Category: Learn & Live the Faith

Cut Deeply
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Cut Deeply

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I cut our dog this past weekend. I mean, I literally cut her! I was grooming her and intended to cut her hair but caught her skin instead, making a painful gash in her back leg. She yelped and jumped, whirling her head around and looking back at me in complete bewilderment. The tears came […]

"A Fourth Rome There Will Not Be" -- Russia and Her Mission, Part One
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“A Fourth Rome There Will Not Be” — Russia and Her Mission, Part One

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“Two Romes have fallen, but the third stands, and a fourth there will not be.” —The Russian Monk Philotheus, c. 1520, referring to Rome, Constantinople (“New Rome”) and Moscow “In the afternoon Tatiana stayed indoors and read from the prophets Amos and Obadiah… “Commandant Yurovsky got up from his chair, went out on to the […]

Turn the Other Cheek?
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Turn the Other Cheek?

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“Love your enemies.”  “Turn the other cheek.”  (Mat 5:38-40).  This sounds admirable to some, but preposterous to others.  The 19th century philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche thought such talk promotes a society of weaklings.  Karl Marx thought these words keep the oppressed under the thumbs of the capitalists.  Does Jesus want us to be doormats, suckers who […]

Will a New Papal Document Curtail Use of the Old Mass?
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Will a New Papal Document Curtail Use of the Old Mass?

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Will the Vatican soon issue a document calling for some restrictions on the use of the old rite of the Mass? The internet, especially in traditional Catholic circles, is abuzz with reports that this may be about to happen. But for the moment, these reports are based only on rumors. Officially, no one yet knows […]

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Understanding Celibacy Through the Theology of the Body

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“What does that have to do with the priesthood, Father?” I like to think, as Vocation Director, I can tie just about anything back to the priesthood, if I really try; but in the conversation noted, there was no need to try, as the links were plenty evident, if you but scratch the surface. In […]

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Appreciating The Gift Of Suffering

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Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of His Body, that is, the Church (Col 1:24). When I first read St. Paul’s words to the people of Colossae, I was stunned and I’m sure that I’m not alone.  […]

Preparing the Way for the Roman Missal 3rd Edition, Part 10: The Liturgy of the Eucharist
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Preparing the Way for the Roman Missal 3rd Edition, Part 10: The Liturgy of the Eucharist

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We continue our examination of the Liturgy of the Eucharist at the Ecce Agnus Dei: After once again receiving the Lord’s blessing, The peace of the Lord be with you always, and responding, And with your spirit, the next change that we encounter takes place when the priest elevates the Host and Chalice and says: […]

Preparing the Way for the Roman Missal 3rd Edition, Part 9: The Liturgy of the Eucharist
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Preparing the Way for the Roman Missal 3rd Edition, Part 9: The Liturgy of the Eucharist

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In the final two installments of this series, we will focus our attention on the people’s parts in the Liturgy of the Eucharist, addressing each instance of change in the text as it comes. Suscipiat Dominus Shortly after the beginning of the Liturgy of the Eucharistic, we are encouraged to pray that our sacrifice may […]

Preparing the Way for the Roman Missal 3rd Edition, Part 8: The Creed
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Preparing the Way for the Roman Missal 3rd Edition, Part 8: The Creed

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We discover right out of the gate in the new translation that the Creed is a personal statement, Credo / I believe. Yes, we profess the faith of the Church in one voice with all of her members, but the Creed must be our own personal acceptance of that faith. And so we say, I […]

Catholic “Fluff” – The Enemy Within
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Catholic “Fluff” – The Enemy Within

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We don’t like to speak the truth about evil because we’re going to hurt somebody.  Let me tell you, you are going to hurt somebody, but that somebody is God.  If you would rather hurt God than your neighbor, there is something wrong with your spirituality.  It’s your obligation to speak the truth and everyone […]

A Conversation with Fr. Gary Thomas, Exorcist
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A Conversation with Fr. Gary Thomas, Exorcist

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The priest upon whose experience the book and movie The Rite are based, Father Gary Thomas  gives an extended interview to Leticia Velasquez, about the writing and purpose of the book, the realism of the movie, and his experiences with the Rite of Exorcism: Velasquez: I’d like to ask my first few questions about the […]

Review of the Children's Book <i>Joseph's Hands</i>
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Review of the Children’s Book Joseph’s Hands

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God makes every one of us unique, giving us each special gifts and talents. In the newly released book Joseph’s Hands (Bezalel Books, April 2007, paperback, 36 pages), author Kety Sabatini shares a compelling tale which aptly illustrates God’s love and creativity. Beautifully illustrated by Marie Sabatini, Joseph’s Hands is the story of six year […]

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La Mama

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One of life’s curious ironies is that a person can “have it all” but in reality have nothing.  Likewise, a person can seem to have nothing and yet have everything–everything that matters that is. Mother Antonia or Madre Antonia as she is known in Mexico is just such a contradiction; filled to overflowing with love […]

The Gaze
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The Gaze

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I do a weekly adoration hour. If you are familiar with the devotion of Eucharistic Adoration, skip the next paragraph. If not, allow me to explain. In formal settings, when a Catholic church sets up a weekly or daily schedule of Adoration or “Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament,” volunteers (like me) sign up to pray […]

From Rubble to Reconstruction
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From Rubble to Reconstruction

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A few months ago, a group of neighbors representing some 40 families in the Port-au-Prince community of Delmas 62 banded together and knocked on the door of Catholic Relief Services’ office in Delmas 81 to ask for help. Displaced from their homes after the earthquake, they were living in a nearby camp and wanted to […]

Cults, Movements, World Religions
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Cults, Movements, World Religions

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The modern religious landscape appears increasingly confusing, even strange or frightening. No matter how strong in faith and regular in religious practice our families may be, we are not insulated from contact with a bewildering variety of religious expressions, a Babel of “prophetic” voices and a dizzying array of competing world views. Questions Abound in […]

Eight Great Reasons To Be Single And Celibate
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Eight Great Reasons To Be Single And Celibate

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As a Catholic you’ll find some of these reasons interesting, if not ironic, because they do not come from the pen of a celibate Catholic theologian, monk, or priest cloistered in a Mongolian monastery. Instead, they come from a Protestant-Evangelical minister, John Piper in his book Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. John is married to […]

Prayer, the Heart of a Vocation
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Prayer, the Heart of a Vocation

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“Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” The Twelve had witnessed the deep communion that existed between Jesus and his Heavenly Father, and, as holiness does, it attracted them.  Seeing that peace that comes from that personal connection, they wanted to be drawn deeper into this very mystical communion. In many ways, […]

Preparing the Way for the Roman Missal 3rd Edition, Part 7: The Gloria
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Preparing the Way for the Roman Missal 3rd Edition, Part 7: The Gloria

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Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth, in the new translation becomes, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to people of good will. This “new” wording represents a return to the Scriptural roots of the text (Luke 2:14) and the angels’ announcement of the Savior’s […]

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Whoopin’ and Hollerin’

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The other day while I was at the YMCA, a group of mentally disabled adults and their caregivers joined us in the fitness room. It was obvious to me that this was a routine visit for them, because they knew exactly what to do. They found “their” machines, positioned themselves exactly right and waited patiently […]

Who Does God Use?
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Who Does God Use?

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“It takes no great military expert to predict the results of a war in which large numbers of the solders do not fight, do not even know there is a war on. The officers are essential, and obedience to them is essential. But an army in which only the officers fights is likely to have […]

Preparing the Way for the Roman Missal 3rd Edition, Part 6: Penitential Rite
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Preparing the Way for the Roman Missal 3rd Edition, Part 6: Penitential Rite

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Following the Introductory Rites, the next occurrence of change in the people’s parts of the Holy Mass occurs during the Penitential Rite, at the Confiteor, where three changes can be found. In the previous editions of the Missal we would say: I confess to almighty God, and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I […]

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Best Practices of Faith Formation: Confirmation Requirements

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Some years ago, I was working on a video documentary for Ford Motor Company about the famous American industrial statistician, W. Edwards Deming, who is credited with transforming Japan’s industrial quality after WWII, and making the Japanese the competitive powerhouse they are today. Quality Control In 1950, Deming had been upset with the quality of […]

Preparing the Way for the Roman Missal 3rd Edition, Part 5: Introductory Rites
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Preparing the Way for the Roman Missal 3rd Edition, Part 5: Introductory Rites

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NOTE: In order to make this examination of the changes in the people’s parts of Holy Mass easier to navigate, all of the text taken from the Missal will be in italics, while the newly translated text (where changes are found) will be in bold italics. During the Introductory Rites when the priest says The […]

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