Friday 24th January 2020

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Bishop Strickland . . . The Sacramental Economy

January 6, 2020 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off on Bishop Strickland . . . The Sacramental Economy
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By MOST REV. JOSEPH STRICKLAND In my last column, I explained that the Church is, in an analogous sense, a sacrament. Through the Church, the redemptive mission of the Lord Jesus Christ continues and through the sacraments of the Church, sacramental grace is conferred. The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains it this way: “As sacrament, the Church is Christ’s instrument. ‘She is taken up by him also as the instrument for the salvation of all,’ ‘the universal sacrament of salvation,’ by which Christ is ‘at once manifesting and actualizing the mystery of God’s love for men.’ The Church ‘is the visible plan of God’s love for humanity,’ because God desires ‘that the whole human race may become one People…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

December 27, 2019 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off on Catholic Replies

Christmas Questions And Answers Q. Do we know the exact year in which Jesus was born? A. No, we do not. In the sixth century, a monk named Dionysius Exiguus drew up a calendar that fixed the birth of Christ in the Roman year 753, but scholars today agree that Dionysius miscalculated by a few years. So it is probable that Jesus was born two or three years before the usually accepted year one of the Christian era. Q. Why was the Incarnation necessary? Why did Jesus become man? A. The Incarnation was necessary because Adam and Eve had committed an infinite offense against God. No mere human being could make up for that offense. The people of the Old…Continue Reading

White House Hosts Catholic Leaders For Religious Freedom Briefing

December 25, 2019 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off on White House Hosts Catholic Leaders For Religious Freedom Briefing

By MATT HADRO WASHINGTON, D.C. (CNA) — The White House hosted dozens of Catholic leaders on Monday afternoon, December 16 for an internal briefing on life and religious freedom issues. The off the record briefing, held in the Indian Treaty room of the Executive Office Building, focused on “life, religious freedom, and other issues pertinent to the Catholic faith community,” according to an invitation provided to participants. Attendees also had the opportunity to share their observations or concerns with the administration. Catholics in attendance included former Kansas congressman Tim Huelskamp, now a senior political advisor for CatholicVote.org; Patrick Reilly, president of the Cardinal Newman Society; and Stephen D. Minnis, president of Benedictine College in Atchison, Kans. Several nuns were also…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… The Power Of Images And The Truth Of Christmas

December 24, 2019 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off on A Leaven In The World… The Power Of Images And The Truth Of Christmas

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The Devil uses images. A comment by Cesare Sacchetti on Twitter: “In the last week a Netflix fiction on ‘gay’ Jesus (sic) was followed by a poster that portrays Jesus as a pedophile; and, finally, a picture in Sweden that depicts the Genesis in a gay key. Western society is not ‘secular.’ Western society is simply anti-Christian.” In response, this: “And he also omitted a Norwegian advertisement that mocks the virginal conception of Jesus by Mary. Under Christmas, Satanist hatred breaks out,” by “Looking Forward” on Twitter. These Catholics on social media are speaking out against recent additions to the growing catalogue of blasphemies, perpetrated by advertising agencies in collusion with public officials with their…Continue Reading

Bishop Strickland. . . The Church As Sacrament

December 23, 2019 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off on Bishop Strickland. . . The Church As Sacrament

By MOST REV. JOSEPH STRICKLAND In our last column we considered the nature of the Church as the Mystical Body of Christ, into which the faithful, through Baptism, are incorporated. This understanding of the Church is found throughout the writing of the early Church fathers. For example, consider these words from the second-century priest and theologian Origen, found in his commentary on the Psalms: “Christ has flooded the universe with divine and sanctifying waves. For the thirsty he sends a spring of living water from the wound which the spear opened in his side. From the wound in Christs side has come forth the Church and he has made her his bride.” The Jerusalem Catechesis was one of the first…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

December 20, 2019 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off on Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: Writing in his weekly bulletin at the Church of St. Michael in New York City, Fr. George Rutler offered these perceptive comments on the season of Advent: “The superficiality of life may be measured by how seriously one takes Advent’s four themes of Death, Judgment, Heaven, and Hell. Advent proclaims that a curtain is falling, even if a premature Christian celebration with bells and elves, beginning with the Macy’s parade (two blocks east of our church), fabricates a distraction from that. “If thought is not deep, there will be no real joy when the mysteries of God are disclosed. The bane of our times, and possibly of all times, is superficiality. This was illustrated at a synod of…Continue Reading

The Mystery Of The Incarnation

December 18, 2019 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off on The Mystery Of The Incarnation

Sunday Sermon for December 22, 2019 Fourth Sunday Of Advent (YR A) Readings: Isaiah 7:10-14 Romans 1:1-7 Matt. 1:18-24   In these final days of preparation prior to celebrating our Lord’s birth from the Virgin Mary, we meet several mysteries which require our faith and our praise. The first is the Prophet Isaiah’s prophecy that a virgin would conceive and bear a son whom she would name Emmanuel, God with us. We must first note that the Hebrew word used in this passage is almah, which is normally translated as “young woman.” However, the context suggests something infinitely greater. God told Ahaz to ask for a sign. It could be anything: as high as the sky or as deep as…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Marian Prophecy And Our Times

December 17, 2019 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off on A Leaven In The World… Marian Prophecy And Our Times

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK We have access to abundant amounts of information at any given moment. The more we consume, sometimes, the less we know. It seems counterintuitive. One would think that the more facts one has at one’s disposal, the smarter one must be. On the surface it makes sense. But the more the mind plays on the surface, the less it is able to plumb the depths, to delve into what is happening and gain understanding and perception. Sometimes nothing is happening. Many facts are not worth knowing. Time is limited. Discernment is also needed in deciding which information to avail ourselves of. Many become addicted to TV news before realizing a lot of the material is…Continue Reading

Bishop Strickland . . . Jesus Christ Established His Church

December 16, 2019 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off on Bishop Strickland . . . Jesus Christ Established His Church
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By MOST REV. JOSEPH STRICKLAND In paragraph 48 of the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium (Light of the Nations), we read these words: “The Church, to which we are all called in Christ Jesus, and in which we acquire sanctity through the grace of God, will attain its full perfection only in the glory of heaven, when there will come the time of the restoration of all things. At that time the human race as well as the entire world, which is intimately related to man and attains to its end through him, will be perfectly reestablished in Christ.” “Christ, having been lifted up from the earth has drawn all to Himself. Rising from the dead He sent…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

December 13, 2019 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off on Catholic Replies

Q. Should we confess each sin of scandal that are corollaries to all the other sins we commit? — J.I., California. A. The Catechism defines scandal as “an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil. The person who gives scandal becomes his neighbor’s tempter. He damages virtue and integrity; he may even draw his brother into spiritual death. Scandal is a grave offense if by deed or omission another is deliberately led into a grave offense” (n. 2284). “Scandal takes on a particular gravity,” the Catechism (n. 2285) continues, “by reason of the authority of those who cause it or the weakness of those who are scandalized. It prompted our Lord to utter this curse: ‘Whoever causes one…Continue Reading