Category: Catechesis

Anatomy of Envy
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Anatomy of Envy

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Recently a prominent CEO told a mixed group of business leaders that, regardless of their religion, they simply had to read the Bible. Why? Because success in business depends not so much upon understanding financial reports as it does upon understanding people. And when it comes to a book that reveals what makes people tick, […]

Reflections for Sunday, September 20, 2015
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Reflections for Sunday, September 20, 2015

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion Mass Readings: 1st Reading Wisdom 2:12, 17-20 2nd Reading: James 3:16–4:3 Responsorial: Psalm 54:3-6, 8 Gospel: Mark 9:30-37 Saying Yes to Jesus and No to Sin “Where do the conflicts among you come from? (James 4:1) Our minds have the capacity to do amazing things. They can […]

<em>Laudato Si</em> with My Children
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Laudato Si with My Children

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Reading Laudato Si was like falling in love. For my husband and me, it brought back memories of the exciting early mornings of twelve years ago. Newly enraptured with Catholic teaching, we would rise early with a pot of coffee and our books – him with the Catechism of the Catholic Church and me with […]

Cl63 - hbratton notxt web
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Amen

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Pentecostal preachers shout it. Monks chant it. Most Christians end every prayer with it. But what does “Amen” really mean? Is it just a pious way to “log off” our dialogue with God? Actually, most of us have never heard the origins of this word that we use so glibly. But we need to examine it […]

Reflections for Sunday, September 13, 2015
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Reflections for Sunday, September 13, 2015

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Meditations and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion Mass Readings: 1st Reading Isaiah 50:5-9 2nd Reading: James 2:14-18 Responsorial: Psalm 116:1-6, 8-9 Gospel: Mark 8:27-35 What it Means to Deny Ourselves, Take up Our Cross, and Follow Jesus “Peter … began to rebuke him. (Mark 8:32) Peter has a striking insight and dares to express […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: The Family and Evangelization

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Continuing his catechesis on the importance of the family, Pope Francis’ latest audience is on the role families play in evangelization. Whenever we think about evangelizing, we tend to think of it as something individuals do. We seldom pay attention to the role families have in this critical process. The first and most important role […]

Is Tradition a Four Letter Word?
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Is Tradition a Four Letter Word?

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One of the great battle cries of the Protestant Reformation was “sola scriptura!” Many thought that the Catholic Church had cluttered up the simple Christian faith by adding all sorts of practices, customs and doctrines over the centuries. They thought the Church in their day was guilty of exactly the same Pharisaical obsession with traditions […]

Reflections for Sunday, September 6, 2015
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Reflections for Sunday, September 6, 2015

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion Mass Readings: 1st Reading Isaiah 35:4-7 2nd Reading: James 2:1-5 Responsorial: Psalm 146:7-10 Gospel: Mark 7:31-37 Overcoming Fear to Live a Life of Faith, Freedom, Courage, and Generosity Say to those whose hearts are frightened: Be strong, fear not! (Isaiah 35:4) Today’s readings sketch some scenes from […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: Family Prayer

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For his 100th general audience, Pope Francis continued his catechesis on the family by considering family prayer. In his opening statements, the pope pointed out that most people find it difficult to find time to pray. Pope Francis teaches that love of God, not guilt will inspire us to pray. Pope Francis zeroed in on […]

Faithfulness
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Faithfulness

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Belief in God is rather widespread, at least in America. Various surveys show that over 90% of Americans “believe in God.” But belief and faith are not quite the same thing. When many people say “I believe in God” they mean that they believe that God exists, that “there is a God” somewhere up there. […]

Let’s Hear It for St. Augustine: A Theologian for Our Times
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Let’s Hear It for St. Augustine: A Theologian for Our Times

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”Happy those who feast on wisdom and savor her knowledge, She will nourish and refresh them.” –Happy Those Who Feast on Wisdom, Hymn for the Office of Readings, 28th August Who is your favorite saint? Mine is St. Augustine (Hippo), whose feast day is today. Rather than giving his biography and conversion story, I thought it […]

Reflections for Sunday, August 30, 2015
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Reflections for Sunday, August 30, 2015

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion Mass Readings: 1st Reading Deuteronomy 4:1-2,6-8 2nd Reading: James 1:17-18,21-22,27 Responsorial: Psalm 15:2-5 Gospel: Mark 7:1-8,14-15,21-23 The Importance of Being Hearers and Doers of the Word of God Be doers of the word and not hearers only. (James 1:22) In the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of […]

Heart Speaks to Heart
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Heart Speaks to Heart

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SHE DIED ANYWAY. Decay in the marrow. Radiation robbed her radiance. Fragile peals of thunder protected summer showers that watered her flowers. If the thunder don’t get you then the lightning will. Life submits to death. My parents, Moose and Sylvia, made an odd couple, like an elephant and a tickbird. He was Oscar. She […]

Reflections for Sunday, August 23, 2015
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Reflections for Sunday, August 23, 2015

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion Mass Readings: 1st Reading Joshua 24:1-2, 15-18 2nd Reading: Ephesians 5:21-32 Responsorial: Psalm 34:2-3, 16-21 Gospel: John 6:60-69 Being Faithful to the Lord in Difficult Circumstances To whom shall we go? (John 6:68) Joshua, the Old Testament leader called to bring God’s people into the Promised Land, […]

Traditionalism and Being "Pastoral"
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Traditionalism and Being “Pastoral”

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Hello William, In your previous letter, you outlined your concern about in whether traditionally minded priests can actually govern in the American Church.  I have delayed in responding (and still respond reluctantly) because I’m not really sure what exactly you are looking for. For every case of a “traditional” priest behaving autocratically, can we not […]

Are the Divorced and Remarried Excommunicated?  What Francis Meant
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Are the Divorced and Remarried Excommunicated? What Francis Meant

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Untangling one of Pope Francis’ public statements often resembles taking a final exam. “How many inaccurate implications can be drawn from Pope Francis’ statement? Explain why they are inaccurate, referencing canon law, Church history, and prevailing cultural trends.” For example, take his recent statement that divorced persons who remarry outside the Church are “by no […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: Excommunication

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If you are divorced and civilly remarried, you are not excommunicated. But if you are in such “irregular” situation, you cannot receive Communion. Last but not least: excommunication is good. Take a deep breath and repeat! At his first General Audience after his summer break this year, Pope Francis told us that “it is necessary […]

Et Verbum Caro Factum Est
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Et Verbum Caro Factum Est

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Et verbum caro factum est. That’s Latin for “And the Word became Flesh.” What is this ‘word’? The word, the word, the bird is the word? Hardly an early sixties one-hit-wonder. The Word of which I speak has more staying power than even rock ‘n’ roll. Even more than the Strolling Bones and they’ve been […]

Reflections for Sunday, August 9, 2015
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Reflections for Sunday, August 9, 2015

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion Mass Readings: 1st Reading 1 Kings 19:4-8 2nd Reading: Ephesians 4:30–5:2 Responsorial: Psalm 34:2-9 Gospel: John 6:41-51 Winning the Spiritual Battle through the Power of the Holy Spirit Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God. (Ephesians 4:30) We all know how easy it is to conjure […]

On Confession: The Way to Peace
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On Confession: The Way to Peace

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My brother and I could be rambunctious children. There were times our rowdiness more than made up for the fact there was only two of us. One moment leaps to mind. We were roughly 12 and 9. Our dad had gone out on an errand and we were told to stay quiet while our mom, […]

Reflections for Sunday, August 2nd, 2015
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Reflections for Sunday, August 2nd, 2015

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion Mass Readings: 1st Reading Exodus 16:2-4, 12-15 2nd Reading: Ephesians 4:17, 20-24 Responsorial: Psalm 78:3-4, 23-25, 54 Gospel: John 6:24-35 Hold Fast to Jesus, No Matter the Circumstances What can we do? (John 6:28) You’ve probably heard of the Rubik’s Cube, a puzzle requiring tremendous concentration to […]

The Feeding of the Five Thousand
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The Feeding of the Five Thousand

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Everybody loves a picnic. Summer is picnic season. This weekend we have our parish picnic over yonder on the green grass at Patriarch Park. Food, fun, fellowship. If there’s one thing that Catholics are good at it’s eating. Maybe I should speak for myself but the picnic is sure to provide a good time for […]

Hidden Meaning of the Loaves and the Fishes
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Hidden Meaning of the Loaves and the Fishes

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Finding the hidden meanings.   Unraveling mysteries.  Deciphering symbols.  The thrill inherent in all this is partly why Dan Brown’s book, the Da Vinci Code, sold so well. But Brown’s secret code, the 2000 year chain of clues supposedly leading to the true identity of Jesus and his holy grail, is simply a parody of the […]

Reflections for Sunday, July 26, 2015
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Reflections for Sunday, July 26, 2015

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion Mass Readings: 1st Reading 2 Kings 4:42-44 2nd Reading: Ephesians 4:1-6 Responsorial: Psalm 145:10-11, 15-18 Gospel: John 6:1-15 Growing in Humility, Our Call to be Like Jesus He withdrew again to the mountain alone. (John 6:15) Did you ever think that Jesus would let the crowd make […]

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