St Joseph and St Mary Parishes in Freeport, IL

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Where is Jesus in the Midst of the Church’s Sex-Abuse Crisis

Father Thomas Berg is a priest of the Archdiocese of New York, a former Legionary of Christ and professor of moral theology, vice rector and director of admissions at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Dunwoodie, New York. He is author of Hurting in the Church: A Way Forward for Wounded Catholics. He spoke recently with CNA’s Courtney Grogan about the challenges Catholics face amid the Church’s sexual abuse and misconduct scandals. The interview is below, edited for clarity and length. …

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Conquer Suffering

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Pope’s Easter Vigil Homily

Here is a Vatican translation of the homily Pope Francis delivered at the Easter Vigil.

“Peter ran to the tomb” (Lk 24:12). What thoughts crossed Peter’s mind and stirred his heart as he ran to the tomb? The Gospel tells us that the eleven, including Peter, had not believed the testimony of the women, their Easter proclamation.   Quite the contrary, “these words seemed to them an idle tale” (v. 11). Thus there was doubt in Peter’s heart, together with many other worries: sadness at the death of the beloved Master and disillusionment for having denied him three times during his Passion. …

Pope’s Easter Vigil Homily

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Living the Moral Life 22

God tells us in the Ten Commandments, I am the Lord your God. You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve.” (Ex 20:3) Not only does this Commandment apply to the occult practices and false worship in the sense of prayers, but also to false worship in our actions. These two forms of worship are to complement each other. Receiving the Eucharist in worship helps us to do God’s will in all things. That is one of the reasons why we are judged on our works. Our body is to glorify God by what we do.

There are many ways to glorify God with your actions, such as: praying, adoration, charity work, corporal works of mercy, spiritual works of mercy or just simply doing household chores with a positive attitude. But we also have to challenge ourselves to clean up areas in our lives that hinder our worship in action. If we go to sports or any other events willfully and miss the Sunday Mass doing so, we are committing a mortal sin. Do we put the teachings of the Church last in our lives? Do we ridicule the faith? Are we embarrassed about the teachings of the Church and Jesus? Do we look for a reason not to believe? Do we choose to accept faith in God as a gift? How often do we thank God for the gifts we have? These are some questions we can ask ourselves to help us be aware of our worship and relationship with God. Remember, morals are about the relationship we have with God.

It sounds strange to us, but God should come first. Jesus said, “In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.” (Lk 14:33) This does not mean that everybody has to become a monk or nun. Nor does it mean that everybody is called to live in poverty. It’s simply a disposition of the soul. There should be a readiness to answer God’s call. In all things, we should have in the back of our minds what is God’s will and be ready to do it.

It takes faith to totally abandon our will to His. He knows He is not asking something easy. That is where grace comes in. But if you think about all the reasons why we can trust Him, trusting Him is made easier. God ranks higher than our spouses and children, yet He gave us our spouses and children. He loves them too. In fact He loves them more than we do. The love we have for them came from God. That is why we can go to Him in times of trouble. We pray for our loved ones and our concerns because of our faith in His love.

It is ok to have doubts in God, as long as we try to work through them with God. If you have a difficult time trusting, talk to Jesus or our Father in Heaven about it. He will listen. In fact, He will be very pleased that you are reaching out to Him. It is an effort to begin to know Him in a deeper way. He will answer your prayers. It may or may not be what you want, but it will be the best thing for you or what you may be concerned about. If He has been there for you till now, He will be there for you now and in the future. He has been faithful in all things. This commandment makes it our turn.