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Author Archive for Msgr. Charles Pope

Five Facts of Faith from the Life of St. Peter – A Homily for the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul

Today’s Feast of Saints Peter and Paul honors two fundamental pillars of the early Church. While all the Apostles form the foundation, Peter and Paul stand out very profoundly in terms of influence and work. And while some have wished to suggest division between them, the Church insists that they must been seen together; hence […] Read the rest of this entry »

Thirst as an image for prayer, as seen on TV

Scripture often uses thirst as an image for prayer and desire for God. And thus we read passages such as these: Oh, God you are my God, for you I long; for you my soul is thirsting … My body pines for you like a dry weary land without water … (Psalm 63:1-2). Like the deer […] Read the rest of this entry »

From Simply Sentimental to Strong and Sure – A Consideration of Devotion to the Sacred Heart

I must say that in the past I was not always as on board as I should have been when it came to the Feast of the Sacred Heart. As a man, I have struggled especially with some of the Sacred Heart images of past years, especially from the 1940s into the 1970s that, frankly, made […] Read the rest of this entry »

On the Paradoxical Freedom of Poverty as Taught by St. John Chrysostom

There is a saying that you cannot steal from a man who has nothing, and you cannot threaten a man who has nothing to lose. Of Jesus, the Son of Man who had no where to lay his head (Matt 8:20), this was surely true. The world had no claim on him, nothing to hook […] Read the rest of this entry »

First the Bait, Then the Hook – a Sober Meditation on Temptation

Satan, it would seem, does not act in an arbitrary manner when trying to tempt us. Rather, he is more of a master hunter carefully setting traps, or a skilled fisherman who carefully studies behavior in order to choose the most effective bait. Satan is calculating and clever. Sadly, most of us are far less […] Read the rest of this entry »

25 Years a Priest. And a Wondrous Answer to a Question Both Ancient and Modern.

Today is the Feast of the Birth of John the Baptist. And twenty-five years ago today, on a blazing hot summer morning in Washington D.C. at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, I was ordained a priest. May I tell you a strange truth? I remember nothing of it. I  have seen footage of it, […] Read the rest of this entry »

Facets of a Faithful Father – A meditation on the role of a priest at the Feast of Corpus Christi.

Sunday’s Feast of Corpus Christi brought the first Masses of seven new priests ordained here in Washington. I was privileged to preach the first Mass of one of them: Fr. Aaron Qureshi. Since the readings suggest a kind of threefold office for the priest (related to teaching, governing, and sanctifying), I thought it might be […] Read the rest of this entry »

Are You a Mouse or A Man? A Homily for The Feast of Corpus Christi

In many places this Sunday, the (moved) Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, Our Lord is celebrated. While you may puzzle over my title for today’s blog, allow me to explain it a bit later. On a Solemn feast like this, many things occur that might be preached and taught. Allow […] Read the rest of this entry »

Faith is a Matter of Hearing, not Seeing – As “seen” on TV

As we approach the Feast of Corpus Christi, I thought it might be a good idea to reflect again upon the reality that faith comes by hearing—faith is about what is unseen. This is especially important to remember when it comes to the Sacraments, since what our fleshly eyes see remains unchanged, but with our ears […] Read the rest of this entry »

Seven Disciplines of Evangelization

The Lord Jesus sets forth a  plan for evangelization that is not just some sort of haphazard, shoot from the hip program in which he wanders about aimlessly. Rather, he had a plan to visit specific cities at specific times. And for each visit, He sent an entourage ahead of Him to prepare the town for His […] Read the rest of this entry »

What Does Jesus Mean by Hypocrisy? It’s More than You Might Think

In the Gospel from Ash Wednesday’s  Mass, Jesus gives an extended teaching on the problem of hypocrisy. You can read it here: Matthew 6 – On Hypocrisy. In the modern age we have tended to reduce the idea of hypocrisy to duplicity. The modern notion is that a hypocrite is someone who says one thing […] Read the rest of this entry »

Is the Church a Clubhouse or a Lighthouse? A Cruise Ship or a Battleship?

OK, so the title asks two focal questions plainly enough. Let’s begin with the first,  “Is the Church a clubhouse or a lighthouse?” Many, it would seem, want the Church just to be a friendly place where people can gather. Many of these same people get angry when the Church shines the light of truth […] Read the rest of this entry »