Category: Learn & Live the Faith

Humility and the Holy Cross
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Humility and the Holy Cross

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In June I had my right hip replaced.  Twenty years of running eroded the cartilage in the joint and when the pain became intolerable I elected to go under the knife.  Parish elders said, “You’re too young to have hip surgery.” (I’m 43.)  In the words of Indiana Jones: “It’s not the years, it’s the […]

Feast of the Holy Cross
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Feast of the Holy Cross

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Terrorism is nothing new.  It’s probably as old as the human race. In fact the cradle of civilization, now Iraq, was the home of the most infamous terrorists of antiquity, the Assyrians.  Their goal was to conquer their neighbors in a way that would minimize  initial resistance and subsequent rebellion.  To do this, they knew […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: The Church and Mercy

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Pope Francis continued his catechises on the Church as mother during this Wednesday’s general audience in St. Peter’s Square on Sept.10. Throughout the entire address, the pope reiterated that the concept of mercy is at the crux of both the Gospels and the teaching of the Church. He also challenged Christians to let go of […]

Thirteen Years, Onward
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Thirteen Years, Onward

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Christians know that evil won’t win in the end, yet that knowledge sometimes seems small comfort when the end seems far from sight. Scripture tells us that Christ will come, angels will gather all humanity, and judgment will be final. Yet until that triumphant day, we carry the pilgrim’s palm, not the victor’s wreath, hoping […]

Reflections for Sunday, September 14, 2014
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Reflections for Sunday, September 14, 2014

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion (Numbers 21:4-9; Psalm 78:1-2,34-38; Philippians 2:6-11; John 3:13-17) What it Means to Exalt the Cross At the name of Jesus every knee should bend. (Philippians 2:10) In A.D. 326, St. Helena, the mother of the Roman emperor Constantine, discovered the true cross of Jesus near the site […]

Thinking Liturgically:  The Scriptures
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Thinking Liturgically: The Scriptures

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Whatever Mass we attend here in the Roman Rite is broken up into two parts:  The Liturgy of the Word, and the Liturgy of the Eucharist.  There are endless debates in reform communities over which is more “important”, and that debate bores me.  It really isn’t Catholic to say one part of Mass is more […]

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

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In Pope Francis’ latest general audience he reminds us of how the Church is our Mother.  To many people, “mother” can mean many different things, such as love, protector, defender, leader, guide, hope, trust, friend and faith.  Hopefully, some of you can relate to your own mother and think of how she has and continues […]

Do Whatever Makes You Happy
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Do Whatever Makes You Happy

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These seemingly harmless well-intentioned words, can appear on the surface to be a wonderful wish for someone we love or care about. I submit to you however, that they are rather more platitude than love, and more harmful than good. The world is filled with people far more experienced than I in many areas of […]

Reflections for Sunday, September 7, 2014
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Reflections for Sunday, September 7, 2014

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion (Ezekiel 33:7-9; Psalm 95:1-2,6-9; Romans 13:8-10; Matthew 18:15-20) Loving Others as God Has Loved You Love your neighbor as yourself. (Romans 13:9) Have you ever noticed how the commandments that we hear most often are the ones we have the hardest time fulfilling? Take today’s second reading […]

Low-Key Evangelists
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Low-Key Evangelists

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In the weeks that followed my father’s death, a phrase kept running through my head. All will be well, all will be well, and all manner of things will be well. Julian of Norwich said it, but here is the really odd thing. I had never read anything by Julian of Norwich. I had never […]

Remain Here
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Remain Here

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Our approximately 48-hour visit to the “top of the mountain” neared its end. I knew we soon would be leaving, with only mid-day prayer and a lunch of Vietnamese food ahead on the schedule. I wanted to savor that prayer experience, to let it satisfy my spiritual taste buds in a way no food ever […]

Wake Up, The Glory of the Martyrs Shines Upon You!
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Wake Up, The Glory of the Martyrs Shines Upon You!

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In his moving novel, Silence, Japanese-Catholic author Shusako Endo once described the continent of Asia as a “swamp” that choked the sapling of the Gospel and made it uninhabitable for Christianity. That image has always haunted me because a part of my own journey — as a convert to Christianity from Buddhism — has been to […]

The Cross of Jeremiah
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The Cross of Jeremiah

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Jeremiah was the loneliest and saddest of the prophets but he was one of the greatest.  He was a descendant of Eli, the priest who taught the prophet Samuel.  Jeremiah did not want to be a prophet.  “I know not how to speak,” he told God.  His oracles reveal a sensitive man and the prophetic […]

Peter as Satan
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Peter as Satan

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Truth in advertising–after all the glowing reports of the benefits of a product, potential side effects need to be mentioned.  Informed consent–before surgery, patients have to be told of all the things that could possibly go wrong.  That way, they have the chance to opt out before it’s too late. As soon had the truth […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: On Christian Unity

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Unity among Christians is a gift from God. Christians must pray for it.  Pope Francis begins His weekly audience with a call to Unity among all Christians. He states: “We affirm that the Church is one and she is holy. Holy since she is founded by Jesus Christ, enlivened by his Holy Spirit, and filled with His […]

Frustrations in Prayer
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Frustrations in Prayer

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Fr. Ronald Knox, an English Catholic of the early 20th century and convert, gave retreats and talks to lay people to help them deepen and improve their spiritual life. In his Spiritual Guidance for Christian Living: A Retreat for Lay People, he gathers two dozen talks and homilies written for lay people and the troubles they […]

Standing Up For Christ
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Standing Up For Christ

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The Stations of the Cross is a service typically done on Friday evenings during the season of Lent. It’s fitting to meditate on Jesus’ passion and death during the somber time of Lent. The church echoes with the words, “We adore you, Oh Christ, and we praise You. Because by your Holy Cross you have […]

A Path to Freedom and Peace for Young People With Addiction
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A Path to Freedom and Peace for Young People With Addiction

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The culture of death has many pillars and many faces. One such pillar, surely is the tragedy of drug and alcohol addiction. Not only does addiction slowly kill the addict (physically, spiritually and emotionally), but sexual impurity is often associated with drug and alcohol abuse, which leads to many unplanned pregnancies and abortions. A friend […]

Reflections for Sunday, August 31, 2014
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Reflections for Sunday, August 31, 2014

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion(Jeremiah 20:7-9; Psalm 63:2-6,8-9; Romans 12:1-2; Matthew 16:21-27) Developing and Growing in the Spiritual Gift of Discernment Get behind me, Satan! (Matthew 16:23) Amazing! In one moment, Jesus tells Peter that his words “You are the Messiah” had come from God himself (Matthew 16:17). Then, almost immediately afterward, […]

Seven More Books for Catholic College Students
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Seven More Books for Catholic College Students

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The college semester is upon us again, and at most universities the new academic year is either now beginning or has recently begun [1]. For the returning students, this means a return to familiar stomping grounds and reunions with friends before the courses really buckle down into the semester grind. For the new students, it […]

Including People With Downs
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Including People With Downs

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A Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) news blog featured a story about A new line of clothing for people with Downs Syndrome has been launched. Karen Bowersox of Mentor OH, has developed a clothing line specifically for people with the condition. Being an advocate for people with disabilities, I took note of the story. It’s not […]

Thinking Liturgically:  The Gloria
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Thinking Liturgically: The Gloria

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After the Confetior and a few short prayers (such as the Kyrie), the priest then intones the Gloria by proclaiming the first few words aloud:  Gloria in excelsis Deo, Glory to God in the highest.  We are reminded of the night Christ was born, when the angels proclaimed this very phrase to the world. What we might not […]

Syrian Bishop Cries Out: 'Help My People Stay'
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Syrian Bishop Cries Out: ‘Help My People Stay’

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“We are strong in our faith, rooted in our history. We have been here for 2000 years. We refuse to go!” Iraq and Syria are in turmoil. In Iraq, Islamic radicals of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) are threatening to plunge the country back into civil war. In Syria, a ruthless regime […]

"Who Do You Say That I Am?"
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“Who Do You Say That I Am?”

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“Who do you say that I am?”  That is a question that we are called to answer every day.  Who it he?  Is he God?  Is he the Lord of our lives?  Or was he just a good man who healed the sick and got crucified for crimes against the Jerusalem establishment a long time […]

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