Author Archive for Msgr. Charles Pope

Living on the Dark Side of the Cartesian Divide – A Reflection on the Gnosticism of our Times

There is a line in the first letter of John, read this week at Mass, that is of critical importance to many difficulties we see today with heresy, unbelief, and moral decay. The line says: Beloved, do not trust every spirit but test the spirits to see whether they belong to God, because many false prophets […] Read the rest of this entry »

If the Second Vatican Council Had Never Happened, Would We Still Have a “New Mass?” … Quite Possibly

One of the unfortunate couplings with those who lament the loss of the “pre-Conciliar” Mass (a.k.a. Traditional Latin Mass (TLM), Extraordinary Form, 1962 Missal, etc.) is the linking of the “New Mass” (a.k.a. Ordinary Form) wholly with the Second Vatican Council. This connection, while understandable given the emergence of the Ordinary Form just after the Council, is […] Read the rest of this entry »

Overcoming Life’s Storms: A Teaching From St. Paul to Some Storm-weary Souls

In the midst of a great storm in Acts 27, St. Paul finds himself among desperate and defeated people. Though the storm is from nature, their problems are of their own doing and are rooted in a foolish refusal to listen to either natural warnings or God. All of this foolishness was described in yesterday’s post. Is […] Read the rest of this entry »

“And no small tempest lay on us …” – The Story of a Storm That St. Paul Endured and What It Has to Teach Us About Sin

It is interesting that St. Luke devotes an entire chapter of Acts (27) to describing a storm at sea that St. Paul endured. The level of detail is high and thus we are signaled that such details are important. The Holy Spirit has something to teach us here about how we get into trouble and how […] Read the rest of this entry »

From Magi to Wise Men – A Homily for Epiphany

There are so many wonderful details in the Epiphany story: the call of the Gentiles, their enthusiastic response, the significance of the star they seek, the gifts they bring, the dramatic interaction with Herod, and their ultimate rejection of him in favor of Christ. In this meditation I would like to follow these Magi in […] Read the rest of this entry »

An Image for the Church in a “Way-Cool” Christmas Gift

If you’re looking for a last minute gift for someone (remember, Christmas goes on till Epiphany), consider the “Septem-Seater Tricycle.” Don’t worry that it costs  $20,000; you can charge it or put it on a payment plan! Yes, it is the seven-seat tricycle in the Hammacher Schlemmer Catalog. I suspect it is one of those corporate “team-building” […] Read the rest of this entry »

Without Our Traditions, Our Life Would be as Shaky as a Fiddler on the Roof!

When I was a young man, a teenager really, I did the usual crazy stuff of the early ’70s: had long hair, wore bell bottoms, wide ties, and crazy plaids, kept at least the top three buttons of my shirt open, and, of course, listened to rock-n-roll. But through it all I had this love […] Read the rest of this entry »

Will the Real January 1st Please Stand Up? A Homily for New Year’s Day

This feast day of January 1st is a very complex tapestry, both culturally and liturgically. Perhaps we can use the second reading by St. Paul to the Galatians as a way to weave through some of the many details. We can look at it in three parts. I. The chronology of our celebration – The […] Read the rest of this entry »

“Alas, Alas for the Great City!” An Urgent Plea for Prayer at the New Year!

We are very close to the new year, 2015 AD. And most of us at the new year have it in mind to pray for the future year not only for ourselves, but also for our family, country, and culture. With that in mind, there is something of an admonition to us all that I would […] Read the rest of this entry »

The Sins That Come From Being a Busybody – A Meditation on a Teaching of St. Gregory

Faults in others I can see, but praise the Lord there’re none in me! The term “busybody” usually refers to one who is intent on the matters of others but looks little to his own issues. Busybodies also tend to focus especially on the faults, foibles, and troubles of other folks. Seldom are they chattering away about […] Read the rest of this entry »

A Recent Article Ponders the Rarity of Earth And How Astronomical Are the Odds Against Complex Life in the Universe!

We have discussed on the blog before the potential flaws in the mere statistical presumption that because there are so many stars there must be billions of other Earth-like planets in the universe that likely support life similar to ours. Why? Because it is not just one or two things that make Earth what it […] Read the rest of this entry »

Focused on a Functional Family: A Homily for the Feast of the Holy Family

Here in the middle of the Christmas Octave, the Church bids us to celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family. On the old calendar, the Feast of the Holy Family falls on the Sunday after Epiphany, which makes a little more sense since the gospels appointed for the feast often take us far forward in time […] Read the rest of this entry »