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Author Archive: Msgr. Charles Pope

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The Key to True Fasting

February 11, 2016 0 Comments
The Key to True Fasting

Required fasting is almost non-existent in the Catholic Church today. And even that required “fasting” (for those between the ages of 18 and 59) is really just eating somewhat less than normal (one regular meal and two small “snack-like” meals with no snacking between meals). Not much of a fast, really. Real fasting (going without […]

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An Early Lenten Meditation on Spiritual Warfare

February 10, 2016 2 Comments
An Early Lenten Meditation on Spiritual Warfare

As we begin Lent, we do well to recall that we are engaged in a great and dramatic battle for our souls. The opening prayer for Ash Wednesday Mass makes use of the image of a military “campaign” and mentions weapons and battle: Grant, O Lord, that we may begin with holy fasting this campaign […]

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How Real Are Your Ashes? Five Meanings of the Ashes We Receive Today

February 9, 2016 1 Comment
How Real Are Your Ashes? Five Meanings of the Ashes We Receive Today

As a boy, I remember wondering why so many people liked to rush to Church to get ashes smudged on their foreheads. Frankly, I had some revulsion at the idea of having dirty ashes smeared on my forehead. I didn’t like it at all and would secretly rub them off when no one was looking. […]

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Making a Quiet Place for Our Lord This Lent – A Meditation on a Teaching from Diadochus of Photice

February 8, 2016 2 Comments
Making a Quiet Place for Our Lord This Lent – A Meditation on a Teaching from Diadochus of Photice

There is a remarkable passage in the breviary from Diadochus of Photice (pronounced Di-áh-do-cuss of Fóe-tah-chee). Little is known of his life. He lived from around 400 to 485 A.D. He was a mystic and theologian who particularly refuted Christological heresies and upheld the teachings of the Council of Chalcedon. He became bishop of Photice, […]

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Are These the Last Days? Pondering a Text of St. Paul’s

February 7, 2016 12 Comments
Are These the Last Days? Pondering a Text of St. Paul’s

Are these the last days? In some sense the planets are aligning. But hold your horses; let’s speak carefully of these matters. Last week in the Breviary we read First and Second Thessalonians, which are important source texts for such considerations. I’d like to look at a critical passage from Second Thessalonians, which lays out […]

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But at Your Command I Will Lower the Nets – A Homily for the 5th Sunday of the Year

February 6, 2016 0 Comments
But at Your Command I Will Lower the Nets – A Homily for the 5th Sunday of the Year

Today’s gospel describes the call of Simon Peter. It is a call that takes place in several stages. And while it is presented in a compact time frame, for most of us it takes place over a longer period, as the Lord works to deepen our faith and heighten our call. The upshot of today’s […]

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It’s Friday, but Sunday Is Coming! As Seen in Life and in a Powerful Video

February 5, 2016 0 Comments
It’s Friday, but Sunday Is Coming! As Seen in Life and in a Powerful Video

Some years ago in a previous parish assignment (St. Thomas More, in Washington D.C.) I was accustomed to taking a Friday afternoon walk in order to focus on my Sunday homily. At the beginning of the walk I’d often stop by the house of an elderly parishioner, Ms. Lillian, and give her Communion. Her mind […]

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The Mystery of Iniquity – A Meditation on the Mystery of Rebelliousness

February 4, 2016 6 Comments
The Mystery of Iniquity – A Meditation on the Mystery of Rebelliousness

There is a phrase in the Scriptures that, while speaking of mystery, is itself a bit mysterious and is debated among scholars: the “mystery of iniquity.” St. Paul mentions it in Second Thessalonians and ties it to an equally mysterious “man of iniquity” who will appear before the Second Coming of Jesus. Many modern translations […]

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