Author Archive for Msgr. Charles Pope

Gifts in Strange and Terrifying Packages – A Meditation on a Saying from Job

I spent today high in the Cascades of Washington State.  I was near Mt. Baker, one of the volcanic peaks in the range along the “ring of fire” that comes up the coast along the Pacific plate. Despite the nearness of the volcanic cone, snow and glaciers were what we most noticed today, July 25th. As […] Read the rest of this entry »

Another decision that illustrates what social radicals really mean by “tolerance”

In another show of selective tolerance from those who support the “gay” agenda, President Barack Obama on Monday gave employment protection to “gay” and “transgender” workers in the federal government after being convinced by advocates of what they called the “irrefutable rightness of your cause.” However the “tolerance” of the administration does not give religious organizations any exceptions […] Read the rest of this entry »

Reaching the Sleeping Soul Through Music

In my life, I have learned that music is powerful beyond words and often does what words alone can never do. Historically, when my soul was asleep morally, it was music that called me back. Although I joined the church choir in order to meet girls, it was through the music that the Lord showed me […] Read the rest of this entry »

Saint or “Ain’t”? A Sermon for the 16th Sunday of the Year

We live in difficult times for the Church, and from many sectors the very legitimate cry for reform goes up frequently. Beyond the sexual abuse scandal there are also deep concerns regarding the uncertain trumpet of Catholic preaching, lukewarm and nominal Catholics, an overall lack of discipline among Catholics, and a lack of disciplining by […] Read the rest of this entry »

Is your spiritual life like a motorboat or a sailboat?

When I was very young, perhaps 10 years old, I took some sailing lessons, and then once again when I was in my early 30s. Sailing involves a kind of “romancing the wind” wherein one observes the wind as it is and then adapts to it, wooing it, learning its moves, its vicissitudes, and its […] Read the rest of this entry »

The Liturgy is More than a Text: A meditation on rediscovering a wider understanding of Sacred Liturgy

One of the greatest liturgical shifts in the last 60 years has been in the area of language and the spoken word. The almost complete disappearance of Latin is to be lamented, but the use of the vernacular has arguably produced many positive effects. The augmentation of the Scriptures used has also been notable and […] Read the rest of this entry »

Yes, They Ate Locust – A Review of Some Common Foods at the Time of Jesus

Generally speaking, the Israelites of the time of Christ were frugal eaters. Frankly, until about 100 years ago, frugality in eating was more imposed than chosen. Food was more scarce and less convenient than it is today. Its availability was seasonal and all the elements needed to be made from scratch; even water needed to […] Read the rest of this entry »

Four Fundamentals for a Favorable Future

I was privileged today to give a talk to some young people, mostly late high school and early college age. Here are some notes from the talk: I. Faith – The world in which we lives says we are great if we are rich, good looking, popular, powerful, and possess many things. But none of […] Read the rest of this entry »

Sinful Curiosity is at the Root of Many Sins

Curiosity is one of those qualities of the human person that are double-edged swords. It can cut a path to glory or it can be like a dagger of sin that cuts deep into the soul. As to its glory, it is one of  the chief ingredients in the capacity of the human person to,  as […] Read the rest of this entry »

Why would God sow seeds he knows will bear little or no fruit? A further reflection on the Parable of the Sower.

We heard the parable of the sower at yesterday’s Sunday Mass. Someone asked me the following question: “Since the sower is the Son of Man, Jesus himself, why would the Lord, who knows everything ahead of time, sow seed he knew would not bear fruit?” First, let’s review the text: “A sower went out to sow. And as […] Read the rest of this entry »

Information or Transformation – A Sermon on the Goal of the Word of God for the 15th Sunday of the Year

What do you expect from reading and hearing God’s Word? Do you expect to encounter something that will change you? Frankly, from my discussions with people over the years, many do not even understand the question and, after puzzled looks, respond to me with another question: “What do mean by ‘expect’?”  I then follow up […] Read the rest of this entry »

Get me to the Church on Time! A short meditation on Sunday morning struggles.

One thing I surely have easy as a priest is getting to Church on Sunday. All I have to do is walk down the stairs, go through the dining room and walk the passage through to the Church. And there I am. I realize that it is not as easy for most of my parishioners and […] Read the rest of this entry »