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  • Faith Brings Comfort, But Not at First – A Reflection on a Teaching by Peter Kreeft

    11/07/2014 7:27:43 AM PST · by Salvation · 13 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 11-06-14 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Faith Brings Comfort, But Not at First – A Reflection on a Teaching by Peter Kreeft By: Msgr. Charles Pope For ongoing education and spiritual growth, I am always reading. One of the books I am currently reading is Peter Kreeft’s Angels and Demons. As most of you know, I have often expressed concern that angels have been sentimentalized and even trivialized. Most people’s conception of angels is far from what the Bible describes! If you have read Peter Kreeft, you know that very few people can express things as well as he does. Thus I would like to give you...
  • The Road to Hell is Paved With…Indifference. A Meditation on a Warning by Jesus

    11/05/2014 7:08:29 AM PST · by Salvation · 9 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 11-05-14 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    The Road to Hell is Paved With…Indifference. A Meditation on a Warning by Jesus By: Msgr. Charles PopeThe Gospel from today’s Mass (Tuesday of the 31st week of the year) features the familiar Lucan version of the parable of a certain man (in the Matthew version (Mat 22:2), Jesus calls him a king) who gave a banquet. But when all was prepared and the servants were sent out to fetch the invited guests, many of them made excuses, preferring not to come:The first said to him,‘I have purchased a field and must go to examine it;I ask you, consider...
  • On the Balance of Love and Correction, According to St. Gregory

    10/29/2014 9:08:35 AM PDT · by Salvation · 3 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 10-29-14 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    On the Balance of Love and Correction, According to St. GregoryBy: Msgr. Charles PopeApplying salutary  discipline and balancing it with necessary consolation and encouragement is never an easy task. It is possible that parents can be too severe on their children, such that they become disheartened and lack necessary self-esteem. But it is also possible that parents can be too lax, such that their children become spoiled and lack proper self-discipline and humility. Hence Scripture, seeking to balance teaching with encouragement, says, Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord (Eph 6:4).Pastors, too, in...
  • What is the Wrath of God?

    10/27/2014 7:23:52 AM PDT · by Salvation · 27 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 10-27-14 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    What is the Wrath of God? By: Msgr. Charles PopeIn Yesterday’s (Sunday of the 30th Week) Mass there was a reference to the wrath of God and how only Jesus can save us from it. St Paul, writing to the Thessalonians, commends them who have turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God and to await his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus, who delivers us from the coming wrath (1 Thess 1:9-10). Well thank you, Jesus!But what is God’s wrath? It is spoken of often in the scriptures and it is a concept with which...
  • The Whole Law, standing on one foot! A Homily For the 30th Sunday of the year

    10/26/2014 6:41:23 AM PDT · by Salvation · 4 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 10-25-14 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    The Whole Law, standing on one foot! A Homily For the 30th Sunday of the year By: Msgr. Charles PopeThere was an expression common among the rabbis of Jesus’ time, wherein one rabbi would ask another a question, and request that the answer be given while “standing on one foot.” This is a Jewish way of saying, “Be brief in your answer.”And that sort of expression may be behind the question that is raised in today’s gospel by the scholar of law, who asks, “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”Just as an aside, it is likely that...
  • Religious Liberty Threats: 2 Recent Incidents Raise Serious Concern/Show the Road Ahead May be Rocky

    10/21/2014 7:16:59 AM PDT · by Salvation · 19 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 10-20-14 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Religious Liberty Threats: Two Recent Incidents Raise Serious Concern and Show the Road Ahead May be Rocky By: Msgr. Charles PopeTwo stories recently in the news illustrate that the path for religious liberty is going to get increasingly rocky in the days ahead. Up until now, the main dispute of the Church with the federal government has been over the “HHS Mandate” requiring us to provide contraception and abortion coverage. We have seen some legal victories on this front, but the battle is far from over and the cost in terms of money, time, and other resources has been enormous.The...
  • God and God Alone: A Homily for the 29th Sunday of the Year

    10/19/2014 2:29:57 PM PDT · by Salvation · 15 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 10-19-14 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    God and God Alone: A Homily for the 29th Sunday of the Year By: Msgr. Charles PopeThe Gospel today contains lots of interesting juxtapositions: hatred for Jesus but grudging respect for him,  real questions versus rhetorical ones, politics and faith, duties to Caesar and duties to God. The word  “juxtaposition” is from the Latin juxta (meaning “near”) and positio (meaning “place or position”). Hence juxtaposition is the placing of two things near to each other in order to see how they are similar and yet different.  In English, usually a juxtaposition emphasizes differences more than similarities.Let’s look at these one...
  • Back to Basics: A Summary of the Teaching of the Catechism on Holy Matrimony

    10/16/2014 9:03:48 AM PDT · by Salvation · 7 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 10-15-14 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Back to Basics: A Summary of the Teaching of the Catechism on Holy Matrimony By: Msgr. Charles PopeThere’s an old story told about the legendary football coach, Vince Lombardi. At one point he was so concerned that the players on his team had lost any sense of the basics of the game that he summoned them all into a classroom and had them all sit down at desks. Most of them expected a detailed review of the playbook, with diagrams on the board of X’s, O’s, and arrows. But to their surprise, the blackboard was empty and no playbooks were in sight. Lombardi walked in...
  • What is “The Art of Accompaniment”? Some Concerns About Another Phrase Emerging From the Synod

    11/17/2014 7:25:20 AM PST · by Salvation · 36 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | November 16, 2014 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    What is “The Art of Accompaniment”? Some Concerns About Another Phrase Emerging From the Synod By: Msgr. Charles PopeOne of the events at last week’s meeting of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) was a first-hand summary of the Roman (extraordinary) Synod on the family by several bishops who attended. It would appear, as related by Archbishop Kurtz,  that a certain expression emerged at the Synod that is meant to convey a kind of pastoral strategy. That phrase is the “art of accompaniment.” Of itself, the phrase both makes sense and has value. In life, we must all learn, individually and collectively,...
  • Catalog of Sin – All Items are in Stock, Free Shipping and Handling from the Supplier

    11/18/2014 7:50:17 AM PST · by Salvation · 99 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 11-17-14 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Catalog of Sin – All Items are in Stock, Free Shipping and Handling from the Supplier By: Msgr. Charles PopeThe video at the bottom of the page is something of a spoof on drug commercials, treating sin like a drug. Wait till you hear the side-effects disclaimer at the end. I also thought today of doing a little post on the sins that cry to heaven for vengeance since I was talking to a parishioner today, who is suffering because his employer has not paid him for three weeks. The employer, a shipping agency says this is  due to “administrative...
  • Are These the “Outer Bands” of a Coming Judgment?

    11/12/2014 7:40:44 AM PST · by Salvation · 21 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 11-11-14 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Are These the “Outer Bands” of a Coming Judgment? By: Msgr. Charles PopeAre we in the “Last Days”? Generally it would seem not, though there are sobering indicators that the outer bands of a coming storm are overhead.The sum total teaching of eschatology would seem to indicate that a number of things must first happen before the end: a comprehensive completion of the going out of the Gospel to all the nations, widespread acceptance by Israel that Christ is in fact the Messiah, the emergence of an antichrist figure who will deceive the nations, a final, intensive and unprecedented unleashing...
  • Does “Gospel” Simply Mean “Good News”? Or Have We Unintentionally Defined Ourselves into a Corner?

    11/11/2014 7:09:08 AM PST · by Salvation · 66 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 11-10-14 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Does “Gospel” Simply Mean “Good News”? Or Have We Unintentionally Defined Ourselves into a Corner?By: Msgr. Charles PopeThere are times in the Church when we want to define something rather easily and simply so as to make it memorable and easy to grasp. But in so doing, we run the risk of doing harm to its deeper, richer, and more accurate meaning.I wonder if we have not done this with the word “gospel.” Most of us have been trained to define the word “gospel” as “good news.” Clearly there is good news in the Gospels and, by extension, the whole of...
  • The Heavenly Elements of the Liturgy

    11/10/2014 7:20:24 AM PST · by Salvation · 86 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 11-09-14 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    The Heavenly Elements of the LiturgyBy: Msgr. Charles PopeIn November, Catholics are encouraged to meditate on the “Last Things.” As you know, I write quite often on Hell. But I have written on Heaven, too. In this post I propose simply to set forth how much of our liturgy is a kind of dress rehearsal for Heaven.Indeed, Catholics are often unaware just how biblical the Sacred Liturgy is. The design of our traditional churches; the use of candles, incense, and golden vessels; the postures of standing and kneeling; the altar; the singing of hymns; priests wearing albs and so forth are...
  • All is Calm, All is Bright…Really? Maybe This Video Will Help

    12/06/2014 6:52:20 AM PST · by Salvation · 12 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 12-05-0-14 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    All is Calm, All is Bright…Really? Maybe This Video Will Help By: Msgr. Charles PopeThe video below was produced by the Archdiocese of Washington for our “Find the Perfect Gift” Christmas outreach. It is an attempt to refocus Catholics and non-Catholics on the truest and most perfect gift of Christmas, Jesus Christ. It also invites each of us to give the perfect gift, the gift of our very self to God and to one another.The video illustrates well a problem that we can all have at Christmas: hectic, hurried lives, made even busier by “holiday” requirements and traditions. These traditions,...
  • Temptation as a Form of Martyrdom – A Meditation on a Writing of St. Ambrose

    10/13/2014 8:29:59 AM PDT · by Salvation · 4 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 10-12-14 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Temptation as a Form of Martyrdom – A Meditation on a Writing of St. Ambrose By: Msgr. Charles PopeTemptation is a universal human experience. And because it’s so directly associated with sin, many too easily equate being tempted with sinning. But temptation is not the same as sin. If it were, how could the Scriptures say to us that Jesus was tempted in every way we are and yet was without sin? (Heb 4:15) Hence, the simple experience of temptation is not sin. It is true, however, that our past indulgence in sin can make us more susceptible to temptation.However, properly understood,...
  • Pondering “Gradualism” and the “Midterm” Report

    10/15/2014 8:46:30 AM PDT · by Salvation · 39 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 10-14-14 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Pondering “Gradualism” and the “Midterm” Report By: Msgr. Charles PopeThe so-called “midterm” report of the Synod is out. Please remember, it is only a rough draft and the final report may in fact look very different. Frankly, I am not sure why we are even being permitted to look at a rough draft. Nevertheless, presuming the Pope is serious about inviting discussion, let me consider a certain aspect of the report and a few particulars.A governing principle that seems to permeate the report’s reflections is one that some refer to as “gradualism.” As a pastoral strategy, gradualism can be an effective, even necessary approach in...
  • A Meditation On the “Bloody Octave” of Christmas [Catholic Caucus]

    12/30/2010 4:54:27 PM PST · by Salvation · 16 replies · 62+ views
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | December 29, 2010 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    A Meditation On the “Bloody Octave” of ChristmasBy: Msgr. Charles Pope We are in the midst of the Christmas Octave and we might sentimentally think that its features would be delightful pleasant, Gospels of joy and promise. And yet it is an Octave filled with blood as we shall see.What is an Octave? But first, there may be some of you who wonder what is meant by and “Octave.” An Octave is a period of eight days wherein a feast of the Church is celebrated for that whole period as though it were all the same day. In the...
  • A Look at the “Actual Mass” of Vatican II: the 1965 Missal

    01/29/2015 7:46:27 AM PST · by Salvation · 46 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 01-28-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    A Look at the “Actual Mass” of Vatican II: the 1965 Missal By: Msgr. Charles PopeA couple of weeks ago I wrote a cautionary article aimed at my traditionally-minded brethren saying, among other things, that we ought to be careful in identifying the Ordinary Form of the Mass (1970 Missal and beyond) as the “Mass of Vatican II.”  I will not reproduce that whole article here. I will only recall three points:1. The Mass was already undergoing significant changes, beginning in the 1940s and picking up speed through the 1950s. More changes were planned by the Vatican before the Second Vatican...
  • Will You Still Need Me, Will You Still Feed Me, When I’m 64? A Refutation of Assisted Suicide

    01/28/2015 7:56:23 AM PST · by Salvation · 18 replies
    Arhcdiocese of Washington ^ | 01-27-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Will You Still Need Me, Will You Still Feed Me, When I’m 64? A Refutation of the Latest Assisted Suicide Bill By: Msgr. Charles PopeA bill has been introduced in the Washington D.C. City Council to legalize assisted suicide. And thus yet another battle is before us in the cultural meltdown of our land. Unpleasant though it is, dear reader, consider with me the proposed legislation and why we, as both Christians and those dedicated to Natural Law and the common good, must vigorously oppose it.As a tool for reflection, I am using an article published recently on the website DCist.com. I...
  • Sober Scriptural Wisdom on Avoiding the Whirlwind of Lust

    01/27/2015 7:28:37 AM PST · by Salvation · 13 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 01-26-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Sober Scriptural Wisdom on Avoiding the Whirlwind of Lust By: Msgr. Charles PopeThere is a marvelous chapter in the Book of Proverbs that ought to be studied by every young person who must live in this lustful world. Its sets forth plainly the stance that any son or daughter of God should have regarding the lust so often celebrated by this age.Many preachers and teachers wince at the Book of Proverbs on this topic since it tends to portray seduction and lust as coming from women.However it must be recalled that Proverbs features a father speaking to his son....
  • If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts...Meditation on-Jonah.

    01/26/2015 7:24:23 AM PST · by Salvation · 7 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 01-2515 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there shall thy hand lead me. A Meditation on the Story of Jonah. By: Msgr. Charles PopeAs a followup to yesterday’s (Sunday 3rd Week) reference to Jonah the Prophet, I would like to sketch a fuller portrait of his life. Yesterday’s reading dropped us into the middle of the story. Let’s look at the backstory and see how the Lord does not give up on Jonah, nor on the people whom He has sent Jonah to deliver. God keeps calling until we are ready, until our last...
  • Many Have Reduced Love to Kindness...A Further Reflection on the Moral Troubles of our Time

    01/22/2015 7:08:12 AM PST · by Salvation · 15 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 01-21-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Many Have Reduced Love to Kindness, and Kindness to Mere Affirmation – A Further Reflection on the Moral Troubles of our Time By: Msgr. Charles PopeIn yesterday’s post, there was a critique of a flawed moral perspective that sets up a false dichotomy between mercy  and moral teaching, and between love and the law. As noted yesterday, well-ordered love and mercy must be rooted in truth. The greatest mercy is to keep people out of Hell and to save them from all the suffering that comes from sin.Jesus exhibits this in His person, for He who is love insists on moral...
  • A Lowly Pastor Comments on Troubling Developments in the “Divorce Debate”

    01/21/2015 6:40:28 AM PST · by Salvation · 27 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 01-20-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    A Lowly Pastor Comments on Troubling Developments in the “Divorce Debate” By: Msgr. Charles PopeIt is sadly evident that the Church is currently divided into two camps over the question of divorce and remarriage, this in the aftermath (confusion) of the recent synod in Rome and in the rampup to the synod this coming October. Please pray a lot!If you read the blog here often, you know that I am strongly opposed to any notions that would seek to set aside what I regard as the ipsissima verba Jesu (the very words of Jesus) in this matter, words that are,...
  • What Does Jesus Mean When He Says to Some, “I Do Not Know You”?

    01/20/2015 8:37:21 AM PST · by Salvation · 66 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 01-19-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    What Does Jesus Mean When He Says to Some, “I Do Not Know You”? By: Msgr. Charles PopeEvery now and then someone will come past my door and request parish services of some sort. Maybe it’s to plan a wedding, a baptism, or a funeral; maybe it’s for money! And then I look at him or her and say, “Who are you?” (since I don’t recognize the person). “Oh, well Father, you don’t know me but my grandmother goes here; this is our family Church.” “Oh, I see, but where do you go to Church?” I usually ask.  The response...
  • A Glimmer of Light in a Bleak Decade – A Consideration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    01/19/2015 8:19:24 AM PST · by Salvation · 35 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 01-18-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    A Glimmer of Light in a Very Bleak Decade – A Consideration of the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. By: Msgr. Charles PopeIt is difficult to describe the decade of the 1960s as anything but a near complete disaster for this country, Western culture, and the world. Like a tsunami that sweeps in and out in successive waves destroying and reworking the whole landscape and setting loose subsequent disasters, the 1960s was a disastrous series of revolutions whose destructive aftermath is now breeding disease, broken families, addiction, sexual confusion, and social chaos. The sexual revolution, the revolution...
  • The Formation Of A Great Prophet - A Homily for the Second Sunday of the Year

    01/18/2015 7:34:32 AM PST · by Salvation · 3 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 01-17-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    The Formation Of A Great Prophet – A Homily for the Second Sunday of the Year By: Msgr. Charles PopeThe First Reading today speaks to us of the Call of Samuel. In examining we can see what it is that makes a great prophet. Put more theologically we can see the ways in which God’s graces form a great prophet. Samuel was surely one of the most significant prophets of the Old Testament and lived at a critical time as Israel  shifted from the time of the Judges to the time of the Monarchy. Ultimately it was he who...
  • Faith is not alone, Scripture is not alone, Grace is not alone. We ought not separate what God...

    01/16/2015 8:03:35 AM PST · by Salvation · 163 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 01-15-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Faith is not alone, Scripture is not alone, Grace is not alone. We ought not separate what God has joined. By: Msgr. Charles PopeThere are a lot of “solos” sung by our Protestant brethren: Sola Fide (saved by faith alone), Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone is the rule of faith), and sola gratia (grace alone). (See the Protestant logo to the right.) Generally, one ought to be suspicious and careful of claims that things work “alone.” It is our usual experience that many things work together in harmony, that things are interrelated. Very seldom is anyone or anything “alone.”The problem of...
  • When Science is Betrayed – and What Lessons We Should Learn

    01/15/2015 7:50:33 AM PST · by Salvation · 23 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 01-14-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    When Science is Betrayed – and What Lessons We Should Learn By: Msgr. Charles PopeThere is a great reverence for science in our culture. On the one hand, rightly so. Science has made enormous strides that have changed life as we know it. Profound discoveries have eradicated diseases, improved health, increased the world’s food supply, led to a computer revolution, drawn us higher into outer space and deeper into inner space, revealed hidden mysteries of nature, and produced technologies unimaginable to even our recent ancestors.On the other hand, the reverence of science has tipped perhaps too far in the direction of a...
  • Mystery Is Deep and Yet Vertical – A Brief Meditation on the Christian Meaning of Mystery

    01/14/2015 8:01:13 AM PST · by Salvation · 58 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 01-13-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Mystery Is Deep and Yet Vertical – A Brief Meditation on the Christian Meaning of Mystery By: Msgr. Charles PopeIn the secular world, a “mystery” is something which baffles or eludes understanding, something which lies undisclosed. And the usual attitude of the world toward mystery is to solve it, to get to the bottom of it, or to uncover it. Mysteries must be overcome! The riddle or “whodunit” must be solved!In the Christian and especially the Catholic world, “mystery” is something a bit different. Here, mystery refers to the fact that there are hidden dimensions in things, people, and situations that...
  • Wading in the Troubled Water Saves You, Not Taking a Bridge Over It; A Homily...Baptism...Lord

    01/11/2015 8:13:33 AM PST · by Salvation · 10 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 01-10-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Wading in the Troubled Water Saves You, Not Taking a Bridge Over It – A Homily for the Baptism of the Lord By: Msgr. Charles PopeToday’s feast of the Baptism of the Lord provides a moment to reflect not only on the Lord’s baptism, but also on our own. For 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. And in these waters He acquires gifts to give us, as...
  • What Do the Scriptures Mean which speak of “the flesh?”

    01/09/2015 7:27:11 AM PST · by Salvation · 160 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 01-08-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    What Do the Scriptures Mean which speak of “the flesh?” By: Msgr. Charles PopeThere is a common misunderstanding of the meaning of the Biblical phrase “the flesh.”  There are many references to “the flesh” in New Testament Scripture, especially in the letters of St. Paul. The phrase confuses some, who think it synonymous with the physical body or merely with sexual sin.It is true that there are many times when Scripture uses the word “flesh” to refer to the physical body. However, when the definite article “the” is placed before the word “flesh” we are most often dealing with something...
  • If the Second Vatican Council Had Never Happened, Would We Still Have a “New Mass?” … Quite Possibly

    01/07/2015 9:09:46 AM PST · by Salvation · 23 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 01-06-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    If the Second Vatican Council Had Never Happened, Would We Still Have a “New Mass?” … Quite Possibly By: Msgr. Charles PopeOne of the unfortunate couplings with those who lament the loss of the “pre-Conciliar” Mass (a.k.a. Traditional Latin Mass (TLM), Extraordinary Form, 1962 Missal, etc.) is the linking of the “New Mass” (a.k.a. Ordinary Form) wholly with the Second Vatican Council. This connection, while understandable given the emergence of the Ordinary Form just after the Council, is too simplistic and is unhelpful for a number of reasons. Without the Second Vatican Council, would the Ordinary Form of the Mass be...
  • “And no small tempest lay on us …” The Story of a Storm That St. Paul Endured and What...

    01/05/2015 6:31:02 AM PST · by Salvation · 2 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 01-04-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    “And no small tempest lay on us …” – The Story of a Storm That St. Paul Endured and What It Has to Teach Us About SinBy: Msgr. Charles PopeIt is an interesting fact that St. Luke devotes and entire Chapter of Acts (27) describing a storm at sea that St. Paul endured. The level of detail is high and thus we are signaled that such details are important. The Holy Spirit has something to teach of here of how we get into trouble, and how we can get out.Storms in life often come to us out of our...
  • Without Our Traditions, Our Life would be as Shaky as a Fiddler on the Roof!

    01/02/2015 7:18:28 AM PST · by Salvation · 90 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 01-01-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Without Our Traditions, Our Life would be as Shaky as a Fiddler on the Roof! By: Msgr. Charles PopeWhen I was a young man, a teenager really, I did the usual crazy stuff of the early ’70s: long hair, bell bottoms, wide ties, crazy plaids, shirt open at least least three buttons, and, of course, rock-n-roll.But through it all I had this love for older things. I think it had something to do with my grandmother, Nana, whom I loved with great affection. Often she lamented the loss of the old things and old ways. She missed the Latin Mass;...
  • Will the Real January 1st Please Stand Up? A Homily for New Years

    01/01/2015 8:20:59 AM PST · by Salvation · 21 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 01-01-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Will the Real January 1st Please Stand Up? A Homily for New Years By: Msgr. Charles PopeThis feast day, of January 1, is a very complex tapestry, both culturally in liturgically. Perhaps we can use the second reading by St. Paul to the Galatians as a way to weave through some of the many details. We can look at it in three parts.I. The Chronology of our celebration. The text from St. Paul’s letter to the Galatians says, When the fullness of time had come…Most people, both in the wider culture and in the Church are going about today...
  • “Alas, Alas for the Great City!” An Urgent Plea for Prayer at the New Year!

    12/31/2014 8:27:36 AM PST · by Salvation · 100 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 12-30-14 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    “Alas, Alas for the Great City!” An Urgent Plea for Prayer at the New Year! By: Msgr. Charles PopeWe are very close to the new year, 2015 AD. And most of us at the new year have it in mind to pray for the future year not only for ourselves, but also for our family, country, and culture. With that in mind, there is something of an admonition to us all that I would share from Scripture. For while we look to the new year with hope, we do well to soberly assess the warnings of God that are seemingly...
  • Article Ponders the Rarity of Earth ... How Astronomical Are the Odds Against Life in/Universe!

    12/29/2014 7:55:13 AM PST · by Salvation · 88 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 12-25-14 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    A Recent Article Ponders the Rarity of Earth And How Astronomical Are the Odds Against Complex Life in the Universe! By: Msgr. Charles PopeWe have discussed on the blog before the potential flaws in the mere statistical presumption that because there are so many stars there must be billions of other Earth-like planets in the universe that likely support life similar to ours. Why? Because it is not just one or two things that make Earth what it is; it is many, many essential things that make Earth capable of sustaining life for long enough that our civilization has...
  • Focused on a Functional Family: A Homily for the Feast of the Holy Family

    12/28/2014 6:35:07 AM PST · by Salvation · 7 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 12+27-14 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Focused on a Functional Family: A Homily for the Feast of the Holy Family By: Msgr. Charles PopeHere 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 falls on the Sunday after Epiphany, which makes a little more sense since the gospels appointed for the feast often take us far forward in time mere days after He is born. The gospel this year is only forty days into the future  (unlike other years when the gospel takes us twelve years into the...
  • The Truer Gift As Seen in a Touching Christmas Commercial

    12/27/2014 8:24:04 AM PST · by Salvation · 4 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 12-26-14 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    The Truer Gift As Seen in a Touching Christmas Commercial By: Msgr. Charles PopeThere is an old saying that the greatest things in life aren’t things. Our greatest gifts are those we love, beginning with God, and extending to one another.One of the great dangers at Christmastime (and with life in general) is that we maximize the minimum and minimize the maximum, or, as Jesus puts it, we strain out gnats and swallow camels (Matt 23:24).  He said this about the religiously observant of his day, who meticulously followed small, technical rules about cleanliness and ritual purity, but neglected...
  • Is There Anyone You Know Who Might Have Been Forgotten This Christmas?

    12/26/2014 7:23:00 AM PST · by Salvation · 27 replies
    Archdioce of Washington ^ | 12-25-14 | Msgr. Charels Pope
    Is There Anyone You Know Who Might Have Been Forgotten This Christmas? By: Msgr. Charles PopeChristmas is a beautiful time of the year for most of us, most of the time. But it is also true that Christmas can be a very painful time of year for some, especially those who have experienced recent loss or who, for various reasons, have fewer family options at Christmas. Yes, Christmas can be the best of times or the loneliest of times, the most wonderful time of the year or the most painful.The video below reminds us that Christmas can also be a...
  • Focused on the Dysfunctional? A Consideration of the Need for Synod on Family-Refocus ON the Family

    12/22/2014 7:55:57 AM PST · by Salvation · 23 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 12-21-14 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Focused on the Dysfunctional? A Consideration of the Need for the Synod on the Family to Refocus ON the Family By: Msgr. Charles PopeMany breathed a sigh of relief when the summary document of the extraordinary Synod on the Family was much improved and the seriously flawed sections (which no one seems to know who wrote!) were removed.  But in this case we cannot allow the better to become the enemy of the best. And frankly the relatio, though improved, ought not escape sober scrutiny by those who seek to allow the upcoming (Ordinary) Synod to become what it really...
  • See What the End Shall Be: A Homily for the 4th Sunday of Advent

    12/21/2014 6:51:35 AM PST · by Salvation · 8 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 12-20-14 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    See What the End Shall Be: A Homily for the 4th Sunday of Advent By: Msgr. Charles PopeIn todayÂ’s Gospel we step back nine months to March 25th, the feast of the Annunciation, an event all but hidden, but which changed the world.God, whose focal presence had departed the Temple just prior to the Babylonian invasion (cf Ez 10:18) and the loss of the Ark of the Covenant, now returns to the Ark of MaryÂ’s womb. The glorious presence of God returns now to His people in an obscure town of fewer than three hundred, a town so small...
  • Christmas Isn’t Perfect – So Find Christ in Your Real Christmas

    12/20/2014 9:35:30 AM PST · by Salvation · 13 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 12-19-14 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Christmas Isn’t Perfect – So Find Christ in Your Real Christmas By: Msgr. Charles PopeMost of us have a perfect Christmas in mind. Often it is the creation of Hallmark, Currier & Ives, and various marketers. But none of us will have a perfect Christmas, just a real one.The First Christmas wasn’t perfect either. In fact, the only way to describe it is to call it a crisis. Mary was pregnant before marriage, a very dangerous thing in those times. Just at the time of birth they were required to travel eighty miles on foot to Bethlehem. There was no...
  • Run, Don’t Walk, to the Nearing Jesus!

    12/18/2014 7:08:19 AM PST · by Salvation · 26 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 12-17-14 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Run, Don’t Walk, to the Nearing Jesus! By: Msgr. Charles PopeThe Lord’s coming is near. And though we have all been well taught that the word “Advent” means “coming,” there is the danger that we think we are only passively waiting for him to come.  It is not just that the Lord is coming to us, but that we are also journeying to Him. In fact, as the Advent prayers in the Roman Missal instruct, we ought to run, not walk, and hasten to greet Him as He draws near.The image of the Prodigal Son comes to mind. His...
  • Strange Moments In Liturgical History – How a Paragon of Liturgical Tradition May Have Caused....

    12/17/2014 9:34:51 AM PST · by Salvation · 6 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 12-16-14 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Strange Moments In Liturgical History – How a Paragon of Liturgical Tradition May Have Caused Unintended Effects By: Msgr. Charles PopeIn the modern struggles and disagreements over the Liturgy, there tends to be a list of friends and opponents depending on one’s stance. For those of us with a more traditional leaning, Pope St. Pius X looms large as a friend and an image of tradition. He is usually seen as a defender of the tradition and a great proponent of what is called today the Extraordinary Form or Traditional Latin Mass (TLM)—so much so that the Society of...
  • Sweet, Beautiful, Soul-Saving Joy – A Homily for the 3rd Sunday of Advent

    12/14/2014 7:31:49 AM PST · by Salvation · 2 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 12-14-14 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Sweet, Beautiful, Soul-Saving Joy – A Homily for the 3rd Sunday of Advent By: Msgr. Charles PopeThis Sunday is traditionally called Gaudete Sunday based on the Introit for the day: Gaudete in Domino semper, iterum dico, Gaudete (from Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say, Rejoice). This theme is developed most fully in today’s readings in 1 Thessalonians 5:16ff. It, too, begins with the salutation and imperative, “rejoice always!”Let’s take a closer look at that reading and what is meant by the admonition to “rejoice.”The text begins, Rejoice always. The Greek word properly translated here as “rejoice”...
  • A Prayer for the Internet from the 1946 Roman Ritual? Sure, and It’s Wonderful!

    12/12/2014 7:50:12 AM PST · by Salvation · 16 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 12-11-14 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    A Prayer for the Internet from the 1946 Roman Ritual? Sure, and It’s Wonderful! By: Msgr. Charles PopeThe old Roman Ritual was (is) a magnificent collection of blessings and prayers. It had some of the most amazing little blessings of things it would never occur to you to find in such a collection. For example, among other more common blessings of statues, religious medals, and so forth are blessings, often elaborately laid out, for things like a seismograph, a typewriter, a printing press, a fishing boat, a fire engine, a stable, medicine, a well, a bridge, an archive, a lime kiln,...
  • Don’t Just Do Something, Stand There! A Brief Consideration of the Importance of Experience

    12/11/2014 7:42:32 AM PST · by Salvation · 15 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 12-10-14 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Don’t Just Do Something, Stand There! A Brief Consideration of the Importance of ExperienceBy: Msgr. Charles PopeI want to give two thumbs up for good old-fashioned experience, just experiencing life to its top … just having an experience! Too often in today’s hurried age and also in this time of 24×7 news, we rush past experience right to analysis. Too often we insist on knowing immediately what something “means” and what to think about it. This rush to think and analyze often happens before the experience is even over. And, of course, analyzing something before all the facts are...
  • Come Lord Jesus! A Meditation on the Stunning Glory of Being Gathered to Christ on the Last Day

    12/10/2014 8:12:57 AM PST · by Salvation · 39 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 12-09-14 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Come Lord Jesus! A Meditation on the Stunning Glory of Being Gathered to Christ on the Last Day By: Msgr. Charles PopeIn Advent, as we continue to meditate on the Parousia (the magnificent Second Coming of the Lord), we do well to allow our imaginations to be engaged in contemplating the glory that awaits those who are faithful, to meditate on the joy and ecstasy of the culmination of all things!Though we have soberly meditated on the need to be ready and on the great danger that many who are not serious may be lost, for those who ARE ready, what glories...
  • The “Great Gettin’ Up Morning” as Described in an Unlikely Advent Hymn

    12/09/2014 8:08:20 AM PST · by Salvation · 11 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 12-08-14 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    The “Great Gettin’ Up Morning” as Described in an Unlikely Advent Hymn By: Msgr. Charles PopeHere in the heart of Advent, we are considering how prepared we are for the Lord to come again. Either He will come to us or we will go to Him, but either way we must prepare. In today’s post I’d like to consider some teachings about the Day of Judgment, from an Advent hymn that most do not know is an Advent hymn. Tomorrow I would like to consider the great Parousia, wherein the saved enter into glory with the Lord.Regarding the “Great and...