The Quiet Corner
Father John A. Kiley
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The Christian world is rightly concerned about personal morality. Christians should not cheat on their spouses, cheat on their taxes nor cheat at the neighborhood card game. Character, integrity and honor have been the quest of Christian believers and the mark of Christian saints in every age. Francis of Assisi and Charles de Foucauld leaving aside their youthful naughtiness come readily to mind. The Christian community has also been involved since Biblical times with social justice. The outstretched hand of the least brother or sister has been readily grasped by the strengthening embrace of a benevolent Christianity. Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac rescuing Parisian newborns and paupers have left a still vibrant legacy. And the Christian community has a proud heritage in education and certainly in liturgy, worship and prayer. more
Father Joseph Egan was a long-time dogmatic theology professor at St. Bernard’s Seminary in Rochester, New York. It was always his contention that St. Luke wrote Acts of the Apostles in order to justify the missionary activity to the Gentiles by St. Paul in light of the prior if somewhat limited outreach to the Gentile world by St. Peter. By the time St. Luke was writing Acts, St. Peter’s stature within the Christian community was acknowledged and respected enough that any precedent St. Peter had initiated could justifiably be cited as reason for other followers of Christ, like St. Paul and St. Barnabas, to venture out into similar even if more extensive challenges and apostolates. Accordingly, St. Luke devotes an entire chapter of Acts to the conversion by St. Peter of the Gentile but God-fearing centurion Cornelius and his household. 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
Christ’s celebrated Sermon on the Mount as found in the Gospel account of St. Matthew is narrated clearly with an eye toward Moses’ acceptance of the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai centuries … more
A local cable-channel preacher was adamant that the presence of Christ in the Eucharist is strictly symbolic. His argument did give the viewer pause. more
The clock tower on the red brick First Baptist Church on Blackstone Street in Woonsocket has not kept time in decades. The small congregation moved from the faulty 1890 edifice to the chapel at St. … more
No Biblical event is reported more variably in Scripture than the Ascension of Christ into heaven. Saints Matthew and Mark report that Jesus went ahead of the eleven apostles to Galilee and from a … more
The homily has become such an integral part of the liturgy that a Mass without a word or two offered by the celebrant would seem a cheat and a disappointment. But, until the Second Vatican Council, … more
No one receives a harsher assessment in the New Testament than the religious leaders of Jesus’ generation. Jesus excoriates the pious shepherds of his day labeling them “… brood of vipers … blind guides …whitened sepulchers. …” more
Surely no line of Scripture is more misleadingly quoted than Jesus’ pronouncement to “…render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s.” Not only is this quote broadly used to justify the separation of church and state, but more deviously it is being extended to endorse the separation of religion and society. Progressive politicians no longer mention freedom of religion but rather refer cleverly to freedom of worship. Religion, of course, embraces the fullness of the believer’s life: church, politics, business, family, etc. All human activity has a religious dimension. Worship on the other hand is what takes place within a church building. Worship is liturgical, ritualistic and ceremonial. The immediate focus of worship is the sacred; the broader focus of religion must include the secular. Progressive politicians have no problem with parishioners lighting candles, whiffing incense and singing hymns. That’s worship. But some government leaders do have trouble with religious persons protecting traditional marriage, shielding the unborn, defending authentic conception, preserving dignity at the end of life, limiting medical experimentation and maintaining cultural vestiges from America’s theistic roots. more
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