See You in LA?

This week is going to be a busy one. Not only is it the start of Lent with Ash Wednesday, but many will be traveling to Los Angeles for the annual Religious Education Congress. This year I’m fortunate to be speaking, offering two talks. If you’re going, be sure to look for me!

Before then, though, we get the 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time with yet another difficult passage from Jesus: Love your enemies. It’s something we hear all the time and yet I suspect many of us, deep down, don’t follow it or at least understand it. So what gives? I’d like to suggest three things.

1. An untested virtue isn’t much of a virtue at all. To love those who love us is easy. One can hardly say that we are offering self-sacrifice or charity. But when we encounter our enemies? That’s when we show our true colors.

2. It is precisely this that act of loving those who hate us that converts those who hate us. If someone hits us in the face, they expect to get hit back. But when we “turn the other cheek” that catches them off guard. “What’s wrong with you?” What’s wrong with us is that we trust in God, not ourselves. The witness of the martyrs, refusing to defend themselves, converted far more people than anyone claiming self-defense or attacking non-believers.

3. Most important of all, we seek to be like God who loves all. The Gospel ends with the line, “be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.” This does not mean moral excellence (although that is something to strive for) nor does it mean mere adherence of the law (which, again, isn’t a bad start). More appropriately, it means “be WHOLE or COMPLETE as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Just as God loves all because he created all, so, too, must we. How can we call God our Father if we hate his sons and daughters?

Love Doesn’t Mean Endorsement

Sometimes, unfortunately, people do things that remove themselves from the life of the community. In the Catholic Church we refer to this as excommunication. Although many think they understand what this means, most actually do not. For us, it is neither permanent nor punitive.

Sometimes You Just Have to Laugh

The past two weeks haven’t had incredibly deep content on Upon Friar Review, but we’ve had fun making it. Sometimes it’s good to just look at the world and laugh. Not everything has to be so serious and defensive.

Finding the Best in our Enemies

Sometimes “bad people” can get things right. I, for one, like to spend my time finding the best in people rather than focus on what they do wrong. This is the case with people and it’s the case with movies. Very few things produced by Hollywood get a Catholic stamp of approval, but everything has at least something virtuous in it.

Okay, Maybe Not EVERYTHING

Going through sequels this semester, we’ve struggled to find many good ones. The last two weeks have been no exception. Reviewing Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls and The Lost World: Jurassic Park, it was very difficult to find anything redeeming about the movie. Luckily, the next two weeks are going to be great!

A Little Reminder!

As Lent begins this week, I figured I’d offer this video from two years ago. I think it’s a helpful guide to put us in the right frame of mind for Lent!

Hope everyone has a great week!

Fr. Casey

5 Comments on “See You in LA?

  1. Thank you for your special ministry, all the best in LA.

    Peace, Joy, Hope, Charity, Gratitude, Patience, Gentleness, Respect and Humility,
    Steve De Quintal
    Teacher, St. Mary Catholic Academy, 66 Dufferin Park Ave. Toronto, Ontario M6H-1J6.
    416-393-5528 ext. 84293
    “that they may have life and have it to the full.”
    You can always email but a call or a visit will get a quicker response

  2. I wish I were going to LA to hear you speak. Why not travel little up north to the Monterey Penensula. You have lots of fans here and we’d be thrilled to see you.
    Your the best Father Casey. Listening to your lectures guided me back to the church and for that I am eternally grateful.

  3. Re: 5 Hollywood Movies that are Almost Christian

    Disney’s 2015 Film “Tomorrowland” gets my vote.

    I see the idea of Tomorrowland as being analogous to the Kingdom He is making manifest in my heart and life. His reign I long to see manifest in creation, (though not technological as the film portrays it.) Though tempted to despair and complacency in seeing the increasing evil in the world, this film helps me endure setbacks and discouragements as I aim to follow Him.

    Thanks for “Upon Friar Review.” Things have been pretty rough recently and these times of watching you and Fr. Patrick are very refreshing to me.

    Hope your time goes well in Los Angeles, I’ll be praying for you.

  4. Happy Lent!

    Being of the dinosaur generation I think Ben Hur is a classic conversion story. It inspires me at Lent.

    Thank you for your Lenten advice, it is very helpful.

  5. Dear Father Casey I am enjoying your stuff. Keep up the good work! Do you want to tackle, in dialogue with a professional, the issue of young people and suicide? It goes without saying you should not express views on an area in which you have no competence. I write as the aunt of my nephew who took his life, and now his sister is trying to do the same… We are helpless. As you cover popular culture, do go and see the film about the life of Leonard Cohen, and the life of Joan Baez. There is something about the way their music and politics coincided, that is very impt. for the next generation of aconciliar Catholics (Massimo Faggioli!) I hope you will like my book when it is finished, and if you have not looked out for my THE SPIRITUAL WRITINGS OF CARDINAL RAPHAEL MERRY DEL VAL, please do so. I think the Litany of Humility is fairly magnificent. It was great you had women on the altar when you were ordained, so let´s get you to talk about Francis and “a deeper theology of women” too.! A happy Lent! kind regards Harriet Murphy in Berlin, Germany

%d bloggers like this: