Heaven is the place where we shall behold the face of God unveiled. On this Earth we can also behold the face of God yet only the eyes of faith are able to recognize Him. St. Thomas says that on the cross Jesus hid His divinity but in the Eucharist He hides both His divinity and His humanity. It is only through faith that we can look upon the white host and recognize the Lord and giver of life, for “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things unseen”—Hebrews 11:1. May we look upon our God with faith on this Earth so that we may behold Him in His glory in Heaven.
As a convert, I am sometimes asked what brought me into the Catholic faith. Conversion cannot be reduced to a simple formula, but the answer for me, at least in part, was being deeply struck and attracted by the truth and beauty of the Church’s understanding of marriage. We often hear that the Church’s teachings on marriage and sex drive people away, but this certainly not my own response as a husband and father.
When it comes to such topics, it is easy for people to reject the Church’s teachings out of hand. This is certainly the case with Blessed Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae Vitae, which for 50 years has been much maligned but seldom read.
Contrary to popular belief, the Catholic Church is not opposed to sex. Rather, an examination of some of Humanae Vitae’s key teachings — including the four characteristics of married love and the inseparable connection of the meanings of sex — reveals the Church’s high regard for sex, viewed in its proper context.READ MORE
Many people are familiar with the EWTN show, “Web of Faith 2.0” which Father Kenneth D. Brighenti and Father John Trigilio Jr., have been cohosting for the past 10 years. Many more individuals, especially parishioners of St. Magdalen de Pazzi Parish, were introduced to a new version of the show during the pandemic.
Once the coronavirus spread, Father Brighenti, pastor of St. Magdalen, and Father Trigilio, Jr., who had been teaching at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, Emmitsburg, Md., until the coronavirus caused a lockdown and he moved into the Hunterdon County parish, decided to do a quarantined version of their show. Posted on the parish’s website and YouTube, “Web of Faith 2.1½” is filmed in the parish rectory.READ MORE
They say you become like the top five people whom you spend the most time with—but what if one of those top five people was Jesus, present in the Eucharist? Then we would seek to love what He loves and reject what He rejects (sin); we would begin to love our neighbor as Jesus loves them—for their own sake and not for what we can ‘gain’ from them. Jesus desires to make our hearts like His. In Adoration we pray to become like God, but the best way to love is to simply love.
We become like God by loving what He loves—He loves us, He loves every human being He has created. We become like God by loving how He loves—no strings attached, unconditionally, for their own sake. By doing so we will be able to look beyond ourselves and to behold the beauty of Christ in our neighbor.
Have you ever confessed a sin and then, no matter how earnestly you intended to amend your life, had the desire to commit that sin again? Why aren’t we simply fixed after Confession?
Jesus instituted the Sacrament of Confession that our sins may be forgiven and that we may return to friendship with him. He renews our souls, again filling them through the Holy Spirit with the many spiritual gifts first given to us at Baptism. Yet a certain inclination to sin—not the sin itself—remains. The Tradition calls this inclination the fomes peccati, the tinder for sin, or, we might say, the dregs (CCC 1264). These dregs of sin stick around in our minds through the memories of evil committed, and they also remain in our desires through the habitual bad decisions and actions that shape us. As the desires surface, they hurt quite a bit, but as long as they remain temptations we refrain from sinning.
These pinpricks of the desire to return to past sin are what we might call with St. Paul “thorn[s] in the flesh” (2 Cor 12:7). The temptations to commit that same old sin frustrate us, but the grace of Confession helps us to see these temptations in a new light.READ MORE
“I pray the Divine Praises when I’m in pain.”
I’ve been visiting hospital patients this summer, and I have had the privilege of hearing many beautiful expressions of faith. This one particularly struck me; it’s such a jarring image. Praise is not my first reaction to pain, but as soon as I heard this I couldn’t help but see that it could be, and perhaps even should be. We can combat the evil that afflicts us by praising the goodness of God right in the midst of its attack. Often when we are seriously in pain, a prayer recited hastily from memory is all that we can manage. And in that moment, such a prayer is enough. Now, though, we are at liberty to begin to reflect on this prayer more deeply. In so doing, we can prepare ourselves to confront pain by glorifying God’s everlasting goodness. Blessed be God.READ MORE
Adoration is an encounter with the living God, it is a moment when we allow Him to affirm the truth that He made us and He desires that we exist. He desires that we might have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). The answer to every question which pours forth from the human heart is love. We come to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament to understand, to be healed, to be free. We come and we place our needs before Him, for ourselves and for those whom we love. Yet at base, what we are truly seeking to ‘know’ is that we are loved by God. He affirms this by simply remaining with us, with calling us to Himself. Jesus’ love is deep, pure, and strong. He not only created you, He desires you. Jesus thirsts for you. May we come to Adoration to express our deep love and thirst for Him.
One of the primary and most distinctive fixtures of any Catholic church is a box or cabinet, typically made of gold placed in the front and center of a church. The exact shape varies, but you will most often find a red vigil lamp lighted next to it. As Catholics we call the box a tabernacle and it contains the “holy of holies,” Jesus present in the Eucharist.READ MORE
The success of a party depends on the prior preparation; sports success depends on the prep and warm-up and mental attitude and discipline; a good and loving courtship terminates in a loving and permanent marriage. The same can be applied to a fervent and worthy reception of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in Holy Communion.
Another analogy is receiving a guest. This analogy of receiving a guest into one’s home can easily be applied to receiving Jesus into our souls. Examine your conscience now: what type of reception do you give the Eucharistic Lord Jesus when you receive Him into your home/soul when you receive Him in Holy Communion? How is He received? Accept the challenge to examine your Eucharistic reception. Why?READ MORE
Dear Parish Family,
Ultimately there are two things to which we’re called —to holiness and mission, to be a faithful disciple and an ardent apostle — and in today’s parable, Jesus helps us to understand both better, instructing us how to be a fruitful follower and an effective evangelist, how to hear God’s word well and proclaim it well, how to receive God’s grace and how to live in accordance with it. In the Parable of the Sower, the Seed and the Soil, Jesus tells us that good soil produces fruit, and not just a little fruit, but abundant fruit: 30, 60 or 100 fold, all huge numbers according to the Jewish mentality of the age. Do we listen to God’s word with the intention to bear great fruit? Do we respond to God’s work in our lives with an openness and a desire to do something great for him? Just as a sower would scatter seed over all four types of earth, so Jesus scatters his word, his grace, his saving deeds over all four kinds of people represented by the respective soil samples. We see all four soil types among his first listeners. The big question is how we’re going to listen: whether we’re truly going to hear with our ears and be converted, whether we’re going to receive what he teaches on good soil and allow that word to bear abundant fruit in our lives, or whether we’re going to receive what he says on the three types of soil that end up bearing little or no fruit at all.READ MORE
Dear Parish Family,
In today’s readings, Jesus praises the Father and invites us to follow Him. Jesus speaks lovingly and gently when he invites all those who are weary and burdened with life to seek relief and respite in him. He says, “Your souls will find rest, for my yoke is easy and my burden light.”. During these difficult times, let us come to Him for comfort and prayer. Thanks be to God, the Church is now slowly starting to get back to some sort of normalcy. Our Masses have restarted and slowly we are seeing the parishioners come back. How wonderful it is to see our families in Church again!
The Bishop was very clear that the dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass will remain in effect until further notice. It is not a sin, in any way to not attend Mass especially if you are elderly or have underlining conditions where it is necessary for you to keep the Stay at Home Orders. The decision regarding whether to attend Mass is left to the individual. If you or someone in your household is ill, especially with a fever or flu like symptoms please do not enter the Church.READ MORE