Author Archive for Msgr. Charles Pope

How to Thank God as He Has Instructed – A Meditation on Thanksgiving Day

Your grace and mercy, brought me through. I’m living this moment, Because of you. I want to thank you, And praise you too. Your grace and mercy, Brought me through! On this feast of Thanksgiving (here in America) we do well to ponder how we ought to give thanks to God. Indeed, how can one […] Read the rest of this entry »

Thank God for the Little, Mysterious Pleasure of Yawning!

Yawning is an involuntary action that causes us to open our mouths wide and breathe in deeply. It is involuntary, since it occurs even before we’re born: yawning has even been observed in fetuses as young as 11 weeks old. The remarkable 3-D video at the bottom of the post is of a baby yawning in the womb. I was […] Read the rest of this entry »

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 […] Read the rest of this entry »

Satan at His Most Subtle: A Reflection on the Temptations and Traps of the Pious

What is temptation? Temptation is the work of Satan to drag you to Hell. And Satan can read you like a book and play you like piano. Do not exaggerate his power, but do not underestimate it either. Some of his subtlest work is done in the area of religious observance. There, he can cloak […] Read the rest of this entry »

The Strangest of Kings! A Homily for the Feast of Christ the King

The readings today on this Feast of Christ the King evoke three images of Christ as King. All of them are to some extent paradoxical, for they emphasize things about a king that we don’t usually think of in relation to a king. They also tell us that we have already met King Jesus, even […] Read the rest of this entry »

America Loves Catholicism: As Seen in Place Names Everywhere

The video below boasts, “America loves Italy” and features a Fiat car driving through American towns with Italian names. If that is the case then America loves Catholicism even more, since thousands of towns and places are named for Catholic saints, themes, and objects. Consider the following: In California: San Diego, San Miguel, San Francisco, San Bernadino, […] Read the rest of this entry »

May You Sleep the Sleep of the Just: A Short Meditation on the Burden that Sin Brings

There’s an old expression, seldom used today although I remember the old folks used it sometimes when I was young, “May you sleep the sleep of the just.” When my Great Aunt Polly used it, she meant simply, “May you sleep well.” But more richly and historically, the phrase speaks to a serenity that comes from […] Read the rest of this entry »

Sweet Hour of Prayer! Or Not? How do You Experience Prayer?

How do you think of prayer? Is it another thing you “have to do” among many other things on your list? Or is prayer a time when you refrain from doing? Is prayer a requirement you regret or a rest you relish? What is prayer for you? The danger in answering questions like these is […] Read the rest of this entry »

A Reflection on Perhaps the “Meanest” and Most Shocking Thing Jesus Ever Said

The Gospel from today’s Mass (Wed. of the 33rd Week – Luke 19:11-27) is known as the “Parable of the Ten Gold Coins.” It is similar to Matthew’s “Parable of the Talents” from Sunday, but with certain significant differences and an ending so shocking that, when I read it at daily Mass some years ago, a […] Read the rest of this entry »

Catalog of Sin – All Items are in Stock, With Free Shipping and Handling from the Supplier

The video at the bottom of the page is something of a spoof on drug commercials, treating sin like a drug. Wait until you hear the side effects disclaimer at the end. I also thought today of doing a little post on the sins that cry to heaven for vengeance, since I was talking to a […] Read the rest of this entry »

What is “The Art of Accompaniment”? Some Concerns About Another Phrase Emerging From the Synod

One of the events at last week’s meeting of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) was a first-hand summary of the Roman (extraordinary) Synod on the family by several bishops who attended. It would appear, as related by Archbishop Kurtz,  that a certain expression emerged at the Synod that is meant to convey a kind of pastoral strategy. […] Read the rest of this entry »

Growing in the Fear of the Lord – A Homily for the 33rd Sunday of the Year

The past two Sundays have featured feasts (All Souls and the Feast of St John Lateran) that stepped out of the usual Sunday cycle. Thus, especially last week, we missed the November theme of the Last Things: death, judgment, Heaven, and Hell. Nevertheless, here on the 33rd Sunday, we are back to the last things […] Read the rest of this entry »