Category: Catechesis

Why is Lent Forty Days?
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Why is Lent Forty Days?

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In the English language, the special season before Easter is called “Lent.”  The word comes from the “lengthening” of daylight hours as we progress from the darkness of winter to the new light of spring.  But other languages, such as Spanish, have a name for this season that is derived from the word for forty.  […]

Reflections for Sunday, March 4, 2012
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Reflections for Sunday, March 4, 2012

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion (Genesis 22:1-2,9-13,15-18; Psalm 116:10,15-19; Romans 8:31-34; Mark 9:2-10) Knowing and Living the Gospel Message that God is for Us “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31) With these ten words, Paul begins to summarize the points he has been making so far […]

City of Blood: St. Paul in Arabia -- A Lenten/Desert Journey, Part I
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City of Blood: St. Paul in Arabia — A Lenten/Desert Journey, Part I

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“At once, the Spirit drove him into the wilderness, and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan.  He was among wild beasts, and angels ministered to him” (Mark 1:12-13).  These are the words written by Saint Mark that begin the story of Jesus’s works following his baptism in the Jordan River […]

Noah’s Ark and the Baptismal Flood
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Noah’s Ark and the Baptismal Flood

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In today’s fuzzy moral landscape, it is quite unpopular to even speak of sin, never mind condemn it.  It’s even more politically incorrect to talk about God taking stern action against sin and those who promote it. But that is exactly what the story of Noah and the flood is all about, as we are […]

The Forty Days and the Fortieth Day
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The Forty Days and the Fortieth Day

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As we approach this season of Grace, there are often a few questions and misconceptions about Lent which arise. Most people assume that the Lenten season is forty days in length, which isn’t exactly true.  This idea comes from a time in which Lent was forty days long, but let’s look at the history of […]

Fossils and Amethysts 100
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Inside Loaves of Stone

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I have some imaginative ideas for teaching our children the spiritual lessons of Lent and Easter, but they involve rocks instead of cute bunnies or painted eggs, so please put on your creativity cap before reading further. During Lent, church sanctuaries everywhere are xeriscaped with dusty, dull-colored sand and rocks among other dehydrated things.  These […]

Holy Mass: Heaven Is a Place on Earth
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Holy Mass: Heaven Is a Place on Earth

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For some time now, I have been reading The Priest In Union With Christ written by the late Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P., described by some as “probably the 20th century’s greatest theologian” and “one of the Church’s all-time greatest authorities on the spiritual life.” Given the on-going attack on the nature of the priesthood, our […]

What’s Wrong with This Picture?
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What’s Wrong with This Picture?

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A very conscientious Catholic, Harold Baumeister, saw this cartoon in his hometown paper and had the conviction and gumption to do something about it! He wrote to the editor (letter follows) to let him know that he was deeply offended by this crass cartoon and that the pope and all Catholics will fight to defend our freedoms. […]

Dark Evangelization: The Mandate as the Gospel of Mammon
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Dark Evangelization: The Mandate as the Gospel of Mammon

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The great theologian and catechist Frank Sheed wrote in his book Are We Really Teaching Religion: “The aim of teaching religion is that at minimum, children should emerge with a tremendous devotion to Christ, Our Lord, with an awareness of Him, a considerable knowledge of His Life and Personality, and a desire to increase that knowledge” […]

Lessons from the Paralytic
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Lessons from the Paralytic

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Sometimes we act as if sins are just black marks against us in God’s ledger, debits against our rewards account. But the gospel story of the paralytic (Mark 2:1-12) should wake us up to the real nature of sin.  For sin is more than a demerit–it is distancing of a person from God, who happens […]

The Cross is the Key to Eternal Life
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The Cross is the Key to Eternal Life

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Action!  Saint James tells us that we must demonstrate our faith with actions.  As Catholics, that means taking up our crosses and following the Lord.  “Faith of itself, without works, is dead,” James says (2:17).  His teaching comes directly from the Lord.     At Mass word and deed connect.  The Scriptures offer the affirmation that […]

Render Unto: Caesar's Law, God's Law, and the Church
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Render Unto: Caesar’s Law, God’s Law, and the Church

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The cure of the leper in this morning’s Gospel was more than a miracle of physical healing; it was a moral resurrection of a man who suffered from la disease that made him an outcast from society, doomed to crying out, as the first reading indicates, “Unclean, unclean,” in order to warn people in the […]

The Imitation of Paul, A Saint's Saint
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The Imitation of Paul, A Saint’s Saint

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I was born to be a New York Giants fan.  Being a fan is, quite literally, my birthright.  My father is a lifelong fan, and  in 1971, the year I was born, star running back Tucker Frederickson completed his final season with the team.  Spellbound with nostalgia, my father ensured that Frederickson would remain a […]

Reflections for Sunday, February 12, 2012
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Reflections for Sunday, February 12, 2012

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion (Leviticus 13:1-2,44-46; Psalm 32:1-2,5,11; 1 Corinthians 10:31–11:1; Mark 1:40-45) Knowing and Experiencing the Healing Touch of Jesus “He remained outside in deserted places.” (Mark 1:45) This man wore no shackle or chain, yet he lived every day in soli­tary confinement. Afflicted with lep­rosy, he was bound by […]

Do You Have Access to Both Forms of the Mass?
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Do You Have Access to Both Forms of the Mass?

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Did you know that our Holy Father wants you to have access to both forms of the Roman Rite Mass? Most Gen X and Gen Y Catholics only know one form of the Mass, but two forms are in use today: the Pauline (after Pope Paul VI) Usage or Ordinary Form (Novus Ordo or “Vatican Two […]

St. Paul's Advice to Virgins and Widows
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St. Paul’s Advice to Virgins and Widows

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Was Saint Paul married?  No evidence exists in the scriptures or in tradition that Paul had a wife and family.  If he had, it would be difficult to explain why his wife would never once have been referenced either in the Acts of the Apostles or in his own letters. [1] Yet he writes so […]

In But Not Of: The Christian and the World
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In But Not Of: The Christian and the World

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The recent decision by a federal judge relative to a prayer banner in Cranston High School West has generated, as the saying goes, more heat than light.  On the one hand, people’s sensibilities are offended that a revered object that has been in place for decades now has to be removed due to one person’s […]

Humans as Reconcilers of Heavens and Earth
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Humans as Reconcilers of Heavens and Earth

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The exercise of human freedom actually defines us in selfishness or love and determines our eternal destiny.  We are a mix of both selfishness and love, but we must be fully freed of our selfishness that keeps us outside of God and the Kingdom of his Spirit.  The human will was made to abide in […]

Called and Consecrated
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Called and Consecrated

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When I was growing up, we were urged to pray for vocations.  That meant to pray for more priests and nuns.  After all, they were the ones especially called by God.  The rest of us had to figure out for ourselves what to do with our lives, what school to go to, who to marry, […]

In Bible Times
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In Bible Times

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It is a commonplace among believers in God’s written word to express a longing to have lived in the times depicted within its pages. To have seen, perhaps even conversed with, such towering figures of faith as Abraham, Moses, Samuel, and Nehemiah. To thrill at the great victories God granted through Joshua, David, and Jehosaphat. […]

Have we Forgotten about Satan?
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Have we Forgotten about Satan?

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We marvel at the physical miracles, big and small, that Jesus performed during his time here on earth – for example raising Lazarus from the dead and healing St. Peter’s mother-in-law of her fever. And well we should. But what we often overlook is the frequency with which Jesus spoke to and expelled demons – […]

Mary, Mother of God
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Mary, Mother of God

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The mother of the messiah has been called many things in the last 2000 years –the Virgin Mary, Our Lady, the Blessed Mother.  But call her “the Mother of God,” and you’ll see some Christians squirm. This is nothing new.  One day in the early fifth century, a priest preached a stirring sermon in the […]

The Deeper Meaning of Christmas
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The Deeper Meaning of Christmas

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In the days of Caesar Augustus, an era of peace was established in the Mediterranean world after centuries of strife.  But this peace was forged by the proud ambition of emperors and the edge of their armies’ swords. Upon this stage appears a baby acclaimed as king by eastern dignitaries.  Neither Caesar nor Herod will […]

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