Category: The Catholic Family

A Conscience-Stinger for Lent
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A Conscience-Stinger for Lent

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Anyone want a good conscience-stinger for Lent? Recently I just reread Thomas Dubay’s Happy Are You Poor. And my conscience was stung. I have too much stuff, and my children have too much stuff. And this stuff gets in the way of knowing Jesus. And it’s time to clean house and make space for Him. Now as […]

This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things! 'Inclusiveness' Ruins Wholesome Event
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This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things! ‘Inclusiveness’ Ruins Wholesome Event

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When I was a kid attending Catholic school, if someone was caught with gum, or candy, a typical response from a teacher who was usually a Dominican nun, would be: “Do you have enough for everyone?” If we had been clever enough to prepare ahead of time, pulling out enough gum or candy for the […]

Dear Struggling Marriages
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Dear Struggling Marriages

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In my work preparing couples for marriage, I have had to account for the unexpected implosion of a marriage where I was once part of the preparation. Sometimes I hear about the troubles first hand, other times when I see one of them meeting with the Nullity Minister. It saddens me every time when those […]

A Time for Change
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A Time for Change

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Every person deserves dignity, especially to be recognized as equal creations of God, as we all are. Yet we are created individually and differently, which is a huge part of the challenge presented to us by Jesus in the Second Commandment — to Love our neighbors as ourselves. The only way we are able to […]

Heartfelt and Handmade: The Value of Story in Our Family’s Advent
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Heartfelt and Handmade: The Value of Story in Our Family’s Advent

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To live the meaning of “prepare.” The meaning of “wait.” A tradition as simple as the lighting of the stately lavender tapers, ring of purples and pink, each boy eagerly anticipating leading the nightly prayer. Or reciting the scripture verse. And do they ever read this verse with care, as their first Advent morning utterances […]

Teaching Children About the Angels
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Teaching Children About the Angels

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Fall is here and my mind turns to the angels.  As the leaves drop and remind us of our earthly transience, our thoughts settle on the spiritual world which is usually hidden from our senses, the world of Heaven, in which dwell the saints and angels.  And so, we celebrate the feasts of the Archangels […]

Selfless
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Selfless

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The word selfless appears to be an oxymoron at first glance, a contradiction if you will. We are encouraged through Scripture in both the New and Old Testaments on numerous occasions that, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love yourself too much, and risk being an egomaniac and your neighbor is literally invisible much […]

Why Marriage?
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Why Marriage?

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I work full time in marriage ministry. I have the honor to work with excited, newly engaged couples anxious to start the prep process. Their exuberant joy is quite contagious. After gathering the critical contact information, I like to pose deeper questions to ascertain where they are at in their understanding of marriage, and to […]

The Principle of Solidarity and U.S. Healthcare: A Closer Look
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The Principle of Solidarity and U.S. Healthcare: A Closer Look

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When members of Congress were debating the Affordable Care Act, many Catholics suggested that the Catholic Principle of Subsidiarity was particularly instructive in the ongoing U.S. healthcare debate.  Although mindful of the many relevant Catholic principles involved in the discussions of U.S. Healthcare (e.g., common good, separation of Church and State, life, primacy of focus […]

The Double-Edged Sword of Infertility
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The Double-Edged Sword of Infertility

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The pain of infertility or impaired fertility comes in more than one form. The first is the obvious suffering of the couple who wants so badly to have a child but, for whatever reason, is unable to. The second is the judgment of others in their Catholic community. I’ve experienced this first-hand, despite having three […]

A Good Friday Devotion
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A Good Friday Devotion

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When I was a kid my Mom used to embroider old sayings and decorate them with stitched designs and images. When they were finished she’d frame them and hang them on the walls, so that walking through our house was a little tour through the patrimony of wisdom from the ages, all arrayed in a […]

Couriers of Grace: My Daughter, the Sacraments, and a Surprising Walk of Faith
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Couriers of Grace: My Daughter, the Sacraments, and a Surprising Walk of Faith

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  There once was a very special girl. Sarah was her name: a name that means Princess. This princess happened to be born with Down syndrome. Little Sarah grew up telling those around her that she had a perfect life! “If someone made an unkind remark about her appearance, she would smile and wave at […]

Singles Need Prayers
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Singles Need Prayers

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Single Catholics: the Vocations Solution It is widely known, in both Catholic and non-Catholic circles, that the Catholic Church is experiencing a shortage of priestly and religious vocations at this time. We often hear prayers at Mass for an increase in these vocations. There are those who are called by God to this vocation who […]

Sugar, Sugar, You Got Me Wantin’ You
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Sugar, Sugar, You Got Me Wantin’ You

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Conscience is the voice of God speaking to a Christian. It is the “law written in their hearts” (Romans 2:15) by God; and each Christian has a duty to make sure that God’s message is not corrupted. In short, a Christian must form his or her conscience – it must be “well formed” – and […]

At Best, the Reunion Should’ve Been Awkward.
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At Best, the Reunion Should’ve Been Awkward.

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“While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him.” Luke 15: 1-3, 11-32 When I see a young parent cradling an infant, I always smile. I’ll never forget those early days of motherhood, especially the […]

God Can Heal Even the Worst Cases of Family Rivalry, Jealousy or Betrayal.
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God Can Heal Even the Worst Cases of Family Rivalry, Jealousy or Betrayal.

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Israel loved Joseph best of all his sons, for he was the child of his old age; and he had made him a long tunic. When his brothers saw that their father loved him best of all his sons, they hated him so much that they would not even greet him. Genesis 37:3-4, 12-13A, 17B-28A […]

New Must-Read Book for Catholic Moms
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New Must-Read Book for Catholic Moms

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In nine years, I’ve never gone into my Catholic Mom’s Bible Study / Book Club and said, “We need to read this book today,” but I did that with the latest book by Kate Wicker. If you are always perfectly fulfilled in your role as a mother and you have a group of well-behaved children […]

Marriage - A Turning Point
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Marriage – A Turning Point

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Christmas has always been a season of Hope, especially for children and most especially for young children. We invest so much in our children, trying to make them happy, secure and successful. But new statistics have shown how our secular lifestyles are threatening their future, the future of society. As Christians we are not supposed […]

Ohio State Linebacker Goes From Walk-On to Scholarship Captain
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Ohio State Linebacker Goes From Walk-On to Scholarship Captain

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Coming out of high school in 2012, Joe Burger was not offered a scholarship to Ohio State University. Undeterred, he worked hard at contributing to the team in any way he could. His work has paid off, as he was awarded a scholarship last year. And now the linebacker is a senior captain of the […]

The Beauty of Sacramental Love
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The Beauty of Sacramental Love

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While preparing for the celebration of the birth of Christ this year, we must also think about the wonderful blessings that Joseph and Mary experienced when God chose them to be the parents of His Son. Mary, who was conceived without original sin, and Joseph, who was vowed to Mary’s virginity and to his role […]

Pro-Family Leaders Launch Declaration on Marriage in Cape Town
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Pro-Family Leaders Launch Declaration on Marriage in Cape Town

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Pro-family leaders from around the world recently gathered in Cape Town, South Africa, to roll out and sign a declaration that aims to protect the family and traditional marriage. In its five short paragraphs, the Cape Town Declaration recognizes the family as the “first and primordial community” and “the bedrock of civil society.” It reaffirms […]

Make Family Reconciliation an Advent Tradition
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Make Family Reconciliation an Advent Tradition

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It is 1535 London.  The prior of the Carthusian monks at the London Charterhouse tries to prepare his brothers for a coming persecution, martyrdom for many of them.  The Prior, John Houghton exhorts his brother Carthusians to prepare their hearts by a general confession to God, and gives leave that every one should choose any […]

Five Bad Christmas Ideas
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Five Bad Christmas Ideas

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Banning Christmas Trees  The public display of Christmas trees might hurt someone? The only people who ever claim that a Christmas tree inflicts emotional damage are the Christian haters. They would have been the ones that showed up at the Roman coliseums to watch Christians get eaten by lions. If these people are disturbed by […]

The Joy of Vocation: A Look at the Grown-up Version of Fun
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The Joy of Vocation: A Look at the Grown-up Version of Fun

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Shortly after I got married, a good priest gave me some sage advice: look at all your daily frustrations as a source of holiness. Later that day, my husband did something that irritated me, so I said to him through clenched teeth: “You are making me so holy right now.” Of course, this made us […]

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