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On the Length of the Homily

September 17, 2018 24 Comments
On the Length of the Homily

During a recent day trip to Sicily, Pope Francis said that homilies should not last more than 8 minutes and that the entire Mass should be completed within 40 (although he may have been exaggerating on this second point). He has said similar things before. He is entitled to his opinion, of course, but I disagree. […]

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A Picture of the Spiritual Life from Job

September 16, 2018 1 Comment
A Picture of the Spiritual Life from Job

I am teaching out of the Book of Job for our parish bible studies. Consider the following insight by Job on the spiritual life: God is wise in heart and mighty in strength; who has withstood him and remained unscathed? (Job 9:3) At first glance, we might read this to mean that we don’t dare […]

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Not Your Average Messiah – A Homily for the 24th Sunday of the Year

September 15, 2018 2 Comments
Not Your Average Messiah – A Homily for the 24th Sunday of the Year

Jesus is Messiah and Lord, but He confounds every notion we have ever had about these titles. His power reaches perfection in “weakness” and He reigns from the cross. To the world this is utter absurdity, but the Lord insists that we meet Him at the cross. He chooses the foolish to shame the wise; […]

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Our Tendency to Entertain Lies as Seen in A Vintage Commercial

September 14, 2018 0 Comments
Our Tendency to Entertain Lies as Seen in A Vintage Commercial

We tend to lie to ourselves about many things; we are even “glad” at times to have others lie to us. This is especially true in matters related to flattery and vanity. Perhaps we can label these “vain lies.” There are other lies that are far more serious in their impact because they besmirch the […]

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Sacraments, Not Social Events

September 13, 2018 2 Comments
Sacraments, Not Social Events

A common pastoral problem today is that many people have reduced the liturgy and the sacraments to ceremonies. To be sure, they have ceremonial aspects, but they are not mere ceremonies. Sacraments change reality; they affect us and effect a change in us that is necessary, real, and glorious. Too often the effects of the […]

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A Journey to Detachment

September 12, 2018 3 Comments
A Journey to Detachment

In daily Mass (Wednesday of the 23rd Week of the Year) we read St. Paul’s almost ominous words about our need to break free from attachments to this world: I tell you, brothers, the time is running out. From now on, let those having wives act as not having them, those weeping as not weeping, […]

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On the Balance of Kindness and Correction

September 11, 2018 0 Comments
On the Balance of Kindness and Correction

As a follow-up from the recent blog post “Rediscovering a Lost Work of Mercy: Admonishing the Sinner,” it is important to reflect on balancing salutary discipline with necessary consolation and encouragement—never an easy task. For example, it is possible for parents to be so severe with their children that they become disheartened and lack necessary […]

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A Simple but Clear Warning

September 10, 2018 16 Comments
A Simple but Clear Warning

In recent months we have once again been forced to confront the sinful evils we have inflicted upon one another. Currently the focus is rightfully on the sins of the clergy. The sexual predations of some clergy have a three-fold effect on the victims and on the Church. First there is the violation of the […]

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