Recently we have been looking at eight tasks Catholics need to be about in order effectively to bear witness to Christ at this time in America. Today, we shall look at two more: Make Sunday the center of our life and defend the life and dignity of all persons.
“Give me liberty or give me death,” Patrick Henry’s famous cry, at our nation’s birth, continues to stir hearts today; the struggle for freedom is no less urgent now, as evidenced in rallies and fortnights throughout our country protesting against the HHS mandates and other threats to religious liberty.
A hundred years ago, on the 13th day of every month from May through October of 1917, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to three children near Fatima in Portugal, bringing them an urgent message, calling for repentance and prayer, a message that has no less urgency today.
Members of consecrated life receive special charisms, not so much for their own good as for the good of others, to be integrated into the whole Body of Christ, the Church, and to be channeled into an evangelizing impulse at the service of the Lord. I pray that this may be one of the fruits of the Year of Consecrated Life.
Hell is one of the least popular of all Christian doctrines. Many people have trouble reconciling the existence of hell with the truth that God is all good and all loving.
While insisting that this document is not an encyclical or a document aimed at defining Church dogma, "The Joy of the Gospel" is nonetheless an important message of the Successor of Peter in which Pope Francis exhorts all of us in the Church to embrace the Gospel with confidence and to live it with joy.
We walk surrounded by angels. We are not alone, as we journey through life; these spirits, created by God, surround us at all times, even though we cannot see them because they are pure spirits without a body.
The Holy Father has allowed the granting of Plenary indulgences for the faithful during the Year of Faith at places and dates determined by the local bishop. An indulgence is the remission before God of the temporal punishment for sin the guilt of which is already forgiven, which a properly disposed member of the Christian faithful obtains under certain conditions.
Since his election on March 13 of this year, he has caught the attention of the world. Even non-believers and non-practicing Catholics are paying attention. Pope Francis surprises and inspires, even as he challenges us to love the poor and in them to meet Jesus anew.
That the popular culture in America has changed dramatically in the past half century is news to no one. Nor should it be surprising that such a dramatic change in culture would greatly impact Catholics since we make up nearly a quarter of our nation’s population.