Saturday, April 30, 2011

Sunday Bible Reflection by Dr. Scott Hahn: May 1st, 2011

May 1st, 2011 - Divine Mercy Sunday
His Mercy Endures
Acts 2:42-47
Psalm 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24
1 Peter 1:3-9
John 20:19-31

We are children of Jesus’ Resurrection from the dead. Through this wondrous sign of His great mercy, the Father of Jesus has given us new birth, as we hear in today’s Epistle.

Today’s First Reading sketches the “family life” of our first ancestors in the household of God (see 1 Peter 4:17). We see them doing what we still do - devoting themselves to the Apostles’ teaching, meeting daily to pray and celebrate “the breaking of the bread.”
The Apostles saw the Lord. He stood in their midst, showed them His hands and sides. They heard His blessing and received His commission - to extend the Father’s mercy to all peoples through the power and Spirit He conferred upon them.

We must walk by faith and not by sight, must believe and love what we have not seen (see 2 Corinthians 5:7). Yet the invisible realities are made present for us through the devotions the Apostles handed on.
Notice the experience of the risen Lord in today’s Gospel is described in a way that evokes the Mass.
Both appearances take place on a Sunday. The Lord comes to be with His disciples. They rejoice, listen to His Word, receive the gift of His forgiveness and peace. He offers His wounded body to them in remembrance of His Passion. And they know and worship Him as their Lord and their God.

Thomas’ confession is a vow of faith in the new covenant. As promised long before, in the blood of Jesus we can now know the Lord as our God and be known as His people (see Hosea 2:20-25).
This confession is sung in the heavenly liturgy (see Revelation 4:11). And in every Mass on earth we renew our covenant and receive the blessings Jesus promised for those who have not seen but have believed.

In the Mass, God’s mercy endures forever, as we sing in today’s Psalm. This is the day the Lord has made - when the victory of Easter is again made wonderful in our eyes.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Holy Week 2011 Consolidated

Click here to visit the Vatican website to access all of the following resources in other languages.

Holy Week 2011

PALM SUNDAY, 17 April 2011

Blessing of the Palms, Procession and Holy Mass:

HOLY WEDNESDAY, 20 April 2011

HOLY THURSDAY, 21 April 2011

Chrism Mass:
Mass of the Lord's Supper:

GOOD FRIDAY, 22 April 2011

Celebration of the Passion of the Lord
Way of the Cross 2011, Colosseum:

HOLY SATURDAY, 23 April 2011

Easter Vigil:

EASTER SUNDAY, 24 April 2011

Mass of the Day

Saturday, April 23, 2011

He Makes all Things New

This video was linked on New Advent (great resource) and appears to be perfectly timed for Easter Sunday.

Rev 21
1* Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2* And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband; 3* and I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, * and God himself will be with them; * 4* he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away." 5* And he who sat upon the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new."

Father Robert Barron's Weekly Homily: He is Risen! :Easter

Our first reading for this Easter day is Peter's great kerygmatic speech on Pentecost morning. Filled with the Holy Spirit, Peter addresses the Jerusalem crowd, telling them the impossibly good news that Jesus of Nazareth, a man who moved through their ordinary towns and villages, has been raised from the dead. The Easter faith of the Church is not an abstraction, not a vague claim about God's fidelity or our hope for immortality. Rather, it is the startling assertion that God has brought this man Jesus back from the dead. May we bask in the glow of this still surprising revelation.

Listen via Streaming

Download Homily Here

A special thank you to Fr. Barron from Fishing in the Tiber this Easter for all he does for the Church.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Traditonal Latin Mass - Easter Sunday Narrated by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

Our current Pope, Benedict XVI is a big supporter of keeping the Traditional Latin Mass, as well as the current Novus Ordo Mass, as an available option for Catholics. Many parishes here in the US offer both and have benefited in many ways, including an increase in weekly mass attendence. It is easy to see why when watching the following video (it is long, but worth a watch).

"This is a Traditional Latin Mass filmed on Easter Sunday in 1941 at Our Lady of Sorrows church in Chicago. The film presents the ceremonies of the Missa Solemnis or Solemn High Mass in full detail with narration by then-Mgr. Fulton J. Sheen. Celebrated by Rev. J. R. Keane of the Order of Servites (hence the white habits and cowls), the ceremonies are accompanied by a full polyphonic choir, orchestra, and fifty Gregorian Chanters."

To add some color footage for our modern is a clip of the Tridentine (Traditional Latin Mass) Mass being celebrated more recently in France.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Daily Chronology of Jesus’ Last Week

At the heart of our faith is the Paschal Mystery: the Passion, Death, Resurrection, and Ascension of Jesus Christ. All of salvation history leads up to and goes forth from these saving events. The purpose of this post is to describe Jesus’ Final week. We call this “Holy Week” for Jesus’ public ministry culminates with his suffering, death and resurrection.
What follows is a brief description of each day of Holy Week. It is hoped that you might print out the pdf flyer (Walking-with-Jesus-In-Holy-Week) and read it each day of this week. Prayerfully walk with Jesus in his most difficult and yet glorious week.
I realize that some scripture scholars scoff at the idea that we can construct a day-by-day journal of Jesus’ last week. There ARE historical gaps and things in the accounts that don’t add up perfectly. Further, St. John, posits a whole different scenario (perhaps as a theological interpretation) of the Last Supper and how it relates to Passover. The following sequence follows primarily the synoptic (Matt, Mark and Luke) accounts, in terms of timing. Despite certain scholarly doubts, the account really do add up pretty well if we use a little imagination and see the differences not as differences in fact, but only in the level detail.
So read this Chronology as a likely but not certain scenario of the the last week of Jesus. It is still a great blessing to consider the Lord’s last week and walk with him.
Plan to attend some or all of the special liturgies of Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, and Good Friday and Saturday at your parish. By celebrating them in community, we make them present today and learn again, in a new way, the reality of our Risen Lord alive in our midst.
palm-sunday-2PALM SUNDAY – Our celebration of Holy Week begins this Sunday as we remember and make present the triumphal entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem to begin his final week and initiate his Passion. All four Gospels recount this triumphant entry that Sunday Morning so long ago, but made present to us today. As you receive your palms, consider that you are part of that vast crowd. How will you journey with Jesus this week? Let the palm remind you to praise him with your prayerful presence during the sacred Triduum. According to Mark 11:11 Jesus returned that evening to Bethany, a suburb of Jerusalem. Perhaps he stayed with his friends Martha, Mary and Lazarus. Pray with Jesus this evening as he considers the difficult days ahead of him.
Monday of Holy Week According to Matthew 21, Mark 11 and Luke 19, Jesus returns to Jerusalem today and, seeing shameful practices in the Temple area, he cleanses the Temple. John’s Gospel also records that he rebuked the unbelief of the crowds. Mark 11:19 records that he returned to Bethany that night. Pray with Jesus as he is zealous to purify us.
Tuesday of Holy Week According to Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus again returns to Jerusalem where he is confronted by the Temple leadership for what he did yesterday. They question his authority. He also teaches extensively using parables and other forms. There is the parable of the vineyard (cf Mt 21:33-46), the parable of the wedding banquet, (cf Mt. 22:1). There is also the teaching on paying taxes (cf Mt 22:15) and the rebuke of the Sadducees who deny the resurrection (cf Mt. 22:23). There is also the fearful prophecy about the destruction of Jerusalem if the inhabitants do not come to faith in him. He warns that not one stone will be left on another (cf Mt 24). Continue to pray with Jesus and listen carefully to his final teachings just before his passion.
Wednesday of Holy Week. Traditionally this day was called “Spy Wednesday” for it was on this Wednesday before the crucifixion that Judas conspired to hand Jesus over. For this he was paid thirty pieces of silver (cf Mt. 26:14). Jesus likely spent the day In Bethany. In the evening Mary of Bethany anoints Jesus with costly perfumed oil. Judas objects but Jesus rebukes him and says Mary has anointed him for his burial! (cf Mt 26:6). The wicked are besetting Jesus and plotting against him. Are you praying?
lastsupper1HOLY THURSDAY, marks the beginning of the sacred Triduum, or “three days.” Earlier this day Jesus had given instructions to the disciples on how to prepare for this most holy meal, which will be his last supper. Through the day they make these preparations (cf Mt 26:17). In the Mass of the Lord’s Supper conducted at our parishes, we remember and make present that Last Supper which Jesus shared with his disciples. We are in the upper room with Jesus and the Apostles and do what they did. Through the ritual of washing the feet (Jn 13:1) of 12 parishioners, we unite in service to one another. Through our celebration of this first Mass and Holy Eucharist (Mt 26:26), we unite ourselves to Jesus and receive his Body and Blood as if for the first time. At this Eucharist, we especially thank God for his gift of the ministerial priesthood. After the Last Supper (First Mass) the apostles and Jesus made a short journey across the Kidron Valley to the Garden where he asks them to pray and he experiences his agony (cf Mt 26:30). We too will process in Church with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament to a garden (the altar of repose) which has been prepared. The liturgy ends in silence. It is an ancient custom to spend an hour before the reposed Blessed Sacrament tonight. We are with Jesus in the Garden and pray as he goes through his agony. Most of our parish churches remain open until close to midnight. It was near Midnight that Jesus was betrayed by Judas, was arrested and taken to the house of the High Priest (cf Mt. 26:47).
crossabstractGOOD FRIDAY, All through the night Jesus has been locked in the dungeon of the high priest’s house. Early this morning he was bought before a Pilate who transferred his case to Herod. Herod sent him back to Pilate who, sometime in the mid-morning, bowed to the pressure of the Temple leadership and the crowds, and condemned Jesus to a horrible death by crucifixion. In the late morning Jesus was taken by the soldiers through the city and up the hillside of Golgotha. By noon he is nailed to the cross where he hangs in agony for some three hours. He dies around three in the afternoon. He is taken down from the cross and placed in the tomb hastily before sundown. Today is a day of prayer, fasting and abstinence. Whenever possible, Christians are urged to keep today free of work, of social engagements, of entertainment, and to devote themselves to communal prayer and worship. At noon many parishes gather for stations of the cross for recollections of the seven last words of Jesus. Many parishes also offer staions of the cross at 3pm the hour of Jesus death. In the evening, we gather quietly in our parish Churches to enter into time of prayer as we reflect on Jesus death on the cross. We also pray for the needs of the world. To acknowledge the power of the cross in our lives today, we one by one come forward to venerate the cross with a kiss. Our hunger from this day of fasting is satisfied with Holy Communion distributed at the end of this liturgy.Consider too how the apostles might have gathered that night together in fear and prayer reflecting on all that happened.
resurrectionHOLY SATURDAY – The body of Jesus is in the tomb but His soul is among the dead to announce the kingdom. The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear it will Live (John 5:25). Consider what it must have been like for the dead in Sheol to awaken to the voice of Jesus! Meanwhile The Disciples, heartbroken at the death of Jesus, observed the Jewish Sabbath in sorrow. They had forgotten the promise of Jesus that He would rise. We cannot forget His promise. We cannot forget. Tonight in our parishes after sundown we gather for the Great Easter Vigil where we will experience Jesus rising from the dead. We gather in darkness and light the Easter fire which reminds us that Jesus is light in the darkness. He is the light of the world. We enter into the church and attentively listen to Bible stories describing God’s saving work of the past. Suddenly, the church lights are lit and the Gloria is sung as we celebrate the moment of Christ’s resurrection. He Lives! In the joy of the resurrection we then celebrate the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist for our Catechumens and Candidates who have prepared for many weeks for this night. As a Church we sing Alleluia for the first time in forty days. Do everything you can to be present on this evening and invite friends and family to join. Our Vigil ushers in an Easter joy that never ends!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Father Robert Barron's Weekly Homily: Palm Sunday

Sermon 536 : The Passion of the Christ : Palm Sunday

Matthew shows us that, as Jesus resolutely does his Father's will, myriad forms of human dysfunction--betrayal, sloth, stupidity, violence, scapegoating, corruption--break out around him. This is the salvation story: God's compassionate embrace of sinners.

Click here to listen via streaming

Click here to download homily

The Issue of Authority in Early Chrstianity

This is a presentation given by Dr. Kenneth Howell at the Deep in History Conference in 2009.
Dr. Howell is a former Presbyterian pastor.

Video streaming by Ustream

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Mozart: Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Is the Word Eucharist in the Bible? (Saint Paul)

This is a post from Taylor Marshall's blog, Cantebury Tales.
Make sure to visit his blog and read this post Here.
Saint Paul’s doctrine of the believer’s participation in Christ finds its high point in the Apostle’s doctrine of the Eucharist, which he called “the Supper of the Lord” (1 Cor 11:20) or “the Breaking of the Bread” (Acts 20:7). Some time before a.d. 100, the ritual of the Lord’s Supper came to be known as the Eucharist. We find the term Eucharist being applied to the Lord’s Supper in the early late first-century Christian document, the Didache: “Now as regards the Eucharist, give thanks after this manner…”[1] There are two reasons for why the Lord’s Supper came to be known as the Eucharist. The first is that the Greek word eucharistia means “giving thanks.” The earliest use of eucharistia in the context of the Lord’s Supper is from the writings of Saint Paul. Paul uses a Greek form of the word eucharistia in 1 Cor 11:24 when he describes how the Lord’s Supper was celebrated:

And when he had given thanks (Greek: eucharistĂ©sas or “eucharisted”), he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me” (1 Cor 11:24).

Saint Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians was written in about a.d. 57 and so the Apostle’s account of the Eucharist is the earliest testimony to the ritual and beliefs surrounding the Lord’s Supper. The accounts of the Lord’s Supper found in the Matthew, Mark, and Luke were composed sometime after a.d. 57 and so Paul’s description in the eleventh chapter of First Corinthians is the oldest. Less than one hundred years after the death of Saint Paul, we find Saint Justin Martyr writing to the pagan Emperor Antonius Pius (a.d. 138-161) in order to explain the way in which Christians at this time celebrated the Eucharist:

On the day we call the day of the sun [i.e. Sunday], all who dwell in the city or country gather in the same place.

The memoirs of the apostles and the writings of the prophets are read, as much as time permits. When the reader has finished, he who presides over those gathered admonishes and challenges them to imitate these beautiful things.

Then we all rise together and offer prayers for ourselves…and for all others, wherever they may be, so that we may be found righteous by our life and actions, and faithful to the commandments, so as to obtain eternal salvation. When the prayers are concluded we exchange the kiss.

Then someone brings bread and a cup of water and wine mixed together to him who presides over the brethren. He takes them and offers praise and glory to the Father of the universe, through the name of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and for a considerable time he gives thanks (he “eucharists”) that we have been judged worthy of these gifts. When he has concluded the prayers and thanksgivings, all present give voice to an acclamation by saying: “Amen!”

When he who presides has given thanks and the people have responded, those whom we call deacons give to those present the eucharisted bread, wine and water and take them to those who are absent.[2]

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Christianity in The Lord of the Rings

Listen to the following lecture given by Peter Kreeft that examines J. R. R. Tolkien's Catholic worldview that pervades The Lord of the Rings series of books. I must admit that I will not have the time in the near future to reread the books, but I am ready to watch the movies again!  

A related lecture by Dr. Kreeft discussing the Lord of the Rings can be found here: Fated and Free

Peter Kreeft is a professor of philosphy at Boston College and a popular Catholic speaker. He has also written a book entitled, The Philosophy of Tolkien: The worldview behind The Lord of the Rings.

The fellas over at Called to Communion have also had a few things to say about Tolkien:

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

“He crowns His own merits in us”

From Fr. Z's slavishly accurate blog.....
Link to Article

We need to be clear about something.

What we do on our own cannot obtain anything from God on its own merits. To paraphrase St. Augustine when God crowns our merits, He crowns His own merits in us.

St. Augustine of HippoWe have here a pairing of words which are, so to speak, two sides of the one and same coin: meritum and praemium.

Meritum or “merit” is the right to a reward (praemium) due to some work done. Supernatural merit is the right to a reward for a work God determines is good and which is done for His sake. This sort of work must be supernatural in its origin, that is, it is done under the influence of grace, and supernatural in its purpose. God alone is the source of supernatural good and therefore He must designate it as such.
Consider the consecration in Holy Mass which contains the command of Jesus at the Last Supper and His description of what His commands lead to. Christ tells us that consuming His Body and Blood are for eternal life (cf. John 6). He commanded His Apostles to do what he was doing. If we do what He commands for His sake and the reasons He described, then we merit the reward God designates. The vocabulary (devotio, servitus, meritum, praemium) boldly communicates the truth of our stance before God.

Non-Catholics often think that when Catholics talk about merit, we are saying we can earn salvation by performing good works.
The Church doesn’t teach this.

  The Council of Trent said that
“none of those things which precede justification, whether faith or works, merit the grace of justification; for if it is by grace, it is not now by works; otherwise, as the Apostle says, grace is no more grace” (13 January 1547 Session VI, Decree on Justification 8, cf. Rom 11:6).
Holy Church teaches that Christ alone merits anything in the strictest sense. Man by himself does not merit supernatural rewards (cf. CCC 2007).
When moved by grace we do those things God promised to reward (cf. Rom 2:6–11 and Gal 6:6–10). God’s grace and His promises are the source of all our merit (CCC 2008). We must make a distinction between condign merit, awarded because it is fully deserved and our action was proportioned to the reward, and congruent merit, awarded by God’s generosity for imperfect works.
The Bishop of Hippo St. Augustine (+430) eloquently teaches (ep. 194, 19 – read this out loud):
“What, therefore, before grace is man’s merit, by which merit he receives except by grace and since God crowns nothing other than His own gifts when He crowns our merits?”
The theology of this teaching, even the key phrase of Augustine, is in Preface “de sanctis” – (De gloria Sanctorum): “…et, eorum coronando merita, tua dona coronas….”

Clearly the Church continues faithfully to hold to her traditional theology of merit and grace.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Spirituality: What I've Learned from Pope Benedict XVI

From the Word on Fire Blog:

Today, Word on Fire guest blogger Brandon Vogt reflects upon his experience as a Catholic entirely under the papacy of Benedict XVI. 

Pope Benedict XVI is the only Pope I’ve known as a Catholic, which puts me in rare company. Some older Catholics living today have seen as many as seven pontiffs. A large number have witnessed a significant Church council and have experienced sweeping changes to the Church and the liturgy. But I’ve missed just about all of it. I was born way after Vatican II, have never worshipped in Latin, and count the current Pope as my lone Papa.

Before I became Catholic, I heard rumors and rumblings about Pope Benedict XVI (I was initially quite terrified to enter a Church led by “God’s Rottweiler.”) Because of these claims, I didn’t exactly focus too much on the pontiff. After all, my conversion came about because I was convinced of the Church, not of the man at her helm.

Yet once I entered the Church, many friends suggested I dig into his teachings for myself. I followed their advice, and was overwhelmed by what I found—an unmatched intellect, a passionate lover of Scripture, and a warrior battling against the ‘dictatorship of relativism.’ But of the many things I’ve learned from Benedict since then, three ideas have held particular weight: the centrality of encountering Christ, the proper interpretation of the Bible, and—though this one may be surprising—the gift and power of New Media.

First, anyone studying Benedict’s writings is bound to come across a recurring motif: that Christianity centers not on a philosophy, not on certain doctrines, not on morality, but on a personal relationship with Christ. The Pope has often reiterated that those other things certainly matter, but they aren’t central; they bloom out of an encounter with Jesus, but are not the “one thing needed” (Luke 10:42).

a recent speech to Filipino prelates, Benedict explained that their great mission was to “propose a personal relationship with Christ as the key to complete fulfillment.” The same theme pops up again in the Introduction to his new book, Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week: “I have attempted to develop a way of observing and listening to the Jesus of the Gospels that can indeed lead to a personal encounter.”

Coming from an Evangelical background, which stressed the importance of “knowing Jesus in a personal way,” I see the Pope as a solid bridge toward Evangelicals. And I’m not alone in believing that. During a roundtable discussion of Benedict’s most recent book, an esteemed Protestant scholar revealed that he would gladly assign the book for his seminary class, claiming that if the book didn’t have Pope Benedict’s name on the cover, his students would probably be unaware they were reading a Catholic book.

That’s not to say that Benedict XVI softens Catholicism for ecumenical purposes. Instead it testifies that he rightly understands the centrality of an intimate connection to Christ, a “mere Christianity” that most Protestants are comfortable with.

The second thing I’ve learned from the Holy Father regards the proper interpretation of Scripture. In his recent exhortation on the Word of God, 
Verbum DominiBenedict reiterated the proper place for Biblical interpretation: the Church. Just as I wouldn’t interpret The Lord of the Rings without consulting Tolkien’s intention, or discover the Constitution’s true meaning without heeding the Supreme Court, I can’t fully understand Scripture without the guidance of the Church.

Without proper interpretation, you get people claiming that Tolkien’s epic is really about race and class struggles, that the Constitution really supports abortion, and that the Bible really advocates infanticide and slavery. The Bible did, after all, develop within the Church’s own womb, and was passed down to us by her own hands. Benedict has shown me that since the same Spirit that inspired the Bible guides the Church today, we can look confidently to her leadings when interpreting the written Word.

Relatedly, the current Pope has long espoused a
hermeneutic of continuity which encourages Catholics to interpret things like Councils and Scripture in light of the Church’s entire rich tradition, not just certain, preferred parts of it. For instance, modern Biblical scholarship has provided many new insights into Scripture. But just because this scholarship is more modern doesn’t mean it holds more truth. A proper Catholic interpretation—a “continuous” one—measures modern insights against the Church Fathers, the writings of the Saints, the many Church councils, and past papal and episcopal teachings.

I think that being born after the extremes of pre- and post-Vatican II has made this "hermeneutic of continuity" easier for me to grasp. My young, recently-converted eyes see everything before 2008 as Church history, with little qualification. I’m not ideologically attached to the pre-Vatican ‘old church’ or to the post-Vatican ‘new one’ (and that’s no credit to me, only to my age.) The Councils of Nicaea, Trent, and Vatican II all speak to me from Church past. And I reach Pope John Paul II in the same way as Pope John XXIII, Pope St. Gregory the Great, and Pope St. Peter: only through history and prayer.

Finally, in research for 
my forthcoming book on the relationship between the Church and New Media, I’ve read a good deal of what Benedict has to say about technology. To my surprise, I’ve discovered that this 84-year old pontiff understands New Media’s power better than many of his younger, and presumably more tech-savvy contemporaries.

Over the last six years
, the Pope has used the annual World Communications Day to issue a short pastoral message regarding media use. A good portion of his words uniquely deal with the New Media we’re immersed in today—“a gift to humanity,” as Benedict describes them. Through these talks, he’s covered topics like the dangers of self-promotion, ministry in a digital world, and how to seek truth and authenticity in virtual life.

The Pope has been quick to point out the risks of New Media, as any prudent leader would. But he’s certainly no Luddite. Among all Church leaders he has been one of the most vocal in supporting New Media usage:
“Without fear we must set sail on the digital sea facing into the deep with the same passion that has governed the ship of the Church for two thousand years…(W)e want to qualify ourselves by living in the digital world with a believer’s heart, helping to give a soul to the Internet’s incessant flow of communication.”
 As only a poet could, Pope Benedict has also helped me to imagine the possibilities of New Media. When discussing these tools, the Pope says, “new horizons are now open that were, until recently, unimaginable…they stir our wonder at the possibilities.”
My wonder has definitely been stirred. With my Facebook profile, I have more social reach than St. Paul, Genghis Khan, Constantine, or Napoleon. I have more evangelistic potential than St. Augustine, St. Francis Xavier, or Fulton Sheen. But the Pope has encouraged Catholics that instead of being afraid of this potential and tightening our grip onto old ways of communicating, we should embrace these tools with creativity and energy.
Though I’ve only known one Pope so far, I don’t think any other could have influenced me quite the same way as Benedict has. He’s taught me to focus my gaze solely on the person of Jesus. He’s shown me that to understand the Word of God I must view it through the Church’s tradition, in all of its richness, depth, and history. And under the captaincy of my Papa—the “social-media Pope” —I’m sailing with a 2,000 year old Church into the heart of the online world.
 Brandon Vogt is a 24-year old Catholic writer who blogs at The Thin Veil. He is also the author of The Church and New Media: Blogging Converts, Online Activists, and Bishops who Tweet, which features a chapter by Fr. Robert Barron. The book will be released in August 2011 by Our Sunday Visitor. Brandon, his wonderful wife, Kathleen, and their two children, Isaiah and Teresa, live in Casselberry, FL.

Monday, April 4, 2011

If you have not had a chance to hear the recently released RSV-Catholic Edition audio Bible, follow the link below to hear St. Matthew's Gospel in its entirety for free!
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