Month: February 2012

You Are Not Alone; Think Universal; Think ‘Catholic’

A simple point to ‘raise up’ on this First Friday of the Lenten Season is that we are in this together.  When that ‘bite’ of Lenten sacrifice gets difficult, or ‘tempts’ you to ‘give in’ and ‘give up’ on that particular practice, know that your Lenten journey joins you to the universal Church.  You are not alone. It is more than uplifting to realize that billions of Catholics and Christians are making these Lenten offerings together.  Our sacrifices are meant to join us in many ways.  Our offerings are meant to ‘open our hearts’ to realize […]

Latest Update on HHS Mandate: Letter to Bishops From Cardinal Dolan and Bishop Lori

As promised, I wish to keep you informed of developments in the U. S. Bishops’ Conference’s efforts to respond to this challenge to our Religious Liberty.  Earlier this week, Cardinal Dolan, President of the USCCB issued the following letter to all Bishops.  The letter is co-signed by Bishop Lori, the Chairman of the Committee on Religious Liberty. Dear Brother Bishops, Since we last wrote to you concerning the critical efforts we are undertaking together to protect religious freedom in our beloved country, many of you have requested that we write once more to update you […]

Choose LIFE That You May Live; Embrace the Cross

Lent is about LIFE.  Lent is about CHRIST.  Lent is about the CROSS. Moses is the great Law-giver, and in today’s readings, we hear once again how God gives the people the blue-print for living a full life, which is a life in harmony with God, and God’s Law.  The words of Moses are just a true today as they were in his time: Today I have set before you life and prosperity, death and doom.  If you obey the commandments of the LORD, your God, which I enjoin on you today, loving him, and […]

Be Reconciled to God

As our annual Lenten 40 Day retreat begins, the words of St. Paul quickly focus the theme: Be reconciled to God.  In light of this biblical message, we are invited to cut through the hubris of our day, to stand consciously, deliberately before God, asking that His Light, Christ, may illumine any darkness that we have embraced; patterns of thinking, behaviors, anything that is counter to His holy will for our personal life, and our common life together. I know from recent years of talking to brother priests following Ash Wednesday, that this day sees […]

Finding ‘Self’ in the Divine

The Church pertains to all people, because Christ pertains to all people. (See De Lubac, Catholicism, pp. 48-55)   This statement is about something fundamental to the human person, all people, of all times.  This ‘truth’ is expressed in simple statements found in Mark”s Gospel: Many gathered together so that there was no longer room for them… and he preached the Word to them.  Mark uses a similar statement in the first chapter of his Gospel: When it was evening, after sunset, they brought to him all who were ill or possessed by demons.  The whole town was gathered […]

Life Comes Through The Cross; ‘Life’ Lessons

Early on in our faith formation, we learn about the cross.  We hear about the cross of Jesus, and all the suffering he endured for our sake.  We learn that Easter only comes after Good Friday.  We learn that the Resurrection and the Life of the Risen Lord only follow the via dolorosa and Jesus’ suffering and death. In more secular terms, we hear, ‘no guts, no glory.’  One can imagine this phrase being used in the face of great danger, such as the need to cross a raging river to avoid drowning, or to charge […]

Only In, With, and Through Christ Do We Truly ‘See’

In today’s Gospel (Mark 8:22-26), people brought him a blind man, begging that He lay his hands upon him that he might regain his sight.  After Jesus performs the miracle of restoring this man’s sight, Mark tells us: his sight was restored and he could see everything distinctly. Surely, many people today stand in need of physical healing.  Providentially, many professionals serve the physical, medical needs of great numbers of people in the world today.  They are no doubt the hands through which Jesus continues to bring such attention and care to so many today.  […]

Jesus’ Healing Recognizes the Integral Whole of the Human Person

In Mark’s Gospel, as elsewhere, we hear Jesus refer quite often to the human heart. One such passage we read during Mass earlier this week when Jesus quoted the Prophet Isaiah:  This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines human precepts.   Later in the same Chapter 7 Jesus says:  But what comes out of the man, that is what defiles him.  From within the man, from his heart, come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, […]

Letter To Priests, Deacons, Religious and Parishioners Regarding HHS Mandate

    Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ:  As you are most undoubtedly aware, on January 20, 2012, the Department of Health and Human Services announced its decision not to expand the unacceptably narrow “religious employer” exemption to its mandate that virtually all health insurance plans must include, as so-called “preventive services” sterilizations, abortifacients, and contraception.  Since that time, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and I began immediately preparing to meet this challenge.  The Bishops’ Conference committee on Religious Liberty is actively engaged in planning a nation-wide response on a number of levels.  […]

Prophetic Pope Paul VI in Light of HHS Mandate

In light of the present (appropriate) uproar in most Catholic circles in response to the recent HHS Mandate, much of our immediate focus has been on the issue of the present Administration overstepping the constitutional boundary and intervening in the right of the Church to practice its faith, and honor its conscience and moral teaching.  No doubt, we will rightly see much more in the future in terms of an official response of the Church to counter this mandate. For the moment, I wish to focus some attention solely on the topic of contraception.  Certainly, not […]

By Daniele Zedda • 18 February

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By Daniele Zedda • 18 February

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