THE CONTEMPORARY TRAGEDY: SOCIETY AND CHURCH ARE IGNORING HISTORY, EVEN IN THE LITURGY

The Contemporary Tragedy: Society and Church are ignoring history, even in the Liturgy   The Asado-Yerba Mate-Gaucho Mass (“Missa Crioula“) in Southern Brazil From a recent article of the Rev. Dr. James Siemens, a priest of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church: A good deal of our current malaise, both in the Church and in society more broadly, can be attributed—I think—to a certain disregard for history. In terms of contemporary history, this disregard might be more accurately called amnesia, Continue Reading →

Are We Walking to Heaven Backward? A Pastoral Consideration of Liturgical “orientation.”

By: Msgr. Charles Pope Some years ago the theologian Fr. Jonathan Robinson wrote a commentary on the modern experience of the Sacred liturgy and entitled it, The Mass and Modernity: Walking to Heaven Backward. It is a compelling image of so much of what is wrong with the celebration of the Liturgy in many parishes today. While Fr. Robinson certainly had the celebration of Mass “facing the people” in mind, his concerns are broader than that. Indeed, Continue Reading →

Is the Church a Thermometer or a Thermostat? A Biblical reply to those who prefer a trendy and compliant Church « Archdiocese of Washington

Is the Church a Thermometer or a Thermostat? A Biblical reply to those who prefer a trendy and compliant Church By: Msgr. Charles Pope Is the Church a thermometer or a thermostat? In other words are we called merely to reflect the temperature (thermometer), or are we called to set the temperature (thermostat)? Many are deeply confused as to the role of the Church in the modern world, think we ought simply to reflect the Continue Reading →

THE REMNANT NEWSPAPER: Prophetic Words of Bishop Fulton J. Sheen

Many a modern preacher is far less concerned with preaching Christ and Him crucified than he is with his popularity with his congregation.  A want of intellectual backbone makes him straddle the ox of truth and the ass of nonsense…Fulton J. Sheen America, it is said, is suffering from intolerance.  It is not.  It is suffering from tolerance:  tolerance of right and wrong, truth and error, virtue and evil, Christ and chaos.  Our country is Continue Reading →

What Difference Does Heaven Make?

Only the difference between hope and despair in the end, between two totally different visions of life; between “chance or the dance”. At death we find out which vision is true: does it all go down the drain in the end, or are all the loose threads finally tied together into a gloriously perfect tapestry? Do the tangled paths through the forest of life lead to the golden castle or over the cliff and into Continue Reading →

Catholics Must Not Cede Ground in Public Debate | Crisis Magazine

In the last several months I’ve been discussing the problems Catholics face dealing with public life today. The recent election underlined some of them. The bishops and others made their pitch about threats to the family and the freedom of the Church, the Democrats stood firm, and most Americans—including most self-identified Catholics—voted for the Democrats. Not only does the world care very little for Catholic concerns, but it seems that Catholics acting as citizens care Continue Reading →

Some Paradoxes of Christmas | Archdiocese of Washington

In the ancient Church, and until rather recently, we genuflected at the two references to the incarnation in the Mass: at the Creed and at the Last Gospel (John 1). Why did we do this? It was explained to me that the mystery was so deep that one could only fall in silent reverence. There are many paradoxes and seeming impossibilities in the incarnation. As mysteries they cannot be fully solved, so they claim our Continue Reading →

Padre Pio Christmas Meditation

Far into the night, at the coldest time of the year, in a chilly grotto, more suitable for a flock of beasts than for humans, the promised Messiah – Jesus – the savior of mankind, comes into the world in the fullness of time. There are none who clamor around him: only an ox and an ass lending their warmth to the newborn infant; with a humble woman, and a poor and tired man, in Continue Reading →

God and man at Loyola

Perhaps the timing was Providential, if one is still permitted to say that at a Quebec high school. I came here to Loyola high school in Montreal to give a lecture on faith in our common life, only one day after the Quebec government had won an appellate court victory that, in effect, said there was not much room for faith at Loyola, unless the teachers here pretended it wasn’t true. Comforting the afflicted is Continue Reading →

What is the “Central Mystery” of Our Faith?

Our faith begins with God. We sometimes forget that. For all the discussions and debates that Christians can get lost in, we sometimes forget that our belief is rooted in God. Blessed Pope John Paul II once proclaimed that our generation engages in a fundamental struggle, which is whether we believe in God or not. Love, as it is said, requires a self-emptying. A teacher I know once asked this question to a student who Continue Reading →

How Rediscovering the “Plot” of Sacred Scripture is Essential to Evangelization | Archdiocese of Washington

One of the most significant losses in the modern era has been the loss of the Biblical narrative in the hearts and minds of most people. Scripture is the story of the human family, told by God himself. In story form He tells us how we were made and why, what happened why that things are the way they are today. Why do we have infinite longing in a finite world? Why do we struggle Continue Reading →

Advent and self-denial

Rise up then in the morning with the purpose that (please God) the day shall not pass without its self-denial. . . . If, then, a person asks how he is to know whether he is dreaming on in the world’s slumber, or is really awake and alive unto God, let him first fix his mind upon some one or other of his besetting infirmities. Every one who is at all in the habit of Continue Reading →