Category: Live in Christ

Seeking a Relationship with God
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Seeking a Relationship with God

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When I meet with the Confirmation students in my parish one on one, I always ask them to describe their relationship with God. Some answer the question rather quickly without any assistance, while for others I sometimes guide their answer by qualifying, “Does your relationship seem really close or distant?” Some do answer distant, and […]

Three New Lenten Resources
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Three New Lenten Resources

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Bringing Lent Home with Pope Francis: Prayers, Reflections, and Activities for Families by Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle Ave Maria Press, 2015 Bringing Lent Home with Pope Francis is designed to “provide and encourage a daily occurrence of family prayer and communication as you move through this holy season together. By following the suggestions regarding how your […]

Book Review: Rediscover Jesus
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Book Review: Rediscover Jesus

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As Catholics, we often think that we know Jesus. After all, most of us have been hearing the stories of his life since we were small children. They are part of who we are, and that is good. But sometimes, we can feel too familiar with the stories and we start to tune them out […]

A Matter Of Penance or Radical Permission
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A Matter Of Penance or Radical Permission

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This past Advent as I attended Sacrament of Reconciliation, the priest mercifully imposed a seemingly unchallenging penance: say one “Our Father.” The 10-year-old Mike would have loved that penance a whole lot more than what the priest typically prescribed at the time. I’ll never forget the day he prescribed young Mike an entire Rosary as […]

Broken (Liturgical) Windows
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Broken (Liturgical) Windows

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In a large urban parish which I attended some years ago I have noticed that the liturgical life seems to be shrinking in both action and attitude. The priests no longer hear confessions before Sunday Mass. On minor federal holidays the two regular daily Masses are reduced to only one mid-morning when most working people […]

Mercy Means Never Having to Say You're Sorry?
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Mercy Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry?

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“Why do they only have 45 minutes for confession?” asked my Protestant dad when I was home over the holidays. “Well,” I tried to explain, “Most church-goers don’t go to confession that often. They don’t really think they’re doing anything wrong.” A senior deacon from one of the first classes of people trained in the […]

Seize Eternal Life in the Here and Now
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Seize Eternal Life in the Here and Now

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Jesus’ prayer in the 17th Chapter of John is often referred to as the High Priestly Prayer. In verse three we read “Now this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.” In the past, I have plowed through this verse without giving […]

Family Ties that Lift Us Up
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Family Ties that Lift Us Up

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Jesus’ invitation to discipleship comes with a warning: “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me” (Mk 8:34). He made this statement shortly after Peter confessed him to be the Messiah, and he told his disciples what that role entails. The suffering involved in denying oneself and […]

Good Shelter Work
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Good Shelter Work

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I acted the devil’s advocate. “So here we are, driving to the animal shelter to volunteer when people are hungry. Shouldn’t we be helping at the Food Bank?” I grinned so she knew I was playing a bit. Reprinted with permission from CatholicSistas.com. She pursed her sassy, fourteen-year-old lips and dodged. “Well, you can go […]

The Epiphany Star
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The Epiphany Star

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My five year old daughter told me: “Dad, I know what you call stars that draw a picture: consternations.” I chuckled, but thought: No dear, a consternation is when you refuse to eat your dinner for no good reason. I also overheard her explaining to her four year old sister: “The word asteroid has two […]

A Figure Of Deep, Genuine Mercy
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A Figure Of Deep, Genuine Mercy

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The figure of the Pieta resides on the top shelf along the southwest wall of my living room, just a little higher and to the left of our 40-inch TV screen. Next to it stands a clear glass angel. Another foot-and-a-half to the left is a tall grey cross, the base of which proclaims “All […]

New Years Resolution
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Seven Spiritual New Year’s Resolutions

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I think most Catholics in the world would love to grow in their relationship with Jesus. People have a genuine desire to grow in holiness, even if they are not able to articulate their desires for it. On New Year ’s Day many people re-evaluate their lives. They examine how their lives were in 2015 […]

Christmas Fulfills Promise to Adam and Eve
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Christmas Fulfills Promise to Adam and Eve

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St. Ignatius was bishop of Antioch overseeing first century Syrian Christians and was a disciple of the Apostle John. He wrote a letter to the Christians at Ephesus as he was being transported to Rome to face wild beasts in the arena. Ignatius wrote, “For our God, Jesus Christ, was conceived by Mary in accord […]

From Loathing to Loving the Rosary
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From Loathing to Loving the Rosary

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One of the things I love about Advent and Christmas is the extra emphasis on the Blessed Mother. As a motherless Catholic, it’s been easy to embrace Mary as my own mother and I always love hearing the Scriptures about her this time of year. Reprinted with permission from CatholicSistas.com. For most of my years […]

A Guide to Intentional Christmas Giving
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A Guide to Intentional Christmas Giving

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A few years ago, I started making an effort to do my all my Christmas shopping before the start of Advent. I wanted to be free during Advent to focus on spiritual preparation for Christmas, rather than rushing around trying to buy everyone’s gifts at the last minute. As a born procrastinator, this proved to […]

Being Squeezed into (I Hope) Fine Wine
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Being Squeezed into (I Hope) Fine Wine

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I like wine, red and dry. My preferences are Chianti and Merlot. A bottle of Cabernet, Pinot Noir or Petite Syrah will do in a pinch. Some brands and years taste better than others, but I’m not a connoisseur. I’m not picky about the wine coming from Italy or California. For me, good wine is […]

Book Review: Our Lady, Undoer of Knots: A Living Novena
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Book Review: Our Lady, Undoer of Knots: A Living Novena

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On October 12, 2013, “Pope Francis revealed to the world his special devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title Our Lady, Undoer of Knots. . . He spoke of Mary as the ‘new Eve’ who unties the knot of Eve’s disobedience.” In May 2014, Marge Fenelon traveled to the Holy Land with the […]

The Grief of Being Unloved
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The Grief of Being Unloved

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English writer and broadcaster Claire Rayner (1931-2010) said: “Only the unloved and unloving escape grief.” That is not entirely true. I will reserve comment about the unloving other than to say if they do not know grief in this world they will certainly know it in the next. The unloved live in grief of the […]

O Me of Little Faith
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O Me of Little Faith

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I guess you never know how little faith you have, until it is tested. Faith never grows, unless it is tested. I have found it to be a vicious lifelong cycle. I think I have faith, it gets tested, and I realize how little faith I have after all. I have been praying for something […]

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

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Paris dominated the news cycle last week, thanks to the coordinated terrorist attacks by ISIS. But, if it weren’t for its utility as a political bargaining chip, who a month from now would remember Paris? Soon enough something new would have displaced Paris in our minds. In our active memory, we hold fast to only […]

Thousands of Syrian Christians are Fleeing ISIS Assault
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Thousands of Syrian Christians are Fleeing ISIS Assault

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By Oliver Maksan NEW YORK—Thousands of Syrian Christians are fleeing after fierce attacks by ISIS on the town of Sadad and its surroundings, reported Syrian Orthodox Archbishop Selwanos Boutros Alnemeh of Homs. Sadad is some 35 miles south of Homs and 65 miles north east of the Syrian capital of Damascus. The region has been […]

Christ the King: From a Crown of Thorns to a Crown of Life
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Christ the King: From a Crown of Thorns to a Crown of Life

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As we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King this weekend, it’s worth asking ourselves what kind of kingdom Christ promised us. We know his kingdom is not of this world, and his crown is made of thorns. Will our sacrifices and suffering be worth it? What awaits us after death? The Book of Revelations […]

Five Ways to Imitate Christ
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Five Ways to Imitate Christ

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In St. Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians, he exhorts his readers to be imitators of God. I venture to say that St. Paul exhorts us to imitate Christ, who is God. After all, Paul had the encounter with the Risen Lord on the road to Damascus, which changed his life forever. How do we begin […]

Feathers in the Wind: Scandal and Sharing Online
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Feathers in the Wind: Scandal and Sharing Online

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St. Philip Neri once told a woman that as penance for her gossiping, she should scatter a pillowful of feathers into the wind and then walk about the town collecting every feather. The task was impossible, of course, and it emphasized that we can’t take back our words once they’ve been uttered. That’s especially true […]

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