Category: Catechesis

Theology as Archaeology
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Theology as Archaeology

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When a Protestant approaches the scriptures in order to rightly interpret them and apply them to their lives, the approach is typically that of a scientist and a historian – they are attempting to abstract and be removed from the context of today’s western world and be found within the culture, language and context of […]

The Eucharist: The Body of Christ?
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The Eucharist: The Body of Christ?

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On Holy Thursday, the night before he died, the Lord Jesus made some startling changes in the ritual of the Passover meal.  Instead of being content with the traditional Jewish table blessing over the bread, Jesus proclaimed “take and eat for this is my body.”  Over the third cup of wine, known as the cup […]

Easter and Heaven
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Easter and Heaven

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As Christians around the world celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ this Easter, heaven is naturally on the minds of many. Recent polls indicate that between 75 and 90 percent of Americans believe that heaven exists, percentages that far exceed the belief by residents of other Western nations. As the author of “Heaven in the […]

Reflections for Easter Sunday, 2012
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Reflections for Easter Sunday, 2012

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion (Acts 10:34,37-43; Psalm 118:1-2,16-17,22-23; Colossians 3:1-4; John 20:1-9) Allowing the Resurrection of Jesus to Strengthen Our Faith They did not yet understand the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead. (John 20:9) What a humble statement! Here is John, the beloved apostle, admit­ting that he […]

‘You are Gods’
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‘You are Gods’

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It has been said that the worst human sinfulness happened that day on Calvary when the creatures attempted to kill the Creator.  The very people that God came to save rejected him and nailed him to the cross but in doing so they did not realize that they were rejecting themselves and the own love […]

Lazarus
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Lazarus

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Some find it hard to accept that God would love some people more than others.  That wouldn’t be fair, they say. But God became man.  If he did not love some more than others, Jesus wouldn’t be fully human.  For human beings have family and friends.  While we can do good and even risk our […]

The Creed: A Spiritual Treasure
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The Creed: A Spiritual Treasure

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In his masterpiece, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine, Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman at the age of fifteen describes his initial conversion toward the teachings of the Catholic Church where he, “Fell under the influences of a definite creed, and received into my intellect impressions of dogma, which, though God’s mercy, have […]

Streets of Gold, Canals of Green Beer, and Seeing is Believing!
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Streets of Gold, Canals of Green Beer, and Seeing is Believing!

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Rejoice Jerusalem and all who love her.  Be joyful, all who were in morning and be satisfied at her consoling breast —  Isa 66:10-11. “My name is Patrick.  I am a sinner, a simple country person, and the least of all believers.  I am looked down upon by many. … I was taken prisoner … I […]

CL16 -hbratton notxt
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How’s This For Clarity in Preaching?

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  At some point in the lives of far too many people, they no longer recognize or believe in the existence of sin. They look right at it, desire it, engage in it, but don’t see it for what it actually is — a grave offense and injustice to God, an act of immense ingratitude to […]

On the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help
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On the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help

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The Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in Champion, Wisconsin has been in the news for over a year after the local Bishop, David L. Ricken of the Diocese of Green Bay, approved as supernatural the apparitions to a Belgian immigrant woman named Adele Brise (“Breece”) in the 1850s.[i]  These apparitions went unnoticed by […]

The Death-Haunted Art of Friendship (Part I)
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The Death-Haunted Art of Friendship (Part I)

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Eve Tushnet is among the most promising young Catholic intellectuals in America. She is a student of art and culture whose writing touches on sexuality, personhood, and faith. Published in journals secular and religious, she was profiled in the New York Times as a “gay Catholic voice against same-sex marriage.” This is the first of […]

City of Blood: St. Paul in Arabia — A Lenten/Desert Journey, Part 2
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City of Blood: St. Paul in Arabia — A Lenten/Desert Journey, Part 2

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For Sinai is a mountain in Arabia —Galatians 4:25.   In the Scriptures, the desert is the setting for purification, and the mountain is the site of revelation.  Moses led the Israelites through the desert to prepare them to receive the Law, which God handed down on Mount Sinai (Ex 20:1-17) amid peals of thunder and […]

Consolations
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Consolations

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Do you know what it means to receive a consolation from the Lord? In the work of prayer for example, it is when you feel a deep sense of His presence. But even in our day-to-day lives we can receive consolations from the Lord. These come in the form of a perk, or a little […]

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 […]

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