Sunday 23rd November 2014

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A Leaven In The World . . . Faith Is About Love And Love Is Inconvenient

June 23, 2014 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK On a recent Palm Sunday, the drone of a nearby lawnmower cut through the sounds of the faithful gathered to prepare for the pre-Mass procession. A stone hitting a blade silenced the mower, and the priest on hand for the Palm Sunday celebration approached the man who had been attempting to trim his lawn, asking if he thought the incident of the stone may have been directed by the hand of God. Humor aside, the conversation continued when the priest recollected he had not seen the individual at the previous evening’s vigil Mass which he was accustomed to attending and confirmed the man’s absence. The beautification of the lawn was a prelude to a Sunday…Continue Reading

Raiders Of The Lost Art

June 22, 2014 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By Raymond De Souza, KM Who does not remember the action-packed first Indiana Jones movie — Raiders of the Lost Ark — that delighted adventure and archeology-lovers in the early 1980s? The idea of finding the Ark of the Covenant — the most sacred object in the ancient world — did certainly attract the attention of millions who were — and still are — puzzled about its loss in the Old Testament. The first Indiana Jones movie certainly did a great deal to reawaken the curiosity and desire among many to know what happened to the mysterious Ark. The challenging tune chosen for the movie (especially the trumpets, in my opinion) added a touch of enthusiasm second to none in…Continue Reading

The Senses Of Scripture

June 21, 2014 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By DON FIER Last week’s installment introduced the two main senses which the Church’s Magisterium instructs are to be used for faithful interpretation of Sacred Scripture: the literal sense and the spiritual sense. The spiritual sense can be subdivided into the allegorical, moral, and anagogical senses; thus, the senses of Scripture are classically referred to as fourfold. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) explains: “The profound concordance of the four senses guarantees all its richness to the living reading of Scripture in the Church” (CCC, n. 115). We ended by embarking on an explanation of the literal sense, which according to St. Thomas Aquinas is the foundation of all the senses of Sacred Scripture. When one interprets the literal…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

June 20, 2014 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

Q. In your book Catholic Replies, you gave an answer to a question about the priest breaking the Host before the elevation, but you did not explain why he cannot do so. Please explain. — J.N., Texas. A. The priest cannot break the bread before elevation of the Host because such an action at that time is contrary to the rubrics of the Mass (cf. General Instruction of the Roman Missal, n. 83). The proper place in the Mass for what is called the “Fraction” was explained in the 2004 Vatican document Redemptionis Sacramentum, n. 73: “In the celebration of Holy Mass, the breaking of the Eucharistic Bread — done only by the priest celebrant, if necessary with the help…Continue Reading

Martyrdom In The Early Church

June 19, 2014 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By FR.  ROBERT ALTIER The Solemnity Of Saints Peter And Paul (YR A) Readings: Acts 12:1-11 2 Tim. 4:6-8, 17-18 Matt. 16:13-19 Today we have the joy of celebrating the two great saints who led and built up the nascent Church: Peter its leader and Paul its greatest missionary. We see that right from the beginning the Church was hated by the worldly powers. It makes sense when you think about it. Recall that when Satan tempted our Lord, one of the temptations was to show Jesus all of the kingdoms of the world and all the glory of them; the Evil One stated that all of these belonged to him and that he would give them to anyone he…Continue Reading

Catholic-Orthodox European Forum… Gospel Principles And Human Values Are Not Opposed

June 18, 2014 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

ROME (ZENIT) — The IV Catholic-Orthodox Forum on Religion and Cultural Diversity: Challenges for the Christian Churches in Europe was held in Minsk, Belarus, from June 2 to 6. The forum was organized with the support of the Belarusian Exarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church under the co-chairmanship of the Metropolitan Gennadios of Sassima of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and Peter Cardinal Erdo, archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, president of the Council of the Bishops’ Conferences of Europe. Following the positive experiences of the first three gatherings of the Catholic-Orthodox European Forum (Trent, Italy, December 11 to 14, 2008; Rhodes, Greece, October 18 to 22, 2010; and Lisbon, Portugal, June 5 to 8, 2012), participants from the Catholic and the Orthodox Churches in…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Is It The Pope Or The Gospel That Upsets The Comfortable?

June 16, 2014 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The 20th century is both the most and the least comfortable in history. The bloodiest century for Christians is also the same in which most of the modern conveniences that smooth our lives were invented and mass produced. Air conditioning, refrigeration, automobiles, and many other creature “comforts” have enabled greater prosperity, increasing access to the middle-class lifestyle which is the boast of America and for which most of the world’s population still yearns. At the same time that our lives have become more materially comfortable, however, many have fallen into the trap of thinking that the spiritual life must be the same. The “logic” goes like this: If we get better spiritually than spiritual things…Continue Reading

Are Statues Idols? The Sacred Dwelling And Its Furnishings

June 15, 2014 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 3 The very same God who condemned idol-making actually commanded that statues be carved. He told the people to show more respect to them than any patriotic American would respect the Lincoln Memorial or any British subject would respect a statue of Queen Victoria. The most sacred place in the world was the Temple sanctuary that lodged the Ark of the Covenant. The Ark was so sacred that nobody but the High Priest could touch it. It contained the tables of the Commandments. The presence of the Ark brought God’s blessings to Holy of Holies; the Holy of Holies to the Holy; the Holy to the Temple; the Temple to Jerusalem; Jerusalem to Israel;…Continue Reading

Reading And Interpreting Scripture

June 14, 2014 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By DON FIER We ended last week’s installment by launching into a discussion on a question of critical importance: “How is Sacred Scripture to be read and interpreted?” The significance and the relevance of this question become apparent if one examines findings outlined in the 2012 “Status of Global Mission” report, a publication of the International Bulletin of Missionary Research which has been issued annually for the past 28 years. The report tells us that by mid-2012 there will be approximately 2.3 billion Christians in the world, comprising about one-third of the global population. Of these, approximately 1.2 billion profess to be Roman Catholic. What about the remaining 1.1 billion Christians? A telling statistic in the report is the number…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

June 13, 2014 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

Q. In the Gospel of John, chapter 18, the Jewish leaders told Pilate that it was not lawful to put any man to death. However, it seems the leaders attempted to stone Jesus to death earlier, and King Herod ordered the beheading of John the Baptist. Would you please comment on this? — J.D.H., California. A. If you look again at the passage in John’s Gospel (18:31), you will see that the Jewish leaders told Pilate, “We do not have the right to execute anyone” (emphasis ours). That was true since the Romans had denied the Jewish authorities the right to put anyone to death. If the Jewish leaders had retained that right, they would have stoned Jesus to death.…Continue Reading