Category: Learn & Live the Faith

Seven People to Pray for Today
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Seven People to Pray for Today

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It’s easy to fall into the habit of praying in too small a circle. We pray for our personal intentions, for our families and closest friends, our parish, but we sometimes forget to open the lens a bit and commit to intercessory prayer for those who may have no one praying for them at all. […]

The Difference the Spirit Makes
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The Difference the Spirit Makes

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As a teen, I thought the clergy were supposed to do everything. We laity were just called to pray, pay, and obey. Oh yes, and keep the commandments, of course. The original 10 seemed overwhelming enough. Then I discovered the Sermon on the Mount and nearly passed out. Perhaps this is why many inactive Catholics […]

Syria: 'Things Were Never So Bad in Aleppo Before'
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Syria: ‘Things Were Never So Bad in Aleppo Before’

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By Oliver Maksan NEW YORK—In an urgent appeal to the outside world, Franciscan Father Ibrahim Alsabagh is calling on Christians throughout the world to pray for the Syrian city of Aleppo, currently caught up in the midst of heavy fighting. “Never, since the beginning of this terrible war were things as bad as they are […]

Nigerian Bishops Ask Their President for Action on Christians' Rights
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Nigerian Bishops Ask Their President for Action on Christians’ Rights

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Nigeria’s Catholic bishops have in no uncertain terms asked their new president to enact and enforce policies that—in accordance with the country’s constitution—would guarantee fair treatment of Christians in the north of the country where they are often relegated to second-class status. Meeting May 2, 2016 with President Muhammadu Buhari, the bishops’ demands—voiced in a […]

God’s Definition of Tolerance: The Woman Caught in Adultery
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God’s Definition of Tolerance: The Woman Caught in Adultery

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The Story and Its Reminders We have all heard the story of the woman caught in adultery who fell before Jesus at the point of being stoned under Mosaic law ( John 8:1-11). First, we know that those who brought this woman before Jesus were not really interested in the law, compassion, forgiveness or, for […]

Mary: Woman. Why not "Mom?"
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Mary: Woman. Why not “Mom?”

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Mama, Mammy, Mom, Mommy. Sweet, Beloved, Dear. Think of all the terms of endearment we use for our mothers. Think of all the terms of love and care our mothers use for us. Of all our titles and names for Mary – The Litany Of Loreto, also called the Litany Of The Blessed Virgin Mary, […]

The Momentum of Mercy
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The Momentum of Mercy

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When I was child, I thought of mercy as something that was granted only to a person who really needed it, such as a big sinner, or when I did something really bad. I never thought about how mercy can be a part of everyday life. If we are open to the expansive nature of […]

On the Beautiful Prayer of Crying
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On the Beautiful Prayer of Crying

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A boy falls and skins his knees. A boy wrestles in the living room and bonks his head on the coffee table. A boy tries to field a ground ball at shortstop, only to take a bad hop that bloodies his nose, or gets plowed by a much bigger boy on the football field. “Boys […]

<em>Talking to God: Prayers for Catholic Women</em>
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Talking to God: Prayers for Catholic Women

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Sometimes it can be hard to find the words to pray, both in times of celebration and when we are hurting. Maybe we haven’t prayed in so long, we aren’t sure where to begin. As Grace Mazza Urbanski writes in the introduction to Talking to God: Prayers for Catholic Women (Franciscan Media, 2016), “We encounter […]

What Did Jesus Write?
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What Did Jesus Write?

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It’s a well-known story of forgiveness in John 8, but it remains mysterious. “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery.” Upon hearing this, Jesus kneels and begins to write in the sand. What was Jesus writing? Scripture doesn’t tell us, but the reactions of those in the crowd give us […]

Witnesses Tell UN of Genocide of Christians in Middle East
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Witnesses Tell UN of Genocide of Christians in Middle East

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Held by terrorist captors, an Iraqi woman named Khalia resisted their demands that she abandon her Christian faith.  Her story was told at the UN this week, along with other accounts of atrocities suffered by Christians and religious minorities in the Middle East at the hands of the Islamic State, or ISIS. According to experts, […]

Thérèse, Faustina, and Alphonsus: Heaven’s Trust Triangle
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Thérèse, Faustina, and Alphonsus: Heaven’s Trust Triangle

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One of the most perplexing puzzles in human salvation is the confrontation between taking salvation and sin seriously on one hand and, yet, feeling an almost insurmountable uselessness in one’s daily effort to save one’s soul on the other. The paradox is clear: we have to take salvation seriously, but the more seriously we take […]

Truth, Treason, and Marriage
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Truth, Treason, and Marriage

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The early part of the first century A.D.: Herod was the one who had John arrested and bound in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, whom he had married. John had said to Herod, ‘It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.’ Herodias harbored a grudge against […]

Never Sacrifice the Eternal for the Temporal
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Never Sacrifice the Eternal for the Temporal

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Every city has its hip area with trendy shops offering locally made trinkets, markets for vendors of organically grown produce, and faux-French cafes. Accountants and stockbrokers who wear power suits Monday to Friday may transform on Saturday into hipsters in faded jeans, t-shirts, bandannas around their heads or floppy straw hats to saunter around trendy […]

Christ Icon - Alpha Omega - IC XC
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The Last Days and the Resurrection the Dead, Part III

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This is the third in a series on unconventional propositions about last days and the resurrection of the dead. The first was on that of the Russian mathematician, Andrej Grib, dealing with quantum logic; the second on that of the American physicist, Frank Tipler, dealing with his physics derived Omega Point; this, the third, on […]

Laudato Si: Year One
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Laudato Si: Year One

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It has been a little over a year since Pope Francis released his encyclical, Laudato Si.’ The document generated a great deal of attention, particularly in the area of public policy. What action should the government take in order to address the environmental issues facing the planet? Unfortunately, the political questions surrounding Pope Francis’ message […]

Amazing God: He Loves Us Wretched Fools
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Amazing God: He Loves Us Wretched Fools

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I can’t even begin to estimate how many times I have sung “Amazing Grace.” That includes all the solo renditions in my car, sung with heart and soul. Indeed, that first verse is a wonderful prayer: Amazing grace, how sweet the sound That saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I’m […]

Pope Francis' <em>Amoris Laetitia</em> Praises Faithful and Forgiving Love
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Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia Praises Faithful and Forgiving Love

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Reading the full text of Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia, I experienced the odd sensation that the Pope and I must have been poring over the same exact Church documents for the past two years. The themes of faithfulness, personal freedom, fruitfulness, and total gift of self are woven throughout the Pope’s exhortation, and of course […]

Nick Foligno Faithfully Gliding Forward in the NHL
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Nick Foligno Faithfully Gliding Forward in the NHL

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When Nick Foligno’s daughter Milana was born with a congenital heart defect two-and-a-half years ago, he knew he could rely on his Catholic faith for solace and strength. His mother Janis had died four years prior to that — an experience that initially threw him but eventually helped him gain a more positive outlook on […]

The Good Shepherd and His Abundant Life
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The Good Shepherd and His Abundant Life

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The atheist philosopher of the 19th century, Friedrich Nietzsche, once said: “if Christians want me to believe in their redeemer, they need to look more redeemed.” He was drawing the wrong conclusion from a perceptive observation.  To Nietzsche most Christians looked just as burdened, clueless and lost as everybody else.  When he looked into their […]

Latest Pope Francis Controversy and Why Non-Catholics Should Care
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Latest Pope Francis Controversy and Why Non-Catholics Should Care

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Non-Catholics may be wondering why Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia or The Joy of Love, has Catholics in an uproar. Has the Pope changed Catholic doctrine? Has he left the doctrine officially intact, but changed pastoral practice so much that the doctrine is annulled? Now that I have taken the weekend to read it, […]

Five Things my Mother (and Daughter) Taught Me about Caring for People with Dementia
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Five Things my Mother (and Daughter) Taught Me about Caring for People with Dementia

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My mother developed Alzheimer’s disease, the most common type of dementia, in her early 60s. Later on, she was diagnosed with an aggressive thyroid cancer that required a surgical opening in her throat called a tracheostomy so that she would not suffocate from the tumor. My father and siblings were naturally distraught and overwhelmed. I […]

Pope Francis Stresses Faithful Education in Light of Family Crisis, Says Theologian
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Pope Francis Stresses Faithful Education in Light of Family Crisis, Says Theologian

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Pope Francis clearly stated the need for faithful Catholic education in his apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia released on Friday, and warned against any attempts by schools or teachers to impose ideologies contrary to the teachings of the Church, theologian and author Dr. Edward Sri told The Cardinal Newman Society. “Pope Francis went out of his […]

For Christians in Aleppo, Syria, Life Remains a Struggle
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For Christians in Aleppo, Syria, Life Remains a Struggle

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By Oliver Maksan NEW YORK—The conflict in Syria entered its sixth year in March, but the ceasefire and ongoing talks in Geneva between the major warring parties have for the first time given rise to a glimmer of hope that an end to the conflict might be possible. However, real security and peace remain elusive, […]

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