Author Archive for Msgr. Charles Pope

Don’t! It’s a trap! A Moral Lesson from a Commercial

Here’s a little commercial that requires very little decoding. A woman enters an office and, spying a very nice pen, has thoughts of petty theft. Just as she is about to depart, stolen pen in hand, a voice from above says, “Don’t! It’s a trap!” She looks up to see a co-worker swinging in a […] Read the rest of this entry »

What is Honor? Today, I Felt its Weight

This morning, I celebrated one of the most remarkable funerals of my 25 years as a priest. With the body present, I sang a Requiem Mass for a man who died ten years before I was born. On January 1, 1951, Private First Class Arthur Richardson of A Company, 1st Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division […] Read the rest of this entry »

How Strange: Longing For Heaven Is Almost Never Expressed Today

There is a long list of things that people never hear in sermons anymore: mortal sin, judgment, Hell, purgatory, fornication … you name it. But there is another omission that is rather odd given the tenor of these times: Heaven. Almost no one talks of Heaven and I seldom hear any expressed desire to go there. […] Read the rest of this entry »

Homosexual Acts Cannot be Approved or Celebrated by the Church – Here’s Why

In recent years, homosexuality has frequently been in the news. An increasingly nationwide effort to make homosexual acts something to celebrate has gained great ground and sowed serious confusion even among those who describe themselves as Christian and Catholic. Hence, it is necessary once again to instruct on this matter and to reassert what Scripture […] Read the rest of this entry »

Premarital Sex is a Mortal Sin – We must be clear and insist on repentance as the only way to be saved

We live in times in which many call good or “no big deal” what God calls sinful. This is especially true in the area of sexuality, where whole sectors of our society not only tolerate but even celebrate sexual practices that the Scriptures call gravely sinful, and which will lead to Hell if not repented of. […] Read the rest of this entry »

Can Atheists be Moral? How can we (or they) know?

One of the more misunderstood debates between believers and atheists is whether or not an atheist can have a morality. Some incorrectly understand believers to think that atheists are immoral or live lives that are sinful by our account. But this is not what is meant by wondering whether an atheist can have a morality. […] Read the rest of this entry »

The Wisdom and Power of the Cross – A Homily for the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

The Readings for today’s Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross provide a rich teaching on the Cross. Let’s look at five themes, each in turn. I. The Pattern of the Cross – One of the stranger passages in the Old Testament is one describing a command Moses received from God to mount a bronze […] Read the rest of this entry »

On Falling Gracefully and Rising with Christ, As seen in a striking video.

There’s an old saying, “Falling doesn’t make you a failure, staying down does.” For indeed we all fall, but a saint is just a sinner who fell and got back up again. Part of the battle is also the speed with which we recover. For the longer we stay down and ruminate, the deeper our […] Read the rest of this entry »

Nothing Between My Soul and the Savior! Really? Help us, Lord!

Back in my seminary days my liturgy teacher, Fr. Quinn, often reminded us that we prayed many of the psalms more in hope than as true claims about ourselves. For indeed many of the psalms make almost boastful claims: LORD, my heart is not proud;  nor are my eyes haughty (Psalm 131:1). They have almost […] Read the rest of this entry »

What is it That Most Distracts Us? You Don’t Have to Look Very Far!

We usually think of distractions or interruptions as coming form the world around us. But is that really the most common source? Consider the following parable drawn from the stories of the early Desert Fathers and from monastic experience: Sometimes there would be a rush of noisy visitors and the silence of the monastery would be […] Read the rest of this entry »

A Summons to Courage in the Battle: A Meditation Based on a Sermon of St. Bernard

Those who would preach or lead in the Church must have great courage, for though we preach a gospel that contains consoling messages, it also contains much that is contrary to the directions and desires of popular culture and human sinfulness. And thus it is true that every preacher who would preach the gospel of […] Read the rest of this entry »

On My New Book and a Couple of Thoughts on the Moral Life

I am the proud father of a new book entitled simply The Ten Commandments (see at right). And you’ll be surprised, knowing me, at how brief it is—just 104 pages. But I wanted to keep it short, readable, connected to the catechism, and very practically related to living the Commandments on a daily basis. You can get […] Read the rest of this entry »