If you think about it, for hundreds of years, the Prince of this world has been trying to persuade us that there are two realities—two universes—two worlds. One is real and the other is imaginary. He and his minions would have us believe that only this world—this earth, this life—is real. If we can see it or weigh it or put it under a microscope to examine it—only that is real. Conversely, if it is invisible or spiritual or supernatural then that is not real—probably—but even if it is real—even if God does exist, we really don’t have to worry about Him. We can live our lives as if He doesn’t exist. This is called “practical atheism.”
They might admit, the world of faith is a very beautiful world—and it is mirrored in the beauty of our churches and her ceremonies. But for them—the atheists—the world of faith is just some big happy Fantasyland that doesn’t really count, that doesn’t really matter. If there is a heaven—that’s great. If there is hell then we can ignore it. If there is God—well so what? We can believe anything we want as long as our religious ideas don’t change the way we shop or entertain ourselves—or the way we vote or the way we live. Just don’t push all this supernatural stuff on people as if it were real. Continue reading The Prince of this world has been trying to persuade us that there are two realities
For those who are just arriving at our 9:30 Mass, may I mention that we have with us today many men from Mundelein Seminary—seminarians from all over the country. Mundelein was the womb of my priesthood as well.
I am honored to be able to celebrate this Mass this morning—with you and these seminarians. It is a very special Mass—certainly because of their presence and precisely because of their presence we are celebrating the Solemn High form of Mass—which if the truth be told is the Source Mass for all Masses—Latin or English—Extraordinary or Ordinary.
This is the Mass with the Priest Deacon and Subdeacon all circling around the mysteries of God at the altar. In all cases, it is good to be here.
I just saw the other day that Julian Assange—you know the Wiki-leaks guy– went on a tear against the Catholic Church. He accused Her of being one of those huge worldly entities whose only concern is control of its subjects.
First he accused the Church of using the confessional in order to spy on people. Well, if any one of us has ever been to confession and we remember what we told the priest—and anonymously as well—we would be hard-pressed to understand how we were being spied upon. But confession has always been the bug-a-boo of the anti-Catholics. Continue reading Why the modern mind cannot accept the Mass
Of course, today we celebrate Pentecost—the day when the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, the Holy Spirit, was introduced to the world. We see in the Scriptures where the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles and the Blessed Virgin in the form of tongues of fire. And immediately—inspired by the grace of the Holy Spirit—fired up by the fuel of God’s love—the Apostles went into the streets and plazas, highways and byways and began to fearlessly preach about Christ—Him crucified and Him risen. They taught without hesitation—and at the risk of their lives.
And what they did teach was that everyone needed to believe in Jesus in order to be saved. That this outlawed crucified savior whom they killed was God— Messiah and Saviour. The preaching was that simple—that direct and that clear. And they made it urgent: If you did not want to go to hell at the end of your life—you needed to be baptized in the name of this Jesus. This was the first Catholic school, the first catechism class—this was the first RCIA program—and it didn’t take any longer than a couple hours. And thousands were converted that one afternoon. Thousands heard these words—were stung to the heart at the message, its beauty and necessity, and they turned to Jesus and were baptized. Continue reading They died for love of Jesus, and it was the Holy Spirit who gave them the strength