Category: Live in Christ

The Samaritan Woman and the Original Meaning of Lent
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The Samaritan Woman and the Original Meaning of Lent

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Lent’s a time of introspection.  We read Exodus, and watch the Israelites grumbling, even after the amazing things God had done for them (Ex 17:3-7).  In them, we recognize ourselves.  For many of us, then, Lent is time for the spiritual equivalent of New Year’s resolutions.  We set aside work on ourselves for forty days […]

What If We Just Said ‘Pray’?
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What If We Just Said ‘Pray’?

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The “reform of the reform” is afoot and some folks are none too pleased. How’s that for an understatement?!    For instance, about fifteen months ago, America Magazine featured an essay by the longtime pastor of St. James Cathedral in Seattle, Fr. Michael Ryan, belittling the new English translation of the Roman Missal; accusing the bishops […]

CL8 -heidibratton notxt
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Contraception: The Reason Catholics Have Abandoned Confession

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After the death of Dr. Bernard Nathanson last February, we were reminded that somebody once asked him why he became a Catholic. Because, said Dr. Nathanson, (who’d been a leader in the movement to legalize abortion and performed or presided over many thousands of abortions, then seen the light and become ardently prolife) no other […]

Prayer in Action
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Prayer in Action

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Bishop Sheen was well acquainted with the media, through long years of experience.  After beginning work as a priest in the 1920s, Bishop Sheen became a famous preacher.  An elderly woman who had been a young lady in St. Patrick’s Parish in Peoria said that many of them would attend the Low Mass, early on […]

Why The Sign of Peace is Important
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Why The Sign of Peace is Important

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Have you ever attended Mass angry at a member of your immediate family? And then you have to offer them peace! Thankfully, the sign of peace comes toward the end of the liturgy and I have usually calmed down somewhat by that point. Still, extending a greeting and saying those words “Peace be with you” […]

Growing in Faith
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Growing in Faith

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The Feast of the Annunciation (March 25th, nine short shopping months until Christmas!)  reminds me of the response we might make to questions of faith.  When confronted with these profound questions, we can dismiss them, we can scoff at them, or, even while not understanding, we can seek to know more. We can understand this […]

Letter from a Friend: How Christ Experienced All Our Suffering
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Letter from a Friend: How Christ Experienced All Our Suffering

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It is the Lenten season; a time of fasting and penance in an effort to draw nearer to the Lord who suffered all things for love of His people. And though the time to consciously strive to join one’s sufferings to the Cross of Christ is always in season, during Lent it is especially so. […]

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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It’s St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, and everyone is Irish today — if not in fact, at least in spirit.  Come on now, don’t be an old Druid!  Regardless of your nationality, St. Patrick is a saint for everyone. It’s not just because I’m half Irish or that my parents named me after St. Patrick, […]

Hope Springs Eternal
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Hope Springs Eternal

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As a long, hard winter comes to a close, four words can always elevate my spirits: ‘Pitchers and Catchers Report!’  This simple phrase indicates the boys of summer are heading to the sunny paradise of either Florida or Arizona to work out the kinks that settled in during the long winter months.  Pitchers are stretching […]

Gregorian Chant: “Pride of Place”
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Gregorian Chant: “Pride of Place”

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Look up “Gregorian chant” in just about any current dictionary or encyclopedia and you will see a description that says it “is the liturgical chant of the Roman Catholic Church.” Notice that the tense of the verb “to be” is in its present form of “is.” What Should Customarily Be? The definition doesn’t place Gregorian […]

Lent -- Sharing in the Obedience of Jesus
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Lent — Sharing in the Obedience of Jesus

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“Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD?  Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice”  (1 Samuel 15:22).  That’s a truth to keep central as we enter this season of Lent.  It’s possible to make a grandiose resolution and miss the reality at the […]

On Folding Underwear, Running a Marathon and Developing Discipline in Prayer
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On Folding Underwear, Running a Marathon and Developing Discipline in Prayer

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I fold my underwear. That is probably an overshare, so please forgive me. I also fold my socks, but I doubt that makes me unique, because folding socks makes sense, but underwear? What’s the point?! I have often had that discussion in my head and with my wife (especially when we were first married and […]

That’s Cheating!
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That’s Cheating!

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“Mom, that’s cheating!” our 15-year-old son reprimanded me. “Well, whatever works, right?” I tried to defend myself. “Yeah, but it doesn’t really count if you don’t do it on your own,” he insisted. “I still think it’s cheating.” “Fine. You can see it anyway you want, but I don’t see it as cheating so I […]

Do We Allow People to Change?
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Do We Allow People to Change?

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The other night, I had the pleasure of watching You Again, a fun, lighthearted comedy that will appeal to anyone who ever found herself at the bottom of the social ladder in high school. Featuring such stars as Jamie Lee Curtis, Sigourney Weaver, Kristen Bell, and Betty White, it explores what happens when women are […]

Do not hasten to bid me Adieu
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Do not hasten to bid me Adieu

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I always find the lyrics of the song “Red River Valley” to be haunting and beautiful.  Written in Iowa, and making reference to frontier days, the song is often performed as a cowboy song.  The song makes reference to the frontier days in Canada, and an expedition through the Red River Valley of the north, and […]

The Great Deception
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The Great Deception

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As I crossed the great divide of puberty, I formed a vivid image of God..  He was a grumpy old man on a throne with a frown on his face.  Every time anyone tried to have a little fun, he’d shout “Thou shalt not!” But to really live and not just exist, you had to […]

Quakes and Waves and Psalms
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Quakes and Waves and Psalms

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As someone new to praying the liturgy of the hours, I never before fully understood the place of the psalms in the prayer of the Church.  “In [Christ],” the Catechism says, “the psalms continue to teach us how to pray”, so much so that the Church calls the psalms a “school of prayer” (2587 and […]

Humans Really Are Odd Beings
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Humans Really Are Odd Beings

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Adam and Eve really did have it easy.  They were so comfortable in their human skin.  More to the point, they were comfortable in their human skin which had a spiritual soul.  This did not seem odd or cause them any kind of dilemma, stress, or confusion.  They were created to be perfectly at ease […]

<i>The Wild Wild West</i>: My Father's Example of Forgiveness
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The Wild Wild West: My Father’s Example of Forgiveness

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My father taught me one of the most amazing lessons I’ve ever learned about forgiveness. It happened when I was a young girl, about eight years of age or so. I was at home with my mother and two sisters just doing things around the house. Suddenly, the atmosphere changed, and there was a flurry […]

Lent, Ashes, and Death to Self
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Lent, Ashes, and Death to Self

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“[F]or dust thou art, and to dust thou shall return” (Gen. 3:19). We are food for worms, and yet our culture, our modernist worldview, pretends that nature can somehow be betrayed. We worship the appearance of youth while we are alive, and when those around us give in to inevitability, we hide the reality of […]

Tempted Yet?
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Tempted Yet?

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An Ice Cream Sundae.  At 11:30 p.m. or so on Mardi Gras.  My yearly custom, for many years, was to take a bowl of Whitey’s Ice Cream, cover it with Butterscotch and/or Carmamel and/or Chocolate Sauce, maybe throw on some peanuts, and enjoy my last indulgence before the start of Lent. Ice Cream.  I was […]

Litany of the Everyday
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Litany of the Everyday

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In our family we observe a common Catholic tradition:  whenever we hear a siren, we say a Hail Mary, “for whoever is in need and for the first responders”.  Since we live just a few blocks from a fire station, we get lots of practice in this devotion. Which also affords our daughter Liz, now […]

Does it Really Matter?
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Does it Really Matter?

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While getting ready for a dance at the University of Detroit during a freshman college orientation weekend, I had a life changing experience. It was a moment of awakening that has stayed with me for over thirty years. The roommate I was assigned for the weekend was a tall, slim girl with short black hair.  […]

Saying “Y-E-S” to God During Lent
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Saying “Y-E-S” to God During Lent

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Hear Gary Zimak on EWTN radio’s Son Rise Morning Show Tuesday, 3/8 at 6:45 a.m. and on Ave Maria/EWTN Catholic Connection Friday, 3/11 at 8:35 a.m. No matter how close we are to God, the season of Lent provides a great opportunity to grow closer to Him.  One of the biggest mistakes that we can make is to not take advantage of […]

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