Bp. Morlino provides some reminders about why we “Rejoice”, in this 4th week of Lent.

Life got ya down?  Irritated and depressed by the kulturkampf raging and the attacks of the Obama Administration on the freedom of all Americans?

Laetare, Ierusalem!

I have written before about His Excellency Most Rev. Robert C. Morlino, Bishop of Madison.  He gave a sermon on Sunday which touches the very point I lead with.

You can listen to the 13 minute sermon HERE.


Today is “Rejoice” Sunday; “Laetare.”

Now, as someone who watches and reads the news a lot, that news doesn’t not leave me in much of a “laetare” mood, in much of mood to rejoice.

It leaves me in a mood that is in fact very sad, because I honestly do fear that our country is on a very, very, very dangerous path.  I do feel that our country is choosing darkness rather than the light, and I do fear the consequences of that, as we just heard in the gospel (ref. gospel text).

But in truth, that does not keep me from rejoicing, because my life is not all about the news, and my life is not all about this country.  The main thing in my life is Jesus Christ, [Do I hear an “Amen!”?] Who is still risen from the dead, and that’s why today is Rejoice Sunday, because our celebration of the Easter feast is only 3 weeks away, We’re gaining on it fast, and that Resurrection victory of Jesus Christ is the absolute last word about the journey of humanity in this world.

Whatever may be happening right now in our country, or what will happen, that doesn’t change the destiny of our journey.  And that’s why we sang so beautifully “Let my tongue be silent if ever I forget you” (ref. responsorial psalm text).  If ever we forget the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, there’s only one reasonable place to go, and that is into the depths of despair.


He also talks, bless him, about the need to make a good confession:

[O]ne of the major Lenten things we do is make a good confession, to prepare for Easter.  And we encourage our friends and our neighbors and our family members—make a good confession.  Every year more and more people are coming back to Confession.  We need everybody to come back to confession, because this is a Church of seven Sacraments.  In order to be a Catholic, you’ve got to be open to seven Sacraments, not six.  [I can see it now.  Some proponent of women’s ordination will cherry pick that line and claim that Bp. Morlino is open to all manner of foolishness.] So let’s encourage family, friends, fellow workers – make a good confession, who are Catholic.


He spoke also about King Cyrus (the 1st reading for Mass on Laetare Sunday in the Ordinary Form).  Do you suppose he had anyone in mind?

King Cyrus was a “big deal” pagan leader.  He had no interest whatsoever in God.  But when God really needed to save His people, what did He do?  He inspired even King Cyrus, who had no interest.  And King Cyrus became God’s instrument, to lead the chosen people back to Jerusalem, to build the temple.  And he appointed a Mayor of Jerusalem when they went back, his name was Nehemiah (there’s no extra charge for that), and he appointed a high priest whose name was Zerubbabel.  God even inspired him to go further. And God inspired him to give all the money to build the temple.  So when Zerubbabel went back, he didn’t have to have an Annual Catholic Appeal.  Cyrus gave all the money.

Now, if Cyrus is a pagan leader with no interest in God, no matter who any leader in the world is, that leader is not powerful enough to thwart God’s purposes.

Cyrus, a pagan, gladly went along.  Maybe others wouldn’t.  But no leader in the world is powerful enough to thwart God’s Providence, to thwart the plan of Almighty God for the end of the journey of His beloved people, the heavenly Jerusalem won by the Death and the Resurrection.  That’s why we can rejoice—no world leader can undo the victory of the Resurrection.  Can’t be done.  That’s why we can rejoice, and that’s the second point.


For the third point, you’ll just have to go look for it yourselves.

WDTPRS kudos to Bp. Morlino for giving perspective and also preaching on the Sacrament of Penance.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. acardnal says:

    Once again my bishop shoots straight arrows and hits the bullseye.

    Regarding, “In order to be a Catholic, you’ve got to be open to seven Sacraments, not six. [I can see it now. Some proponent of women’s ordination will cherry pick that line and claim that Bp. Morlino is open to all manner of foolishness.]” A lthough he could be referring to Holy Orders, I think he may be reminding folks that the sacrament of matrimony is between one man and one woman – not Adam and Steve or Adam and Lassie.

  2. Elizabeth D says:

    Bishop Morlino has an accurately dark view of how things are going. I was at this Mass and though he is confident in Christ, I had an impression of his sadness and suffering. What a good man he is.

    He got a laugh from the line about how thanks to King Cyrus Zerubbabel didn’t have to have an Annual Catholic Appeal, the preceding Sunday was appeal time for the needs of the diocese. But, I thought, it is more difficult having to ask everyone to reach into their pockets but it is also good for everyone who contributes to the diocese and is able to support the mission of the Church from their own means.

  3. amsjj1002 says:

    Thanks for sharing the Bishop’s good words.

  4. Syte says:

    Full transcript of Bishop Morlino’s Laetare Sunday Homily at http://sytereitz.com/bishop-morlinos-homily-laetare-sunday-2012/

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