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Some thoughts on Jesus as a “concealed king”…

We do well to further examine a quality of Christ’s kingship mentioned in yesterday’s sermon notes, namely that he is a “concealed” King. In the gospel, both the saved and condemned are surprised and wonder when they encountered Jesus at all, whether as hungry, thirsty, naked, a stranger, sick or in prison. He replies, Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’ (Matt 25:41). So, although concealed, Jesus says he was, quite present in those who were in such need. To examine and further understand the concealment of Jesus, consider another gospel passage. In the afternoon of the resurrection, two disciples are on the road to Emmaus and, as they journey and discuss the events of passiontide, Jesus joins them but they do not recognize hi...

How Blessed Miguel Pro continued to serve his people during church closures…

Even when public worship in churches was banned, Miguel Pro continued to serve the spiritual needs of his people. In 1926 President Calles of Mexico enacted new laws in his country that specifically targeted priests and religious, as well as Church buildings. Priests were unable to wear their religious garb in public and the government seized control of churches and monasteries. Public worship was soon banned and churches remained closed to the faithful.  Despite all of these difficulties, Bl. Miguel Pro continued to serve his people as a priest, seeking alternative ways to reach his flock. St. John Paul II explained in his homily for Padre Pro’s beatification how he covertly tended to the needs of the faithful. The daily celebration of Holy Mass was the center of his life, as well as...

New York Attorney General sues Bishops Malone, Grosz, and Diocese of Buffalo for failing to protect children…

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — New York State Attorney General Letitia James on Monday sued the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo and former bishops Richard J. Malone and Edward M. Grosz for failing to protect children and for engaging in a decades-long cover-up of sexual abuse by diocesan priests. New York’s top prosecutor also filed a motion that seeks to force a full public disclosure of predatory priests and their actions against those whom they were entrusted with spiritual care, and is seeking a court-appointed monitor that would ensure that interim Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger complies with sexual abuse policies and procedures. The state is also seeking to bar both Malone and Grosz — who resigned their positions last year after a Vatican investigation — from serving in secular fidu...

The battle to free the Mass…

This year, Americans have endured not only the intertwined economic, health, and political crises of the COVID-19 pandemic, but also a deep spiritual shock. For the first time since the Spanish Flu of 1918, our local and state governments have restricted worship services. And while the Word can be livestreamed, the Eucharist cannot. I am well aware that this spiritual crisis has intensified the concern that faithful Catholics have about their leaders. When I launched an ultimately successful campaign to “free the Mass” in San Francisco, Philip Lawler wrote, “Why ask city officials to ‘free’ the Mass? There is only one man who has the rightful authority to restrict and regulate the liturgy of the Catholic Church in San Francisco, and his name is Cordileone.” The best way to answer Lawler’s ...

Here’s an amazing, incredibly detailed reconstruction of the Beirut Port explosion, using every video and photo available…

[embedded content] From Forensic Architecture on Vimeo. Join Our Telegram Group : Salvation & Prosperity  

Newly-discovered sketch of Jesus was drawn by Leonard da Vinci, expert claims…

A drawing that was in a private collection for years has been attributed to Leonardo da Vinci. The Italian-language newspaper La Stampa reports that Annalisa Di Maria, a scholar who has worked with UNESCO’s Florence division, believes an image of Jesus found by a collector in Lecco to be the work of one of the Renaissance’s most high-profile artists. Di Maria told La Stampa that the work “recalls everything in the drawings of Leonardo: it is his language, and speaks loud and clear.” She added that the work is “the true face of Salvator Mundi,” another work attributed to Leonardo—but not by Di Maria, who said she thinks that Salvator Mundi, which sold at Christie’s for a record-setting $450.3 million in 2017, is unlikely to be by the Italian artist because the new Jesus drawing has a much d...

‘Long live Christ the King’ — The 51 Claretian martyrs of Barbastro…

At various times in history, martyrdom has been a real possibility for Christians. One such time was for Catholics during the Spanish Civil War of 1936-39, particularly those who were members of the clergy. The Spanish Civil War marked the most violent and prolonged spasm of the sort of religious persecution that had afflicted Spain for the last 100 years. In 1931, the Spanish monarchy ended and a Republic was established in its place. Still the political scene remained an unstable contest of Left and Right. By July 1936, this division erupted into a bloody civil war when the left took control of the Republic. Opposing the new leftist government, the Spanish Army, calling themselves Nationalists, revolted and chose Generalissimo Francisco Franco as their leader. They spent the next three y...

Living the reality of the Kingdom of Christ…

The Solemnity of Christ the King is an occasion for us every year to recalibrate our lives to the reality of Christ’s kingdom and to follow the criteria Christ gives us to enter it, live in it and proclaim it.  The annual feast is much needed to fight against the perennial temptation to view the world through the lens of earthly power and squeeze our understanding of God into that prism. This was happening in 1925, when Pope Pius XI established the solemnity. There was a militant atheism — the most notorious examples were in Russia and Mexico — seeking to repress belief in Christ and suppress Christian presence in the world. There was, moreover, a much larger secularizing trend that was attempting to order life without reference to God and make faith exclusively private. Then there we...

Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe: “The Lord of life tells us the secret of life…”…

Vatican City, Nov 22, 2020 / 06:37 am MT (CNA).- On Christ the King Sunday, Pope Francis encouraged Catholics to make choices with eternity in mind, by thinking not about what they want to do, but what is best to do. “That is the choice we have to make daily: what do I feel like doing or what is best for me?” the pope said Nov. 22. “This interior discernment can result either in frivolous choices or in decisions that shape our lives. It depends on us,” he said in his homily. “Let us look to Jesus and ask him for the courage to choose what is best for us, to enable us to follow him in the way of love. And in this way to discover joy.” Pope Francis celebrated Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica for the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. At the end of Mass, young people from P...

“Have you no such custom at meal?” — Praying before meals in Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings”…

During November in the United States of America, families will celebrate Thanksgiving. It is a national holiday where we reflect upon our state in life and express our gratitude to God for His providential care. It is also a time to be with friends and family and to be thankful for the gift of their presence. In addition, it is a time to be thankful for the gift of our own life, realizing how frail we are as humans. This mortality we have is made even more real when we remember the lives of those who have gone before us in the sleep of death and who no longer can be at our side this Thanksgiving. Typical of a family Thanksgiving Day meal is the recitation of “grace” before the feast begins. This tradition of thanking God for the bounty He has provided has always been a vital part...

Ralph Martin: The biggest crisis in the world revealed…

November 19, 2020 The biggest crisis in the world “is alienation from God, rebellion against God, it’s not believing in Jesus Christ, it’s not accepting the offer of mercy and salvation that God’s offering to the human race. The primary mission of the Church is not to improve the world. We should absolutely apply the social teaching of the Church, out of charity in all these different areas. But the primary purpose of the Church is to lift up Jesus Christ and call all people, everywhere, to believe in Him and repent,” said Ralph Martin, president of Renewal Ministries and author of books, including the recent “A Church in Crisis: Pathways Forward” (Emmaus Road Publishing). Join Our Telegram Group : Salvation & Prosperity  

Sober but serene themes of judgment in the spirituals…

I’ve often been impressed by the ability of old African-American spirituals to treat serious subjects in a clear, memorable, and almost joyful way. This is true even of weighty matters like sin and judgment. During early November we are focused on the four last things (death, judgment, Heaven, and hell) and November is also Black Catholic History Month. So, this seems like a good time to look at some of the creative lines from different spirituals that articulate these topics. It can be very helpful to the preacher, teacher, and parent in recovering an ethos of coming judgment, but in a way that is almost playfully bright while at the same time deeply soulful. In a certain sense, the spirituals are unimpeachable, even by hypersensitive post-moderns who seek to shame preachers for announcin...