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Author Archive for Msgr. Charles Pope

Do Not be Deceived! A Meditation on a Constant Theme of Scripture

A very common word in the New Testament is “deceived.” In English we tend to think of this word as referring to someone who has been tricked or fooled. And thus the emphasis is on intellectual terms. The Greek and Latin roots, however, have an almost physical dimension to them. The Latin roots for “deceived” or “deception” are de- (from) + capere (to […] Read the rest of this entry »

Pitfalls of the Pious – A Sermon for the 26th Sunday of the Year

In understanding this Gospel, we cannot overlook the audience Jesus was addressing. The text begins, Jesus said to the chief priests and elders of the people. In effect, Jesus was addressing the religious leaders and the religiously observant of His day. He calls to their attention at least three things, three common sins or pitfalls of […] Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t Burn Food for Fuel – As Seen on National Geographic

At the risk of inviting all the usual charges of being politically incorrect, I once again put before you the strange practice of burning food for fuel. The video at the bottom of the post details some of the human costs associated with the increasing use of corn, grains, and other crops for fuel. There […] Read the rest of this entry »

God Has Put the Timeless into our Hearts – A Meditation on a Saying from Ecclesiastes

In the Book of Ecclesiastes from today’s Mass, something is said that is quite powerful if we meditate upon it. I have considered the task that God has appointed for the sons of men to be busied about. He has made everything appropriate to its time, and has put the timeless into their hearts, without man’s […] Read the rest of this entry »

Couragio! A brief refutation of our cultural fear of being against things

One of the critiques that many make of the Church is that we are sometimes known more for what we are against than what we are for. This critique, and fear, exists even within the Church. A similar critique is made of God’s law, wherein some wonder, “Why are the Ten Commandments generally worded as […] Read the rest of this entry »

A man with one watch knows what time it is; a man with two watches is never quite sure. A Meditation on following only one Shepherd.

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says, To what shall I compare the people of this generation? What are they like? They are like children who sit in the marketplace and call to one another, ‘We played the flute for you, but you did not dance. We sang a dirge, but you did not weep.’ He goes […] Read the rest of this entry »

Let Him Who Has Ears, Hear! Parables that Portray the Drama of Human Choice

In yesterday’s post, I pondered the great drama of human life as Scripture sets it forth. We are caught up in a great and cosmic battle and must choose sides. There are two armies and no third way given. Sadly, most have lost any sense of the battle and of the drama of life, despite […] Read the rest of this entry »

Multitudes in the Valley of Decision! A Meditation on the Dramatic Battle in Which We Live

A grave deficiency of modern times is the loss of the sense that our lives are caught up in a tremendous, epic battle. And yet here we are living in the midst of a great drama—in the greatest story ever told. Behind the scenes is a deadly enemy, one of whom many rarely speak: Satan. Yet he is […] Read the rest of this entry »

Dimensions of Discipleship – A Homily for the 25th Sunday of the Year

This is one of those parables that rock our world and our worldly way of thinking. And frankly, that is one of its purposes. We are tempted to side with the laborers who were hired first and who worked the longest. When we find out that they got paid the same as the men who […] Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t! It’s a trap! A Moral Lesson from a Commercial

Here’s a little commercial that requires very little decoding. A woman enters an office and, spying a very nice pen, has thoughts of petty theft. Just as she is about to depart, stolen pen in hand, a voice from above says, “Don’t! It’s a trap!” She looks up to see a co-worker swinging in a […] Read the rest of this entry »

What is Honor? Today, I Felt its Weight

This morning, I celebrated one of the most remarkable funerals of my 25 years as a priest. With the body present, I sang a Requiem Mass for a man who died ten years before I was born. On January 1, 1951, Private First Class Arthur Richardson of A Company, 1st Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division […] Read the rest of this entry »

How Strange: Longing For Heaven Is Almost Never Expressed Today

There is a long list of things that people never hear in sermons anymore: mortal sin, judgment, Hell, purgatory, fornication … you name it. But there is another omission that is rather odd given the tenor of these times: Heaven. Almost no one talks of Heaven and I seldom hear any expressed desire to go there. […] Read the rest of this entry »