Lex Cordis Caritas - The law of the heart is Love

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December 13, 2020
When speaking about celebrating Mass ad orientem, what is meant liturgically is to be praying while facing Our Lord, the “Dawn from on high” who will “break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet on the way to peace” (Luke 1:78-79). While celebrating Mass facing the people became popular after the Second Vatican Council, there is actually no document from the Second Vatican Council that calls for Mass to be celebrated facing the people.
November 29, 2020
Three years ago, on the Solemnity of Christ the King, Nov. 26, 2017, we concluded our fourth diocesan synod. Representatives from each of our 129 parishes voted overwhelmingly to declare that the “mission of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield in Illinois is to build a fervent community of intentional and dedicated missionary disciples of the Risen Lord and steadfast stewards of God’s creation who seek to become saints. Accordingly, the community of Catholic faithful in this Diocese is committed to the discipleship and stewardship way of life as commanded by Christ Our Savior and as revealed by Sacred Scripture and Tradition.”
November 15, 2020
Update on confirmations. With safe-distancing and 25% of capacity in our churches, it will not be possible for me to do all of the Confirmation and First Holy Communion Masses myself for the foreseeable future, so I have extended to the Pastors and Parochial Administrators of the parishes in our diocese the faculty to administer the Sacrament of Confirmation to the faithful in their parishes who are properly disposed and prepared, effective January 1, 2021 through June 30, 2021.
November 01, 2020
Death is an uncomfortable topic in our contemporary culture. We avoid talking about it and employ euphemisms to mask our discomfort. Rather than say someone has died, we say that he or she has “passed away.” Instead of wakes and funerals, people prefer to call such services a “celebration of life.” Cemeteries are renamed “memorial gardens.” There is nothing wrong with celebrating a person’s life or remembering them after they have died, but a theological and pastoral problem that emerges with such changes in terminology is that “celebrations of life,” “memorial gardens” and “memorial Masses” all look to the past. Christian burial practices, on the other hand, look to the future in anticipation of our bodily resurrection and eternal life.
October 18, 2020
Is it a sin to vote for Joe Biden because of his pro-abortion stance? A number of the faithful have been asking that question. Here is my response.
October 04, 2020
As witnessed in recent Supreme Court nomination hearings, political opponents are not likely to be so courteous or deferential to Judge Amy Coney Barrett, nominated on Sept. 26 to replace Justice Ginsburg on our nation’s highest court. In particular, it will be unfortunate if she is attacked for her Catholic faith, as she was in the confirmation hearings in the U.S. Senate when she was nominated as a judge for the Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Chicago.
September 20, 2020
As election day in our country approaches in less than two months, people have been asking me if I will provide some guidance as they consider the candidates and ponder their votes. While I cannot endorse candidates for office, I and other church officials can provide voter education and pertinent information to help inform one’s choices.
September 06, 2020
Terror on every side! These frightening words are from the prophet Jeremiah (Jer. 20:10, NABRE). Jeremiah served God during the reigns of Judah’s last kings. King and people sadly resisted Jeremiah’s life-giving message. The chapters of his book are filled with accounts of the verbal and physical attacks he had to endure. In spite of such dire circumstances, Jeremiah remains confident of God’s help, as he proclaims, “The Lord is with me, like a mighty champion” (Jer. 20:11).
August 23, 2020
Sickness can be discouraging and frightening. Sickness is discouraging when we are sidelined from our usual activities at home, school, or work and are prevented from engaging with our family and friends because we do not feel well. Sickness is frightening when the disease is life-threatening and there is no known cure. The disease known as COVID-19 is discouraging and frightening. Even in those cases when the symptoms are mild, people may wonder if it will develop into something more serious or even life-threatening, also making it a frightening reality.
August 09, 2020
Our fear to commit, our distaste for obligation, our unwillingness to surrender … all of those things come from a fear that we will lose love. And so, in the fullness of time, it is God himself who comes to our rescue, to promise definitively, forever, eternally, that his covenantal love for us will never end. He surrenders his freedom to incorporate ours into it. He offers his life so that we might live ours in him. He offers his love no matter the cost, and no matter the rejection, so that we might begin to trust again, and might slowly open our hearts again to our Heavenly Father.