Quiet Corner
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For many years the prison ministry at the Adult Correctional Institution in Cranston was administered by the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, priests and brothers who were stationed at St. Joseph Church in West Warwick and at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Warwick. more
The recent visit of Pope Francis to the United States evoked a substantial amount of good will, but it also provoked an added bit of commentary on his latest encyclical on society’s care for creation, humanity’s common home. On the day of his holiness’ arrival, the Woonsocket Call featured a political cartoon of the pontiff floating aloft with angelic wings spread wide. The left-handed wing was immensely larger than the right-sided wing. more
Kim Davis, the beleaguered county clerk from Frankfort, K.Y., stopped issuing all marriage licenses in June after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling effectively re-defined marriage for the nation. Two homosexual couples and two heterosexual couples sued her. more
Few ministries in the Catholic Church have undergone more transformation in the past fifty years than the ecumenical and inter-faith apostolates. Until the mid-twentieth century Roman Catholics hardly set foot inside a Protestant Church or a Jewish temple. Perhaps a wedding or a funeral might have drawn a few Roman Catholics into a non-Catholic edifice, but such Catholics were there as mere observers. Singing hymns, responding to prayers, even standing or sitting with the non-Catholic worshippers was quite unlikely. There was to be no compromise with error. more
A man walked into a pet store and inquired about purchasing a hunting dog. “This dog is great hunter,” the owner remarked. “We call him Napoleon. And this is another great hunting dog, we call him Julius Caesar.” “What about the dog over there,” the customer inquired gesturing toward a canine across the room, “what’s his name?” “Oh, we call him ‘the pastor,’ the salesman replied. “The pastor?” the customer inquired, “why do you call him ‘the pastor?’” The salesman quickly responded, “Oh, he just sits around all day and barks and nobody pays any attention to him, so we call him ‘the pastor.’” more
The evidence in Scripture for the primacy of the Office of Peter within the Universal Church frankly is overwhelming. All four Gospel accounts record the celebrated confession of St. Peter as he speaks for the other eleven apostles and acknowledges Christ to the Messiah. “You are the Christ!” St. Peter professes tersely in St. Mark’s Gospel. “The Messiah of God,” are the few words St. Luke places on St. Peter’s lips in his narrative. Much more solemn are the phrases found in St. Matthew’s account, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” And St. John, for his part, closes his profound teachings on the Eucharist with these intense words: “Simon Peter answered him, ‘Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.’” more
English novelist W. Somerset Maugham observed that there is nothing particularly blessed about poverty. He wrote, “Poverty is the surest route to bitterness and resentment.” Maugham’s thought contrasts greatly with the pronouncement of Jesus Christ recorded by St. Luke: “Blessed are you who are poor, for the kingdom of God is yours.” Jesus, of course, was thinking of the Palestinian peasant who earned a subsistent living from the land, strengthened by a hardworking family, faithful to his religious traditions and grateful to God for each of his mercies. Maugham on the other hand witnessed the grinding poverty of urban neighborhoods and rural communities. He saw many persons who were spiritually deprived, economically beholden, educationally wanting, often physically addicted, emotionally confused, relationally deficient, and, most likely, sadly neglected. more
The God of the Old Testament was definitely the God of nature. The opening verses of the Book of Genesis are probably a choral presentation chanted during the temple liturgies celebrating God as the author of the heavens and the earth, the sun and the moon as well as the plants and the animals. The God of the Hebrew Scriptures was very much in charge of his universe. Natural wonders continue throughout the pages of the ancient Biblical text. The plagues visited on Egypt, the parting of the Red Sea, the manna found daily in the wilderness, the quenching water spilling from the rock, the quail quieting the complaints of the wandering Hebrew nation, the thunder, lightning and clouds witnessed at Sinai – each of these phenomena was appreciated by the Jews as coming directly from the hand of God. He was indeed the God of nature. more
It has been fifty years since the Latin Mass of our youth began its transformation into the vernacular Mass of the present day. This alteration of Catholic worship did not take place all at once. First the old Tridentine Mass was translated wholly into the world’s languages except for the Roman canon which was still prayed in Latin. Then the Novus Ordo, the new order, often known as the Mass of Paul VI, with wider readings, a selection of Eucharistic prayers, and other assorted additions and eliminations, became the Church’s regular liturgy. One especially notable revision was the broadening of the former offertory into the more expressive presentation and preparation of gifts. more
A statement of faith that passes through the lips of Roman Catholics and many other Christians Sunday after Sunday acknowledges the vital mission of the Holy Spirit in salvation history. “I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets.” This brief creedal formula confesses the Holy Spirit to be truly Divine. He is Lord and Life-giver. These words also admit the Spirit to be worthy of honor and praise equal to the other two Divine persons. The Holy Spirit’s revelatory role in making the mysteries of God fathomable to believers is likewise professed. But in the midst of these tributes to the Spirit of God are three English words “and the Son” (which are actually one Latin word: “filioque”). For reasons both political and doctrinal, this miniscule phrase has divided Eastern and Western Christianity officially for a thousand years and theologically for maybe fifteen hundred years. more
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