Archive for July 2013

Spiritual Battle homilies

July 31, 2013

Fr William Casey of the Fathers of Mercy recently preached a retreat in Bloomington, Indiana.  Below are his three homilies.  All three are excellent, but the one on “Christian Bravery” really drove me to prayer.  If I am burdened with fear and anxiety from having passed the 6-month mark of my unemployment, what would I be like in the face of the type of persecution Fr Casey describes?  Lord, help me to attain that perfect love for you that will cast out all fear!


Sacred Heart retreat in Scranton

July 16, 2013
Fr James Kubicki SJ

Fr James Kubicki SJ

A week from today, the Diocese of Scranton will be privileged to welcome a well-known and highly-sought-after preacher, retreat director and author.  Fr James Kubicki SJ, the National Director of the Apostleship of Prayer, will lead a 3-day open-to-the public retreat hosted by the Little Sisters of the Poor.  The retreat sessions will be held in the chapel at Holy Family Residence, 2500 Adams Avenue in Scranton. The schedule for each day is:

10:30 a.m. Mass
2:30 p.m. Sacrament of Reconciliation
4:30 p.m. informative talk with various themes centered on the Sacred Heart of Jesus followed by exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, silent prayer, evening prayer, and benediction.

All are welcome to attend any portion or all of these free events.  Call 570-343-4065 with any questions.

Fr Kubicki recently had a book published entitled A Heart on Fire:  Rediscovering Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  He keeps a journal of his travels and ministry on his blog entitled “Offer It Up“.

If you won’t be able to attend the retreat sessions, you can get a taste of Fr Kubicki’s teaching on the Sacred Heart of Jesus by listening to his presentation at a recent webinar hosted by Ave Maria Press.

The Good Samaritan

July 12, 2013

The Gospel reading for this Sunday includes the story of the Good Samaritan. Here’s a ‘hip’ street version of the story (which takes a while to develop):

If that was a bit too modern for you, here’s a good standard reenactment:

Videos can be helpful, but they are no substitute for actually opening your Bible, and reading and meditating on the words of Sacred Scripture, and reading the teachings of the Popes:

Today, for example, the liturgy invites us to reflect on the famous Parable of the Good Samaritan (cf. Lk 10: 25-37), which introduces us into the heart of the Gospel message: love for God and love for neighbour. But the person speaking to Jesus asks: who is my neighbour? And the Lord answers by reversing the question and showing through the account of the Good Samaritan that each one of us must make himself close to every person he meets: “Go and do likewise” (Lk 10: 37).

Loving, Jesus says, means acting like the Good Samaritan. And we know that he himself is the Good Samaritan par excellence; although he was God, he did not hesitate to humble himself to the point of becoming a man and giving his life for us.

Love is therefore the “heart” of Christian life; indeed, love alone, awakened in us by the Holy Spirit, makes us Christ’s witnesses.

(Benedict XVI)


4. Jesus Christ once told a parable which I should like to recall at this time. This parable is known even among those of you who do not share the Christian faith. It is a parable which appeals to the hearts of all people of good will, not only to the followers of Christ; it is the parable of the Good Samaritan.

The Gospel of Luke records the parable, telling how a man had been robbed, beaten and left beside the road half dead. According to the Gospel account, “a Samaritan who was journeying along came on him and was moved to pity at the sight. He approached him and dressed his wounds, pouring in oil and wine. He then hoisted him on his own beast and brought him to an inn, where he cared for him. The next day he took out two silver pieces and gave them to the innkeeper with the request : Look after him, and if there is any further expense I will repay you on my way back”[1].

The Good Samaritan does not mind that he might be criticized for helping someone whο has “tradi­tionally” been considered his enemy. And he does not ask him any questions : where he comes from, why he is there, where he is going. He asks no questions at all. Very simply the Good Samaritan sees the injured person in need, and he spontaneously helps him up, takes him to an inn, and sees that he receives all he needs to get well again. This is charity ! A charity which makes no exception because of the other person’s ethnic origin, religious allegiance or political preference, no exceptions whatsoever ; a charity which sees the person as a brother or sister in need and seeks only one thing : to be of immediate assistance, to be a neighbor.

May this same charity motivate all of us who live in a world approaching the end of the second millennium ! May it inspire all of us to have compassion for the millions of refugees whο cry out for our help!

(Bd John Paul II)

Is the bias increasing?

July 9, 2013

As we’ve done for the past two years, lets compare:

Here’s the complete statement issued by POTUS BHO regarding the beginning of the holy season of Lent this year, 2013:

Michelle and I join with Christians here and around the world in marking Ash Wednesday.  This is a day of both reflection and joy, a time to ponder the meaning of repentance and restoration.  As we enter Lent, we join millions in renewing our faith and remembering our commitment to love and serve one another.

Here’s the statement issued yesterday by POTUS BHO regarding the beginning of the season of Ramadan 2013:

With the start of the sacred month of Ramadan, Michelle and I extend our best wishes to Muslim communities here in the United States and around the world.

For the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims, Ramadan is a time for thoughtful reflection, fasting and devotion.  It is also an opportunity for family and friends to come together and celebrate the principles that bind people of different faiths – a commitment to peace, justice, equality and compassion towards our fellow human beings.  These bonds are far stronger than the differences that too often drive us apart.

This month also reminds us that freedom, dignity and opportunity are the undeniable rights of all mankind.  We reflect on these universal values at a time when many citizens across the Middle East and North Africa continue to strive for these basic rights and as millions of refugees mark Ramadan far from their homes.  The United States stands with those who are working to build a world where all people can write their own future and practice their faith freely, without fear of violence.

In the United States, Ramadan is a reminder that millions of Muslim Americans enrich our nation each day—serving in our government, leading scientific breakthroughs, generating jobs and caring for our neighbors in need.  I have been honored to host an iftar dinner at the White House each of the past four years, and this year I look forward to welcoming Muslim Americans who are contributing to our country as entrepreneurs, activists and artists.

I wish Muslims across America and around the world a month blessed with the joys of family, peace and understanding.  Ramadan Kareem.

He doesn’t even try to hide his bias.

Here’s a recent article…

July 8, 2013

…entitled “Why Isn’t Men’s Ministry More Vibrant in the Church?” by a brother from Pittsburgh.  Some interesting Comments follow the article.

Scranton Charismatic Conference

July 6, 2013

The Catholic Charismatic Renewal of the Diocese of Scranton invites you to attend their 31st annual conference this year:

CCR Conf 2013

The deadline for the early-bird registration discount is July 18th.  The registration forms can be found here.

Abp Chaput’s latest for Independence Day

July 4, 2013

Everything — absolutely everythingthat Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput writes is worth reading.  Go here to read his message to Catholic Americans for this year’s Independence Day.

But boldly and faithfully living our Baptism is the single greatest contribution we can make to the Church and our nation……The moral renewal of our nation begins with the moral renewal we allow God to work in each of our own hearts.