Saturday, March 24, 2012

During his flight from Rome to Mexico today, Pope Benedict VI spoke with the press onboard the plane. When asked what the Church can do to help combat the serious drug-trafficking problem in Mexico, the Pope responded with a helpful reflection for all of us to consider, especially during an election year.
"The Church must of course ask if she does enough for social justice on that great continent", the Pope replied. "It is a question of conscience which we must always pose ourselves. ... What must the Church do? What can she not do? What must she not do? The Church is not a political power, she is not a party but a moral entity, a moral power. The Church's first concern is to educate minds in both individual and public ethics, thus creating the necessary sense of responsibility. Here perhaps there are some shortcomings. In Latin America, as elsewhere, no small number of Catholics show a kind of schizophrenia between individual and public morals. ... We must educate people to overcome this schizophrenia, educate them not only in ... individual morality, but also in public morality. This we must seek to do with the social doctrine of the Church because, of course, such public morality must be a reasonable morality, shared and shareable by non believers. We, of course, in the light of faith can better see many things that are also visible to reason, but it is faith which serves to liberate reason from the false interests that cloud it. Thus we must use social doctrine to create fundamental policy models, and so ... overcome these divisions".
Msgr. William J. King
Freedom of worship versus freedom of religion: Words are powerful tools. They can inflict lifelong emotional scars, and can warm the coldest of hearts. They can also form culture and mold public opinion. “Pro-choice” was a decided use of words to move public opinion. Its emotional impact is softer than “pro-abortion.” The media refuses to use the term “pro-life advocates” but instead refers always to “anti-abortion advocates” because words form public opinion and mold cultural shifts. Beware of a deliberate choice of words now being used to form the public mind. Increasingly we hear from government officials and the media that the USA supports “freedom of worship.” However, this is very different than “freedom of religion.”

Cardinal Francis George, Archbishop of Chicago, commented on this change in language. “The… rhetorical shift from supporting 'freedom of religion' to 'freedom of worship' paralleled an earlier shift in Russia," he said. "'Freedom of worship was guaranteed in the Constitution of the former Soviet Union,” Cardinal George said. “You could go to church, if you could find one. The church, however, could do nothing except conduct religious rites in places of worship-no schools, religious publications, health care institutions, organized charity, ministry for justice and the works of mercy that flow naturally from a living faith. All of these were co-opted by the government. We fought a long Cold War to defeat that vision of society.”
Msgr. William J. King

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The gospel tells us that Nicodemus came to Jesus at night. Jesus challenged him to open himself to the light. A little poem by the Jesuit priest John Foley may capture the message of Jesus that “the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light.” (Lord, help me to open more and more of myself to Your light.)
Once there was a city built in the sunlight.
Warmth and laughter abounded.
Memories of day would remain every night
until the sun could return.
Fear one morning said light is too bright.
Too much truth can be seen.
How can we seem what we say we are
if light the intruder is here?
So walls went up and a ban on all windows
and nothing of day could remain.
The city said, you have left us, O sun.
In the darkness we have gone blind.
But the sun outside still shed its light,
and its warmth and its laughter and love.
It lightened the walls
and gave warmth to their chill,
while within, the soul bored a hole.
Into it poured a single beam,
a sunlight of laughter and care.
Softly, silently, almost like spring,
love opened and blossomed and grew.
Msgr. William J. King
Matthew 5 — Jesus said to his disciples: "Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them.” We don’t typically speak of “fulfilling” the law, but of “observing” it. If I stop at a red light, as the traffic laws say I must, have I ”fulfilled” that law or merely observed it? If I refrain from texting while driving, have I “fulfilled” that law, or merely observed it? Jesus spoke of fulfilling the law, not observing it, and noted that He would be the fulfillment of the law. A Law School professor of mine taught that the best way to interpret a law was to seek the fundamental value behind it, and having articulated that value, use it as a lens through which the law should be applied. In this sense, Jesus provided a fulfillment of the law of Moses, for repeatedly He urged His listeners to go beyond the letter of the law to recognize the values represented in each law. He invited us to see beyond the letter of the law to recognize the God whose justice provides the context of all laws. Jesus embodies the very values which undergird the Mosaic law and covenant, and in this sense He “fulfills” the law. Observing a law is obedience; fulfilling the law is commitment! Lord, help me to move beyond mere obedience to Your promptings in my life, to be fully committed and fully surrendered to Your loving and holy will.
Msgr. William J. King

Monday, March 12, 2012

Think the media is portraying the US Department of Health and Human Services contraceptive mandate accurately? Have you heard any coverage of this: the only category of drugs which, under federal mandate, must be provided without co-pay or deductible is contraceptives. Though an insulin-dependent diabetic will perish without insulin or other anti-hyperglycemic therapy, there is no similar mandate to provide it to the patient. Though a patient with severe heart arrhythmia will die without medical therapy, there is no federal mandate to provide it without cost. Life-saving medicines for a cancer patient? No mandate. Think the administration cares as much about an asthmatic having access to an inhalant, without which she may die, or an epilectic having access to anti-seizure medications, as it does about drugs that support sexual freedom? Think again.
Drugs that are required to save lives – without which the patient will certainly die – are not required to be provided to patients without cost. Contraceptives, which are not lifesaving drugs required for survival, uniquely enjoy the mandate to be provided at no cost. The HHS mandate is about ideology, not good medicine!
Have you heard this reported anywhere? Why not?
Msgr. William J. King
Media bias has always existed, but it seems that the filtering or selection of coverage today is more widespread and more obvious than at any other time. We do not hear of events such as the following story: yesterday, in the central Nigerian city of Jos, at least 10 people were killed after a Catholic church was targeted by suicide car bombers while Mass was being celebrated in the church. This type of religious hatred is ongoing in many parts of the world, where Christians are being driven out of their homes and killed while at prayer. The rampant persecution of Christians is not deserving of media play, though it should be deserving of our attention as fellow Believers. Martyrs don't come from the First Century only, but from today when we are bold enough in our faith to stand up for Jesus and the Gospel despite the probability of misunderstanding, argument, and persecution. In the US, that's all we need fear, but around the world, being known as a Believer in Jesus can mean death.
Msgr. William J. King
II Kings 5: The leper Naaman visits the prophet Elisha in Samaria, but is discouraged when the prophet asks him simply to bathe in the Jordan river seven times. Naaman’s servants ask him, "If the prophet had told you to do something extraordinary, would you not have done it?” and urge him to do the simple, ordinary thing that the prophet asked. Ours is a faith of ordinary things. We’re not asked to make a pilgrimage to the far side of the earth, or to make sacrifices of bulls and sheep, or proclaim lengthy prayers. We’re not asked to do extraordinary things. The discipline of Lent calls us back to a simple faith, asking us to see God’s purpose and goodness in the ordinary and uncomplicated things. The discipline of Lent invites us to unclutter our lives and souls for 40 days, seeing the extraordinary goodness of God in the most ordinary things (and people) of life. If God had asked us to do something extraordinary we would do it; why not give in and do the ordinary things in a most extraordinary way.
Msgr. William J. King

Sunday, March 11, 2012

John 2: “Jesus…found in the temple area those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves, as well as the money changers seated there. He made a whip out of cords and drove them all out of the temple area.” Zeal !!! John breathlessly tells us this story (the first half of the full passage is only one sentence in the Greek original of the gospel) because he wants us to understand the zeal with which Jesus drove away from the temple area anything that was not of God. With the same zeal, Jesus wants to enter our hearts and drive out anything that keeps us from knowing and drinking deeply of the immensity of the Father’s love. We fill our lives with many things that are not of God, and Jesus wants to drive them away. Let’s allow Him to cleanse us of our idols, of anything at all that takes us away from the immensity and simplicity of God’s love.
March 11, 2012 
Msgr. William J. King
An excellent defense of marriage by the former Master General of the Dominican Order: "Gay marriage would be like trying to make a cheese soufflé without the cheese, or wine without grapes." Rev. Timothy Radcliffe, O.P.

The Catholic Church does not oppose gay marriage. It considers it to be impossible. If it were possible, then we would have to support it since the Church tells us that we must oppose all discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The issue is not gay rights but a wonderful truth of our humanity, which is that we are animals: rational animals according to the medievals, spiritual animals open to sharing the life of God.

In the sacraments, the fundamental dramas of our bodily life are blessed and become open to God’s grace: birth and death, eating and drinking, sex and illness. St Thomas Aquinas says that grace perfects nature and does not destroy it.

Marriage is founded on the glorious fact of sexual difference and its potential fertility. Without this, there would be no life on this planet, no evolution, no human beings, no future. Marriage takes all sorts of forms, from the alliance of clans through bride exchange to modern romantic love. We have come to see that it implies the equal love and dignity of man and woman. But everywhere and always, it remains founded on the union in difference of male and female. Through ­ceremonies and sacrament this is given a deeper meaning, which for Christians includes the union of God and humanity in Christ.

This is not to denigrate committed love of people of the same sex. This too should be cherished and supported, which is why church leaders are slowly coming to support same-sex civil unions. The God of love can be present in every true love. But “gay marriage” is impossible because it attempts to cut loose marriage from its grounding in our biological life. If we do that, we deny our humanity. It would be like trying to make a cheese soufflĂ© without the cheese, or wine without grapes.

From the beginning, Christianity has stood up for the beauty and dignity of our bodily life, blessed by our God who became flesh and blood like us. This has always seemed a little scandalous to “spiritual” people, who think that we should escape the messy realities of bodies. And so the Church had to oppose Gnosticism in the second century, Manichaeism in the fourth, Catharism in the thirteenth. These all either had contempt for the body or regarded it as unimportant.

We, too, influenced as we are by Cartesianism, tend to think of ourselves as minds trapped in bodies, ghosts in machines. A friend said to me the other day: “I am a soul, but I have a body.” But the Catholic trad­ition has always insisted on the fundamental unity of the human person. Aquinas famously said: “I am not my soul.”

We cannot simply decide by some mental or legal act what it means to be a human being. Our civilisation will flourish only if it recognises the gift of our bodily existence, which includes the amazing creativity of sexual difference, lifted up into love.
March 11, 2012
Msgr. William J. King
Genesis 37 — "Israel loved Joseph best of all his sons, for he was the child of his old age; and he had made him a long tunic. When his brothers saw that their father loved him best of all his sons, they hated him so much that they would not even greet him." Resentment can exert a powerful and unrelenting grip on us. The word itself is revealing: it literally means to "re-feel" (in Latin, re+sentire). When I resent, I feel anew the emotions of a past hurt, and research into neuroscience tells us what we already know: not only my memories but my emotions are reinforced every time I re-feel that hurt. Contrast this with the promise of God, to give us a new heart and a new mind.
What's the antidote to resentment? If I can't bring myself to forgive and move on, I can ask Jesus to enter my heart and mind, showing me how He would forgive. If I replay Jesus' forgiveness in my mind as much as I would have thought of the painful memory in my own way, I am quite literally allowing God to reformulate the neuronal connections that make up that memory, allowing God to give me a new way of remembering that event. Resentment – re-feeling or replaying the hurt – gives way to a new way of looking at the same events and people, through the eyes and with the heart of Jesus.
March 9, 2012
Msgr. William J. King
This morning internationally-known author and speaker Christopher West spoke on campus at Messiah College about Pope John Paul II's "theology of the body." It was well-received. The students were grateful to hear a novel and refreshing approach to human sexuality that affirms the goodness and dignity of the human body, the human person, and human sexuality. Later this afternoon I sat with another priest, several diocesan staff, and 2 Ob/Gyn's as we recorded a roundtable conversation about Catholic teaching on family planning and how it is practiced in the medical setting. It's amazing how chemical contraception has become the accepted standard of care despite its many detrimental effects on the human body and its increase in cancer risk (the World Health Organization classified oral contraceptives as a Class I carginogen and, gosh, we don't hear about that from the secular media or our federal government). Medicine and family planning don't have to be degrading to women, reducing their bodies to sexual objects without further meaning -- they can respect God's goodness in the human person and respect the woman as a whole person, body and soul, in mature and loving relationship with a man. As the "theology of the body" affirms, our bodies -- male and female -- are not only biological, they are theological, revealing the wonder of a loving Creator. Medicine, too, is practiced best when it cooperates with the Creators' plan and doesn't suppress it. So, I guess I sat around and talked about sex all day!
March 8, 20112
Msgr. William J. King
Luke 16: "The rich man also died and was buried, and from the netherworld, where he was in torment, he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he cried out, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me. Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am suffering torment in these flames.'" Hell and damnation are not things we hear much of these days. We prefer to hear about God's love rather than God's justice. However, Jesus spoke enough about Hell and punishment that we can't ignore it! Avoiding sin out of love of God is a far better thing that doing so out of fear of God. This is why the Church has long taught that repentance from sin out of the fear of God is an "imperfect act of contrition," whereas repentance out of love of God is a "perfect act of contrition." However, where love of God isn't enough to cause a change of heart, remember that there is a Hell. To love God is far better, but to fear God is enough to turn away from sin.
March 8, 2012
Msgr. William J. King
From Jeremiah 18: "Come, let us contrive a plot against Jeremiah. It will not mean the loss of instruction from the priests, nor of counsel from the wise, nor of messages from the prophets.” Jeremiah never wanted to be a prophet, and it turns out the people didn’t want him to be one either. Why? Because his words made them uncomfortable. He told the truth and they did not want to hear it. So, their solution was to get rid of him. The people said, we’ll still have the priests, whose sermons tell us how good we are; we’ll still have the wise persons, who reminds us we’re on the right path; we’ll still have the prophets, who tell us everything will be okay. Sometimes, however, God’s clearest words are the very ones that make us uncomfortable, words that make us squirm in our seats. Sometimes it’s God who is not the consoler, but the vineyard owner who is pruning, the shepherd who is seizing us and bringing us back, the deliverer whose strong words dispel evil, the parable-teller whose lesson is for me! Lent may be the occasion to ask what parts of God’s Word, and what parts of the Church’s doctrine, do I just want to ignore or make go away because it makes me uncomfortable and makes me squirm. Do I just want the priests, the wise ones, and the prophets to tell me that everything is fine and that I’m a great person? Do I pick and choose what I will apply in my life? Do I just want Jeremiah to go away?
March 7, 2012
Msgr. William J. King
Last week, during the first full week of Lent, the Bible readings at daily Mass focused on change. We can change, by God's Grace. This week, the readings focus on sin. Now that I am reminded that I CAN change, WHAT should I change? Last week's Bible readings focused on God's kind mercy; this week we focus on our own weakness and the evil we sometimes choose. (Lord, show me my sins and what remains unconverted in my heart. Then hold me anew in Your strong embrace that I may have the courage to cast away my sins and live for You alone.)
March 5, 2012
Msgr. William J. King
It's been said that no politician in the US today could be elected without a substantial portion of "the Catholic vote." What would happen if every Catholic voter sent a Mass Card to the US President and to their federal Senators and Representative, and told them "I am Catholic and I vote, and I have asked that Mass be offered for the intention of your conversion of heart."
March 3, 2012
 Msgr. William J. King
Foes of the Church would like nothing more than to redirect the current debate over regulatory mandates of the Department of Health and Human Services into a public debate over contraceptives. That would divert attention from the real issue. The real issue is the attempt by one branch of the federal government to redefine what constitutes a religious body and its charitable or faith-based works. The effort is a choking circumscription that removes almost all faith-based organizations from the definition of a religious employer.

Under the definitions of the HHS mandate, no organization can claim exemption as a religious employer if it provides services to persons other than adherents to its own faith. Were this attempt to confine religion not so serious in its implications, it would be almost comical to see the current administration lecture the Catholic Church on health care issues, especially women’s health care. Although Catholic healthcare systems are by far the largest private provider of medical services to women and babies in the United States (sorry, in the world), the present administration does not think that they are religious in identity. And this is because Catholic hospitals don’t turn away the ambulance from the Emergency Department just because the patient is not Catholic.

It’s not a women’s issue either. Centuries ago, when society believed that women had no place receiving education or participating in commerce, Catholic women were founding and administering hospitals and orphanages, human service networks, colleges and universities. And this was done precisely because of our religious identity and purpose, not despite it. The same women administered the business of large religious Orders – hundreds, and often thousands, of women who joined together to teach, to heal, to serve the poor for one reason only: for love of God and service in God’s name. Some of these very hospitals and healthcare systems, together with some of these very charitable and social service organizations, are now being told by the administration that they are not religious in nature (or at least cannot claim a religious exemption to the HHS mandate).

The issue at hand is not contraceptives; it is what defines a religious body and its faith-based works, for purposes of federal regulatory mandates. The first issue is about a government demand that they pay for contraceptives, including abortion-inducing drugs. What is the next issue? For persons of any religious background this attempt to whittle away at what constitutes a religious body ought to be chilling for what it represents: government intrusion into the very definition of religion. At some point a line must be drawn, and many believe that this is that point.

In other words, Catholics have always put our faith into action, but the current administration believes that by doing so, we no longer qualify as a religious body. In the past, some Catholic politicians sacrificed their beliefs on the altar of public opinion by saying that they were “personally opposed” to certain actions (especially abortion) but would not allow their religious beliefs to influence political decisions and votes. The current administrative mandate takes this one bold step forward: no religious employer is permitted to put their religious beliefs into action. Only if you keep your faith indoors where no one will see it will you continue to qualify as a religion.

Do you understand now what the real issue is? Do you understand now why the Catholic bishops are so upset by this?

The very reason Catholic healthcare treats persons of all faiths, and those of no faith whatsoever, is precisely because of our religious beliefs and our religious identity. We heal the sick of all faiths, because our faith teaches us to value all human life. We clothe and feed the poor of all faiths precisely because our faith respects the dignity of every human person. We educate students young and old of every faith because we value opening every mind to the wonders of God’s creation. And these same values lead us also to the moral conclusion that the taking of human life through abortion or abortion-inducing drugs is fundamentally opposed to the dignity of a human person created by God. The same values lead us to conclude that human sexuality, with its participation in God’s creation of human life, is a gift to be valued and honored, not treated with casual disregard or devalued as merely animal-like lust.

It is irrelevant whether one accepts or questions the Catholic moral conclusion that insists on never separating the “unitive” and “procreative” aspects of human sexuality, such that the intimate sexual bond of husband and wife is never very far from the power to create human life. That is a red herring in the larger context of government whittling away at what constitutes religion in public policy. To understand this larger reality will lead people of all faiths to the conclusion reached by Baptist minister and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, “In this matter, we’re all Catholics.”

Despite a promise of accommodation by the United States President, the final ruling did not change a word. The White House has notified Congress that the mandate has been entered into the Federal Registry “without change.” Despite an invitation to “work out the wrinkles,” the President immediately placed the mandate into practice as a matter of administrative regulation.

If you’re upset by this, please be upset enough to call, write, or visit your federal legislators to insist that they represent your interests in this, and insist that they pass legislation by a veto-proof majority that will prevent government from redefining what constitutes religion and that protects religious freedom.
March 3, 2012
Msgr. William J. King

Friday, March 2, 2012

At the Messiah College Newman Club meeting tonight, Father Ed Malesic held the rapt attention of about 20 students and staff during an animated presentation. Now that we've been using the new translation of the Roman Missal for a few months, he gave an explanation and led a discussion of the translation. Good questions came from the students. The Newman Club started as a "support group" for Catholics who frequently faced anti-Catholic bias in the classroom. Although some of that still exists, open conversation is eroding prejudicial attitudes on both sides, and the campus environment is a healthy place for solid spiritual growth. Today, the Newman Club is a Campus Ministry with social and spiritual and service components, involving activities on and off campus, with the centerpiece being weekly Mass attendance at Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton church. The parish considers the students to be valued members, always grateful to welcome them back after a break and to benefit from their presence as part of the family.
Msgr. William J. King 
Every commercial break on tv or radio brings us 5 or 6 things we can do, or items to purchase, in order to be more perfect. Hair coloring, shampoo, skin products, makeup, antiperspirants, painkillers, remedies for everything from dandruff to athlete's foot, hemmorhoids and erectile dysfunction! Today, however, as Christians we receive ashes, a mark of imperfection, on our foreheads and we silently announce to the world, "I am not perfect." Indeed, precisely because of my flaws and sins I need a savior. Precisely because of my flaws I have space for Jesus to enter my life. Precisely because of my sins I know that I need the Grace of God. So, today we are proudly counter-cultural and display for all the world to see, "I am imperfect and thankful for it!" Lord, help me to see my every flaw not as a reason for sorrow but for opportunity -- the opportunity for you to enter my life in new ways. Help me to see my weaknesses as reminders of my need for You.
Msgr. William J. King
For Jesus, 40 days in the desert before His public ministry was a time of refocusing on what was essential. We celebrate the cycle of nature and rhythm of life by the Church's liturgical year. Annually we're given 40 days to do as Jesus did, purify and refocus. If we "give up" something for Lent the whole purpose is to simplify, to remind ourselvces how little we truly need if we depend on God for everything. 40 days of invitations to live a simpler life, to spend more time in prayer with the Lord, to act on our love for others -- a truly radical lifestyle by today's standards. The world conspires to dissipate our energies, our goals, our time -- our spirit. Lent invites us to let go of whatever distracts us from the truly essential things: love God, love your neighbor. 40 days: you can do it.
Msgr. William J. King
Mark 2: 1-12 — 4 friends carry a paralytic man to the home where Jesus is preaching. The crowd prevents them from entering through the door, so they open the roof and lower the man on his mat. Let’s rewrite the narrative: 4 friends hear that the new rabbi is back in town, and – since there’s nothing good on television that evening – decide to go over and listen to him. On the way they pass by a paralyzed man lying on his mat and begging for alms. He asks where they are going, and says, “I sure wish I could get there, but I can’t.” The 4 friends reply, “Don’t worry, if it’s any good we’ll tell you what he says,” and they continue on their way. Returning, they see the man still on the side of the street. “How was it,” he asked the men. “Pretty good. He talked about loving God and loving your neighbor.” They added, “Too bad you couldn’t get there; you know, the church really should do something about providing transportation for the disabled.” They went home, happy that they had done something religious that day.
So, what Church program exists today to help people like this paralytic? YOU! YOU are God’s program to address poverty, justice, and care for those in need. YOU are God’s program for evangelization. YOU are God’s program for transforming society. Every day God places in front of you opportunities to love and be loved. Just open your eyes to the projects God places in your path today, and do them, because He doesn’t just give opportunities, He gives grace and strength to meet those opportunities.
Msgr. William J. King
The news channels have been filled in recent days with scenes of shelling and gunfire in the Syrian city of Homs. It could be any city, because past months and years have seemingly daily brought us similar scenes from one city after another. We have become de-sensitized to seeing destruction and hearing of violence. It seems to provide the background noise of everyday life anymore. It wasn’t always so.

The destruction of one capital city centuries ago brought the world to shocked silence as it learned of its utter destruction. The contemporary historian Flavius Josephus, writing just five years after the events, provides a riveting chronicle of the destruction of Jerusalem in the year 70.

The Roman General Titus had long lain siege to the city. The stench of decaying bodies was said to be intolerable, sickening all who passed near the city. When few were left to defend it, Titus completed the ordeal, utterly destroying the city and leaving it in complete desolation. A triumphal column was left by the Tenth Roman Legion amidst the ruins, extolling the victory of Titus and honoring Emperor Caesar Vespasian Augustus.

Titus allowed three towers to remain standing, so that all would see what a great city Jerusalem had been, now fallen under the might of the Roman Legion. The rest of the city was reduced to rubble, not one stone resting atop another, except for the Western wall of the Temple. That wall is still today called the “wailing wall” for the cries of suffering and despair that followed the destruction of Jerusalem.

The great capital city built by King David and strengthened by King Solomon, with its wondrous Temple, , was gone. Where the Queen of Sheba had shaken her head at the glories of Jerusalem, nothing remained. The streets where prophets had walked, where schools of rabbis had taught, where great commerce had been conducted daily and deals brokered, were all destroyed. In the rubble nothing was recognizable. Nothing was left.

The few who dared come near the city wandered hopelessly, for their eyes could alight on nothing hopeful, only devastation and death surrounding them everywhere they looked or walked.

In the midst of this, one man dared place contrary thoughts into writing. To a people for whom bad news greeted every turn or thought, for whom every memory recounted the end of their way of life and the loss of a future, Mark directed his Gospel to them, with its opening line: “The beginning of the Good News of Jesus Christ.”

Immediately, Jesus proclaims and makes real His Good News, but asks each person He encounters to keep it a secret. His mission in Mark’s understanding is not to preach to a global economy about a new world order. His mission is to touch the heart and mind and soul of one person at a time. With new hearts, those persons will evangelize others. In time, the world will be changed, but it all begins in the deep recesses of one person’s life. His mission is to provide each person He meets with a new beginning.

Today, there may be much that tries to convince us that only bad news surrounds us and pervades our world. We may worry that society has lost its direction, its moral compass. We may have deep concern about the tensions that exist on a global scale, and the fight to maintain our Christian conscience in a land of liberty. With anxiety we may look at those close to us and worry for them and their future.

It is precisely in the midst of our worry and fear that we should remember the hopeful voice of the Gospel of Mark, “The beginning of the Good News of Jesus Christ.” Will you be the next He will approach in His mission to change hearts and lives? If so, open your heart and soul to Him and hear anew the beginning of Good News for you.
Msgr. William J. King
I am the pastor of a Catholic parish. It is easy and unchallenging to offer a homily every Sunday that is never challenging, but tells people that "You are wonderful just the way you are." A former seminary professor of mine, Cardinal John Foley, told us, "The role of the priest in his homily is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable." There are times when I give a challenging homily that makes people stand up and walk out of church. I'm never comfortable with that, because I seldom have the opportunity to look that person in the eye and converse about the issues. So each week I choose whether God asks me to challenge His people or comfort His people. Am I the coward if I never challenge from the pulpit, or is the coward the one who walks away silenly without challenging me?
Msgr. William J. King
"I want you to kill Mary." No, I will not. That is against my conscience. "Okay, I will make an accommodation: I want you to pay Bob to kill Mary." Are we supposed to think that is suddenly a morally acceptable accommodation?
Msgr. William J. King
Reported under the headline, "White House WIlling to Deal on Contraception," the following is written: "Signaling possible room for compromise on the issue, David Axelrod said such religious institutions have a grace period to find a way to include health insurance coverage for contraception as part of the U.S. healthcare overhaul without going against Catholic Church doctrine." Sooooo, let me see, "compromise" means "we'll give you more time to comply?" If the moral doctrine has outlived regimes from caesars to emperors to kings, dictators, and presidents, why does this regime think it will change if they give us another year to comply?

Read more at:
The Obama administration is willing to work with Catholic universities and hospitals in implementing new rules that requi...
Msgr. William J. King