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Memorial Day: The Truce of God

Memorial Day is a special one that reminds us of courage and sacrifice on the part of our military personnel who gave their lives for our country. The witness of these men and women also calls for an end to war so much needed in our world today.

The Celebration of Easter Never Ends

Pentecost is the culmination of Easter, for the Holy Spirit continues the mission of Christ. Pentecost is not the end of what Christ has accomplished for us but merely the beginning. Just as the apostles were able to go forth and accomplish miracles through the power of the Holy Spirit, so does the Spirit work in our lives each day.

Priesthood – A Eucharistic Adventure

As Pope Francis expressed to the deacons to be ordained this year, your ministry will be a “Eucharistic adventure.” You are being ordained a priest during the course of the Eucharistic Revival within our nation. Eucharistic adventure describes well what your priesthood will be about.

The Month of Mary

While Mary was not an apostle, her role preceded that of the apostles. Her role even preceded that of St. Peter among the apostles. She is the perfect Christian who lived the message of her Son in a manner that taught by example. Her role is that of holiness and intimacy with Christ, which is the very mission of the Church.

The Eucharistic Encounter at Easter

As we continue to celebrate this glorious season of Easter, it is in the Eucharist, the breaking of the bread, that we most fully encounter the real presence of the risen Christ. Like the disciples who met Jesus after His Resurrection, we actually see Him in the Eucharist.

This is the Day the Lord has Made

As Pope Francis insightfully said to the priests of Rome in his Chrism Mass homily this year, “Let us stop looking at our life in terms of efficiency and immediate results … by looking for the eternal goal to which we are called, the ultimate purpose of our lives.” What he said about prayer can also be said about obedience on a different level, “It is not about lips that move, but a heart that listens.”

Step up for Catholic Schools

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says, “Parents have the right to choose a school for them which corresponds to their own personal convictions. This right is fundamental.”

The Heart of Priesthood is the Heart of the Priest

The great St. Francis de Sales, Bishop and Doctor of the Church, spoke often of the heart. He is well known for his insight that “The heart speaks to the heart.” St. John Cardinal Newman took this phrase for his episcopal motto, as he was so influenced by St. Francis de Sales. The world today needs the human heart more than it needs anything else. The heart speaks to the heart, and in this dialogue we encounter God.

Peace Is the Message of Easter

Jesus has taken a wounded glorified body to Himself in a manner that conquers sin through the everlasting effects of His Cross. The peace Jesus has given to each and every one of us is not as the world gives peace but as He gives peace. The world sees peace as coming from power, and Jesus gives peace through the power of love. We so much yearn for true peace in our war-torn world, in our confused nation and in our own personal and family lives.

Holy Week – A Time of Grace

The 40 days of Lent are brought to their culmination as the Eucharist is celebrated and we know that not even death has a hold on us. Christ breaks through the barriers of death, as well as all of time and space, and gives us the true meaning of life.

A good image to keep before us during these final weeks of Lent and on the feasts of St. Patrick and St. Joseph is a depiction of the Trinity, which was commonly used as an altarpiece during the Middle Ages. Titled the Throne of Mercy, the painting is a vivid portrayal of God the Father holding out to the world in His outstretched arms His beloved Divine Son on a crucifix.

There are essentially four elements that define a sacrament — sign, instituted by Christ, intended to give grace and entrusted to the Church. All of these elements are essential to our spiritual lives and incorporate us into the life of Christ in a manner that bonds us to each other as members of His Church.

The liturgies of Lent are filled with references to Lent as a joyful time. At first it may seem unusual to think of Lent as a joyful time. With its emphasis on penance, conversion and reconciliation, we may tend to consider Lent in a more somber fashion. Yet, all that Lent holds truly is an opportunity for joy and not just in an analogous manner. Coming closer to God by recognizing our need for Him is indeed the most joyful and happiest of experiences.

Pope Francis once stated that “Where there is no mercy — there is no justice.” His words mean exactly the same as the episcopal motto of Cardinal O’Connor, “There can be no love without justice,” and bring light to Abraham Lincoln’s words that “Mercy bears greater fruits than strict justice” as well as the words of Martin Luther King Jr. that “Justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.” During Lent, it is well for us to reflect upon the reality of justice which goes hand in hand with love.

The key to the spiritual life, indeed to life in general, is to live in the present moment, which oftentimes seems so ordinary. This is a very good practice to concentrate upon during this season of Lent. To live in the past or to live in the future is to live in a graceless moment. While it is important to look to the past and to the future, God gives us His grace for today.