Lex Cordis Caritas - The law of the heart is Love

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June 28, 2020
The name of George Floyd has become well-known across the United States and throughout the world due to widespread media coverage given to his brutal killing, which was recorded on video and subsequently viewed by countless numbers of people. Not so well known and with little or no media attention are the names of many other people who have been recent victims of senseless murders. In light of his life story, Venerable Father Augustine Tolton provides us with a powerful exemplar to whom we should turn as we as we pray for racial harmony and healing in our country.
June 14, 2020
I have been asked if we will discontinue the video streaming of our Masses now that people can come to church, even if we are not yet able to fill our churches to capacity. While I do want people to return to physically attending Mass in person, I do not want to get away from livestreaming. That might seem contradictory to what I just said about the importance of being together in person, so let me explain why.
May 31, 2020
The Catholic faith is a tangible, concrete faith with sacramental signs that reflect and make manifest spiritual realities. Our faith cannot be practiced freely without physical participation in the sacraments. Also, our faith is communal, not private, and its proper expression requires the physical gathering of the community. For over two months, out of concern for the common good, I directed that we as a diocese would make the willing sacrifice to forego our constitutional right to free assembly and the full exercise of our religion. Accordingly, I asked our Catholic faithful to accept this temporary inability to receive holy Communion in a positive spirit as a spiritual fast.
May 17, 2020
While I have cause for hope that good things may come from this difficult time, I know that you share my concern that we must return to the proper liturgical life of the church and regular celebration of the sacraments and faith life of our parishes. With this in mind, we have begun thinking and planning for how our parishes will re-open to provide access to the sacraments and public liturgies. In this regard, I am pleased to tell you that I have given permission for the distribution of holy Communion at designated times and with proper safety precautions, using the guidelines for the provision of the sacraments during the coronavirus pandemic developed by the Thomistic Institute in Washington, D.C.
May 03, 2020
On Good Friday morning, I did a radio interview with Sam Madonia on his AM Springfield program. He asked a question that I’m sure is on the minds of many people: Where is God in this coronavirus pandemic? I answered that God permits evil so that he may bring good from it, as we saw how his own son Jesus was allowed to suffer and die on the cross so that we might be saved from our sins. Thinking about this question since then, others have noted that our society has removed God from our public schools, our movies and television programs, indeed from much of public life. God respects our freedom, so if we ask him to go away, why are we surprised that he seems to have left us in times of calamity?
April 19, 2020
While all of us fear death to some extent, it should come as no surprise that death is especially frightening to those who do not believe in God. After all, if there is no life after death, the prospect of collapsing into nothingness is rightfully terrifying. So instead of thinking about what happens after death, such people prefer to replace such thoughts with happy memories. Thus, “celebrations of life” and “memorial gardens” look to the past, while people of faith look to the future with confident hope of a better life to come.
April 05, 2020
As we all try to cope as best we can under these circumstances, it is crucial that we not forget the role that our faith can and must have in the midst of a crisis such as this. While attention rightfully focuses on the advice of health care experts and the decisions that government officials must make to protect public health and safety, we must at the same time keep God front and center in our awareness and maintain a vigorous life of prayer, trusting in God’s providence to deliver us from evil and affliction. Perhaps it is fitting that this scourge has descended upon us during Lent, a time of offering prayers, almsgiving, penance and fasting in atonement for our sins.
March 22, 2020
We are living in a time of great anxiety and uncertainty as the world deals with the coronavirus pandemic. Health care experts and government officials are indicating what the proper responses should be in terms of the natural means of confronting this crisis. This response in the realm of science and medicine is critically important, but it is not the only response needed. We as people of faith must also consider the supernatural measures that are needed to respond properly to this health care emergency. Fortunately, we have two thousand years of history that provide stellar examples of how Christians respond in times of sickness and disease.
March 08, 2020
It is not uncommon today to hear people criticize organized religion in general and the Catholic Church in particular as being too preoccupied with rules rather than love. What such critics fail to realize, however, is that rules help to specify how a loving person is supposed to behave. Without rules, love is empty sentimentality. Without love, rules are simply cold and arbitrary regulations.
February 23, 2020
In an article entitled, “The Dangerous Denial of Sex,” published in the February 14, 2020 issue of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, Colin M. Wright and Emma N. Hilton argue that “transgender ideology harms women, gays—and especially feminine boys and masculine girls.” It should be noted that Colin Wright is an evolutionary biologist at Penn State and Emma Hilton is a developmental biologist at the University of Manchester. They point out, “In humans, reproductive anatomy is unambiguously male or female at birth more than 99.98% of the time. . . . No third type of sex cell exists in humans, and therefore there is no sex ‘spectrum’ or additional sexes beyond male and female. Sex is binary.”