Here, Father Steve Grunow offers his spiritual reflection on the great Saint and patron of Word on Fire, St. Therese of the Child Jesus, whose feast is celebrated by the Church today.
On September 30th, 1897, a young Carmelite nun living in France succumbed to the effects of tuberculosis, dying in obscurity, known only to her sisters in religious life.
Like many Carmelite nuns before her, Therese's death should have meant the culmination of a life of obscurity, freely chosen, so that one might disappear fully into the mission of the Church. Yet this particular Carmelite would prove different in this respect. Within years of her death, the spiritual autobiography of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus of the Holy Face would captivate the Church. Miracles attributed to her intercession began to be reported. In just a few decades after her death, the image of Therese of Lisieux would be immediately recognizable in the Catholic world. Canonization would soon follow. At the hundred year anniversary of her death, Pope John Paul II declared this formally obscure Carmelite nun to be one of the Doctors of the Church, a title given to only a privileged few of the Church’s saints. This title established Saint Therese as one of the Church’s great authorities in regards to the meaning and purpose of the Christian spiritual life...
On September 30th, the Church celebrates the witness of St. Jerome, priest, scholar and Doctor of the Church. Saint Jerome lived in the 4th century AD.
Saint Jerome was gifted with a brilliant mind that he surrendered to Christ. He allowed the Lord Jesus to use his intellectual gifts to further the mission of the Church. His greatest intellectual legacy is his Latin translation of the Bible. This translation allowed many people to read, study and listen to the Scriptures in a language that they could understand. It might be difficult for us to imagine that Latin used to be a common language, rather than something archaic, but when Jerome translated the Bible from Greek and Hebrew texts into Latin his goal was to make the Bible as accessible as possible to the culture of his time.,,
Recently, the Pew Forum published a survey on the level of religious knowledge across faith and denomination lines, and Archbishop Chaput of Denver delivered an address concerning what it means to be Catholic in the "Late Republic." Father Steve Grunow analyzes both articles here.
The juxtaposition of two articles struck me as significant. Archbishop Chaput of Denver recently delivered an address to the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars entitled, “Life in the Late Republic: The Catholic Role in America After Virtue."
The Archbishop’s remarks are for the most part concerning John Courtney Murray SJ. Quotes abstracted from a text written by Father Murray in 1940 leave quite an impression and give pause for much reflection. However, what struck me most about the speech was this gem from the Archbishop himself: “The people of Israel forgot their God because they weren’t taught. And if American Catholics no longer know their faith, or its obligations of discipleship, or its call to mission- then we leaders, parents and teachers have no one to blame but ourselves.” Also this: “The role of Catholics is exactly the opposite of what we’ve been doing for a half century or more- compromising too cheaply, assimilating, fitting in, fleeing from who we really are as believers; and in the process, being bleached out and digested by the culture we were sent to make holy"...
This past Sunday, Father Barron’s homily
on the biblical passage about the rich man and Lazarus demonstrated the way in which the rich man’s torment began because he locked himself in the narrow confines of his ego, going against his call to give. Continuing the reflection on this subject, a passage from Father Barron’s book, entitled Word on Fire: Proclaiming the Power of Christ, tells of St. Augustine in a similarly ironic predicament, his ego standing in the way of not only a proper charity toward his brother, but also, of a deeply honest and provocative assessment of self.
Read more on the Word on Fire Blog.
Father Barron and Word on Fire were featured in Crain's Chicago Business online magazine this week.
According to their website, "ChicagoBusiness.com is a portal that offers daily local business news, plus links to public records and hundreds of local and national business-oriented sites. As a result, it reaches a large business audience-thousands of established and up-and-coming executives visit ChicagoBusiness.com every day looking for the information they need to do business in Chicago."
Crain's Chicago Business article