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Keyword: msgrcharlespope

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  • The Key to True Fasting

    02/12/2016 7:59:54 AM PST · by Salvation · 9 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 01-11-16 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    The Key to True Fasting Msgr. Charles Pope - February 11, 2016 - Required fasting is almost non-existent in the Catholic Church today. And even that required "fasting" (for those between the ages of 18 and 59) is really just eating somewhat less than normal (one regular meal and two small "snack-like" meals with no snacking between meals). Not much of a fast, really. Real fasting (going without food for the entire day) is practiced by some today as a personal discipline and it is laudable if a person is able to do so.Yet even the mitigated fast is...
  • An Early Lenten Meditation on Spiritual Warfare

    02/11/2016 7:54:54 AM PST · by Salvation · 6 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 02-10-16 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    An Early Lenten Meditation on Spiritual Warfare Msgr. Charles Pope - February 10, 2016 - As we begin Lent, we do well to recall that we are engaged in a great and dramatic battle for our souls. The opening prayer for Ash Wednesday Mass makes use of the image of a military "campaign" and mentions weapons and battle: Grant, O Lord, that we may begin with holy fasting this campaign of Christian service, so that, as we take up battle against spiritual evils, we may be armed with weapons of self-restraint. The First Sunday of Lent lays out the...
  • How Real Are Your Ashes? Five Meanings of the Ashes We Receive Today

    02/10/2016 7:39:44 AM PST · by Salvation · 36 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 02-09-16 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    How Real Are Your Ashes? Five Meanings of the Ashes We Receive Today Msgr. Charles Pope • February 9, 2016 • Photo Credit: Jaclyn Lippelmann for the Catholic Standard.As a boy, I remember wondering why so many people liked to rush to Church to get ashes smudged on their foreheads. Frankly, I had some revulsion at the idea of having dirty ashes smeared on my forehead. I didn't like it at all and would secretly rub them off when no one was looking. Today, though I'll admit I still don't like it too much, I behave myself and don't...
  • Are These the Last Days? Pondering a Text of St. Paul's

    02/08/2016 7:48:43 AM PST · by Salvation · 68 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 02-07-16 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Are These the Last Days? Pondering a Text of St. Paul's Msgr. Charles Pope -- February 7, 2016 -- Are these the last days? In some sense the planets are aligning. But hold your horses; let's speak carefully of these matters.Last week in the Breviary we read First and Second Thessalonians, which are important source texts for such considerations. I'd like to look at a critical passage from Second Thessalonians, which lays out some important principles for us in the last days, balancing caution with teaching us about the signs that will point to His coming (though not the...
  • "Church-speak" – Strange Things Church People Say"

    02/04/2016 8:07:50 AM PST · by Salvation · 42 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 02-03-16 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    "Church-speak" – Strange Things Church People Say Msgr. Charles Pope February 3, 2016 Many groups have a tendency to use words that make sense to their members but are unintelligible to outsiders. I have sometimes had to decode "Church-speak" for recent converts.For example, one time I proudly announced, "RCIA classes will begin next week, so if you know anyone who is interested in attending please fill out an information card on the table just outside the sacristy door." I thought I'd been perfectly clear, but then a new member approached me after Mass to inquire about the availability of...
  • Is It Ever OK to Lie?

    02/03/2016 6:37:39 AM PST · by Salvation · 89 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 02-02-16 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Is It Ever OK to Lie? Msgr. Charles Pope February 2, 2016 Many of you know that I write the Question and Answer Column for Our Sunday Visitor on both their newspaper side and in their magazine, The Catholic Answer. Every now and then a question comes in that seems like a good topic for the blog.The following question comes up frequently whenever I teach moral theology classes and we cover the issue of lying. In a way it is remarkable that the format of the question almost never changes, and that the usual (and I would argue questionable)...
  • Why the Acclamations at the “Mystery of Faith” Need Further Consideration

    02/01/2016 8:01:43 AM PST · by Salvation · 10 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 01-31-16 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Why the Acclamations at the "Mystery of Faith" Need Further Consideration Msgr. Charles Pope January 31, 2016 There is a moment in the Eucharistic Prayer in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite at which the priest awkwardly summons the people to respond by using a sentence fragment: "The mystery of faith" (mysterium fidei). The 1970 translation from the Latin tried to complete the fragment by supplying some additional words: "Let us proclaim the mystery of faith."But regardless of the specifics of the wording, it seems an awkward moment, something interjected into the action of the Eucharistic Prayer.But even...
  • A "Rule of Life" for Prophets - A Homily for the 4th Sunday of the Year

    01/31/2016 7:15:40 AM PST · by Salvation · 2 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 01-30-16 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    A "Rule of Life" for Prophets - A Homily for the 4th Sunday of the Year Msgr. Charles Pope January 30, 2016 Prophets are those who speak for God. They Love God and His people; they speak the (often painful) truth of God to His people. They do so not to win an argument, but because of their love and conviction that only the undiluted truth of God can save us in the end.People-pleasing and other forms of human respect cannot supplant reverence for God and His truth. Prophets are willing to endure pain and suffering in order to...
  • Christ's hidden years

    01/30/2016 8:51:32 AM PST · by Salvation · 58 replies
    OSV.com ^ | 12-30-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Christ's hidden years Question: One of my great frustrations with Scripture as an historical source is that it leaves so much out. Almost 30 years of Jesus’ life receive no mention at all. How can this be that the life of the most pivotal figure in history receives such vague biographical treatment?— Name, location withheld, Answer: Part of the answer to this is to understand that the Gospels do not propose to be chronological histories of the Lord’s life. The Gospels do record the things that Jesus actually said and did, but they do so in a selective way. St....
  • Order, Order! A Meditation on the Glory of Order in God's Creation

    01/26/2016 7:43:11 AM PST · by Salvation · 1 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 01-25-16 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Order, Order! A Meditation on the Glory of Order in God's Creation Msgr. Charles Pope • January 25, 2016 • In a series of two posts I would like to ponder the glory of something we call order. I do this more in the form of a meditation than a treatise. Some may argue that I am oversimplifying complex philosophical concepts. That may be true, but I am a pastor not an academic. And though I summarize here, I do not think I have been inauthentic in setting forth the concepts and problems that have birthed the modern age....
  • Why Holy Days and the Sanctoral Cycle Are Important

    01/28/2016 7:29:14 AM PST · by Salvation · 23 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 01-27-16 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Why Holy Days and the Sanctoral Cycle Are Important Msgr. Charles Pope • January 27, 2016 • In last Sunday's Mass we read from the eighth chapter of the Book of Nehemiah. I posted a lengthy commentary on it last week (On the Wonder of the Word of God). In today's post I would like to ponder a rather surprising emphasis of that text. Let's start with a little background.In a stunning reversal for the Jewish people, the Babylonians invaded Jerusalem and destroyed not only the city, but the Temple as well! Prophet after prophet had warned the people...
  • Blessed (and also very smart) Are the Merciful

    01/29/2016 8:13:21 AM PST · by Salvation · 11 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 01-28-16 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Blessed (and also very smart) Are the Merciful Msgr. Charles Pope • January 28, 2016 • In today's gospel the Lord gives us a very practical reminder: "The measure that you measure to others will be measured back to you." What does this mean?Well, if you were on your way to court and you received advice as to how you could influence the judge to be less severe in your case would you not seriously consider following that advice? Surely you would--unless of course the "advice" involved bribery or some other corrupt activity.And in fact Jesus, our judge, has...
  • On The Wonder of the Word of God -- A Homily for the Third Sunday of the Year

    01/24/2016 8:00:17 AM PST · by Salvation · 2 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 01-23-16 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    On The Wonder of the Word of God -- A Homily for the Third Sunday of the Year Msgr. Charles Pope- January 23, 2016 - The gospel for this Sunday is continued next week, so I will postpone the analysis of it until then. Instead, I will focus on the first reading, from Nehemiah 8. It is a wonderful meditation on the glory and wonder of the Word of God and it deserves our attention.The background of the text is that in 587 BC, Israel had been conquered by the Babylonians and the survivors of the war were led...
  • God in Winter -- Finding God in the Falling Snow

    01/23/2016 8:26:15 AM PST · by Salvation · 18 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 01-22-16 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    God in Winter -- Finding God in the Falling Snow Msgr. Charles Pope - January 22, 2016 - Holy Comforter Church Washington DCIt's snowing today in Washington, D.C. and I had a beautiful walk coming back from the March for Life this afternoon. Tonight I will enjoy another walk through the winter wonderland.Not everyone likes snow but it is an amazing work of God. He takes a barren winter landscape and creates it anew. I can almost hear the Lord saying, "Behold, I make all things new!"In the modern world we often walk past the glory of God hardly...
  • The Miracle of Life

    01/22/2016 7:41:16 AM PST · by Salvation · 7 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 01-21-16 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    The Miracle of Life Msgr. Charles Pope • January 21, 2016 • We March today with cold weather and possible snow bearing down on the area. The coldest march I ever endured was back in the mid 1980s when the temperature was 4 degrees, and there were 15 inches of snow. It was so cold that year that Regan's Second Inaugural outside was cancelled the day before and moved inside. The next day when it was even colder we marched!But the Sacrifice is worth it, for he magnificence of life is really too wonderful too describe. I found this...
  • What is Mystery?

    01/20/2016 6:33:52 AM PST · by Salvation · 3 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 01-19-16 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    What is Mystery? Msgr. Charles Pope January 19, 2016 In the secular world a "mystery" is something that baffles us or eludes understanding, something that lies undisclosed. And the usual response of the world to a mystery is to resolve it, to get to the bottom of if, to uncover it. Mysteries must be overcome! The riddle, the "whodunit," must be solved!In the Christian--especially the Catholic--world, a mystery is something a bit different. In our world, the concept includes the recognition that there are hidden aspects of things, people, and situations that extend beyond their visible, physical dimensions.One of...
  • A Reflection on a Sermon of Dr. Martin Luther King Refuting Atheistic Materialism

    01/18/2016 8:26:10 AM PST · by Salvation · 4 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 01-17-16 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    A Reflection on a Sermon of Dr. Martin Luther King Refuting Atheistic Materialism Msgr. Charles Pope January 17, 2016 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose birthday we commemorate this weekend, is best known as a civil rights leader who worked to end racial injustice. But Dr. King had other things to say as he preached each Sunday, first in his own assembly and later as he moved about.Among his recorded sermons is one in which Dr. King addresses the problem of unbelief, of materialism and atheism. His reflections are well worth pondering today because the issues he addresses are...
  • Biblical Basics about Mother Mary -- A Homily for the Second Sunday of the Year

    01/17/2016 6:42:01 AM PST · by Salvation · 575 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 01-16-16 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Biblical Basics about Mother Mary -- A Homily for the Second Sunday of the Year Msgr. Charles Pope January 16, 2016 In the gospel today of the wedding feast at Cana, there is a theological portrait of both Mother Mary and of prayer. Let's look at the Gospel along five lines:I. The place that Mary has - The text says, There was a wedding at Cana in Galilee and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding.A fascinating thing about these opening verses is that Mary almost seems to dominate the...
  • Teleology vs. Typology?

    01/16/2016 8:29:53 AM PST · by Salvation · 8 replies
    OSV.com ^ | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Msgr. Charles Pope The Catholic Answer Teleology vs. Typology? Q. I am trying to understand the different theological and philosophical terms that we use as a Church. Two big ones for me are teleology and typology. They both seem to point to the future, but how are they different? Typology was used by the Church Fathers, right? Claire, Alexandria, Va. A. Teleology comes from the Greek word telos, meaning “end,” “goal,” “destination” or “perfection.” As such, teleology is that aspect of theology that looks to the end, or goal, of something. In terms of theology, the end goal of the...
  • Scripture's Sober Assessment of the Hardness of Many Human Hearts & What It Means for Evangelization

    01/15/2016 7:57:47 AM PST · by Salvation · 3 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 01-14-16 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Scripture’s Sober Assessment of the Hardness of Many Human Hearts and What It Means for Evangelization Msgr. Charles Pope • January 14, 2016 • It is rather a typical assumption of the modern Western mind that differences and hostilities are due mainly to misunderstandings or a lack of proper information; that if we would discuss ("dialogue"), share information, respect pluralism (diversity), and overcome misunderstandings, all would be well and there would be peace.Missing in this approach is the more sober notion of the hardness of human hearts. Information alone does not usually bring peace and an end to trouble....
  • Jesus Does Not Go into the Water Alone; He Takes Us with Him -- A Reflection -- Baptism of the Lord

    01/10/2016 7:59:41 AM PST · by Salvation · 7 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 01-09-16 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Archdiocese of Washington Jesus Does Not Go into the Water Alone; He Takes Us with Him -- A Reflection on the Baptism of the Lord Msgr. Charles Pope • January 10, 2016 • Today's feast of the Baptism of the Lord is a time to reflect not only on the Lord's baptism but on our own. In an extended sense, when Christ is baptized so are we, for we are members of His Body. As Christ enters the water, He makes holy the water that will baptize us. He enters the water and we follow. In these waters, He acquires...
  • Who or What is the Antichrist? A reflection on the Biblical teaching

    01/11/2016 8:15:33 AM PST · by Salvation · 29 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 01-10-16 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Who or What is the Antichrist? A reflection on the Biblical teaching. Msgr. Charles Pope-- January 10, 2016 -- There is much lore about the antichrist, especially among certain Evangelicals that is often out of proportion to the attention scripture pays to the concept, and more importantly is at possible variance from what is actually and certainly taught. It easily becomes the stuff of movies and novels wherein the antichrist figure steps on the scene, deceiving many and mesmerizing the whole world with apparent miracles and a message of false peace.But is this really what or who the Scriptures...
  • Late Have I Loved You -- On the Delay of Marriage in Our Culture and the Flawed Notions That . . .

    01/12/2016 7:26:49 AM PST · by Salvation · 27 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 01-11-16 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Late Have I Loved You -- On the Delay of Marriage in Our Culture and the Flawed Notions That Underlie It Msgr. Charles Pope-- January 11, 2016 -- In football, if the offense takes more than thirty seconds between plays, they are penalized for "delay of game." The result is lost yardage; they are now farther away from the goal line. The delay thus brings loss; progress toward the goal is hindered; victory becomes less likely, not more. I'm sure the offense would always like a little more time in the huddle in order to ensure that everyone knows...
  • What We Can Learn About Suffering in the Story of Joseph the Patriarch

    01/13/2016 7:07:02 AM PST · by Salvation · 3 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 01-12-16 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    What We Can Learn About Suffering in the Story of Joseph the Patriarch Msgr. Charles Pope January 12, 2016 One of the greatest (but most painful) of mysteries is that of suffering and evil in the world. I was meditating with my Sunday school parents this past weekend on the Old Testament patriarch Joseph. His story is rich with lessons about family struggles, envy, jealousy, pride, mercy, and forgiveness. But it also has a lot to say about suffering and the way that God can use it to bring blessings.While there are many layers to Joseph's story, both personal...
  • What the Book of Proverbs Has to Say About the Current Age

    01/14/2016 7:58:11 AM PST · by Salvation · 3 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 01-13-16 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    What the Book of Proverbs Has to Say About the Current Age Msgr. Charles Pope • January 13, 2016 • In the Divine Office, we are currently reading from the Wisdom Tradition. Thus our daily fare consists of passages from Sirach, Wisdom, Proverbs, etc. Praise the Lord. They have a lot to say about the times in which we live.I’d like to review a few of the sayings in the Book of Proverbs. But before doing so, I’d like to explain the use of the word fool in the Wisdom Tradition (as contrasted with the wise one). Without a...
  • Called to Communion

    01/09/2016 9:51:31 AM PST · by Salvation · 15 replies
    OSV.com ^ | 01-06-16 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Called to Communion Msgr. Charles Pope Question: The priest quotes Jesus at Mass, saying, “Take this all of you and eat of it.” There are no caveats like, “unless you are divorced, gay or any number of other qualifiers.” Jesus gave the bread to Judas. Shouldn’t the Church act as Jesus did and remove the caveats and qualifiers Jesus never had?— Bill McKenna, via email Answer: The same Jesus you (rightly) extol as our model is the one who forbade divorce and remarriage, calling the second union an ongoing state of adultery (Mt 19:1-12). He also forbade illicit sexual union...
  • New Year's Resolve: Stand Against Physician-Assisted Suicide

    01/07/2016 8:02:32 AM PST · by Salvation · 4 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 01-06-16 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    New Year's Resolve: Stand Against Physician-Assisted Suicide Msgr. Charles Pope January 6, 2016 1 Comment In the coming year it looks as if there will be very aggressive attempts in both courts and legislatures to advance physician-assisted suicide (or as its proponents prefer to call it, the "right to die"). The recent legalization of physician-assisted suicide in California was a sad harbinger of what is being attempted in other states as well. Here in the Archdiocese of Washington, both the D.C. City Council and the Maryland state legislature are debating bills to make it legal.Thankfully, a rather significant coalition...
  • What Is Meant by the "Sacrifice of Praise" in Scripture?"

    01/05/2016 8:21:17 AM PST · by Salvation · 6 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 01-04-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    What Is Meant by the "Sacrifice of Praise" in Scripture?" Msgr. Charles Pope January 4, 2016 Please consider the following reflection more of a pastoral meditation than a formal exegesis. I do not seek here to compare every use of the phrase in the Scriptures but rather to ponder how we seem to have lost the connection of personal sacrifice to liturgy and worship. Scripture clearly connects them. Let's look at a few examples from Scripture and then examine how we have strayed from the concept.So Jesus . . . suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people...
  • Biblical Teaching on the Problem of Deception

    01/06/2016 8:33:02 AM PST · by Salvation · 4 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 01-05-16 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Biblical Teaching on the Problem of Deception Msgr. Charles Pope January 5, 2016 One of the more troublesome and damaging human traits is our susceptibility to deception. Scripture speaks often of this problem and we do well to examine some of those texts and consider what they teach us.Perhaps it is good to look first to the Latin and Greek roots of the word deceive.Latin: The Latin root of deceive is decipere, meaning to ensnare (de (of or up) + capere (to seize or take)). And thus the Latin emphasizes our tendency to be easily caught up or carried...
  • Augustine and Calvin?

    01/02/2016 8:32:06 AM PST · by Salvation · 24 replies
    OSV.com ^ | 12-30-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Msgr. Charles Pope 12/30/2015 Augustine and Calvin? Q. I know that St. Augustine wrote about predestination, and that John Calvin wrote about double predestination. Can you explain what they both taught and what the Church says about it? What are some things to think about as we reconcile free will with God’s omniscience? Graham, via e-mail A. Predestination is a proper biblical concept which indicates that God chose us and called us before we were ever made to be His own. It does not deny that we freely chose Him, but it does insist that He first chose us,...
  • Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? A Meditation on the Mystery of Time

    01/01/2016 8:10:16 AM PST · by Salvation · 55 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 12-31-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? A Meditation on the Mystery of Time Msgr. Charles Pope December 31, 2015 I open our New Year's Eve late night Mass (11:15 PM) with the observation that we begin Mass in one year and end in the next. New Year's Eve highlights the mysterious passage between years. In a way I suppose it is no more mysterious than the passage from Thursday to Friday or from 10:00 AM to 10:01 AM.In one sense, nothing could be simpler than time. I might ask you, "What time is it?" You might reply, "It's...
  • A List of Biblical Family Values to Cultivate

    12/30/2015 9:21:15 AM PST · by Salvation · 4 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 12-29-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    A List of Biblical Family Values to Cultivate Msgr. Charles Pope December 29, 2015 In Sunday's Feast of the Holy Family, the reading from the Letter to the Colossians sets forth values that ought to be cultivated by Christians, especially in the family setting.The third chapter of the Letter to the Colossians, while speaking in a general way about vices to be avoided and virtues to be cultivated, focuses in particular on the family, building to the conclusions about wives submitting to their husbands, husbands loving their wives, and children obeying their parents. For this reason, I use Colossians 3...
  • Paradoxes and Mysteries of the Incarnation

    12/31/2015 8:17:23 AM PST · by Salvation · 9 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 12-30-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Msgr. Charles Pope -- December 30, 2015 -- In the ancient Church and up until rather recently, one genuflected at the two references to the Incarnation during the Mass: during the Creed and in the Last Gospel (John 1). Why was this done? It was explained to me that the mystery of the Incarnation is so deep, one can only fall in silent reverence.There are many paradoxes and seeming impossibilities in the Incarnation. They cannot be fully solved, so they claim our reverence. We genuflected in the past, and today we bow today at the mention of the Incarnation in...
  • How to Understand Dry and Difficult Prayer

    12/29/2015 7:56:55 AM PST · by Salvation · 7 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 12-28-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Msgr. Charles Pope December 28, 2015 0 Comments Most who seek the Lord in prayer experience times of dryness and difficulty, times in which it seems to us that the Lord hides His face. We pray; we call out; we seek Him; but He doesn't seem to answer; it almost seems as if He hides from us.A well-known atheist was once asked what he would say to God if he were to discover upon his death that God exists. He replied simply, "I would ask, 'Why did you hide?'" Many of us who do believe might respond, "He doesn't hide!...
  • A Knock at Midnight – Christmas, Midnight Homily

    12/25/2015 7:28:27 AM PST · by Salvation · 2 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 12-24-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    A Knock at Midnight - Christmas, Midnight Homily Msgr. Charles Pope December 24, 2015 In this reflection, perhaps we can consider but one line in the Gospel which both challenges our love, and is a sign of God's humble and abiding love for us: For there was no room for them in the Inn. I. The Cold - There is a knock at midnight. Joseph, speaking on behalf of both Mary and Jesus (who is in her womb still), seeks entrance to the homes and lodgings of those in Bethlehem. And even though the Jewish people placed a great deal...
  • God's Plan for Marriage and Family - A Homily for the Feast of the Holy Family

    12/27/2015 8:24:34 AM PST · by Salvation · 13 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 12-25-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    God's Plan for Marriage and Family - A Homily for the Feast of the Holy Family Msgr. Charles Pope December 26, 2015 Here in the middle of the Christmas Octave, the Church bids us to celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family. On the old calendar, the feast of the Holy Family fell on the Sunday after Epiphany, which makes some sense. For it is a bit odd with the new calendar to read a gospel portraying Jesus at twelve years of age when we celebrated His birth just a few days ago. And then next week, on the Feast...
  • What Do Saints Fear?

    12/28/2015 8:09:44 AM PST · by Salvation · 837 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 12-27-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    What Do Saints Fear? Msgr. Charles Pope December 27, 2015 The average person may worry about any number of things: finances; security; strife in the family, community, nation, or world; health; the status of a relationship; how he is perceived by others. These tend to be the sorts of things that cause concern.What do saints worry about? To provide an answer, let's consider the words of one of our canonized saints. First, here is the context within which the saint spoke.Napoleon III had surrendered to the Prussians, bringing on the disaster. The Mother General put the sisters at the disposition...
  • Nativity animals

    12/26/2015 8:46:55 AM PST · by Salvation · 6 replies
    OSV.com ^ | 12-22-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Msgr. Charles Pope 12/22/2015 Nativity animals Question: I was told that the animals in the Christmas Nativity scene have a symbolic meaning. Is this so, and if so what?— Jennifer Ladd, Buffalo, New York Answer: Yes, the traditional animals of the Nativity scene are chosen for a reason. The ox and the donkey are a reference to Isaiah 1:3 which says, “An ox knows its owner, and an ass, its master’s manger; But Israel does not know, my people has not understood.”So, it’s actually rather an unflattering self-accusation we make of our own human family that, in effect, declares the...
  • Why Christmas Is Celebrated at Night

    12/23/2015 7:24:38 AM PST · by Salvation · 177 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 12-22-15 | Msge, Charles Pope
    Why Christmas Is Celebrated at Night Msgr. Charles Pope December 22, 2015 Some sing, "O Holy Night." Some sing, "Silent Night." Some sing, "It Came upon a Midnight Clear." Christmas, it would seem, is a festival of the middle of the night. Jesus was born when it was dark, dark midnight. We are sure of it. And why shouldn't we be?Even though we are not told the exact hour of His birth, we are sure that it must have been at night. Scripture does say that the shepherds who heard the glad tidings were keeping watch over their flock by...
  • Words Fail – Another Meditation on Silence Before the Mysteries of this Christmas Week

    12/22/2015 7:58:42 AM PST · by Salvation · 2 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 12-21-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Words Fail - Another Meditation on Silence Before the Mysteries of this Christmas Week Msgr. Charles Pope December 21, 2015 Though I wrote last week of holy silence, something urges me (a man of many words) to write of it again. During Mass today, the words of Zechariah came to my mind:Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion, for behold, I come and I will dwell in your midst, declares the Lord ... Be silent, all flesh, before the Lord, for he has roused himself from his holy dwelling (Zechariah 2:11, 13).There is a common idiom: "Words fail me." It...
  • Best Advent Hymn! I Wonder If You’ve Ever Heard of It

    12/18/2015 7:26:29 AM PST · by Salvation · 32 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 12-17-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Best Advent Hymn! I Wonder If You’ve Ever Heard of It Msgr. Charles Pope • December 17, 2015 • For my money, the best Advent hymn ever is Veni Redemptor Gentium (Come Redeemer of the Nations), written by St. Ambrose in the 4th century. It is known more widely by the title "Come Thou Redeemer of the Earth." Sadly, it is not widely sung in Catholic parishes. Most Catholics I've asked have never even heard of it.One of the beautiful things about the ancient Latin hymns is how richly theological they are. Not content to merely describe an event, they...
  • Star of the Magi

    12/19/2015 8:42:01 AM PST · by Salvation · 8 replies
    OSV.com ^ | 12-16-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Msgr. Charles Pope OSV Newsweekly Star of the Magi Question: I was reading a Catholic commentary on Scripture by a priest who maintains that the star that guided the Magi was not a star at all but some sort of moving ball of gas in the atmosphere. Is this Catholic teaching? I have never heard this.— Brad C. , St. Louis Answer: You were probably reading the commentary by Father Cornelius á Lapide who speculates the star was not really a star but was formed of condensed air and dust, with brightness infused into it and moved by the angels...
  • A Summary of our Salvation -- A Homily for the Fourth Sunday of Advent

    12/20/2015 8:03:17 AM PST · by Salvation · 2 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 12-19-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    A Summary of our Salvation -- A Homily for the Fourth Sunday of Advent Msgr. Charles Pope • December 19, 2015 • Here on the Fourth Sunday of Advent we are close to the unfolding of the great mystery of the Word made flesh. It is easy for us to look right past it, but we do well to pause and ponder what is taught to us today about the salvation that is to unfold. One significant way we can do this is by reflecting upon the first reading today from the prophet Micah. In four short verses, we are...
  • Some Final Advent Exhortations from the Lord

    12/21/2015 7:41:52 AM PST · by Salvation · 2 replies
    Arrchdiocese of Washington ^ | 12-20-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Some Final Advent Exhortations from the Lord Msgr. Charles Pope • December 20, 2015 • As Advent approaches its end, the Office of Readings features some final admonitions for us from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah. On the one hand they console; on the other hand they challenge us to remain firm.Isaiah addressed a people in exile who still awaited the first coming of the Lord. These texts now speak to us in difficult days when, exiled from Heaven, we await the His great second coming.Let's look at these admonitions of the Lord's (from Isaiah 46:1-13) that were addressed...
  • The Rise and Fall of a Prophet and What His Story Means for Us

    12/15/2015 7:45:14 AM PST · by Salvation · 2 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 12-14-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    The Rise and Fall of a Prophet and What His Story Means for Us Msgr. Charles Pope • December 14, 2015 • Balaam and the Angel, by Gustav Jaeger, 1836.He is one of the more curious figures of the Bible; the details of his life and story are caught up in textual complexities in the Book of Numbers. Though a prophet, he was not even an Israelite. He wrote no book and is not counted among Israel's prophets. And yet a prophet he was, for he spoke the oracles of God and brought blessings to Israel at a critical time...
  • On the Virtue of Holy Silence . . . -- A Meditation on the Silence Imposed upon Zechariah

    12/16/2015 8:13:14 AM PST · by Salvation · 8 replies
    Archdiocese o Washington ^ | 12-15-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    On the Virtue of Holy Silence Before the Mysteries of God -- A Meditation on the Silence Imposed upon Zechariah Msgr. Charles Pope • December 15, 2015 • As we move toward the conclusion of the Advent season, we ponder the events surrounding Christ's birth. The penultimate focus is the events leading up to the birth of St. John the Baptist, and in particular, the narrative of Zechariah and Elizabeth. While there are certainly many teachings to be drawn from this passage, there is value in pondering the imposition of silence upon Zechariah. This aspect of the story is particularly...
  • Five Steps to Better Mental Health -- A Homily for the Third Sunday of Advent

    12/13/2015 7:06:05 AM PST · by Salvation · 4 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 12-12-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Archdiocese of Washington Five Steps to Better Mental Health – A Homily for the Third Sunday of Advent Msgr. Charles Pope • December 12, 2015 • In modern times, we tend to link our notions of happiness and inner well-being to external circumstances and happenstance. And so we think that happiness will be found when the things of this world are arranged in the way we like. If we can just get enough money and creature comforts, we think we'll be happy and have a better sense of mental well-being.Yet many people can endure difficult external circumstances while remaining inwardly...
  • Religion and Its Duties Are Not Only an Act of Justice Toward God, but Something We Owe One Another

    12/14/2015 7:23:02 AM PST · by Salvation · 3 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 12-13-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Religion and Its Duties Are Not Only an Act of Justice Toward God, but Something We Owe One Another Msgr. Charles Pope • December 13, 2015 • In his Summa Theologica, St. Thomas Aquinas discusses the virtue of religion within his treatise on justice. This surprises some, who expect it to be treated under the theological virtue of faith. But Thomas clearly states that religion is not a theological virtue. Theological virtues have God Himself for their object, whereas religion has as its object the reverence, worship, and honor due to God (cf IIa, IIae 81.5). Religion is a matter...
  • The Red and the Black (and a New Word)! A Short Meditation on a Teaching - Joseph Ratzinger

    12/11/2015 8:21:07 AM PST · by Salvation · 7 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 12-10-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    The Red and the Black (and a Brand New Word)! A Short Liturgical Meditation on a Teaching by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger Msgr. Charles Pope • December 10, 2015 • In recent years Fr. John Zuhlsdorf has made famous the liturgical instruction, "Say the black; do the red." In other words, say the prayers as written in black ink (with no embellishments or deletions) and follow the instructions printed in red ink. After too many decades of liturgical errors -- even outright disobedience -- this is a pithy and memorable way to encourage proper demeanor and invoke the obedience that is...
  • 100 Questions that Jesus asked and YOU should answer

    12/10/2015 7:33:07 AM PST · by Salvation · 12 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 12-09-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    100 Questions that Jesus asked and YOU should answer Msgr. Charles Pope • December 9, 2015 • Jesus asked a lot of questions. And rightly so, for he was a supreme teacher. And as any good teacher knows, simply supplying information is not enough. A good teacher wants to teach students to think and go probe more deeply not just the answers, but why they are true. A good teacher also wants the students to examine their own premises, and discover where they stand in relation to the truth. Yes, asking questions of students is a great way to make...