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Author Archive: Msgr. Charles Pope

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A Warning from Amos – What Do We Face?

June 28, 2016 0 Comments
A Warning from Amos – What Do We Face?

Though he lived in the Southern Kingdom of Judah, the prophet Amos was sent north by God to preach to the Northern Kingdom of Israel. Perhaps no other prophet was as searing in his condemnation and as demanding in his call as was Amos. His prophecies of doom largely came true in the form of […]

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What Does It Mean When Scripture Says That God Hardens Certain Human Hearts?

June 27, 2016 2 Comments
What Does It Mean When Scripture Says That God Hardens Certain Human Hearts?

One of the more difficult biblical concepts to understand is that of God hardening the hearts and minds of certain people. The most memorable case is that of Pharaoh: before sending Moses to him, God said that He would “harden Pharaoh’s heart” (Ex 4:21). And there are other instances in which biblical texts speak of […]

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In the Presence of a True Prophet, No One Escapes

June 26, 2016 3 Comments
In the Presence of a True Prophet, No One Escapes

In daily Mass, we have begun reading from the prophet Amos. Amos was perhaps among the sternest of the prophets of old. But if you’ve ever met a real prophet, you know that being in the presence of one can be very disturbing. Prophets love God’s people, but they love them too much to withhold […]

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Five Disciplines of Discipleship – A Homily for the 13th Sunday of the Year

June 25, 2016 4 Comments
Five Disciplines of Discipleship – A Homily for the 13th Sunday of the Year

The Gospel today portrays for us some disciplines that are important for disciples. They are portrayed in the life of Jesus, but are to be applied in our lives. Let’s look at each of them in turn. I. Purposefulness – The text says, When the days for Jesus’ being taken up were fulfilled, he resolutely […]

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What If God Stopped Watching?

June 24, 2016 0 Comments
What If God Stopped Watching?

The commercial below imagines that God’s cell phone battery has run out of juice and He can no longer “watch” the earth. The result? Complete chaos! Of course if God really were to stop watching or regarding His creation, the actual result would be much worse than chaos; it would be complete annihilation. Fortunately, the […]

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Living Near the Edge – A Meditation on Some of God’s More Terrifying Gifts

June 23, 2016 6 Comments
Living Near the Edge – A Meditation on Some of God’s More Terrifying Gifts

Some of God’s gifts come in strange and terrifying packages. I was reminded of this when I read the following lines from the book of Job in the Office of Readings: The earth, though out of it comes forth bread, is in fiery upheaval underneath (Job 28:2). We live just above a fiery cauldron, separated […]

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Like Any Progressive Disease, Sin Has Stages

June 22, 2016 4 Comments
Like Any Progressive Disease, Sin Has Stages

How does it happen that so many people insist on living obstinately in sin until they are ultimately lost? As with all progressive diseases, sin is a sickness that moves through stages, further debilitating and hardening the sinner in his ways. St. Alphonsus Liguori laid out five stages through which sin (if not resisted and […]

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Three Hard Sayings of the Lord That Offend Against Modern Sensibilities

June 21, 2016 4 Comments
Three Hard Sayings of the Lord That Offend Against Modern Sensibilities

The Gospel for today’s Mass features three hard sayings of the Lord. They are difficult for us moderns to hear because they offend against modern sensibilities; we easily taken aback by their abrupt quality. Here are the first two “offensive” sayings: Do not give what is holy to dogs, (Mt 7:6) or throw your pearls […]

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