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Author Archive for Msgr. Charles Pope

On the Relationship and Contrast of Reverence and Fear, as seen in a Powerful Animation

The remarkable video below led me to ponder the difference and relationship between reverence and fear. For reverence is a form of fear, but a healthy form of it. Whereas fear, understood here as a cringing or hostile fear, is an unhealthy type of fear. The Word “reverence” is rooted in the Latin word reveror, […] Read the rest of this entry »

A 4th of July Meditation on the Paradox that Freedom can only exist within limits

On the Fourth of July in the United States of America we celebrate freedom. In particular we celebrate freedom from tyranny, freedom from government that is not representative, and freedom from unchecked power and unaccountable sovereigns. Yet as Christians, we cannot overlook that there are ways of understanding freedom today that are distorted, exaggerated, and detached […] Read the rest of this entry »

What Attachments are, and what they are not.

For most of us, attachments to this world are THE struggle that most hinders our spiritual growth. 80% of the spiritual life is a battle about desire and the fundamental question, “What do you want most, the world and its pleasures, or God and his Kingdom?” So easily this world gets its hooks into us […] Read the rest of this entry »

What were typical homes like in Jesus’ time?

In Jesus’ time, the smallest homes of the very poor might be little more than a square, stone structure covered with a whitewashed sort of stucco. There would typically be one larger multipurpose room and a smaller back room for the animals. Some houses in hilly regions were partial cave dwellings, built up against the […] Read the rest of this entry »

OK, We Won. But the Hobby Lobby Vote should have been 9 – 0. Wake up, America. Your liberty is on the line!

Okay, so we won today in the Supreme Court. The Hobby Lobby case went our way; score one for religious liberty. But here’s a concern: why didn’t the Justices vote 9–0? To be even more clear, if religious liberty, a right given us by God and legally enshrined in the First Amendment, prevailed by only […] Read the rest of this entry »

Baptize but Be Discreet: On the Catholic Baptism of children presented by homosexual and other irregular parents

There has been some interesting coverage in the news recently regarding the Church’s stance on baptizing children conceived or reared in irregular situations. In recent decades there has been an explosion in the number of children conceived and born outside of Holy Matrimony. The general approach of the Church has been to baptize these children […] Read the rest of this entry »

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 »