Category: Catechesis

Beyond Booster Shots:  A Different Approach to the Sacraments
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Beyond Booster Shots: A Different Approach to the Sacraments

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I think we Catholics approach the sacraments from a flawed analysis. We view them as mere “booster shots” for the already holy. So long as we are without mortal sin, we go to the sacraments, get our booster shot of infused grace, and we become holier. While there is certainly this aspect to the sacraments, there needs to be a lot more to the sacraments if we are taking the Biblical, historical, and magisterial evidence seriously.

Five Signs We Get Wrong at Mass
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Five Signs We Get Wrong at Mass

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For many contemporary Catholics, the Second Vatican Council is the most important, if not the only, Church Council in the history of the Church. For them, it brought the Church out of a rigorist darkness and enlightened it by its contact with modernity. If you would like to think that, you are wrong, but go […]

The Universal Call to Holiness
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The Universal Call to Holiness

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A life of holiness is not something that is relegated to the cloister and the monastery. It is for everyone. This is something I learned from studying the lives of the saints, from learning to pray with the Church, and from the Scriptures themselves.  We are all called to be perfect as our heavenly Father […]

Reflections for Sunday, February 10, 2013
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Reflections for Sunday, February 10, 2013

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 Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion (Isaiah 6:1-8; Psalm 138:1-5,7-8; 1 Corinthians 15:1-11; Luke 5:1-11) Answering the Call to Share Our Faith with Others “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” (Luke 5:10) Think about what would have been left out of this story if Jesus had never […]

The Miraculous Healing Power of Indulgences
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The Miraculous Healing Power of Indulgences

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Last fall, Pope Benedict XVI announced a special set of indulgences for the Year of Faith, which ends on November 24, 2013.  During that time, Catholics may obtain indulgences on the usual conditions if they perform one or more of several acts of faith and charity devoted to the Second Vatican Council, which the Year […]

Ignorance of Scripture is Ignorance of Christ
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Ignorance of Scripture is Ignorance of Christ

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Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C There is a myth that we must lay to rest, once and for all — the myth that Protestants are all about the Bible, while Catholics are all about the Sacraments.  While I can’t speak for my Protestant brethren, I can say this with certainty: the Catholic Church […]

Reflections for Sunday, February 3, 2013
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Reflections for Sunday, February 3, 2013

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion (Jeremiah 1:4-5,17-19; Psalm 71:1-6, 15-17; 1 Corinthians 12:31–3,13:13; Luke 4:21-30) Receiving God’s Love and Giving it to Others “Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:8) Addressing the fractious Corinthian church, Paul urged the believers to “strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts” (1 Corinthians 12:31). He even told […]

Reflections for Sunday, January 27, 2013
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Reflections for Sunday, January 27, 2013

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion (Nehemiah 8:2-6,8-10; Psalm 19:8-10,15; 1 Corinthians 12:12-30; Luke 1:1-4; 4:14-21) Receiving the Anointing of the Spirit Today this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing. (Luke 4:21) Returning to his hometown of Nazareth, Jesus was invited to speak in the synagogue. His reputation as a wonder worker […]

Book Review: Set Free by Genevieve Kineke
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Book Review: Set Free by Genevieve Kineke

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Set Free Genevieve Kineke Servant Books 2012 Forgiveness: been there, done that! I wondered where Genevieve Kineke would take this “old, old story” in her new book, Set Free. Needless to say, she surprised and edified me! Set Free is a comprehensive and deeply Catholic treatment of the work of forgiveness, focusing on the special […]

Hispanics, the Catholic Vote, and the New Evangelization
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Hispanics, the Catholic Vote, and the New Evangelization

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 “Are you still without understanding?” – Mt 15:16 With the election still raw in the hearts and minds of many, the political commentary is in full gear and will be for many weeks to come. Many in the Catholic blogosphere have either urged calm, or warned of a potential martyrdom heading our way. Whether you […]

Reflections for Sunday, January 20, 2013
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Reflections for Sunday, January 20, 2013

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion (Isaiah 62:1-5; Psalm 96:1-3,7-10; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; John 2:1-11) Mary’s Great Faith and Trust in the Lord, A Model for Us to Follow in Prayer Do whatever he tells you. (John 2:5) Can we really change God’s mind? Well, maybe. Let’s take a look at a few […]

Creed and Credibility
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Creed and Credibility

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The Faith may be ever-ancient, ever new, but calls for it to be amended or abridged are nothing new. Always there are clarion calls that the Church is dying out, and that she must adapt her teachings or face a slow death. A variety of heresies and challengers rise up in every age demanding to […]

Family, State, and Union: Pope Leo Was Right
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Family, State, and Union: Pope Leo Was Right

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Imagine you are the pope. The previous half-century has seen the rise of many radical political movements and systems of thought hostile to the Church. Major societal upheaval is well underway, disrupting the basic order of civilization that had persisted for centuries. The territory that had for a millennium been politically controlled by your predecessors has […]

Reflections for Sunday, January 13, 2013
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Reflections for Sunday, January 13, 2013

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The Baptism of the Lord Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion (Isaiah 42:1-4,6-7; Psalm 29:1-4, 9-10; Acts 10:34-38; Luke 3:15-16,21-22) Knowing and Experiencing God the Father’s Love for You You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased. (Luke 3:22) Last year, before the London summer Olympics, the 1981 film Chariots […]

Reflections for Sunday, January 6, 2013
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Reflections for Sunday, January 6, 2013

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The Epiphany of the Lord Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion (Isaiah 60:1-6; Psalm 72:1-2,7-8,10-13; Ephesians 3:2-3,5-6; Matthew 2:1-12) Being Beacons of Christ’s Light in a Darkened World You shall see and be radiant. (Isaiah 60:5) We’ve all had epiphanies—those times when a sudden insight allows us to grasp something we couldn’t understand […]

This Is The Stuff of Which Martyrs Are Made!
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This Is The Stuff of Which Martyrs Are Made!

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Homily for the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God A new year invites us to think of goals we would like to achieve and resolutions we want to make. In short, it seems to be the ideal time for renewal and commitment. However, in all honesty, do we really expect 2013 to be different than […]

Reflections for Sunday, December 30, 2012
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Reflections for Sunday, December 30, 2012

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The Holy Family Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion (Sirach 3:2-6,12-14; Psalm 128:1-5; Colossians 3:12-21; Luke 2:41-52) The Holy Family, Our Model of Love and Unity “Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.” (Luke 2:48) Great anxiety indeed! Jesus had been missing for three whole days. Jerusalem was […]

The First Believer
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The First Believer

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4th Sunday of Advent (Cycle C) The Beatitudes rank high on the list of all-time favorite Bible passages.  But what is “beatitude,” anyway?   In the bible, a “blessed” person is someone who has received gifts of the greatest value, gifts that lead to true fulfillment and lasting happiness. If I were to ask you […]

Reflections for Sunday, December 23, 2012
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Reflections for Sunday, December 23, 2012

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Fourth Sunday of Advent Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion (Zephaniah 3:14-18; (Psalm) Isaiah 12:2-6; Philippians 4:4-7; Luke 3:10-18) Mary and Elizabeth, Our Model for Responding to the Holy Spirit “Blessed are you who believed!” (Luke 1:45) When something exciting hap­pens, you can’t contain yourself; you simply have to share the news with […]

Reconciliation:  The Wisdom Of 7-Year Olds
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Reconciliation: The Wisdom Of 7-Year Olds

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On the last Saturday before Christmas break, I introduced the belief of a forgiving God to my First Communion class.  The lesson was based on a re-telling of The Prodigal Son.  As usual, the class, the full complement of twenty-one this particular Saturday, participated eagerly in the discussion. The students had many questions:  what if […]

Benedict, Twitter, Our Lady of Guadalupe
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Benedict, Twitter, Our Lady of Guadalupe

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On Wednesday, on the twelfth day of the twelfth month, in the year 2012, my parish and I celebrated the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  As I write, there appears to be no significance to that factoid of  the series of the twelves, though it was interesting enough to deserve a mention from the […]

The Baptist: Joyful Humility
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The Baptist: Joyful Humility

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3rd Sunday of Advent (Year C) On the third Sunday of Advent, the penitential purple of the season changes to rose and we celebrate “Gaudete” or “Rejoice!” Sunday.  “Shout for joy, daughter of Sion” says Zephaniah.  “Draw water joyfully from the font of salvation,” says Isaiah.  “Rejoice in the Lord always,” says St. Paul.  “Do […]

Tough Religion and Evangelization
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Tough Religion and Evangelization

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Much has been said lately about how to do evangelization. I’ve contributed a bit to that myself. Now I begin to think that, instead of always stressing niceness, it might be good to give tough religion a try. That idea was inspired by a reading of Eric Metaxas’s biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the Lutheran theologian […]

Images of Christ in the Modern Age
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Images of Christ in the Modern Age

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Now is as good a time as any to remind myself that the last couple centuries have not been all doom and gloom; that the saints of the Church are as numerous in the last few hundred years as they were in ancient and medieval times. Why do I say this?  Because I sometimes get […]

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