Category: Catechesis

St. Paul:  Dying to Live
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St. Paul: Dying to Live

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Saint Paul wrote his letter to the Philippians about a year before he died in prison at Rome.  In the letter he states concisely what he believes the human heart most longs for, that is, the meaning of life: “For to me life is Christ, and death is gain.” Paul wasn’t suicidal but he did […]

The Generosity of God
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The Generosity of God

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“But that’s not fair!”  Most parents have heard this phrase umpteen times.  The notion of fairness, also known as justice, is wired into us.  It makes us aware that each of us has certain rights that need to be respected. But it also means that we each have duties.  If others have the right to […]

Reflections for Sunday, September 21, 2014
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Reflections for Sunday, September 21, 2014

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion (Isaiah 55:6-9; Psalm 145: 2-3,8-9,17-18; Philippians 1:20-24,27; Matthew 20:1-16) Bringing Glory to God by Our Thoughts and Actions Conduct yourselves in a way worthy of the gospel of Christ. (Philippians 1:27) Paul speaks today about his desire to bring glory to Jesus by the way he thinks […]

The Greatest Love of All
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The Greatest Love of All

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“Love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:8). St. Paul’s love discourse is most associated with matrimonial love because it speaks of love’s permanence. It’s often the selected reading at weddings because it teaches the betrothed how to give of themselves and resolve differences by means of the greatest spiritual gifts: faith, hope and love. But since […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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

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Pope Francis resumed his catechesis on the Church, during his first General Audience since June. He focuses this week’s teaching on how Jesus fulfills the Old Testament by giving a new teaching on mercy in the beatitudes. Key Points: 1.)“John points to Jesus and calls us to follow him in repentance and conversion. The new […]

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