Category: Catechesis

Reflections for Sunday, September 6, 2015
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Reflections for Sunday, September 6, 2015

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion Mass Readings: 1st Reading Isaiah 35:4-7 2nd Reading: James 2:1-5 Responsorial: Psalm 146:7-10 Gospel: Mark 7:31-37 Overcoming Fear to Live a Life of Faith, Freedom, Courage, and Generosity Say to those whose hearts are frightened: Be strong, fear not! (Isaiah 35:4) Today’s readings sketch some scenes from […]

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

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For his 100th general audience, Pope Francis continued his catechesis on the family by considering family prayer. In his opening statements, the pope pointed out that most people find it difficult to find time to pray. Pope Francis teaches that love of God, not guilt will inspire us to pray. Pope Francis zeroed in on […]

Faithfulness
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Faithfulness

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Belief in God is rather widespread, at least in America. Various surveys show that over 90% of Americans “believe in God.” But belief and faith are not quite the same thing. When many people say “I believe in God” they mean that they believe that God exists, that “there is a God” somewhere up there. […]

Let’s Hear It for St. Augustine: A Theologian for Our Times
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Let’s Hear It for St. Augustine: A Theologian for Our Times

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”Happy those who feast on wisdom and savor her knowledge, She will nourish and refresh them.” –Happy Those Who Feast on Wisdom, Hymn for the Office of Readings, 28th August Who is your favorite saint? Mine is St. Augustine (Hippo), whose feast day is today. Rather than giving his biography and conversion story, I thought it […]

Reflections for Sunday, August 30, 2015
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Reflections for Sunday, August 30, 2015

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion Mass Readings: 1st Reading Deuteronomy 4:1-2,6-8 2nd Reading: James 1:17-18,21-22,27 Responsorial: Psalm 15:2-5 Gospel: Mark 7:1-8,14-15,21-23 The Importance of Being Hearers and Doers of the Word of God Be doers of the word and not hearers only. (James 1:22) In the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of […]

Heart Speaks to Heart
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Heart Speaks to Heart

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SHE DIED ANYWAY. Decay in the marrow. Radiation robbed her radiance. Fragile peals of thunder protected summer showers that watered her flowers. If the thunder don’t get you then the lightning will. Life submits to death. My parents, Moose and Sylvia, made an odd couple, like an elephant and a tickbird. He was Oscar. She […]

Reflections for Sunday, August 23, 2015
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Reflections for Sunday, August 23, 2015

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion Mass Readings: 1st Reading Joshua 24:1-2, 15-18 2nd Reading: Ephesians 5:21-32 Responsorial: Psalm 34:2-3, 16-21 Gospel: John 6:60-69 Being Faithful to the Lord in Difficult Circumstances To whom shall we go? (John 6:68) Joshua, the Old Testament leader called to bring God’s people into the Promised Land, […]

Traditionalism and Being "Pastoral"
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Traditionalism and Being “Pastoral”

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Hello William, In your previous letter, you outlined your concern about in whether traditionally minded priests can actually govern in the American Church.  I have delayed in responding (and still respond reluctantly) because I’m not really sure what exactly you are looking for. For every case of a “traditional” priest behaving autocratically, can we not […]

Are the Divorced and Remarried Excommunicated?  What Francis Meant
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Are the Divorced and Remarried Excommunicated? What Francis Meant

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Untangling one of Pope Francis’ public statements often resembles taking a final exam. “How many inaccurate implications can be drawn from Pope Francis’ statement? Explain why they are inaccurate, referencing canon law, Church history, and prevailing cultural trends.” For example, take his recent statement that divorced persons who remarry outside the Church are “by no […]

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

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If you are divorced and civilly remarried, you are not excommunicated. But if you are in such “irregular” situation, you cannot receive Communion. Last but not least: excommunication is good. Take a deep breath and repeat! At his first General Audience after his summer break this year, Pope Francis told us that “it is necessary […]

Et Verbum Caro Factum Est
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Et Verbum Caro Factum Est

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Et verbum caro factum est. That’s Latin for “And the Word became Flesh.” What is this ‘word’? The word, the word, the bird is the word? Hardly an early sixties one-hit-wonder. The Word of which I speak has more staying power than even rock ‘n’ roll. Even more than the Strolling Bones and they’ve been […]

Reflections for Sunday, August 9, 2015
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Reflections for Sunday, August 9, 2015

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion Mass Readings: 1st Reading 1 Kings 19:4-8 2nd Reading: Ephesians 4:30–5:2 Responsorial: Psalm 34:2-9 Gospel: John 6:41-51 Winning the Spiritual Battle through the Power of the Holy Spirit Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God. (Ephesians 4:30) We all know how easy it is to conjure […]

On Confession: The Way to Peace
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On Confession: The Way to Peace

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My brother and I could be rambunctious children. There were times our rowdiness more than made up for the fact there was only two of us. One moment leaps to mind. We were roughly 12 and 9. Our dad had gone out on an errand and we were told to stay quiet while our mom, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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