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January 26, 2016

Maybe you have heard about Pope Francis changing the foot washing ritual for Holy Thursday. Up until now, the instructions for this rite specified that men only have their foot washed. With this change, it is now open to a few who represent all the people of God. Part of the Pope’s decree also asked Pastors to educate the people about this change. Here is an article that does a good job of that.

Pope Francis has issued an indulgence for the Year of Mercy. You can find the particulars of the indulgence here. If you are not familiar with indulgences or thought they went out long ago, here is an interesting article that should bring you up to speed on this important work of mercy.

January 11, 2016

While visiting the National Archives one day I was looking at the documents in the glass cases. There were other people doing the same. One young man had a smart phone with its camera on. He was holding the phone over the documents and viewing the documents on the screen of his smartphone. Why, I thought, would you look at the documents on a screen when you can see them directly? Our ability to view and record experiences on cameras and screens has all but taken over the way we look at the world. At baptisms, weddings, even when seeing the Pope face to face, we want to view these events on a screen. Why, I would continue to ask, do we want to view life on a screen when we can see it directly? Perhaps we have a sense that the reality of the event only occurs when captured and viewed in this way. Here an article on this theme. Life happens right before us. We can actually miss life in an effort to record it.

January 10, 2016

As we enter a New Year, a new time, here is an article that considers the meaning of time for those who belong to Christ.

December 28, 2015

I’m glad someone else wrote this:  five ways to make your priest miserable. Here’s an interesting article about how Pope Francis has been misunderstood by Catholics.

December 21, 2015

I’ve had a few comments about my homily this last Sunday. I tried to explain the word “consubstantial” that we use in the Creed. I know it is difficult to understand. The mystery of the union of the Divine Son of God and his human nature is a deep mystery. There were so many heresies in the early (and not so early) Church on this. Think of all the mistakes that could be made:

Jesus is fully Divine but only appeared to be man; his human body was only an apparition.

Jesus if fully man but not fully Divine, rather, he was only “adopted” by God as his son in a kind of moral sense.

Jesus is fully human and fully Divine but he has no human soul; his human body is given life not through a human soul but by his Divine Personhood.

Jesus is fully man and fully God but his human body and soul have their own act of being; meaning that he is both a human person (being a complete, individual man with an act of being specific to his human nature that is separate from the act of being of His Divine Sonship) and a Divine Person; both the human and the divine persons being united by a common will and intellect.

All of these are explanations that the Church has rejected. The Orthodox account is the one I hope I explained this past weekend:  Jesus is the fully Divine Son of God, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, consubstantial with the Father and the Holy Spirit in that He has the fullness of the Divine Nature, a nature that is, in itself, BEING. He has a full human nature that does not have its own act of being. Therefore, Jesus is NOT a human person. Rather, what gives His human nature (body, soul, intellect, will) existence is the Divine Nature, the fullness of which he has as the co-eternal Son of God.

Whew! I hope that helps.

December 15, 2015

Christmas is a time for children. The baby Jesus reminds us that being fully human means starting life as an infant. Here is an article that talks about modern attitudes about children.

December 11, 2015

From the Good News/Bad News Department:

Good News:  some Muslims are becoming Christian

Bad News:  They are becoming Anti-Catholic Christians

Read the article here.

December 9, 2015

Here is an interesting article about Millenials becoming Catholic. Millenials are those born in the early to mid ’80s who gave of age around the year 2000. This article gives a good summary of their typical experience of Christianity.

November 17, 2015

You may have heard reports about the Holy Father giving a less than definitive answer to the question of a non-Catholic spouse of a Catholic receiving Holy Communion at Mass. Here is an article with the Pope’s actual words. Here is an article about what the Pope said.

On the ongoing discussion of same sex attraction, here is an article about a man who left the gay lifestyle and now evangelizes people with same sex attraction.

November 9th, 2015

As I was writing my article for this Sunday’s bulletin, I came across this tour of St. John Lateran. As this is the Feast of the Dedication of this Church, I thought you might enjoy this video tour. Here it is.

November 5, 2015

Here is an article about Msgr. Robert Sokolowski, Professor of Philosophy at Catholic University. I had two courses with him. His theology of disclosure and the “Christian distinction” had a huge impact on me. Here is another article about a man’s re-conversion from atheism. These two articles are not unrelated.



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