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Author Archive: Msgr. Charles Pope

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Why Was Christ Crucified Between Two Thieves?

November 20, 2016 5 Comments
Why Was Christ Crucified Between Two Thieves?

It is good and necessary to ponder more of the Gospel of yesterday’s Solemnity of Christ the King. It remains a profound teaching that Christ was crucified between two thieves. Why? St. Thomas Aquinas proposes three answers to the question. Let’s consider them, with particular emphasis on the third. I. To Identify with Fallen Sinners […]

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King of Thieves and King of the Universe – A Homily for the Solemnity of Christ the King

November 19, 2016 3 Comments
King of Thieves and King of the Universe – A Homily for the Solemnity of Christ the King

Jesus Christ is King of Thieves, though He never stole. He is savior of sinners, though He never sinned. Today’s Gospel chosen presents Jesus as reigning from the cross. Nothing could be more paradoxical. Let’s look at it from four perspectives:  I. Vision – Today’s Gospel presents a vision or image of the Church. We […]

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Our Strengths Are Often Our Struggles

November 18, 2016 3 Comments
Our Strengths Are Often Our Struggles

One of the things that I have learned about myself, and humans in general, is that our strengths are very closely related to our struggles. Some people are very passionate; this makes them dedicated and driven to make a difference. But it also makes them prone to anger or depression. Their passion in one area […]

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The Meanest Thing Jesus Ever Said

November 17, 2016 21 Comments
The Meanest Thing Jesus Ever Said

The Gospel from Wednesday’s Mass (Wed. of the 33rd Week – Luke 19:11-27) is known as the “Parable of the Ten Gold Coins.” It has an ending so shocking that, when I read it at Mass some years ago, a young child said audibly to her mother, “Wow, that’s mean!” I’d like to look at […]

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A Funeral Sermon Designed to Teach on the Last Things and Inspire Prayer

November 16, 2016 9 Comments
A Funeral Sermon Designed to Teach on the Last Things and Inspire Prayer

In Monday’s post, I discussed some of the more common problems with funerals; it provides background for the homily I summarize in today’s post. In it, I tried to teach on what I think are the central themes that should be emphasized in Christian funerals. I do not necessarily preach every word you see here […]

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Love of the World Fuels the Fear of Death – A Meditation on a Teaching of St. Cyprian

November 15, 2016 4 Comments
Love of the World Fuels the Fear of Death – A Meditation on a Teaching of St. Cyprian

As November winds down and Advent still looms, the traditional meditation we make on the four last things (death, judgment, Heaven, and Hell) is still operative. A classic writing by St. Cyprian comes to mind. It is a meditation on the fundamental human struggle to be free of undue attachment to this world and to have God (and […]

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Funeral Foibles – Problems in the Celebration of Catholic Funerals

November 14, 2016 13 Comments
Funeral Foibles – Problems in the Celebration of Catholic Funerals

In this month of All Souls, it is good to reflect on funerals. It concerns me that very few people today seem to understand the real purpose of a funeral. The way in which we conduct ourselves at funerals, the manner of preaching at funerals, and other visible attitudes expressed at funerals not only teach […]

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Avoiding Extremes – A Post-Election Reflection

November 13, 2016 17 Comments
Avoiding Extremes – A Post-Election Reflection

In the aftermath of the recent election I have noticed a tendency toward extremes. I’d like to point them out and counsel something of a via media. There is no doubt that we have been through a difficult and painful election cycle. There were many strong, acidic, and even hateful things said by the candidates […]

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