Category: Catechesis

The Sacrifice of Isaac
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The Sacrifice of Isaac

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Everyone knows that Lent is about sacrifice.  So it’s fitting that the first reading in the second Sunday of Lent recalls one of the most famous sacrifices of all time. Here’s the background.  Abraham really only desires one thing–a son who will lead to descendants as numerous as the stars of the sky.   The only […]

Fire on the Mountain:  The Transformation of Peter
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Fire on the Mountain: The Transformation of Peter

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Lightning struck. Thunder clapped. The disciples of Jesus—Peter, James, and John—buried their heads in their arms. What is happening? What is Jesus up to now? Another manifestation of the Spirit. We already know that Jesus is God and on this night another affirmation. How could we forget? Throughout their three-year ministry with Jesus the Lord […]

Reflections for Sunday, March 1, 2015
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Reflections for Sunday, March 1, 2015

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Second Sunday of Lent Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion 1st Reading: Genesis 22:1-2,9-13,15-18 2nd Reading: Romans 8:31-34 Responsorial: Psalm 116:10,15-19 Gospel: Mark 9:2-10 Lent, A Time to Experience the Transforming Power of Christ He was transfigured before them. (Mark 9:2) Have you ever wondered why Jesus was transfigured? He never announced it. […]

How to Make Heaven Rejoice
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How to Make Heaven Rejoice

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The silence truly had been golden. I hadn’t heard or spoken many words for a couple of days — save for at the Liturgy of the Hours in the chapel. The immersion in the silence had been one of the most special, holiest gifts I could receive. That had been one of the overriding reasons […]

The Hijacking of the Catholic Mind
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The Hijacking of the Catholic Mind

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Dear William, In your last letter you expressed concern over fears a wave of polarization on the internet is hijacking the traditionalist movement, listing two individuals in particular.  Whether or not they are “traditionalists” (for reasons both have documented clear, they do not use the label, however they hold many views sympathetic to what your […]

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

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The memories of my first born getting to know his baby sister are forever etched in my mind. From the second she arrived home from the hospital, he watched her in awe and stood proudly beside her. He tried to include her in his games and delighted when she began to smile and giggle at […]

Contraception and the Reality of a Woman's Cycle
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Contraception and the Reality of a Woman’s Cycle

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Springtime in my fourth grade year, they lined us up, boys on one side, girls on the other. The boys got shuffled off into one classroom, while we girls got ushered into another. Giddy and curious, we whispered and fidgeted while the teacher set-up her materials. That was the day I first heard about periods. […]

How to Deal With Temptation
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How to Deal With Temptation

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When one speaks of temptation, it tends to carry a negative connotation because it is often attributed to something we shouldn’t do. However, I would propose that the art of temptation reveals a certain beauty in that a person is faced with a decision to either act out the temptation or not. Whether the decision […]

Reflections for Sunday, February 22, 2015
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Reflections for Sunday, February 22, 2015

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion Mass Readings: 1st Reading: Genesis 9:8-15 2nd Reading: 1 Peter 3:18-22 Responsorial: Psalm 25:4-9 Gospel: Mark 1:12-15 Lent, A Time to Experience New Life in Christ I will establish my covenant with you. (Genesis 9:11) The story of Noah and the Great Flood assures us that destruction […]

Ash Wednesday:  Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride
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Ash Wednesday: Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride

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On February 25, 2004, I was teaching English at the University of Central Florida in the Diocese of Disney, lecturing on “Ash Wednesday,” T.S. Eliot’s famous poem. There before me in the lecture hall sat several students with ashes smudged across their foreheads in the shape of a cross. Ash Wednesday. How apropos. T.S. Eliot […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: How Families Love

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Catholics today grow up in the age of the broken family. Whether it was substance abuse, mental illness, or infidelity which caused family stress, many of us have to work through our own personal family issues, especially those related to our fathers or mothers. Pope Francis’ audience last week touched on the importance of the […]

Lessons from the Leper
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Lessons from the Leper

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Many Catholics are confused about suffering.  Some writers extol its surpassing value.  But does that mean that we should look for suffering?  Or, if suffering should come our way, that it would be unspiritual to seek relief from it? The story of Jesus and the leper in Mark 1:40-45 provides us with a case study […]

A Fresh Look at Birth Control
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A Fresh Look at Birth Control

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It’s happening again, article after article appearing in my news feed. The theme is the same, although each has a slightly different slant to offer. Just as last year, I pour over each one, nodding all the while as my eyes scan the screen. The topic is birth control and each post does a good […]

Sympathy for the Devil (None so Much for Job)
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Sympathy for the Devil (None so Much for Job)

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SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL? (BUT NONE SO MUCH AS FOR JOB) Once upon a time the devil sought an audience with the Lord, which the Lord granted for he knew the devil to be a man of wealth and taste—a taste for blood. A bit of a wild child but God put up with him […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: What Makes a Good Father

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On February 04, 2015, Pope Francis continued his catechesis on the family, reflecting on the dignity and role of fathers. Last week he spoke of the danger of “absent” fathers, reminding us of Saint Joseph who was also tempted to leave Mary, when he discovered she was pregnant. He was prevented from leaving when the […]

Preach It!
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Preach It!

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The Bible is not just for Churches and Synagogues. Portions of it are read as literature, even in secular university classrooms.  Invariably, when you look at the syllabus of such courses, you find Job. It’s not hard to see why.  Job poignantly expresses what all human beings experience at one time or another–the feeling that […]

Book Review: The Power of Daily Mass
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Book Review: The Power of Daily Mass

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In The Power of Daily Mass: How Frequent Participation in the Eucharist Can Transform Your Life (Ave Maria Press, 2015), popular Catholic author and speaker Bert Ghezzi shares how attending daily Mass has enriched his life. He also offers quotes from other daily communicants on the value this practice has for them. He reflects on […]

Authority over Demons
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Authority over Demons

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I’ve read many term papers in my day.  Most of them are no more than a patchwork of quotes.  That’s because college students are smart enough to know that they really can’t say much on their own authority–to make their case, they have to lean on the authority of others more learned than themselves. That’s […]

The Priest’s Sacrifice and Yours
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The Priest’s Sacrifice and Yours

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“You received Holy Communion this morning and that is well, but you must do more, make a general confession and offer your communion for the conversion of sinners.” These were the words the Queen of Heaven spoke in 1859 to a Belgian immigrant named Adele Brise in Champion, Wisconsin. In 1917 the children in Fatima […]

Reflections for Sunday, February 1, 2015
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Reflections for Sunday, February 1, 2015

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion Mass Readings: 1st Reading: Deuteronomy 18:15-20 2nd Reading: 1 Corinthians 7:32-35 Responsorial: Psalm 95:1-2,6-9 Gospel: Mark 1:21-28 Overcoming the Temptations of the Evil One He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him. (Mark 1:27) So many people—especially those living in the West—have dismissed the existence […]

The Call of the First Disciples
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The Call of the First Disciples

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Saint Paul wrote two letters to the church at Corinth in ancient Greece. According to Paul “time was running out.” God was here and now and we who believe must reconsider how we think about our faith. Let nothing take precedent over our preparation for the kingdom of God. Paul describes two forms of time: […]

Detachment from the World
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Detachment from the World

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Peter and Andrew were businessmen.  So were their neighbors, James and John. They tried to wring a living out of the Sea of Galilee, and it probably took nearly all of the time and energy that they had. So it would have been easy to pass on the chance to hear some new prophet proclaim […]

Reflections for Sunday, January 25, 2014
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Reflections for Sunday, January 25, 2014

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion (Jonah 3:1-5,10; Psalm 25:4-9; 1 Corinthians 7:29-31; Mark 1:14-20) Hearing and Responding to God’s Call to Evangelize Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men. (Mark 1:17) Fishing seems relatively easy, doesn’t it? You throw a line into the water and hope a fish […]

Traditionalism, Humility, and the Prophetic Voice
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Traditionalism, Humility, and the Prophetic Voice

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Hello William, I thank you for your questions.  They are going to be tough to give a comprehensive answer to given current limitations, but I’ll try to cover what I can. We must begin with the usual caveat that I am only speaking for Kevin Tierney.  John Allen is known for saying that the number […]

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