Letters From a Pastor to His People

  • 25 October 2020 | By

    Letters from a Pastor to His People- October 25, 2020

    Dear Parishioners,

    Picture the most serious love you have.  I'm not thinking about love for the Bears or for White Castle (ok, maybe that's just me), but love for your spouse or for your child or for your parents or siblings.  Do we love God that way?  We have to.  Jesus says so.  We are commanded to love.

    But how can love be a commandment?  You can't be forced to love.  No one forced you to love your husband or wife, and if they did, it probably wouldn't have been love. 

    The way we can be commanded to love is by the part of love that involves the will.  For love is not simply a feeling.  It is an act of the will.  You cannot force feelings.  You can, however, force or command your will.

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27 Oct

Our Goal of Perfection

A decade or so after his death a perception arose that George Washington was a perfect man: that he did not lie or sin. Throughout the 19th Century it was taught in public schools and held in the public square that the first president was infallible.   Even Abraham Lincoln defended the belief, saying about Washington: "It makes human nature better to believe that one human being [Washington] was perfect, that human perfection is possible."

20 Oct

The Church is Strong

There are two stories from the ancient world I would like to compare.  The first is that of Alcibiades, a figure from a war fought between Athens and Sparta in the 400s BC known as the Peloponnesian War.  A brilliant Athenian statesman and general, Alcibiades brought great success to Athens in the early part of the war.  While away on a naval campaign, however, he was accused by his political opponents of treason.  Placed under arrest by subordinates, he managed to escape, jumping ship (literally and figuratively). 

13 Oct

The Divine Comedy

Someone asked me recently how he could not be sure he was not currently living in Purgatory.  (I think he was a White Sox fan.) The lament made me think, upon later reflection, of the classic piece of medieval literature, The Divine Comedy.  (Pope Francis, by the way, has encouraged Catholics to read this during the year.)

06 Oct

The Road to Emmaus

The Road to Emmaus was filled with trickery, bravery, blood, and victory.  No, I am not talking about that Road to Emmaus.  I am talking about the encounter of Judas Maccabeus and the Gentile army from the Old Testament (cf. 1 Maccabees 3-4).  It occurred about 175 years prior to the risen Christ meeting the two disciples on the same road (cf. Luke 24:13-25).