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Author Archive for Msgr. Charles Pope

Beams of Heaven As I Go – A Homily for the Second Sunday of Lent

What is it that gives hope, peace, and serene joy to the Christian life? Briefly, it is the vision of glory, a glimpse into the Promised Land of Heaven, which the Lord can and does give to His people. Today’s gospel shows forth a kind of process wherein the Lord lays the foundations of hope, […] Read the rest of this entry »

Triumph is Born of Struggle – An Important Truth, as Seen in a Movie Outtake

Some years ago, the movie Bruce Almighty was near the top of the box office charts. Unfortunately, one of my favorite scenes was cut from the released version of the movie. I was only able to see it in the “deleted scenes and outtakes” section of the DVD version. Why they deleted the scene is unfathomable […] Read the rest of this entry »

Down with the Struggle or Up with the Cross? A Word to Priests, Catechists, and Parents

Some forty years ago, the Venerable Bishop Fulton J. Sheen admonished the priests of his day with these words: We become real priests when we empty ourselves, and no longer seek our [own] identity, and where we are lifted up to the cross, not going “down to people.” Too many of us today feel we […] Read the rest of this entry »

Out of Pride and Into Humility: A Lenten Meditation on a Teaching by St. Bernard of Clairvaux

In yesterday’s post, we considered the twelve steps of pride set forth by St. Bernard of Clairvaux. In escalating ways, the twelve steps draw us to an increasingly mountainous and enslaving pride. St. Bernard also enumerates the twelve steps to deeper humility (I am using the list from Vultus Dei HERE)  and it is these that we consider […] Read the rest of this entry »

How Does Pride Accumulate in Our Life? A Reflection on a Teaching by St. Bernard of Clairvaux

So you think the idea of the “Twelve Steps” is new? Well, if you think you’ve got a new idea, go back and see how the Greeks put it, or in this case how the Medieval Latins put it. St. Bernard of Clairvaux identified twelve steps up the mountain of pride in his work Steps of Humility […] Read the rest of this entry »

Choice and Consequences

The themes of early Lent are pretty basic. The ashes of Ash Wednesday announce the simple truth that we are going to die and  thereafter face judgment. Hence, we need to repent and come to believe the good news that only Jesus can save us. Another early reading from Thursday after Ash Wednesday featured Moses laying out the basic […] Read the rest of this entry »

Becoming the Beatitudes – A Lenten Meditation on the Gift of the Life Jesus Died to Give Us

In the Beatitudes, and indeed in the whole Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-8), the Lord is painting a picture of the transformed human person. The Sermon on the Mount is the Lord’s great moral treatise. But it is not to be understood so much as a list of things to do (out of our […] Read the rest of this entry »

The True Rainbow in the Sky – A Reflection on the Readings of the First Sunday of Lent

On the first Sunday of Lent, the readings have a very baptismal theme. It makes sense, for it is common on this Sunday that the catechumens report to the Bishop for the Rite of Election, wherein they are recognized as elect (chosen) of God in these final weeks before their baptism. In today’s readings, there are many […] Read the rest of this entry »

If You Think You’re in a Hurry, You’re Right – As Seen in a Fascinating Video

Feeling a little rushed lately? Well, you might be surprised at how fast you’re actually moving, even when you’re “standing still.” The video below, which I recently saw on Fr Z’s Blog, quite vividly illustrates that we are hauling through space in a kind of whirlwind or vortex of motion. Later this week, I will say more about […] Read the rest of this entry »

The Gift of Sorrow for Sin – A Meditation on the “Mass for the Gift of Tears” in the Missal

Most pastors and confessors are aware that in any parish there are going to be a few who are scrupulous, even in times like like these. Some have a kind of scrupulosity that is mild and almost admirable.  A sensitive conscience is a beautiful thing and bespeaks a kind of innocence that is rare today. Some […] Read the rest of this entry »

You are Going to Die – An After Ash Wednesday Reflection

At Ash Wednesday Masses we heard the ancient acclamation, as ashes are imposed, Remember that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return. The  beginning of the Lenten season puts before us an urgent plea that we should be sober and watchful of our soul and its condition, for the form of this world […] Read the rest of this entry »

On the “Outrage” of the Flood and the Purposes of God

To the modern mind, the story of Noah and the flood is  a dark tale and one that is hard to equate with the “loving God” (i.e., the “kind” God of our notions). Why would God regret what He had done and want to kill everything He had made? Now never mind that we do this […] Read the rest of this entry »