In Christian tradition, the word “liturgy” describes the participation of the People of God in the work of God. “Through the liturgy, Christ, our redeemer and high priest, continues the work of our redemption in with, and through his Church.” Liturgy refers to the celebration of divine worship, the proclamation of the Gospel and active charity – in other words, liturgy directs us to service to God and neighbor. In each of these, the Church shares in the one priesthood of Christ in both its prophetic and kingly aspects.
I want to offer you some reflections on a centuries-old custom in the Catholic Church – a novena. A novena is a series of prayers that are said for nine straight days, usually as a prayer of petition but sometimes as a prayer of thanksgiving. The nine days recall the nine days that the Apostles and the Blessed Virgin Mary spent in prayer between Ascension Thursday and Pentecost Sunday.
The appearance of yet another film version of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s "The Great Gatsby" provides the occasion for reflecting on what many consider the great American novel.
Some years ago, The New Yorker ran a cartoon that perfectly lampooned the loopy ideology of “inclusion” that has come to characterize so much of the Christian world. It showed a neat and tidy church, filled with an attentive congregation. The pastor was at the podium, introducing a guest speaker. “In accordance with our policy of equal time,” he said, “I would like now to give our friend the opportunity to present an alternative point of view.” Sitting next to him, about to rise to speak, was the devil, dressed perfectly and tapping the pages of his prepared text on his knee.
Feast Day: May 7
We have all no doubt heard that a tree can be known by its fruit. However, if we do not pay attention to the fruit, it will be more difficult to diagnose the health of the tree and to respond accordingly. The same is true of the life of holiness.
The life of holiness is a life in the Holy Spirit. We can do nothing to “produce” this fruit. When we are joyous, loving, peaceful, patient, kind, faithful, generous, gentle and in self-control, we trust that we are in communion with the Spirit, for it is only the Spirit who produces this fruit.
Dear Fr. Joe: A lot of my friends cheat on their exams and don’t see anything wrong with it. They feel they are just helping each other out. I really believe this is wrong, but do I have an obligation to turn them in?
This is an important question that affects a lot of students at all levels of education. I even have folks talking to me about people cheating at work in different ways. It’s tough to know what to do in these situations. The good news is that our Catholic faith gives us some solid underlying principles that can help us.