Category: Learn & Live the Faith

You Are What You Eat
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You Are What You Eat

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A few years back George Gallup conducted a poll called “Religion in America.” He studied two groups of Americans, regular churchgoers from various Christian churches on the one hand, and totally unchurched people on the other. He quizzed both groups on issues ranging from the divinity of Jesus, to cheating on income tax, infidelity in […]

The First Heralds
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The First Heralds

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My husband was watching the morning news when footage of 433 hot air balloons in France lit the screen and he pressed pause, beckoning our daughter. “Look, Maria!” he said. They watched the segment together, but Ted wasn’t satisfied with its educational value, so he found an online video of another hot air balloon, kicking […]

Reflections for Sunday, August 2nd, 2015
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Reflections for Sunday, August 2nd, 2015

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion Mass Readings: 1st Reading Exodus 16:2-4, 12-15 2nd Reading: Ephesians 4:17, 20-24 Responsorial: Psalm 78:3-4, 23-25, 54 Gospel: John 6:24-35 Hold Fast to Jesus, No Matter the Circumstances What can we do? (John 6:28) You’ve probably heard of the Rubik’s Cube, a puzzle requiring tremendous concentration to […]

The Feeding of the Five Thousand
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The Feeding of the Five Thousand

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Everybody loves a picnic. Summer is picnic season. This weekend we have our parish picnic over yonder on the green grass at Patriarch Park. Food, fun, fellowship. If there’s one thing that Catholics are good at it’s eating. Maybe I should speak for myself but the picnic is sure to provide a good time for […]

Filling Up My Nearly Empty Gas Tank
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Filling Up My Nearly Empty Gas Tank

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For as long as I can remember, I have been an “11th-hour” guy. Some might call it procrastination. I prefer to say “I thrive under deadline.” That was a marketable skill for much of my life. Now, it has become an occasionally debilitating burden. It began, commonly enough, with working on high school term papers […]

A Gift for My Grandmother and Saint Anne’s Gift to Me
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A Gift for My Grandmother and Saint Anne’s Gift to Me

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The summer of 2008 was a summer of opportunity for me.  I was able to attend the International Eucharistic Congress in Quebec City, Canada with other young adults from the state of Wisconsin through Catholic Youth Expeditions, a retreat ministry founded by Father Quinn Mann, a priest of the Diocese of Green Bay. As part […]

Hidden Meaning of the Loaves and the Fishes
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Hidden Meaning of the Loaves and the Fishes

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Finding the hidden meanings.   Unraveling mysteries.  Deciphering symbols.  The thrill inherent in all this is partly why Dan Brown’s book, the Da Vinci Code, sold so well. But Brown’s secret code, the 2000 year chain of clues supposedly leading to the true identity of Jesus and his holy grail, is simply a parody of the […]

From Your Fellow Pilgrim
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From Your Fellow Pilgrim

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I have a confession to make: Even though I know that at my age (54), I’m likely on the downhill side of life’s mountain … Even though I have seen numerous people pass away at ages much younger than me the last several years … Even though I have visited only 38 of the 50 […]

Reflections for Sunday, July 26, 2015
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Reflections for Sunday, July 26, 2015

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion Mass Readings: 1st Reading 2 Kings 4:42-44 2nd Reading: Ephesians 4:1-6 Responsorial: Psalm 145:10-11, 15-18 Gospel: John 6:1-15 Growing in Humility, Our Call to be Like Jesus He withdrew again to the mountain alone. (John 6:15) Did you ever think that Jesus would let the crowd make […]

In Shadow of War, Syrian Christians are Trying to Rebuild Their Lives
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In Shadow of War, Syrian Christians are Trying to Rebuild Their Lives

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By Oliver Maksan HOMS, Syria—Bright colors set off the sullen grey of destruction: children and young people have painted one of the streets in the ravaged Old City of this ancient Christian center in Syria. On house walls, the young artists have expressed in brilliant colours what moves them, what they hope for. “The aim […]

Missionary Bishop Uncovered and Shelved; Report on Him Shelved and Uncovered
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Missionary Bishop Uncovered and Shelved; Report on Him Shelved and Uncovered

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Parishioners at North American Martyrs Parish in Seattle have friends in high places—in more than one sense. To be sure, St. Isaac Jogues and his missionary brothers intercede for the souls in their namesake’s parish, but parishioners who attend the 8:00 am Mass at Holyrood Cemetery’s mausoleum have an additional friend likely in Heaven, whose […]

Being a Maccabean Mother
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Being a Maccabean Mother

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After a hearty meal, a male dinner guest and my husband reclined on the sofa where they set about solving all of the world’s problems. After a few laughs, the conversation turned serious as they speculated about the probability of coming persecutions like those already faced daily by Christians in the Middle East. They proclaimed […]

Speaking of False Teachers: A Primer (Part 2)
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Speaking of False Teachers: A Primer (Part 2)

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Part one of this series dealt with how Jesus, Scripture, and the saints described and identified false teachers. In this installment we examine the example of St. Athanasius. The Arians and Their False Teachers The Arian heresy is named after a priest named Arius (A.D. 250-336) who taught several false doctrines that flowed from a […]

Complete Abandonment to Christ and the Purpose of Our Existence
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Complete Abandonment to Christ and the Purpose of Our Existence

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At the beginning of his papacy, by Pope Benedict XVI’s 2005 homily for the Mass Imposition of the Pallium and Conferral of The Fisherman’s Ring For the Beginning Of The Petrine Ministry Of the Bishop Of Rome, His Holiness said: “There is nothing more beautiful than to be surprised by the Gospel, by the encounter with […]

Hungry Sheep, Weary Shepherds
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Hungry Sheep, Weary Shepherds

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Lots of perks come with being the boss, whether you are the boss of a church, company, or nation.  You get to call the shots, for starters.  Then there is good food, good drink.  Travel.  Parties.  Expense accounts.  Pomp and circumstance. Bodyguards. Technology has changed a lot, but people haven’t. In ancient times as in […]

Speaking of False Teachers: A Primer (Part 1)
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Speaking of False Teachers: A Primer (Part 1)

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How does one speak about those with hierarchical authority who contradict church teaching, leading the faithful astray? Even if they are priests, bishops, and cardinals? Should one have sensitive dialogue with schismatics and heretics? Compromise for the sake of unity and peace? Avoid stirring the ecclesial pot? Meet them where they are and find common […]

Niger: They set fire to Our Churches, But We Still Love Them
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Niger: They set fire to Our Churches, But We Still Love Them

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By Antonia von Alten NEW YORK—Six months after extremist Muslims attacked Christians and burned down a number of churches, the local faithful remain fearful—but a local bishop reported that Catholic life in Niger continues to flourish. In an interview with international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, Bishop Ambroise Ouédraogo of Maradi recalled […]

Reflections for Sunday, July 19, 2015
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Reflections for Sunday, July 19, 2015

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion Mass Readings: 1st Reading: Jeremiah 23:1-6 2nd Reading: Ephesians 2:13-18 Responsorial: Psalm 23:1-6 Gospel: Mark 6:30-34 Being Open to the Promptings of the Holy Spirit His heart was moved. (Mark 6:34) In today’s Gospel, we see Jesus both encouraged and discouraged. He was encouraged because the apostles […]

Take A Friend On The Journey
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Take A Friend On The Journey

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A March weekend in 2005 has affected my life as profoundly as almost any other event. Not only did my two-day experience improve the quality of my life, it probably saved my life. Numerous times. I gained a true understanding about the invaluable importance of making my spiritual journey with companions. And to think it […]

What Do Twilight, Fifty Shades, and Leviticus Have in Common?
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What Do Twilight, Fifty Shades, and Leviticus Have in Common?

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Most who discuss them agree that the Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey fiction series are the same basic story line with different characters. What seems to differ among those discussing the two, however, is why they are so popular that they developed a cult following. I have a suggestion along that line: What if the wild fascination […]

Amos:  The Lion of God's Salvation
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Amos: The Lion of God’s Salvation

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The prophet hears what God proclaims ) and is called to speak in God’s name. The Twelve hear the message of Jesus and are sent forth to preach the gospel. In him we have been chosen to be full of love. The Scriptures often illustrate how God calls ordinary people and empowers them to accomplish great things. The prophet Amos […]

Just Do it!
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Just Do it!

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Everybody likes free gifts.  Advertisers know that a campaign will have much better results if there are free samples or a free gift with every purchase.  A friend of mine lived by this motto: when it’s free, take two. But when we receive a favor, we’re wise enough to know there has got to be […]

One Nation Under SCOTUS: Some Hildebrandian Parallels
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One Nation Under SCOTUS: Some Hildebrandian Parallels

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In response to the US Supreme Court’s (SCOTUS) decree on same sex marriage, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, head of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops issued this statement: …It is profoundly immoral and unjust for the government to declare that two people of the same sex can constitute a marriage…. Mandating marriage redefinition across the country […]

Was Jesus Really Silent on Same-Sex "Marriage"?
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Was Jesus Really Silent on Same-Sex “Marriage”?

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The issue of same-sex “marriage” seems to be everywhere these days. Anyone who voices an objection to it is also, more and more frequently, accused of discrimination and labeled a “bigot.” Now, state and federal governments may very well change the age-old definition of marriage to include people of the same gender and marry two […]

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