Category: Learn & Live the Faith

A Lovely View of Heaven but I'd Rather be With You
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A Lovely View of Heaven but I’d Rather be With You

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The Judgment of the Nations (Mt 25:31-46). Solemnity of Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, Sunday, November 23, AD 2014 A disclaimer: this story was written in English but with some Italian and Spanish lingo thrown in. Subtitles are included. Pericle Cordani, my paternal grandfather, left his village in northern Italy and journeyed across the […]

Last Judgment
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Last Judgment

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On the final Sunday in the liturgical year, it is time to remember things that we’d prefer to forget. For starters, we recall that there is an infinite qualitative difference between us and God. He is immortal and infinite. We are not. Each one of us will come to our individual end. But so will […]

Christian Community in India Still Awaits Justice--but Faith Flourishes
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Christian Community in India Still Awaits Justice–but Faith Flourishes

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Last August marked the anniversary of the 2008 massacre of more than 100 Christians at the hands of a Hindu mob in Kandhamal district in Orissa (Odisha) State, India—and the culprits, though most of them have been identified, have yet to be tried. Six years later, a Catholic priest who narrowly escaped a most gruesome […]

Decide, Don't Slide: Marriage Milestones
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Decide, Don’t Slide: Marriage Milestones

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Report reveals the order of milestones, and how couples handle them, makes or breaks marriages Milestone moments make memories for married couples, even the ones made together before the big wedding day. You always remember who first introduced the two of you, where and when you first kissed, when you proposed, and what you first […]

For Better Preaching: Try Better Listening
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For Better Preaching: Try Better Listening

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Whether the homilies of your priest (or deacons) are the pits, mediocre and boring, the best, or spiritually life-changing, preaching is a two-way street – speaker and listener – and you, the listener, can have dramatic and beneficial effects on the speaker, the priest, and on the quality of his preaching.  Some suggestions: Pay (attention) […]

The Power of Prayer: Does Prayer Heal?
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The Power of Prayer: Does Prayer Heal?

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There is much debate on whether or not prayer can help a person heal from a physical malady. There have been numerous studies to test whether patients would heal faster and have fewer complications while healing if they knew that others were praying for their recovery. The results are mixed. Some find that no, there […]

Reflections for Sunday, November 23, 2014
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Reflections for Sunday, November 23, 2014

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion (Ezekiel 34:11-12,15-17; Psalm 23:1-3,5-6; 1 Corinthians 15:20-26,28; Matthew 25:31-46) Jesus Christ, A King Like No Other Whatever you did for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me. (Matthew 25:40) What do you think of when you think of a king? A regal throne? […]

Nothing Compares To You
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Nothing Compares To You

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Of the many things I appreciate about the Catholic education my children have received here in Ohio, one that is pretty high on the list is the schools’ endeavors to educate parents who may have been poorly catechized or who may not even be Catholic themselves. Starting when our kids are in Kindergarten, we parents are assigned […]

Weak Marriage Preparation Fuels the Vocations Crisis
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Weak Marriage Preparation Fuels the Vocations Crisis

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Articles relating to the sanctity of marriage have been churning out from Catholic media sources recently. The identity of marriage as between a man and a woman has been outlined and explained. Volumes have been written about the sacredness of sex and the scandal of contraception. Catholic couples with even limited exposure to Catholic media […]

Take Up Your Cross
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For My Name’s Sake

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God’s Honor Roll and Satan’s Radar are the same list.

Castellani's Eyeglasses
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Castellani’s Eyeglasses

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I have a dear friend in Buenos Aires, Fabián Rodríguez Simón, a voracious reader and recalcitrant freethinker. Every time we meet I like to engage with him in tough (and bitter) theological disputes. In one occasion, while reviewing the great Catholic writers of the 20th century, from Chesterton to Lewis, from Bloy to Tolkien, my […]

November:  Month of the Dead
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November: Month of the Dead

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“Vanity of vanities! All things are vanity!” (Eccl 1:2). So says Qoheleth, the Preacher, the protagonist of the Book of Ecclesiastes, the most unique book in the portion of the Old Testament classified as wisdom literature. As “king of Jerusalem,” the Preacher imparts to the reader his musings on life and death, which to him […]

The Parable of the Talents
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The Parable of the Talents

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I’ve seen it time and time again. Someone decides to seek a better paying job, or pursue and investment strategy, or launch a new business. Invariably some pious person in the parish objects that maybe this is too worldly, that it will be a distraction from Church and family priorities, that one should be satisfied […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: An Alphabet for Clerics

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In the realm of effective written communication, it is essential to first master the basics of grammar before attempting to compose a persuasive essay. Perhaps the first official school lesson most children learn is to recite the alphabet. From there years are spent memorizing and putting into practice the rules of good grammar. Without this […]

The Hour of Mercy
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The Hour of Mercy

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Eight months ago after welcoming my youngest into the wide world, I rediscovered the wee hours of the morning. After my longest gap between newborns (almost five years) in which I’d grown used to sleeping and waking according to my own wants and needs, I had to relearn that sacrificial habit of fumbling in the […]

The Grace of Admitting Our Brokenness
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The Grace of Admitting Our Brokenness

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Even healers need to be healed. Even teachers need to learn more. And even those who advise perfection aren’t perfect. If we’re willing to admit that, then we have the grace of integrity, explains Lisa Hendey in her fourth book The Grace of Yes, released yesterday by Ave Maria Press. Integrity gives people in authority (including […]

Reflections for Sunday, November 16, 2014
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Reflections for Sunday, November 16, 2014

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion (Proverbs 31:10-13, 19-20,30-3; Psalm 128:1-5; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6; Matthew 25:14-30) Creating a Home Life that is Pleasing to the Lord When one finds a worthy wife, her value is far beyond pearls. (Proverbs 31:10) In 1843, American author Nathaniel Hawthorne published a short story called “The Birthmark.” […]

Okay, Kid, Offer it Up
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Okay, Kid, Offer it Up

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Tyler Blanski wrote a fabulous and insightful article on fatherhood the other day on Catholic Exchange. It reminded me of my own father and one of his favorite sayings: “offer it up.” Whenever something traumatic happened in the lives of his ten children, like spraining an ankle during football practice or hearing something hurtful by […]

Memorial Day
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Remembrance Day

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There is an old country graveyard near the town where I live. For years the small Clearwater Cemetery was all but forgotten and neglected. In the middle of that graveyard lies the forlorn grave of a young soldier who died six days before the end of the First World War. The decrepit fence surrounding the […]

Each Person Is a Divine Revelation
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Each Person Is a Divine Revelation

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In touring some underground caverns recently, the cave guide said that the exquisite formations all around us took tens of millions of years to form from billions of acidic water droplets which had entrained trillions of tiny particles of materials. Conditions above and beneath the surface had to be precisely correct, and changes in and […]

Nine Words We Must Say Every Day
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Nine Words We Must Say Every Day

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When I was young child growing up in the 70’s, I remember seeing greeting cards and cheesy home décor with the quote, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry,” an oft quoted line from the melodramatic film Love Story. It never made sense to me. If that is indeed true, I would tell myself, […]

Hidden Treasures
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Hidden Treasures

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Working with the ‘least’ among us in nursing homes Over the years, I have had some interesting and exciting professional experiences as an interviewer and a writer. But nothing quite compares to my time visiting people in nursing homes. I’ve lived in six states, visited a number of facilities, and my interest hasn’t waned. Sometimes […]

Who Needs Church Buildings?
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Who Needs Church Buildings?

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As a rebellious teenager, I thought that Catholics should stop wasting their money on expensive churches. We ought to sell them all and buy food for the poor, I argued. Funny thing. Jesus, who cared much for the poor, did not have this attitude. As an adolescent he yearned to spend time in Herod’s sumptuous […]

The Dedication of the Lateran Basilica
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The Dedication of the Lateran Basilica

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In high school science class I learned that water is the universal solvent. That is the extent of my scientific knowledge. In geography class I was taught that three quarters of the earth consists of water. And the water we drink today is the same water that the dinosaurs drank millions of years ago. I […]

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