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For Your Eyes, Mind, Soul

In Uncategorized on 2017/08/11 at 11:10 PM

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Approach With Prayer

In 13 Today's Church on 2017/08/04 at 12:00 AM

 

  • The famous Carmelite mystic, St. John of the Cross, once wrote that, “the more a soul hopes the more it attains.” His point, of course, is that the more we approach our Lord with complete trust and abandonment, the more our Lord will grant us His blessings.
  • Indeed, it is the collective wisdom of the saints that we should approach our Lord in prayer with great trust in His goodness and mercy, not fearing to ask Him for even the greatest or most impossible of favors.
  • How we approach our Lord is the primary theme of our readings today. In our first reading from the 1st Book of Kings we hear the story of Elijah going up to Mt. Horeb to pray, which is believed to be just another name for Mt. Sinai.
  • In this story we are given a brief primer in how to pray. Note well that in going to approach God in prayer on Mt. Horeb, Elijah takes shelter in a cave. We can see in this action a metaphor for going to a quiet place in order to be properly disposed to pray.
  • Our Gospel today records that our Lord did the same thing. After feeding the multitudes of people, we are told that Jesus went up on the mountain by Himself to pray.
  • So both Jesus and Elijah show us that in approaching our Lord in prayer, we should try to find some solitude. We must come to our Lord in silence so that we can hear His voice.
  • As the first reading makes abundantly clear, God is more often found in stillness rather than in great phenomena. For Elijah our Lord was not in the heavy wind, the earthquake, or the fire, but in the tiny whispering sound.
  • And so we must learn to cultivate silence in our life as best we can so that we are capable of hearing our Lord speak, for prayer should really be more a process of listening rather than speaking to God.
  • Our Gospel today also shows us that we must approach God in prayer with great confidence and faith, most especially in the difficult and turbulent moments of life. We see this in the story of St. Peter walking on water.
  • You can imagine the scene: the disciples are on the Sea of Galilee fighting the waves and wind when our Lord goes out to them, walking on the water.
  • St. Peter wants proof that the man they see on the water is indeed Jesus and not a ghost, and so in a wonderful act of faith, he asks our Lord to command him to walk on the water, too.
  • The problem is that Peter’s faith wanes when he encounters the strength of the wind. Peter gets distracted and takes his eyes off Jesus, and he begins to sink. And our Lord chastises him for it: “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
  • Thus this Gospel shows us that our Lord truly wants us to approach Him with a confident faith. He wants us to believe and trust that He can accomplish all things – even that which seems impossible to our finite human minds.
  • This Gospel also reminds us that our Lord is quick to come to us in our times of need and distress, even when we don’t recognize Him. He counsels us to take courage and trust in Him, and He reaches out to save us when we are overtaken by our fears.
  • But perhaps the most important metaphor in our readings today is the mountain we find in both the first reading and the Gospel.
  • Climbing a mountain has long been a metaphor for approaching God in prayer, a metaphor given its best expression by St. John of the Cross, who wrote a treatise on prayer called: The Ascent of Mt. Carmel.
  • In The Ascent of Mt. Carmel, St. John of the Cross treats reaching the summit of the mountain as the pinnacle of prayerful union with God, and that to which every soul should aspire.
  • But ascending to the heights of prayer is not an easy task, just as climbing a mountain is by no means an easy task.
  • Just as mountain climbers must have the right knowledge, the right tools, and no small amount of courage to ascend their peak, the same is true of the Christian who wishes to approach our Lord in prayer and reach the peak of mystical union with Him.
  • If we wish to be united with our Lord in prayer, we must have knowledge of Him – which we glean by studying our Faith, but most importantly by studying His Word in Sacred Scripture. As St. Jerome said, “ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.”
  • As for the proper tools for ascending the mountain of prayer, we must be equipped with the virtues, especially humility, prudence, and charity. For humility and prudence enable the other virtues to grow within us, while charity forms all of the virtues.
  • And, of course, we must also have courage. Like St. Peter, we must be willing to get out our boats, even in turbulent water, and go to Jesus.
  • Life is often difficult. All of us from time to time must deal with various stresses and anxieties. None of us ever completely escapes suffering. But our Gospel reminds us today that our Lord is always with us in our times of trial.
  • Yet if we wish to experience His presence in our trials, then we must cultivate an intimate relationship with Him through daily prayer.
  • Indeed, the great benefit of Christian discipleship is that our Lord invites us through prayer to begin experiencing on earth a little of the joy that will be ours in Heaven, for ultimately, prayer is not a matter of asking God for what we want.
  • The goal of prayer is to be united with our Lord now, so that we will be better prepared for being united with Him for all eternity in Heaven. But this requires that we be willing to climb the mountain.
  • My brothers and sisters, let us never be content with the poor and feeble prayers that so many of us often mutter without much thought.
  • Rather, let us strive to ascend to the very heights of prayerful union with our Lord through our study of Him and His Word, and by cultivating a life of virtue.
  • Let us always approach our Lord courageously and with great confidence, and trust that by so doing He will raise us to the heights of holiness.

© Reverend Timothy Reid

Fr. Reid is the pastor of St. Ann Catholic Church, Charlotte, NC

Homilies from June 17, 2012 onward have audio .
To enable the audio, please go directly to Fr. Reid’s homily homilies and select the matching date.

Link to Homilies:
http://stanncharlotte.org/content/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&id=8&Itemid=61

Notre Dame de Chartres

In 13 Today's Church on 2017/08/04 at 12:00 AM

 

  • Perhaps the most spectacular church in the entire world is the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Chartres. Located about an hour from Paris, the current building, which was constructed between 1194 and 1250 is actually the 5th church building on the site.
  • This church is really the greatest example of French Gothic architecture, replete with flying buttresses, soaring spires, extraordinary sculptures, and some of the most noteworthy and beautiful stained glass windows in the entire world.
  • Wonderfully well ordered and beautifully coherent in all of its element, this church is a masterpiece of the medieval mind and an incredible testament to what man is capable of accomplishing when his aim is to glorify God.
  • From the Middle Ages Chartres Cathedral has been an important and popular pilgrimage site because it houses the Sancta Camisa: the tunic worn by the Blessed Virgin Mary when she gave birth to Jesus.
  • Amazingly, even though this church has burned down and been rebuilt several times, the Sancta Camisa has never been damaged.
  • But perhaps even more amazing still is the speed with which Chartres Cathedral has been rebuilt whenever it has been damaged or destroyed by fire. Again, this is due in large part to the devotion of the people of that time and place.
  • With limited money and certainly a lot less technology than we have today, the good people of central France relied on their faith in building this grandest of the great Gothic cathedrals.
  • And in this church they proved that, if we have our hearts and our minds focused on God, if we make God our highest priority in life, there is nothing that we cannot accomplish by His grace. Thus, this church is a great testament of man’s love for God.
  • Both our epistle and Gospel today speak of that ever-important virtue of charity.
  • In his letter to the Ephesians, St. Paul calls us to “walk worthy of the vocation in which [we]are called,” by practicing the virtues of humility and mildness, patience, and in particular,charity.
  • In our Gospel our Lord reminds us that the greatest commandment of the law is to “love theLord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul and with thy whole mind,” andthe second is to “love they neighbor as thyself.”
  • After proclaiming these two great laws of charity, our Lord makes an audacious statement.He says: “On these two commandments dependeth the whole law and the Prophets.” Inmany ways I think this is the most important line of this whole passage!
  • In saying this to the Pharisees, our Lord is claiming that the entire Mosaic law and all theteachings of the Prophets – basically the whole content of the Jewish faith – is derived fromthese 2 commands!
  • So in other words, the entire basis of a Judeo-Christian understanding of morality and of howlife should be lived derives from this understanding that God must be loved and honored above all else, and that our relationships with others must be governed by the practice of treating others like ourselves.
  • Hopefully, this doesn’t come as a shock to any of you, but rather makes complete sense.
  • However, I doubt that ordering one’s life such that God is the highest priority and that one’sneighbors are given as much respect as one gives to one’s self, is really the practice of most people in our society today.
  • The scourge of modernism and rampant secularism have effectively dethroned God in the hearts of most men so that modern man tends to worship himself more than anything else these days.
  • The problem is that when we fail to make God our highest priority, failing to love Him and honor Him as we are called to do by divine law, disorder creeps into our lives.
  • If we cannot get the most important priority right, then chances are that we will fail in getting our other priorities straight as well.
  • Moreover, when we fail to love and treat others as ourselves, then we eventually begin to see others as less than ourselves, enabling us to dehumanize them and sin against them in any way that we please.
  • But even worse yet, when a large segment of a society fails to carry out these two greatest of commandments, then the society dooms itself to moral chaos and strips itself of any possibility for unity on moral issues.
  • This is precisely why there is such division in our country today on issues like abortion and same-sex unions. We will never find unity on these issues as long as a large portion of our society refuses to believe and follow the laws of God.
  • Every time we have an election in this country, the media ramps up the rhetoric on the divisions between Democrats and Republicans, between “red” states and “blue” states.
  • But I submit to you that the real division in our country is not based on political affiliation. The real division is between those who truly love God and therefore seek to follow His divine law, and those who don’t love God – and consequently have no objective moral compass.
  • With this in mind, I think it good that we each examine ourselves on this count. Ask yourself: do I truly love God as I should – with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength? Is glorifying God with the way I live my life my absolute highest priority?
  • My dear brothers and sisters, we live in a time and place in which there is increasing hostility toward those who seek to live by the laws of God. Slowly – but surely – the laws of our country are becoming more and more anti-God.
  • So what are we to do? Well, first we mustn’t lose hope or be disheartened! For it is in times and places like our own that saints are made. Thus we should rejoice that our blessed Lord has allowed us to live here and now.
  • But even more importantly, we must cling to our Catholic faith and beliefs with all the more tenacity than ever before, living out the tenets of our Faith with integrity and courage, and looking for opportunities to share our faith with others.
  • Most importantly, we must follow these 2 greatest commands given to us by our Lord today, loving Him above all else and our neighbor as ourselves.
  • In doing this we will be ordering our lives properly, walking worthy in the vocation given to us. And if we do it well, we may even become saints – whose souls are even more magnificent and beautiful in their orderliness than any church that man can build.
  • May our Lady, good St. Joseph, and all the angels and saints pray for us that we might indeed become worthy of the promises of Christ!

15 September 2013

© Reverend Timothy Reid

Fr. Reid is the pastor of St. Ann Catholic Church, Charlotte, NC

Homilies from June 17, 2012 onward have audio.
To enable the audio, lease go directly to Fr. Reid’s homily homilies and select the matching date.

Link to Homilies:
http://stanncharlotte.org/content/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&id=8&Itemid=61

St. Francis of Assisi

In 13 Today's Church on 2017/08/04 at 12:00 AM

 

  • This coming week on October 4th, Holy Mother Church will celebrate the feast day of one of her greatest and most beloved sons: St. Francis of Assisi.
  • Born in 1181 to a wealthy cloth merchant, St. Francis lived a rather high-spirited life as a young man, but he soon became enamored with serving the poor…so much so that he desired to live a life of poverty himself.
  • The saint’s decision to live among and serve the poor provoked his father to rage, who threatened him and even beat him.
  • Eventually, Francis publicly renounced his father’s patrimony before the bishop, and in an act of extreme humility he gave back to his father even the clothes he was wearing, stripping himself naked in the church.
  • By this act of stripping himself of clothing, St. Francis not only gave up his inheritance, but he symbolically stripped himself of all worldly attachments and proved himself a worthy spouse of “Lady Poverty”, the mistress he sought so earnestly.
  • Clothed for the rest of his life only in the rough habit that became the trademark of the religious order he founded, St. Francis grew steadily in Christian perfection, and is said to be the saint most like Christ.
  • Although not a priest, but simply a deacon, St. Francis was known for his preaching, even traveling to Egypt to preach to the sultan there. But all the same, it is St. Francis who is believed to have said: “Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary use words.”
  • The point of the quote is that anyone who seeks to promote the Good News of the Gospel must not only speak of it, but must also embody the Gospel by the way he lives his life.
  • In other words, if we wish to proclaim the Gospel effectively and with integrity, we must live according to its precepts!
  • In our first reading from the Book of Numbers, we hear the story of our Lord bestowing upon 70 chosen men the same spirit that was on Moses so that they might prophesy.
  • However, two of them, Eldad and Medad, weren’t gathered with the others when the spirit came upon them, but nonetheless the spirit came upon them where they were so that they, too, prophesied.
  • Joshua, the young aid of Moses, objects to their prophesying away from the others and wants Moses to stop them. But Moses responds wisely: “Would that all the people of the Lord were prophets! Would that the Lord might bestow His spirit on them all!”
  • While not all Christians are called to preach publicly, it is our baptismal call as Christ’s followers to be prophets in our world today, speaking our Lord’s truth and doing our best to live it as well so that others might come to know our Lord.
  • This is the beauty of St. Francis and all the saints: they were prophets by the way they lived their lives, and we should be too! Simply by living a life of Christian virtue, especially by exercising the virtue of charity, souls are drawn to Christ and saved!
  • Sadly, people who live their faith openly are becoming more and more of a novelty in our society today. But the upside to this situation is that the overall loss of Christian values in our society makes our prophetic witness stand out all the more.
  • Although our country may be filled with churches, we can see from the assaults on religious freedom being waged by the Obama Administration and by the ever- increasing legalization and expansion of immoral acts such as abortion, euthanasia, and same-sex unions that the U.S. is no longer a Christian nation.
  • Even many of our brothers and sisters in the various Protestant denominations are embracing and promoting these moral evils as not only acceptable but even “good” under the misguided notion that “tolerance” and “inclusivity” are forms of charity.
  • Taking a rather elitist approach to Sacred Scripture and disregarding the clear denunciations of these sins by the various writers of Scripture as being unenlightened or unsophisticated, they bend and change the meaning of God’s Holy Word to agree with their social views.
  • This is not only academically disingenuous and morally dishonest, but it’s dangerous to one’s salvation. For we can never embrace sin as a good and hope to go to Heaven.
  • Christian charity requires that we be welcoming to sinners. We are called to be radically charitable to everyone, no matter what their backgrounds are or what sins they’ve committed.
  • Jesus Himself provides a model for us in the way he dealt with the woman caught in adultery. He did not condemn her, but rather He said: “Go and sin no more” (cf. John 8:11).
  • So while Christian charity calls us to welcome the sinner, true Christian charity does not tolerate sin. To the contrary, true Christian charity recognizes sinful behavior for what it is and lovingly seeks to correct it. That’s the whole point of our Gospel today.
  • Our blessed Lord tells us today in the Gospel that we must make a choice in our lives: either we are for Him or we are against Him. There is no middle ground between our Lord and the devil. So we must do all we can to rid ourselves of sin so that we can belong fully to God.
  • Because our Lord wants to show how serious this matter is, He makes some rather drastic suggestions with regard to ridding oneself of sin: “If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. . . If your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. . . If you eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.”
  • Of course our Lord is speaking figuratively here. He doesn’t really expect us to maim ourselves. His point is that we should do everything in our power to avoid anything that leads us into sin.
  • Please understand, brothers and sisters, that when it comes to sin, the stakes are high. So many people today live their lives, sinning with reckless abandon, with very little reflection on the consequences of their sins.
  • And yet there are always consequences to our sins, whether we recognize them or not. Sin not only offends God, but it alienates us from God and makes it harder for us to love and live a holy life. But we must also recognize that our sins affect other people too.
  • As Christians we are one body in Christ, a fact that we celebrate and that is most perfectly realized when we receive Holy Communion. In Holy Communion we are joined not only with Jesus, but also with one another as well in a mystical union of love!
  • This is why only practicing Catholics in a state of grace and in good standing with theChurch are permitted to receive Holy Communion. Our sins separate us from God and one another, and the Church’s laws regarding Holy Communion illustrate this for us.
  • But not only does sin separate us from God and others, it also makes us less capable of helping others find their way to Jesus and His saving mercy. Sin robs us of the joy and the love necessary to win others over to Christ and His Church.
  • My brothers and sisters, do you wish to lead others to Christ so that they might be saved? Do you wish to be saved yourself? Then ask yourself: what is it that keeps me from being fully united with our Lord? What are my sins? And then cut off all that is sinful within yourself.
  • While we may never be completely free from every sin, if we are truly sorry for our sins, our Lord’s mercy and forgiveness will relieve us of our sins and heal our defects so that we may be not only His faithful followers, but His effective prophets as well!
  • St. Francis of Assisi, pray for us!

 

© Reverend Timothy Reid

Fr. Reid is the pastor of St. Ann Catholic Church, Charlotte, NC

Homilies from June 17, 2012 onward have audio .
To enable the audio, please go directly to Fr. Reid’s homily homilies and select the matching date.

Link to Homilies:
http://stanncharlotte.org/content/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&id=8&Itemid=61

 

Proper Perspective

In 13 Today's Church on 2017/07/28 at 12:00 AM

 

  • In his letter to the Philippians, St. Paul reminds us today of the importance of having an eternal perspective. For him life here on earth is an opportunity to live for Christ, and living for Christ makes dying a gain!
  • And as Catholics we should have the same outlook. While we live here on earth, we should focus ourselves on living in a way worthy of the Gospel, obeying the commandments and seeking holiness.
  • But all the same, we should keep our eyes on Heaven, for departing this life to be with Christ is far better. Heaven is our hope, and therefore we should keep it ever before our minds and hearts.
  • As we consider the prospect of eternal salvation, we Catholics know that it is not enough to focus simply on the redemption won for us by our Lord, Jesus Christ, assuming that our Lord, in His great mercy, will save us.
  • For while salvation is a free gift of God’s grace, we must cooperate that grace. Although it is God who saves us, we have an important part to play in our salvation.
  • And thus we hear the admonition from Isaiah today that we must “seek the Lord while He may be found,” that we should forsake any evil thoughts and actions.
  • Cooperating with God’s saving grace is accomplished primarily by living a life of holiness, by seeking to follow God’s will in all things, by being obedient to His commandments, which are spelled out for us in Church teaching.
  • We cooperate with God’s saving grace by living a life of prayer through which we develop an intimate relationship with our Lord, and by imitating our Lord in every way – most especially in exercising the virtues of faith, hope, and charity.
  • We cooperate with God’s saving grace by recognizing and repenting of our sinfulness, humbly asking God for His mercy, and resolving not to sin again.
  • We cooperate with God’s saving grace by our willingness to forsake everything that is not of God so that He can possess us fully, by being willing to carry our crosses – as heavy as they may be – and by following Him up the steep path of Calvary.
  • In short, we cooperate with God’s saving grace by dying to ourselves so that it is no longer we who live, but Christ who lives in us (cf. Gal 2:20).
  • Does this sound difficult? Of course it does, and left only to our own human brokenness, it is well nigh impossible. But God does not leave us alone to work out our salvation.
  • In fact He is with us at every step of our lives, whether we know it or not, giving us the grace we need to cooperate with His plan of salvation.
  • This past Wednesday the Church celebrated one of Her most glorious feast days: the Triumph of the Cross, a feast that celebrates the victory our Lord won for us through His suffering and death on that awful tree.
  • This feast is sort of like a mini Good Friday and Easter Sunday all rolled up into one, for it reminds us of both what our Lord suffered because of us, and what His suffering accomplished for us.
  • In the Gospel that day we were reminded that: “God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him” (Jn 3:13‐17).
  • So while it is true that someday we will all have to face Jesus as our judge, our Lord’s desire is that we all be saved, not condemned! Not only does He want us to be saved, but our Lord does everything He can to ensure our salvation!
  • We see this in today’s Gospel with the parable of the landowner. In the repeated efforts of the landowner to find workers for his vineyard, we see the relentless way God comes after all of us to bring us into His kingdom.
  • Throughout the course of our lives, our Lord is constantly offering us His mercy. And as this parable shows us, even if we wait until the very end of our lives to accept His invitation, we still receive the fullness of salvation symbolized by the full day’s wages.
  • Even though we may give up on ourselves, God never gives up on any of us. And He is willing to pardon any sin, as long as we are sorry for it and try not to commit it again.
  • Thus, the only obstacle that really stands in our way in getting into Heaven is ourselves! For in His great love, God is constantly coming after us – like a Good Shepherd – to offer His mercy and forgiveness. We need only be humble enough to accept that mercy.
  • Ultimately, my brothers and sisters, going to Heaven is not something that just happens. It is a choice we make. God promises Heaven to all who are willing to follow Him and obey Him, and we know that He always keeps His promises.
  • Therefore, let us all put aside our selfishness and evil desires and see the great and eternal future that awaits us in Heaven. May we accept the divine landowner’s invitation to work in His vineyard, so that we may enjoy His kingdom for all eternity.

 

Purpose of Marriage

In 13 Today's Church on 2017/07/28 at 12:00 AM

 

  • Since for the past two weeks I’ve noticed an awful lot of you admiring our beautiful, new stained glass windows during my homily, I’ve decided this week to give a homily about one of the stained glass windows in the hopes of capturing your attention!
  • As Providence would have it, our Gospel today details a scene represented by one of our windows, that of Jesus and the little children. It’s the first window on the right side of the church. As you can see, it’s truly a magnificent piece of art that we are blessed to have.
  • This passage reminds us of the very particular love that our Lord has for children, for children possess an innocence and a sense of humble wonder and awe that actually make them great models for how we are to love our Lord and embrace His kingdom.
  • Jesus also has a particular love for children because they are the weakest and most vulnerable segment of our society. In following our Lord’s example, the Church has always had a special love, a “preferential option,” for the weakest and poorest members of our human family.
  • This past summer while a group of us from St. Ann’s were serving in Uganda, we met a group of street children who were living in perhaps the worst slum in the city of Kampala.
  • The more fortunate kids in the slum lived in these very hastily-built 8’ x 10’ shacks with earthen floors that they shared with as many as 20-25 other people. The poorer ones lived in man-made caves dug out underneath mounds of trash and garbage.
  • The younger children were sent out daily to beg in the streets and scavenge for food, while the older children were often turned into prostitutes in order to earn money for food.
  • Certainly, it is a very difficult thing for any of us to see innocent children abused or exploited. But as terrible as it was to see the suffering of these kids, there is a far worse abuse against children in our own country, i.e., the sin of abortion.
  • Since 1973 when abortion was legalized in our country, more than 45 million babies have been aborted in the U.S., and currently 22% of all pregnancies in the U.S. end in abortion (cf. Guttmacher Institute, July 2008 report). Truly, this is the greatest shame of our country.
  • Thus, abortion is something we must fight! We do this through our prayer, through our fasting, through peaceful demonstration and protest, and through voting for pro-life officials.
  • In fact, just this past week our parish participated in the 40 Days for Life Campaign by having members of our parish pray outside of a local abortion mill throughout an entire day.
  • And today at 2 p.m. we will also have our annual Life Chain, in which we will gather as a parish along Park Road to peacefully protest against the horrors of abortion, and I certainly invite all of you to attend this important event.
  • But there’s another very fundamental way that we, as Catholics, must fight the culture of death that pervades our society: it’s by embracing and living out the Church’s teachings on marriage and family.
  • Both our first reading and our Gospel today talk about marriage. Our first reading from Genesis speaks of how it is not good for man to be alone, and how a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two become one flesh.
  • In doing so, this passage from Genesis, which is repeated by our Gospel, provides the very foundation for the Church’s teaching on marriage and the conjugal act.
  • As Catholics we believe that marriage and the conjugal act go hand-in-hand and are not to be separated. The marital act is sacred; it’s a holy act of love. Because it is so sacred, the conjugal act is not something we can just enter into as we please and with whom we please.
  • On the contrary, it’s an action that carries serious responsibilities, and thus it should only be entered into by people who have accepted and vowed to live out these responsibilities: namely a man and a woman who are married to each other.
  • Thus, premarital relations and adultery are very terrible sins that must be avoided at all cost.
  • You see, the primary purpose of marriage is the procreation of children, and the secondarypurpose of marriage is the intimate, exclusive, and indissoluble unity of the couple.
  • These fundamental purposes are most perfectly realized in the marital act. Thus, neitherpurpose should ever be divorced from the marital act because doing so distorts the purposeof the act and breaks down the marriage.
  • Because the primary purpose of marriage and the marital act is the procreation and education of children, we can see that in God’s design, the creation and protection of human life and the institution of marriage are inextricably bound up together.
  • Human life is meant to be created and nurtured within the context of a family, which is naturally formed through marriage. Therefore, we must do everything we can to protect the sanctity of marriage and resist anything that corrupts a traditional understanding of marriage.
  • Today, one of the gravest threats to the sanctity of marriage is contraception. Contraception and sterilization willfully undermine the marital act by suppressing or destroying one’s fertility. Contraception divorces the procreative purpose of marriage from the marital act.
  • By eliminating the possibility of procreation, we distort the nature of the conjugal act and of marriage itself because we take away part of that gift of self that is fundamental to marriage and the marital act, for by its nature marital love is meant to be fruitful and boundless.
  • Understanding that marriage is fundamentally oriented toward the creation of new life also helps us to understand why same-sex unions are wrong. By their very nature these types of unions can never be procreative, and therefore they can never be a true marriage.
  • Because same-sex unions lack the fundamental complementarity that makes the procreative and unitive purposes of marriage possible, because same-sex unions are contrary to the natural law, and because same-sex unions close the conjugal act to life, the Church has always taught that these unions are gravely sinful.
  • By legalizing same-sex unions, many of our state governments in this country are distorting the true purpose of marriage, and are thereby undermining its value and purpose in society.
  • As Christians we are called to oppose same-sex marriages. But let’s be very clear about something: Opposing same-sex marriages is not a matter of denying anyone their civil rights, as the proponents of same-sex unions would have us believe. It’s a matter of defending the purpose and integrity of marriage, which is the very building block of any human society.
  • My dear friends, I know that some of you find what I just said difficult to accept. But please know that I say these things not to judge or condemn anyone. I love all of you.
  • And because I am your pastor and I love you like a father, I want you to know the beautiful truths of our Catholic faith so that you can live these truths with integrity, for it is only in embracing the truths of our faith that we can hope to be saved.
  • My dear friends, on this Respect Life Sunday, let us seek to defend and protect all human life by protecting and defending the institution of marriage, which by God’s design is meant to be the origin and nurturer of human life.
  • Let us all joyfully embrace the Church’s teachings on marriage and the family and thereby courageously proclaim the Gospel of Life, which alone can defeat the culture of death that so afflicts our society.

• May Jesus Christ be praised, now and forever. Amen.

© Reverend Timothy Reid

Fr. Reid is the pastor of St. Ann Catholic Church, Charlotte, NC

Homilies from June 17, 2012 onward have audio .
To enable the audio, please go directly to Fr. Reid’s homily homilies and select the matching date.

Link to Homilies:
http://stanncharlotte.org/content/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&id=8&Itemid=61

Sin

In 13 Today's Church on 2017/07/28 at 12:00 AM

 

  • For those of you who were busy looking at our beautiful new church while I was preaching last Sunday, I gave a homily on how our passions and sinful inclinations can truly harm us by distorting our souls and making it more difficult to see the Truth and act upon it.
  • I talked about some of the dangers of falling into sin through a weak will: how it takes away our peace and makes us vulnerable to committing more sin, and how it can ultimately lead our souls to hell.
  • I also mentioned how the virtues of humility and charity, along with the spiritual practices of fasting and penance, can help us learn to master our wills and overcome the temptations to sin that our passions can provoke within us.
  • In our Gospel today our Lord gives us a little primer on sin and the importance of trying to avoid it at all cost. Therefore, I’d like to talk a little more about sin, its effects, and what we can do to avoid it.
  • Benjamin Franklin once said that: “Sin is not hurtful because it is forbidden, but it is forbidden because it is hurtful.” And he’s absolutely right! Not only is sin hurtful to the one who commits the sin, but it is also hurtful to those around us.
  • As I’ve mentioned before, sin enslaves us. It makes us less than who we are called to be. Sin robs us of our personal dignity and it distorts our true character. As the French author Andre Gide put it: “sin obscures the soul.”
  • But our sins also affect on those around us, and our Lord addresses this in the Gospel today. And being a cause of temptation for others or inducing others to sin is a sin.
  • Jesus says: “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.” These are pretty harsh words from the Prince of Peace! But we must take them seriously.
  • When we lead others into sin through our sinful actions, we jeopardize their souls. Or if our sins are known to others or made public, they may cause scandal – which can cause people to fall away from the Faith, thus jeopardizing their souls!
  • Sadly, the Catholic Church in this country knows firsthand the devastation that scandal can cause. For example, in the wake of the sex abuse scandal that rocked the Church in 2002, hundreds of Catholics left the Church, especially in parishes where abuses took place.
  • But even on a small scale, giving rise to scandal and inducing others to sin is something we must be wary of. One issue that comes readily to mind is dressing modestly. When we dress immodestly, we may lead others to sin, and this is especially sad when it happens at Mass!
  • Parents, too, must be very careful about what they say and do around their children. Children pick up on everything, and sometimes they can be very quick to call you out for your sins and moral failures.
  • But what’s worse than that is that children often end up committing the same sins as their parents. If you’re living in a way that is morally compromising or if you have habitual sins that are apparent to your kids, it’s very likely that they will think nothing of doing the same things as they grow older.
  • Thus, it’s very important that we try to make reparation for the damage we cause to others by our sinful actions. It begins by making apologies when necessary.
  • As weak humans, all of us sin from time to time. No one outside of Jesus and our Lady have ever lived perfect lives. And because we sin, we must ask for forgiveness, first from God, but also from those who may have been affected by our sin.
  • But in addition to asking for forgiveness, we also need to show we’re sorry for our sins and make restitution, and that’s why the priest gives us a penance whenever we go to confession.
  • Penance helps us to restore the balance of justice we disrupted by our sin. It’s a way that wecan make up for what we’ve done wrong. And that’s why it’s important for Catholics toperform acts of penance on a regular basis.
  • Penance brings healing to our soul, and it helps us right our relationship with God. Penancealso helps to deepen our sense of contrition, making us less likely to commit the same sinagain in the future.
  • In addition to talking about leading others into sin in today’s Gospel, our Lord also speaksabout the necessity of avoiding whatever leads us to sin.
  • We are told: if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. . . . And if your foot causes you to sin,cut it off. . . . And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out, for it is better to go through lifewithout these things rather than be thrown into Gehenna, into the unquenchable fire.
  • Hopefully it’s obvious that our Lord is speaking figuratively here. He doesn’t really expectus to maim ourselves.
  • Our Lord’s point is that we should do everything in our power to avoid those things that leadus into sin, what we call in Catholic parlance: “the near occasion of sin.” Jesus makes thepoint that we should do this because if we don’t, there may be – very literally – hell to pay.
  • I say this not to scare you, but simply to underscore our Lord’s own words. Pleaseunderstand, my friends, that when it comes to sin, the stakes are high. So many people todaywaltz through life, sinning with reckless abandon, with nary a thought to the consequences.
  • And yet there are always consequences to our sins, whether we recognize them or not. Sinnot only offends God, but it alienates us from God and makes it harder for us to love and livea holy life. So we must try with all our might to avoid sin at all cost.
  • Personally, I love the stories of the virgin martyrs, like St. Agnes, and even more recently, St.Maria Goretti, who preferred to die rather than allow themselves to be defiled by sin.
  • They give us hope and show us a great example of courage in the face of sin. The virginmartyrs remind us of how we are called to love God above all things – even our own lives.
  • Now if we wish to avoid sin, then we must also avoid the near occasion of sin. For a lot of usin today’s world, that means being very careful about the type of media we expose ourselvesto, especially on television and the internet.
  • It also often means learning to avoid or limit contact with those people in our lives whoeasily lead us into one of the 7 deadly sins like anger, lust or envy.
  • Ultimately, we must learn to constantly throw ourselves on God’s mercy, and trust that Hewill give us the grace we need to overcome temptation when we face it, and that He willforgive our sins when we fall prey to our temptations if we make a good confession.
  • My dear friends, let us listen well to the words of our dear Lord today. Let us flee fromevery temptation to sin as if our lives depended upon it, for in truth, they do.

© Reverend Timothy Reid

Fr. Reid is the pastor of St. Ann Catholic Church, Charlotte, NC

Homilies from June 17, 2012 onward have audio .
To enable the audio, please go directly to Fr. Reid’s homily homilies and select the matching date.

Link to Homilies:
http://stanncharlotte.org/content/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&id=8&Itemid=61

St. Lucy

In 13 Today's Church on 2017/07/21 at 12:00 AM
  • One of the most famous and highly venerated saints amongst the early Christians was St. Lucy. In fact, Lucy was so highly esteemed that she is one of only seven women whose name is listed in the 1st Eucharistic Prayer of the Mass, which dates from the 4th century.
  • To tell you a little about St. Lucy, we know that she was born of noble parents and grew up in Sicily. Her father died while she was still quite young, and she was raised by her mother to be pious and well educated in her faith.
  • At a young age and unbeknownst to her mother, Lucy vowed herself to a life of virginity as a means of fully dedicating her life to Christ. However, her mother wished that she be married, and thus Lucy was betrothed – against her will – to a pagan man.
  • Looking for an opportunity to get out of the engagement, Lucy decided to make a pilgrimage to the tomb of St. Agatha, and she invited her mother who had been suffering from an incurable hemorrhage for 4 years to join her and pray for a cure.
  • After praying to St. Agatha, Lucy’s mother was miraculously cured, and so Lucy asked if she could dedicate her life fully to Christ by remaining a virgin and distributing her inheritance to the poor. Full of a newfound faith, Lucy’s mother agreed.
  • Unfortunately, Lucy’s fiancé didn’t take the news so well, and he denounced Lucy as a Christian to the governor of Sicily. And as there was a persecution against Christians taking place at the time, Lucy was sentenced to serve as a prostitute in a brothel.
  • However, when the guards came to take Lucy away, she refused to go with them, and when they tried to move her by force, they found her body too heavy to move.
  • Eventually, Lucy was sentenced to torture and death, and the most reliable sources report that she was killed by the sword, but not before they cut out her eyes.
  • Thus, St. Lucy is often depicted in art holding her eyeballs on a platter. And as you might guess, Lucy is the patroness of those who are blind or suffer with any disease of the eye. Today, December 13th, is St. Lucy’s feast day.
  • But St. Lucy is also a good saint not only for those who have difficulty with their physical vision, but with spiritual vision as well. Her name literally means “light”, the type of light that elucidates or makes something clear and understandable.
  • And certainly the spiritual life is, in large part, a process in growing in our understanding of our Lord and of ourselves.
  • As we reflect upon St. Lucy and the meaning of her name during this Advent season, it should lead us to consider how well we truly see and understand Jesus. Moreover, it should lead us to consider how well we truly see and understand ourselves.
  • One of the hallmarks of saints is that as they grow closer to Christ and know Him more intimately, the more aware they become of their own shortcomings and faults. As one draws nearer to the light of Christ, the more apparent our faults and failings become.
  • So the more a person knows Christ, the more he knows himself. The more a person grows in holiness, the more clearly he sees his sins.
  • And yet for the saint, the deeper knowledge and understanding of his sinfulness is not a cause for depression or sadness. Paradoxically, saints always see in this type of knowledge a cause for rejoicing.
  • Today is the third Sunday of Advent, popularly known as Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete is a Latin word that means rejoice! And so we are called to rejoice, to be overcome with joy, because our Lord is near.
  • As Advent is historically a penitential season, we use the color violet in our liturgical celebrations because violet is the color of penance. But so that we might have a break from the rigors of fasting and penance, the Church has always designated this particular Sunday as a time to rejoice – to sample early a little bit of the joy that is to come.
  • Thus we put away the violet for a day, and the color rose is used today as a sign of our rejoicing! The rose that I am wearing today is a sign of our hope and the deep and abiding joy that we should have in Christ Jesus and in His power to save us from our sins.
  • Certainly, we get a sense of this call to rejoicing from the first and second readings today. We are called to be joyful because of God’s mercy toward us in sending us His Son to be our Savior.
  • And this is exactly why the saints rejoice in the self knowledge that makes them so keenly aware of their sins. For the greatness of God’s mercy is felt all the more acutely when we see just how much we need His mercy.
  • Truly, my friends, to fully appreciate the beauty of the Father’s gift of His Son, we must first recognize the depth of our sinfulness.
  • Think of an analogy with physical health. The sicker we are, the more we appreciate and realize our need for a doctor.
  • But if we don’t recognize that we’re ill, we won’t realize our need for a doctor. If we don’t think we’re sick, we won’t call upon the doctor.
  • Yet when it comes to the spiritual life, we are all sick to some degree. All of us suffer with various sins and spiritual maladies. All of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Thus, all of us have need for the divine physician.
  • Moreover, the more we realize just how sick we are, the more we rejoice in the presence of the One we know can heal us and the more grateful we are for the healing He brings.
  • The Gospels are full of stories of how our Lord healed the sick and cast out demons. And yet the most profound healings our Lord ever effected were the spiritual healings which brought about conversions.
  • The good news is that our Lord continues to heal people today. If we simply have the courage to draw near to Him in prayer, to place ourselves into the light of His truth and allow Him to expose all of our darkness, then He will give to us the light of His healing grace.
  • My dear friends, as we continue to celebrate this special day on which we are called to rejoice, let us pray that through the intercession of St. Lucy, virgin and martyr, we may all draw near the light of Christ so that our eyes may be opened to the truth of His love.
  • May we draw nearer to our Lord and seek to grow more intimate with Him, and in so doing may we come to see ourselves as we truly are: sinful, yet very redeemable.
  • And as we consider the depth of our sinfulness, let us rejoice in the even greater depths of God’s mercy and love.
  • May Jesus Christ be praised, now and forever. Amen.

© Reverend Timothy Reid

Fr. Reid is the pastor of St. Ann Catholic Church, Charlotte, NC

Homilies from June 17, 2012 onward have audio .
To enable the audio, please go directly to Fr. Reid’s homily homilies and select the matching date.

Link to Homilies:
http://stanncharlotte.org/content/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&id=8&Itemid=61

Beauty of Stained-glass Windows

In 13 Today's Church on 2017/07/21 at 12:00 AM

 

  • If you asked me what I thought was the most beautiful church in the world, I would have to say the Cathedral of Chartres in France. And perhaps the most famous and most beautiful element of this church is its famed stained glass windows.
  • For centuries people from around the world have gone on pilgrimage to Chartres in order to view these artistic masterpieces. Not only are they aesthetically splendorous, but they also teach us about the history of our faith as their artwork contains the story of salvation history.
  • Bear in mind that this stained glass is not just mere window dressing, but that along with the other art and the architecture of the church, these windows create a certain atmosphere that transports those inside the cathedral to the very heights of Heaven.
  • Most importantly, these windows – and indeed the entire church – are a testament to God’s power and glory and a testament to the great faith of the medieval French people.
  • Last week I spoke a bit about the visible and invisible realities of our Catholic faith and how the invisible realities, the things that we cannot perceive with our physical senses but that we know by faith, are really “more real” than the visible realities of our world.
  • In order to make these invisible realities visible, the Church has always relied on Her liturgy and on Her art and architecture. Embedded within our liturgies, our church architecture, and our art are signs and symbols that speak of the invisible realities of our Faith.
  • So for example, our church buildings themselves are meant to symbolize Heaven. When we walk into a church, the art and architecture should, in a sense, remind us of the celestial realms and thereby lead us to contemplate God.
  • Church buildings are like bridges that connect us with Heaven. Not only are they places where we go to worship God, but they should speak of the Heavenly realities to which we are all called and to which we must all aspire.
  • Thus, it is so very important that church buildings be beautiful. Beauty is truth! Therefore, beauty for a church building should not be an option but should be integral to the design. Accordingly, churches should be built with an eye to proportion and symmetry, grace of design, and a verticality that draws our hearts and minds to up to God.
  • Noble and worthy materials should be used in the construction of the church and its furnishings, and every effort should be made to incorporate artwork and symbolism that speak of the mysteries of our faith and help us to meditate on Heaven itself.
  • Our reasoning for building churches this way is two-fold. Not only do churches connect us with Heaven by leading us to contemplate the heavenly realities of our faith, but they are also meant to give glory and honor to our Lord.
  • There are some people who are of the opinion that churches should be built inexpensively so that more money can be directed toward the poor, but Scripture reveals that perhaps Jesus had a little different opinion.
  • In Matthew 26:11 our Lord rebukes the disciples for complaining about the woman who anointed His feet with costly perfume, as they were saying that the perfume could have been sold for money to give to the poor.
  • Jesus, however, reminds the apostles and us that we will always have the poor with us, and that we should make it a point to serve Him generously in recognition that He is our sovereign Lord. His point is that we owe Him every ounce of respect and gratitude that we can muster, even if it costs a lot of money!
  • So while our own new church could have been built with less money, we have made it a point to spend a little more money in order to make it a dwelling that is truly worthy of God’s holy presence. And this is a distinction that is so important for us to bear in mind.
  • For us Catholics our churches are not only places that should lead us to contemplate God, but through the Eucharist they are actually places in which God dwells!
  • While our Catholic art, architecture, and liturgy are suffused with beautiful symbols that speak of the invisible realities of our faith, God loves us so much that He doesn’t make us rely on these symbols alone to commune with Him.
  • Out of His great love for us, Jesus actually dwells with us in the Eucharist. This is a magnificent truth and an astonishing privilege that we Catholics enjoy whenever we walk into our one of our churches: that God is really and truly present in our churches.
  • Jesus Christ is really and truly present in the Eucharist, as present to us as He was to His disciples 2000 years ago.
  • And through the Eucharist, not only does He dwell with us in our churches and chapels, but He also dwells within us. As our Lord attests in today’s Gospel: “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.
  • Not only can we go to be with our Lord in a Catholic church, but by receiving Holy Communion, we can take our Lord into ourselves! What can be more magnificent and yet intimate than that?
  • So as we consider this incredible gift of the Eucharist, the challenge for us is not simply to conform our exterior actions to our belief in the Lord’s True Presence in the Eucharist.
  • In addition to treating the Eucharist with the proper respect through our personal piety,manner of dress, and reverential decorum in the church, we must also try to make our souls aworthy place to receive Him.
  • Our new church is going to be absolutely beautiful, and rightly so because it will be thedwelling place of God. But if we’re spending all this time, money and energy to make ourchurch worthy for God, should we not do the same with our souls?
  • My point is that it’s not enough for us just to build a beautiful church. If we are going to giveGod the proper glory and honor He deserves, we need to be beautiful ourselves!
  • And the way that we beautify our souls is through our good works, by diligently striving forvirtue in all things, and most especially through our prayerful communion with the Lord.
  • Holiness of life should be the goal for which we are constantly striving. And when we findthat we have fallen short and committed sin, we should hasten quickly to the confessionalwhere we can receive our Lord’s tender mercy and forgiveness.
  • My friends, I know that holiness can seem elusive and difficult to attain, but the witness ofthe saints shows us that it is possible, despite whatever weaknesses, short-comings andfailures we may have in life.
  • Just remember that true sanctity is not simply a matter of not sinning. It’s a matter ofpersevering in virtue and prayer. It’s a matter of humbly asking for forgiveness whennecessary and relying on God’s grace. It’s a matter of living in faith, hope, and charity.
  • In a few short weeks we will be moving into our beautiful new church that (hopefully) willlead us to meditate on the heavenly realities and be a worthy home for our Lord.
  • Let us pray, my friends, that through our prayer, good works, and reliance on God’s grace and mercy, our souls, too, may become beautiful and worthy homes for our Lord to dwell.

© Reverend Timothy Reid

Fr. Reid is the pastor of St. Ann Catholic Church, Charlotte, NC

Homilies from June 17, 2012 onward have audio .
To enable the audio, please go directly to Fr. Reid’s homily homilies and select the matching date.

Link to Homilies:
http://stanncharlotte.org/content/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&id=8&Itemid=61

How Others Influence

In 13 Today's Church on 2017/07/21 at 12:00 AM
  • My paternal grandfather was a commercial artist. While he was generally employed to paint billboards and signs rather than create works of fine art, he still had a marvelous aesthetic sense.
  • Grandpa’s house and yard were a wonderful combination of creativity, color, and order, and I always felt a great sense of peace and delight in his home.
  • My father has never been an artist, but he did inherit his father’s deep appreciation of beauty – an appreciation that he very consciously passed along to me.
  • So while it was my mother who really taught me to love and serve God, it was my father who taught me to see and appreciate our Lord through the beauty of this world. From my dad I learned that man needs beauty in order to get through life.
  • To this day I rarely see something beautiful, whether it be a beautiful sunset or a truly beautiful piece of artwork, without thinking of how much my dad would enjoy it.
  • When I began studying philosophy in the seminary, I was delighted to learn that beauty, according to St. Augustine, is really just another word for God, and that the unity, truth, goodness, and beauty we find in this world all point us to God.
  • The great philosophers teach us that the essence or heart of beauty is order. So in other words, if something is beautiful, it is by definition well-ordered; all of its elements form a harmonious, integrated whole.
  • It is this harmony, this integrated wholeness, this order that elicits delight and peace and calms all restlessness within the one who beholds the beauty – much like the feelings I had as a child in my grandfather’s home.
  • I suppose this is one of the reasons why I love the saints so much. Regardless of what any of the saints looked like physically, all of them possessed a beauty of soul that radiated through their countenance.
  • The saints were beautiful because their souls were well ordered. There was no division in them, no conflict between the way they lived their lives and what they knew to be true. In a saint there is harmony between his actions and his beliefs.
  • If we can understand order as the heart, the essence of beauty, then we can understand disorder as the essence of ugliness. Ugly things lack harmony, order, and integrity. Ugliness is chaotic. Rather than peace and delight, ugliness foments disturbance.
  • Both beauty and ugliness can be understood in either an aesthetic or moral sense. Of course, moral ugliness is much more serious than aesthetic ugliness, just as moral beauty is superior to aesthetic beauty.
  • Moral ugliness in a person indicates some amount of disorder within that person, and disorder is created within us by sin. Every sin is a disordered act because it is contrary to the great schema of order by which our Lord has created us and all of creation.
  • Anyone who has ever studied nature in any depth can tell you that there is a wonderful harmony, a wonderful order to our world and all of its elements. The order that we find in creation is a sign of the larger order by which God created the entire universe.
  • But God’s ordering of the world is not only a physical or natural phenomenon; there is also a moral order to our world as well, which is indicated by the natural law.
  • All of us have the law of God written upon our hearts. Because of this, everyone knows at his deepest core that things like stealing, telling a bold-faced lie, or murder is morally wrong.
  • Just as we disrupt the natural order of the world by abusing the environment or misusing the things of this world, so too do we disrupt the natural order by acting in a way contrary to the laws of God.
  • This Wednesday we will enter once again into the holy season of Lent, which is our annual time of the year to take stock of our moral lives in order to prepare ourselves for the glory of Easter.
  • If we wish to experience our own personal resurrection some day and go to Heaven, our souls must be properly ordered – which means that we must try to correct our sins.
  • To this end Holy Mother Church gives us the 3 very important spiritual practices of prayer, alms-giving, and fasting as a means of reordering our lives and our souls.
  • Through the practice of prayer, we come to a greater understanding of the truths of our faith; we come to a personal knowledge of God! In coming to know God better, we come to a greater knowledge of the moral order He has set forth for us.
  • Through prayer we also come to a greater knowledge of ourselves and of all of the ways that we are disordered because of our sins. It is in prayer, as well, that we are given the courage to repent of our sins and overcome them by God’s grace.
  • Through the practice of alms-giving we grow in generosity and give honor to our Lord, as well as help to those in need. Proper alms-giving should cost us a bit; it should involve true sacrifice, but without being imprudent.
  • And through the practice of fasting we make reparation for our sins, we find strength to say no to the temptations of sin, and we express our contrition for our sins. In some ways this spiritual practice is the most helpful in correcting our disorders.
  • This is why Catholics are obliged under the pain of sin to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday; it’s why we are obliged to abstain from meat on Fridays; and it’s why Catholics traditionally give up something during the 40 days of Lent.
  • So as we approach Ash Wednesday this week, I’d ask you to give some serious consideration to what it is you’re going to give up this Lent. If you wish for your fasting to have its intended effects, you should be a bit rigorous in your fasting.
  • But before deciding on what you will fast from, I encourage you to think about your sins. In what ways are you most disordered? In answering that question, try to fast from something that will really help you overcome your disorders.
  • So if you struggle with gluttony, fast from your favorite foods and drinks. If purity is your worst disorder, fast from the forms of media that can be an occasion of sin for you. If you struggle with anger, fast from yelling at your kids.
  • Just as with alms-giving, your fasting should pinch a bit; it should cost you something. It’s a bit disingenuous to fast just from chocolate or desserts if you don’t really have that much of a sweet tooth or if gluttony is not a real problem for you.
  • Brothers and sisters, during the Holy Season of Lent Holy Mother Church encourages us to take stock of our lives and try to remove from within ourselves all that is displeasing to our Lord, all that disorders us and makes us ugly.
  • Through the tools of prayer, alms-giving, and especially fasting, may each of us bring harmony and order to our souls so that we may grow ever more beautiful in God’s eyes.

© Reverend Timothy Reid

Fr. Reid is the pastor of St. Ann Catholic Church, Charlotte, NC

Homilies from June 17, 2012 onward have audio .
To enable the audio, please go directly to Fr. Reid’s homily homilies and select the matching date.

Link to Homilies:
http://stanncharlotte.org/content/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&id=8&Itemid=61