Monday, March 29, 2010

Prayers for Pope Benedict XVI

I hesitate to say something about the recent scandals that some are using to implicate and tarnish His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. The history that they piece together (or more importantly, the pieces they leave out) is awful, and that it leaves me thinking that no honest person who has a little love for the Pope and the truth can ultimately believe much of it. But the stuff just keeps coming. That's why I will turn your attention to A Response to the New York Times given by Father Raymond J. de Souza in the National Review Online. It is a extremely well-written article, filling in the missing historical pieces.

I think part of what is happening is that those who are attacking the Pope are angry he did not do enough - if that is reason to condemn someone, then we all stand guilty! It has happened in our Church, and it is time that we say STOP - NEVER AGAIN will we allow this crime to occur, especially in our Churches and most especially by our priests. I also think it is being used to attempt to strip the Church of Her moral authority. It is used by some to promote a 'different' view of priesthood - blaming celibacy, blaming an all-male priesthood, etc. It may even be a thinly veiled attack on him as we are at his fifth anniversary as our shepherd - them trying to throw into question the outcome of the conclave, or even the presence of the Holy Spirit! As I said at the end of the Masses this weekend, the Lord promised that Gates of Hell would not conquer the Church.

Let us pray for the conversion of all abusers, and that properly punished (either through forced laicization and incarceration, or through extremely limited contact, while closely supervised, life in a care facility due to age and health issues if there has been true contrition and conversion), may repent of their sins and never commit them again. Let's pray for the conversion of those involved in promoting the scandal, but more importantly, pray for the continued strong leadership of Pope Benedict, especially as he has always been part of the strongest response to the sin of sexual abuse.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Palm Sunday, 2010

As we celebrate Palm Sunday, we call to mind how Christ enters His own people with cries of acclamation, only to have those cries drowned out 4 days later with cries to crucify Him. We have the beautiful Passion given to us. We could spend our lives memorizing the passion, but let it not be a mere academic pursuit - it needs to transform our hearts. As we look upon Christ crucified, may our hearts cry out with praise, know that here is love made real for us as the God who is made man for us pours His life out. Lord, may the rocks cry out if I cannot praise you!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Dissenting Sisters thanked for support of healthcare bill

Catholic News Agency has an article Planned Parenthood head thanks religious sisters for ‘critical support’ of health care bill. It gives a good overview of the level of dissent that one group, erroneously claiming to represent all religious sisters, have done to support the pro-contraceptive, pro-abortion healthcare bill. The Lord will hold us all accountable. One telling sentence:

"This brave and important move, demonstrating that they cared as much about the health care of families in America as they did about church hierarchy, was a critical demonstration of support."

Since they have demonstrated that they do not care much about the church hierarchy, do they equally lack compassion for health care for families???

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Fifth Sunday of Lent

A woman caught in a sexual sin of adultery is brought to Jesus as a trap. The Law allowed them to stone such women, but they also knew thought Jesus was 'accepting' of such sins. If He responded stone her, perhaps the leaders thought, the crowd would see the hypocrisy and cease following Him, but if He responded to not stone her, He would have been setting Himself as interpreter of the Law. His answer is more than a clever response, but one that speaks to the heart of sin, judgement, and forgiveness. The one without sin would be allowed to throw the first stone. The leaders go, starting with the oldest. The woman stands before Jesus, the only One there (since only He and the Blessed Mother were sinless) who could have condemned her, but He forgave her. This forgiveness did not give her permission to continue as she had, but called her to reformation. This is not being 'light' on sin, but merciful.

None of us are without sin. Jesus calls us to forgiveness, to repentance. So just as He told the woman, we too are to go and sin no more.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Fourth Sunday of Lent

The lost sons in today's parable demonstrate a principle of sin. The youngest son wandered far from his father, squandered his inheritance, lost his identity, faith, and dignity. He recognizes his distance, and that he does not deserve to be a son, but desires to be a servant of his loving father. The older son, while he did not wander far from his father, had his heart far from the father. He simply did not even recognized his father's love. Both of these sons are in a land of dissimilarity, as St. Augustine would call it. The younger son returns from his life of sin, but the older dutiful son is left with the decision.

Those responding to a vocation need to know the love of the Father, to have their hearts with Him, experiencing His love. Whether we were great sinners who wandered far from the Lord, or dutiful servants, the Father loves us and claims us as sons and daughters.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Third Sunday of Lent

We never know the time when the Lord will call us. Just as the Lord called Moses from the burning bush, He may be trying to call us. Just as the Galileans of the unfortunate 18 killed by a falling tower, our time here on earth could come to a quick end. Whether good or evil, it matters not. God works on His time, not ours. For us who wish to be with Him for eternity, that means we must always be prepared and produce the fruit that the Lord requires.