Pope St. Pius V and John 3:16 in Action

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. (from the gospel at today’s Holy Mass)

At the beginning of today’s Mass, we acknowledged that God provided us with Pope St. Pius V so that, among other things, we might “offer more fitting worship.”

Pius V in Santa Maria Maggiore
Pius V in Santa Maria Maggiore

Like the pope saints canonized this past Sunday, Pope St. Pius V led the Church in the wake of an ecumenical council. Like Vatican II, the Council of Trent aimed at reforming the Church and re-focusing the sacred ministers and the faithful on the fundamentals, the essentials of the Catholic religion.

Certainly our Liturgy ranks as the most fundamental of all the fundamentals, the most essential of all the essentials. And isn’t the worship of the Catholic Church really our united celebration of the truth of John 3:16?

If I might, let me quote the Catechism:

catechismBlessing is a divine and life-giving action, the source of which is the Father…When applied to man, the word ‘blessing’ means adoration and surrender to his Creator in thanksgiving. From the beginning until the end of time, the whole of God’s work is a blessing…In the Church’s liturgy the divine blessing is fully revealed and communicated. The Father is acknowledged and adored as the source and the end of all the blessings of creation and salvation. In his Word who became incarnate, died, and rose for us, he fills us with his blessings…The Church, united with her Lord, …blesses the Father ‘for his inexpressible gift’ in her adoration, praise, and thanksgiving. (CCC 1078-1083)

God so loved us, that He chose us to celebrate His blessing, week in and week out, in church. For His glory. For the salvation of our souls.

And for the sake of keeping the door open to all our neighbors–to keep it open, so that they, too, might share in this great blessing and this most-salutary of all celebrations: the living, breathing expression of John 3:16, the Sacred Liturgy of the Church.

Red-Rose-City Memory & All-Star Week


Across the street from Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa., there is a seminary.

My mother grew up with a beloved pastor at her hometown church. When he died in 1997, we went to Lancaster for the funeral.

The pastor’s best friend taught at the seminary across from F&M. He preached the funeral. One of the things he said was:

“Wallace loved his enemies. But to love your enemies, you have to have the courage to make some.”

…We are in the middle of another all-star week of saints:

Pius V in Santa Maria Maggiore
Pius V in Santa Maria Maggiore
On Tuesday, we kept the Memorial of St. Louis de Montfort, author of True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin.

Wednesday was the Memorial of St. Catharine of Siena.

Yesterday (April 30) we kept the Memorial of Pope St. Pius V, who gave us the Missal upon which our current Missal is based.

Today we keep the Memorial of St. Joseph the Worker.

Pretty soon I will get around to giving you a summary of In Tune with the World by Josef Pieper. He wrote the book in the 1960’s to explain why Communist May-Day celebrations are not truly festive.

(This is also the Pope’s name day. In a week, he will be going on pilgrimage to the Holy Land.)

Tomorrow is the Memorial of St. Athanasius, the hero of the Council of Nicea, the champion of our Creed.

And May 3 is the Feast of the Apostles Philip and James the Less (though we do not keep the feast this year, because it falls on Sunday).

…Here is a beautiful place to go to Mass in the “Red Rose City,” St. Mary of the Assumption:


…Three years ago today, we buried my dear dad

…Another question we have to get to the bottom of: Did our Lord carry His cross through the “Genath Gate” in the ancient wall of Jerusalem?

St. Catharine of Siena
St. Catharine of Siena
St. Athanasius
St. Athanasius
Saints Philip and James parish on N. Charles St., Baltimore
Saints Philip and James parish on N. Charles St., Baltimore