This feast has been celebrated in Rome since at least the fourth century. It signifies the unity of the Church founded upon the Apostles. For more about this feast day, please click on the image. Peace be with you!
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent—a season of purification, sacrifice, and preparation. As we begin the penitential season of Lent, now - today - is a time of reflection; a time to ask what we are in need of to grow in the spiritual life. Lent is the season where we are invited again to examine ourselves and ask God how we can turn our heart to him and grow closer so that we may die to oneself to live in God. As Christians, we can do so only with humility and patience, with generosity and perseverance. For a reflection on Lent and Ash Wednesday, please click on the image. Peace be with you!
On November 1st the Church celebrates all her holy ones in heaven, known and unknown, with the feast of All Saints. The solemnity originally began in the 4th century to commemorate all the Christian martyrs killed during those centuries of brutal persecution before Christianity was legalized. There were so many martyrs that a separate feast day could not be given to each one individually, yet, the Church did not want to leave any martyr without proper veneration. A common feast day developed and was usually celebrated in the Easter season. In the 8th century Pope Gregory III consecrated a chapel in St. Peter’s Basilica to all the saints and moved the feast day to November 1st. The feast of All Saints is a Holy Day of Obligation. For more about this great feast - a celebration of God's family - please click on the image. Peace be with you!
On this Father's Day weekend we explore the Catholic understanding of the Priesthood, where priests are called father. Catholics defend that this title is scriptural and consistent with a biblical understanding of Christianity. That view, however, is a source of confusion for some men and women of goodwill, especially for our Protestant brothers and sisters. If pressed about the point even well-intentioned Catholics, lacking a clear understanding of the biblical evidence, have a hard time explaining why we call our parish priest by such a name. In fact, Jesus’ words are quite clear, as found in Matthew’s Gospel account, when he says, "Call no one on earth your father ..." (Mt 23:9).
So why is it that the Catholic Church has continued the practice, highlighting by name and title, that priests are appropriately called father? The reason may surprise; and a deeper exploration of Holy Scripture reveals the answer to make one thing clear: It’s scriptural and is deeply rooted in biblical religion.
For more about this post and the Catholic understanding of the priesthood as "fathers" please click on the image. Happy Father's Day. Peace be with you!
On this Feast of Corpus Christi Sunday (The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ), St. John Paul II reminds us that, in commemorating the solemnity, the Church "does not only celebrate the Eucharist but solemnly bears it in procession, publicly proclaiming that the sacrifice of Christ is for the salvation of the whole world." For Catholics around the world, this day is set aside on the calendar to remind us of the transformative, sacramental power the Eucharist has in and for our lives. It is a great mystery of faith, for sure. Yet by the sacramental power of our baptism, and most especially in our reception of Jesus in our First Communion, we have been made participants in this great banquet and sacrifice of the Mass: Jesus, body, blood, soul and divinity. For a brief video reflection, and for the Anima Christi Prayer by St. Ignatius of Loyola, which both speak to this Mystery of Faith, please click on the image. Peace be with you!