Tag: "catechesis"

The Meaning of Easter
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The Meaning of Easter

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To the secular world, our celebration of Easter Sunday is an odd event. In their eyes, we celebrate a corpse rising from the dead, and they really can’t figure out why.

Do Catholics Believe in Ghosts?
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Do Catholics Believe in Ghosts?

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When I was ten years old I had a direct encounter with a ghost. My brother and I were playing in our bedroom, which was in the attic, of our three-story house in New Jersey. There were steep stairs leading up to the bedroom from the third floor walk way. My brother and I were […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: Journey to Africa

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Pope Francis reflected on his first Apostolic Visit to Africa during his Wednesday Address on Dec.2.  He travelled to Kenya, Uganda and the Central African Republic with a message of hope in the Risen Jesus, calling Catholics to the mission field, “Please don’t exclude this possibility of becoming a missionary, to bring love, humanity and […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: Forgiveness in the Family

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Pope Francis opened his Nov. 4th Wednesday General Address by spotlighting real families who witness daily to the great gift of marriage and family. Essential Christian families revitalize modern life by living out the humanizing values of the Gospel. When Christian families practice forgiveness in their homes, their actions have a ripple effect, reconstituting the […]

Marriage and Family
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Marriage and Family

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The Beatles wrote a song that was the sensation of 1967, “All you need is love.” This the same point made a few years earlier by an ecumenical council of the Catholic Church. Gadium et Spes 24, Vatican II’s Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, says this: God is Trinity, a communion of […]

Anatomy of Envy
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Anatomy of Envy

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Recently a prominent CEO told a mixed group of business leaders that, regardless of their religion, they simply had to read the Bible. Why? Because success in business depends not so much upon understanding financial reports as it does upon understanding people. And when it comes to a book that reveals what makes people tick, […]

Cl63 - hbratton notxt web
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Amen

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Pentecostal preachers shout it. Monks chant it. Most Christians end every prayer with it. But what does “Amen” really mean? Is it just a pious way to “log off” our dialogue with God? Actually, most of us have never heard the origins of this word that we use so glibly. But we need to examine it […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: The Family and Evangelization

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Continuing his catechesis on the importance of the family, Pope Francis’ latest audience is on the role families play in evangelization. Whenever we think about evangelizing, we tend to think of it as something individuals do. We seldom pay attention to the role families have in this critical process. The first and most important role […]

Traditionalism and Being "Pastoral"
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Traditionalism and Being “Pastoral”

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Hello William, In your previous letter, you outlined your concern about in whether traditionally minded priests can actually govern in the American Church.  I have delayed in responding (and still respond reluctantly) because I’m not really sure what exactly you are looking for. For every case of a “traditional” priest behaving autocratically, can we not […]

Reflections for Sunday, July 5, 2015
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Reflections for Sunday, July 5, 2015

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion Mass Readings: 1st Reading Ezekiel 2:2-5 2nd Reading: 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 Responsorial: Psalm 123:1-4 Gospel: Mark 6:1-6 Trusting in God’s Desire to Speak His Word and Message to Us Rebellious, stiff-necked, obstinate. Why would God go to the trouble of sending Ezekiel to speak his message to […]

Reflections for Sunday, June 28, 2015
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Reflections for Sunday, June 28, 2015

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion Mass Readings: 1st Reading Wisdom 1:13-15; 2:23-24 2nd Reading: 2 Corinthians 8:7, 9, 13-15 Responsorial: Psalm 30:2, 4-6, 11-13 Gospel: Mark 5:21-43 Putting Our Faith in Jesus’ Healing Love, Mercy, and Compassion Please, come. (Mark 5:23) Imagine what Jairus must have felt as he approached Jesus—his impatience, […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: How Families Deal With Illness

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On June 10th, the Pope’s Wednesday general audience continued his catecheses on the family, focusing on the theme of sickness and suffering. Man experiences his own fragility primarily in the family, first as a child and, then, as an elderly person.While family sickness presents obvious challenges, it can also be a source of quiet strength […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: Marriage and Poverty

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Family bonds are the virtue of the family, and poverty is the family’s its most direct enemy. Yet it would be a serious error to mistake the problem with society’s material poverty as a solely material problem. “It is not just a matter of bread.” The family is a benefit to society even as it […]

Reflections for Sunday, June 7, 2015
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Reflections for Sunday, June 7, 2015

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion Mass Readings: 1st Reading Exodus 24:3-8 2nd Reading: Hebrews 9:11-15 Responsorial: Psalm 116:12-13, 15-18 Gospel: Mark 14:12-16, 22-26 Spending Time in Jesus’ Presence in Eucharistic Adoration This is my body. (Mark 14:22) Wouldn’t it be great if you could just pick up the phone and call God […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: A Message to the Engaged

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Talking about engagement in his last General Audience in May, Pope Francis continued his 2015 cycle of catechesis on the family. “The covenant of love between man and woman, a covenant for life, is not improvised,” said the Pontiff, “it is not made from one day to another.” The Pope’s articulation reminded me of something […]

Is Jesus Christ at Odds With the Catholic Church?
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Is Jesus Christ at Odds With the Catholic Church?

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Have you ever wondered if Jesus actually believed everything He taught to those around Him? This is an out of the box type of question but it’s one that is gaining momentum amongst people who wish to defend a personal position contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church.  Their method is to use Christ […]

Hebrews and the Obedience of Christ
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Hebrews and the Obedience of Christ

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Heb 5:7-9 Christ learned obedience and became the source of eternal salvation The Letter to the Hebrews is a singular spiritual work, one of the most unique books in the Christian Scriptures. For centuries church fathers believed Hebrews to have been written by the Apostle Paul, the great epistoleer of the New Testament, though modern […]

A Fresh Look at Birth Control
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A Fresh Look at Birth Control

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It’s happening again, article after article appearing in my news feed. The theme is the same, although each has a slightly different slant to offer. Just as last year, I pour over each one, nodding all the while as my eyes scan the screen. The topic is birth control and each post does a good […]

Blessed Mother Knows Best
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Blessed Mother Knows Best

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Passing on the faith at home with Marian piety During his installation at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago last November, Archbishop Blase Cupich challenged those in attendance to pass on the faith to young people through their “authenticity of life, where words match deeds.” The message was not just for Catholic teachers and youth ministers, […]

Last Judgment
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Last Judgment

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On the final Sunday in the liturgical year, it is time to remember things that we’d prefer to forget. For starters, we recall that there is an infinite qualitative difference between us and God. He is immortal and infinite. We are not. Each one of us will come to our individual end. But so will […]

Who Needs Church Buildings?
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Who Needs Church Buildings?

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As a rebellious teenager, I thought that Catholics should stop wasting their money on expensive churches. We ought to sell them all and buy food for the poor, I argued. Funny thing. Jesus, who cared much for the poor, did not have this attitude. As an adolescent he yearned to spend time in Herod’s sumptuous […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: On the Role of the Bishop

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Pope Francis continued his teaching on the nature of Church with this week’s General Audience. There were a few quotes and themes at the heart of this week’s message. Pope Francis stated early in the audience, “Now, in the power and grace of His Spirit, Christ does not fail to give rise to ministries, in […]

What Would You Say to Someone Who Wants to Leave the Catholic Church?
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What Would You Say to Someone Who Wants to Leave the Catholic Church?

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I would imagine that no one ever wants to see a loved one walk away from the Church. This scenario plays out more often than naught with the people I speak to on a daily basis. A day doesn’t go by without encountering someone who is Catholic but not practicing. When I recently taught on […]

Render unto Caesar
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Render unto Caesar

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Despite their flattering words, they were trying to trap him, to force him into a no win situation. Consider the circumstances.  They are living under the iron boot of a brutal empire which filled the earth with its idolatry.  Patriotic Jews longed to throw off the tyrants’ yoke.  They prayed for an anointed king who […]

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