From his Encyclical: On the Redemption of the Human Race

05-26-2024Weekly ReflectionFr. Leonard F. Villa

Let us now consider what the Apostle's spiritual preparation for preaching was. The three qualities of his equipment most worthy of note are these: First of all he was a man who always fully conformed himself to God's will. There can be no doubt that he made such progress in the apostolate because he conformed with such perfect submission to the will of God. Wherefore like St. Paul, every preacher devoted to the salvation of souls should be first of all so zealous for God's service as to feel no concern about who his hearers are to be, what success he will have, or what fruits he is to reap.


Signs of the Times: The Riots on College Campuses

05-19-2024Weekly ReflectionFr. Leonard F. Villa

Inspired by no earthly ambition, the Church seeks but a solitary goal: to carry forward the work of Christ under the lead of the Spirit-Comforter. And Christ entered this world to give witness to the truth, to rescue and not to sit in judgment, to serve and not to be served.

To carry out such a task, the Church has always had the duty of scrutinizing the signs of the times and of interpreting them in the light of the Gospel. (emphasis added) Gaudium et Spes, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Second Vatican Council


The Sacred Heart: Prefer Nothing to the Love of Christ

05-12-2024Weekly ReflectionFr. Leonard F. Villa

Importance: Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is intimately associated with the most fundamental teachings of the Gospel: (1) Jesus is the revelation of the Father’s infinite love in Person. (2) As true God and true Man he has a personal interest in every human being. (3)This love was seen from the very outset to be symbolized in Christ’s human heart. The earliest Christians contemplated the crucified Savior with deep veneration and love. They meditated on his wounds with a special emphasis upon the wound in his side. At a later date under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit they came to see in the opened side the wounded Heart of the Lamb of God.


“Communism/Marxism is intrinsically perverse…”

05-05-2024Weekly ReflectionFr. Leonard F. Villa

Encyclical Letter On Atheistic Communism

A bedrock principle of Catholic social teaching is the obligation to “work for the common good.” The common good is defined as “the sum total of social conditions which allow people, either as groups or as individuals, to reach their fulfillment more fully and more easily.” Compendium of Catholic Social Doctrine #164


Believers Are All Connected as Part of Christ’s Mystical Body

04-28-2024Weekly ReflectionFr. Leonard F. Villa

St. Paul refers in his writings to the fundamental event of his life, which we read about in today’s first reading at Mass. It had remained forever ingrained in his mind. Then on his journey, when he was nearly at Damascus, a light from heaven shone suddenly about him. He fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him: ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’ ‘Who are You, Lord?’ he asked. And He said, ‘I am Jesus whom you persecute. ’In this first revelation, Jesus shows himself as personally and intimately united to his disciples whom Paul is persecuting. Later on, the doctrine of the Mystical Body of Christ, one of the central topics in his preaching, would show this profound unity among Christians, on account of their being united to their Head, who is Christ.


Death Penalty

04-21-2024Weekly ReflectionFr. Leonard F. Villa

The recent document from the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith (DDF) Dignitas Infinita states that death penalty violates the inalienable dignity of every person regardless of circumstances. Catholic philosopher Edward Feser, an expert on the subject of the Church’s teaching and capital punishment says the following: …This simply cannot be reconciled with scripture and the consistent teaching of all popes who have spoken on the matter prior to Pope Francis. That includes Pope St. John Paul II, despite his well-known opposition to capital punishment.


Rectitude of Intention

04-14-2024Weekly ReflectionFr. Leonard Villa

The life of the first Christians and their witness to the world make known to us their quality and their character. Their norm of conduct was not to take the easy way out, or opt for the more comfortable line or the more popular decision but rather did they seek to fulfill completely the will of God. They ignored the danger of death…they forgot how few they were, they never noticed how many were against them or the power or strength or wisdom of their enemies. Their power was greater than all of that: theirs was the power of him who had died on the Cross and risen again. They had their gaze riveted on Christ, who gave his life for all men. They were not seeking their own personal glory, nor the applause of their fellow citizens. They always acted with a right intention, because they had their eyes fixed on the Lord. That is what allows St. Stephen to say at the moment of his martyrdom: Lord do not take their sin into account…


Not A Christianity

04-07-2024Weekly ReflectionFr. Leonard Villa

We have heard the passage from the Acts of the Apostles (20:17-38) in which Saint Paul speaks to the presbyters of Ephesus, intentionally recounted by Saint Luke as the testament of the apostle, as a discourse destined not only for the presbyters of Ephesus, but for the presbyters of all time. Saint Paul is speaking not only with those who were present in that place, he is really speaking with us, so let us try to understand a little of what he is saying to us, at this time. [...]


Jesus Christ prays for us and in us and is the object of our prayers

03-31-2024Weekly ReflectionFr. Leonard Villa

God could give no greater gift to men than to make his Word, through whom he created all things, their head and to join them to him as his members, so that the Word might be both Son of God and son of man, one God with the Father, and one man with all men. The result is that when we speak with God in prayer we do not separate the Son from him, and when the body of the Son prays it does not separate its head from itself: it is the one Savior of his body, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who prays for us and in us and is himself the object of our prayers.


Greed is a Real Sin. The Tenth Commandment You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods.

03-24-2024Weekly ReflectionFr. Leonard F. Villa

There is a lot of talk on the streets and in the media about a thing called “corporate greed.” This greed is supposed to reside in entities called corporations that are somehow exploiting people to make a profit by valuing profit over people. The only problem with this construction is that a corporation is a “legal person,” but it is not a real person. And greed, being a sin, can only be committed by real persons; it cannot be committed by corporations. Because they are legal persons, corporations can break the law and be punished by the law, by fines or judgments, but they cannot sin. Sin requires human agency.


Hollywood and Christianity

03-17-2024Weekly ReflectionFr. Leonard F. Villa

Any observer of films/TV programs coming from Hollywood today can see that Christianity and particularly Catholicism is often presented in a negative light. Why is that? Don Feder sought to answer that question in an essay years ago for Front Page Magazine. He asserted that Hollywood hates authentic Christians because the Faith is diametrically opposed to the worldview of a good many of the producers, actors, and directors who control Hollywood. What is that Hollywood worldview?


Why Did Jesus Pray?

03-10-2024Weekly ReflectionFr. Leonard F. Villa

The omnipotent God does not need to ask for anything because He has the power to effect whatever He wills. Jesus was fully God, so why does He pray? If well understood, the answer to this question will shed light on many of the highest mysteries of the Faith. Understanding the principle that will be discussed in this short article is the key to understanding some of the most obscure doctrines, such as divine providence, predestination, and free will. Here is the principle that must be understood before answering why Christ prayed. (St.)Thomas says: Divine providence disposes not only what effects shall take place, but also from what causes and in what order these effects shall proceed. To put it another way, God determines not only what happens but also how it happens.


The Battle Station, Station Days, Station Churches

03-03-2024Weekly ReflectionFr. Leonard F. Villa

Station days were days of fasting in the early Christian Church, associated with a procession to certain prescribed churches in Rome, where the Mass and Vespers would be celebrated to mark important days of the liturgical year. Station days grew out of the early Christian practice of visiting the tombs of the martyrs and celebrating the Eucharist at those sites. By the fourth century, the practice of carrying out an itinerary to various churches of the city began to develop during the days of Lent. In those days it became a tradition for the pope to visit a church in each part of the city and celebrate Mass with the congregation.