Christ is our King and therefore he is our leader in all things, both spiritual and temporal. We can take the sweet yolk of Christ and free ourselves from the problems that drag down families and even whole countries. We’ll start with an example of how Christ can liberate a country from the wickedness of sin using as an example the sin of usury, defined in the Old Testament as the taking of interest on a loan of money.
Mary has helped many Christians by her powerful intercession during times of military attack or military danger and by her strength of the faith of Christians. In our personal lives, what the rosary has done in a big way can be done in a small way. The rosary, we must remember, is a prayer, and it can do a great deal if we pray it. But it will do very little if you just say it. You have to give God the best time, the best place, the best posture.
One of the worst effects of original sin is the turning of human beings against one another. The most common type of violence against one another are things we say. Sins of speech against one another are a terrible problem. In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, we find that a person is guilty of a particular sin of the tongue called calumny when he says something “contrary to the truth, harms the reputation of others and gives occasion for false judgments concerning them.” (CCC #277)
We have to acknowledge that the internet is a much more powerful force than television. It can be used by anyone on a number of devices, for anything at all. It is much more flexible than TV. It also has an enormous amount of smut available, much more than TV. It was foolish optimism that got us into trouble with TV. And yet it was precisely the television set that swept away the Christian culture in the West.
It is important that we are not naive about the internet as we were naive about the television set. 90% of young people, beginning at age 8 up to age 17 have already seen pornography, mostly while doing homework, or at least that is what they said they were doing.
Sermon based on the parable of the Good Samaritan (Twelfth Week after Pentecost, Luke 10:23-37) – Love of God and love of neighbor are the two great commandments. St. John the Beloved goes even further in (1 John 4), saying “If any man say, ‘I love God’, and hates his brother, he is a liar: for how can he that loves not his brother whom he sees, love God whom he does not see? And this commandment we have from God, that he who loves God, love also his brother.” It is a very great offense to God, who is the common father of every human being, that His children here on earth should hate one another based on anything like race or color. And yet we see, here in the United States, a resurfacing of the kinds of tensions which we had back in the 60’s. It’s an unnecessary, artificial resurfacing of this old hatred. Hatred, based on race or any other thing, is completely contrary to the Gospel of the Lord. Go contrary to the direction who are trying to benefit from racial hatred or other hatreds, or even trying to make it worse.
In his book of the three greatest prayers, St. Thomas Aquinas takes up the question of polytheism in his day. Aquinas states that if you love other things before God, you have slipped into a kind of polytheism. If you look at the list of 5 false Gods given by St. Thomas Aquinas, and you look at the new Gods that have arisen in our time (money, possessions, recreation, sports), it would be surprising if we did not find at least one that has, quite quietly, but very powerfully, become a God in our our lives.
A saint, according to the definition of the church, is someone who shows heroic virtue. St. Catherine of Sienna lived in a time when there was great corruption in the church, and great conflict in the world with many wars going on. She had to walk a very fine line because she chose to try to advise military leaders, religious leaders, even the Popes. And while she was encouraging, and sometimes even correcting the great men of her time, she had to maintain the highest level of respect and virtue.
Sermon based on the parable of the man who sowed good seed (Resumed 5th Sunday after Epiphany, Matt 13:24-30) – Our Lord is using a very simple example to teach us something about the spiritual life. It is interesting that Our Lord so often uses examples of things that are alive to talk about the spiritual life. Whether he’s talking, in this case, about those who are good and those who are evil, they are both something planted, something which grows.
Old people were once thought to be good advisers, good friends, and good to have around. Now we have surgeries to disguise our aging. And that’s why we have this paranoia about smoking, or drinking or anything else that harms the body, because we don’t really believe there’s anything else. That’s really what drives it – it’s a kind of atheism. We believe that when life’s over, that’s really it. It’s a relief to know through our faith that there’s something quite different – death means that life is changed, not taken away.
The roots of knowledge are bitter. But the fruit of knowledge is sweet. This means when you begin to study something, whether it’s music or art or any other discipline, you have to do the grunt work of memorizing, of practicing, of painful discipline. But once you know it, it’s joyful. But study is not just for high schoolers or college students. Study is a part of what human life is.