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Author Archive: Msgr. Charles Pope

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What’s So Sinful About a Census and Why Was Israel Punished for Something David Did?

February 4, 2018 12 Comments
What’s So Sinful About a Census and Why Was Israel Punished for Something David Did?

Today I want to return to a reading from last week’s Mass. In that reading (from 2 Samuel 24) we hear the story of how King David ordered a census to be taken. Joab, David’s general, strongly cautioned the King against it, but David insisted. When the census had been completed, the Prophet Gad informed […]

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When Troubles Rise – A Homily for the 5th Sunday of the Year

February 3, 2018 1 Comment
When Troubles Rise – A Homily for the 5th Sunday of the Year

In life we face many difficulties; they challenge us and our faith. Deep struggle can lead us to question God, His love, or even His existence. The readings today speak to us of these sorts of difficulties and prophetically interpret them for us. Let’s take a look at these readings in three stages. I.  The […]

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The Destructive Power of Distraction – As Seen in a Commercial

February 2, 2018 1 Comment
The Destructive Power of Distraction – As Seen in a Commercial

In our spiritual lives there is a battle going on for our mind. Satan and the world seek access to our thoughts through temptation and allurements. St Paul writes often of the mind as a source of our renewal and, by extension, as a kind of battleground: Do not be conformed to this world, but […]

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A Dramatic Biblical Moment That Nearly Everyone Missed

February 1, 2018 8 Comments
A Dramatic Biblical Moment That Nearly Everyone Missed

The moment of the Presentation of Jesus was one of the most dramatic in biblical history, yet almost no one noticed. The first part of this post is review for those of you who read my blog regularly. To skip to the newer insights, skip down to the sentence in red. Joseph and Mary have […]

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The Gift of the African-American Catholic Tradition

January 31, 2018 14 Comments
The Gift of the African-American Catholic Tradition

February is African-American History Month.  Most of you who read here regularly know that I’ve spent most of my 28 years of priesthood ministering in African-American parishes here in Washington, D.C. (At right is a picture of our choir.) In recent years, my own parish has become more racially and ethnically diverse, but we are […]

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Six Principles of Discernment

January 30, 2018 10 Comments
Six Principles of Discernment

As a priest and pastor I am often called to spend time with people as they discern the voice and the will of God in their life. I have about twenty lay people for whom I provide spiritual direction. In addition, I am sometimes approached by people who are facing a critical time in their […]

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Pick Your Battles – As Seen in a Commercial

January 29, 2018 4 Comments
Pick Your Battles – As Seen in a Commercial

In life we have to decide which battles to fight and which to leave to others. We need to learn which battles are ours and which belong to others. Often we allow the urgent to leap ahead of the important on our priority list. We are forever pursuing the latest trendy battles rather than the […]

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The Need for Two Pockets

January 28, 2018 3 Comments
The Need for Two Pockets

Like so many things in life, self-esteem needs to be balanced. The balance is between humility and pride. The following is attributed to Rabbi Simcha Bunim, one of the leaders of Hasidic Judaism in Poland in the late 1700s and early 1800s: Everyone must have two pockets so that he can reach into one or […]

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