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  • Beware: Strangest Idol of All – Reflection on...Works of Charity Cannot Eclipse Obedience to Christ

    05/26/2015 7:47:55 AM PDT · by Salvation · 18 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 05-25-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Beware the Strangest Idol of All – A Reflection on How Even Works of Charity Cannot Eclipse Obedience to Christ By: Msgr. Charles PopeThere is a passage in the gospels that breaks conventions and cuts to the core of what has come to be called the “Social Gospel.”  Before looking at the passage we need to define “Social Gospel.” The phrase “Social Gospel” emerged in the Protestant denominations but has also come to be used in Catholic circles as well. The Social Gospel is an intellectual movement that was most prominent in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The...
  • The Fire Next Time -- A Homily for Pentecost

    05/24/2015 6:39:56 AM PDT · by Salvation · 6 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 05-23-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    The Fire Next Time – A Homily for Pentecost By: Msgr. Charles PopeWhat a wondrous and challenging feast we celebrate at Pentecost! A feast like this challenges us, because it puts to the lie a lazy, sleepy, hidden, and tepid Christian life. The Lord Jesus said to the Apostles and still says to us, “I have come to cast a fire on the earth!” (Luke 12:49). This is a feast about fire—about a transformative, refining, and purifying fire that the Lord wants to kindle in us and in this world. It is about a necessary fire, for as the...
  • Necessity of Mass

    05/23/2015 8:22:47 AM PDT · by Salvation · 28 replies
    OSV.com ^ | 05-20-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Necessity of Mass While the faithful are obligated to attend Mass, the compulsion to do so shouldn’t take away the joy Msgr. Charles Pope OSV Newsweekly5/20/2015 Question: I wonder if the blessing of attending Mass would be greater if we didn’t compel Catholics to attend. Further, keeping the Lord’s Day holy is about 24 hours, not just one hour.— William Bandle, Manchester, MissouriAnswer: I am not sure on what basis you say blessings would be greater. Perhaps you mean that someone who joyfully attends Mass enhances both the experience of the one who attends and the communal experience of...
  • Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen, Nobody Knows but Jesus: A Meditation on a Grief Observed

    05/22/2015 7:18:55 AM PDT · by Salvation · 12 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 05-21-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen, Nobody Knows but Jesus: A Meditation on a Grief Observed By: Msgr. Charles PopeAs a follow-up to the recent post on comforting the sorrowful, I was led to consider the grief of my parents and the difficulties they faced in raising a daughter with serious mental illness.My father died eight years ago, and except for essential papers related to his estate, I simply boxed up most of his papers and stored them in the attic of my rectory for future attention. At long last I am sorting through those boxes. Among his effects were also many...
  • What Is the Deepest Root of Sin? It’s Not in Your Wallet and It’s Much Closer Than You Might Think

    05/21/2015 7:42:50 AM PDT · by Salvation · 95 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 05-20-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    What Is the Deepest Root of Sin? It’s Not in Your Wallet and It’s Much Closer Than You Might Think By: Msgr. Charles PopeIn polling friends as to what they think is the deepest root of all sin, I got three main answers. One was a shrug indicating no answer at all (i.e., “I dunno”). Another was to refer to Scripture: For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils (1 Tim 6:10). I’ll discuss below why this is an inadequate answer. The third main response was that original sin (and the concupiscence that followed) is the source of all of our other...
  • Considering Cremation? A Reflection on the Reverent Interment of Cremated Human Remains

    05/19/2015 7:15:36 AM PDT · by Salvation · 35 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 05-18-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Considering Cremation? A Reflection on the Reverent Interment of Cremated Human Remains By: Msgr. Charles PopeI have written off and on about some of the problems that are setting up around cremation. Of course there has been very little explicit teaching or information available to Catholics to help them to frame their thinking. To assist modestly in that refelction I wrote the following flyer for my own parish. What follows is the text of that flyer. In case you are interested, I provide it in PDF format here: Considering Cremation?Some years ago, the Church gave wider permission for cremation and also lifted traditional...
  • A Reflection on the “Prayer of the Faithful” at Mass and Why The Intentions Are Often Disappointing

    05/18/2015 7:06:42 AM PDT · by Salvation · 17 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 05-17-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    A Reflection on the “Prayer of the Faithful” at Mass and Why The Intentions Are So Often Disappointing By: Msgr. Charles PopeOne of the parts of the Ordinary Form of the Mass that was “restored” from antiquity is the “Prayer of the Faithful.” However, there is (in this author’s mind) a certain disappointing quality to the intentions as they are used today. They are either overly particular and ideological or, at the other end of the spectrum, perfunctory and flat. Peter Kwasniewski, writing at New Liturgical Movement, summarizes the problem very well: It is surely no exaggeration to say that throughout the world the...
  • Not Crowded, but Close – A Brief Reflection & Clarification/Communion of Saints in Heaven

    05/15/2015 8:38:47 AM PDT · by Salvation · 10 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 05-14-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Not Crowded, but Close – A Brief Reflection and Clarification on the Communion of Saints in Heaven By: Msgr. Charles PopeMany of you know that I write the weekly “Question and Answer” column for the Our Sunday Visitor newspaper. Every now and again I get a question that stands out as unique, one that I had not thought of before. And such is the case with the question below. I had never thought of Heaven as potentially being crowded or considered it a drawback. But the question led me to reflect on the deeper experience of what we call the Communion of...
  • The Good Thief, The Catholic Answer

    05/16/2015 7:42:40 AM PDT · by Salvation · 38 replies
    OSV.com ^ | 05-15-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    The Good Thief, The Catholic Answer Msgr. Charles Pope 5/15/2015 Q. In St. Luke’s Gospel, there is mention of the Good Thief on the cross near Jesus who repents. No name is given him, but most say his name is “Dismas.” Is this true?—B. Q., PhiladelphiaA. Here’s a reply from Msgr. Charles Pope: We don’t know. The story itself is very moving, and there is naturally a human tendency to want to know more. Thus traditions and legends often arise in cases like these. But the historical accuracy of such things is often difficult to assess. “St. Dismas” is a...
  • Love Lifted Me -- A Homily for Ascension

    05/17/2015 6:29:23 AM PDT · by Salvation · 8 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 05-16-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Love Lifted Me – A Homily for Ascension By: Msgr. Charles PopeIn more dioceses than not, the Feast of the Ascension is celebrated this weekend. The liturgist in me regrets the move, but here we are any way. So let’s ascend with the Lord, three days late!This marvelous feast is not merely about something that took place two thousand years ago. For though Christ our head has ascended, we the members of his body are ascending with him. Since he was ascended, we too have ascended. In my own life as a Christian, I am brought higher every year...
  • What Does the Arrest of St. Paul at Philippi Teach a Sometimes-Timid Church?

    05/12/2015 7:11:30 AM PDT · by Salvation · 4 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 05-12-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    What Does the Arrest of St. Paul at Philippi Teach a Sometimes-Timid Church? By: Msgr. Charles PopeIn daily Mass we are following the missionary journeys of St. Paul. Yesterday we heard of his going over to Macedonia and of the baptism of the first “European” converts: Lydia of Thyatira and her family.Unfortunately, in today’s reading (Tuesday of the 6th Week of Easter) important lines are cut out that describe why Sts. Paul and Silas were in jail. The whole story serves as a metaphor for the radical nature of true Christianity and explains why it so perturbs many in this world....
  • In the Darkness We See Farther – Pondering the Paradox of the “Dark Knowing” of Faith

    05/13/2015 7:28:34 AM PDT · by Salvation · 5 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 05-12-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    In the Darkness We See Farther – Pondering the Paradox of the “Dark Knowing” of Faith By: Msgr. Charles PopeAs human beings we are very visual and there is a certain demand of our flesh to see on its own terms. But of course God, who is pure spirit, will not be seen in this way.How can the human eye perceive what is spiritual? It is not designed to do so. We cannot see God, as God, any more than we should expect to be able to see justice sitting down to lunch with humility. These are not physical concepts;...
  • Honor to the Martyrs! A Declaration of Gratitude to the Martyrs of Our Day

    05/11/2015 6:54:11 AM PDT · by Salvation · 11 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 05-10-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Honor to the Martyrs! A Declaration of Gratitude to the Martyrs of Our Day By: Msgr. Charles PopeIn the Divine Office last week we read a remarkable passage on the persecution of the Church. It seems proper to consider a portion of it in times like these; more on that in a moment.Of course in writing of persecution and martyrdom, I write as an American who, though experiencing a lot more scorn these days, does not have to endure grave threat for being a Catholic. But as I consider Catholics and Christians in places like Iraq, Egypt, Syria, Nigeria, the...
  • Pondering Prudence and Its “Parts” – A Reflection on the Sometimes-Misunderstood Virtue of Prudence

    05/07/2015 7:21:48 AM PDT · by Salvation · 7 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 05-06-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Pondering Prudence and Its “Parts” – A Reflection on the Sometimes-Misunderstood Virtue of Prudence By: Msgr. Charles PopeAs a follow-on to yesterday’s post on the spiritual work of counseling  the doubtful, I would like to say a little more about prudence.Prudence is often misunderstood by those who reduce it to mere caution or reluctance to act. It is true that sometimes prudence indicates caution and that hasty action is seldom prudent. However, sometimes it is prudent to act quickly. Having long discussions about the best way to put out a house fire before acting is not prudent. Quick, expedient action is the...
  • Counsel the Doubtful – A Meditation on the Third Spiritual Work of Mercy

    05/06/2015 6:32:53 AM PDT · by Salvation · 2 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 05-05-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Counsel the Doubtful – A Meditation on the Third Spiritual Work of Mercy By: Msgr. Charles PopeAt first glance, counseling the doubtful may seem rather similar to instructing the ignorant. However, teaching has learning as its goal while counseling aims to assist with decisions. Certainly giving counsel often includes some aspects of teaching, such as providing information and perspective, but its primary purpose is to assist a person in coming to a decision. This distinction is contained in the root meanings of the words “counsel” and “doubtful.”The English word “counsel” comes from the Latin consilium (con (with) + silium (a decision)). So to...
  • A Brief Directive for Church Leaders from the Acts of the Apostles

    05/05/2015 7:29:35 AM PDT · by Salvation · 6 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 05-04-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    A Brief Directive for Church Leaders from the Acts of the Apostles By: Msgr. Charles PopeThe second reading from today’s Mass is very Catholic and too informative to let pass without comment. It presents a highly organized Church, possessing some of the structures we know today in full form. Granted, some of these structures are in seminal (seed) form, but they are there.We will also notice qualities of the original kerygma that are at variance with what some modern thinkers declare should be the methodology of the Church. The soft, cross-less Christianity of many today, who replace the cross with a pillow and...
  • Pondering Pruning – A Meditation on This Necessary Work of God in Our Lives

    05/04/2015 7:05:25 AM PDT · by Salvation · 4 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 05-03-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Pondering Pruning – A Meditation on This Necessary Work of God in Our Lives By: Msgr. Charles PopeThe gospel from Sunday (John 15:1-8) presents us with an important meditation on the difference between love and kindness. Perhaps some further reflections from this gospel are in order today.There is an unfortunate tendency in our times to reduce love to kindness. Kindness is an aspect of love, but so is rebuke. It is an immature notion of love that reduces it merely to affirming, or that refers to proper correction as a form of “hate.”We saw in yesterday’s gospel that proper care...
  • Mamma Mia – Perfectly in God’s Design, as Seen in a Short Video (Think Mother's Day)

    05/02/2015 6:58:31 AM PDT · by Salvation · 8 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 05-02-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Mamma Mia – Perfectly in God’s Design, as Seen in a Short Video By: Msgr. Charles PopeNancy Pope and Charlie Pope 1961My mother died a little more than ten years ago, quite tragically and suddenly. At first her presence seemed so far away, her soothing voice with its gentle mid-western accent, gone. But then about six months ago, in my heart and deep in my thoughts, I had a sense that suddenly she moved closer to me. Perhaps her purgation was at an end, or perhaps some roadblock in my own heart moved. But there she was, and once...
  • God on His Terms, Not Ours

    05/01/2015 7:02:18 AM PDT · by Salvation · 6 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 04-30-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    God on His Terms, Not Ours By: Msgr. Charles PopeThere is a brief interaction between Jesus and certain unbelieving Jews on the Temple Mount which illustrates the rather common human tendency to demand that God be God on our terms, not His. Here is that dialogue:And Jesus walked about in the temple area on the Portico of Solomon.So the Jews gathered around him and said to him,“How long are you going to keep us in suspense?If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.”Jesus answered them, “I told you and you do not believe.The works I do in my Father’s...
  • More Precious than Silver or Gold – Meditation on the Spiritual Work of Mercy-Instruct the Ignorant

    04/30/2015 7:31:11 AM PDT · by Salvation · 9 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 04-30-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    More Precious than Silver or Gold – A Meditation on the Spiritual Work of Mercy to Instruct the Ignorant By: Msgr. Charles PopeTo instruct comes from the Latin in + struere, which means to build up or (even more literally) to pile up. In English, there is also the notion of strewing something. For example, to strew hay or to say that the seed has been strewn. Thus, to instruct means to disperse knowledge or build someone up in what is learned.These days, the word “ignorant” is most often used in a negative or pejorative sense. And thus to say that someone is ignorant usually...
  • The King of Love My Shepherd Is – A Homily for the 4th Sunday of Easter

    04/26/2015 6:57:41 AM PDT · by Salvation · 2 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 04-25-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    The King of Love My Shepherd Is – A Homily for the 4th Sunday of Easter By: Msgr. Charles PopeOn this fourth Sunday of Easter we turn a corner of sorts. Up until now we have been reading of the resurrection appearances themselves. Today we begin to see how the risen Lord ministers to us as the Good Shepherd. In effect, the Lord gives us four basic pictures or teachings of how, as the King of Love, He shepherds us. Here, then, are four portraits of His love:I. Passionate love – Jesus says, I am the Good Shepherd, a...
  • Some Things Are Not for You to Know – A Meditation on the Seven Thunders of the Book of Revelation

    04/29/2015 7:05:33 AM PDT · by Salvation · 13 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 04-28-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    There Are Some Things That Are Not for You to Know – A Meditation on the Seven Thunders of the Book of Revelation By: Msgr. Charles PopeIn the Office last week, we read a poignant passage from the Book of Revelation. It reminds us that there are some things that are not for us to know.Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven. He was robed in a cloud, with a rainbow above his head; his face was like the sun, and his legs were like fiery pillars. He was holding a little scroll, which lay open...
  • What Will Our Resurrected Bodies Be Like? [Open Thread]

    04/23/2015 10:13:03 AM PDT · by Salvation · 57 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 04-22-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    What Will Our Resurrected Bodies Be Like? By: Msgr. Charles PopeSt Paul writes to the Philippians of the glory that our currently lowly bodies will one day enjoy:He will change our lowly body to conform with his glorified Body by the power that enables him also to bring all things into subjection to himself (Phil 3:19).I once spoke with an older woman who wasn’t all that pleased to hear that her body was going to rise and be joined again to her soul. “Oh, Father, you don’t mean this old decrepit body, do you? If this body has to...
  • On Praying for a Deep Hatred and Fear of Sin and Its Darkness

    04/24/2015 7:12:14 AM PDT · by Salvation · 10 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 04-23-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    On Praying for a Deep Hatred and Fear of Sin and Its Darkness By: Msgr. Charles PopeWe ought to ask the Lord to inspire us with a holy hatred of sin. There is a kind of inverse relationship that we ought to seek: if we love the truth staunchly we will detest sin and lies more fully. It is impossible to love the truth vigorously without also detesting error. Similarly, as we grow in the love of God, we grow in the love of holiness, for God is holy.As our love for Him deepens, we become increasingly averse to all that...
  • Please Pray This Week for Traditional Marriage – The Supreme Court Is in Session

    04/27/2015 7:22:04 AM PDT · by Salvation · 37 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 04-26-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Please Pray This Week for Traditional Marriage – The Supreme Court Is in Session By: Msgr. Charles PopeThe March for Marriage yesterday in Washington, D.C. was successful for numerous reasons. Among them was the turnout: over 10,000 people. This is especially impressive given the date change (the march had been planned for June but was moved to April when the Supreme Court’s schedule for the marriage cases was announced).Second, the march manifested a diversity that shows that the concerns for traditional marriage are not coming only from older white Catholics and Pentecostals. You can see some pictures from the march here: March for Marriage 2015. Indeed...
  • Eyes That Are Humble – A Meditation on the Humbling Thorn of St. Paul

    04/28/2015 7:17:34 AM PDT · by Salvation · 5 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 04-17-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Eyes That Are Humble – A Meditation on the Humbling Thorn of St. Paul By: Msgr. Charles PopeThe story of St. Paul’s conversion is well known and we read it last week in daily Mass. But there is a detail that I have often pondered which, though speculative, ought not be overlooked. Indeed, even my choice of the words “speculative” and “overlooked” (both of which refer to the eyes) indicate that we ought to give an eye (i.e., a look) to St. Paul’s eyes.As you probably recall, St. Paul was not just struck down on the road to Damascus, he was...
  • Catholic Caucus: Sunday Mass Readings, 04-26-15, Fourth Sunday of Easter, Good Shepherd Sunday

    04/25/2015 7:14:49 PM PDT · by Salvation · 44 replies
    USCCB.org/RNAB ^ | 04-26-15 | Revised New American Bible
    April 26, 2015Fourth Sunday of Easter    Reading 1 Acts 4:8-12 Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said:“Leaders of the people and elders:If we are being examined todayabout a good deed done to a cripple,namely, by what means he was saved,then all of you and all the people of Israel should knowthat it was in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazoreanwhom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead;in his name this man stands before you healed.He is the stone rejected by you, the builders,which has become the cornerstone.There is no salvation through anyone else,nor is there any...
  • Some Advice from Mother Church, as Pictured in the Book of Ruth

    04/22/2015 7:31:12 AM PDT · by Salvation · 15 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 04-21-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Some Advice from Mother Church, as Pictured in the Book of Ruth By: Msgr. Charles PopeRecently I preached a retreat for a good number of women here in our Archdiocese. I based the retreat on the Book of Ruth, a beautiful love story that is a kind of allegory for Christ and the Church. More specifically it is an allegory of the individual’s salvation by Christ and in relationship to Him.The detailed background to the text is too lengthy to go into here, but a few points will help. The story features three main characters: Boaz, Ruth, and Naomi....
  • Admonish the Sinner – A Reflection on the First Spiritual Work of Mercy

    04/21/2015 7:23:03 AM PDT · by Salvation · 6 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 04-20-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Admonish the Sinner – A Reflection on the First Spiritual Work of Mercy By: Msgr. Charles PopeI wrote last week asking, Whatever happened to the spiritual works of mercy? I also indicated an intent to write on each of them. Here is the first installment: Admonishing the Sinner.The word “admonish” comes from the Latin verb monere meaning to warn, advise, or alert someone to a threat or danger. As such, its purpose is the good of another; it is an act of love and concern. To admonish the sinner is not to belittle or humiliate him, but rather to alert him to the danger...
  • On the Mysticism of the Simple Word “Consider”

    04/20/2015 7:03:56 AM PDT · by Salvation · 4 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 04-19-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    On the Mysticism of the Simple Word “Consider” By: Msgr. Charles PopeEvery now and then a word just catches your ear. Several times in a day it jumps out at you and you’re tempted to say, “There it is again!”A few days ago it was the word “consider,” a very ordinary word. Or is it? Why did it suddenly strike me so? With my knowledge of Latin,  it occurred to me that “consider” has something to do with the stars, for the Latin word sidera means “stars” or “heavenly bodies.” How interesting! I have used the word for about fifty years...
  • Becoming Witnesses of the Resurrection & the Truth of the Gospel - Homily, Third Sunday of Easter

    04/19/2015 7:01:42 AM PDT · by Salvation · 3 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 04-18-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Archdiocese of Washington Becoming Witnesses of the Resurrection and the Truth of the Gospel. A homily for the third Sunday of Easter. By: Msgr. Charles PopeThe Gospel for this Sunday speaks to the necessity of becoming witnesses of the Resurrection of Jesus. It begins with the necessary foundation of the proclamation of the Church: “The Lord is risen indeed, he has appeared to Simon!” This solemn declaration of the Church forms the doctrinal certitude of the resurrection. But on this foundation of the truth the personal witness of every Catholic must be built. In this gospel we see how the...
  • Lost in Cyberspace – As Seen in a Commercial

    04/18/2015 8:03:37 AM PDT · by Salvation · 11 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 04-17-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Lost in Cyberspace – As Seen in a Commercial By: Msgr. Charles PopeFor most people, the word virtual has come to mean the Internet or the computer world, as in “occurring or existing primarily online.”  But the word virtual has an original meaning that is actually quite descriptive of a modern problem.Prior to its application to the computer world, the word virtual meant “being something in effect, though not actually or expressly being such.” In other words, if something is virtual it has aspects of the real thing but is not the real thing. In the sentence “The man is a virtual goldmine...
  • What Ever Happened to the Spiritual Works of Mercy?

    04/17/2015 6:38:37 AM PDT · by Salvation · 26 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 04-16-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    What Ever Happened to the Spiritual Works of Mercy? By: Msgr. Charles PopeDuring daily masses at this time we are beginning to read through John Chapter 6. There of course is a glorious focus and teaching of the Lords true presence in the Most Blessed Sacrament.However, there is also another important teaching given at a critical moment in chapter 6 that is important for us to lay hold of today. It is a call to recover a greater awareness of the importance of the spiritual works of mercy. We will list what they are in the moment, but for now, consider that, despite living in rather...
  • The Greatness of Little Things: A Reflection on a Quote From St. Augustine

    04/16/2015 6:46:44 AM PDT · by Salvation · 13 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 04-15-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    The Greatness of Little Things: A Reflection on a Quote From St. Augustine By: Msgr. Charles PopeI have found that one of my favorite quotes from St. Augustine  is not all that well known. Here it is in Latin, followed by my own translation: Quod minimum, minimum est, Sed in minimo fidelem esse,magnum est.What is a little thing,  is (just) a little thing.But to be faithful in a little thingis a great thing. (from St. Augustine’s De Doctrina Christiana, IV,35)I first saw this quote on the frontispiece of a book by Adrian Fortescue. Fortescue applied it to the intricate details of celebrating...
  • Strange but Rich Verses: What Does Acts 1:4 Mean by Saying That Jesus Was “Eating Salt with Them”?

    04/15/2015 7:02:30 AM PDT · by Salvation · 94 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 04-14-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Strange but Rich Verses File: What Does Acts 1:4 Mean by Saying That Jesus Was “Eating Salt with Them”? By: Msgr. Charles PopeThere is an unusual verse that occurs in the first chapter of the Acts the Apostles, describing a gathering of Jesus and the Apostles after the resurrection but before the ascension. For the most part, modern translations do not reveal the full oddity of the verse. The verse in question, as rendered by the Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition, is,And while staying with them he charged them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father (Acts 1:4).However,...
  • God’s Perfect Mercy – A Meditation for Divine Mercy Sunday

    04/12/2015 6:54:48 AM PDT · by Salvation · 6 replies
    Archdicoese of Washington ^ | 04-11-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    God’s Perfect Mercy – A Meditation for Divine Mercy Sunday By: Msgr. Charles PopeWe live in times in which mercy, like so many other things, has become a detached concept in people’s minds, separated from the things that really help us to understand it. For indeed, mercy makes sense and is necessary because we are sinners in desperate shape. Yet many today think it unkind and unmerciful to speak of sin as sin. Many think that mercy is a declaration that God doesn’t really care about sin, or that sin is not a relevant concept.On the contrary, mercy means that sin...
  • Equal in Dignity and Responsibility: Ministering to Those With Same-Sex Attraction

    04/08/2015 7:42:45 AM PDT · by Salvation · 22 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 04-07-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Equal in Dignity and Responsibility: Ministering to Those With Same-Sex Attraction By: Msgr. Charles PopeA conference is being planned in August to ponder an authentic pastoral response in ministering to those with same-sex attraction. Dr. Janet Smith is the organizer; Courage International and the Archdiocese of Detroit are the sponsors. It looks to be a  fine gathering of solid speakers. Though I am clearly a “back-bencher” among the fine speakers being lined up, I was asked to submit a paper for possible inclusion in the book that will likely be published by Ignatius Press just prior to the conference.As a...
  • What Effect Will Pressure to Accept Same Sex Acts or “Marriage” Have on Church Teaching? None!

    04/07/2015 7:48:05 AM PDT · by Salvation · 16 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 04-06-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    What Effect Will Pressure to Accept Same Sex Acts or “Marriage” Have on Church Teaching? None! By: Msgr. Charles PopeLast week was Holy Week, so sure enough there were many critical issues in the news that needed attention but we in the Church were off doing more important things like worshipping God and pondering our need for salvation. Permit a brief summary and some predictions from me based on the latest unpleasantness in Indiana last week.I am not a lawyer and neither know nor understand all the legal implications of the law signed by the Indiana governor and then later...
  • A Meditation on the Sins of the Intellect

    04/09/2015 8:22:13 AM PDT · by Salvation · 131 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 04-08-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    A Meditation on the Sins of the Intellect By: Msgr. Charles PopeWhen I was in the seminary, my Moral Theology Professor, Fr. Robert Zylla (R.I.P.), encouraged us to meditate on the sins of the intellect during the third sorrowful mystery (The Crowning with Thorns). In his years of teaching he had surely witnessed the intellectual pride that could beset theologians and seminary students who figured they knew a few things. And added to this human tendency to intellectual pride was the rather prideful sense of the 20th century that we had somehow “come of age.” Dissent from church teaching was rampant and...
  • Jesus is real to me! A homily for Easter Sunday

    04/05/2015 7:45:52 AM PDT · by Salvation · 17 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 04-04-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Jesus is real to me! A homily for Easter Sunday By: Msgr. Charles PopeNearly all of the Resurrection accounts in the Gospels present the apostles and disciples on a journey to deeper faith. In stages, they come out of the darkness of despair and of this world into the light of faith. Matthew’s account (28:1-10), which is read at the Easter Vigil this year and can also be read at Masses during the day, is no exception. I have also commented on the Johannine Gospel that is often read on Easter Morning (here: From Fear to Faith).Let’s look at...
  • Finding the Good in Good Friday

    04/03/2015 8:16:04 AM PDT · by Salvation · 7 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 03-02-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Finding the Good in Good Friday By: Msgr. Charles PopeWhen I was younger, and through my seminary years, I had usually seen the crucifix and Jesus’ suffering on the Cross in somber tones. It was my sin that put Him there, had made Him suffer. The Cross was something that compelled a silent reverence and suggested to me that I meditate deeply on what Jesus had to go through. I would also think of Mary, John, and the other women beneath the Cross mournfully beholding Jesus as He was slowly and painfully dying. These were heavy and somber notes but...
  • The Bread of Affliction: A Meditation on What Jesus Endured at the Last Supper

    04/02/2015 8:32:52 AM PDT · by Salvation · 10 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 04-01-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    The Bread of Affliction: A Meditation on What Jesus Endured at the Last Supper By: Msgr. Charles PopeThe Last Supper is, strangely, a sad study in the kind of affliction the Lord had to endure from His own disciples. Of all the meals the Lord must have shared with them, this was the one that should have gone beautifully and perfectly; it did not. From one moment to the next the blows just got worse. There were inept responses, distractions, bullheaded debates, and rebukes directed against Jesus … and then of course betrayal. It was nothing short of a disaster. The...
  • Spy Wednesday and a Reflection on the Sins of the Clergy

    04/01/2015 7:50:45 AM PDT · by Salvation · 223 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 03-31-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Spy Wednesday and a Reflection on the Sins of the Clergy By: Msgr. Charles PopeWednesday of Holy Week is traditionally called “Spy Wednesday,” since it was on this day that Judas conspired with the Temple leadership to hand Jesus over. He would not accomplish his task until the evening of the next day, but this day he made the arrangements and was paid.One way to reflect on this terrible sin is to consider that Judas was among the first priests called by Jesus. We see in the call of the Apostles the establishment of the ministerial priesthood. Jesus called these men to...
  • Mercy! So Great a Gift – Why Many Parishes Need to Reconsider When They Offer Confession

    03/31/2015 7:51:49 AM PDT · by Salvation · 30 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 03-30-15 | catholic, apologetics, history, theology
    Mercy! So Great a Gift – Why Many Parishes Need to Reconsider When They Offer the Sacrament of Confession By: Msgr. Charles PopeAt tonight’s Chrism Mass, the Cardinal chose to focus his remarks to the more than 300 priests in attendance on the beauty of the Sacrament of Confession and the power of mercy. What a magnificent gift the Lord gave His Church through the ministry of priests, that we can hear His blessed words, I absolve you from your sins … go in peace.My mind goes back to a beautiful story of St. John Paul II and a certain bishop (not of...
  • Spend This Week With Jesus – A Daily Chronology of Jesus’ “Last” Week

    03/30/2015 7:45:27 AM PDT · by Salvation · 5 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 03-29-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Spend This Week With Jesus – A Daily Chronology of Jesus’ “Last” Week By: Msgr. Charles PopeAt the heart of our faith is the Paschal mystery: the Passion, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ. All of salvation history leads up to and goes forth from these saving events. The purpose of this post is to describe Jesus’ final week. We call this “Holy Week” because Jesus’ public ministry culminates with His suffering, death, and resurrection. What follows is a brief description of each day of Holy Week. I hope you will print out this flyer (Walking-with-Jesus-In-Holy-Week) and read it...
  • See What the End Shall Be -- A Palm Sunday Reflection

    03/29/2015 7:22:04 AM PDT · by Salvation · 9 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 03-28-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    See What the End Shall Be – A Palm Sunday Reflection By: Msgr. Charles PopeThe Passion which we read in today’s liturgy is too long to comment on in detail. We are only able to take a portion and examine it.The usual villains such as the Temple leaders, Judas, and the recruited crowd, which shouted “Crucify him!” are fairly obvious in displaying their sinfulness and are unambiguously wicked. But there are others who participate in the Passion accounts whose sinfulness, struggles and neglect are more subtle, but still real and contribute significantly to the Lord’s sufferings on Good Friday....
  • On the Lost Justice of the “Sabbath Rest”

    03/27/2015 7:34:52 AM PDT · by Salvation · 10 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 03-26-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    On the Lost Justice of the “Sabbath Rest” By: Msgr. Charles PopeSome of us who are older remember that Sundays were once quiet in downtown; in shopping areas, parking lots were empty. Most businesses were closed and few people had to work on Sundays. Surely there were exceptions, such as medical personnel, emergency workers, and those who ran essential services like power plants. But for most, Sunday was a day off. And although the biblical Sabbath was Saturday, in a largely Christian nation Sunday was the “Sabbath” day of rest.In those days, Church was in the morning and then it was...
  • [Catholic Caucus] A Woman Wrapped in Silence – A Meditation for the Feast of the Annunciation

    03/25/2015 7:08:28 AM PDT · by Salvation · 18 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 03-24-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    A Woman Wrapped in Silence – A Meditation for the Feast of the Annunciation By: Msgr. Charles PopeIn preparation for today’s Feast of the Annunciation I picked up Jesus of Nazareth, Vol. 3 (The Infancy Narratives)  by Pope Emeritus Benedict. I was very moved by a very brief reflection that he made on Mary as the Angel Gabriel left her. His remarks consider her faith in a very touching manner. I must say that I have always been moved, and intrigued, by the faith of the Blessed Mother, for she is “a woman wrapped in silence,” a phrase that forms the...
  • Some Strategies for Overcoming Temptation

    03/24/2015 7:41:46 AM PDT · by Salvation · 13 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 03-23-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Some Strategies for Overcoming Temptation By: Msgr. Charles PopeThis is part two of an article on temptation. See yesterday’s post for part one.How can we overcome temptation?Remote Battles are Essential! When people ask about overcoming temptation they most often have in mind what to do “in the moment” of temptation. But if we focus merely on the moment of temptation we are missing the bulk of the work that needs to be done. For in order to become more successful in withstanding temptation, a strong foundation needs to be established. There is much “remote” work to be done such...
  • What Is Temptation, Why Does God Permit It, and What Are Its Sources?

    03/23/2015 8:03:51 AM PDT · by Salvation · 18 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 03-22-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    What Is Temptation, Why Does God Permit It, and What Are Its Sources? By: Msgr. Charles PopeI will be on the Catholic Answers radio show today (Monday, March 23) at 6:00 PM Eastern Time. The topic will be temptation: what it is and how to avoid and overcome it.  I’ve assembled some notes in preparation and I’ll present them (in two parts) in the blog. Today’s post focuses on what temptation is, why God allows it, and what its sources are. Tomorrow I’ll present the second half of the notes, which center on how to avoid and overcome temptation.What is Temptation? A seminary teacher of mine once defined...