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Observations on the Reflections on American Catholicism and Priesthood Today
The following observations are made after a careful reading of Reflections on American Catholicism and Priesthood Today. The author of these reflections has been president of the National Federation of Priests' Council, founded in 1968. The purpose of the federation is, "to give priests' councils a representative voice in matters of presbyteral, pastoral and ministerial concern to the United States and the universal Church."

Old Style Jesuit - Profile of Fr. Hardon
It was in the eighth grade at St. Michael's School in Cleveland, recalls Fr. John Hardon, that he first learned that St. Peter Canisius had published a catechism. Then and there, the future Jesuit vowed to himself, "One day I'm going to publish a catechism." He got it wrong - he's published half a dozen. Among them: The Catholic Catechism (1975), The Question and Answer Catechism (1981), and The Catholic Catechist's Course (1989), the latter two specially prepared for Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity. In fact, in the years since Fr. Hardon was asked to oversee the catechetical formation and evangelizing work of Mother Teresa's nuns, he has spent months each year giving courses in their houses around the world.

On Pope John Paul II’s Tenth Anniversary
My purpose here is to identify what I consider the basic teaching of Pope John Paul, which should unite us as Catholics in these historic times. This teaching can be capsulized in four statements, each of which can serve as one aspect of our subject, namely The Cost of Proclaiming Christ: the Message of Pope John Paul II. We will call the first three duties and the fourth an opportunity.

On the Doctrine and Worship of the Holy Eucharist
Catechism on the Real Presence - On the Doctrine and Worship of the Holy Eucharist, by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

One Man - Lenten Reflections
One Man is a series of Lenten reflections which will attempt to contrast the difference between the "beautiful" crucifixes with which we are familiar and the real event as it happened. The title One Man comes from a homily given by the Rev. Patrick Albert, the pastor of the Roman Catholic Community of Forest City, during Lent 2000. Fr. Albert explained in that sermon that Christ, one individual Man, had taken on His shoulders the sins of the world and had gone "all the way" as Father put it. We will attempt to prayerfully comprehend what going "all that way" meant to this One Man [Jesus].

Ordination of Women to the Catholic Priesthood, The
I wish to address myself to the subject of the ordination of women to the Catholic priesthood. My reason for making the subject so specific is to cut through so much of the ambiguity that surrounds the question.

Other Eucharistic Miracles
An account of other Eucharistic Miracles.

Other Topics Related to the Eucharist
Learn more about topics related to the Eucharist with these articles on the Annunciation, the Nativity, Eucharistic Congresses, Life with Christ, and articles from Fr. John Hardon.

Our Belief in God
"What does it mean to believe in God?" That after all is the hub of the problem and the only issue that deserves prayerful analysis. It is in this context that the awful question posed by Saint John should haunt us. How is it, he asks, that you who are so ready to believe in men are so slow to believe in God?…How is it that credulous man who is so ready to believe in the most bizarre television statements or the most atrocious editorials in newspapers…how is it that this same credulous man can suddenly become so skeptical when God speaks and when the message He communicates is His own Divine Wisdom?

Our Catholic Answer to the Sexual Suicide of America
"There will be three parts to our conference. We will first ask ourselves what is sexual suicide, then comes the harder question which we will save for last: how we Catholics are to convert a nation, like our own, from the madness of its’ self-inflicted sexual suicide and restore to our people some semblance of moral sanity." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

Our Duty to Proclaim Christ
"To proclaim Christ means to make Christ known by those who do not yet know Him, and better known by those who do not know Him well. This is absolutely necessary if Christ is to be loved and served as He deserves, for we do not love what we do not know, and we do not give ourselves in devoted service except to someone we love. Knowledge must come first, then love, and then service." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

Our Father, The
When the apostles asked our Lord to teach them how to pray He gave them what has since come to be known as the Lord’s Prayer. In teaching them Christ was teaching us, and He taught us many things. My plan is not to give a commentary on the seven petitions of the Lord’s Prayer, but rather to reflect in God’s presence on the lessons that this prayer should teach us.

Our Gravest Moral Responsibility: To Convert the Contraception Mentality
"I call it the contraception mentality. But we could just as well call it the contraception ideology. It was centuries in the making. It is devastating in its consequences. And it is at the root of the massive assault on the human family. Nothing less is at stake than the survival of Western, and with emphasis, American society." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

Our Guardian Angels: Angels of Peace
The story of St. Luke’s account of Peter’s deliverance from prison is only an extensive revealed description of the role of the angels in guarding the human race. Over the centuries, the Church has consistently encouraged the faithful to believe that angelic spirits guide them throughout life.

Our Guardian Angels: Angels of Penance and Prayer
All that we have seen about the guardian spirits being angels of peace applies equally to their mission as angels of penance and angels of prayer. So true is this that when Christ instituted the sacrament of penance on Easter Sunday night, He introduced Himself by telling the disciples to be at peace. In the Church’s tradition, a perfect synonym for the sacrament of penance is the sacrament of peace.

Our Hope for the Next Millennium
"As we begin the third millennium of Christianity, there is wisdom in our looking into the future, into two futures: our personal future and the future of the Church, as the Mystical Body of Christ. Why look to the future? Because we need to strengthen our resolves by deepening our trust in God: in His continued grace to see us through this life into a heavenly eternity and in His continued Providence to see the Church that Christ founded; that she will endure until the end of time, and beyond time as the City on High, the New Jerusalem, when God will have called all of His elect and make His everlasting home with them." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

Our Lady and the Eucharist
It is no accident that when there is a decline in Marian devotion Eucharistic devotions also suffer.

Our Lady and the Resurrection (Alt)
"No less than six Doctors of the Church, including SS. Ambrose, Anselm and Albert the Great held that Our Lady was the first witness of the Resurrection." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

Our Lady in Type and Prophecy in the Old Testament
"First a word of explanation: when we use the word "type" we mean that the Old Testament gives us by anticipation what we call "types", "symbols". First of all of Christ and then of His mother. Now there are both persons and there are events in the Old Testament that anticipate the New Testament. In other words, Christ our Lord has many "types" as we call them. Persons in the Old Testament who typified the Messiah to come. Correspondingly, even as there were types of "Christ" in the Old Testament, so we speak of types and figures anticipating Mary in the New Testament." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

Our Lady of Fatima in the Light of History
"May 13, 1947 was the thirtieth anniversary of the first apparition of the Blessed Virgin at the grotto of Iria on the outskirts of the little Portuguese town of Fatima. In October of the same year, Our Blessed Mother revealed herself as "The Lady of the Rosary" and asked that all faithful Christians make reparation through her to her Divine Son for the sins of the world. She said: I promise to help at the hour of death with the graces needed for salvation, whoever, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months shall confess and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

Our Lady of the Rosary - Marian Retreat - Introduction
We’re about to begin what we are calling a Marian Retreat. I chose, and I trust Our Lady is pleased; our focus will be on Our Lady of the Rosary. So the next logical question is, why a retreat on Our Lady of the Rosary? There are many series of reasons and I think it is well to go over, at least, some of the reasons; for the underlying reason, for the more clearly we understand why we are doing something, the more strongly we will be motivated to do it well. We should then, first reason, make a retreat on Our Lady of the Rosary because there is no single form of Catholic piety outside of the Holy Eucharist as Real Presence, as Holy Communion, and as the Sacrifice of the Mass; there is no other form of Catholic piety that has been more frequently and earnestly, and the weakest verb I can use is, encouraged by the Vicars of Christ than devotion to the Holy Rosary. Why?

Our Lady of the Rosary - Marian Retreat - History of the Rosary
Of course, Saint Dominic had a great deal with making the Rosary, not only well-known but spread throughout the Catholic world beginning in the early thirteenth century. But our concentration will rather be on what we call the development of the doctrine about Our Lady because except for this growth or progress in Marian doctrine, devotion to the Holy Rosary would not have become what it now is, belonging to the foundations of our Catholic piety.

Our Lady of the Rosary - Marian Retreat - An Effective Way of Praying the Rosary
There then has been a growth in what we call dogmatic progress in each of the fifteen mysteries of the Holy Rosary. What is less well known, however, is that some of the great devotees of Mary have written extensively on the different ways that they have prayed the Rosary. What they have to say is worth hearing. What is probably least well known is that, on occasion, even the Vicars of Christ have volunteered to describe how they personally have found helpful directives for reciting the Rosary of Our Lady.

Our Lady of the Rosary - Marian Retreat - Joyful Mysteries - The Annunciation
We're now ready to begin the reflection on the Mysteries of the Holy Rosary and the first, obviously, is The Annunciation. We might begin by observing that there is no single event in the Gospels that has inspired more artists and more poets than the scene described in St. Luke's Gospel which is the First Mystery, not only of the Rosary, but of Christianity. What we will do now is go over each of the elements in the events described by the Evangelist. Then following Pope John XXIII's recommendation, do some reflection on the meaning of these elements described by St. Luke and then, most practically, apply especially two lessons to our own spiritual lives.

Our Lady of the Rosary - Marian Retreat - Joyful Mysteries - The Visitation
Our present conference is on the second Joyful Mystery, the Visitation of Our Lady. This mystery is really two mysteries in one. First the Visitation itself and then the Magnificat which Mary said - or as we may believe - sang on the first day she visited Elizabeth. Our conference plans to cover both mysteries and in both cases simultaneously as we go along, first the Visitation and then the Magnificat, reflect on the meaning and apply the mystery to our lives.

Our Lady of the Rosary - Marian Retreat - Joyful Mysteries - The Birth of Jesus
Our present meditation is on the Third Joyful Mystery, The Birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. We shall take the whole story of Our Lord’s Birth at Bethlehem as one unit and concentrate on certain features of the event. Features, I should add, that now for centuries the great spiritual masters of Christianity have identified with Bethlehem. The features of Bethlehem on which we shall prayerfully reflect are: the Significance of Bethlehem, the Silence of Bethlehem and the Simplicity of Bethlehem. I find over the years whenever is possible to use alliteration it helps people remember.

Our Lady of the Rosary - Marian Retreat - Joyful Mysteries - The Presentation
Our present reflections on the Fourth Joyful Mystery: The Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple. The narrative as described by St. Luke is one of the longest, sustained stories about Jesus in the Gospels. In sequence: St. Luke gives us the account of the Annunciation, then of Mary’s Visitation, then of Christ’s Birth in Bethlehem, then of His Circumcision on the eighth day and finally at great length, Jesus’ Presentation in the Temple by Mary and Joseph. We might remind ourselves, and this will be the logic we’ll follow in this presentation. There are four events in sequence. There is first the fact that Mary’s days of purification were completed. Then the actual Presentation of Christ in the Temple. Third, Simeon, both his Nunc Dimittis and his prophecy to Our Lady; then several verses about Anna, the Prophetess, and then one verse that Jesus, Mary and Joseph left Jerusalem and returned to Nazareth in Galilee.

Our Lady of the Rosary - Marian Retreat - Joyful Mysteries - Christ Being Found in the Temple
This Fifth Joyful Mystery of the Rosary is a mixture of joy and sorrow. You might say it is the link that joins the Joyful Mysteries with the Sorrowful Mysteries that are to follow. It is also the last mystery of Christ’s hidden life before He began His public ministry at the age of thirty. What I’d thought I'd do is first review each detail which occasioned Christ’s going to the Temple with Mary and Joseph and then being found there three days later.

Our Lady of the Rosary - Marian Retreat - Sorrowful Mysteries - Christ's Agony in the Garden
With the present conference we begin the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary, and the first, of course, is Christ's Agony in the Garden. We begin by observing that there is a profound sense in which Christ began to suffer for the salvation of the world from the moment of His conception in Mary's womb. Moreover, we can legitimately speak of Christ's Passion as beginning, already, with the Last Supper and then ending with His death and burial. Traditionally, however, the Passion of Christ with His Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane and ended with His Crucifixion on Calvary.

Our Lady of the Rosary - Marian Retreat - Sorrowful Mysteries - The Scourging of Christ at the Pillar
Our present conference is on the second of the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary, namely the Scourging of Christ at the Pillar. Not unlike the first mystery, so here the Scourging of Our Lord at the Pillar is covered by all four Evangelists. It might be worth our while briefly going over the account in each Evangelist in sequence, see what each one says so we get what Pope John XXIII told us, to get a picture both physical and I would add, chronological, of what actually occurred.

Our Lady of the Rosary - Marian Retreat - Sorrowful Mysteries - Crowning with Thorns
Our present meditation is on the third Sorrowful Mystery, Our Lord's Crowning with Thorns. All the events we have indicates that Christ's crowning with thorns during His Passion was not part of either Pilate's legal punishment of Jesus nor, it seems, of the Jews demands for the Savior's humiliation. We may say Christ's Crowning with Thorns came on a sudden inspiration from the devil. All evidence of the Gospels indicates that the crowning with thorns was a spontaneous action on the part of the Roman soldiers stationed at the garrison under Pontius Pilate. Also unlike the Agony in the Garden and Christ's Scourging at the Pillar, the Crowning with Thorns is not narrated by all four Evangelists. To be exact, two of the synoptics Matthew and Mark, and John describe in detail the Crowning with Thorns.

Our Lady of the Rosary - Marian Retreat - Sorrowful Mysteries - The Carrying of the Cross
This mystery of the Rosary identifies the most important single journey in the history of the human race. It is nothing less we believe than the journey of the Son of God become Man made from the palace of Pontius Pilate to the top of Mount Calvary where He was crucified…In order to do justice to an immense subject, I thought we should separate the narrative of Christ carrying His Cross into two parts. Part one - drawing exclusively on what we find in the Gospels. In part two, what the Church over the centuries of Her Tradition has also added. Then we will conclude, at some length, with the implications of Christ's carrying His Cross for our lives.

Our Lady of the Rosary - Marian Retreat - Sorrowful Mysteries - The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus
You may legitimately say that the Fifth Sorrowful Mystery is the pivotal mystery of Christianity on which all the other mysteries of our Faith depend. Everything from the moment of the Incarnation was a prelude to the Crucifixion. Everything after the Crucifixion into the endless reaches of eternity stems from and depends on Christ's death on the Cross. Given our focus in this retreat which is on Our Lady, I thought we should concentrate on Mary's role in the Crucifixion of her Son. Among the four Evangelists only St. John records the fact that Mary, the Mother of Jesus, stood under the Cross near her Son.

Our Lady of the Rosary - Marian Retreat - Glorious Mysteries - The Resurrection of Jesus
We are now beginning the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary and the first, Our Lord's Resurrection from the Dead. Seeing how much our Faith depends on Christ's Resurrection, it seems worthwhile subdividing our reflections in this fundamental mystery. Christ's Resurrection, we must say, is not only the First Glorious Mystery of the Rosary; it is the First Mystery of our Faith along with the Savior's Crucifixion on Calvary. Before we get into a more detailed reflection on Easter Sunday it might be to see how the sorrowful mysteries are related to the glorious ones, and more specifically, how Calvary is related to Easter Sunday. Man having sinned and not in the distant past, sinning now and we may be sure continuing to sin until the end of time. The first need and the first meaning of Redemption is redemption from sin. To accomplish that God had to become Man and die on the Cross. But that's only one half. We were not only to be redeemed from sin, we're also to be restored to God's friendship and this Christ did by His Resurrection. Removal from sin achieved on Calvary, restoration to God's grace achieved and begun with Christ's rising from the grave.

Our Lady of the Rosary - Marian Retreat - Glorious Mysteries - The Ascension
Our present meditation and reflection is on the Second Glorious Mystery, the Ascension of Our Lord from earth to Heaven. With this, the Second Glorious Mystery, we complete our reflections on Christ's sensibly perceptible stay on earth. When God became Man He began His earthly and, I qualify, sensibly perceptible Presence when He was conceived by Mary at Nazareth. As we begin this meditation, I cannot exaggerate the importance of realizing that for thirty some years God became Man and was on earth visibly, sensibly perceptible – that since the Ascension God become Man, I repeat become Man, is indeed in Heaven at the Right hand of His heavenly Father, but He is also and that word also is at the heart of our Catholic Faith – He is also on the earth in the Holy Eucharist. Christ then completed this earthly and I then repeat visibly perceptible stay, He completed this kind of earthly stay on Ascension Thursday forty days after Easter.

Our Lady of the Rosary - Marian Retreat - Glorious Mysteries - The Descent of the Holy Spirit
The Third Glorious Mystery, is in its way, is the consummation of all the other Mysteries of the Rosary before what began at Nazareth on earth ended at Jerusalem on earth. We may safely say that the Person who came down on Our Lady at Nazareth was the same Divine Person who came down on those awaiting His coming in Jerusalem. At Nazareth the Angel told Our Lady that the Holy Spirit would come upon her so that she would conceive and bear a Son who would be the Son of the Most High. Thus the Holy Spirit began the work of the Incarnation. As the Spouse of the Holy Spirit, Mary became the Mother of God become Man. That was the beginning. Some thirty-three years intervened then the purpose of that first coming of the Holy Spirit on Our Lady was finally fulfilled when He actually descended and the term we should use descended on the Church and has been descending ever since.

Our Lady of the Rosary - Marian Retreat - Glorious Mysteries - The Assumption of Our Lady
Our present meditation is on the Fourth Glorious Mystery, the Assumption of Our Lady. As we all know the dogma of Mary's Assumption was defined by Pope Pius XII on November 1, 1950. There are so many aspects of this Mystery that we could meditate on. I thought I would choose the three most fundamental. Begin by asking ourselves, what do we believe when we believe that Our Lady was assumed body and soul into Heaven? Then, more briefly, why did the Vicar of Christ just at this time in history define Mary's Assumption? Then, more specifically, within the Pope's teaching, why should Mary have been assumed body and soul into Heaven? And on the practical level, finally, how are we to put this Mystery of Faith into practice?

Our Lady of the Rosary - Marian Retreat - Glorious Mysteries - The Coronation of Our Lady
But Mary's Coronation took place in Heaven. Our planned scope for this meditation conference will cover the following aspects of what we keep repeating are Mysteries of the Rosary, meaning they are Truths of our Faith that we should try to grow in understanding but we'll never, even into the endless reaches of eternity, fully comprehend. First, what does the Church mean by the Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary? Second, why? Why do we honor Mary as Queen and, therefore, commemorate her Coronation in Heaven? And, finally, always back to earth - How should Our Lady's Queenship affect our personal and collective spiritual lives?

Our Lady of the Rosary - Marian Retreat - Resolutions in a Marian Retreat
But the final purpose of a retreat through now centuries of the Church’s experience is to make - the final purpose of a retreat is to make - a salutary improvement in our lives. And the word salutary means: improvement that conduces to our "salus," to our salvation. So we ask ourselves: How is this improvement to be achieved? In the last six days we’ve covered many aspects of our faith and, as far as possible, always against the background of Our Lady. Suppose we approach this concluding and I would say basic subject from three angles by asking three questions while applying these questions to the meditations we’ve been making for the past week on the Mysteries of the Holy Rosary.

Our Lady's Receiving the Message from Gabriel
"After his opening greeting, ‘Hail Full of Grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou among women,’ the archangel then continues, what we might call his prediction or prophecy. On hearing the salutation Mary, we are told, became troubled. She wondered what the unusual greeting she received might be. She was called full of grace and was told "the Lord is with thee." "Blessed art thou among women," and at which our Lady, understandably then continued and asked further questions. We shall first listen to the angel’s prophecy, then we will see what the prophetic words mean objectively and finally, apply the angel’s prediction to ourselves and our spiritual life." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

Our Love of God (Alt)
"No one, and the word is no one, will reach heaven from his or her own natural rational knowledge of God. Only the supernatural knowledge otherwise known as divine faith is adequate as the foundation for salvation." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

Our Love of Others
"It is Christ himself who used the expression "new commandment". When as you know, He gave His long discourse at the Last Supper. So important is this term "new commandment" that on it’s proper understanding depends I think in large measure a true appreciation of the New Testament." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

Our Love of Others - (Shorter alternate version of the previous article above)
"It is Christ himself who used the expression "new commandment". When as you know, He gave His long discourse at the Last Supper. So important is this term "new commandment" that on it’s proper understanding depends I think in large measure a true appreciation of the New Testament." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

Our Natural Knowledge of God
Our first theme in the retreat is the knowledge of God. There will be two conferences on our knowledge of God: the present one on our natural knowledge of God, and the following conference on our revealed knowledge of God. And as we begin our first conference let us make sure we do not underestimate the importance of knowing the true God. It was Christ Himself who declared, "Remember this," speaking to His Father, "this is eternal life that they may know, (hear the verb), that they may know you the one true God and the only begotten Son whom you have sent into the world."

Our Reverence for the Most Holy Eucharist
Fr. Charles M. Mangan's Ten Commandments for Eucharistic Reverence.

Our Right to the Truth
"The title of the present article, "Our Right to the Truth," has two basic implications: We have a right to the truth because, without the truth, we cannot be at peace in this life, nor reach our heavenly destiny in the life to come. But others also have a right to the truth, and this places a heavy obligation on us to share the truth that we possess. I would go so far as to say that the most fundamental duty we have in life is to love others by giving them what others have given to us, namely, a knowledge of the truth." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

Our Supernatural Knowledge of God (Alt)
"The purpose of knowing God is to love Him. And the better we know Him the more we can love Him…this fundamental mandate of Sacred Scripture, of our duty, mind you, no option here, duty, of our duty to Love God, we must immediately point out the world of difference between the two Testaments on the same commandments." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

Our Times: The Age of Martyrs (Alt)
"In one sentence, paganism is a culture of untruth. Over the two thousand years since Calvary, Christianity has had to constantly contend with pagan ideas, pagan laws; in a word--with a pagan culture that hated Christianity for the same reason that it crucified the Incarnate Truth, who became man to teach the world how to serve God here on earth, in order to possess Him in a blessed eternity. There are differences, however, between a paganism that has never been Christianized, and a once-Christian society that has become paganized." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

Our Witness in a Sin-Laden World
"Paganism is as old as human history. In one sentence, paganism is a culture of untruth. Over the two thousand years since Calvary, Christianity has had to constantly contend with pagan ideas, pagan laws; in a word—with a pagan culture that hated Christianity for the same reason that it crucified the Incarnate Truth, who became man to teach the world how to serve God here on earth, in order to possess Him in a blessed eternity." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.



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