mortification

St Aloysius Gonzaga

I was asked to preach the feast day Mass for St Aloysius Church in Cresson, PA:

After silencing the Sadduccees, (cf. Mt 22:34-39) the Pharisees step up to test our Lord. They ask about the greatest commandment, and he points out that the entirety of our lives must hinge upon two relationships: love for God and love for neighbor. (more…)

Saint Patrick

In today’s day and age, at least in the USA, the memorial of Saint Patrick is often used as an excuse for debauchery. Cities color their rivers green and people go to bars. Saint Patrick would tell these people to use their energy to pray and sacrifice.

A good biography of him can be found here.

Saint Patrick would have no time for the wild sinful partying that happens in his name. (more…)

So run that you may obtain it…

Do you not know that the runners in the stadium all run in the race, but only one wins the prize? Run so as to win.
Every athlete exercises discipline in every way. They do it to win a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one.
-1 Corinthians 9:24-25
Yesterday, Fr. Leo Arnone, pastor of Saint Francis Xavier and Saint Aloysius Gonzaga in Cresson, challenged me to a run on the track.  I do not think he believed me when I said I run (which I still do run once in a while!), so I had to show up to prove myself.

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Penances

I am reading through “Friends of God” by Saint Josemaria Escriva. Here is an excellent quote, which has some very concrete examples of penances we can offer up with love to our Lord:

“Penance is fulfilling exactly the timetable you have fixed for yourself, even though your body resists or your mind tries to avoid it by dreaming up useless fantasies. Penance is getting up on time and also not leaving for later, without any real reason, that particular job that you find harder or most difficult to do.
Penance is knowing how to reconcile your duties to God, to others and to yourself, by making demands on yourself so that you find enough time for each of your tasks. You are practising penance when you lovingly keep to your schedule of prayer, despite feeling worn out, listless or cold.
Penance means being very charitable at all times towards those around you, starting with the members of your own family. It is to be full of tenderness and kindness towards the suffering, the sick and the infirm. It is to give patient answers to people who are boring and annoying. It means interrupting our work or changing our plans, when circumstances make this necessary, above all when the just and rightful needs of others are involved.
Penance consists in putting up good-humouredly with the thousand and one little pinpricks of each day; in not abandoning your job, although you have momentarily lost the enthusiasm with which you started it; in eating gladly whatever is served, without being fussy.
For parents and, in general, for those whose work involves supervision or teaching, penance is to correct whenever it is necessary. This should be done bearing in mind the type of fault committed and the situation of the person who needs to be so helped, not letting oneself be swayed by subjective viewpoints, which are often cowardly and sentimental.
A spirit of penance keeps us from becoming too attached to the vast imaginative blueprints we have made for our future projects, where we have already foreseen our master strokes and brilliant successes. What joy we give to God when we are happy to lay aside our third-rate painting efforts and let him put in the features and colours of his choice!” (Friends of God, 138).