Pope Francis

Fatherly Advice

HOMILY – US Bishops: Abortion and Euthanasia are the "Preeminent threats" to the Body of Christ

We’ve hear that we are all one Body in Christ so MANY times, which is good, but we probably lose the REVOLUTIONARY nature of what St. Paul was saying.

Every culture before Christ had, in one way or another, looked at some people as “more human” and other people as “less human” or even “expendable non-humans”

Saint Paul says – “THOSE DAYS ARE OVER”

Additionally, not only does St. Paul say the days of marginalizing the weaker members of the Body of Christ over, he also says those 

“That seem to be weaker are all the more necessary, and those parts of the body that we consider less honorable we surround with greater honor”
The Church is the immune system of the Body of Christ.  It looks for threats to the Body of Christ, threats that attack the dignity of any single member of the Body of Christ, and the Church points out those threats.

A great example of the “Church as Body of Christ immune system” is this very month that we are in right now.  January is 
1) Poverty Awareness month
2) Mid January – Migrant awareness week
3) This past week, we, for the 43rd year, remembered through prayer and fasting the anniversary of Roe v. Wade

There are a lot of ways the Body of Christ is attacked.  The Church speaks to all of the threats and attacks.

Several years ago, the bishops of the US wrote a letter addressing all these attacks to the dignity of the human person.  They mention:
1) starvation,

2) denial of health care

3) deadly violence of armed conflict and the scandalous arms trade that spawns such conflict. 

4) domestic violence,

5) the spread of drugs,

6) a reckless tampering with the world’s ecological balance. 

But the document goes on: “

Yet abortion and euthanasia have become preeminent threats to human dignity because they directly attack life itself, the most fundamental human good and the condition for all others.  They are committed against those who are weakest and most defenseless, those who are genuinely “the poorest of the poor.” 

Military people are always assessing – “What are our GREATEST threats…most eminent threats”?

A question for us as Catholics – “Who do we listen to on this topic?”  Whose “humanity threat assessment do we utilize?”

EVERYONE believes that SOME of these threats are a problem.  But which one’s are MOST EMINENT?  Some people listen to the UN on how to order these threats.  Some people listen to news outlets.  Some listen to political parties, some listen to celebrities, and some listen to Jesus through the Church He founded.

This whole assessing of threats and deciding which are most eminent leads some to say two things (which are equally wrong)

1) Some say: “We can’t speak up against abortion and euthanasia because it will water down our speaking up on the other threats against the human person.

2) Some say: “I won’t speak up against anything else except abortion and euthanasia, lest someone think I’m wavering on abortion and Euthanasia”

These are both WRONG!

We can speak up vociferously against abortion and euthanasia AND still care and work very diligently for the poor in our community.  We can speak out against abortion and euthanasia AND protect all that God has created.  

On Friday, we diverted our planned trip to Washington DC for the March for Life and instead went to Indy to avoid “snowmaggedon”.  Archbishop Tobin had two beautiful homilies at our vigil and Mass for Life.

He noted the same thing that our US bishops noted several years ago – there are a lot of attacks on the Body of Christ, but he too singled out abortion and euthanasia as the two preeminent threats.  He noted that what is most troubling about them is that they are both often done by people who have been trained to bring healing and health to people.

Archbishop Tobin also talked about what we, as faithful Catholics, ought to be doing about all these issues.

“We do not fight against darkness and the culture of death with violence…but we do not take a vow of silence either, we speak the truth”

Saint Boniface:  Let us be neither dogs that do not bark nor silent onlookers nor paid servants who run away before the wolf.  Let us preach the whole of God’s plan to the powerful and the humble, to rich and to poor, to men of every rank and age, as far as God gives us the strength, in season and out of season.

May the Eucharist strengthen us to preach the WHOLE of God’s plan, and not just the parts that suit our politics
Fatherly Advice

A Catechetical Homily on the Year of Mercy

I have combed through “Year of Mercy” info, web pages, resources etc. and here’s a condensed version of the best
1) This past Sunday was the “Jubilee of Families” – an invitation for families to get involved more directly with the Year of Mercy. Our bishops are asking families to: 1 – go to confession as a family 2 – pray a Psalm together as a family 3 – learn the spiritual and corporal works of mercy and then pick one of each to do AS A FAMILY 4 – Have a time where the family sits down and asks for forgiveness of one another for things done to each other in the past that have not been explicitly apologized for 5 – Travel to the Holy door in your diocese and engage in the prayers and so forth that are part of that pilgrimage. Here’s a link to the USCCB guide for families:http://www.foryourmarriage.org/jubilee-of-families-2015/
Here’s a GREAT short document that families can use when making a pilgrimage to the Holy Door: http://www.familiam.org/…/RESOURCE-FOR-THE-PASSAGE-OF-THE-H…
Our Archdiocese of Indianapolis has absolutely HIT IT OUT OF THE PARK with a booklet they put together for the Year of Mercy. I’m printing it up for all of my parishioners. It is something I hope EVERY diocese and Catholic is able to use. BRAVO to our Archdiocesan team that created this. PLEASE print this off for yourself and consider printing off some copies for others and handing them out as well. I hope every priest is able to utilize this booklet for their parishes because it is VERY well done: http://www.archindy.org/…/Archdiocese%20of%20Indianapolis%2…
Our Archdiocese also has a website with a lot of useful links all in one place:http://www.archindy.org/holyyearofmercy/
Finally, here is a set of 8 books for 40 dollars that I am ordering from OSV. “Mercy in the Fathers of the Church” “Mercy in the Saints” “Mercy from the Popes” and 5 other great titles. I think this will be a tremendous help for preaching mercy throughout the year. Lay people would also find these books VERY helpful and informative and enlightening: https://www.osv.com/Shop/Product?ProductCode=T1743
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