus does so much more profoundly in the New Covenant Mass.


God Draws Near to His People: Ancient Israel as Liturgical Training Ground 

Host – Tom Nash, Fr. Wade Menezes


Offering sacrifices is for our benefit, not God’s, reminding us of our need for Him. Various Old Testament sacrifices prefigured Jesus’ one Sacrifice of Calvary, including the ritual that sealed the Old Covenant and the twice-daily Tamid lamb sacrifices. But none, as we will see, was sufficient in atoning for man’s sins.


On This Bread Alone, Man Shall Live Forever 

Host – Tom Nash, Fr. Wade Menezes


When a priest pronounces the words of consecration, what looks like bread is no longer. Throughout salvation history, God miraculously fed multitudes or individuals on various occasions. But all of these miracles are but pale precursors to the Eucharist, the true “bread from heaven,” which provides life eternal for all who partake of it faithfully.


Jesus Transforms the Passover: Instituting the Eucharist as the New Covenant Communion Sacrifice 

Host – Tom Nash, Fr. Wade Menezes


The Passover lamb is conspicuous by its absence in the Last Supper accounts of the Gospels. Jesus mysteriously offers his body and blood under the appearances of bread and wine, establishing the New Covenant Passover in the process.


Making Heaven a Place on Earth: Jesus as a Priest Forever According to the Order of Melchizedek 

Host – Tom Nash, Fr. Wade Menezes


As the Letter to the Hebrews makes so clear, Jesus ascends to the heavenly sanctuary to culminate his Sacrifice of Calvary in everlasting glory. And, because Jesus is a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek, heaven and earth become one in the holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Paradise is as close as your local parish church!


Symbolic Supper or Sacrifice of Calvary Made Present Again? 

Host – Tom Nash, Fr. Wade Menezes


When St. Paul mentions the “Lord’s Supper,” most Protestant Christians view the ritual as simply a symbolic meal, which recalls Christ’s redemptive work that they believe began and ended on the Cross. Is this doctrinal perspective supported by biblical and other historical evidence? Tune in to find out.


Challenging Questions About the Mass and Eucharist 

Host – Tom Nash, Fr. Wade Menezes


How can Jesus’ limited human body be both present in heaven and on earth, as well as in many places on earth, through the miracle of the Eucharist? On a related note, if Jesus is really present in the Eucharist, why do the consecrated bread and wine still look and taste like ordinary bread and wine? Tom and Father Wade will address these and other challenging questions in this episode.


“Proclaiming the Lord’s Death Until He Comes Again”: The Mass in the Early Church and Beyond 

Host – Tom Nash, Fr. Wade Menezes


Following Jesus’ Resurrection, St. Paul and other scriptural writers affirm the biblical basis of the Mass and Eucharist, as do early Church writers like St. Ignatius of Antioch. We’ll consider these sources, as well as the remarkable story of Julian the Apostate and his divinely thwarted attempt to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem.

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“Come, Sanctifier, almighty and eternal God”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2015/09/04 at 12:00 AM
Be a eucharistic soul! If the centre around which your thoughts and hopes turn is the Tabernacle, then, my child, how abundant the fruits of your sanctity and apostolate will be! (The Forge, 835)

I was talking to you about the love of the Blessed Trinity for man. And where can we see this more clearly than in the Mass? The three divine Persons act together in the holy sacrifice of the altar. This is why I like to repeat the final words of the collect, secret and postcommunion: “Through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord,” we pray to God the Father, “who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.”

In the Mass, our prayer to God the Father is constant. The priest represents the eternal high priest, Jesus Christ, who is, at the same time, the victim offered in this sacrifice. And the action of the Holy Spirit in the Mass is truly present, although in a mysterious manner. “By the power of the Holy Spirit,” writes St John Damascene, “the transformation of the bread into the body of Christ takes place.”

The action of the Holy Spirit is clearly expressed when the priest invokes the divine blessing on the offerings: “Come, Sanctifier, almighty and eternal God, and bless this sacrifice prepared in honour of your holy name” — the holocaust that will give to the holy name of God the glory that is due. The sanctification we pray for is attributed to the Paraclete, who is sent to us by the Father and the Son. And we also recognize the active presence of the Holy Spirit in this sacrifice, as we say, shortly before communion: “Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the will of the Father, with the cooperation of the Holy Spirit, by your death have brought life to the world…” (Christ is passing by, 85)

Theological Explanation of the Mass

In 07 Observations on 2014/06/27 at 12:00 AM

Dear Catechists and Friends,

Instead of a summary, a whole transcript of  Fr. Barron’s theological explanation of the Mass .

I do want to interject though, since yesterday was Corpus Christi and Fr. Barron touched upon the Eucharistic Miracle of 1263 that led to the Feast of Corpus Christi, that our Good Lord goes to an extreme to help our unbelief without trampling on our freewill.   For centuries there have been Eucharistic Miracles, generally occurring to dispel doubts of the true presence of the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ in Transubstantiation during the Consecration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. I’ve personally seen 2 of these miracles up-close.

• Belgium, Bois-Seigneur-Isaac  In 1405 a particle of a large consecrated Host is left in a folded corporal. It clung to it and began to bleed. After 4 days, the bleeding stops after staining almost all the corporal.  I saw the corporal in a small church in a town south of Brussels.  http://www.therealpresence.org/eucharst/mir/english_pdf/Boisseigneurisaac.pdf

• Lanciano, Italy.  This Eucharistic Miracle is probably the best known in the Church. In the 8th century A.D., in the little church of St. Legonthian, a Basilican monk was having doubts about the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. During Mass, after the two-fold consecration, the Host was changed into live Flesh, and the Wine was changed into live Blood. As I was standing in front of the almost 1300 year old  Host-Flesh and the coagulated Blood of our Lord, I marbled at His Love for us and realized I no longer need to see such miracles because I have found Him fully alive in my soul and my unbelief no longer persists.  This youtube has more information about the miracle at Lanciano: http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=lanciano+eucharistic+miracle&view=detail&mid=B7DB793F81E11FA63AF2B7DB793F81E11FA63AF2&first=1&FORM=NVPFVR

Lesson 7 – The Liturgy and the Eucharistic Communion with the Lord.

Fr. Barron starts by pointing out that we do the Liturgy for its own sake, because it is good and beautiful.  In the act of giving right praise to God in the Liturgy, we achieve inner harmony and peace.  God’s good order is preserved in the midst of a sinful world. The Mass is our participation and anticipation of the heavenly Liturgy where the right praise is given to God by the saints and angels.

The Mass begins with the way in which the people who participate gather.  They come from all walks of life, education, economic stratus, moral excellence, and both genders.  We humans are interested in people status but for Christ there is no difference between Greek or Jew, slave or free, man or woman, He doesn’t put labels on anyone.  All are members of his Mystical Body.  In Church the rich and the poor, the great dame and the servant, the educated and the uneducated kneel side by side in the Liturgy.  When the Catholic historian Christopher Dawson converted to Catholicism from his native Anglicanism, his mother was not happy.  She said that it wasn’t the doctrine that bothered her but the fact that his son will now be worshiping with the help.

By the simple of gesture of starting the Liturgy in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit we already announce we belong to the Triune God.   Modern secularism is predicated on the assumption that we essentially belong to no one, that we are self determined and self directing, pursuers of happiness according to our own likes.   But Paul told Christians long ago in Romans 14:8.  If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.  In contradistinction to modernity, biblical people say your life is not about you.  This is a fundamental truth which does not change .  We all belong to our Creator whether we believe or not.

THE LITURGY – Everything about the Liturgy (Mass) has theological meaning.

INITIAL RITE; Sign of the Cross, Greeting, Penitential Rite

Sign of the Cross. The Liturgy signals this from the beginning with the Sign of the Cross:  The Cross speaks of the great act by which the Father sent the Son into god-forsakenness in order to gather us through the Holy Spirit into the Divine Life:  The story of our salvation in one sentence.  Because the Son went all the way down, He was able in principle to bring even the most recalcitrant sinner back into fellowship with God, thus when we invoke the Cross at the beginning of the Liturgy, we signify that we are praying in God and not merely to God.

Greeting. After the sign of the Cross the priest greets the people in Christ’s name (not his own).  The priest operates in the person of Christ therefore his expression, movements, and words are expressive not of his own perspectives and convictions but of Christ’s. Which is why the people respond And With Your Spirit because they are addressing not the individual man but in Jesus in whose person the priest is operating.

Penitential Rite: After the greeting the priest asks those in attendance to call to mind his/her sins. This is of extraordinary importance. The relevant distinction among us is not between sinners and non-sinner, but between those sinners who know it and those who don’t as we are all sinners.   The great heroes of our faith (the saints) are those who ordered their lives to God and therefore they are keenly aware of how far they fall short of the ideal. John of the Cross compared the soul to a pane of glass.  As long as the glass is away from the light, its imperfections don’t appear but if you turn it towards the light, all the smudges and marks become visible.  This explains the paradox of the saints saying “I’m the worst of sinners.”  They have directed their lives toward the light of God therefore they are more and not less aware of their sin.  As the Liturgy begins and we are bathed in the light of the Trinitarian God, we mimic the saints admitting that we are sinners.   By doing so we offer correctness to a pervasive cultural tendency toward exculpation.  I’m ok and you are ok we tell ourselves.  But to subscribe to such naïve sentiment is ipso facto, to prove that one is facing away from the clarifying light of God.  We call to mind our sins in preparation for the Kyrie Prayer…Lord have Mercy!  There is no room for the self aggrandizing and self deception.  We know we are incapable of saving ourselves, that we are beggars before the Lord.  Compelled by the Liturgy into this correct and finally liberating attitude we hear the voice of the priest asking God to have mercy on us and forgive us our sins.  God wants to forgive but it is of upmost importance that we recognize that we have something in us that needs forgiving.

The Gloria: After the Kyrie comes the most magnificent prayer in our liturgical tradition: The Gloria.
The whole of Catholic theology is in it.  The first prayer (Glory to God in the Highest and on Earth peace to people of good will), is a kind of formula for a happy life.  When we give God the supreme glory above all else, then our lives become harmoniously ordered around that central love.  Peace breaks out among us when God (and not pleasure, money, or power,) is given Glory in the highest.  The word worship comes from the old English worth ship designating what we hold dear.   Aristotle said that a friendship will endure only in the measure that the two friends fall in love not as much with each other but together with a transcendent third. In the Gloria we expressed our shared love for God’s glory.

LITURGY OF THE WORD – TELLING OF THE STORIES.  The next major move in the Liturgy is the proclamation of the Word of God: Usually a selection from the Old Testament, from one of Paul’s epistles and the Gospel.  We do this for us to draw into the strange world of the bible   Remembering that the priest is in the person of Christ, he proclaims the Gospel of Christ and delivers a homily which does not include the priests private convictions about politics, culture or religion or anything else, but speaks the mind of Christ and only the mind of Christ. The preacher surrenders to the divine voice and conforms himself to the attitude of Christ.  After the homily comes the recitation of the Creed, usually using the Creed from the Council of Nicaea in 325 which expresses that Jesus shares fully in the divinity of the Father and defeats the heresy of Arius of that time which questioned the divinity of Jesus.  The Church protected by the Holy Spirit will never succumb to a heresy. This particular heresy would have rendered Christianity invalid since its foundation rests on the divinity of Christ thus ensuring our salvation.  Instead, for almost 1700 years this declaration of the Divinity of our Lord, the Creed, is recited at every Sunday Mass across the world.  Those who faithfully profess the Creed are standing resolutely athwart all forms of idolatry, ancient and cotemporary, material or emotional.  After the Creed we offer prayers for the living and the dead expressing the interdependence of the members of Christ’s Mystical Body. We pray for one another precisely because we are implicated in one another connected by the deepest bond in Christ.  One member of the body cannot coherently say to another, ‘Your concern is not mine.’ for we are not a club but an organism.

THE OFFERING.  Commences the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

In most cultures, an encounter with a person usually involves two moves: First conversation and second a meal.  The Mass is an encounter with Christ.   In the Liturgy of the Word we listen as He speaks to us in the Scripture and in the Psalms and responses we speak back to Him, we converse.  Then in the Liturgy of the Eucharist we sit down to eat at a meal that He himself prepares for us.  A fundamental biblical principle is that in a world gone wrong, there is no communion without sacrifice.  This is true because sin has twisted us out of shape and therefore intimacy with God will involve a twisting back into shape, a painful re-alignment, a sacrifice.  God doesn’t need the sacrifice; in fact God doesn’t need anything at all.  The point is that we need sacrifice in order to reorder us and thereby restore communion with God.  What is given back to God, sacrificed to Him, breaks against the rock of the divine self-sufficiency and returns for the benefit of the one who has made the offering.  Sacrifice produces communion.  This is the distinctive logic that undergirds the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

At the beginning of the Liturgy of the Eucharist bread wine and water are brought to the altar so that the priest can offer them to God.  To say bread and wine implies wheat and vine which implies earth, soil, water, wind and sunshine which lead us to solar system and the cosmos itself.  These small gifts symbolically represent the entirety of Creation.  Taking this gifts in hand, the priest speaks the Berakah prayer, “Blessed are you Lord God of all creation…we offer you this bread and wine”..  The bread and wine offered to a God who doesn’t need them will return to us immeasurably elevated as the Body and Blood of Jesus.  After the Berakah, the priest moves into the climatic prayer of the Mass,  the Eucharistic prayer in the course of which Christ becomes really, truly and substantially present.  First the priest involves the participation of the heavenly community: “And so with the angels and the saints…..we acclaim”… this is not pious decoration, this links the Mass on Earth to the eternal Liturgy in Heaven and we join in the praise of the angels and the saints.  Therefore as the gathered people sing: “Holy, Holy Holy Lord God of Hosts….” They are like the angels and saints giving glory to God in the highest and hence actually realizing the unity that God desires for them.   The prayer commences with a word of gratitude to the Trinitarian God for the sheer grace of His creation and redemption. “You are indeed holy, o Lord and all you have created rightly gives you praise…….” He then beckons the Father to send down the Holy Spirit for the sanctification and transformation of the bread and wine.  “Therefore Lord we humbly implore you by the same spirit graciously make holy these gifts….” He then continues with what is termed the “institution narrative” which is an abbreviated form of the Gospel account of what Jesus said and did at the Last Supper.  He recalls how Jesus took bread and gave thanks and then he moves from 3rd person description to direct quotation, speaking the very words of Jesus “take this all of you and eat it for this is my body which will be given up for you”. The priest does the same in regard to the cup of wine, recounting how Jesus gave thanks and passed the chalice to his disciple and then moving to first person quotation, he says, ‘this is the chalice of my blood, the blood of the new and eternal covenant which will be poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins…”  The faith of the Church is that by the power of these words, the bread and wine are transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ. Jesus becomes really, truly and substantially present to His people under the appearance of the Eucharistic elements.


In the synagogue in Capernaum where Jesus Himself taught, after the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, and the walking on the sea, he went to Capernaum.  The people followed Him and He told them “don’t go after food that perishes; go after the food that will last into eternal life.  I myself I’m the living bread from heaven. My flesh is food for the life of the world.”  It is hard to imagine anything that is more theologically problematic and disgusting for 1st century Jew that those words since it was prohibited in their law to eat animal with its flesh and blood. When they protested Jesus had every opportunity to render his language more spiritual or metaphorical perhaps say “Well, I means something symbolic”. But instead he said “unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood you have no life in you”. And the words in Greek are interesting.  He used the word “trogein” not Phagein, the way humans usually eat, trogein is the way an animal would eat, like gnawing.  In other words, when they object to the physical realism of it, he intensifies it.  Many of the disciples went away, that teaching was too much for them to bear and He turned to His own inner circle, the Twelve, and He says,” Are you going to leave me too.”  It’s as though this teaching of the “real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist” is a standing or falling point.

It is Peter who speaks up “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of everlasting life. ” Peter confesses the truth of the Real Presence.  In Orvieto, year 1263, a priest named Peter of Prague, stopped in the little Italian town of Bosena to celebrate Mass. He had been entertaining doubts about the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.  Just after the words of consecration, blood began to run from the Hosts onto his hands then down unto the corporal on the altar.  Confused he went directly to Orvieto where Pope Urban IV was visiting.  He confessed his unbelief and the Pope sent a delegation immediately back to Bolsena. They returned with the corporal stained with the blood.  So impressed was the Pope that he declared a new feast for the Church called Corpus Christi, the Body of Christ and he turned to a Dominican Friar who also happened to be in Orvieto in his entourage and he asked him to composed the office for the feast with a  series of prayers and hymns.  This was Thomas Aquinas and he responded with the most poetic and beautiful hymns which we still sing to this day.  Tantum Ergo and O Salutaris. So identified was Thomas Aquinas with the Eucharistic mystery that he couldn’t get through the Liturgy without copies tears.  He never felt he did justice to the Eucharist and after writing at treatise about the Eucharist, he put his work at the foot of the cross filing he failed the Lord.  He heard Jesus speaking to him for the cross saying in Latin “You’ve written well of Me, Thomas.  What would you have as a reward?” Aquinas responded “I will have nothing except You”.

In that treatise, Thomas explained the transubstantiation where the substance of something chances but not its appearance.  Most of the times, appearance and reality match, but not always.  You look up into the sky on a clear winter’s night and you see the stars but in fact those starts are not longer there because the light takes so long to reach us.  Appearance and reality are different.  It seems like the sun moves across the sky but in reality the earth moves around the sun.  Appearance and reality differ.  The church states in the case of the Eucharist that what appears to be ordinary bread and wine in fact has changed at the deepest level of its reality.  How can that be?  Consider the power of words.  Words not only describe reality, but under the right circumstances can change reality.  If I go to someone and say you are under arrest, those words have no power and it would be taken as a joke, but if a properly deputized officer of the laws said to you, you are under arrest, whether you are guilty or innocent, you are in fact under arrest. Those words changed reality. In a baseball game, a fan can yell to a player you are out, but it has no impact.  However, if the umpire tell a player you are out, whether he is or not, the words of the umpire have changed reality.  Those are our puny words, now consider God’s word.  In the bible, God creates through the power of his Word.  Let there be light, and there was light, Let the earth come forth and it came forth.  God’s Word does not just describe, it affects what it says.

Who is Jesus?  Not one figure among many, not one in a long line of prophets.  Jesus is the very “logos” the very Word of God made flesh.  The same Word by which God made creation becomes personally present in Jesus and therefore, what Jesus says IS. Lazarus, come out, and he came out.  Little girl get up, and the dead girl gets up.  The night before he died he takes bread and He said, “This is my body which will be given up for you.”  He took the cup. He said, “This is the cup of my blood.” Jesus’ Word is the divine word, it does not simple describes but rather, affects, creates, changes reality in the most radical sense.  When the priest pronounces the word of consecration, he is not using his own words.  He is using the divine word of Christ which can affect reality and change reality most profoundly.

At the very beginning of her career, Flannery O’Connor who would develop into the greatest Catholic fiction writer of the 20th century sat down at dinner with Mary McCarthy and a group of other New York intellectuals.  Flannery was so overwhelmed that she barely spoke.  Mary feeling sorry for her, made a few remarks about the Eucharist knowing that O’Connor was Catholic.  She said of the Eucharist “It’s a very powerful symbol.”  O’Connor looked up and in a shaky voice said, “Well, if it’s only a symbol, I say to hell with it.”  Fr. Barron couldn’t imagine a better summary of the Catholic doctrine of the Real Presence.

Communion and sending.

At the close of the Eucharistic Prayer, the Jesus who is really present under the forms of bread and wine is offered as a living sacrifice to the Father.  Lifting up the elements the priest prays, “Through him and with him and in him…. “ At this time the Catholic priest is in the true holy of holies and what he does is analogous to what the High Priest did in the temple on the Day of Atonement.  In the ancient time, the priest enters the Holy of Holies and there he would sacrifice an animal to Yahweh on behalf of the people.  He would sprinkle some of the blood around the interior of the sanctuary and the rest he would bring out in bowls and sprinkle on the people sealing thereby a kind of blood bond between God and the nation.

The Catholic priest at the climax of the Mass offers to the Father not the blood of bulls and goats but the blood of Christ beyond all price.  Since the Father has no need of anything, that sacrifice redounds completely to our benefit.  If our troubles began with a bad meal, by seizing the forbidden fruit, our redemption is affected through a properly constituted meal, God feeding His people with His own Body and Blood.  After the congregation has communed and given thanks, they are blessed and sent.  The priest says “Go forth, the Mass has ended.” It is said that after the words of consecration, these are the most sacred words of the entire Mass. Now that the people have gathered as one family, heard the Word of God, professed their faith, prayed for one another, offered sacrifice to the Father, and received the Body and Blood of Jesus they are at least in principle more properly formed, and hence ready to go out and effect the transformation of the world. Fulton Sheen reflected that after the Magi’s visit to Jesus they went back a different route, and Bishop Sheen concluded, of course they did, no one encounters Christ and goes back the same way he came!

The Liturgy is the privileged communion with the Lord.  It is the source and summit of the Christian life and therefore, those who participate in it never leave unchanged, never go back the same way they came.

Notes on Fr.  Baron by Aida Tamayo

Catholic Priesthood Through the Ages

In 15 Audio on 2014/06/14 at 12:00 AM

Host – Fr. Charles Connor

The series is designed to give priests and especially catholic laity a deeper insight into the scriptural, theological, historical and spiritual richness of the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

Catholic Priesthood Through the Ages Back to Series List
Program Name Audio File Name – Click to download
1. What is the Priesthood?
Host – Fr. Charles Connor
2. The Priesthood of Jesus Christ
Host – Fr. Charles Connor
3. The Priesthood in the Mind of St. Paul and the Early Church.
Host – Fr. Charles Connor
4. The Fathers of the Church on the Priesthood
Host – Fr. Charles Connor
5. The Medeival, Reformation And Counter-Reformation Mind on the Priesthood.
Host – Fr. Charles Connor
6. The Eucharist and the Priesthood
Host – Fr. Charles Connor
7. Prayer and Suffering: Essential Ingredients of the Priesthood
Host – Fr. Charles Connor
8. The Priest as Preacher of the Word
Host – Fr. Charles Connor
9. The Gift of Priestly Celibacy
Host – Fr. Charles Connor
10. Priesthood in the Third Millennium
Host – Fr. Charles Connor
11. Priestly Theology of Pope John Paul II – Part I
Host – Fr. Charles Connor
12. Priestly Theology of Pope John Paul II – Part II
Host – Fr. Charles Connor
13. The Blessed Virgin Mary And The Priesthood.
Host – Fr. Charles Connor


The Gospel of John

In 15 Audio on 2014/05/08 at 12:00 AM
Host – Prof. Tim Gray et al.
Professor Tim Gray and 5 young adults of the FOCUS group, discuss in the 30 mins. show the writings in the Gospel of John. Explaining all the signs and symbolisms.

The Gospel of John

Back to Series List

Program Name

Audio File Name – Click to download


Prologue of John & calling Disciples

( John 1: 1-59) 

Host – Prof. Tim Gray et al.


The prologue of John is a poetic master piece of theology. Echoing the creation story, John Shows how Jesus is the WORD who existed before time. And just as Jesus was the Vital Word of God who was the principal of creation, so now the Word Incarnate begins s a new creation. We shall also see how John intends the prologue to be the interpretative lens through which the rest of the story of Jesus must be read.


Ignaural Signs of Jesus’ Ministry

(John 2-3) 

Host – Prof. Tim Gray et al.


The significance of Jesus’ first sign at the wedding feast of Cana will be highlighted, focusing on the role of Mary. Also, the important dialogue between Jesus and Nicodemus will be explained.


The First Passover and Jesus’ Encounter with Nicodemus 

Host – Prof. Tim Gray et al.



Woman at the Well and Healing on the Sabbath

(John 4-5) 

Host – Prof. Tim Gray et al.


The Old Testament background of Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman will open up the inner dynamics of their dialogue. Also, the importance of the theme of water here, and throughout the Gospel, will be explained. The story of Jesus’ healing on the Sabbath will be studied in light of Jewish law illustrating why Jesus did not break the Sabbath but rather offered a bold interpretation of his identity as the Son of God as the rationale for his Sabbath activity.


The Fulfillment of Jewish Liturgy: Jesus 

Host – Prof. Tim Gray et al.



The Bread of Life

(John 6) 

Host – Prof. Tim Gray et al.


This study will focus on Jesus’ revelation of the Eucharist. We shall study how this chapter on the Eucharist is the center of Jesus’ mission and the focal point of John’s Gospel. By carefully tracing the Old Testament echoes and the literary structure of this chapter, we shall see how the Eucharist is at the center of Jesus’ proclamation of the Kingdom of God.


The Feast of Tabernacles

(John 7-8:59) 

Host – Prof. Tim Gray et al.


Here we shall see how Jesus fulfilled the Jewish Liturgy of Tabernacles. Jesus replaces the Torah as the source of knowing the Father. The last day of the Feast involved a water ceremony that symbolized the gift of God’s Spirit. Jesus takes advantage of this celebration to announce that it is He who will give the Holy Spirit.


The Feast of Tabernacles Cont’d 

Host – Prof. Tim Gray et al.



The Good Shepherd and the Raising of Lazurus

(John 10 – 11) 

Host – Prof. Tim Gray et al.


In this study, we shall examine Jesus’ statement that He is the Good Shepherd, as Jesus gives seven “ I AM” statements in this Gospel, which are a key theme for understanding who Jesus is and what His mission is all about. The raising of Lazarus from the dead is the most powerful sign performed in Jesus’ ministry, anticipating Jesus’ own resurrection and the final resurrection of the dead. The story relates the challenge of having a radical faith in Jesus, seen through the reactions of Martha and Mary. Here we will explore the important theme of faith.


The End

The Washing of the Feet

(John 12-13) 

Host – Prof. Tim Gray et al.


Chapter 12 of John’s Gospel is the hinge of the story, moving from Jesus’ ministry to his passion. Here we will note the symbolism of Jesus’ triumphal entry and the significance John gives to the rejection of Jesus by the Jewish leaders. The importance of the washing of feet in Jewish culture and cult will be reviewed, with special emphasis on Jesus’ radical teaching on the nature of discipleship.


Jesus’ Farewell Discourse and His Passion

(John 18-19:42) 

Host – Prof. Tim Gray et al.


Throughout the Gospel story so far, Jesus has identified Himself as the one “sent” by the Father. Now Jesus commissions the Apostles “sending” them out on a mission just as the Father sent Jesus. Here we see the final discourse of Jesus and how He prepares the Apostles for their priestly mission.



(John 20-21) 

Host – Prof. Tim Gray et al.


The Resurrection of Jesus is the climax of Salvation History and the Gospel of John. The nature and meaning of the Resurrection, in light of the Jewish understanding of resurrection and Gentile views of resurrection will be studied. This episode also looks at the importance of Jesus’ breathing the Holy Spirit on the disciples and its ushering in of a new creation. Finally, the centrality of Jesus’ Resurrection in our faith will be explored, debunking false views and doubts about the historicity of Jesus’ Resurrection and what the empty tomb represents.


Resurrection (Conclusion)

(John 20-21) 

Host – Prof. Tim Gray et al.


The Resurrection of Jesus is the climax of Salvation History and the Gospel of John. The nature and meaning of the Resurrection, in light of the Jewish understanding of resurrection and Gentile views of resurrection will be studied. This episode also looks at the importance of Jesus’ breathing the Holy Spirit on the disciples and its ushering in of a new creation. Finally, the centrality of Jesus’ Resurrection in our faith will be explored, debunking false views and doubts about the historicity of Jesus’ Resurrection and what the empty tomb represents.

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The Sacraments Through the Ages

In 15 Audio on 2014/02/28 at 12:00 AM
1. The Sacrament of Baptism: Part One
Host – Fr. Charles Connor
2. The Sacrament of Baptism: Part Two
Host – Fr. Charles Connor
3. The Sacrament of Penance: Part One
Host – Fr. Charles Connor
4. The Sacrament of Penance: Part Two
Host – Fr. Charles Connor
5. The Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist: Part One
Host – Fr. Charles Connor
6. The Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist: Part Two
Host – Fr. Charles Connor
7. The Sacrament of Confirmation: Part One
Host – Fr. Charles Connor
8. The Sacrament of Confirmation: Part Two
Host – Fr. Charles Connor
9. The Sacrament of Marriage: Part One
Host – Fr. Charles Connor
10. The Sacrament of Marriage: Part Two
Host – Fr. Charles Connor
11. The Sacrament of Holy Orders: Part One
Host – Fr. Charles Connor
12. The Sacrament of Holy Orders: Part Two
Host – Fr. Charles Connor
13. The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick
Host – Fr. Charles Connor


“A personal meeting with Christ”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2014/01/03 at 12:00 AM
When you receive him, tell him: Lord, I hope in you: I adore you, I love you, increase my faith. Be the support of my weakness: You, who have remained defenseless in the Eucharist so as to be the remedy for the weakness of your creatures. (The Forge, 832)

I will not surprise anyone if I say that some Christians have a very poor concept of the holy Mass. For them it is a purely external rite, if not a mere social convention. This is because our poor hearts are capable of treating the greatest gift of God to man as routine. In the Mass, in this Mass that we are now celebrating, the most Holy Trinity intervenes, I repeat, in a very special way. To correspond to such great love, we must give ourselves completely, in body and in soul. We hear God, we talk to him, we see him, we taste him. And when words are not enough, we sing, urging our tongue — Pange, lingua! — to proclaim to all mankind the greatness of the Lord.

To “live” the holy Mass means to pray continually, and to be convinced that, for each one of us, this is a personal meeting with God. We adore him, we praise him, we give thanks to him, we atone for our sins, we are purified, we experience a unity with Christ and with all Christians. (Christ is passing by, 87-88)

“We are going to receive our Lord”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2013/12/19 at 12:00 AM
Have you ever thought how you would prepare yourself to receive Our Lord if you could go to Communion only once in your life? We must be thankful to God that he makes it so easy for us to come to him: but we should show our gratitude by preparing ourselves to receive him very well. (The Forge, 828)

Jesus is the way, the mediator. In him are all things; outside of him is nothing. In Christ, taught by him, we dare to call God our Father — he is the Almighty who created heaven and earth, and he is a loving Father who waits for us to come back to him again and again, as the story of the prodigal son repeats itself in our lives.

Ecce, Agnus Dei… Domine, non sum dignus… We are going to receive our Lord. On this earth, when we receive an important person, we bring out the best — lights, music, formal dress. How should we prepare to receive Christ into our soul? Have we ever thought about how we would behave if we could only receive him once in a lifetime?

When I was a child, frequent communion was still not a widespread practice. I remember how people used to prepare to go to communion. Everything had to be just right, body and soul: the best clothes, hair well‑combed — even physical cleanliness was important — maybe even a few drops of cologne… These were manifestations of love, full of finesse and refinement, on the part of manly souls who knew how to repay Love with love.

With Christ in our soul, we end the holy Mass. The blessing of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit accompanies us all day long, as we go about our simple, normal task of making holy all honest human activity. (Christ is passing by, 91)

Reason for Hope: Meditations for the Advent Season

In 15 Audio on 2013/12/06 at 12:00 AM


1.Be Ready!
Host – The Most Rev. Robert J. Baker, Bishop of Birmingham
advent2010_01.mp3Lord, Watch over your people, who come to you in confidence. Strengthen the hearts of those who hope in You.

Give courage to those who falter because of their failures. Lead them along in this Holy Season of Advent closer to You in Hope by the Power of Your Holy Spirit.

May they one day proclaim Your Saving Acts of Kindness in Your Eternal Kingdom.


Host – The Most Rev. Robert J. Baker, Bishop of Birmingham
advent2010_02.mp3Truly, I have set my soul in silence and peace. As a little child rests in its Mother’s arms, even so my soul. O Israel, hopes in the Lord, both now and forever.

-Psalm 131:2-3

Host – The Most Rev. Robert J. Baker, Bishop of Birmingham
advent2010_03.mp3Psalm 27:1-2
The Lord is my life’s refuge; of whom should I be afraid?… Thogh an army encamp against me, my heart will not fear; though war be waged against me, even then will I trust.

4.In Hope, we were saved
Host – The Most Rev. Robert J. Baker, Bishop of Birmingham
advent2010_04.mp3In Hope we were saved. But hope is not hope if its object is seen; how is it possible for one to hope what he sees? And hoping for what we cannot see means awaiting it with patient endurance… We know that God makes all things work for the good of those who love Him who have been called according to His decree… If God is for us, who can be against us? — Romans 8: 25, 28, 31

5.Trust in God
Host – The Most Rev. Robert J. Baker, Bishop of Birmingham
advent2010_05.mp3This I know. That God is on my side. When I fear, I will trust in You. In God, whose word I praise. – Psalm 56:10

6.The Finish Line
Host – The Mo
st Rev. Robert J. Baker, Bishop of Birminghamadvent2010_06.mp3Philippians 3:12-14

It is not that I have reached it yet, or have already finished my course, but I am racing to grasp the prize, if possible … Brothers, I do not think of myself as having reached the finish line. I give no thought to what lies behind, but push on to what is ahead. My entire attention is on the finish line…

7.Our Exile
Host – The Most Rev. Robert J. Baker, Bishop of Birmingham
advent2010_07.mp3This life we live right now is an exile; Heaven is our real home.

8.My Father’s House
Host – The Most Rev. Robert J. Baker, Bishop of Birmingham
advent2010_08.mp3John 14: 1-3 — “Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”

9.Joys and Hopes
Host – The Most Rev. Robert J. Baker, Bishop of Birmingham
advent2010_09.mp3Gaudiem et Spes — The joys and hopes, the grief and anguish of the people of our time, especially of those who are poor or afflicted, are the joys and hopes, the griefs and anguish of the followers of Christ as well.

Host – The Most Rev. Robert J. Baker, Bishop of Birmingham
adven2010_10.mp3Heaven is the state of supreme and definitive hapiness, the goal of the deepest longings of mankind. Eternal Life with God; communion of life and love with the Trinity and all the blessed. — Catechism of the Catholic Church CV. 1023 and Glossary

11.Prayer makes a difference

Host – The Most Rev. Robert J. Baker, Bishop of Birminghamadvent2010_11.mp3It is You, Oh Lord, Who are my hope, my trust, Oh Lord, since my youth. – My hope has always been in you – As for me, I will always hope and praise you more and more. — Psalm 71:5,14

12.Blessed are the Merciful
Host – The Most Rev. Robert J. Baker, Bishop of Birmingham
advent2010_12.mp3The Church must consider it one of her principal duties – at every stage of history and especially in our modern age – to proclaim and to intoduce into life the Mystery of mercy, supremely revealed in Jesus Christ.

13.Divine Mercy
Host – The Most Rev. Robert J. Baker, Bishop of Birmingham
advent2010_13.mp3Let the greatest sinners place their trust in My Mercy. They have the right before others to trust in the abyss of My Mercy. I cannot punish even the greatest sinner if he makes an appeal to My Compassion, but on the contrary, I justify him in My unfathomable and inscrutable Mercy. Before I come as a Just Judge, I first open wide the door of My Mercy. — Divine Mercy in My Soul: The Diary of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska

14.Why do we hope?
Host – The Most Rev. Robert J. Baker, Bishop of Birmingham
advent2010_14.mp3We hope because of Our Lord’s promise of Divine Mercy. The Parables of the Prodigal Son, the Lost Coin and the Lost Sheep of Luke’s Gospel all point to that reality

15.Gaudete Sunday\

Host – The Most Rev. Robert J. Baker, Bishop of Birminghamadvent2010_15.mp3Rejoice in the Lord always. I say it again, rejoice — Galatians 4:4

16.Hope and our contemporary world

Host – The Most Rev. Robert J. Baker, Bishop of Birminghamadvent2010_16.mp3Seeing so much false security collapse, we realize that what we need most is a trustworthy hope. This is found in Christ alone. If Jesus is present, there is no longer any time that lacks meaning or is empty. If He is present, we may continue to hope, even when others can no longer assure us of any support, even when the present becomes trying. P. Benedcit XVI, December 02, 2009

17.Hope marks humanity’s journey

Host – The Most Rev. Robert J. Baker, Bishop of Birminghamadvent2010_17.mp3For Christians, Hope is envlivened by a certainty: The Lord is present in the passage of our lives. He accompanies us and one day will also dry our tears. One day, not far off, everything will find its fulfillment in the Kingdom of God; a Kingdom of Justice and Peace.

18.A life of Hope
Host – The Most Rev. Robert J. Baker, Bishop of Birmingham
advent2010_18.mp3St. Paul in the book of Romans shows us how to allow Christ to enter into our daily struggles. — As children of God, we are heirs of God, heirs with Christ; if only we suffer with Him so as to be glorified with Him.

19.Fear of Death
Host – The Most Rev. Robert J. Baker, Bishop of Birmingham
advent2010_19.mp3Matthew 25, the Judgement passage points to a basic reality in life: If we want to get ready for death want to be relieved of a fear of death, if we want to obtain Hope in everlasting life, then we can experience that Hope by helping other people.

Host – The Most Rev. Robert J. Baker, Bishop of Birmingham
advent2010_20.mp3Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta quietly witnessed to committed love by her example and her life of prayer

21.The Cenaculo Community
Host – The Most Rev. Robert J. Baker, Bishop of Birmingham
advent2010_21.mp3Mother Elvira Petrozzi brings about healing from addiction through the Blessed Sacrament, Confession, devotion to Our Lady, hard physical labor and personal discipline. Mother feels that if a person needs to eat three times a day to nourish the body, they also need to pray three times a day to nourish the soul

22.The Saints
Host – The Most Rev. Robert J. Baker, Bishop of Birmingham
advent2010_22.mp3In the life of each one of us, there are very dear persons to whom we feel particularly close; some are already in God’s arms, others still share with us the journey of life: they are our parents, relatives, educators. They are persons to whom we have done good or from whom we have received good. They are persons we know we can count on. It is important to have travel companions on the journey of our Christian life, a spiritual director, a confessor, persons with whom we can share the experience of faith

23.Guardian Angels
Host – The Most Rev. Robert J. Baker, Bishop of Birmingham
advent2010_23.mp3In this world, the Angels attend to almost everything as they are the messengers of God and invisible

24.The Holy Eucharist
Host – The Most Rev. Robert J. Baker, Bishop of Birmingham
advent2010_24.mp3Christ left to His followers a pledge of hope and food for the journey in the sacraments of faith, in which natural elements, the fruits of human cultivation, are changed into His Glorified Body and , as a supper of brotherly communion and a foretaste of the Heavenly Banquet — Gaudiem et Spes

25.John the Baptist
Host – The Most Rev. Robert J. Baker, Bishop of Birmingham
advent2010_25.mp3John lived in a spirit of penance in anticipation of Our Lord’s coming

26.Simeon and Ana
Host – The Most Rev. Robert J. Baker, Bishop of Birmingham
dvent2010_26.mp3Now though dost dismiss Thy servant, Oh Lord, according to Thy Word in peace, because my eyes have seen Thy salvation which Thou didst prepare before the face of all peoples; a light of revelation to the Gentiles and the glory of Thy people, Israel

.27.Joseph and Mary, Mother of Hope

Host – The Most Rev. Robert J. Baker, Bishop of Birminghamadvent2010_27.mp3St. Joseph, thank you for providing for us – Cenaculo Community prayer

28.They shall call Him Emmanuel
Host – The Most Rev. Robert J. Baker, Bishop of Birmingham
advent2010_28.mp3The single-most reason for our Hope is the Advent, the coming of Christ into this world as Emmanuel, as “God with us”.

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.