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Lex Cordis Caritas - The law of the heart is Love
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Thoughts on Memorial Day, belief in the resurrection
May 26, 2019
Visiting Resurrection Cemetery always brings back many memories for me. When I was a child, my family would often go to Resurrection Cemetery on Sunday afternoons because my grandmother wanted to visit the grave of her husband, my grandfather, John H. Paprocki, Sr., who died a few years before I was born. To this day, I still remember the route we took through the cemetery visiting various graves. At each stop we would get out of the car, stand by the graves, and pray an Our Father, Hail Mary, and Eternal Rest for the repose of their souls. Years later, whenever I go to Resurrection Cemetery, I follow this same pattern of visiting graves and praying for the dead, except that these graves now include both of my parents.
Legalizing marijuana in Illinois will cause more problems
May 12, 2019
Illinois politicians in recent years have saddled our state with a series of serious evils, among them being taxpayer-funded abortion, same-sex marriage, and the widespread proliferation of video gambling. Now Illinois’ new governor, J.B. Pritzker, was joined by Democratic lawmakers in Chicago on May 4 to announce plans to legalize recreational marijuana in the state starting next year. This follows their recent introduction of extreme pro-abortion legislation seeking to make good on Gov. Pritzker’s pledge to make Illinois the most pro-abortion state in the Union. It seems that Pritzker and like-minded lawmakers are intent on driving Illinois deeper into a cesspool of immorality. I have joined the rest of the bishops of Illinois in voicing our opposition to the legalization of marijuana.
Understanding doctrine of the resurrection of the dead
April 28, 2019
It seems that some people, including a good number of Christians, think the reference to Christ’s resurrection is just a metaphor, that is, they would say that Jesus did not actually rise from the dead, but was “resurrected” only in the metaphorical sense that he was kept alive in the memories of his followers. The problem with this understanding of our Lord’s resurrection is that it does not make sense in light of the experience of the first Christians, especially their martyrdom. People do not die for metaphors. The first Christians went willingly to their deaths rather than deny the truthful reality that Jesus had physically risen from the dead. If they were simply speaking metaphorically that Jesus was still alive in their thoughts and memories, and that the life they hoped for after their own deaths was only a figure of speech, I do not think they would have been so hopeful and confident about the implications of their dying as martyrs.
Where Catholic lawmakers in diocese stand on abortion bills
April 14, 2019
Here in Illinois, some Democrat lawmakers are pushing House Bills 2467 and 2495, and Senate Bills 1594 and 1942. Among other things, these bills would make abortion a fundamental right and would repeal parental notification, which is currently required in Illinois when a minor seeks an abortion. This past March 28, Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago and I, along with the diocesan bishops of the other four Catholic dioceses in Illinois, held a press conference at the State Capitol in Springfield to express our opposition to these extreme proposals. It is not often that all of the bishops gather at the Capitol, so the extraordinary presence of all six diocesan bishops in Illinois was intended to send a clear message that we ― as a church ― are united in our opposition to these abortion bills and we call on all people of good will to oppose them. As we enter into our Holy Week observances, commemorating Our Savior’s passage from his death on Good Friday to the new life of his resurrection on Easter Sunday gives us hope that our culture of death can be transformed into a culture of life.
Remembering my mother, Veronica Mary
March 31, 2019
I am very grateful to all those who expressed their condolences and prayers on the death of my mother, Veronica Mary Paprocki, who passed from this life to eternal life on March 13. Her funeral took place on March 19, the Solemnity of St. Joseph. I would like to share with you a few excerpts from my homily for her Mass of Christian Burial.
Looking closely at the Lenten journey
March 17, 2019
As I write this, my mother’s health is failing and she in is in hospice care in her nursing home. This time of sorrow coincides with the beginning of Lent, so naturally my thoughts are very much on the Lenten themes of the journey from death to life. It is the good news of our faith that the life of Jesus did not end with his death on the cross but continues thanks to the glory of his resurrection. The promise of our faith is that the hope of eternal life is extended to us as well. We do well to reflect on these themes throughout the weeks of Lent.
Urge lawmakers to vote ‘no’ on extreme abortion bills
March 03, 2019
It is not surprising that the movie, Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer, did not win any Oscar awards last Sunday night. The Hollywood proponents of abortion did not even want you to see this movie, let alone give it any honors. No major Hollywood film studio would touch it. The movie is based on The New York Times best-selling book, Gosnell: The Untold Story of America’s Most Prolific Serial Killer, written by producers Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer. Why do so many of the media’s establishment not want you to read this book, see the movie, or even know about them? The reason is because Gosnell is the shocking true story of the investigation and trial of abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell — his 30-year killing spree and the political and media establishment that tried to cover it up.
Pray proponents of abortion rights have change of heart
February 17, 2019
The Letter to Diognetus, written in the second century, is one of the earliest descriptions of how the early Christians lived. One very noteworthy passage says that Christians “marry like everyone else, and have children, but they do not expose their offspring. They share their meals, but not their wives. They live in the flesh, but they are not governed by the desires of the flesh. They live on earth, but their citizenship is in heaven.” Reading those lines, you might be wondering what it means for people to “expose their offspring,” since that is an expression that we do not commonly use today.
Considering St. Valentine and real meaning of love
February 03, 2019
In a few days, we will celebrate Valentine’s Day, or, more precisely, St. Valentine’s Day. The world around us associates Valentine’s Day with romance, as people will purchase cards, flowers, or gifts, or sit down for intimate dinners to celebrate a day dedicated to what our secular culture views as love. Of course, the color red is associated with St. Valentine’s Day, but have you ever wondered why? The reason the color red is associated with Valentine’s Day is because red is the color of martyrs. Yes, St. Valentine was a martyr. Red is the color of martyrs because martyrs are people who shed their blood in witness to their faith in Jesus Christ, and their willingness to die out of love for their Savior who died for our sins on the cross is the motivation that spurs all of us on in our faith.
Bishops urged to tend flocks with courage
January 20, 2019
At the request of Pope Francis, the bishops of the United States gathered for a retreat from Jan. 2-8 at Mundelein Seminary in the Archdiocese of Chicago. In his letter to the American bishops, the Holy Father wrote that he had suggested this retreat as “a time of seclusion, prayer and discernment.” He called for a “new ecclesial season” and for finding a way to “protect those in our care from losing hope and feeling spiritually abandoned.” In order to do so, we would first need to enter “with trust into Jesus’ prayer to the Father” and “allow him to conform our hearts to his image and help us to discover his will.”
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