Skip to main content

The Keys to the Kingdom


And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.


Today we celebrate the Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter. We acknowledge and praise God for the teaching authority of the Magisterium. Beginning with St. Peter, each successive Pope, guided by the Holy Spirit, has carried the mantle of this authority. Some have carried it better than others. Each has been burdened with his own set of human frailties.

The office of Pope is not just a titular role to lead the rites and ceremonies of the Vatican. The Pope is the Vicar of Christ. He is the shepherd of the Church. I am not sure that many of us are paying attention to his voice.

We hear sound bites from the mainstream media when the Pope comments on a controversial topic and his words are deemed newsworthy. But our Popes have given us a treasure trove of teaching of which too many Catholics are ignorant. Did you know the Pope offers weekly teachings in his Angelus Address and his General Audience discourse? The Pope speaks to the entire Church, not just to the clergy or learned catechists in academia. The General Audiences, the Angelus Addresses, the Encyclicals, Pastoral Letters and other teaching documents are all available on the Vatican web site. Just look under papal archives.

Pope Benedict XVI is a gifted teacher and I find his writing especially instructive. His first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est, can be read over and over with each reading offering new insights.

Now if you are reading Catholic blogs, you have already made at least some commitment to keep yourself abreast of Catholic news and Catholic teaching. Unfortunately, you are in the minority of those sitting in Catholic pews. Our priests need to be referencing these teachings as they speak from the pulpit. Every parish web site should carry a link to the Vatican. Every diocesan newspaper should print at least a summary of one of the papal weekly addresses. We are Roman Catholics. Today as we celebrate the Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, let us renew our efforts to stay connected to the one who holds the "keys to the Kingdom".

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Parent Letter from a Catechist

I am going to be teaching seventh grade CCD this year. We do most of the preparation for confirmation during this year since Confirmation is usually scheduled for the fall of the eighth grade year.I have composed a letter to the parents to try and keep them active in their children's religious education. I thought I would post it here and get your feedback before I send it out in a couple of weeks.

I am privileged to be your child’s seventh grade CCD teacher for the 2006-2007 school year. This is a very important year. We will focus on your child’s preparation for confirmation. Of course, you have already been preparing your child for this sacrament for many years. You are the primary catechist for your child. You show how important your Faith is by making Mass attendance a top priority and by family prayer.

Confirmation is one of the Sacraments of Initiation. It is a beginning. It is not a graduation. This year we will work to solidify the foundation of your child’s Catholic Faith.…

Dispelling the Myth of the Travel Dispensation

One of the fun things about having a site meter on my blog is I can see which posts garner the most attention. I can also see how people find my blog. One of the most read posts from my two years of blogging is this one that discusses finding Mass while traveling. I would like to think this post is so popular because it is so well written. The truth of the matter is that it generates so much traffic because I use the words “travel dispensation for Mass”—as in “There is no such thing as a travel dispensation for Mass.” I would guess that nearly a dozen times every week, someone googles “travel dispensation for Mass” and finds my blog. I wonder how many of these folks are poor souls trying to assuage their Catholic guilt with evidence of a justification for missing Mass while on the road.

I know that when I tell my seventh grade CCD students that attending Mass every Sunday is a commandment (one of the top ten!) and not just a pretty good idea they are amazed. Missing Mass has become so …

United Breaks Guitars

This guy is really talented and what a creative way to get your message across. I think he captured the "indifferent employee" perfectly. They don't just work for airlines. I think I ran into them at Walmart on Friday!