Yesterday we were privileged to have a Holy Cross Cardinal from Bangladesh join us for our feast day, Our Lady of Sorrows. I’m sure his visit will be memorable for a variety of reasons, but one reason will stand out. During his homily he spoke of the seven sorrows of Mary; but he managed to find a silver lining in each of the seven sorrows.
Peter Kreeft, a philosophy Professor at Boston College, is the author of a book called '40 Reasons Why I am a Catholic.' Kreeft is a convert to the faith, who reasoned his way into the Catholic Church by chasing the truth, through intense research, and following it wherever it led him.
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Once the Olympics were over, athletes who won medals returned home to applause and in some instances, parades! No so with Jesus. He returned home and joined others for a service in the synagogue. He rose to speak and said the spirit of the Lord had sent Him to bring glad tidings to the poor. There was no applause or parades. The reaction was mixed. Some were amazed that such words could come from His mouth since they remember Him as a young man, and they knew His parents, Joseph and Mary.
Yates owned a barren sheep ranch in western Texas. During the depression, he could not pay his mortgage and was in danger of losing his ranch. With little money for basic needs, his family struggled to meet both ends. As they prayerfully waited with hope for God’s intervention, a crew from an oil company came into the area and asked permission to drill a wildcat well on the property.
Perhaps to put it more bluntly, based on some of the teachings of the Bible, we may often wonder - can a rich person go to Heaven?
During a Roman Persecution, Pope Saint Sixtus II was martyred. Laurence was a deacon, the Pope’s right hand, and the treasurer - overseeing all the works of the Church to take care of the poor and suffering. Even knowing that the Emperor intended to decapitate the Church, and that they were after him too, he didn’t go into hiding. Rather he set himself to empty the church treasury and give all to the poor before he died! There’s a story that when he was being burned at the stake, he calmly said to his executioners: "Turn me over. I’m done on this side."