Category: Catechesis

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 […]

Angels, Shepherds, and Luke's Immortal Story
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Angels, Shepherds, and Luke’s Immortal Story

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I am rereading Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, the story about the change of heart wrought upon the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge after he is haunted by four ghosts who help him discover the true meaning of Christmas: peace on earth, good will toward all.  In Dickens, the supernatural connects with the terrestrial and a wonderful […]

"His" Gospel: The Juggernaut of Paul in the Revised Missal
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“His” Gospel: The Juggernaut of Paul in the Revised Missal

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In college, I majored in American Literature but took acting classes because I enjoyed the immediacy of theater.  On stage everything happens in the moment.  On a recent Sunday I was celebrating Mass and began the ceremony with the sign of the cross and then extended my hands to deliver the greeting: Grace to you […]

The Revised Roman Missal: A Mass of Potential
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The Revised Roman Missal: A Mass of Potential

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After years of discussion, preparation and anticipation, the new English translation of the Roman Missal – Third Edition was officially implemented in the United States on November 27th. The “reviews” are now starting to show up in newspapers, blogs and other media. As I read them, it seems as though most of the “people in […]

The Mystery of the Incarnation
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The Mystery of the Incarnation

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“Mystery,” he sneered.  “That’s a good Catholic word.” My friend was a fundamentalist who had more than a bit of antipathy towards the Catholic Church, charging that it added to the simple faith of the Bible. But he didn’t read his bible very well.  The word “mystery” is a Catholic word, only because it is […]

Gaudete Sunday and the Letter of Joy
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Gaudete Sunday and the Letter of Joy

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Eleven-year-old Ralphie Parker knows what he wants for Christmas.  He begs his parents to buy it for him but when they say they won’t he takes his plea straight to the top: Santa Claus.   “What do you want?” Santa asks.    Ralphie confidently answers: “I want an official Red Ryder carbine-action two-hundred shot range […]

John the Baptist and the Path to Joy
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John the Baptist and the Path to Joy

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On the third Sunday of Advent, penitential purple gives way to pink and we celebrate “Gaudete” or “Rejoice!” Sunday.  “Rejoice heartily in the Lord, says Isaiah” (61:10).  “My Spirit finds joy in God my Savior,” says the Virgin Mary (Luke 1: 47). “ Rejoice in the Lord always,” says St. Paul (I Thes 5:16).  “Make […]

Forgotten Truths to Set Faith Afire! Words to Challenge, Inspire and Instruct
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Forgotten Truths to Set Faith Afire! Words to Challenge, Inspire and Instruct

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In 1954, Father M. Raymond, O.S.C.O., a Cistercian priest, observed that the world was as pagan then as when Christ was born, that Catholics were suffering from amnesia, that they had forgotten the purpose of their lives and much of what it meant to be Catholic. More than fifty-seven years later, some argue that many […]

 Prepare Ye the Way
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Prepare Ye the Way

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Advent is a time of joyful anticipation.  For someone even bigger than Santa Claus is coming to town. The human race has been waiting a long time for his next and final visit.  Actually, it waited a long time for the first visit.  Things had gone awry quite early in the history of the human […]

Walking in the Truth: The Second and Third Epistles of Saint John
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Walking in the Truth: The Second and Third Epistles of Saint John

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I rejoiced greatly to find some of our children walking in the truth just as we were commanded by the Father —  2 John 4. The English poet W.H. Auden (1907-1973) defined poetry as “memorable speech.”  A poem depicts reality by using dense language constructed around vivid images in few words.  In a word, poetry means thrift.  […]

The New Roman Missal: A Fresh Encounter with the Liturgy
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The New Roman Missal: A Fresh Encounter with the Liturgy

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The experience of many Catholics at Mass reminds me of my cousin Stefano’s first time at an American football game.  Coming from Italy, Stefano knew football very well—but his “football” is our soccer! So when he first visited the States, and our family took him to see the Chicago Bears, he failed to fully grasp […]

You Snooze, You Lose
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You Snooze, You Lose

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Have you ever had one of those days when you just wish God would show up, snap his fingers and work miracles?  The people of Israel had about 500 years worth of days like that, groaning under the oppression of one tyrant after another.  The book of Isaiah gives voice to these sentiments: “O that […]

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