Category: Learn & Live the Faith

Grand Procession of Vatican II Council Fathers, 11 October 1962
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Synods Are Not Councils

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Last week when the “presider” at the “meal” at the local protestant-Catholic community preached that a “synod”” is a “council” and that throughout Church history “synod” and “council” have meant the same thing, it should have come as no surprise. But I was stunned. Of course, his words are utterly false. When the shock wore […]

When Things Fall Apart Inside
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When Things Fall Apart Inside

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Depression. A dictionary or thesaurus gives us some striking synonyms: a hollow, a cavity, a sinkhole. It is where something inside has given way causing the surface to fall in. The person experiencing depression has had that experience — the experience of something inside giving way, the loss of some internal structure or support. Elijah […]

Et Verbum Caro Factum Est
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Et Verbum Caro Factum Est

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Et verbum caro factum est. That’s Latin for “And the Word became Flesh.” What is this ‘word’? The word, the word, the bird is the word? Hardly an early sixties one-hit-wonder. The Word of which I speak has more staying power than even rock ‘n’ roll. Even more than the Strolling Bones and they’ve been […]

Sad Anniversary for Women Religious Stranded in Kurdistan
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Sad Anniversary for Women Religious Stranded in Kurdistan

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By Daniel Konstantinovic NEW YORK—August 6, 2015 marks the one-year anniversary of the expulsion from their convent of a group of Dominican sisters who had been serving Christians on Iraq’s Nineveh Plane for many years. That day, ISIS forced the women religious into exile in Erbil, capital of Kurdistan. Discovering that Kurdish militia had fled […]

Reflections for Sunday, August 9, 2015
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Reflections for Sunday, August 9, 2015

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion Mass Readings: 1st Reading 1 Kings 19:4-8 2nd Reading: Ephesians 4:30–5:2 Responsorial: Psalm 34:2-9 Gospel: John 6:41-51 Winning the Spiritual Battle through the Power of the Holy Spirit Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God. (Ephesians 4:30) We all know how easy it is to conjure […]

Let God Strike Again
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Let God Strike Again

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Colin is my 7-year-old grandson and, along with his little brother Lukas, they are among the most incredible gifts I’ve ever received. To say that they have ways of making my day and life brighter is pure understatement. For one thing, Colin can say some truly funny stuff. He has a pretty good one involving […]

How to Pray with a Toddler
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How to Pray with a Toddler

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Learning to pray together as a couple can be difficult, but learning to pray as a family with a small child is even harder. In the first year of our marriage, my wife and I struggled to figure out how to pray together. Though we’ve made some progress, especially since becoming Catholic, we are still […]

What is Past is Prologue: Dietrich von Hildebrand’s “Battle”
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What is Past is Prologue: Dietrich von Hildebrand’s “Battle”

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Under pressure of opposition, Catholic doctrine has usually developed out of necessity. For example, much of the Nicene Creed (AD 325) was a response to the threat from Arianism. Similarly, the Protestant Revolution prompted the Council of Trent to reform Catholicism. Likewise the pressures associated with a powerful regime of political oppression and overt evil […]

On Confession: The Way to Peace
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On Confession: The Way to Peace

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My brother and I could be rambunctious children. There were times our rowdiness more than made up for the fact there was only two of us. One moment leaps to mind. We were roughly 12 and 9. Our dad had gone out on an errand and we were told to stay quiet while our mom, […]

Woman, Know Your Power
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Woman, Know Your Power

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“Here we go again,” you might speculate, “another feminist tirade on ‘I am woman hear me roar.’” I’ll be roaring alright, but you might be surprised to find yourself questioning long-held, culturally-infused deceptions. Ladies, it’s time to take a long look at where your life is, and where you once dreamed it might be. One […]

You Are What You Eat
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You Are What You Eat

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A few years back George Gallup conducted a poll called “Religion in America.” He studied two groups of Americans, regular churchgoers from various Christian churches on the one hand, and totally unchurched people on the other. He quizzed both groups on issues ranging from the divinity of Jesus, to cheating on income tax, infidelity in […]

The First Heralds
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The First Heralds

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My husband was watching the morning news when footage of 433 hot air balloons in France lit the screen and he pressed pause, beckoning our daughter. “Look, Maria!” he said. They watched the segment together, but Ted wasn’t satisfied with its educational value, so he found an online video of another hot air balloon, kicking […]

Reflections for Sunday, August 2nd, 2015
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Reflections for Sunday, August 2nd, 2015

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion Mass Readings: 1st Reading Exodus 16:2-4, 12-15 2nd Reading: Ephesians 4:17, 20-24 Responsorial: Psalm 78:3-4, 23-25, 54 Gospel: John 6:24-35 Hold Fast to Jesus, No Matter the Circumstances What can we do? (John 6:28) You’ve probably heard of the Rubik’s Cube, a puzzle requiring tremendous concentration to […]

The Feeding of the Five Thousand
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The Feeding of the Five Thousand

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Everybody loves a picnic. Summer is picnic season. This weekend we have our parish picnic over yonder on the green grass at Patriarch Park. Food, fun, fellowship. If there’s one thing that Catholics are good at it’s eating. Maybe I should speak for myself but the picnic is sure to provide a good time for […]

Filling Up My Nearly Empty Gas Tank
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Filling Up My Nearly Empty Gas Tank

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For as long as I can remember, I have been an “11th-hour” guy. Some might call it procrastination. I prefer to say “I thrive under deadline.” That was a marketable skill for much of my life. Now, it has become an occasionally debilitating burden. It began, commonly enough, with working on high school term papers […]

Hidden Meaning of the Loaves and the Fishes
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Hidden Meaning of the Loaves and the Fishes

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Finding the hidden meanings.   Unraveling mysteries.  Deciphering symbols.  The thrill inherent in all this is partly why Dan Brown’s book, the Da Vinci Code, sold so well. But Brown’s secret code, the 2000 year chain of clues supposedly leading to the true identity of Jesus and his holy grail, is simply a parody of the […]

From Your Fellow Pilgrim
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From Your Fellow Pilgrim

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I have a confession to make: Even though I know that at my age (54), I’m likely on the downhill side of life’s mountain … Even though I have seen numerous people pass away at ages much younger than me the last several years … Even though I have visited only 38 of the 50 […]

Reflections for Sunday, July 26, 2015
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Reflections for Sunday, July 26, 2015

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion Mass Readings: 1st Reading 2 Kings 4:42-44 2nd Reading: Ephesians 4:1-6 Responsorial: Psalm 145:10-11, 15-18 Gospel: John 6:1-15 Growing in Humility, Our Call to be Like Jesus He withdrew again to the mountain alone. (John 6:15) Did you ever think that Jesus would let the crowd make […]

In Shadow of War, Syrian Christians are Trying to Rebuild Their Lives
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In Shadow of War, Syrian Christians are Trying to Rebuild Their Lives

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By Oliver Maksan HOMS, Syria—Bright colors set off the sullen grey of destruction: children and young people have painted one of the streets in the ravaged Old City of this ancient Christian center in Syria. On house walls, the young artists have expressed in brilliant colours what moves them, what they hope for. “The aim […]

Missionary Bishop Uncovered and Shelved; Report on Him Shelved and Uncovered
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Missionary Bishop Uncovered and Shelved; Report on Him Shelved and Uncovered

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Parishioners at North American Martyrs Parish in Seattle have friends in high places—in more than one sense. To be sure, St. Isaac Jogues and his missionary brothers intercede for the souls in their namesake’s parish, but parishioners who attend the 8:00 am Mass at Holyrood Cemetery’s mausoleum have an additional friend likely in Heaven, whose […]

Being a Maccabean Mother
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Being a Maccabean Mother

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After a hearty meal, a male dinner guest and my husband reclined on the sofa where they set about solving all of the world’s problems. After a few laughs, the conversation turned serious as they speculated about the probability of coming persecutions like those already faced daily by Christians in the Middle East. They proclaimed […]

Speaking of False Teachers: A Primer (Part 2)
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Speaking of False Teachers: A Primer (Part 2)

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Part one of this series dealt with how Jesus, Scripture, and the saints described and identified false teachers. In this installment we examine the example of St. Athanasius. The Arians and Their False Teachers The Arian heresy is named after a priest named Arius (A.D. 250-336) who taught several false doctrines that flowed from a […]

Complete Abandonment to Christ and the Purpose of Our Existence
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Complete Abandonment to Christ and the Purpose of Our Existence

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At the beginning of his papacy, by Pope Benedict XVI’s 2005 homily for the Mass Imposition of the Pallium and Conferral of The Fisherman’s Ring For the Beginning Of The Petrine Ministry Of the Bishop Of Rome, His Holiness said: “There is nothing more beautiful than to be surprised by the Gospel, by the encounter with […]

Hungry Sheep, Weary Shepherds
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Hungry Sheep, Weary Shepherds

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Lots of perks come with being the boss, whether you are the boss of a church, company, or nation.  You get to call the shots, for starters.  Then there is good food, good drink.  Travel.  Parties.  Expense accounts.  Pomp and circumstance. Bodyguards. Technology has changed a lot, but people haven’t. In ancient times as in […]

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