Category: Catechesis

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Pope Francis and School Choice
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Pope Francis and School Choice

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In his apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia (“The Joy of Love”), Pope Francis addressed issues related to marriage and the family. The document has received a great deal of media coverage and it will shape the way that the Church discusses these issues moving forward. One important section of the exhortation focused on reaffirming the Church’s […]

Do Protestant's and Catholic's Believe the Same "Gospel"?
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Do Protestant’s and Catholic’s Believe the Same “Gospel”?

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In an article called “The Gospel for Roman Catholics” put out by the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry (CARM) the claim is made that Roman Catholics lack a fundamental understanding of the true and undefiled gospel of Jesus Christ. Meanwhile, the Catechism of the Catholic Church calls the Lord’s Prayer a “Summary of the Gospel” (CCC 2761) and Pope […]

The Glory of the Resurrection
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The Glory of the Resurrection

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The serpent’s bite was a deadly one.  The venom had worked its way deep into the heart of the entire human race, doing its gruesome work. The anti-venom was unavailable until He appeared. One drop was all that was needed, so potent was this antidote. Yet it was not like Him to be stingy. He […]

The Last Days and the Resurrection of the Dead, Part I
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The Last Days and the Resurrection of the Dead, Part I

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Easter, when we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, will soon be upon us, so it is appropriate to reflect on that resurrection and on the one which will be given to us, as Paul said in his letter to the Corinthians. It is an article of faith for us as Catholics that we will […]

Who Wouldn't Want This?
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Who Wouldn’t Want This?

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Has Lent got you feeling grumpy? Deprived? Hungry? Has politics got you acting like a real bear? Are you snapping at people? Is the long wait for the first buds of springtime transforming you into someone from whom people walk away? Your heart, soul, body, and mind all need something. But what? If only The […]

Why God Sends Us Imperfect Popes
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Why God Sends Us Imperfect Popes

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Pope Francis set tongues wagging again with his latest comments that contraception might be used to prevent birth defects caused by the Zika virus. The secular media seem delighted by the implication that the Catholic Church’s traditional opposition to artificial birth control might be eased. In response to reporters’ questions during his flight from Mexico […]

Beyond Us and Beside Us
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Beyond Us and Beside Us

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In the Book of Isaiah the prophet recounts his vision: He saw God, sitting before him on a “high and lofty throne”while the Seraphim stationed above cried out: “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts. All the earth is full of his glory.” Then at the sound of that cry “the frame of the […]

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