Showing posts with label Media and Movies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Media and Movies. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

First Homily Podcast

My first podcasted Sunday Homily: https://soundcloud.com/fr-todd-petersen/23rdsundayot

I'm on iTunes!!!!

I received word that iTunes approved the podcast! It can be found at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/view-from-the-ambo/id1150645572 . Subscribe today... In the near future, I may run a give-away to promote the podcast - stay tuned.

Friday, September 2, 2016

News!

I know that it has been a while since I have blogged except for the various articles that have appeared in newspapers and prayers.
Part is that my focus has been elsewhere.
Recently, though, a few have asked about recording my homilies. After doing some research into process and equipment, and after praying about it, I have decided to create a podcast. You can find it at http://feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundcloud:users:251744182/sounds.rss, or soon on iTunes (View From the Ambo).
The reason is not in pride, but rather in humility. I feel blessed to be given the opportunity to proclaim the Good News, and I try to do so. I know that the first few may be rough until I get the settings right, as well as the knowledge of the software to help make things sound better.
Input is appreciated!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

In - not of - the world

“In it, not of it”… These words, more than any other, capture the Christian’s attitude to this world. But there are two unfortunate errors, one from each side of the statement, that can result if we do not properly understand the statement. Since we are not ‘of’ the world, we pretend that what we do here in the world has no eternal consequence. St. Paul would be appalled to see that we let ourselves detach so easily. When we simply live in the world with no regard to the consequences of our actions, we might display a disregard for truth and acting in accord with it. We live in the world just like those who do not know the Lord live. We join in sin, and perhaps even condone it. We might fool ourselves to think that whatever we do doesn’t matter at all. In the extremes of this side of the error, we live our lives aware of Christ, but delude ourselves to think that we can live like all others in the world, as long as we are apart from it. In other words, we might even deny Christ by our worldly actions. On the other side, it is tempting to allow sin to prevail, for wrongs to be left uncorrected and for lies to stand, and justify it by saying that we are more. After all, we are not of this world, but made for eternity. We become so heavenly-minded that we are of no earthly good, to quote an old expression. We rightly live for Christ, but we fail to really heed His call to bring His message to the ends of the earth. As Christians, we are living in the world and and using the things that surround us, but we know that we belong somewhere else, to a world that is not here. Our world is our eternal destination - Heaven, life with God. Our hearts are to be there, even now.As Christians, we are called to be in the world, and as such called to be leaven and salt - we are called to raise the world and to give it flavor. We are in the world! But we are not transformed by the world, but the world is to be transformed by us. That is why we as Christians need to step forward and boldly proclaim the truth. That is why we as Christians need to affirm the reality of sin and to seek God’s will and avoid sin. That is why we need to use the things of the world, lived in right relationship to them as transitory and passing things, to lead others to Christ. That is why we as Christians are called to take part in politics. It is not that we are imposing our beliefs on others, but that as Christians, the truth of God has been revealed to us. It is a truth not just for us, but for all. It is a truth that will set us free. This year, especially in the area of politics and race relationships, the world needs our insight, our love, our proclamation of truth. We cannot live in this world oblivious to the consequences or completely detached from it. Rather, we place our hope in God, and change the world for the better, one person at a time.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Halloween???

Every Halloween, I hear the debate of whether Christians should celebrate it. I have to remind people of how they celebrate it makes a difference. Certainly, remembering the very word “Halloween”’s Christian roots - a contraction and corruption of the phrase “All Hallowed Eve” - we can recall that it is a time to remember all those holy men and women who have loved the Lord and are with Him in eternity. But we might also remember the sweetness of a life lived with God’s love, and the joy of such a promise of eternity. We might even, to a certain extent, delight in the fact that we as Christians can laugh at the face of death, because it has been concurred by the Risen Christ.
But there is a more sinister celebration - the embracing the secularized or even re-paganized side. Here, there is an infatuation with death and the occult. There is a growing ‘epidemic’ of witchcraft. Occult practices are on the rise, and ‘darkness' is creeping into society. Symbols that once terrorized are now celebrated. Nothing is more obvious of this to me than the culture’s embracing of the vampire lore. Now, with popular books placing vampires in a positive light (one ought to be carefully doing this lest they burst into flames), they are removed from the spiritual moorings that once terrified listeners, and served as a warning to not become like them. They are seen with pity, or desire.
Not too long ago, the vampire was a symbol of sin - a creature neither alive or dead. They were in need of drinking blood to remain in its state, which they took from innocent prey. Vampires rejected the life that God gave, and the first in the legend rejected God to become an servant of Satan. They are doomed to wander the night, for fear of bursting into flames in the light of the sun. They do not even give a reflection in a mirror. So twisted are they that they are forced to sleep in caskets. Indeed, this is a creature completely consumed by sin - soulless creatures who feed upon the blood and fears of others.
But for the Christian, like Halloween itself, we remember the roots of the vampire lore. It serves as a stark reminder of a life rejecting the Lord doomed to a life of the un-living. Contrast vampires with who a Christian is to be: a creature in perfect union with our creator, living life to the full. A Christian is to serve others, not feed on them. They seek to live in the light of day and of God’s grace. They are to mirror the love of God, and live as a reminder that all are created in the image and likeness of God. A Christian has died to a life of sin, but live the life of Christ now in them. This is because a Christian has concurred the tomb of Baptism, rising victorious with Christ in His resurrection. In the end, we have nothing to fear of vampires, but we are to remember what they symbolize.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Planned Parenthood documentary

A few years ago, a wonderful biopic called Amazing Grace was released. It told the story of William Wilberforce (1759-1833) who was the main influence for the end of the slave trade in England. Inspired by his Christian faith, horrified by the sub-human conditions of slave vessels, he worked in the Parliament to put a legal end to the trade. To do so, he tirelessly advocated for the slaves, worked to educate his fellow politicians about the atrocities, and campaigned and persuaded others to his side. He took many to board one of the slave ships, showing them how the slaves were loaded like cargo, not even given the space to move about freely. There, the the slaves, many simply kidnapped from their homes in Africa, were given less than adequate food and were forced to live in their own filth. Many of those that he introduced were appalled by the circumstances of the trade on which they had relied. He was quoted telling them, “You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.” It had simply become convenient to ignore the atrocities and sins against humanity, to simply look away. By removing that veil, they no longer could feign ignorance. The law finally passed in 1807 with wide support (though packaged as a means to ban British citizens from participating in the slave trade with France and other countries with which England was at war). Wilberforce knew that it was not the immediate end to slavery, but the start. These last weeks, the same spirit that stirred Wilberforce to action has been moving in the lives of other ‘abolitionists’ - those in the pro-life movement. An investigative organization, The Center for Medical Progress, was formed and acted quietly until July 14. They released an edited video, which also included a full, non-edited video, of a representative from Planned Parenthood discussing the sale of aborted fetus body parts. They followed that with another video of another director, also discussing the sale and quipping that she wanted a Lamborghini (obviously meaning that she would make a profit). Both videos demonstrate that they expected profit from the sale of the body parts (which is illegal). The next videos released were more horrific, demonstrating the lab techs dissecting the bodies of the aborted child, and including discussion of changing methods of abortion to deliver an intact body (which is illegal). I can only imagine that any future videos will demonstrate worse crimes. As horrible as the videos are, we are in a profound moment of history. These already documented activities are only the tip of the crimes against humanity, made possible by an even greater sin against humanity - abortion itself. Whatever more the Center has, really, is only further evidence that those that promote abortion have lost all moral ground. Sadly, though, media attention is fixed elsewhere: on the killing of a lion in Zimbabwe, apparently lured outside the safety of a preserve. Perhaps it is the magnitude of the circumstances. One lion is easier to grasp than 54 million aborted ‘legally’ since 1973. It is easier to look away, to mourn the loss of an abstract lion in a distant land, than to consider the concrete evidence of abortion, sale of body parts for profit, and the skirting of the law to maximize profit, all the while receiving tax money for greater profits. We are told that abortion is legal (but so was the slave trade), and that there is nothing to see but “highly-edited videos”, but isn’t that what all news agencies do. We are told that there is only proof of illegal activity is on the part of the investigators (the misrepresentation of the investigators, the possible illegal filming without consent, and the breach of patient confidentiality, none of which are more grievous than the crimes they reveal.) We are told to ignore, to look away, and are given the distraction of a dead majestic beast. Perhaps it placates the minds of some, but William Wilberforce’s words remain. Will we let the faith that we are fearfully, wonderfully made, knit together in the secret of our mothers’ wombs, move us toward the protection of the unborn? Will we work for the abolition of abortion? Because of these videos, at least we no longer can say we did not know.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

It is Finished!!!

I have just finished my book for parents entitled A Parent's Guide for Vocations, and it is available at CreateSpace and Amazon.com.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Great News Source - NEWS.VA

The Vatican has release a great resource for news at NEWS.VA.
From Cathlic Culture's Review of the site: "News.va is a service provided by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, in cooperation with the media offices of the Holy See, including, Fides News Agency, L'Osservatore Romano, the Holy See Press Office, the Vatican Information Service, Vatican Radio, the Vatican Television Center (CTV) and the Internet Office of the Holy See. The purpose of News.va is to feature on one website the latest news selected and aggregated from the Vatican media, which continue to operate their own unique websites. News.va is an instrument of evangelization at the service of the papal ministry and is intended as a service for all."

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

USCCB Newly Ordained Survey

Thanks to CARA (The report is from them), the USCCB has gathered statistical data on the new priests of our country (this is the executive summary). It is eye-opening. Of those responding to the survey, 66% responded that they were encouraged to consider a vocation, while another 20% were discouraged... Truly sad, then, that fewer priests are actively inviting men to consider the priesthood, and some are actually discouraging a vocation.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Vocation Boom

I want to highlight a great website for those discerning a vocation titled Vocation Boom. It provides Resources, encouragement, mentors and friends to aid in discernment of the priesthood.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Empty Tabernacle

David G. Bonagura, Jr., has authored a beautiful meditation on The Empty Tabernacle of Good Friday...

I learned at a young age about the importance and uniqueness of Good Friday. It was the only day of the year that my father worked only a half day: “Jesus died at 3:00 p.m., I came home early in honor of Him.” Each year we attended the Good Friday liturgy as a family, which was memorable for its nuances in the standard ritual, but it never captivated my imagination. It was not until I was an undergraduate that I discovered, thanks to a kind professor, a sort of Good Friday devotion to center my contemplation of the incomprehensible: the empty tabernacle.

It’s a striking image: the doors of the tabernacle are wide open, exposing a gaping void. Therein our Lord once dwelled in his body, blood, soul, and divinity, beckoning the wearied and burdened to throw their cares upon Him. On other occasions, before entering and exiting our pew, we did Him homage by genuflecting toward this abode, perhaps catching a glimpse of the sanctuary lamp that burned as a reminder of His presence. But not today. The lamp has been extinguished, the doors thrown open, the tabernacle emptied, the church stripped. “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” (John 20:13) The empty tabernacle declares to all what happened on this day: our Lord has died to save us from our sins.

All morning the tabernacle lays open, for Jesus is no longer present there. He has given Himself over to cruel men who are leading Him to death. It’s a familiar but always fresh story: the trial and interrogation, the scourging, the jeering and spitting, the crowning of thorns, the hysteria of the crowds, the vacillations of Pilate, the slow march to Golgotha. There at high noon Jesus was nailed to a cross, the electric chair of ancient Rome, between two bandits. For three hours, His body was suspended from the hard wood, pouring out His blood for our salvation. Then, at the very moment that the Passover lambs were being slaughtered in the Temple, the true Lamb of God cries out one final time and breathes His last.

Our Good Friday liturgy takes its start at this moment, as the priest prostrates himself in an act of mourning and sorrow. Our solemn prayers and recollections continue as the tabernacle remains open and empty. The previous night Jesus gave us His body and blood in the Eucharist so that, in communion with Him always, we might have life, and have it abundantly. Today we are reminded that the gift of the Eucharist is a real sacrifice that cost our Lord His life. There is no Mass – no sacramental re-presentation of Christ’s sacrifice – because today we commemorate the actual sacrifice. The Mass applies the fruits of Christ’s sacrifice to our souls, but today in our grief, we instead relive Christ’s sacrifice along with Him.


The drama of liturgical anamnesis – the mysterious reliving of past events in the present – reaches its height as we receive Holy Communion. Even though our Lord has died, He still provides for us, still longs to unite with us, still comes to us through the sacrament of His body and blood. Today, perhaps more than any other, “[t]he Eucharist draws us into Jesus’ act of self-oblation. More than just statically receiving the incarnate Logos, we enter into the very dynamic of his self-giving” (Deus Caritas Est 13).

The Good Friday liturgy ends in silence, for we still mourn the death of our Lord. As we look around the barren sanctuary, the tabernacle remains open and empty, mirroring the state of our hearts. The Eucharist is the summit and source of Christian life, and in the tabernacle it awaits us. But today the opposite is the case: we await the return of the Lord to the tabernacle so that we can again eat the Bread of Life.

We must wait still longer. First, we have to accompany Christ spiritually on His final mission: His descent into hell to free the souls of the just who had gone before Him. As we continue our contemplation into Holy Saturday, the tabernacle is still open and empty, as Christ’s soul and divinity have temporarily separated from His body and blood. We cannot adore Him in the Eucharist now; He is present elsewhere. But He will return.

The empty tabernacle is the visual expression of the drama of the passion. On the third day, adorned with flowers and full of newly consecrated hosts from the Easter triumph, the restored tabernacle will point to the glory of the resurrection. God again will be fully present among us.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Pope and the Media

I have to admit I am continually surprised, though I know that I should not be, by certain people's malformed conscience that take certain things completely out of context or ignore nuance, twisting statements of incredible clarity into a justification of their own mistaken preconceived ideas.
Now, the Media implies that the Church's stance on condom use and sexuality has shifted, that what was once immoral is now moral.
Note that it is an interview, not official Church teaching or document and is therefore not speaking from his authority as Pope, and second, he is talking in very nuanced terms. He basically said that in certain (assuming limited) circumstances, and the example he uses is suggestive of a male homosexual prostitute, the use of a condom may be a move (also implied to be one of many necessary steps) toward morality and authentic sexuality, but the use of a condom does not make the act moral. The act surrounding its use is still immoral, whether it is sex and act of fornication, adultery, homosexuality, or contraception. As the Pope is saying, the use of a condom is just the awakenings, the beginning, (in his term, "moralization") of taking responsibility for one's actions, but does not represent a full embracing of a moral sexuality, nor taking full responsibility.
This does not, therefore, represent a change in Church teaching. The use of condoms continues to remain a disordered act whether as a means of contraception or as a means of limiting infectious transfers. That said, it needs to be noted, again, that even in the prevention of pregnancy, they are only about 90% effective, and the AIDS virus is much smaller than sperm, and the condom's effectiveness is necessarily less.
The use of a condom is not the end of personal responsibility. True taking of personal responsibility for a full embracing of the moral is celibacy or marital fidelity. Their use does not make an immoral sexual act moral, though as the Pope states it is a move in the right direction as taking responsibility for one's actions. As to the guarantee protection from AIDS, only abstinence and marital continence in a marital relationship are effective.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Why a priest should wear his Roman Collar

Why a priest should wear his Roman Collar? Msgr. Mangan and Fr. Murray provide a wonderful explanation of the reasons for, as well as a response against those with contrary reasons.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

St. Bernadette of Lourdes

St. Bernadette of Lourdes, a movie by Navis pictures, is a beautiful. I was able to view a copy, and am glad I did. Filmed with a youthful cast (all younger than teens!), it has an energy and true joy. I will embed the link to the trailer here:

Friday, May 7, 2010

How to build a better priest

Fr. Barron has long been a outspoken preacher of the truth. In an interview entitled How to build a better priest at USCatholic.org, he really presents a powerful vision of the priesthood. Read the entire interview!

Friday, April 30, 2010

"Vianney" By St. Luke Productions

Last night, I had the profound grace of viewing the play Vianney by St. Luke Productions. It was beautiful, simple, moving, and uplifting. If it is in your area - go!
In addition to being able to see the play, I was able to meet and speak with the actor, Leonardo Defilippis. (Actually, I was given the honor to introduce him, too.) He is a good man, very faithfilled. Please pray for his strength as he continues to perform the play during this year for priests. May his performance continue to be used by God to move the hearts of the faithful, and to encourage those who have responded and will respond to a call to the priesthood.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Role of Parents and Prayer in Vocations

ZENIT, as usual has posted Pope Benedict XVI's sermon, this week he addressed the 47th World Day of Prayer for Vocations.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
On this Fourth Sunday of Easter, which is called "Good Shepherd Sunday," the World Day of Prayer for Vocations is celebrated, which has as its theme this year "Witness Awakens Vocations," a theme that is "closely linked to the life and mission of priests and consecrated persons" ("Message for the 47th World Day of Prayer for Vocations, April 25, 2010"). The first form of witness that awakens vocations is prayer (cf. ibid.), as is shown to us by the example of St. Monica, who, supplicating God with humility and persistence, obtained the grace of seeing her son Augustine become Christian. St. Augustine wrote: "Without a doubt I believe and affirm that through her prayers, God granted me the intention not to propose, not to want, not to think, not to love anything else but the attainment of truth" ("De Ordine," II 20, 52; CCL 29, 136).
Therefore, I invite parents to pray that the heart of their children open to listening to the Good Shepherd, and "each tiny seed of a vocation ... grow into a mature tree, bearing much good fruit for the Church and for all humanity" ("Message"). How can we hear the voice of the Lord and recognize it? In the preaching of the Apostles and their successors: In it there resounds the voice of Christ, who calls us to communion with God and to the fullness of life, as we read today in St. John's Gospel: "My sheep hear my voice and they follow me. I give them eternal life and they will never be lost and no one will take them out of my hand" (John 10:27-28). Only the Good Shepherd leads his flock with immense tenderness and defends them from evil, and only in him can the faithful place absolute confidence.
On this special day of prayer for vocations I especially exhort the ordained ministers, so that, inspired by the Year for Priests, they are moved to "a stronger and more incisive witness to the Gospel in today's world" ("Letter Proclaiming a Year for Priests"). May they remember that the priest "continues the work of the Redemption on earth;" may they know how to "stop frequently before the tabernacle;" may they remain "completely faithful to [their] own vocation and mission through the practice of an austere asceticism;" may they be available to listen and forgive; may they form the people entrusted to them in a Christian way; may they cultivate with care "priestly fraternity" (cf. ibid.). May they take wise and zealous pastors as an example, as St. Gregory Nazianzus, who wrote to his dear friend and bishop, St. Basil: "Teach us your love for your sheep, your solicitude and your capacity for understanding, your vigilance ... the austerity in sweetness, the serenity and meekness in activity ... the combats in defense of the flock, the victories ... achieved in Christ" (Oratio IX, 5, PG 35, 825ab).
I thank everyone who is present and those who with prayer and affection support my ministry as the Successor of Peter, and upon everyone I invoke the heavenly protection of the Virgin Mary, to whom we now turn in prayer.
[After the recitation of the Regina Caeli, the Holy Father greeted the pilgrims in various languages. In Italian he said:]
This morning, in Rome and in Barcelona respectively, two priests were beatified: Angelo Paoli, a Carmelite, and José Tous y Soler, a Capuchin. I will speak about the latter shortly. In regard to Blessed Angelo Paoli, who was from Lunigiana and lived between the 17th and 18th centuries, I would like to recall that he was an apostle of charity in Rome and was called "Father of the Poor." He dedicated himself especially to the sick of the Hospital of St. John, also caring for the convalescents. His apostolate drew strength from the Eucharist and from devotion to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, and from an intense life of penance as well. In the Year for Priests I gladly propose his example to all priests, in a special way to those who belong to religious institutes of the active life.
[In English he said:]
I am happy to greet all the English-speaking visitors present for today's Regina Caeli prayer. This Sunday the Church celebrates the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. As we rejoice in the new life that the Risen Lord has won for us, let us ask him to inspire many young people to center their hearts on the things of Heaven (cf. Col 3:1-2) and to offer themselves joyfully in the service of Christ our Good Shepherd in the priesthood and religious life. Confidently entrusting this petition to Mary, Queen of Heaven, I invoke upon you God's abundant blessings of peace and joy!
[The Pontiff concluded in Italian:]
I direct a special greeting to the Meter Association, which, for the past 14 years, has promoted the national day for children who are victims of violence, exploitation and indifference. On this occasion I would like above all to thank and encourage those who dedicate themselves to prevention and education, especially parents, teachers, many priests, sisters, catechists and leaders who work with the young people in the parishes, schools and associations. I greet the faithful from Brescia, Cassana near Ferrara, from parishes in Umbria and Toronto, Canada; the young people of the parishes in Valposchiavo, in Switzerland, and those from Francavilla al Mare; and the group of engaged couples from Altamura. I wish everyone a good Sunday.
[Translation by Joseph G. Trabbic]
© Copyright 2010 -- Libreria Editrice Vaticana

All are called by God to love Him.

All are called to serve Him.

Some are called to special lives of service,

to give witness to God's love through being a priest, religious brother, or sister.

Is He calling you?