“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…” (Matthew 5:43-44).
Jesus made a very clear and bold statement about how we are to deal with some of our least favorite people. We are to love them, but what does that look like, practically speaking?
Before we look at how to love our enemies, we have to define love. The world tells us that love is an emotion and that it feels good. Love is something that can be written about on a greeting card and it sounds great. We see people all around us fall in love and others who fall out of love, sadly resulting in the dissolution of marriages based on feelings. The Christian definition of love, however, is much different and not dependent on feelings at all.READ MORE
You have likely noticed that I reference the Catechism of the Catholic Church quite often when writing articles and reflections for the weekly bulletin. The Catechism is a book that can seem quite intimidating. First of all, it is a very big book. My version contains 904 pages. It is also filled with numbers, both at the beginning of each paragraph as well as in the margins, and there are tons of footnotes. There are numerous topics and it is difficult to know even where to begin. This week I would like to spend some time talking about this book, how to use it, and how it is a helpful and beautiful resource for Catholics wanting to know more about their Faith. You have likely noticed that I reference the Catechism of the Catholic Church quite often when writing articles and reflections for the weekly bulletin. The Catechism is a book that can seem quite intimidating. First of all, it is a very big book. My version contains 904 pages. It is also filled with numbers, both at the beginning of each paragraph as well as in the margins, and there are tons of footnotes. There are numerous topics and it is difficult to know even where to begin. This week I would like to spend some time talking about this book, how to use it, and how it is a helpful and beautiful resource for Catholics wanting to know more about their Faith.READ MORE
It is relatively safe to assume that if you’re reading this reflection, you likely believe in the existence of God. However, it is a very sad reality in our world today that many people do not believe in God. Some people equate belief in God and faith as fairy tales, mythology, or simply things we’ve made up to make ourselves feel better or less alone in the world. It is also sometimes misunderstood that faith and human reason cannot co-exist, but nothing could be further from the truth. Our human reason can, in fact, lead us to the truth which is then magnified by our faith.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that the desire for God is written on every human heart (CCC #27). We can see this in every person we encounter, whether they believe in God or not, and regardless of which religion or spirituality they practice (CCC #28). Everyone, in some way or another, is seeking truth and the meaning of life, however wayward it may seem to others. This is all driven by the desire God wrote into humanity to seek Him out, which is all largely rooted in our human reason.READ MORE
One of the things that stands out to non-Catholics about the Catholic Church is her veneration of saints, though this practice is often misunderstood. So, what does the Church teach us about saints and how they are there to help us?
First, we must differentiate between saints in general and those who are canonized. When we pray the Apostles’ Creed, we say that we believe in the “communion of saints.” We understand the communion of saints to be all members of the faithful, whether living or dead. This includes, of course, those in heaven, but also those in purgatory who are undergoing their purification process and on their way to heaven. We are all part of the communion of saints because we are all members of the mystical body of Christ and are, in fact, a communion under Him.READ MORE
As we celebrate Independence Day this weekend, I would like to take a closer look at what freedom means in the Economy of Salvation for us as Catholic Christians.
We live in a world today where freedom is misunderstood. Society dictates who is free to do what, when, and where based on whims, emotions, and popular opinions. A popular theme is “Hey, if I want to do X and it’s not hurting anyone, why not? I have free will.” You might also find that where you were free to say or do something one minute, you are all of a sudden no longer free to say or do that same thing. The truth is that we are all free to choose anything, but not without consequences and those consequences are really of the eternal order and not of the worldly one.READ MORE
You might not think too much about it, but you are likely aware that we are surrounded by invisible beings called angels. Let’s take a closer look at what angels are and what their role is in our lives and our salvation.
Angels are purely spiritual beings without bodies that still possess intelligence and will. Despite not having a body, each angel is considered an individual just like you or me. Angels were created prior to humanity and are higher than humans in the hierarchy of creation. They are more beautiful, glorious, and perfect than any visible creation. (CCCC #330) It is important to note here that angels are entirely different beings than humans. Sometimes you might hear someone say that their deceased loved one has become their “guardian angel.” While it might be comforting to think that, humans can never become actual angels. Rather, their soul, which is also purely spiritual and not physical, carries on into the afterlife. That being said, you can still be comforted knowing that your loved one’s soul is still close to you, consoling you and praying for you.READ MORE
Today is Father’s Day and, therefore, a good day to discuss God as our Father.
God the Father is the first person in the Divine Trinity as He is the omnipotent, ever-present Creator of the entire universe. Because of this greatness and grandeur, especially when juxtaposed to the humanity of God in Jesus, God the Father can sometimes seem distant or inaccessible. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Our heavenly Father loves each one of us so much and desires deeply for us to turn to Him in intimate relationship.READ MORE
Today is a very special day, indeed, as we celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi, which is, of course, our parish’s namesake.
Corpus Christi literally means the Body of Christ. The Body of Christ can refer to a couple of different definitions that are all equally true. On one hand, the Body of Christ can mean the Church, of which He is the head. Each and every one of us, united under the head, make up the members of His body. However, today we will focus on the Body of Christ as it exists in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.READ MORE
This has been an incredibly tumultuous and challenging several months for the world, but also for our parish and our individual families and communities. With the rise in Covid-19 cases, we found ourselves in unprecedented circumstances where we could not lead our lives in a way we normally would or freely visit the places we normally did. Along with that came the closure of our churches. This was a devastating blow for most of us. Catholics do not attend church on Sunday just to hear the Word of God in Scripture followed by a sermon. Catholics attend Mass on Sunday to receive Jesus in His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. The Eucharist is our sustenance and the very means by which we allow Jesus to enter into us and change us from the inside out by His grace. To lose our physical access to Jesus so abruptly let our community in a longing pain.READ MORE