Wheat and Tares

“Heaven” should not be understood only in the sense that it towers above us, because this infinite space also takes the form of human interiority. Jesus compares the Kingdom of Heaven to a field of wheat to enable us to understand that something small and hidden has been sown within us which, nevertheless, has an irrepressible vital force. In spite of all obstacles, the seed will develop and the fruit will ripen. This fruit will only be good if the terrain of life is cultivated in accordance with the divine will.
For this reason in the Parable of the Weeds [tares]

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Martha, Mary and Ill-Fated Marriage

Our Lady of Fatima purportedly revealed to young Jacinta that many marriages are not willed by God, the truth of which may be borne out by a mere cursory glance around the world. Today is the anniversary of what seem to have been two such ill-fated unions. On July 29th, 1565, Mary, Queen of Scots, married her first cousin, the dissolute ‘long lad’ Lord Darnley – he stood over six feet, tall for that age – with whom she was irrationally besotted. Mary had previously been the wife of Francis, the King of France, who was short and sort of

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Walking the Opeongo Line with Saint Ann

A brief note from the now-shuttered, yet still beautifully maintained, parish of Saint Joseph’s, on the Opeongo Line, as we, about 90 or so pilgrims, make our way from Our Lady of Fatima in Renfrew to the shrine of Saint Ann’s in Cormac. Begun by diocesan priest Father Scott Murray – a young and vigorous 32 year old with many more years of ministry ahead, currently pastor of Saint Anne’s in Mattawa, ironically enough – the pilgrimage is now in its fourth year, with each year adding more pilgrims to the ranks.
This is my first year and the walking has

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Peter of the Golden Words

Saint Peter Chrysologous (+450) was, as the traditional account has it, chosen bishop of Ravenna in 433 after the Pope, Sixtus III, had a vision of Saint Peter and Saint Apollinaris (former bishop of Ravenna) who pointed out a young man as the next episcopus. Soon afterwards, a group arrived in Rome from Ravenna, and amongst them the man –our saint – the Pope recognized from the vision, and so consecrated him bishop.
I must confess, this seems a more felicitous way of choosing good and worthy shepherds than whatever goes on behind the scenes today.
Peter was known as ‘doctor of

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Can Popes be Heretics?

Is the Pope a heretic? should sound like the beginning of a bad joke, but is a charge that has been made by a group of level-headed theologians. I was a bit taken aback by the claim, and thought a good place to find an answer is the current Code of Canon Law, which describes heresy as the obstinate denial or obstinate doubt after the reception of baptism of some truth which is to be believed by divine and Catholic faith.
Heresy, at its root, is an interior disposition of the mind and will, the holding of a false proposition, one

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Philip and Angie: Wedding Homily

On Saturday, I officiated at the wedding of Angie Scandale and Philip O’Reilly. The celebration would have been memorable for the music alone – the choir consisted of Philip’s past and present students from St. Andrew’s High School, where he teaches music, along with members of the choir of St. Andrew’s Cathedral.But for me, there was something even more beautiful than the exquisite music. I have known the groom since he was three years old and shared the life of his family just before I entered the seminary. In the O’Reilly’s living room I announced my decision to study for

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