As Catholics, we believe in the resurrection of the body. We profess it in our creed. We're taught that to bury and pray for the dead are corporal and spiritual works of mercy. We honor the dead in our Liturgy through the Rite of Christian burial. We do all of this, and more, because when Jesus Christ took on flesh for the salvation of our souls he also bestowed great dignity on our bodies. In Hope to Die: The Christian Meaning of Death and the Resurrection of the Body, Scott Hahn explores the significance of death and burial from a Catholic perspective. The promise of the bodily resurrection brings into focus the need for the dignified care of our bodies at the hour of death. Unpacking both Scripture and Catholic teaching, Hope to Die reminds us that we are destined for glorification on the last day. Our bodies have been made by a God who loves us. Even in death, those bodies point to the mystery of our salvation.
For some reason, it is easier to genuflect in reverence to the presence of Christ in the tabernacle of a church than to genuflect in reverence to the same presence of Christ in another person’s soul. We wrongly believe that God divides himself, placing himself in one place in preference to another. It doesn’t work that way. Love of God and love of neighbor are intimately and inseparably connected because the essence and spark of God’s very presence is in all creation. God’s presence is just as real in the one who is good, as in the one who is bad, and the one who is just, and the one who is unjust.READ MORE
As you study the character traits described in the Beatitudes, you can't help but realize one thing; these qualities are by no means natural to the human spirit. They are very foreign. Poverty of spirit, true mourning over personal sins against God and meekness does not come to us naturally.
Our Incarnate Lord, Jesus Christ, proclaimed "Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth." (Matt. 5:5)READ MORE
“You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind.” – Matthew 22:37
Do you put other “gods” before God? Is your love of money, power, status, comfort or some personal possession greater than your love for God? Do you really recognize that everything you have and that everything you are is a gift from God? The good news – it’s not too late to put God first in all things in your life.
“Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s.” - Matthew 22:21
Everything we are and everything we have belongs to God. We aren’t “owners” of anything, we are merely “stewards” of the gifts God has given each of us. All God is asking is that we give back a portion of what He gave us. This is the essence of Stewardship. God should be our first priority in everything. All else comes second, especially our money.
When I was a boy my pastor would read this poem when he sensed some argument that resulted in nothing getting done. We can recite it at home, school, work or at any organizational gathering.
A horse can't pull while kicking.
This fact we merely mention.
And he can't kick while pulling,
Which is our chief contention.
Let's imitate the good old horse and lead a life that's fitting;
Just pull an honest load, and then there'll be no time for kicking.
Pray always and never lose heart.
Nobody enjoys paying taxes. Despite our displeasure in being forced to do so, we also realize that the monies generated from taxes allows governments to provide essential services for its people. Corruption really gets our goat, however. When we witness malfeasance, overspending, irresponsibility, and dishonesty in governmental spending, the grave injustices make an already unpleasant and arduous task even more difficult. The inappropriate distribution and use of hard-earned monies can leave a person quite angry and disconnected. It’s bad enough the government wants something from me, now God does, too?READ MORE
All blame is a waste of time. No matter how much fault you find with another, and regardless of how much you blame him, it will not change you.
The only thing blame does is to keep the focus off you when you are looking for external reasons to explain your unhappiness or frustration.READ MORE
God gives us an invitation to have an abundant life. The banquet is ready, and the tables are set. Come! There is so much to attend to in the everydayness of our lives. We have plans, after all. There is never enough time and so much that needs to be done. There is work, children, and grandchildren, paying the bills, planning for retirement, figuring out the details of our next vacation, making sure we are on top of our game with work, planning social engagements, answering emails, texts, and getting our latest pictures on Facebook. There is always something. What is this about some banquet?READ MORE
During World War II, Hitler commanded all religious groups to unite so that he could control them. Among the Brethren assemblies, half complied and half refused. Those who went along with the order had a much easier time. Those who did not, faced harsh persecution. In almost every family of those who resisted, someone died in a concentration camp. When the war was over, feelings of bitterness ran deep between the groups and there was much tension. Finally they decided that the situation had to be healed. Leaders from each group met at a quiet retreat. For several days, each person spent time in prayer, examining his own heart in the light of Christ's commands. Then they came together.READ MORE
Do you ever wonder why things never seem to come together? We see glimpses of consistency, equity, justice, peace, harmony, and wellbeing, but it always falls short. Human life is still expendable and manipulated, people are used for personal advancement, countries are at war, the economy continues to face turbulence, anger and frustration are widespread, and happiness is the possession of just a few and not the many. Could it be that we are serving the wrong kingdom? We keep trying to make our kingdom work and find ourselves still scratching our heads after repeatedly failed attempts to do so. It is almost as if people are saying, “we’ll get it right this time if we do … ,” as if some new and secret innovation has yet to be tried.READ MORE
Mary in Different Traditions: Seeing the Mother of Jesus with New Eyes by Thomas G Casey, SJ
How can we learn to see Mary in a new way?The author explores the insights of other faiths Protestantism, Orthodoxy, Islam, and Judaism; and also the insights of the other within the Catholic tradition the Eastern-rite Catholics who, despite their full communion with Rome, have a distinct approach to Mary based on their unique liturgical and spiritual tradition. Perhaps the novelty of their viewpoints on Mary can bring us to the joy of surprise about her once again. If we can learn to wonder anew about this woman from Nazareth, maybe we’ll be brought to enjoy the even greater wonder of her son, Jesus.
Thomas Casey, SJ is an Irish Jesuit priest, A professor of philosophy for 10 years ion Rome, he has also been a guest professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He has extensive experience in the area of interreligious dialogue.