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Author Archive for Msgr. Charles Pope

The Ancient Mass in the “House Churches” was not as Informal as Many Think

As you may know, the Catholic Faith was illegal in the Roman Empire prior to 313 AD, when the Emperor Constantine issued the Edict of Milan permitting the Christian Faith to flourish publicly. Prior to that time, Church buildings as we know them today were rare—Mass was usually celebrated in houses. Now be careful here; […] Read the rest of this entry »

Four More Presuppositions that Challenge the Modern Evangelist

It is critical for us who would preach the Gospel to ponder what sorts of presuppositions our listeners bring to the conversation. Today, sadly, there are many trends that have poisoned the culture and make our task much more difficult. Yesterday we explored six problem areas. Today four more. It helps to describe modern mindsets […] Read the rest of this entry »

Six Presuppositions that Challenge the Modern Evangelist

It is critical for us who would preach the Gospel to ponder what sorts of presuppositions our listeners bring to the conversation. Today, sadly, there are many trends that have poisoned the culture and make our task much more difficult. But difficult does not mean impossible. It helps to describe modern mindsets not to despair of […] Read the rest of this entry »

While on others thou art calling, do not pass me by. A Homily for the 20th Sunday of the Year

Today’s gospel teaches us to pray always and not lose heart. This is a gospel about having tenacity in prayer and, even when the results seem discouraging, continuing to beseech the Lord. It is also a gospel about the Lord’s will to extend the gospel to all the nations and to make the Church truly catholic. […] Read the rest of this entry »

The Lord sets a Father in honor over his children, as seen in a Cheerios Commercial

I’ve raised concerns in the past about the “men are stupid” variety of commercials that proliferate in our culture. The usual approach is to sell a product by showing some total buffoon of a man trying to use a product about which he doesn’t have a clue. And then some wise woman sets him straight—or […] Read the rest of this entry »

The Assumption of Mary is Our Feast, Too

Let’s ponder this feast in three stages. I. Explained – To be “assumed” means to be taken up by God bodily into Heaven. As far back as the Church can remember we have celebrated the fact that Mary was taken up into Heaven. We do not just acknowledge that her soul was taken to Heaven as […] Read the rest of this entry »

What were weddings like in Jesus’ day?

The word family had a wider meaning in both Aramaic and Hebrew than it does in English today. The Hebrew ah and the Aramaic aha could be used to refer to those who were brothers, half-brothers, cousins, and even other near relations. Extended family networks were both insisted upon and essential for survival. To have […] Read the rest of this entry »

The Vision of Love – A Reflection on an Insight of Origen

Back in my seminary days, we would often study the question of authorship when it came to the books of the Bible. Especially in modern times there are extensive debates about such things. I remember being annoyed at the question since in most cases I didn’t really care to whom the Holy Spirit had given the […] Read the rest of this entry »

How did People Tell Time in Jesus’ Day?

The modern person, especially in the West, thinks of  time in a very mechanistic way. We watch the clock, which is in itself a mechanical device without intrinsic meaning. We look to the clock rather than watch the sun, or watch our children grow, or we look to the crops, or even more broadly to […] Read the rest of this entry »

On the Loneliness of the Sexual Revolution as noted in a wonderful new book

I’ve pondered with you before on this blog (HERE) the disappearance of something we used to call “dating,” wherein a young man would summon the courage to ask a young lady out to dinner or perhaps to the movies. He would do something called getting “dressed up,” go to the young woman’s house, often meet her parents, […] Read the rest of this entry »

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize – A Homily for the 19th Sunday of the Year

The Gospel today is about faith and focus. It teaches that though storms and struggles inevitably arise, we have a choice as to whether we focus on them or on Jesus. The  admonition of this Gospel is clear: keep your eyes on the prize … hold on! Let’s look at this Gospel in four stages: […] Read the rest of this entry »

From “Lusted” to “Busted” – As Seen in a Subaru Commercial

Lust is one of the seven deadly sins and it leads to very serious sins and a whole host of problems. Sometimes it’s good to get “busted” (i.e., caught) before it goes too far. In the humorous video below, featuring (of all things) a family of dogs, the “father” finds his eye wandering where it should not and […] Read the rest of this entry »