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.