Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Pay It Forward: Two Great Blogs by Priests

The whole Father Corapi issue makes my heart weep. I listened to Corapi for years on Relevant Radio. His talks gave me a greater understanding of our beautiful Catholic faith.  So I weep now, especially as I read the comments by his supporters and his dissenters on many blogs and websites. So much anger, so many accusations, so much hurt.  I can imagine the devil gleefully cheering over the fact that he has again managed to scatter and confuse Jesus' flock.

I say, let's move on and not debate it any longer. Let Corapi and SOLT work it out. Our focus needs to turn back to Jesus. Let's spend time in prayer asking for heavenly intercession on this difficult and confusing matter.  If we aren't happy with the outcome right now, let's not turn from our Church, but instead pray, and then seek out some of the other faithful priests who can guide us. And let us guard against putting them on a pedestal or turning them into a celebrity. Instead, let's pray for them, too, so they may faithfully do their job of shepherding God's flock.


Holly, who blogs at A Life-Size Catholic, recently invited me to participate in her "Pay It Forward Meme."  I thought the best way to do this right now -- especially in light of the Corapi situation -- it to share a link to blogs by two of my favorite priests.  I understand that both of these priests have appeared on EWTN, but I since we don't have cable TV, I haven't had the chance to see them there. However, their radio sermons and blog posts are very inspiring!

Father Robert Barron's Word on Fire blog
Father Barron is a theologian and professor at The University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary in Mundelein, Illinois.  I've listened to him on Relevant Radio since they began broadcasting his sermons in 1999.  When his sermons come on the radio, I stop what I'm doing and take 15 minutes to listen. Really listen. Because each sermon is filled with many little gems about our faith.  I always walk away feeling refreshed and happy.  On days when I'm feeling a bit down, his sermons give me a positive new way to look at the problems of the world and remind me that God can overcome all obstacles. I hope some day to catch one of his sermons in person!  You can listen to his radio sermons here.

I discovered Father Longenecker's blog a couple of weeks ago, in the midst of the Corapi turmoil.  I think this blog appeals to me because Father Longenecker doesn't mince words. He tells it like it is. It's so refreshing!  In a world full of doublespeak and perfectly crafted speeches,  it isn't always easy to hear the truth. I think we desperately need priests who aren't afraid to speak the truth, even if they have to be blunt about it sometimes.

An example from my own life:
I once attended a parish where people would often arrive late for Mass, sometimes 15 minutes or more. One day at the end of the Mass, the priest gently reminded everyone about the importance of being in the pews before Mass begins. He talked about how disruptive it can be when people drift in after the processional. He kindly stated that he knew that some might have extenuating circumstances occasionally, but we should all try harder to be on time as much as possible.  Not a big demand, is it? Nothing in his tone was accusatory or angry; it was a helpful, gentle prodding. I was guilty of being late quite often; trying to make it to 7:30 a.m. Mass with a 3-year-old can be a challenge at times!  I didn't take offense but told myself that I must develop a smoother morning routine so we could be at Mass on time.

However, there must have been a lot of angry phone calls to the rectory that week, because the following Sunday the priest apologized profusely for upsetting some of the parishioners.  At the time, I remember thinking it was so sad that the priest could not make this simple request without taking a lot of heat for it.

Perhaps that's why I appreciate Father Longenecker's blog.  I might feel uncomfortable sometimes, but I bet I'll grow from the experience and learn something new about myself and God.  As a result, I'll also feel closer to God. And isn't that the job of a priest--to help us grow closer to our Heavenly Father?

Father Longenecker's blog is here.


  1. This is the second time today I've been directed to the Standing on My Head blog. After writing a post "I'd be a Fool for you" about a women called to stand on her head by God ... The name of this blog caught my attention. Now, you highlighted it again on "Pay It Forward" and I am directed there again. I guess I better become a follower because apparently I'm being directed there over and over again.

    Thanks for linking up! Many blessings...

  2. Wonderful post! Our priests need much prayer! Have you heard of the Handmaids of the Precious Blood? Their entire purpose is to pray for priests!

  3. thanks for this inspiring post Cherly. i will check out those blogs. It's been a while since I visited Father Longenecker's blog. and I've hear of Father barron, but have not read his blog. I'm on my way there now!

  4. I feel like crying everytime I hear the Father Corapi story. It breaks my heart first because he is a Priest and second because he inspired me and so many others. What he did or did not do does not change the truth he taught. All we can do really is pray and as you say leave it to SOLT and Father to work things out.

  5. Hi Cheryl, I agree that we need to take our focus off of Fr. Corapi and pray for him and those who feel wounded and betrayed by him. It's caused division and more disunity that only hurts Our Catholic Faith instead of enhancing it.

    I just learned of the Handmaids of the Precious Blood and that you can "adopt" a priest to pray for them. They do so desperately need our prayers.

    I'm familiar with Fr. Robert Barron but not Fr. Longeneckers. I will have to check him out. Thanks for the recommendation.

    I think Holly is doing a wonderful job with her Pay it Forward blog hop. I did it for the first time this week too!

  6. Hi Cheryl, Just wanted you to know that I linked to you in a post on other GP and CGS sites on the web. http://exploreandexpress-sheila.blogspot.com/2011/07/other-godly-play-and-catechesis.html

  7. Hi Cheryl, Just wanted to know about a group Pinterest board that Storyteller from Wonderful in an Easter Kind of Way is starting for Godly Play and Catechesis blog friends: http://easterkind.blogspot.com/2011/09/group-bulletin-board.html

    Thought you might be interested!