Lex Cordis Caritas - The law of the heart is Love

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June 29, 2014
In conjunction with our celebration of the Solemnity of Corpus Christi last Sunday, I officially promulgated my first pastoral letter to the clergy and faithful of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois called Ars celebrandi et adorandi, (On the Art of Celebrating the Eucharistic Liturgy Properly and Adoring the Lord in the Eucharist Devoutly). Copies were mailed to everyone on the mailing list of our Catholic Times diocesan newspaper and are available online at our diocesan website (www.dio.org). I pray that this pastoral letter will be widely read and faithfully implemented, so that our celebrations of the liturgy may “be imbued with reverence, adoration and the glorification of God” and in this way recognize the Eucharist as, in the words of the Second Vatican Council, “the source and summit of all the Christian life.”
June 15, 2014
For the third year in a row, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) will conduct a “Fortnight for Freedom” a two-week period of prayer and action beginning on June 21, the vigil of the feasts of St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher, and culminating on July 4, Independence Day. The purpose of this effort is to issue a nationwide call to defend religious liberty and to urge the laity to work to protect the first freedom of the Bill of Rights.
June 01, 2014
By a quirk of the calendar, we will have several major solemnities of the church throughout the month and on every Sunday of June before we return to the Sundays of Ordinary Time in July. By focusing our attention on their meaning and on the way that these solemnities are connected to each other, we can make this month an opportunity for deeper growth in our faith.
May 18, 2014
Administering the sacrament of confirmation is an important part of a bishop’s ministry, including the bishop of Rome. Last year on April 29, 2013, Pope Francis spoke to 100,000 people gathered in St. Peter’s Square for a “Day of Confirmands” Mass. The pope invited the faithful to see the transformation of the Holy Spirit in our lives as a calling from God to transform the world. By allowing ourselves to be guided by the Spirit, we “allow God’s constant help to make us new men and women, inspired by the love of God which the Holy Spirit bestows on us!”
May 04, 2014
This past Sunday I had the unprecedented and memorable experience of concelebrating the Mass in St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City for the historic canonization of two popes, St. John XXIII, affectionately known as “The Good Pope,” and St. John Paul II, whom admirers have called “Pope John Paul the Great.” The canonization ceremony was remarkable, with about a million people extending from St. Peter’s Square down to the Tiber River. I had a great seat just a few rows behind Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, not far from the Chair of Pope Francis.
April 20, 2014
When I was growing up, Sundays in the Paprocki household had a very different feel from the rest of the week. After my parents, my siblings and I went to morning Mass together, we would come home to a big breakfast. It was not the usual bowl of cereal and juice eaten hurriedly before rushing off to school, but a sumptuous delight of eggs and bacon cooked by my father. The fact that Dad made breakfast was different in that Mom did the cooking during the rest of the week, since my father was always tending to the pharmacy that our family owned and operated.
April 06, 2014
During the season of Lent, many people make penitential sacrifices such as giving up candy, dessert, alcohol, or other pleasures. Some people do proactive Lenten practices, for example, going to daily Mass, reading the Bible, saying the rosary, making charitable gifts or serving at a soup kitchen or food pantry. Others do both, giving things up as well as adding some ascetical activity.
March 23, 2014
Some of our state legislators and government officials continue to seek the expansion of legalized gambling in Illinois. I have addressed the moral implications of gambling previously (see my column in the Catholic Times issue of July 31, 2011). But the proposals to expand gambling persist, so it is timely to revisit these moral and social implications.
March 09, 2014
“Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.” So said St. Jerome, the great biblical scholar who translated the Bible from Hebrew and Greek into Latin in the fourth century. In that case, it is unfortunate many people reportedly know very little about Scripture and therefore little about Christ. Some recent surveys in this regard are disturbing.
February 23, 2014
Lent will begin in a few days on March 5. In the Gospel reading for Ash Wednesday, Jesus tells his disciples, “Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father” (Matt. 6:1). But earlier in the Gospel of St. Matthew, in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father” (Matt. 5:14-16).

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