St Joseph and St Mary Parishes in Freeport, IL

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Palm Sunday Homilies

Deacon Paul Ranney at the 10:30am Mass in St Joseph Church.

Fr Barr at the 5:30pm Mass on Saturday Evenig in St Joesph Church


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God’s Mercy Brings Freedom


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Living the Moral Life 69

When growing in holiness, forming our minds according to reality is of the utmost importance. This is where making sure what we put into our minds does not hinder the truth. Jesus is the Truth and God is the ultimate source of reality and existence (Ex 1 & 2). Science itself gets its reality and all its conclusions from God in His creation. Continue reading


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Living the Moral Life 67

The moral life is always going to be a pilgrimage we make through our lives. In this pilgrimage, we are not alone. We have each other, but we also have our Father in Heaven helping us along the way. By the very gift of baptism, we can call God our Father (Mt 6:9). Our Father in Heaven is always there for us. It doesn’t matter what time of day it is or where we are at, He is always willing to listen. He is never too busy texting or staring at the screen. We have access to His lap 24/7. Continue reading


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Living the Moral Life 53

Our flesh and the world work on the weak spots of our weak intellect since the fall of Adam and Eve and the passions overtaking the intellect. We have a tendency to overindulge in coffee, ice cream, chocolate, money, power, and the list goes on. We also get caught up in the flashy stuff. We might see all the “beautiful people” on TV with all their glittering clothes. We want all the newest gadgets, the finest cars, homes, lawn, and etc. Continue reading


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Living the Moral Life 52

When trying to get to our final goal in Heaven, we need to have a plan. We have to do more than avoid sin. Our general plan is to practice virtue. The Catechism says virtue is “A habitual and firm disposition to do the good. The moral virtues are acquired through human effort aided by God’s grace; the theological virtues are gifts of God” (CCC 1803). So a virtue is not acquired by simply doing something once. It needs to be habitual, meaning over and over. It also needs to be a firm disposition. The person needs to be resolved to make the virtue consistent and part of the character of the person. There is a real human effort that is made to practice the good, yet at the same time that person must rely on God’s grace. Though it takes human effort, it takes more than just human effort; it also takes grace. If a child takes out the garbage once, it does not make the act or child virtuous. Neither does it if the child does not do the act with God’s grace and grumbles while taking out the garbage. Virtue also must be whole. That will be coming later. Continue reading