The Pharisee, it must be admitted, is a quite good man: hard working, not sleeping around, honest, prayerful, and, perhaps most endearing to a pastor, he gives ten percent right off the top. If we had a hundred of them in Holy Family, we would be in great shape.
Unfortunately, the devil will allow us to conquer any vice, if we maintain the ugliest one - pride. He won't bother us with impure thoughts, anger, sloth, so long as he can keep us thinking how much better we are than the rest of men. We Americans are pretty good people. For that very reason, it is easy for us to slide into a sense of superiority. I don't know if what C.S. Lewis says about pets is true, but is it completely without significance that our favorite by far is the cat? They outnumber dogs three to one in U.S. households.
I am writing this homily in country where the opposite holds. Most families here own a dog (altho not a house dog) but very few have cats. These past three days, I accompanied members of the Mary Bloom Center to deliver some assistance to a remote community affected by the June 23 earthquake. On the way we ran into an elderly lady who lives alone in a small hut. High in the Andes Mountains she pastors a few alpacas. Her helper, and only companion, is a dog with whom she shares her meager food. We handed her two shopping bags containing rice, sugar, tuna fish and pasta. As we left I gave her a blessing, tracing the cross on her forehead. She took my hand and held it to her lips. That humble woman gave me a profound blessing - and a lesson in humility.
When we finally arrived at our destination, some community leaders took me to see their chapel. On the wall, they had posted a sign about the importance of solidarity. Certainly, we, who have been blessed with so many material advantages, need to share with the poor. At the same time, we know they have a special place in God's heart. As Sirach said in our first reading:
Though not unduly partial toward the weak,
yet he hears the cry of the oppressed.
The Lord is not deaf to the wail of the orphan,
nor to the widow when she pours out her complaint.
Report on Earthquake Relief to Sacuaya (October 22, 2001)
Catholic Bishops' Conference President Issues Statement on Military Action
Bulletin (Excommunicating Pro-Abortion Politicians, Archbishop's Respect Life Statement)
From Archives (Homilies for Thirtieth Sunday, Year C):
Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C
Audio Files of Homilies (Simple Catholicism Blog)
Are these homilies a help to you? Please consider making a donation to St. Mary of the Valley Parish.
Bishop Bob Barron's Homilies
Fr. Brad's Homilies
Fr. Jim's Homilies
Fr. Michael White's Homilies ("messages")
Bulletin (St. Mary's Parish)
Parish Picture Album
Evidence for God's Existence from Modern Physics(MP3 Audio File)
Resources for Geography of Faith
Parish Picture Album
Pictures from Peru
40 Days for Life (September 26 - November 4)
Patients and Students Helped by Mary Bloom Center
Visit to Site of Peruvian Meteorite
Oct 8, 2007 (three weeks after impact) C
Bulletin (Impressions of Guadalajara, Ambassador Flynn challenges Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger)
Picutres from International Eucharistic Congress - Guadalajara, October 10-17, 2004
Kerry Misleads Nation on Catholicism
Our Mystical Candidates
Big Tent Trumps Culture of Life
Giving A Platform To Your Enemies?
Pope Warns of "Threatening Shadows" in Sunday Opening of Eucharistic Year
Reactions to David Morrison's Talk at Gonzaga University:
Asked whether he still supported the gay community in their efforts to gain civil unions and adoption rights, he replied that he did not. When asked whether God had "made a mistake in making [him] gay," Morrison responded that he didn't believe God had made him gay and that his same sex attraction was the result of earlier life experiences.
MBC - Mary Bloom Center, Puno, Peru
Pope in Georgia blasts gender theory as the 'great enemy' of marriage
Review of Roe
KRA's & SMART Goals (updated October 1, 2016)