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  • Awesome or Awful? A Reflection on the Mosaic of Christ in Majesty at the Basilica in Washington

    07/01/2015 8:52:19 AM PDT · by Salvation · 45 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 06-30-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Awesome or Awful? A Reflection on the Mosaic of Christ in Majesty at the Basilica in Washington Msgr. Charles Pope • June 30, 2015 • I’ve been spending quite a bit of time at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception here in Washington recently, due to ordinations and other special occasions. As I walk up the main aisle I never fail to be moved by the scene above the apse of Christ in majesty. (See one of my photos to the right.) I have discovered that very few people are neutral on this image of Christ seated in Judgment. People either love...
  • Four Common Tactics of the Devil

    06/23/2015 8:43:11 AM PDT · by Salvation · 19 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 06-22-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Four Common Tactics of the Devil Msgr. Charles Pope • June 22, 2015 • In recent years there has been a resurgence of interest in demonic possession. Movies and books, along with human fears and fascinations, are largely the cause. Although actual demonic possession is somewhat rare, it does occur. Each diocese ought to have an appointed exorcist to assess possession. This exorcist, with the permission of the bishop, should use the Rite of Major Exorcism when true and morally certain possession has been determined. But because actual possession is quite rare, most of us should be looking out for...
  • A Summons to Courage and a Reminder of Victory in an Old Hymn

    06/20/2015 12:18:32 PM PDT · by Salvation · 14 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | June 14, 2014 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    A Summons to Courage and a Reminder of Victory in an Old Hymn Msgr. Charles Pope • June 14, 2015 • There is a lesser known hymn, at least in Catholic circles, that is remarkably appropriate for our times. It challenges us to see the choice before us soberly, and encourages us with the fact that the victory is already ours if we choose Christ Jesus. In times like these we need courage and conviction; this hymn serves as a powerful anthem to such a call. I would like to present the verses of the hymn and supply commentary throughout....
  • Pray for the Living and the Dead – A Meditation on the Seventh Spiritual Work of Mercy

    06/20/2015 4:06:31 PM PDT · by Salvation · 26 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 06-15-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Pray for the Living and the Dead – A Meditation on the Seventh Spiritual Work of Mercy Msgr. Charles Pope • June 15, 2015 • What is the value of one prayer? I suspect it is far greater than any of us imagine. Prayer changes things, sometimes in obvious ways, more often in subtle and even paradoxical ways. But prayer is surely important, even when we don’t experience its immediate effects. Perhaps this is why Jesus taught us to pray always and never to lose heart (cf Luke 18:1). St. Paul echoed this with the simple exhortation “Pray without ceasing”...
  • A Powerful Parable Against the Premises of Unbelief

    06/22/2015 7:34:32 AM PDT · by Salvation · 22 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 06-22-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    A Powerful Parable Against the Premises of Unbelief Msgr. Charles Pope • June 21, 2015 • There are many reasons for the unbelief rampant in our times. Among them is the claim by some that because they do not see or hear evidence of God or an afterlife, our belief in these is just wishful thinking on our part so as to avoid the conclusion that everything ends with our death, that this world is all there is. A parable currently circulating on the Internet addresses this sort of unbelief. A Facebook friend (Vicki) called it to my attention. I...
  • If You Can Use Anything Lord, You Can Use Me – Homily for the 11th Sunday of the Year

    06/14/2015 7:04:03 AM PDT · by Salvation · 15 replies
    Archdiocese of Washingotn ^ | 06-13-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
     If You Can Use Anything Lord, You Can Use Me – Homily for the 11th Sunday of the Year Msgr. Charles Pope • June 13, 2015The readings today speak of God’s providence, which is often displayed in humble, hidden, and mysterious ways. While it is true that God sometimes works in overpowering ways, His more common method seems to be to use the humble and even unlikely things of the created order to accomplish His goals.For us who are disciples, there are three related teachings that speak of how God will make use of us and of others. It...
  • Forgive All Injuries – A Meditation on the Sixth Spiritual Work of Mercy

    06/10/2015 7:24:04 AM PDT · by Salvation · 13 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 06-09-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Forgive All Injuries – A Meditation on the Sixth Spiritual Work of Mercy By: Msgr. Charles PopeOf all the things about which I preach, very few (if any) provoke as strong (and usually negative) a reaction as the call to forgive. I get more angry pushback after a Mass at which I preach on forgiveness than when I speak about chastity, greed, or any other challenging moral topic.It would seem that the anger is rooted in two things: first, that the call to forgive implies some dishonoring or diminishing of the pain or injustice someone has experienced, and second, that it seems to imply that there...
  • On the Worthy Reception of Holy Communion – Part Two (Particular Issues)

    06/09/2015 7:46:14 AM PDT · by Salvation · 27 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 06-08-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    On the Worthy Reception of Holy Communion – Part Two (Particular Issues) By: Msgr. Charles PopeIn yesterday’s post we examined some fundamental principles related to Holy  Communion: that it is not akin to the “table fellowship” Jesus had with sinners but is rooted in the “family meal” of the Passover Celebration, and that it must be received worthily and authentically based on what Scripture and Tradition have set forth. Our “Amen” is more than an affirmation of the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, it is an “Amen” to all that the Catholic Church believes, teaches, and proclaims to be...
  • On the Worthy Reception of Holy Communion – Part One

    06/08/2015 7:43:23 AM PDT · by Salvation · 10 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 06-07-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    On the Worthy Reception of Holy Communion – Part One By: Msgr. Charles PopeI indicated yesterday an intention to expand on the need for the reverent and worthy reception of Holy Communion, to develop an apologetic for the Church’s practice of what some call “closed communion.”  Not everyone who uses this terminology means it pejoratively, though some do. But to some extent it is fair to say that we do have “closed communion.” For the Catholic Church, Holy Communion is not a “come one, come all” event. It is reserved for those who, by grace, preserve union with the Church through adherence...
  • Unless! A Homily for the Solemnity of Corpus Christi

    06/07/2015 6:09:02 AM PDT · by Salvation · 11 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 06-06-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Unless! A Homily for the Solemnity of Corpus Christi By: Msgr. Charles PopeIn many places, this Sunday features the (moved) Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, Our Lord.While you may be puzzling over the title of today’s post, allow me to delay a bit before explaining. On a solemn feast like this many things occur that might be preached and taught. Hear are three areas for reflection: the reality of the Eucharist, the requirement of the Eucharist, and the reverence for the Eucharist. We will look at each in turn.I. The Reality of the Eucharist –...
  • Souls of Aborted Children

    06/06/2015 7:48:08 AM PDT · by Salvation · 97 replies
    OSV.com ^ | 05-12-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Souls of Aborted Children Msgr. Charles Pope The Catholic Answer Q. What does the Church teach about the souls of aborted children and those unborn children who die as a result of miscarriages? They have souls, right? Should they all receive funerals? Should parents name their miscarried children? Name withheld by request, via e-mail  A. “Should” is a word that is too strong here. Parents may both name and have funeral services for miscarried or aborted children. But they are not required to do this, and each case will be unique. How far along the child was is often a...
  • The 5th and 6th Marks of the Church

    06/05/2015 7:01:50 AM PDT · by Salvation · 26 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 06-04-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    The 5th and 6th Marks of the Church By: Msgr. Charles PopeThe Nicene Creed fittingly noted four marks of the True Church: one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic. These marks identify four essential qualities and characteristics of the Church that distinguish the True Church from any false claimants. Now my surname may be “Pope,” but I surely cannot add authoritatively to this venerable list. Nevertheless, permit me a couple of “prayerful additions” to the four marks of the Church. These cannot join the official list but I humbly submit  these “marks” for your consideration to serve in a similar way in distinguishing the...
  • On the Purpose of Aridity in the Spiritual Life

    06/04/2015 7:17:11 AM PDT · by Salvation · 7 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 06-03-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    On the Purpose of Aridity in the Spiritual Life By: Msgr. Charles PopeNone of us who commit to prayer and the spiritual life enjoy those periods during which prayer, liturgy, or spiritual reading seem dry or dull. But such moments are necessary—or so it would seem—for God permits them. If something were always pleasant, we would not be sure if we loved God or merely the pleasantries. An old saying asks if we love the consolations of God or the God of all consolation. It is the dry and difficult times that help us to determine the answer.There are other reasons for dryness...
  • The Body God Gave Us Doesn’t Lie – A Meditation on the Sexual Confusion of Our Day

    06/03/2015 7:39:01 AM PDT · by Salvation · 28 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 06-02-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    The Body God Gave Us Doesn’t Lie – A Meditation on the Sexual Confusion of Our Day By: Msgr. Charles PopeThe latest tragic twist in the “Bruce Jenner saga” (more on that below) illustrates yet again one of the great errors of our day: the rejection of the truth that our bodies have something to tell us about who we are and what we are called to do and be. Most moderns see the body as merely a tool of sorts. Assertions are made that one can do as one pleases with one’s own body, and that a person’s sex (male or female) is purely incidental—merely an arbitrary...
  • 1 and 1 and 1 is One – A Homily for Trinity Sunday

    05/31/2015 6:39:13 AM PDT · by Salvation · 9 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 05-30-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    1 and 1 and 1 is One – A Homily for Trinity Sunday By: Msgr. Charles PopeThere is an old spiritual that says, “My God is so high, you can’t get over him, he’s so low you can’t get under him, he’s so wide you can’t get ’round him, you must come in, by and through the Lamb.”That’s not a bad way of saying that God is other; He is beyond what human words can tell or describe; He is beyond what human thoughts can conjure. And on the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity we do well to...
  • A Distinction Without a Difference or a Distinction to Die For? John 21:16 – Peter, Do You Love Me?

    05/28/2015 6:50:38 AM PDT · by Salvation · 12 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 05-27-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    A Distinction Without a Difference or a Distinction to Die For? Wrestling With the Subtleties of John 21:16 – Peter, Do You Love Me? By: Msgr. Charles PopeLast week, as we wrapped up the Easter season, we read the beautiful dialogue between Jesus and Peter: “Peter, do you love me?” Analyzing this beautiful text is one of the great indoor sports of New Testament Biblical Scholarship: how to interpret the subtleties in that dialogue between Jesus and Peter.And thus Jesus asks, “Peter do you love me?” And Peter responds, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” This exchange occurs three times. But...
  • Is There a Vocation to the Single Life? I Think Not and Here’s Why

    05/27/2015 5:42:38 AM PDT · by Salvation · 29 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 05-26-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Is There a Vocation to the Single Life? I Think Not and Here’s Why By: Msgr. Charles PopeThere are some today who think that the Church should give greater recognition to the “call” to the single life. And therefore when we pray for  vocations to the priesthood, religious life, and marriage in the Prayer of the Faithful (or at other times) some will say, “Why don’t you ever pray for those called to the single life or mention the vocation to the single life?” Here in the blog, too, when I write about vocations there are usually some who comment...
  • 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 · 20 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...