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Please pray for those in the Florida Panhandle and others in the area that they might avoid personal injury and significant loss as a consequence of Hurricane Michael.

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… the active life is essential to every Christian …

The active life is the participation of the Christian in the Church’s mission on earth, whether it means bringing to (others) the message of the Gospels, or administering the sacraments, or performing works of mercy, or cooperating in the world-wide efforts for the spiritual renewal of society and the establishment of that peace and order without which the human race cannot achieve its destiny.  (Emphasis added.)

  Thomas Merton, in Life and Holiness

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Every baptised Christian is called out of darkness – called to live as and for Christ.  In this comes “the most mysterious aspect” of Christian life: living in grace – living in “light of God in us … transforming us” … making us the children of God so we are His instruments of peace and good in our culture and in this life on earth.

This is the nature of the active life of each Christian.  Nothing ought precede this orientation to our life – for this is the most fundamental identity a Christian possesses – and it is for us the source of our happiness, strength, wisdom, purpose, meaning and value.

Think about it.  What are you doing to further the spiritual renewal of our society?

What are you doing in response to the increasing violence of radical mobs and the irresponsible Senators, Congresswomen and wealthy benefactors who encourage hostile behavior or those who excuse it in newspapers, magazines, network and cable “news” programs?

Spiritual renewal of society … and you.  Think about it.


… that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us …

Jn 17:21

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At the Easter Vigil Mass we welcomed ten people into the Catholic Church.  It was, as it always is in welcoming new members, a solemn and yet joyous event.

At the conclusion of the Mass many gathered to offer a personal greeting to the new members.  I had the pleasure of welcoming a tall, broad shouldered man and having a few warm words with him.  He was all smiles and greeted me warmly.

“Welcome, such a happy day isn’t it,” I said.  “Oh yes, it is,” he responded with a wide grin on his face as he stood within his family members.  “Sure is nice to feel the warmth and joy rather than the division that many in Washington seem intent on creating,” I offered.  His response.  “You too! … I am so sick of the division and hostility that I do not even watch the news anymore,” he said.

We both agreed that this nonsense of division must stop.

This was not the first such exchange I had with an African American.  Indeed, in the past five years or so, I have had much the same conversation and reaction.

As Christians we are designed to be one with Christ, one with God and one with each other.

When you hear the voices of division recognize them for what they are: destructive and contrary to God’s intention.

Time to turn away from those would divide us.


… Jesus was saying to those Jews you believed in Him, “If you continue in My word, then you will be truly disciples of Mine, and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free”

Jn 8:31-31

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The claim Jesus makes here is this: if you live in and by His words, you will know truth and His words will set you free from sin.

What if you could live a life free of sin, in truth – and the contentment that this would bring, would you choose to do so?

This is a very simple and direct question.  It is the question Jesus poses for each of us and particularly for those of us who say we are Christians and, especially for a nation that claims a Christian heritage.

So, do we live the offer Jesus makes?  Do you?  And can we claim Christian life by the acts of our nation?  Codifying abhorrent behavior is hardly consistent with what Jesus offers.  Nor are the deeds of those who lie, exceed their lawful authority, use their positions of power to enrich themselves, or spread immoral conduct.  Corrupt conduct is in opposition to Christ.

These words above are a constant challenge to each of us and those who assume leadership positions in this land.

It is time to look at yourself honestly … and to challenge those in positions of power who besmirch Christ and reject what He has offered.


Life in Christ is a wonderful adventure.  He alone can give full meaning to life, he alone is the center of history.  Live by him!

St. John Paul, II

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These are the words St. John Paul II spoke in 1997 at a Mass for youth in Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic.

St. John Paul knew that life and history bring us personal and political hardship.

He was orphaned when his mother, brother and father died before he was 20 years of age.

He saw his beloved Poland occupied by the Nazis and then shamefully handed to the Communist Russia by the West after World War II.

He had to attend an “underground” seminary.

He risked his life to sustain the Catholic faith of others during the Nazi occupation and did the same under Communist occupation – smuggling seminarians into Poland when their native counties, occupied by the Communists, prohibited the ordination of Catholic clergy.

Christ alone is the center of history.

It is now our turn.  Those who are Believers face our time to witness.

Christianity is under attack – in the world, in the Middle East, in Europe and here in the United States.  Godless people dismiss the importance of faith, others have antipathy for religion, for Christ and for Christians and for our country and its heritage.  We find each in positions of public leadership – from politics, to media, entertainment, public and higher education, and corporate life.

Like St. John Paul II and Christians in Poland and others throughout history, we must demonstrate overtly what a Christian life is – who God in Christ is, how purposefully a person lives once a relationship with Christ is engaged and established.

Difficult things come to us personally and collectively so God might see His creation perfected.  Such opportunities are blessings.  We are living in such a time – a time of challenge, of opportunity and of blessings.

If we love God, if we are Christians – would we not join together to respond, to teach others who Christ is and what the love of God for all looks like?  Is it not unimaginable that we would do nothing less?

Brothers and Sisters, time for us to witness Christ – He who will never be diminished. We have been silent too long.  Live has been easy for a while – our faith left to prosper – but that has changed.  Now it is our moment.  It is a sacred time.

True holiness does not mean a flight from the world; rather … the effort to incarnate the Gospel in everyday life, in the family, at school … at work … in social and political life.

St. John Paul, II 

We are many and God is invincible!


If this message appeals to you, please share it with others.

Let no one deceive you in any way.

2 Thes 2:3

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It is hard not to notice the many ways in which faith, and in particular, Christ is denied in present day American culture.

I am most struck by the proposition that is often uttered, especially by the modestly educated from our once-prestigious universities and (of course) by the most political among us, that “religion is to be excluded from our discourse and public and private life.”

What these people are saying is, in essence, this: we are too good, too advanced to need religion, more in-the-know, smarter – and far more intelligent than to follow any supernatural nonsense like religion.

Let’s face facts – we live in an age of apostasy.  Yes, we live in an age where others (the Leftists, modern liberalism, secularists, the modestly-educated class, and the government, judiciary included) try to coax or force Believers to give up their faith – and as for Christians: deny Christ.

The Second Letter to the Thessalonians (among other portions of the Old and New Testament) address our circumstance and is useful in providing fair warning to each of us in these days.  (2 Thes 2: 3-17)

In a Chapter entitled “Christ and the Lawless One” we learn that it is through apostasy that the lawless one is revealed to us.  And that the one who is lawless is doomed to perdition as he exalts himself above all others and all else so to claim his status as “a god.”

Does this not provide a fascinating proposition?

We learn in this chapter that the “mystery of lawlessness is already at work.”  Yet, that this lawless one will be killed by “the breath” of the Lord and rendered “powerless by the manifestation” of the Lord’s coming.  Yes, the lawless one and in the advert of apostasy, are the herald of the Lord’s coming – a each a necessary element of Christ’s return.

In the presence of apostasy and the Lawless One – those who adopted “the lie” and “not believed the truth” face condemnation.

In these times – and in the present day, it is the sacred task of Believers to stand “as the first fruits of salvation,” to witness in the face of challenges “the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Thus we are instructed to “stand firm and hold fast to the tradition you were taught … 

Thus is our call today.


Addendum – After reading this chapter last night, I prepared to retire and the thought came to me that I might want to turn on the radio.  When I did: I heard a discussion of the second chapter of Thessalonians – yes, a discussion of “Christ and the Lawless One.” What are the chances of that happening?  What do you make of it?

For an excellent read on faith and apostasy, I highly recommend Japanese novelist Shusaku Endo’s Silence which depicts the plight of Catholic missionaries in 16th century Japan.


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