Category: Learn & Live the Faith

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 […]

Old Testament Roots of Peter and the Keys
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Old Testament Roots of Peter and the Keys

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“More Catholic than the Pope.” There is nothing more quintessentially Catholic than the Papacy.  When we think “Catholic,” we think Rome, the Vatican, the dome of St. Peter’s. But the roots of the papacy actually go back to Jerusalem and the messiah-kings who ruled there. Like most heads of state, David and his descendants, the […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row with Francis: Faith, Identity and Cultural Zeal

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This week, Pope Francis continued his Apostolic Visit to Korea where he spent time with youth and Bishops of the country. He shared that his visit can be summed up by three words: memory, hope, testimony. Like all Catholics, I have my own testimony. I am an adult convert to the Catholic Church. In 2012, […]

Pope Denounces Moral Relativism on Korea Trip
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Pope Denounces Moral Relativism on Korea Trip

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Pope Francis denounced the trend of moral relativism during a meeting on Sunday with Catholic bishops from Korea and around Asia. Christians must avoid the temptation “to compromise our faith, to water down the radical demands of the Gospel and to conform to the spirit of this age,” the pope said. He said that dialogue is “an essential part […]

Reflections for Sunday, August 24, 2014
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Reflections for Sunday, August 24, 2014

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion (Isaiah 22:19-23; Psalm 138:1-3,6,8; Romans 11:33-36; Matthew 16:13-20) God’s “Inscrutable” and “Unsearchable” Plan to Establish His Church Upon this rock I will build my church. (Matthew 16:18) For years, Mother Teresa of Calcutta was an object of international acclaim, a celebrity of sorts whom people wanted to […]

Just Hepping God
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Just Hepping God

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After finishing up one of the marriage classes we offer to couples preparing for marriage, we facilitators will often talk about what went right and necessary improvements. It seems no matter how much we prepare technology to work properly, it invariably has us jumping through hoops and frustrating us crazy. We joke about gremlins and […]

Everyone Has a Story to Share
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Everyone Has a Story to Share

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There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” –Maya Angelou   It’s all about our stories. Everyone has them – many of them, in most cases. Your stories, taken all together, explain you. You can look in the mirror, see that face with wrinkles around your mouth and at the corners […]

Jesus and the Canaanite Woman
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Jesus and the Canaanite Woman

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The apostles thought she was a nuisance and asked Jesus to get rid of her.  Jesus had gone to the region of Tyre and Sidon, modern-day Lebanon, and a local woman approached him for a favor.  This was pagan country, home turf of the infamous Jezebel.  The inhabitants of these parts were fondly referred to […]

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

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“Do you pray the Rosary every day?,” Pope Francis asked the crowd at Castelgandolfo on the Feast of the Assumption last year.  “But I’m not sure you do, he added, teasingly.  “Yes!,” the crowd yelled back in unison. Pope Francis is traveling in South Korea this week, and thus he did not hold his weekly […]

The Assumption of Mary for Converts and non-Catholics
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The Assumption of Mary for Converts and non-Catholics

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Mary was assumed into heaven. It’s one of the more difficult teachings for converts to grasp. But there are ways to approach the Assumption so that non-Catholics may come to believe. In 1995, I wrote an article for Protestant newspapers called “Trends in Christian Fiction” which considered the possibility that a Christian fiction book might […]

Thinking Liturgically:  The Introit
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Thinking Liturgically: The Introit

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After the Confetior and a series of prayers, the priest ascends the altar and begins to read the Introit.  During High Mass, this is the set of verses that is chanted as Mass begins.  In the Ordinary Form, this is referred to as the “opening verse”, and is actually optional.  The priest might say it […]

The Story of a Seminarian, From a Mom's Point of View
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The Story of a Seminarian, From a Mom’s Point of View

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When I first became a mom, I was not quite 23 years old. I lived 3 hours away from my parents and my friends, and I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t have the internet or blogs back in those days, I really felt like we were completely on our own. I […]

Reflections for Sunday, August 17, 2014
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Reflections for Sunday, August 17, 2014

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion (Isaiah 56:1,6-7; Psalm 67:2-3,5-6,8; Romans 11:13-15,29-32; Matthew 15:21-28) The Power of Persistent Prayer Woman, great is your faith! (Matthew 15:28) Today’s Gospel reading gives us a vivid illustration of Jesus’ teaching that we need to ask, seek, and knock. Only this is not a parable or a […]

How Does the Church Respond to Suicide?
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How Does the Church Respond to Suicide?

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The news of Robin Williams’ death is heartbreaking, as is any news of the death of one of our heroes. Just as was the news of mega-church pastor Rick Warren’s son’s suicide. I can understand Williams and I feel pity and sorrow for those souls. I really can and do. Between the time I was 14-17 I tried on […]

Iraq's Christians Facing a Human Catastrophe
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Iraq’s Christians Facing a Human Catastrophe

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“They are facing a human catastrophe and risk a real genocide. They need, water, food, shelter…” These were the words of the leader of Iraq’s biggest Catholic community as he made an impassioned plea for help to the international community following the fall of Iraq’s largest Christian town on the night of August 6th-7th. In […]

Walking on Water
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Walking on Water

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One of the most famous stories of the New Testament is the one about Jesus walking on the water. If there is any gospel story we never tire of hearing, this is it. The lake is rough.Though several of the apostles spent most of their life in a boat, they’re still worried. But when they […]

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