This past Sunday, the Church began the celebration of Advent, the season in which we prepare for the coming of Jesus Christ at Christmas.
All of us know that Christmas is coming – we are bombarded with the signs and sounds of Christmas already. But knowing that Christmas is coming, and being prepared for it, are two different things. The Church’s Advent season is meant to be an opportunity to open our hearts to Jesus Christ – who comes small and quietly into our lives, but who can...
[On the first Sunday of Advent, we pray in the opening prayer of Mass the following oration:
Grant your faithful, we pray, almighty God,
the resolve to run forth to meet your Christ
with righteous deeds at his coming, so that, gathered at his right hand, they may be worthy to possess the heavenly kingdom.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
As we look forward with the eyes of faith to the Second Coming...
In last month’s Montana Catholic, I wrote about the Special Synod of bishops in Rome, convened in October by our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI. I stated that the convening of a Special Synod indicates there are pressing issues on the Holy Father’s mind and heart, concerns needing worldwide consultation and expertise.
We know from his speeches and writings that those issues include:
-the spread of secularism.
-the ascent of atheism, especially in nations where...
The Holy Father's Plea
On May 30, 2011, Pope Benedict announced the convening of a special Synod of Bishops in Rome, beginning Oct. 7, 2012. Bishops from all over the world, including four from the United States, were invited to participate in this gathering.
A special Synod indicates there are issues and concerns of particular urgency on the Holy Father’s mind, issues and concerns that require expansive consultation and expertise, and intensive prayer.
We know from the Holy Father’s...
We spent a lot of time at the Synod on the New Evangelization in Rome talking about salvation.
On the one hand, I guess this should not shock us, since Jesus came as our Savior, offering us the “good news” of eternal salvation.
However, on the other hand, this is a surprise, because, as some Synod participants have chillingly observed, the Church rarely, if ever, speaks of salvation these days, since most of us today presume it, or don’t think we even need it!
Think about that…why do...
I write to you again this week from Rome, where the Synod of Bishops for the new evangelization has become a “synod of saints.”
Pope Benedict XVI opened the Synod almost three weeks ago by adding St. Hildegard of Bingen and St. John of Avila to the elite list of Church “doctors” – saints are special teachers of holiness and of theology and spirituality.
This past Sunday, which was World Mission Sunday, I was blessed to concelebrate a Mass in which the Pope proclaimed seven new...
A friend of mine quipped recently that the real religion of Americans has nothing to do with churches or synagogues. Our “real” religion is politics and the juggling for power it involves. He was being humorous. But as I write these words in late October, and we head into the final days of another, uniquely important, presidential election, his words don’t seem quite so funny.
In the heat of ugly political conflicts, we can easily lose sight of our real vocation as Christians: holiness....
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ:
"God doesn't hate Democrats!" These were the words that greeted me from an irate fan at a recent SHG football game.
"That's right," I agreed.
The person seemed surprised. "You agree?"
"Yes," I replied. "Why would you think otherwise?"
"Well, because of what you said recently."
So I asked, "Did you read my whole column or watch the entire video recording of it?"
"No," was the honest reply. "I just saw a snip of it."
There's the problem. While I have received...
In leading us into the Year of Faith, which began October 11, Pope Benedict calls on each of us as believers to “rediscover (God’s) joy,” to “radiate (God’s) word,” and to make our Christian witness “frank and contagious.”
Now those are wonderful words, but how do we actually live them? We need to begin by realizing that we’re not being asked to do the impossible – only the uncomfortable and inconvenient.
Benedict is asking us to examine our hearts and our habits of life...
Georgie Anne Geyer is an American journalist and columnist. She has interviewed such figures as Saddam Hussein, Yasser Arafat and Muammar al-Gaddafi. Her columns have been published in over 120 newspapers around the world. A few years ago, she expressed her deep conviction that a nation could not exist without morality or without faith in God. Without faith in God, everything comes down to “me” and there is no longer a solid basis for moral principles.
In 1980, Geyer said, “Moral...