Category: Learn & Live the Faith

Christians in a Dying Western Christian Civilization
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Christians in a Dying Western Christian Civilization

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“Having turned away from the knowledge given by God, the Christian influence on the whole of culture has been lost. In Europe, including England, it took many years ? in the United States only a few decades. In the United States, in the short span from the twenties to the sixties, we have seen a […]

A Way Everyone Should Pray
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A Way Everyone Should Pray

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Every once in a while, I catch a glimpse of what Jesus felt at times. For instance, I can understand a little of what he must have been thinking when his disciples asked: “Lord, teach us to pray.” He could have responded with amazement: “How can you not know how to pray? I have been […]

The Sacrifice of Isaac
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The Sacrifice of Isaac

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Everyone knows that Lent is about sacrifice.  So it’s fitting that the first reading in the second Sunday of Lent recalls one of the most famous sacrifices of all time. Here’s the background.  Abraham really only desires one thing–a son who will lead to descendants as numerous as the stars of the sky.   The only […]

Fire on the Mountain:  The Transformation of Peter
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Fire on the Mountain: The Transformation of Peter

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Lightning struck. Thunder clapped. The disciples of Jesus—Peter, James, and John—buried their heads in their arms. What is happening? What is Jesus up to now? Another manifestation of the Spirit. We already know that Jesus is God and on this night another affirmation. How could we forget? Throughout their three-year ministry with Jesus the Lord […]

Documentary on the Shroud Airs Sunday
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Documentary on the Shroud Airs Sunday

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All four gospels mention the burial cloth of Jesus Christ. The Shroud of Turin is believed by many to be that burial cloth. It is etched with the image of a man that was scourged, crowned with thorns, crucified, and lanced in the side. If it is real, it provides archeological evidence of the most […]

ISIS Said to Have Begun Executing Captured Syrian Christians
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ISIS Said to Have Begun Executing Captured Syrian Christians

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By John Newton In a fast-developing, highly fluid story, there are now reports that ISIS has started killing hostages seized after it captures Assyrian Christian villages in Syria’s Hassake governorate—reportedly 15 kidnapped Christians may already be dead. In a message sent to Aid to the Church in Need Feb. 26, 2015, Iraq-based Archimandrite Emanuel Youkhana […]

Archbishop Oscar Romero
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Archbishop Romero and Me

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I barely met Archbishop Oscar Romero. As in the old Ben-Hur movies, where the heroes have a chance encounter with Jesus Christ in a melodramatic scene that has little to do with the plot of the movie, I brushed up against Monseñor in brief and transient episodes in my childhood. But someday, if God permits me, […]

Knock, and the Door Will Be Opened for You
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Knock, and the Door Will Be Opened for You

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If you’ve ever experienced the power of a novena, you can truly understand these words of Jesus told by St. Matthew in today’s Gospel . Novenas are often discovered out of despair, when your own attempts for a solution have failed. You discover one that fits your situation and you start praying like mad, knowing there […]

Lent With Mary
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Lent With Mary

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During Lent, we generally think about Jesus’ suffering and death. However, how often do we think about the suffering of his mother, Mary? A few days ago I stopped by the adoration chapel to ask Jesus what he wanted of me this Lent. The answer came back clearly: suffer and pray alongside the one who […]

On Brother Paul O’Donnell’s Death and ‘Being There’
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On Brother Paul O’Donnell’s Death and ‘Being There’

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As news of the untimely death of Brother Paul O’Donnell spreads, there will be many remembrances by those who knew him well. Perhaps none more than Bobby Schindler, brother of Terri Schiavo. Brother Paul distinguished himself, and the Church, by being the constant companion and supporter of the Schindler family as their severely brain damaged daughter, Terri, […]

Reflections for Sunday, March 1, 2015
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Reflections for Sunday, March 1, 2015

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Second Sunday of Lent Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion 1st Reading: Genesis 22:1-2,9-13,15-18 2nd Reading: Romans 8:31-34 Responsorial: Psalm 116:10,15-19 Gospel: Mark 9:2-10 Lent, A Time to Experience the Transforming Power of Christ He was transfigured before them. (Mark 9:2) Have you ever wondered why Jesus was transfigured? He never announced it. […]

How to Make Heaven Rejoice
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How to Make Heaven Rejoice

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The silence truly had been golden. I hadn’t heard or spoken many words for a couple of days — save for at the Liturgy of the Hours in the chapel. The immersion in the silence had been one of the most special, holiest gifts I could receive. That had been one of the overriding reasons […]

The Hijacking of the Catholic Mind
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The Hijacking of the Catholic Mind

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Dear William, In your last letter you expressed concern over fears a wave of polarization on the internet is hijacking the traditionalist movement, listing two individuals in particular.  Whether or not they are “traditionalists” (for reasons both have documented clear, they do not use the label, however they hold many views sympathetic to what your […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: The Joy of Siblings

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The memories of my first born getting to know his baby sister are forever etched in my mind. From the second she arrived home from the hospital, he watched her in awe and stood proudly beside her. He tried to include her in his games and delighted when she began to smile and giggle at […]

Egyptian Catholic Copts Consecrate First-Ever Church in Sinai
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Egyptian Catholic Copts Consecrate First-Ever Church in Sinai

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“The Church in Egypt has been strengthened by the murder of our brothers in Libya.” Such was the reaction by Coptic Catholic Bishop Youssef Aboul-Kheir of Sohag to the beheading of 21 Orthodox Coptic men in Libya by ISIS. The guest workers in Libya “suffered a holy death with prayers on their lips. They went […]

Contraception and the Reality of a Woman's Cycle
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Contraception and the Reality of a Woman’s Cycle

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Springtime in my fourth grade year, they lined us up, boys on one side, girls on the other. The boys got shuffled off into one classroom, while we girls got ushered into another. Giddy and curious, we whispered and fidgeted while the teacher set-up her materials. That was the day I first heard about periods. […]

How to Deal With Temptation
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How to Deal With Temptation

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When one speaks of temptation, it tends to carry a negative connotation because it is often attributed to something we shouldn’t do. However, I would propose that the art of temptation reveals a certain beauty in that a person is faced with a decision to either act out the temptation or not. Whether the decision […]

Reflections for Sunday, February 22, 2015
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Reflections for Sunday, February 22, 2015

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion Mass Readings: 1st Reading: Genesis 9:8-15 2nd Reading: 1 Peter 3:18-22 Responsorial: Psalm 25:4-9 Gospel: Mark 1:12-15 Lent, A Time to Experience New Life in Christ I will establish my covenant with you. (Genesis 9:11) The story of Noah and the Great Flood assures us that destruction […]

Ash Wednesday:  Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride
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Ash Wednesday: Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride

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On February 25, 2004, I was teaching English at the University of Central Florida in the Diocese of Disney, lecturing on “Ash Wednesday,” T.S. Eliot’s famous poem. There before me in the lecture hall sat several students with ashes smudged across their foreheads in the shape of a cross. Ash Wednesday. How apropos. T.S. Eliot […]

Jesus, If You But Said the Word...
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Jesus, If You But Said the Word…

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Do you ever want simply to “be better” from something … from any thing? It could be something that ails you, such as cancer or diabetes or endometriosis, heart disease or asthma or some other chronic health condition. It could be an addiction – to smoking or drinking alcohol, drugs or food or pornography. It […]

Ignorance of God: The Spirit Poverty of Our Age
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Ignorance of God: The Spirit Poverty of Our Age

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We often think that ignorance is a lack of knowledge, education or social training. But if ignorance is not knowing, then not knowing God is the greatest human ignorance. I want to address ignorance in the context of the human heart’s ignorance of God.  It is my opinion that this form ignorance is the primary […]

Is Traditionalism Being Hijacked by Anger?
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Is Traditionalism Being Hijacked by Anger?

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Dear Kevin, I was greatly moved by your last piece. It’s uniquely evident in your writing that you have a strong faith and genuine concern for the Church, regardless of any disagreements I may have. “There will always be a need in the Church for the prophetic voice that traditionalism provides. Like the Old Testament, […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: How Families Love

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Catholics today grow up in the age of the broken family. Whether it was substance abuse, mental illness, or infidelity which caused family stress, many of us have to work through our own personal family issues, especially those related to our fathers or mothers. Pope Francis’ audience last week touched on the importance of the […]

Sweet Silence
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Sweet Silence

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Shielding my eyes from the blinding sun, I sensed, rather than heard, a presence to my left as I stood in line waiting to board the plane. His face was about five inches from mine. I could see his lips moving but could hear nothing. Finally I faced him squarely and he repeated himself. “What’s […]

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