Five Faith Friday

Here is this week's installment of "Five Faith Friday" which contains five, faith-based things I found interesting and am sharing on Friday.

Happy Easter! Christ is risen!

What Quote I'm Reflecting On --
"All my time is free!" from Saint Pope John Paul II. In Jason Evert's "Saint John Paul the Great: His Five Loves" book which is one of my favorite books (and it isn't just me - it has 4.9 out of 5 stars across 339 ratings on Amazon) I read:

  • Commenting on John Paul's rigorous daily schedule, a reporter once asked him, "Holy Father, when do you get some free time?" He answered with a smile, saying, "All my time is free!"

Isn't that the truth though? We pick and choose exactly how we spend our time and prioritize what is important to us. The book also says:

  • When asked why his travel schedule was so intense, the Holy Father replied, "The more difficult the life of people, families, societies, the world is, the more it is necessary to create in their mind an image of the Good Shepherd, who 'lays down his life for the hseep.'" He added, "The more ready you are to give yourselves to God and to others, the more you will discover the authentic meaning of life."

Where do you spend your time? Is any of it in bringing yourself and others closer to God? Is any of it in serving others?

Which Statement Was Eye Opening --
"Statement on the Reception of Holy Communion by Those Who Persist in Public Grave Sin" by Cardinal Raymond Burke, the former Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura who is a Doctor of Canon Law. His statement declares that those who “publicly and obstinately violate the moral law” are in a state of apostasy, automatically excommunicated, and thus must not be permitted to receive Holy Communion. Those are some strong words and polarizing consequences. I have a hard time believing that this was not directed, at least in part, to President Biden and other prominent Catholic politicians. There was a really detailed review from Pew Research on "U.S. Catholics divided by party on whether Biden should be denied Communion over his abortion stance" that compliments this topic well and the statistics in the article are fascinating if you are a data person.

What I Researched --
Given the previous section, I decided to investigate what Church teaching is around receiving the Blessed Sacrament while in a state of mortal sin. Canon Law says:

  • "A person who is conscious of grave sin is not to celebrate Mass or receive the body of the Lord without previous sacramental confession unless there is a grave reason and there is no opportunity to confess; in this case the person is to remember the obligation to make an act of perfect contrition which includes the resolution of confessing as soon as possible." (Code of Canon Law 916)

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says:

  • "The Lord addresses an invitation to us, urging us to receive him in the sacrament of the Eucharist: "Truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you."" (CCC 1384)

And goes onto say in the next section:

  • "To respond to this invitation we must prepare ourselves for so great and so holy a moment. St. Paul urges us to examine our conscience: "Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself." Anyone conscious of a grave sin must receive the sacrament of Reconciliation before coming to communion." (CCC 1385)

What I Watched --
"Christianity or Atheism?" Alex J. O’Connor, prominent atheist and founder of the Cosmic Skeptic YouTube channel, podcast and blog, platforms converses with Bishop Robert Barron (as moderated by Justin Brierley, Host of "Unbelievable?") who is the auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. I first watched Alex debate Trent Horn on the Pints With Aquinas Show on God's Existence and while that was very well done, this augmented it very nicely in a moderated debate style format.

What Book I Read --
"Hope to Die: The Christian Meaning of Death and the Resurrection of the Body" by Scott Hahn. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, especially on the history of being buried vs. cremation. Dr. Hahn summarizes the Church's position on cremation as such: “It does not approve of cremation; it permits it. It does not permit the scattering of ashes or their retention in homes; it forbids it. It considers burial the most fitting way to care for the bodies of the dead until they rise again on the last day and urges us to follow that recommendation.” If you'd like to learn more in audio format, check out an interview he did with Bishop Strickland titled "Hope to Die | Dr. Scott Hahn | Episode 32."

Have a wonderful weekend and may God bless you and your family!


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