Monthly Archives: February 2016

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Many people are tempted to mess around with occultism in its various forms. Seances, tarot cards, crystal balls, Ouija boards and many other types of occultist hocus-pocus are much in demand. It’s a disturbing sign of the times. It’s a sign that our God-given human longing for the supernatural can easily be mischanneled into something unwholesome and dangerous. During the season of Lent we try to re-sensitize our souls to the things of the Spirit. Those things are sometimes unusual, to say the least. The book of Exodus (3:1-6) records a puzzling episode which must have caused the experiencer to ...

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What happened on the high mountain was not without precedent. Centuries before, when  Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments, his face shone so brightly that he had to cover it with a veil when he spoke to the people at the foot of the mountain. He was too bright for them to look at. Moses was human. Christ is human and divine. The shining glory of Christ on the mountain of the transfiguration was even brighter. Not only His face but His whole body, even His clothing, became “dazzling white”. For a few brief moments, Peter, ...

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In Lent we are bidden to accompany Christ our Lord into the wilderness. What did He find in the Judean desert? He found hunger, coldness, dryness, emptiness. Most of all, He found temptation. He was tempted in all things as we are. Christ confronted all the demons that we ourselves have to confront, but in His case He did not capitulate. The Gospels give us three of the temptations which the devil threw at Him. Doubtless there were many more, but the Gospels describe three in particular. They included the attraction of accomplishing His mission on the cheap. The devil ...

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St.Philip Neri fasted habitually, not only in Lent. He ate little and drank little. He did not impose his asceticism on others. He said that mortification of the razionale was more important than mortifying the body with excessive fasting and other forms of physical penance. Mortifying the razionale included submitting one’s will and private judgement to others, and obeying promptly without reasoning or questioning. Is there more to it than that? I think there must be. His own strange life helps us to understand what else it might include. In the catacombs of St.Sebastian in 1544 Philip Neri had the ...

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