Lex Cordis Caritas - The law of the heart is Love

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October 11, 2015
St. Francis of Assisi is said to have instructed the friars, “Preach the Gospel always, and if necessary, use words!” It is uncertain whether St. Francis ever really said that, but the sentiment seems consistent with his Franciscan spirituality. One of the pitfalls of this saying is that it can be used as an excuse for not talking about one’s faith, using the rationalization that the Gospel is being sufficiently preached by one’s good example. The problem with this is that often words are indeed necessary. We can do all kinds of good things for purely humanitarian and secular reasons. If we want people to know that our good deeds are motivated by our Catholic faith, we have to say so expressly!
October 04, 2015
The main purpose of the Holy Father's visit to our country was stated by the Holy Father himself at the prayer service with Bishops of the United States at the Cathedral of St. Matthew in Washington, D.C., where he said, "I appreciate the unfailing commitment of the Church in America to the cause of life and that of the family, which is the primary reason for my present visit." The Holy Father underscored this message in his address to Congress, saying, "Let us remember the Golden Rule: 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you' (Mt 7:12). This Rule points us in a clear direction... . The yardstick we use for others will be the yardstick which time will use for us. The Golden Rule also reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development." This message is very timely as we observe Respect Life Month during this month of October.
September 20, 2015
There is much excitement about the upcoming visit of Pope Francis to the United States, as the Holy Father will be coming to our country for the first time in his life. The initial reason for the papal visit was to attend the World Meeting of Families, which will take place in Philadelphia starting on Sept. 22. Taking advantage of the pope’s presence during this time, several other events have been added to his schedule, including a visit to the White House and an address that the Holy Father will deliver to a joint session of Congress. While in Washington, D.C., Pope Francis will canonize St. Junipero Serra at an outdoor Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on Wednesday, Sept. 23. This will be the first time ever that a saint will be canonized on American soil.
September 06, 2015
It was with great joy this past Aug. 14 that three new sisters were received into the Novitiate for the Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George in Alton. In addition, four sisters made their first profession of vows, followed by the final profession of three sisters to this community.
August 23, 2015
The Bible points us to the truth of what lies at the heart of every moral teaching of Jesus Christ and his church. In the Letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians, we hear him warn the people to “[w]atch carefully how you live” (Ephesians 5:15). He does this not because he wants to control their lives, dictating what they can and cannot do. Rather, he provides this guidance to them so that they can experience the joy of living a Gospel-centered life.
August 09, 2015
A common misconception among many non-Catholics is that we Catholics are expected to believe that everything the pope says is infallible and therefore are obliged to obey blindly whatever he teaches. Actually, the Catholic Church teaches that Jesus Christ endowed the church's shepherds (that is, the pope and bishops) with the charism of infallibility in matters of faith and morals.
July 26, 2015
Recently, the Center for Medical Progress released undercover videos and documentation showing how people at the highest levels of Planned Parenthood are negotiating the sale of body parts and adjusting the way they perform abortions so that the body parts are more accessible. New undercover footage shows Planned Parenthood's Senior Director of Medical Services, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, describing how Planned Parenthood sells the body parts of aborted fetuses, and admitting she uses partial-birth abortions to supply intact body parts. In the video, Nucatola is at a business lunch casually sipping a glass of red wine with actors posing as buyers from a human biologics company. As head of Planned Parenthood's Medical Services Department, Nucatola has overseen medical practice at all Planned Parenthood locations since 2009. She also trains new Planned Parenthood abortion doctors and performs abortions herself at Planned Parenthood in Los Angeles.
July 12, 2015
Our nation has suffered a loss of virtue and honor that threatens our freedom with the decision of the United States Supreme Court last month attempting to redefine marriage to include same-sex relationships. It was an "attempt" because the State has no moral authority to change what God has created. The government certainly has the legal power in civil law to coerce its definition, but that does not make it morally valid in the higher realm of supernatural realities. The tragic decision of the Supreme Court mocks the true meaning of marriage and thereby makes a mockery of itself.
June 28, 2015
Monday, June 22, marked the fifth anniversary of my installation as the ninth Bishop of Springfield in Illinois. Anytime we look back at a period of time in our lives, it is natural to look for highlights and accomplishments, as well as to take note of things that did not go as well as anticipated. Starting with the latter, it was a real disappointment that the civil unions act was passed and signed into law during my first year as Bishop in Springfield, resulting in the state of Illinois canceling our contract for foster care and adoption services because we would not place children with couples living contrary to the teachings of our faith. This misfortune was exacerbated in 2013 with the State attempting to redefine marriage to include same-sex couples. I say “attempt” because the State has no moral authority to change a natural institution created by God. It certainly has the legal power in civil law to coerce its definition, but that does not make it morally valid in the higher realm of supernatural realities.
June 14, 2015
Last month in celebration of Mother’s Day, I shared my brother Joe’s reflections about our mom, Veronica Paprocki. In anticipation of Father’s Day, I want to share with you some reflections from the homily that I gave at my dad’s funeral on Dec. 16, 1997.

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