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Father John A. Hardon, S.J. Archives


Sermons and Conferences Index

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Sermons – 1992 – March 17—19: St. Patrick / Season of Lent / St. Joseph / Season of Lent
I mean there are especially three virtues of St. Patrick that should be reflected on and imitated; first of all, his deep, simple faith, then his humility, and then his boundless zeal to convert souls to Christ.
Sermons – Poor Souls in Purgatory / St. Martin de Porres / Providence of God / Meditation on Divine Providence
We should ask ourselves, I think, three very simple questions. Who are the poor souls? Second, why do we pray for the poor souls? And third, how should we practice devotion to the poor souls in purgatory?
Sermons – Feast of the Ascension / Mourning and Suffering Will Turn Into Joy
On the Feast of the Ascension of our Lord, which is the closing of our Lord’s stay visibly on earth, this is both a commemoration and a promise and a condition. It is first of all, a commemoration. Christ really rose from the dead. Christ really ascended into heaven. Forty days after his resurrection, our Lord disappeared visibly from this earth and physically, geographically, historically went to heaven. Christ’s Ascension is a historical fact.
Sermon – On the Evil Spirit
We should have at least one short homily for today’s gospel on the evil spirit. We can safely say that never, surely, in the history of Christianity has the devil been more active and more effective than in our day. Three short things to remember: there is a devil; the devil is constantly tempting and seducing human beings; and thirdly, we should know, we better learn, how to cope with the evil spirit.
Sermons – Love Your Enemies / Our Lady’s Practice of Faith as a Model for Our Own Faith
Whatever else is true about Christianity it is that the moral demands of the followers of Christ are much harder. They require much more of us than was ever required of the people in the Old Law. But if there is one commandment that Christ raised to super human heights, it was the commandment of loving our neighbour. In the Old Testament the Jews were told to love their neighbour. What the neighbour meant one of their own fellow Israelites. What the neighbour meant someone who was related to you by kinship of blood, or the neighbour is one who was close to you; intimate with you. But Christ’s teaching is super humanly higher.
Sermons and Conferences – Experiences in Russia and Poland / Real Presence: Communication of Grace
There were three women, Marian Catechists: Celia Dawson, Marianne Carlson and Gabrielle; she is a psychiatrist from Pittsburgh. And then the men were Daniel Peper, you know that is why Jason is pinch hitting for him, and John McCalpine. Now McCalpine speaks Russian fluently, which helped a lot.
Sermons and Conferences - The Lord's Prayer / Our Father / Hallowed Be Thy Name / Thy Kingdom Come / Thy Will Be Done… / Give Us This Day… / Do Not Lead Us Into Temptation… / The Public Ministry of Jesus
St. Augustine said, speaking of those already in his day who were separated from the Catholic Church, he said, "They will cease to be our brothers when they cease to recite the Lord’s Prayer." In other words, the one common denominator among all believing Christians, no matter how much, how liberal they believe, is still the Our Father.
Sermons and Conferences - Christ Calms the Storm / Christ Walks upon the Waters / Need of Courage in the Apostolate / Christ Sends the Apostles to Preach / Prudence and Patience / Preludes to the Passion of Christ / Transfiguration / The Raising of Lazarus / Palm Sunday / Choosing a Way of Life / Amending One's Way of Life
The miracles of Christ have two purposes; every miracle has two purposes. The immediate purpose, of course, was that Christ might work the miracle, form the acts of charity, healing, calming the storm, even raising the dead. The second reason was to provide foundation for our Faith; in other words, that the man called Jesus of Nazareth was and is the living God.
Sermons and Conferences - Real Presence: Communication of Grace (continued) / Jesus Christ is Physically Present on Earth / Questions and Answers
…here is also the basic difference between Catholic Christianity and say the Christianity that separated from the Catholic Church in the sixteenth century. As Catholics we believe that Jesus Christ is physically on earth.
Sermons and Conferences - Appearance to Peter and the Disciples of Emmaus / The Institution of the Sacrament of Confession / Questions and Answers
There are certain passages in Scripture that the Church has officially defined after their meeting. This is one of them. In other words, the Council of Trent defined that Christ instituted the Sacrament of Confession on Easter Sunday night when he appeared to the Apostles and told them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you shall forgive they are forgiven them. Whose sins you retain or do not forgive they are not forgiven them."
Sermons and Conferences - Spiritual Exercises: Purification of Our Lady / Finding in the Temple / Hidden Life of Christ / Two Standards
The Spiritual Exercises, themselves, are St. Ignatius’ own summary of his own spiritual exercises. And that then has become the model for the Exercises ever since. And what then those who direct the Exercises are supposed to do is use what Ignatius put together as a summary of his own spiritual exercises.
Sermons and Conferences - Veritatis Splendor - Side 1
Throughout the first part of the encyclical, the Holy Father concentrates, he concentrates on Christ’s dialogue with the rich young man. And within that dialogue, the Pope brings out that Christ’s teaching…and this may sound strange…Christ’s teaching in many ways is synthesized…his teaching on moral theology…is synthesized in what he told that rich young man.
Sermons and Conferences - Jesus Before Caiaphas / Pilot, Herod, and the Condemnation of Jesus / The Way of the Cross, Crucifixion and Burial of Christ / The Risen Christ Appears to Our Lady, Mary Magdalene and the Holy Women
Then Jesus before Caiaphas. St. John is the only one who relates the trial before the high priest Caiaphas. And John, by the way, is also the one who explains that Caiaphas had foretold or said, "It is better for one man to die than the whole people be destroyed."
Sermons and Conferences - Questions and Answers
This CD is a Q&A session that Fr. Hardon has with the Missionaires of Charity. "So there is the fifth commandment and there is the sixth commandment….sixth and ninth. Those two commandments are related as cause and effect. In other words, un-chastity induces cruelty. Remember when we said that the root of chastity is charity. And given the limitations of our time, we could say much more how chastity is at root the virtue of charity."
Sermons and Conferences - To Teach the Faith - Side 1
And then I’ll ask three questions: What does it mean to teach the Faith to others? Why must we teach the Faith? And how to do it effectively…What then does it mean to teach the Faith to others? It means to enlighten the mind…we believe with the intellect…to enlighten the mind on those truths which God revealed that we are to both believe and practice in order to reach our eternal destiny.
Sermons and Conferences - What is death? / Why do we die? / How are we to be prepared for death
These talks were taped by Daniel Peper who traveled with Fr. Hardon from 1990 to 1995. The most obvious lesson that our Lord wants to teach us in the gospel we have just read, is to be ready for death. Our reflections, therefore, are on death and ask the three most fundamental questions the mind can ask about anything: What is death? Why do we die? And how are we to be prepared for death?
Sermons and Conferences - The Angels in Sacred Scripture
These talks were taped by Daniel Peper who traveled with Fr. Hardon from 1990 to 1995. Our present class, therefore, comes in two parts, The Angels in Sacred Scripture. And the two main parts: The Angels in the Old Testament and the Angels in the New. And then, as we have been doing, drawing implications for our spiritual life from our faith in the angelic powers.
Homily - Christmas and the Eucharist
There are so many subjects that we could talk about on Christmas day, but I thought the most appropriate would be to speak on Christmas and the Eucharist. There are many aspects to their relationship, but I believe that they are mainly three: both Christmas and the Eucharist are facts; both reveal a mystery; and both are meant to teach us a profound and not easily learned lesson.
Homily - Community and Humility
There is no other Christian virtue about which the saints have written so much or more eloquently than humility. The reason for this is not difficult to find, since, in a sense, this was the principal virtue that God came into the world to teach us.
Homily - Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary
It is most appropriate that the beginning of the New Year should be the Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God. The first day of a new year reminds us of the beginning of things, the beginning of the world and of mankind. We commemorate, therefore, the creation of the world, when God brought the universe into existence out of nothing.
Homily - Growth in the Faith
The Feast of Saint John the Evangelist is a most appropriate occasion to speak on a subject like this one. In fact, I would suggest as a theme for a retreat, the following passage of our Savior recorded by John from the Last Supper: "Now this is everlasting life that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent." The important word in this summary of Christianity given us by Jesus is the word "know."
Homily - Our Inordinate Affections
The name "Spiritual Exercises" is a method of preparing and disposing the soul to free itself from all inordinate affection, and after it has freed itself from them, to seek and find the Will of God concerning the ordering of life for the salvation of one’s soul.
Homily - Peace of Soul
There are some blessings of human existence that people think about and talk about more than others. There are few things about which more is said and written, for which more effort is made and more prayers are offered, than peace.
Homily - Solitude
The important thing, for our purpose, is that they had both been for a long time solitaries in the desert, and only with great reluctance, on the strong insistence of the people, did they leave the desert and enter the active life of the priesthood and the episcopate. Both wrote extensively. Their writings on the beauty and importance of solitude are among the finest we have in Christian ascetical literature.
Homily - Suscipe
It is traditional when using the Spiritual Exercises to close with a meditation on the love of God. Saint Ignatius calls this meditation "A Contemplation for Obtaining Love" (Contemplatio ad Amorem). We shall go over what Saint Ignatius says about love: what it means, how it is practiced, and how we can grow in the love of God. "Suscipe" is the first word of the exulted prayer that is a perfect act of the perfect love of God.
Homily - Take Up Your Cross
Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow me. For anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it. What, then, will a man gain if he wins the whole world and ruins his life? Or what has a man to offer in exchange for his life?"
Homily - The Crucifixion, Our Greatest Inspiration
In this meditation, I would like to do two things, and then close with a third: first, briefly describe the facts of Christ’s crucifixion; second, reflect on the further fact that Christ is still being crucified; and then, what all of this should mean to us.
Homily - The Lamb Of God
Let us reflect for a few minutes on the meaning call Him "Lamb of God." Although the name was first used by John the Baptist, referring to the Savior, its roots are centuries before Christ in Isaiah, who foretold that the Messiah would be the Suffering Servant and the Lamb to be sacrificed.
Homily - The Lessons Of Bethlehem
As we know, there are two ways we can pray on the great mysteries of our faith, and surely Christ’s birth is a great mystery. We can either reflect on the mystery, think about it, analyze it and discursively meditate on the meaning of what God revealed, where the faculty we mainly use is our minds; or we can, not so much think about, as look at the mystery by what we call "contemplation", where it is not so much the mind but rather the heart, the sentiments, that are active.
Homily - The Martyrdom Of Saint Stephen
It is remarkable that the day after Christmas we should be celebrating the feast of a martyr. The custom goes back to the very early Church. It seems that in her wisdom, the Church wanted to make sure that we associated Christ with martyrdom. There are many lessons that today’s feast teaches us. If yesterday’s was called "Christmas", today’s has been also called "Stephenmas." But there are especially four lessons: the lesson of love, the lesson of hatred, the lesson of conversion, and the lesson of forgiveness of one’s enemies.
Homily - The Meaning Of Religious Life
We commonly and correctly identify religious life with the pronouncement of the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. That is true but not quite adequate. We know, for example, that there are in the Church people living what is called a consecrated life as members of secular institutes.
Homily - The Rock: Saint Peter
Certainly never in modern memory, and never perhaps in the Church’s history, has the Holy See (the See of Peter) been more assailed, and not only by the Church’s avowed enemies but even by so many of her own sons and daughters. But when we believe that the See of Peter is the See of Christ, we are believing that what that See teaches is the truth.
Homily - The Virtue Of Confidence
The confidence of many is shaken, because we live in a time of history when so many are falling away from the faith; when priests and religious, often after years of service of the Church, suddenly it seems, break their commitments and not a few then turn their backs on the Church and attack the very Mother that had given them so much; and when family life is so unstable.

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