Category: Catechesis

Reflections for Sunday, May 26, 2013
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Reflections for Sunday, May 26, 2013

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The Holy Trinity Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion (Proverbs 8:22-31; Psalm 8:4-9; Romans 5:1-5; John 16:12-1) Sharing in the life of the Trinity and Sharing our Lives with One Another In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Every time we make the Sign of […]

What Should We Confess?
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What Should We Confess?

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Wrapping up our series on the sacrament of confession, I’d like to deal with what I feel to be are the two most important parts.  Frequently two questions are asked with this sacrament:  What should we confess, and how often should we confess it? Due to poor catechesis (or worse) there are some who advocate that you should […]

Why Go To Confession?
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Why Go To Confession?

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If we want to solve the crisis of the confessional, we need to begin actually teaching these principles, and begin applying them in our own confessions. In many cases, this will require a fundamentally new outlook in the way we approach this sacrament. Yet it is only fitting, as the sacrament provides us a new way to live our life.

Reflections for Sunday, May 5, 2013
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Reflections for Sunday, May 5, 2013

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion (Acts 15:1-2,22-29; Psalm 67:2-3,5-6,8; Revelation 21:10-14,22-23; John 14:23-29) Being Drawn into the Life of the Trinity Peace I leave with you. (John 14:27) Rarely is a passage from Scripture as Trinitarian as these few verses. This passage comes from Jesus’ farewell address at the Last Supper: the […]

Is It Really About Catholic Identity?
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Is It Really About Catholic Identity?

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Imagine a Bishop exercising his rightful authority to assure authentic Catholic teaching and practice in Catholic Schools. If this proposition sounds reasonable, then you will find Bishop Vasa of the Diocese of Santa Rosa, CA to be a reasonable man. He had requested/required that all Catholic School teachers to publicly affirm Catholic Church teaching and […]

I Come to Heal, Not Accuse
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I Come to Heal, Not Accuse

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One of the greatest obstacles to presenting the Sacrament of Confession is exposing perfectly good Catholics to a worldview they are completely unfamiliar with.

Reflections for Sunday, April 28, 2013
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Reflections for Sunday, April 28, 2013

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion (Acts 14:21-27; Psalm 145:8-13; Revelation 21:1-5; John 13:31-35) Loving Others as Jesus Has Loved Us  I give you a new commandment… . As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. (John 13:34) They say couples who have been married a long time start […]

What Is Social Justice?
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What Is Social Justice?

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When last we met, we looked at Rerum Novarum, Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical which inaugurated modern Catholic social thought. We now continue our magical mystery tour by turning our attention to Pope Pius XI’s Quadragesimo Anno of 1931. Before we explore the major themes of this incredibly important document, however, it would serve us well […]

Why Confess Sins to a Priest?
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Why Confess Sins to a Priest?

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I would like to look at the matter from a different angle. I don’t really want to focus on a biblical rationale for every aspect of the sacrament of confession, not yet at least. Instead, I’d like for us to ponder why it is fitting that God chooses to use priests in the forgiveness of sins through the confessional.

Why is There a Crisis in the Confessional?
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Why is There a Crisis in the Confessional?

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In my last column, we began covering the sacrament of confession by stating that modern Catholicism suffers from a crisis of the confessional.  Here on this site, on social media and in emails, readers have shared their thoughts with me on why this is so.  According to the wisdom of the crowds, the biggest problem […]

The Crisis of the Confessional
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The Crisis of the Confessional

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Why did future saints like Blessed John Paul II go to confession on a weekly basis, sometimes even more frequently? Why did Archbishop Fulton Sheen recall with delight how the nuns whose confessions he heard did not spare their venial sins in the confessional, even though Church law only requires the confession of mortal sins?

Easter Homily
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Easter Homily

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This homily was preached at the Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul on Easter morning, the  thirty-first day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen. My brothers and sisters in the Risen Christ:  For the forty days known as Lent we have been on a pilgrimage, journeying with Jesus and His […]

Book Review: Sacred Then and Sacred Now
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Book Review: Sacred Then and Sacred Now

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Dr. Thomas E. Woods, Jr., author of How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization, has re-issued his 2008 book Sacred Then and Sacred Now: The Return of the Old Latin Mass.  In this book, Woods writes about Pope Benedict XVI’s famous Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, which allowed for the Roman Liturgy according to the Missal […]

Reflections for Sunday, April 7, 2013
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Reflections for Sunday, April 7, 2013

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Divine Mercy Sunday Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion (Acts 10:34,37-43; Colossians 3:1-4; Psalm 118:1-2,16-17,22-23; John 20:1-9) Divine Mercy, Jesus’ Gift to Each One of Us My Lord and my God! (John 20:28) When a child is conceived in the mother’s womb, one cell is knitted to another. The parents’ genes combine in […]

The Christian Alphabet Book
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The Christian Alphabet Book

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In 1999, Tracy Sands was inspired while listening to Christian music at a church event. With only a pen and the program she received at the door to work with, she began sketching quickly. The urge to create was so strong she “felt as though she would pop if she didn’t get the ideas out […]

Hearing God’s Voice: A Guide to Prayer and Discernment
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Hearing God’s Voice: A Guide to Prayer and Discernment

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Last year, I helped teach high school students at my parish’s faith formation program in St. Ignace, Michigan. We took the students to exposition, and afterward, one of them asked me how to tell when she is hearing God’s voice. This is an edited version of the letter I wrote her. Dear M., I’m glad […]

The Royal Calling of Baptism
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The Royal Calling of Baptism

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When the sacrament of baptism is discussed, much attention is placed upon the fact that we share in Christ’s offices of Priest and Prophet.  Little attention is paid (especially here in the land of democracy) to the third office we are enrolled in:  that of King.  This truth should be a source of great shame […]

Being Faithful in Small Things
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Being Faithful in Small Things

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Yet if the impulse is noble, then that means there’s a hint of truth to this. So why the emphasis on the smallest bits of liturgical discipline? Why nitpick? In short, we are trying to be like the just servants in the parable of the talents.

An Inheritance Stolen
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An Inheritance Stolen

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On February 10, 2013, Pope Benedict XVI announced his intention to renounce the papacy due to his waning strength in the face of a world “subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith.” Many, including me, understood him to mean that navigating the obstacles (some […]

Reflections for Sunday, March 31, 2013
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Reflections for Sunday, March 31, 2013

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Easter Sunday Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion (Acts 10:34,37-43; Colossians 3:1-4; Psalm 118:1-2,16-17,22-23; John 20:1-9) Jesus is Alive, We Are New Creations in Him He saw and believed. (John 20:8) Alleluia! Christ is risen! Father, we exult in your glory! We rejoice, turning our thoughts to the One who lives, who is […]

Baptism and Prophecy
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Baptism and Prophecy

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In addition to sharing in Christ’s priesthood in baptism, the Catechism also tells us that we share in Christ’s prophetic office.  The purpose of a Prophet (and hence Christ’s Office of Prophet) is something that is frequently misunderstood within Christianity today.  The average answer will be that a prophet is essentially a divine fortune teller […]

Forgiving Our Way into Salvation
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Forgiving Our Way into Salvation

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If we see the Church year as a recapitulation or commemoration of the life of Christ, then the season of Lent, Holy Week, and the festival of Pascha is clearly analogous to the temptation (and fasting) of the Lord in the wilderness, his suffering and death on the cross, his defeat of the gates of […]

Reflections for Sunday, March 24, 2013
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Reflections for Sunday, March 24, 2013

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Palm Sunday Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion (Luke 19:28-40; Isaiah 50:4-7; Psalm 22:8-9,17-20,23-24; Philippians 2:6-11; Luke 22:14–23:56) Allowing the Power of the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus to Transform Us It is you who have stood by me in my trials; and I confer a kingdom on you. (Luke 22:28-29) Today […]

Afflicting the Comfortable
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Afflicting the Comfortable

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He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothersor your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, […]

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