Category: Live in Christ

Images of Christ in the Modern Age
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Images of Christ in the Modern Age

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Now is as good a time as any to remind myself that the last couple centuries have not been all doom and gloom; that the saints of the Church are as numerous in the last few hundred years as they were in ancient and medieval times. Why do I say this?  Because I sometimes get […]

Big Words for Big Things
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Big Words for Big Things

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It has been an entire year since the new changes in the English translation of the language used in the Sacred Liturgy which were introduced to the Church in America on the First Sunday of Advent in 2011. By most accounts it has been a success, but not without some criticism. One example was a […]

Who Do We Need to Make Room For in Our Inn?
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Who Do We Need to Make Room For in Our Inn?

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Our pastor shared this story at Mass on Sunday: As many parishes do at Christmas time, a parish in New York was having a pageant acting out the Nativity story. A little boy named Tom was taking part. He was mentally disabled, but was very excited to be in the pageant. He was playing an […]

The Duty of the Moment
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The Duty of the Moment

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“Doing the duty of the moment means focusing our whole person – heart, soul, body, emotions, intellect, memory, imagination – on the job at hand!  The duty of the moment done for God is glamorous, exciting, wondrous…..” Catherine Doherty, Grace In Every Season, Madonna House Publications, Combermere, Ontario Many years ago, when I was a […]

The Three Sacrifices of Giving
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The Three Sacrifices of Giving

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“I have always depended on the kindness of strangers,” drawls Stella in Tennessee Williams’ “A Streetcar Named Desire.” And it’s particularly true if you have a large family. Strangers as well as friends often provide our large family with their extras – a wonderful, win-win redistribution which helps level our budget shortfalls. But true giving […]

Loving the Forgotten Ones
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Loving the Forgotten Ones

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This week, M expressed a very clear desire to commit suicide, including the method of ending life.  Racked with pain, deteriorating health, loneliness and a lack of familial, spiritual and friendly support, M has had enough of living. Statistics in Canada estimate that the number of depressed, suicidal elderly people is 14%.  (Canadian Mental Health […]

Apparitions at Holy Love Ministries Revisited
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Apparitions at Holy Love Ministries Revisited

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A few years ago, I first wrote about Holy Love Ministries, the 83-acre site of Maranatha Spring in Ohio. People have been going to this place since the early 1990‘s, drawn by founder Maureen Sweeney-Kyle’s claim that Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary and a host of saints are appearing to her with messages. On the surface, […]

The Tender Touch of God
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The Tender Touch of God

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This week Tripp Curtis, the recently bereaved husband of “Mommy Life” blogger and author Barbara Curtis, posted a short article about his wife that read in part: Barbara told how “seeing my children experience a happy childhood was the next best thing to having one myself.” She wished to “receive that kind of love.… Is […]

Letting God Find You
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Letting God Find You

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Before my feet touched the floor on January 1st, 2012, I offered a simple prayer: Please Lord, before the year is over, find me where you want me to be. Up to that point, I had been suffering from a decades-long chronic condition and although I imagined health in my future, that morning I offered every […]

Happy New Year!
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Happy New Year!

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Today, we celebrate a New Year’s Day in the Catholic Church. Not unlike the secular New Year’s Day we celebrate in the secular world, the First Sunday of Advent marks the beginning of the new liturgical year. It also marks our time of longing and anticipation for the coming of the Christ Child on Christmas […]

On Writing in Dark Times
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On Writing in Dark Times

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In a (very) recent episode of the confessional Lutheran podcast “Issues, Etc.,” Matt Harrison, interviewing Allan Carlson, reflected on the meaning of the recent election for social conservatives. I’m sure we’ve all been immersed in this sort of thinking, this past week or so: Harrison said that “while there’s not an inevitability to this, we may […]

Advent: A Time to Prepare for the Lord’s Coming
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Advent: A Time to Prepare for the Lord’s Coming

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He was in the world, and the world came to be through him, but the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, but his own people did not accept him. But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in […]

Beyond Thanksgrieving
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Beyond Thanksgrieving

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No family really lives a Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving. Life is easier once you accept that. Then the unbearable happens. We lose someone in our family’s holiday portrait. The first year is the hardest.  The bigger the presence, the bigger the gap. Sometimes at that first holiday we feel as though we will never laugh again. Joy […]

The Death-Haunted Art of Friendship: Part IV
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The Death-Haunted Art of Friendship: Part IV

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For Part I of this series, go here; for Part II, here; for Part III, here. This is the final installment. “And nothing you can say or do will stop me, And a thousand dead friends can’t stop me…” –Mountain Goats, “All Up the Seething Coast” Dan Barden, author of the excellent noir tragicomedy The Next Right […]

Becoming a Holy Family
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Becoming a Holy Family

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“As for me and my household, we shall serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15 “What does it mean to be a holy family?”  I asked my second grade First Communion class.  Most of the eager young hands in the room went up. “Be nice.” “Obey your parents.” “Do the 10 Commandments.” “Pray.” “Good answers,” I encouraged […]

Six Ways to Make Time to Pray
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Six Ways to Make Time to Pray

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Got prayer? We don’t always make time for it as we should, but as with all good habits, real change and real growth in the spiritual life comes with practice. Here are six simple practices that will increase your prayer time. Don’t attempt them all. Do the one or two that appeal to you, and […]

Re-imagining Shepherds
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Re-imagining Shepherds

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What comes to your mind when you hear the familiar Bible passage from Luke 2:8-10, where the angels appear to the shepherds to proclaim the birth of a savior and His peace? Do you picture cute, little, cherub-faced boys and girls? Do you imagine shepherds that look like those sappy Precious Moments figurines you see […]

The Cost of Discipleship
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The Cost of Discipleship

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“Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, even life itself, cannot be my disciple.  Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple…So therefore, none of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions.” […]

Entering the Fullness of Faith
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Entering the Fullness of Faith

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Suddenly the world isn’t what it used to be.  You notice that the way people talk is overwhelmingly vulgar, because now your ears are accustomed to the sweet song of Christ.  When the Lord’s name is taken in vain, you wince, or feel a pang in your heart.  When the Blessed Virgin is treated as […]

A Mother’s Second Sight
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A Mother’s Second Sight

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“You know what I’m most scared of, Mom?” Last week, Christopher snuggled up to me as we savored our all-too-short time together. “The riots. The kids at school said there’s going to be rioting if Obama doesn’t win.” I considered this a moment. My first instinct was to reassure him, to tell him it was […]

Holy Family Prayer Book
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Holy Family Prayer Book

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What is one activity that every family should do together daily?  No matter how functional or dysfunctional a family is, this activity will make things better. Answer:  Pray together. Holy Family Prayer Book, Prayers for Every Family by the Missionaries of the Holy Family is a simple yet practical book.  Rather than overwhelming one with […]

What Would Women Saints Say?
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What Would Women Saints Say?

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It’s busy season for debates over the role of women in Christianity. First, there was the so-called “war on nuns,” the high-profile skirmish between the Vatican and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. Then followed Harvard divinity professor Karen King’s revelation of a now widely discredited papyrus suggesting that Jesus had a wife. Now comes […]

Face Time with Mary
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Face Time with Mary

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I was working at Ave Maria University in Florida when a new sculpture of the Annunciation had just been commissioned. I witnessed a massive block of marble transformed into the engaging face of the Blessed Virgin. It would be fascinating to watch a beautiful creation emerge from a cold chunk of stone, I thought.  I had always admired artistic inventiveness. With the addition of a spiritual subject, I expected […]

Family Circle: Honor Thy Mother and Father
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Family Circle: Honor Thy Mother and Father

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Could failure to follow God’s commands be robbing your family of grace?      God not only became one of us, but he was born into a family with parents: Our Blessed Mother Mary, and a father, St. Joseph.  There’s no escaping the message that families are intended to be holy places for children to grow […]

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