Category: Catechesis

All in the Family? Don't Take Faith for Granted
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All in the Family? Don’t Take Faith for Granted

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Last summer I went on a field trip.  I attended a three-day seminar on Christian-Jewish relations.  This happened at the Sacred Heart University in Bridgeport, Connecticut.  I arrived on Monday, checked into my dormitory on campus, and we all enjoyed kosher cuisine with other divinity and rabbinical students as we kibitzed about what Jews and […]

Miracle of the Loaves
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Miracle of the Loaves

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Only one miracle of Jesus is recorded in all four gospels — the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. I once heard a homilist give what he said was the real meaning of the story: the people in the crowd took out food they were hiding under their cloaks and shared it.  Jesus’ preaching inspired […]

Nothing Can Separate Us from the Love of God in Christ
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Nothing Can Separate Us from the Love of God in Christ

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Saint Paul on God and love is simple for to the saint these are one and the same.  That is his statement to the Christians at Rome and he declares this squarely in the middle of his Epistle to the Romans, his 5,000-word tour de force on love, God, sin, death, resurrection, and the salvation […]

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The Purpose of Life in Three Little Words

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How many times have you heard someone ask the question: “What am I supposed to be doing with my life?” “Why am I here?” Too many to count, right? It seems too, that it is not a simple answer they want, but a large, extravagantly specific answer. They want answers directly from the source; definitive […]

YOUCAT Repackages the <em>Catechism</em> for World Youth Day 2011
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YOUCAT Repackages the Catechism for World Youth Day 2011

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American Catholics of a certain age can remember The Baltimore Catechism, a concise, systematic presentation of the faith in questions and answers, which was published in carefully graded editions for parochial schoolchildren.  In the postconciliar years, when “experiential” methods of religious education were in vogue, textbooks came to resemble magazines with more color photography than […]

No Paul, No Jesus; Know Paul, Know Jesus
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No Paul, No Jesus; Know Paul, Know Jesus

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Saint Paul wrote that he was “all things to all people.”  Paul was a Jew, a Roman citizen, a Pharisee, an apostle, a preacher, a teacher, a tentmaker, and an evangelizer.  And Paul was a writer.  Thirteen of the twenty-seven books of the New Testament are attributed to him, making him a prolific composer.   He […]

The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares
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The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares

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At one time or another, we’ve all dreamed of a perfect world.  Imagine a company where everyone is productive, a government full of honest politicians, a church where all are saints. Dreaming about such things is natural; expecting such things is dangerous.  Unrealistic expectations lead to discouragement, despair, even cynicism. That would be bad enough.  […]

Prayer and Trust in Romans 8
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Prayer and Trust in Romans 8

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PRAY DAILY.  I had only been in town a couple of days when I started noticing these bumper stickers.  I saw them on cars, trucks, and vans around the city, and many of the same cars bore another sticker that read, TRUST JESUS.  I thought, “Could there be a correlation?”  Pray daily.  Trust Jesus.  If […]

The Double Message of the Parable of the Sower and the Seed
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The Double Message of the Parable of the Sower and the Seed

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I’ve always loved gardening.  Seeds I’ve planted include carrot, cucumber, and of course, zucchini.  In each case, I’ve planted seeds in neat rows, expecting nearly all of them to sprout and yield fruit. But the farmer in Jesus’ parable (Mat 13:1-23) uses the broadcast method.  Lots of seed cast everywhere.  And predictably, many of these […]

Is the Antichrist Here?
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Is the Antichrist Here?

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Uprising after uprising in the Middle East; sexual and intellectual scandal in the Church; earthquakes in Chile and Haiti; tsunamis in Indonesia and Japan; and financial collapse in almost every market: given the startling increase in the frequency of global crises –political, religious, financial, natural — one is tempted to begin looking for the antichrist […]

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Son Day. Sunday. Some Day.

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Sunday is the Son’s Day.  So I thought once-upon-a-time in my little girl reasoning. Jesus is the Son of God. He rose from the dead on a Sunday.  Hence, Sunday is Son-day.  Little did I know back then that my silly little play on words was not far from the truth. This ever-ancient-yet-ever new Catholic […]

Easter
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Easter

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The serpent’s bite was a deadly one.  The venom had worked its way deep into the heart of the entire human race, doing its gruesome work.  The anti-venom was unavailable until He appeared.  One drop was all that was needed, so potent was this antidote.  Yet it was not like Him to be stingy.  He […]

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 […]

Let's Practice the New Penitential Rite
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Let’s Practice the New Penitential Rite

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A few years ago, our pastor talked to us during homily about receiving the Eucharist reverently.  He noticed that more and more receive communion than ever before with very few being conscience of the sin in their lives.  Fewer are coming to confession, he said, yet are coming up for communion.  Sin has taken a […]

Lenten Transfiguration
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Lenten Transfiguration

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Imagine: you are ten years past customary retirement age.  It’s time finally to kick back and relax.  You live in a great city where everything is at your fingertips – shopping opportunities, cultural events, all your relatives and lifelong friends.  Suddenly God appears and tells you to pack up, uproot your life, and march into […]

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Understanding the Language of Lent

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If you will, you can keep the commandments, they will save you; if you trust in God, you too shall live; he has set before you fire and water to whichever you choose, stretch forth your hand. Before man are life and death, good and evil, whichever he chooses shall be given him. Immense is […]

Turn the Other Cheek?
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Turn the Other Cheek?

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“Love your enemies.”  “Turn the other cheek.”  (Mat 5:38-40).  This sounds admirable to some, but preposterous to others.  The 19th century philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche thought such talk promotes a society of weaklings.  Karl Marx thought these words keep the oppressed under the thumbs of the capitalists.  Does Jesus want us to be doormats, suckers who […]

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Appreciating The Gift Of Suffering

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Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of His Body, that is, the Church (Col 1:24). When I first read St. Paul’s words to the people of Colossae, I was stunned and I’m sure that I’m not alone.  […]

Preparing the Way for the Roman Missal 3rd Edition, Part 10: The Liturgy of the Eucharist
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Preparing the Way for the Roman Missal 3rd Edition, Part 10: The Liturgy of the Eucharist

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We continue our examination of the Liturgy of the Eucharist at the Ecce Agnus Dei: After once again receiving the Lord’s blessing, The peace of the Lord be with you always, and responding, And with your spirit, the next change that we encounter takes place when the priest elevates the Host and Chalice and says: […]

Preparing the Way for the Roman Missal 3rd Edition, Part 9: The Liturgy of the Eucharist
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Preparing the Way for the Roman Missal 3rd Edition, Part 9: The Liturgy of the Eucharist

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In the final two installments of this series, we will focus our attention on the people’s parts in the Liturgy of the Eucharist, addressing each instance of change in the text as it comes. Suscipiat Dominus Shortly after the beginning of the Liturgy of the Eucharistic, we are encouraged to pray that our sacrifice may […]

Preparing the Way for the Roman Missal 3rd Edition, Part 8: The Creed
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Preparing the Way for the Roman Missal 3rd Edition, Part 8: The Creed

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We discover right out of the gate in the new translation that the Creed is a personal statement, Credo / I believe. Yes, we profess the faith of the Church in one voice with all of her members, but the Creed must be our own personal acceptance of that faith. And so we say, I […]

Catholic “Fluff” – The Enemy Within
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Catholic “Fluff” – The Enemy Within

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We don’t like to speak the truth about evil because we’re going to hurt somebody.  Let me tell you, you are going to hurt somebody, but that somebody is God.  If you would rather hurt God than your neighbor, there is something wrong with your spirituality.  It’s your obligation to speak the truth and everyone […]

Cults, Movements, World Religions
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Cults, Movements, World Religions

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The modern religious landscape appears increasingly confusing, even strange or frightening. No matter how strong in faith and regular in religious practice our families may be, we are not insulated from contact with a bewildering variety of religious expressions, a Babel of “prophetic” voices and a dizzying array of competing world views. Questions Abound in […]

Preparing the Way for the Roman Missal 3rd Edition, Part 7: The Gloria
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Preparing the Way for the Roman Missal 3rd Edition, Part 7: The Gloria

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Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth, in the new translation becomes, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to people of good will. This “new” wording represents a return to the Scriptural roots of the text (Luke 2:14) and the angels’ announcement of the Savior’s […]

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