St. Chromatius of Aquileia (ad 340–408), preached something about these Beatitudes that I had never heard, but which was understood by many of the early Doctors of the Church. In a sermon on Matthew, Chromatius wrote:
Our Lord, our savior, establishes extremely solid steps of precious stones, by which saintly souls and faithful can climb, can rise to this supreme good, which is the kingdom of heaven…. Brethren, before your eyes are the eight rungs of the gospel, constructed, as I have said, with precious stones. Behold Jacob’s ladder which starts on earth and whose top touches heaven. He who climbs it finds the gate of heaven, and having entered it, will have endless joy in the presence of the Lord, eternally praising Him with the holy angels.
At EWTN’s Family Celebration this year in Vancouver, Marcus Grodi spoke on evangelization, starting in the home. Here he shares 10 practical suggestions for how we can cultivate conversion amongst our family and friends.
by JonMarc Grodi. Is the familiar colloquialism “I have better things to do” ever really true? When we say, “I have better things to do,” we assert that the present frustration or inanity is keeping us from something more important – something “better”. But is this really the case? What does the word “better” mean here?
This new, revised edition of Journeys Home contains the stories of men and women who, having surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ, heard a call to follow Him more completely. These conversion stories provide insight, encouragement, and inspiration for those who are thinking about making the same journey and for Catholics born in the faith as well.
In my 16 years as a Catholic, I have come to understand these words with an increasing appreciation of their wisdom and truth. Often wise priests console their penitents in the confessional to commit the past to God’s mercy, knowing that we cannot change what has already taken place. When we muse over our past sins or failures, such wise confessors encourage us to let go of our past and place it into the merciful hands of God.
The process of conversion to the Faith may be compared to the ascent to Jerusalem of the ancient Israelite pilgrims, who as they came nearer to the Temple uttered that cry of joy recorded in Psalm 122, “I rejoiced when they said to me, we will go into the house of the Lord.” This psalm expresses the gladness of heart experienced by so many converts as they embrace the Catholic Faith, sometimes after even a lifetime of study or wandering or doubt. But after our conversion, after we become members in fullness of His Church — what then? What is our next step?
Before I was a Catholic, I had no place for suffering in my personal or preached theology, and I admittedly avoided the many Scriptures that speak of suffering. After becoming a Catholic — actually it took several years after becoming an informed Catholic — I not only began to understand the meaning and importance of, but more significantly, the necessity of suffering.
Kirk grew up in a little town in southwest Missouri, in an active and committed Disciple of Christ family. When he was in the 8th grade, he saw the movie “In This House of Brede” and then read the book it was based on, about a woman in an English village who entered a Benedictine […]