Jesus Never Said…

jcneversaid

Submitted by Bob Stanley

Biblical Warning

warning

(2 Timothy 4:1-5) I charge thee, before God and Jesus Christ, who shall judge the living and the dead, by his coming and his kingdom: (2) Preach the word: be instant in season, out of season: reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience and doctrine. (3) For there shall be a time when they will not endure sound doctrine but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers having itching ears: (4) And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables. (5) But be thou vigilant, labor in all things, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill thy ministry. Be sober.

Submitted by Bob Stanley, The Catholic Treasure Chest

Where are the rest of the Catholic Bishops?

The following is a statement from Richard A. Viguerie, Chairman of ConservativeHQ.com, regarding the silence of many Catholic leaders on the upcoming elections:

“Last week, I wrote an article at tinyurl.com/bpxu7zz noting that, with only two Sundays to go before the November 6 presidential election, many Catholic Church leaders had not yet spoken out on the crucial issues in this election.

Other religious leaders, particularly in the Evangelical Protestant churches, have made powerful statements — often from the pulpit — to tell their congregations what is at stake in this election on the issues of same-sex marriage, abortion, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) contraception and abortion mandate.

However, the overwhelming majority of Catholic Church leaders have continued to remain silent about what is at stake in this election. With only one Sunday left before Election Day, only a few Bishops have issued statements addressing the issues I raised.”

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This Week’s Ask Alice: Why don’t we hear more preaching at Mass about the evils of birth control and abortion?



Send A Question To Alice

She’ll answer your Catholic questions
right here, every Thursday.

Email responses will also be provided, as time permits.

Rob K. asks: Why is it our clerics (bishops, priests, deacons) are so soft on birth control and ultimately, abortion?

We hardly ever, especially at weekend masses, hear any mention of the evils of birth control and abortion. Sitting in attendance are millions of Catholic women using artificial birth control, many with their spouses approval, and possibly even teen age children using contraception. Almost without exception, they all march up to receive the body and blood of Jesus.

Does the pastor or priest believe all these women are not participating in the evil of birth control? How can the continued silence on this matter be justified?

(Rob goes on to mention the lack of modest dress, along with other problems.)

Who and/or what is responsible for all this?

Alice Answers: You’ve raised 3 separate questions, which frequently are asked by other Catholics.

1) Your first question concerns priests’ homilies. Many parish priests preach eloquent, prolife homilies on a regular basis. If your priest does not, consider these suggestions. Please pray for your priest(s). After Sunday Mass shake his hand and say, “Thank you for preaching a good homily, Father. I was wondering if you could give a homily about the sacredness of life, chastity or the sanctity of marriage?” (Mention only ONE of these topics). You must be respectful and polite. No priest wants to feel that he is being commanded or manipulated into preaching about a particular issue.

2) Receiving the Body and Blood of Christ is an intimate experience between the Communicant and Jesus. We are not called by God to be Communion Cops. Only God can judge the heart. Many years ago my dear friend, Fr. Dan Cambra, M.I.C., Assistant Rector at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Stockbridge said, “Of all the people who come to receive Holy Communion on a given Sunday there probably are some who haven’t gone to Confession in 20 years, others who don’t believe in the Real Presence, divorced Catholics remarried outside the Church, parents committing child abuse, a non-Catholic attending Mass, and someone who has stolen money from a corporate employer. There is neither a Sin Detector nor screening process available to weed out people who are in a state of mortal sin. However, if Communion was given only to people who had gone to Confession right before Mass, there still would be no one, not even me, who is worthy to receive the Body and Blood of Christ.”

Before receiving Communion we pray, “Oh Lord, I am not worthy to receive You, but only say the word and I shall be healed.”

And St. Paul reminds us, “All men have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)

3) Your third question addresses the Dress Code at Mass. Should the ushers tell everyone who is not well-dressed to get out of church? Would it be better for Catholic churches to have 10 pews filled with perfectly attired parishioners or 40 pews filled with worshipers wearing a variety of clothing?

On August 31, my husband and I attended the funeral of Robert Gowyrlowf, who died at age 74, after a four year battle with cancer. A parishioner at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago for 38 years, Robert lived alone. He arranged altar flowers and served as an usher and greeter at Holy Name Masses. Called “The Cookie Man,” Robert baked and brought cookies to sick and disabled patients at the Jesse Brown Veterans’ Hospital in Chicago. As his age and illness progressed Robert’s attire wouldn’t have earned a spot on any Best-Dressed List.

In June we were attending devotions with Robert, when a member of the Rosary group approached me and asked, “Who is that man and why is he dressed that way?” Later, another member of the Rosary group approached my husband and made unkind comments about Robert’s clothing to him as well.

Robert’s funeral Mass was concelebrated by three priests and a deacon. Present were mourners in wheelchairs whom Robert had visited at Jesse Brown Hospital, homeless people who sold “Streetwise” newspapers near the church, and teens clad in grocery store uniforms whose boss had excused them from work to pay their last respects to Robert. More than 80 people filled the Cathedral to attend Mass for the kind-hearted, little man with the unusual wardrobe.

Military Chaplain Fr. Christopher Myers’ eulogy brought tears to many eyes when he said,

“Few people knew that Robert had always wanted to be a priest. The reason he never went to the seminary is because he felt he was unworthy. How wrong he was. No one is worthy to be ordained a priest, only Jesus. Robert was a good man, a holy man. I know because I’ve heard his Confessions. When Robert confessed his small sins, all I could think of was my own sinfulness.”

Who should receive Holy Communion? What is the perfect dress code for every parish? Although we can’t dictate what worshipers wear to Mass, we can make certain that we are on God’s Best Dressed List.

“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another. And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection.” (Colossians 3:12-13)

Finally, please pray each day for our priests. Theirs is one of the loneliest, most difficult vocations on Earth. Every priest is called to be another Jesus in a sinful world. Do you want holy, faithful, kind-hearted priests serving at your parish? Then pray each day for your priest(s) by name. Every priest needs our prayers, love, support, and encouragement!

In Christ’s love,

Alice

Click here to see all of Alice’s other columns

Corapi’s religious order had been trying to get him to come back and “live in community”

CORAPI AND COMMUNITY LIFE

The bigger focus for many now, surrounds his life within the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity. There were changes to the constitution in 1994 and they wanted him back in community. In the first interview you will hear Joan Frawley Desmond, who interviewed Corapi’s superior explain that in the beginning, when the founder permitted him to live in solitude and to preach, the arrangement was not for him to live in his own home. I am not entirely clear on how long SOLT has been trying to get him to live back in community, so if someone catches that, please drop it into the combox, and cite the source. Watch that interview to hear it explained by Desmond. This move to live in a home was a later development that he apparently took on himself, and may not necessarily have been what his community desired.

In the end, we learn that attempts to bring him back into community life did not get anywhere. This would not have meant giving up preaching as seems to be the assumption in some writings online. We see members of other communities like the Fathers of Mercy traveling all the time to speak, as well as members of the Dominicans, among others. What it would have meant was giving up the assets: the money, the ranch, the sports car, the business, personal possessions, and perhaps the most difficult of all, the power to do what he wanted, when he wanted, and how he wanted. I suspect media produced would have been more in line with what we see out of other religious orders.

This goes directly to the vow of obedience and I offer this most especially for those who are discerning a vocation. If a founder or religious superior makes a promise to a member, a future superior is not bound to honor that agreement. Rather, it is the other way around.

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Classic Father Corapi Video: We Are Called to Excellence!!

Watch the video

Little Johnny starts a congregation


Johnny’s Mother looked out the window and noticed him “playing church” with their cat.

He had the cat sitting quietly and he was preaching to it. She smiled and went about her work.

A while later she heard loud meowing and hissing and ran back to the open window to see Johnny baptizing the cat in a tub of water.

She called out, “Johnny, stop that! The cat is afraid of water!”

Johnny looked up at her and said, “He should have thought about that before he joined my church.”

Submitted by Robert K.

A priest reflects on funerals: By practical necessity and command of God, preaching must be about saving.


Memento Mori (Remember that you will die.)

I have over 50 funerals a year. And for most of them the Church is packed with people I will only see once, or perhaps not until the next family funeral. I cannot wait for a “less delicate” time. It’s carpe diem (seize the day) moment. Someone has to warn them and that someone is me. God spoke to Ezekiel:

Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. When I say to a wicked man, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn him or speak out to dissuade him from his evil ways in order to save his life, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. But if you do warn the wicked man and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his evil ways, he will die for his sin; but you will have saved yourself. Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block before him, he will die. Since you did not warn him, he will die for his sin. The righteous things he did will not be remembered, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. But if you do warn the righteous man not to sin and he does not sin, he will surely live because he took warning, and you will have saved yourself.  (Ez 3:17-21)

Preaching is about saving before it is about consoling, and God makes this clear to Ezekiel and to every preacher. I think a lot of people think that preaching is supposed to merely please and encourage them. There is a place for that but good preaching also afflicts and provokes response. Jesus was more than willing  to provoke people and unsettle them. It is not a goal in itself. Rather,  it is the necessary outcome of lancing a spiritual boil or setting a broken limb. Protests, anger, and so forth are not necessarily the sign of failure. I’ve had people come to me and say, You once made me mad but you also made me think and I’ve come to understand what you were saying was true. A lot of times powerful preaching takes people through a cycle of: mad, to sad, to glad.

I think we have long enough tried the “nice guy” preaching that is extolled by many, as the model. But all through these past 40 years with that model largely operative,  Mass attendance has steadily dropped. Currently, as noted, only 27% of Catholics attend Mass at all any more. We have, collectively become a rebellious house.  God said the following to Ezekiel:

He said to me, “Son of man, stand up on your feet and I will speak to you.” As he spoke, the Spirit came into me and raised me to my feet, and I heard him speaking to me. He said: “Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me; they and their fathers have been in revolt against me to this very day. The people to whom I am sending you are obstinate and stubborn. Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says.’ And whether they listen or fail to listen—for they are a rebellious house—they will know that a prophet has been among them…..You must speak my words to them, whether they listen or fail to listen. (Ez 2:1-7).

Read more from Msgr. Charles Pope

Worldly matters should not keep clergy (and lay people) from their sacred duty.


Scripture says the Clergy must Speak…..Paul says of the bishop: He must be able to encourage men in sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it (Titus 1:9). For the same reason God tells us through Malachi: The lips of the priest are to preserve knowledge, and men shall look to him for the law, for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts (Mal 2:7). …..

Every Priest Must Preach – Anyone ordained a priest undertakes the task of preaching, so that with a loud cry he may go on ahead of the terrible judge who follows. If, then, a priest does not know how to preach, what kind of cry can such a dumb herald utter? It was to bring this home that the Holy Spirit descended in the form of tongues on the first pastors (Acts 2:3), for he causes those whom he has filled, to speak out spontaneously.

The People must pray for the clergy – Beloved brothers, consider what has been said: Pray the Lord of the harvest to send labourers into his harvest (Matt 9:38). Pray for us so that we may have the strength to work on your behalf, that our tongue may not grow weary of exhortation, and that after we have accepted the office of preaching, our silence may not condemn us before the just judge.

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Big collection of free Catholic on-line audio presentations by the late Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

sheen

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen was the first television evangelist … preaching and teaching on prime time TV,  back in “the good old days”.

His wit,wisdom, style, and sense of humor makes listening easy, and his extraordinary understanding of the authentic Catholic faith also makes listening essential.

Just about the only presentations available today that are anything like Archbishop Sheen’s come from Father Corapi, who is a great preacher and teacher, in his own right.

Over 50 (typically 30 minute long) audio presentations are available free for the listening, on virtually every aspect of the Catholic faith.

Click here to visit the Archnishop Fulton J. Sheen audio site

Click here to visit Father Corapi’s website