Category: Learn & Live the Faith

The Mystery of the Incarnation
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The Mystery of the Incarnation

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“Mystery,” he sneered. “That’s a good Catholic word.” My friend was a fundamentalist who had more than a bit of antipathy towards the Catholic Church, charging that it added to the simple faith of the Bible. But he didn’t read his bible very well. The word “mystery” is a Catholic word, only because it is […]

Votive Candles: Lights of Faith and Hope
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Votive Candles: Lights of Faith and Hope

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An elderly woman stands at the votive candle area and lights eight large candles. She says a prayer and then finds her place in the pew. On exiting the Church, a young girl, no more than ten years old, lights a small candle with her dad watching on. Her dad told her to say a […]

Central African Republic: Catholics Reach Out to Former Deadly Enemies
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Central African Republic: Catholics Reach Out to Former Deadly Enemies

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The Catholic leader of the Central African Republic embodies his Church’s commitment to peace and national reconciliation. Archbishop Dieudonné Nzapailanga, the president of the bishops’ conference and archbishop of the capital city of Bangui, recently visited a camp where former members of the Seleka Muslim rebel militia are housed, along with their families. For several […]

Reflections for Sunday, December 21, 2014
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Reflections for Sunday, December 21, 2014

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion (2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8-12,14,16; Psalm 89:2-5,27,29; Romans 16:25-27; Luke 1:26-38) Advent: A Time to Give Glory to God The Lord … will establish a house for you. (2 Samuel 7:11) Imagine David’s surprise when God denied his request to build a temple but promised instead to build […]

Ode to Feminine Genius: A Family Woman
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Ode to Feminine Genius: A Family Woman

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When I was a child I always said I wanted 9 children. In fact, I said I wanted 9 boys! I would tell people I wanted my own baseball team, not a softball team, a baseball team. Family was important to me and I hoped and prayed that one day I would find someone who […]

Ubi Petrus, Ibi Ecclesia
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Ubi Petrus, Ibi Ecclesia

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In a recent post in his blog The Next Right Step, Charlie Johnston writes: “There is a lot of theological incoherence rising right now.” A few days ago I realized that a friend of mine — whose friendship I treasured since the time of my conversion — is into some form of Sedevacantism. This is hard to understand […]

The Four Greatest Christmas Gifts Parents Can Give to Their Children Year-round
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The Four Greatest Christmas Gifts Parents Can Give to Their Children Year-round

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What are the four greatest Christmas gifts parents can give to their children year-round? Certainly we have the obvious one, love. But how do we love? How do we manifest our love, this love which should be poured out as agape love, a love of total self-giving, a sacrificial laying down one’s life and complete […]

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

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Did the bishops gathered for the October Synod on the family “quarrel”? Pope Francis pondered that question during his General Audience in St. Peter’s Square on Wednesday, December 10, 2011.  “Well, I don’t know if they quarreled,” Francis said.  “But they spoke strongly,” he added, prompting the laughter of the audience. Anyone who followed those […]

John the Baptist and Spiritual Joy
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John the Baptist and Spiritual Joy

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On the third Sunday of Advent, penitential purple gives way to pink and we celebrate “Gaudete” or “Rejoice!” Sunday. “Rejoice heartily in the Lord, says Isaiah” (61:10). “My Spirit finds joy in God my Savior,” says the Virgin Mary (Luke 1: 47). “Rejoice in the Lord always,” says St. Paul (I Thes. 5:16). “Make straight […]

Confessions of a Publicly Grumpy Mom
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Confessions of a Publicly Grumpy Mom

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Milk and toothpaste. That’s all that was left on my shopping list as I maneuvered myself, two shopping carts (one of the race car variety) and my five youngest sons toward the back of our local supermarket. The oldest boy was big enough to push a cart, only occasionally racing down an aisle or bumping […]

Traditionalists and the Council
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Traditionalists and the Council

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Dear Kevin, Thank you for organizing this discussion. I am grateful to you and the other good folks at Catholic Lane for providing this platform. The Latin Mass is a topic I’ve been interested in several years now – ever since I went to my first Latin Mass at St. Stanislaus Oratory in Milwaukee, WI. […]

Shudder -- It's Good for You
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Shudder — It’s Good for You

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Be sober. Accept reality. This is serious.

Reflections for Sunday, December 14, 2014
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Reflections for Sunday, December 14, 2014

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion (Isaiah 61:1-2,10-11; Luke 1:46-50,53-54 (Responsorial Psalm); 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24; John 1:6-8,19-28) What it Means to Pray without Ceasing Pray without ceasing. (1 Thessalonians 5:17) Without ceasing? At all times? Obviously, Paul is not talking about praying all day long. Rather, he is calling us to faithfulness in […]

For a Simpler Life, Get Rid of Your Soul-Sucking Stuff
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For a Simpler Life, Get Rid of Your Soul-Sucking Stuff

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You all know the drill–every December, stuff starts to find its way into your house. You throw a Christmas party and people bring you hostess gifts. You do a gift exchange at work and bring home more kitsch. Then there’s Christmas morning, plus the rounds to the relatives’ houses where you collect more stuff to bring […]

Thank You: Two Words That Can Transform Your Marriage
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Thank You: Two Words That Can Transform Your Marriage

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Every night since we’ve been married, my husband crawls into bed, turns toward me, and says: “Thank you so much for everything you did for us today.” After a couple years, I asked Peter if he felt obligated to thank me every night. “No not at all!” he replied “You mean so much to all […]

The Gift of the Atheists
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The Gift of the Atheists

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I remember the deep frustration at one point years ago when a surly teen, despite having been conceived with joy and raised with devoted love—decided he wouldn’t accompany us to Sunday Mass. Confronted with his obstinacy, my larger disquiet was how his behavior would affect the younger children. While wringing my hands, I confided my […]

 Three Common Misconceptions About the Immaculate Conception
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Three Common Misconceptions About the Immaculate Conception

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Today, December 8th, the Church would observe the feast of the Immaculate Conception. This year the feast is transferred to Monday the 9th, giving precedence to the Second Sunday of Advent. In my experience, the Immaculate Conception is one of the most misunderstood teachings of the Church. Today, I’d like to address three common misconceptions […]

Loved as I Am - A Powerful Conversion Story
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Loved as I Am – A Powerful Conversion Story

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Loved as I Am: An Invitation to Conversion, Healing, and Freedom through Jesus (Ave Maria Press, 2014) is written by a religious sister who has experienced conversion in a very dramatic fashion, but this book is for anyone who is wounded, suffers from addiction, or feels unloved and/or unlovable. Sr. Miriam James Heidland, a member […]

18 Shopping Days Until the Day of the Lord
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18 Shopping Days Until the Day of the Lord

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2 Pt 3:8-14 We await new heavens and a new earth Wasted time is not a prized commodity in American society. We are a people ruled by the calendar and the clock. “Time is money,” we say, because time is to be filled with purposeful controlled activity which is to be productive of things that […]

Prepare ye the Way
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Prepare ye the Way

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Advent is a time of joyful anticipation. For someone even bigger than Santa Claus is coming to town. The human race has been waiting a long time for his next and final visit. Actually, it waited a long time for the first visit. Things had gone awry quite early in the history of the human […]

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

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At Wednesday’s General Audience on Dec.3, Pope Francis’s catechesis focused on “ the hope that fruits of dialogue will flow be it in our relations with our Orthodox brothers, be it in those with Muslims, be it in the path to peace among peoples”, as a result of his apostolic visit to Turkey. While most […]

Book Review: Embracing Edith Stein: Wisdom for Women
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Book Review: Embracing Edith Stein: Wisdom for Women

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Before reading Anne Costa’s book Embracing Edith Stein: Wisdom for Women from St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, I knew who Edith Stein was but did not really know a lot about her. She had figured into other things I have read and I had connected with some of the passages quoted from her writings. […]

What Would St. Thomas More Think of the Kasper Proposal?
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What Would St. Thomas More Think of the Kasper Proposal?

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One of the towering figures of the turbulent period which culminated in the creation of the Church of England was St. Thomas More. He was born in 1478, just before the Protestant schism began in Europe, and was a prominent British lawyer and statesman who became a trusted adviser to King Henry VIII. As a […]

Reflections for Sunday, December 7, 2014
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Reflections for Sunday, December 7, 2014

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion (Isaiah 40:1-5,9-11; Psalm 85:9-14; 2 Peter 3:8-14; Mark 1:1-8) Advent, A Time to Prepare the Way for the Coming of the Lord He will prepare your way. (Mark 1:2) Clearly, John the Baptist was a mighty man of God. He was an ambassador called to prepare the […]

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