Category: Learn & Live the Faith

Are Protestant Communities "Churches"?
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Are Protestant Communities “Churches”?

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In our last article, we demonstrated how Dr. Alan Schreck, as many orthodox Catholics do, erroneously applies the hermeneutic of discontinuity to the use of the terms “heresy” and “heretic” before Vatican II and the non-use of those terms in the Council. We will now do likewise with the term “church” as it was used […]

Thinking Liturgically:  The Saints and God's Mercy
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Thinking Liturgically: The Saints and God’s Mercy

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When calling for the reform of the Sacred Liturgy, the Second Vatican Council said the following: The rites should be distinguished by a noble simplicity; they should be short, clear, and unencumbered by useless repetitions; they should be within the people’s powers of comprehension, and normally should not require much explanation. (Sacrosanctum Concillium 34) When […]

Solomon’s Wisdom: On the Necessity of Reading the Old Testament
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Solomon’s Wisdom: On the Necessity of Reading the Old Testament

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Once I had dinner with another priest.  As we were eating we talked about the Bible.  “I preach the same homily every weekend,” he said. “Really?” I asked.  “And how are your collections?” While we were at it, he justified himself by declaring that it was no longer necessary to preach on the Old Testament. […]

Old vs. New in the Kingdom of God
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Old vs. New in the Kingdom of God

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“Liberal” and “conservative.” The definitions of these terms are seldom stated. Usually they are just presumed. Often people call “conservative” those who like old-fashioned things and “liberal” those who favor the latest ideas, trends, and values. But for the Christian, the ultimate question is not personal preferences of style, or whether something is old or […]

Eyes Off The Road
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Eyes Off The Road

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I came upon my old Bible the other day, the one I read through from cover to cover twice, a TEV Protestant Bible, now incomplete to me, but still generating a holiness from within even when I touch its cover. I looked at the many scotch tape fixes, the numerous margin notes, the multiple dog […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: The Eucharist and Renewing Our Hearts

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I do believe, help my unbelief! (Mark 9:24) Trembling and filled with anticipation I repeated this to myself as I walked down the aisle to receive, for the first time, the Eucharist. Pope Francis speaks to those gathered to receive his catechesis about the Eucharist (February 5, 2014) that “From this Sacrament of love, in […]

NCR Blogger's Memoir Breaks Mold
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NCR Blogger’s Memoir Breaks Mold

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National Catholic Register blogger Jennifer Fulwiler just published her long awaited memoir, Something Other Than God. The book is enjoying exposure and praise typically reserved for secular tales. When I saw the book profiled on Forbes.com, a real feat for a Catholic conversion story, I braced myself for something compelling. The memoir is written with […]

The Call to Humility
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The Call to Humility

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I like to play this little game now and then: I’ll pick a word – or as is the case more often, a certain word seems to choose me by rolling around unexpectedly in my mind for several days. At a certain point, feeling unable to ignore it any longer, I will sit down and answer […]

Reflections for Sunday, July 27, 2014
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Reflections for Sunday, July 27, 2014

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion (1 Kings 3:5,7-12; Psalm 119:57,72,76-77,127-130; Romans 8:28-30; Matthew 13:44-52) Knowing We are Treasured by God Out of joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. (Matthew 13:44) Have you ever noticed how much effort some people put into identifying themselves with certain […]

How to Forgive When I Can’t Forget
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How to Forgive When I Can’t Forget

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While many people believe forgetting an injury is part of forgiveness, Fr. Justin Waltz, pastor of St. Leo’s Church in Minot, ND, suggested just the opposite during a retreat he gave. In fact, he stated that forgetting is not even possible. “The only type of forgetting I have heard of is stuffing,” he said during a […]

The Parable of the Wheat and Tares
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The Parable of the Wheat and Tares

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At one time or another, we’ve all dreamed of a perfect world.  Imagine a company where everyone is productive, a government full of honest politicians, a church where all are saints. Dreaming about such things is natural; expecting such things is dangerous.  Unrealistic expectations lead to discouragement, despair, even cynicism. That would be bad enough.  […]

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

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When I got assigned to write about Pope Francis’ general audience on Confirmation, I was filled with joy. I smiled thinking how beautiful God works in our lives. I go to different churches and talk about the importance of Confirmation to our young people and tell them my story, and how the Holy Spirit worked […]

All My Love, Mudder
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All My Love, Mudder

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I am affectionately referred to by my three sons as, mudder. I do not know whence it came from, but it works. As a self-proclaimed writer of thoughts and words I have a tendency to author notes when issues or behaviors need to be addressed. According to our daughters, they can tell by the opening […]

Targeted intimidation: First attack on Catholic nuns in Bangladesh
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Targeted intimidation: First attack on Catholic nuns in Bangladesh

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For the first time, Catholic nuns have been the target of a concerted, brutal attack in Bangladesh involving a late-night attack by dozens of men that lasted over an hour. “50 to 60 armed men attacked the Boldipukur mission on July 7 at 2 a.m., and specifically the presbytery, the convent and the hospital,” Bishop […]

Sacred Experiences of the Small and Weak
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Sacred Experiences of the Small and Weak

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A few years ago, I entered my room to discover my little grandson looking up at a large crucifix on the wall above my bed.  He turned and asked if that really happen?”  “Yes it did.” I replied. “Did Jesus die?” he asked, turning back to look at the crucifix. “Yes, he did. But that’s […]

Reflections for Sunday, July 20, 2014
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Reflections for Sunday, July 20, 2014

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Yielding to the Work of the Holy Spirit in Our Lives The Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness. (Romans 8:26) If you remember nothing else about St. Paul, remember this: he loved to talk about the Holy Spirit! For just one example, take a look at chapter eight of his Letter to the […]

Paul in Arabia:  The History of the Temple
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Paul in Arabia: The History of the Temple

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The story of Paul’s journey into Arabia begins and ends in the Temple at Jerusalem (Acts 7:1—8:1; 22:17-21). Paul made his scriptural debut as the young prosecutor who guarded the cloaks of the members of the lynch mob who stoned Stephen (Acts 7:58; 8:1). Scripture offers scant details about the next few years of Paul: […]

The Bad Evangelist Club:  Sola Scriptura and the "Essentials"?
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The Bad Evangelist Club: Sola Scriptura and the “Essentials”?

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One common response that Protestants will use to defend or explain away their clear disunity in doctrine is by retreating into the dichotomy dogma, which they call the essentials of the faith, versus non-essentials of the faith.  Their defense begins like this, ‘Our unity is found in that all true Christian churches agree on the […]

The Sower and the Seed
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The Sower and the Seed

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I’ve always loved gardening.  Seeds I’ve planted include carrot, cucumber, and of course, zucchini.  In each case, I’ve planted seeds in neat rows, expecting nearly all of them to sprout and yield fruit. But the farmer in Jesus’ parable (Mat 13:1-23) uses the broadcast method.  Lots of seed cast everywhere.  And predictably, many of these […]

Be Someone to Somebody Else
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Be Someone to Somebody Else

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This evening on Facebook, someone posted one of those reassuring Pinterest boards that read, “Sometimes in life we just need someone to be there for us. Someone who will listen.  Someone who will understand us.” In past years, I would have grabbed onto this one and held tight.  But I’ve come to believe that when we […]

Christian Exodus from Iraq Accelerates
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Christian Exodus from Iraq Accelerates

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The migration of Christians out of Iraq will accelerate. This was the view held by the head of the Chaldean-Catholic Church, Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako. In an interview with the international Catholic pastoral charity, Aid to the Church in Need given on Saturday, June 28th in Ankawa, near Erbil, he said, “When I was […]

Farmer Wisdom
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Farmer Wisdom

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The theme my personal website, www.eisenbath.com, is “Hope.” Simple in many ways, so elusive for people in others. When I need some fresh inspiration, I often will roam around looking for interesting thoughts from a variety of sources. Recently, I ran across this: An old horse, an old dog and an old farmer have much in […]

Reflections for Sunday, July 13, 2014
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Reflections for Sunday, July 13, 2014

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion (Isaiah 55:10-11; Psalm 65:10-14; Romans 8:18-23; Matthew 13:1-23) Allowing the Scriptures to Transform Us and Bear Fruit in Our Lives My word … shall not return to me void. (Isaiah 55:11) A farmer is very careful during planting season. He selects the best seeds, chooses the most […]

Are We Really Teaching the Catholic Faith?
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Are We Really Teaching the Catholic Faith?

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“We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves; let each of us please his neighbor for his good to edify him. For Christ did not please himself; but, as it is written, ‘The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me. For whatever was […]

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