Category: Catechesis

Feast of the Holy Family
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Feast of the Holy Family

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Every year right after Christmas, we celebrate the feast of the Holy Family.  There is an important reason for this.  It’s easy to think the “incarnation” means God took on a human body, that he appeared in human flesh. But there is much more to it than that.  In Jesus, God unites himself entirely with […]

Christ Has Come; He Will Come Again; I Can Say All is Well
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Christ Has Come; He Will Come Again; I Can Say All is Well

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Saint Ignatius was Bishop of Antioch overseeing 1st century Syrian Christians and was a disciple of the Apostle John. He wrote a letter to the Christians at Ephesus as he was being transported to Rome to face wild beasts in the arena. He said, “For our God, Jesus Christ, was conceived by Mary in accord […]

John the Baptist and Spiritual Joy
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John the Baptist and Spiritual Joy

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On the third Sunday of Advent, penitential purple gives way to pink and we celebrate “Gaudete” or “Rejoice!” Sunday. “Rejoice heartily in the Lord, says Isaiah” (61:10). “My Spirit finds joy in God my Savior,” says the Virgin Mary (Luke 1: 47). “Rejoice in the Lord always,” says St. Paul (I Thes. 5:16). “Make straight […]

What is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception?
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What is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception?

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“I am the Immaculate Conception.” These are the words our Blessed Mother spoke to young Bernadette Soubirous when she appeared at Lourdes in 1858. On December 8th, we celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, yet it often seems to leave many people confused. What exactly are we celebrating on this holy day? Contrary to […]

In Anticipation of Thanksgiving
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In Anticipation of Thanksgiving

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I was talking to my Dad one Sunday evening while I stood in the backyard flipping burgers on the grill. “How was your weekend?” Dad asked. “Fine,” I said.  “We didn’t do much; the lake yesterday in the morning then cooked out some steaks in the evening.  Today it was church in the morning, then […]

Dedication of St. John Lateran
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Dedication of St. John Lateran

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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 Temple […]

Facing Death as a Catholic: We Who Remain
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Facing Death as a Catholic: We Who Remain

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One of my favorite scenes in Return of the King is Sam and Frodo sitting together as Mt. Doom erupts around them. When Frodo says, “I am glad you’re with me Samwise Gamgee, here at the end of all things,” my heartstrings are always tugged because Frodo is reaching for the soul friendship. Love ‘till death. Boundless […]

Do Catholics Believe in Ghosts?
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Do Catholics Believe in Ghosts?

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When I was ten years old I had a direct encounter with a ghost. My brother and I were playing in our bedroom, which was in the attic, of our three-story house in New Jersey. There were steep stairs leading up to the bedroom from the third floor walk way. My brother and I were […]

The Blessed Sacrament Gives a Foretaste of Future Glory
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The Blessed Sacrament Gives a Foretaste of Future Glory

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At the conclusion of his brilliant essay, The Weight of Glory, C.S. Lewis wrote, “Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses.” Lewis was right:  The holy Eucharist bears the body of Christ and your neighbor bears the image of God. Your neighbor may not behave in […]

Bl. John Henry Newman, 1880
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Newman: Patron of Adult Faith Formation

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Today is the Cardinal’s feast day.

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 […]

Solemnity of the Assumption
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Solemnity of the Assumption

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I once asked a college theology class if anyone could explain the doctrine of the Assumption.  A student replied, “Yeah, that’s the teaching whereby the Catholic Church ‘assumes’ that Mary is in heaven.” There’s a bit more to it than that.  The Church does not just “assume” that any canonized saint in is in heaven.  […]

Can a Scientist Believe in Miracles?
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Can a Scientist Believe in Miracles?

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Some 22 years ago when I was being catechized, preparing to enter into the Church, I was much troubled by the Eucharistic phenomenon, transubstantiation. As a physicist, I could not understand how the wafer could become the flesh of Christ and the wine His Sacred Blood. The wise old priest who was instructing me asked: […]

Jesus and the Dead Gorilla in the Looking Glass
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Jesus and the Dead Gorilla in the Looking Glass

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Two radically different strains of Americans emerged over the weekend in response to the Cincinnati Zoo killing a gorilla in order to save the life of a four year-old boy who tumbled into his enclosure. After viewing videos of the gorilla dragging the boy haplessly through the water at great speed, and climbing with the […]

Running to Win the Spiritual Race
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Running to Win the Spiritual Race

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William Shakespeare famously wrote “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players,” and so it is with us. Each of us “performs” each day on the world’s stage before the spectacle of our fellow man and before the saints and angels in heaven, under the watchful eyes of God. We […]

Trinity Sunday: Is it Relevant?
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Trinity Sunday: Is it Relevant?

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Many are ready to give a polite nod of some sort to Jesus of Nazareth. Most honor him as a great moral teacher. Many even confess him as Savior. But the Incarnation of the Eternal God? Second person of the Holy Trinity? God can’t be one and three at the same time. Such a notion […]

They're All With Us
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They’re All With Us

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We as Catholics believe that at death our material bodies are temporarily separated from our non-material souls until the end of time. We believe that at the end of time our bodies will be resurrected and re-united with our souls for eternity. For those who lived righteous lives their reunited bodies and souls will be […]

The Difference the Spirit Makes
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The Difference the Spirit Makes

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As a teen, I thought the clergy were supposed to do everything. We laity were just called to pray, pay, and obey. Oh yes, and keep the commandments, of course. The original 10 seemed overwhelming enough. Then I discovered the Sermon on the Mount and nearly passed out. Perhaps this is why many inactive Catholics […]

God’s Definition of Tolerance: The Woman Caught in Adultery
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God’s Definition of Tolerance: The Woman Caught in Adultery

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The Story and Its Reminders We have all heard the story of the woman caught in adultery who fell before Jesus at the point of being stoned under Mosaic law ( John 8:1-11). First, we know that those who brought this woman before Jesus were not really interested in the law, compassion, forgiveness or, for […]

Truth, Treason, and Marriage
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Truth, Treason, and Marriage

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The early part of the first century A.D.: Herod was the one who had John arrested and bound in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, whom he had married. John had said to Herod, ‘It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.’ Herodias harbored a grudge against […]

Christ Icon - Alpha Omega - IC XC
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The Last Days and the Resurrection the Dead, Part III

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This is the third in a series on unconventional propositions about last days and the resurrection of the dead. The first was on that of the Russian mathematician, Andrej Grib, dealing with quantum logic; the second on that of the American physicist, Frank Tipler, dealing with his physics derived Omega Point; this, the third, on […]

Laudato Si: Year One
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Laudato Si: Year One

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It has been a little over a year since Pope Francis released his encyclical, Laudato Si.’ The document generated a great deal of attention, particularly in the area of public policy. What action should the government take in order to address the environmental issues facing the planet? Unfortunately, the political questions surrounding Pope Francis’ message […]

The Good Shepherd and His Abundant Life
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The Good Shepherd and His Abundant Life

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The atheist philosopher of the 19th century, Friedrich Nietzsche, once said: “if Christians want me to believe in their redeemer, they need to look more redeemed.” He was drawing the wrong conclusion from a perceptive observation.  To Nietzsche most Christians looked just as burdened, clueless and lost as everybody else.  When he looked into their […]

Pope Francis Stresses Faithful Education in Light of Family Crisis, Says Theologian
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Pope Francis Stresses Faithful Education in Light of Family Crisis, Says Theologian

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Pope Francis clearly stated the need for faithful Catholic education in his apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia released on Friday, and warned against any attempts by schools or teachers to impose ideologies contrary to the teachings of the Church, theologian and author Dr. Edward Sri told The Cardinal Newman Society. “Pope Francis went out of his […]

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