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The Open Heart Of The Infant Jesus

December 19, 2022 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off on The Open Heart Of The Infant Jesus

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Solemnity Of The Nativity Of Our Lord (YR A) (Midnight) Readings: Isaiah 9:1-6Titus 2:11-14Luke 2:1-14 In the Gospel reading today, we hear the angel announce to the shepherds “good news of great joy” for all people. In a hidden way, in the middle of the night, our Lord chose to be born for us. The work God had undertaken to prepare the world for its redemption after Adam and Eve had sinned had now reached its fulfillment. Certainly, there were still 33 more years before the complete fulfillment of our salvation would be achieved in the death and Resurrection of our Lord, but none of that could happen unless He had assumed our human nature.By choosing…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

December 16, 2022 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off on Catholic Replies

Q. Are people in the Old Testament, like Abraham, Moses, David, and Isaiah, considered to be saints in the Catholic Church? — K.H., Iowa.A. Certainly, since they were people of great virtue who faithfully carried out the mission God gave them. Following the time of Jesus, cults developed around certain holy individuals, like the apostles, the Fathers of the Church, and martyrs, until the persons were proclaimed saints by popular acclamation. The first official canonization by a Pope was that of St. Ulrich by Pope John XV in 993.The current process of beatification and canonization, which is handled by the Vatican Congregation for the Causes of Saints, stems back to 1588, when Pope Sixtus V established the Sacred Congregation of…Continue Reading

Il Nostro Pane Quotidiano

December 15, 2022 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off on Il Nostro Pane Quotidiano

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK “Our daily bread.”Italians befuddle. One moment they’re boasting that socialism is the best form of government, while capitalism is by contrast awful. The next they’re complaining about the economic crisis. I’ve never seen the Italians go without their daily “pane,” however. We can easily believe that this is so more out of charity than efficiently functioning bureaucracy, an oxymoron if there ever was one.Italian temperament has certainly not found its apogee in the effective organization of society since the fall of the Roman Empire. The mere frequency of the collapse of one Roman government and the cobbling together of another serves in itself as a unique news cycle. But the fact that one must travel…Continue Reading

St. Ambrose And The Emperor Theodosius . . . An Ancient Bishop Rebukes His Emperor for Crimes Against Life

December 14, 2022 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off on St. Ambrose And The Emperor Theodosius . . . An Ancient Bishop Rebukes His Emperor for Crimes Against Life

By MSGR. CHARLES POPE (Editor’s Note: Msgr. Pope posted this commentary on December 6 and it is reprinted here with permission.) + + On this Feast of St. Ambrose, we do well to reflect on a story from his life. It is a story that should inspire bishops and priests. It is the story of a remarkable event that took place between the Emperor Theodosius and St. Ambrose, bishop of Milan. What makes it remarkable is that it shows an ancient bishop (Ambrose) and a politician (Theodosius) interacting over the dignity of human life. The Emperor Theodosius had the power of life and death over Ambrose the bishop. St. Ambrose knew he had to correct the emperor but also knew…Continue Reading

The Humility Of God

December 12, 2022 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off on The Humility Of God

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Fourth Sunday Of Advent (YR A) Readings: Isaiah 7:10-14Romans 1:1-7Matt. 1:18-24 As we approach the great Solemnity of the Nativity of our Lord, we are given insight into this beautiful act of charity and humility on the part of our Blessed Lord. At the same time, we see the trust and the obedience of our Lady and St. Joseph. Finally, we see what needs to be our response to this glorious mystery.In the first reading, the Lord sends the Prophet Isaiah to the faithless king, Ahaz. Isaiah instructs the unfortunate man to ask for a sign from God. It can be anything; whatever the imagination is capable of conjuring up. The king refuses to cooperate, so…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

December 9, 2022 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off on Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: This series on the Bible is from the book Catholicism & Scripture. Please feel free to use the series for high schoolers or adults. We will continue to welcome your questions for the column as well. The postal address and the email address are listed at the end of this column.) Special Course On Catholicism And Scripture (Chapter 9) After the death of Moses, God told Joshua that He would be with him every step of the way. He told him to “observe the entire law which my servant Moses enjoined on you. Do not swerve from it either to the right or to the left, that you may succeed wherever you go. . . . Then you…Continue Reading

The “Disrespect For Marriage” Act

December 8, 2022 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off on The “Disrespect For Marriage” Act

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK I occasionally tap into network TV via antenna for the morning show during time away from parish life and work to check on the agenda that the world, between commercials, is pushing. It’s still mostly about selling things with a little light news and entertainment sprinkled between ads. Some earthly realities aren’t subject to the law of constant change.Sometimes again in the evening I use it to avoid the reading I owe to my intellectual and spiritual development. After vespers of St. Andrew’s Day I watched the concert from New York surrounding the lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree and was very pleasantly surprised to find that a few real Christmas carols made it…Continue Reading

A Recipe For Readiness . . . A Homily For The Beginning Of Advent

December 7, 2022 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off on A Recipe For Readiness . . . A Homily For The Beginning Of Advent

By MSGR. CHARLES POPE (Editor’s Note: Msgr. Charles Pope posted this commentary on November 26, and it is reprinted here with permission. All rights reserved.) + + The first weeks of Advent focus more on the Lord’s second coming in glory than on His first coming at Bethlehem. The Gospel clearly states that we must always be prepared, for at an hour we do not expect, the Son of Man will come. “Ready” is the key word, but how should we be ready?The second reading from the Mass of the First Sunday of Advent (Romans 13:11-14) gives us a basic recipe for readiness. We can distinguish five fundamental instructions in Paul’s recipe.Wake up — The text says…you know the time;…Continue Reading

Wait For The Lord To Do The Rest

December 5, 2022 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off on Wait For The Lord To Do The Rest

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Third Sunday of Advent (YR A) Readings: Isaiah 35:1-6a, 10James 5:7-10Matt. 11:2-11 Two weeks ago, we likened Advent to being on the top of a mountain from which one can look in every direction. It allows us to see clearly where we have come from and gives us an overview of where we are going. Today we bring things from our mountaintop perspective to looking very practically at where we are on the path as we move forward.As we progress along this path it may seem very long, even difficult at times. We are reminded today of why we are on this journey and bolstered by the hope we have of reaching our destination. In the…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

December 2, 2022 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off on Catholic Replies

Q. I am attending an RCIA class to see about becoming a Catholic. One question that has come up is why Protestant Bibles have only 66 books, while Catholic Bibles have 73. Can you explain this? — T.A., Massachusetts.A. The discrepancy is in the Old Testament, where Protestant Bibles are missing the seven books of Judith, Tobit, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus (Sirach), Baruch, and 1 and 2 Maccabees, along with parts of Esther and Daniel. Here is the background:When the Old Testament was translated into Greek about two centuries before Christ by seventy-two Hebrew scholars (hence the name of this translation as the “Septuagint,” a word meaning “seventy”), it contained all the books Catholics recognize today. But around the end of the…Continue Reading