Category: Catechesis

Second Week of Advent: B.I.B.L.E. - Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth
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Second Week of Advent: B.I.B.L.E. – Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth

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In 1979 I received my First Communion and, as a communion gift, my first Bible, The Illustrated Children’s Bible.  I cherished this present and the stories never left my memory, even after I lost the Bible, many years ago. The Word of God is eternal and omnipresent; it remains imprinted on our souls from our […]

Reflections for Sunday, December 16, 2012
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Reflections for Sunday, December 16, 2012

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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) Advent, A Time of Thanksgiving and Rejoicing “The peace of God … will guard your hearts.” (Philippians 4:7) There was once a little town that was being harassed and pillaged by marauders. Good families were not able to […]

Advent: A Season of Hope
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Advent: A Season of Hope

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Second Sunday of Advent Faith, hope, and love.  St. Paul, in I Corinthians 13:13, say these three are the bottom line.  They are called the theological virtues, the qualities that make us most like God. We hear plenty about faith and love.  But when is the last time you heard a rousing homily on hope?  […]

Reflections for Sunday, December 9, 2012
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Reflections for Sunday, December 9, 2012

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion (Baruch 5:1-9; Psalm 126:1-6 ; Philippians 1:4-6,8-11; Luke 3:1-6) Advent, A Time to Allow God’s Word to Transform You “A voice of one crying out in the desert.” (Luke 3:4) Tiberius. Pilate. Herod. Philip. Lysanias. Annas. Caiaphas. These men ruled the secular and religious worlds at the […]

First Week of Advent: From the Incarnation to the Parousia
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First Week of Advent: From the Incarnation to the Parousia

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Wednesday, November 21.  I drove eleven hours through the Megalopolis of Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City.  It was the day before Thanksgiving, the busiest traveling day of the year in the U.S.  Was I crazy?  Maybe, but a daylong drive through stop-and-go traffic was what I wanted to help prepare for Advent.  […]

Catholic Politics
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Catholic Politics

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The cardinal looked grim. “This is the situation now,” he said. “One political party is dangerous and the other is stupid.” Since that was said in a private chat, it wouldn’t be fair for me to name the speaker. But his comment expresses sentiments that probably are widely shared in the American hierarchy today, as […]

Theology on the Tea Cups
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Theology on the Tea Cups

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“Forget about man-made religion, man!  Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?” It is likely that we’ve all been on at least one side of that question, possibly both.  Before leaving Assemblies of God, I was one of the loudest and proudest when it came to purposefully shearing off anything that I decided […]

Witnessing in the Here and Now
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Witnessing in the Here and Now

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Having offered my initial response to the election of 2012, I promised a more positive column, and that promise is easy to fulfill—Christ is risen, and faith in him is stronger than death. Although I missed living in the 1950’s by a hair’s breadth, that decades’s culture was long celebrated in movies, books, and music. […]

Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
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Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

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“Absolute power,” Lord Acton wrote, “corrupts absolutely.  Great men are almost always bad men.”   Good and bad can be a matter of degree, something that can be adjusted like the volume dial on a radio.  If power is relative then that it means different things to different people, and its abuse becomes a matter […]

Reflections for Sunday, November 25, 2012
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Reflections for Sunday, November 25, 2012

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion (Daniel 7:13-14; Psalm 93:1-2,5; Revelation 1:5-8; John 18:33-37) Jesus Christ, King Over All Creation and Our King “Are you the King of the Jews?” (John 18:33) In honor of this great feast, let’s take some time to dwell on what it means that Jesus is King of […]

The Word Made Fresh: the Second and Third Epistles of Saint John the Apostle
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The Word Made Fresh: the Second and Third Epistles of Saint John the Apostle

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“Anyone who is so ‘progressive’ as not to remain in the teaching of the Christ does not have God” (2 John 9).   Saint John the Apostle wrote of progressivism in his second letter 1,900 years ago.  He directed his argument to the “lady elect and her children,” that is, to the community of believers who […]

Re-imagining Shepherds
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Re-imagining Shepherds

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What comes to your mind when you hear the familiar Bible passage from Luke 2:8-10, where the angels appear to the shepherds to proclaim the birth of a savior and His peace? Do you picture cute, little, cherub-faced boys and girls? Do you imagine shepherds that look like those sappy Precious Moments figurines you see […]

Reflections for Sunday, November 18, 2012
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Reflections for Sunday, November 18, 2012

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion (Daniel 12:1-3; Psalm 16:5,8-11; Hebrews 10:11-14,18; Mark 13:24-32) Preparing for Jesus Second Coming: Live Each Day As If It Were Your Last “Of that day or hour, no one knows.” (Mark 13:32) Let’s take a short quiz. The first question is a general one: what goals do […]

Entering the Fullness of Faith
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Entering the Fullness of Faith

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Suddenly the world isn’t what it used to be.  You notice that the way people talk is overwhelmingly vulgar, because now your ears are accustomed to the sweet song of Christ.  When the Lord’s name is taken in vain, you wince, or feel a pang in your heart.  When the Blessed Virgin is treated as […]

Reflections for Sunday, November 11, 2012
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Reflections for Sunday, November 11, 2012

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion (1 Kings 17:10-16; Psalm 146:7-10; Hebrews 9:24-28; Mark 12:38-44) The Extravagant Love of God “This poor widow put in more than all the other contributors.” (Mark 12:43) Today’s readings give us two illus­trations of extravagant love. First, we have the widow who cared for Elijah, and in […]

All Soul's Day
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All Soul’s Day

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I’ll never forget that bleak January day when my father died.  It was very hard to believe in the resurrection as I watched the undertakers carry away his lifeless corpse in a body bag. But imagine this scene.  You are an unborn child who has lived in cozy but cramped quarters with your twin for […]

Don't Forget the "Of The's"
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Don’t Forget the “Of The’s”

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Sometimes little things make a big difference. I saw this reminder in a child’s catechism book, and it has become something we repeat daily around here. Don’t forget the “of the’s.” It is not correct to say, “In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” Why is that so important? In the baptismal […]

Reflections for Sunday, November 4, 2012
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Reflections for Sunday, November 4, 2012

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion (Jeremiah 31:7-9; Psalm 126:1-6; Hebrews 5:1-6; Mark 10:46-52) Letting God’s Love Flow Through You to Others “Which is the first of all the com­mandments?” Jesus replied, “The first is this… . The second is this.” (Mark 12:28-31) Love God and love your neigh­bor. The wisdom of these […]

Reflections for Sunday, October 28, 2012
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Reflections for Sunday, October 28, 2012

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Reflections for Sunday, October 28, 2012 Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion   (Jeremiah 31:7-9; Psalm 126:1-6; Hebrews 5:1-6; Mark 10:46-52) Saying Yes to Jesus’ Call “Get up, he is calling you.” (Mark 10:49) Today’s readings all involve a call from God. In the first reading, the Lord makes a joyful announcement, calling […]

Marriage According to God or Man?
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Marriage According to God or Man?

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Editors note: This was given as a homily on Sunday, October 14th, 2012 at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in New Brighton, MN. The gospel was for the 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B, Mark 10:17-30. Recently I spoke with a senior at a Catholic high school and he was telling me that […]

Celebrating Vatican II in Proper Fashion
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Celebrating Vatican II in Proper Fashion

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In response to the Holy Father’s wishes for this Year of Faith, plans are being made in parishes and dioceses all over the world to “celebrate” Vatican II in light of the 50th anniversary of the Council’s opening. But how many Catholics have an appropriate understanding of what it means in this case to celebrate? […]

The Road to Rome, Part V: Why Not Restorationism?
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The Road to Rome, Part V: Why Not Restorationism?

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This is the fourth of six articles relating the writer’s journey into the bosom of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. Having succumbed to spiritual desolation following the rejection of his Adventist heritage, the young seeker investigates various Christian traditions, hoping to discover the Truth. Part I may be found here; Part II here; Part III ; […]

Reflections for Sunday, October 21, 2012
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Reflections for Sunday, October 21, 2012

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Reflections for Sunday, October 21, 2012 Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion (Isaiah 53:10-11; Psalm 33:4-5,18-20,22; Hebrews 4:14-16; Mark 10:35-45) Walking Through God’s Open Door of Faith “We have a great high priest.” (Hebrews 4:14) During this Year of Faith, Pope Benedict XVI is inviting all of us to pass through the “door […]

The <em>Catechism</em> Saved my Soul
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The Catechism Saved my Soul

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“About this we have much to say which is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of God’s Word. You need milk, not solid food; for everyone who lives on milk is […]

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