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Lex Cordis Caritas - The law of the heart is Love
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Standing up for life in Tulsa before pilgrimage to Holy Land, Rome
December 08, 2019
After putting in many miles of training to prepare for the Route 66 Marathon in Tulsa on Nov. 24, it was disappointing to settle for only 13.1 miles instead of the usual 26.2. This was the first time in 25 attempts that I was not able to finish the full marathon. I was running strong for six miles when I suddenly felt sapped of energy, apparently due to the lingering fatigue of a cold that I had been fighting for several days. Little did I know going into the race that this would officially be my first half-marathon! Apparently my plans were not God’s plans that day! In several ways, it was a challenging weekend in Tulsa as I took part in activities of the LIFE Runners, a pro-life running group with almost 14,000 members world-wide. As is our usual practice, the LIFE Runners had a booth at the Marathon Expo, where we display a large “Remember the Unborn” banner, sign up new members, and distribute LIFE Runners gear. Unfortunately, the Tulsa Expo director was not very welcoming to us despite our having paid a fee to host a booth, just as other Expo sponsors had. One woman, who appeared to be a grandmother, removed the LIFE Runners’ “Remember the Unborn” sticker from her grandson’s clothes, telling him we were “anti-choice.” It is sad that an adult would abuse the power of language to communicate a hateful message to a child about those who are sincerely trying to protect the lives of unborn babies.
Pray for modern-day David who is taking on Planned Parenthood
November 24, 2019
My topic today is a modern tale of David and Goliath — excellence vs. philistine. The modern-day David of this true story is David Daleiden, who is taking on the contemporary Goliath, Planned Parenthood and their giant abortion industry. Daleiden is a citizen journalist who has conducted investigative research on the abortion industry. He is the young mastermind behind the sting operation that released undercover videos in 2015 exposing Planned Parenthood’s trafficking in human fetal tissue and organs, including an abortionist at a Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Pasadena, Calif., who was shown in the videos haggling over the price of aborted baby body parts and quipping that she wanted to make enough money to buy a Lamborghini.
Pray to keep church true to its mission
November 10, 2019
Recently, I administered the sacrament of confirmation at a small parish church in our diocese that is very beautiful, except that the windows were covered with contact paper decorated with various patterns in pastel colors. I was told that the pastor in the 1970s had removed the stained-glass windows and smashed them to pieces. Thankfully, the current pastor hopes to raise funds to restore stained-glass windows to the church. Unfortunately, it appears that the iconoclasts made their way into the Amazonian Synod in Rome, which concluded on Oct. 27, seeking to shatter some long-standing Catholic practices, such as priestly celibacy and the doctrine understood and accepted since the time of Christ about whom the church is authorized to admit to the sacrament of holy orders. Reports from the synod also indicate that the commitment to the evangelical goal of missionary activity as bringing people to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior is being diminished or abandoned by some.
Halloween, All Saints Day and All Souls Day from a Catholic perspective
October 27, 2019
Halloween means different things to different people. For some, it means an innocent custom of dressing up in costumes and visiting homes requesting a “trick or treat.” The “treat” is usually a gift of candy. The “trick” refers to a harmless prank of some sort if no treat is given. Since most people are prepared to give a treat, it is rare to see a trick performed instead.
Pray that Holy Spirit guides deliberations at Pan-Amazon synod
October 13, 2019
The Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon Region is meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican this month from Oct. 6 to Oct. 27. While it would seem that this meeting should only concern people from that region, nothing in our world of instant global communication remains confined to one geographic area anymore, and so we should be familiar with what is being discussed at this synod.
Fighting evil, respecting and defending life: We still have more work to do
September 29, 2019
As we approach the month of October, we should also remember that October is Respect Life Month and the first Sunday of October is observed as Respect Life Sunday. As Catholics, we are called to cherish, defend, and protect those who are most vulnerable, from the beginning of life to its end, and at every point in between. During the month of October, the church asks us to reflect more deeply on the dignity of every human life. The Respect Life theme this year is Christ our Hope: In Every Season of Life.
Accepting and caring for our bodies as they were created
September 15, 2019
We are living in very confused and confusing times, when longstanding truths from time immemorial are not only being questioned but are being rejected outright. One of these basic truths is the reality that people are born into the world as male or female. Proponents of transgender theory argue that gender is fluid and cannot be confined to binary categories of male and female.
Serving God and neighbor with our work
September 01, 2019
As we celebrate Labor Day this year on Sept. 2, this is a good time for us to reflect on the meaning of work, why we work, and what we hope to gain from our work. At its most basic level, people work to earn a living to pay the bills. But if that is all that it means, our work quickly becomes nothing more than boring tasks that we must do if we want to collect our paycheck. Work takes on a deeper meaning when it is done for a higher purpose and not just narrow self-interest.
We must acknowledge God and follow his commandments
August 18, 2019
Thirty-two people were killed in a period of less than 13 hours over the weekend of Aug. 3-4. The first shooting, in El Paso, Texas, killed 22. Nine more died, plus the shooter, in an attack in Dayton, Ohio. In addition to those atrocities, that same weekend 15 people were shot in two separate incidents in Chicago. Although reports of such senseless violence are unfortunately becoming more common, they still continue to shock and sadden us, as they should. The response to such violence has become quite predictable as people tend to assign blame according to their own ideologies.
Visits to California bring a variety of thoughts, benefits
August 04, 2019
I was in California twice in the past two weeks. First, I concelebrated the Solemn Mass of Dedication of Christ Cathedral with Bishop Kevin Vann in the Diocese of Orange on July 17. Then I participated in the Napa Institute’s Annual Conference July 22-27. There were several of us from the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois at the dedication of Christ Cathedral in a show of support for Bishop Vann, a native son of our diocese, who served in various capacities in our Diocesan Curia and in several parishes, most notably as pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Decatur and Blessed Sacrament Parish in Springfield. The following week I participated in the Napa Institute’s Annual Conference. We spoke of the various measures that have been adopted by the Holy See, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and in our respective dioceses to address the scandals that have been in the news during the past year.
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