Tag: "Lent"

How Are Your Fridays Going?
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How Are Your Fridays Going?

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What are you doing this Friday? I’m asking about your penance, not that it’s my business, but the business of the Church is something I care about. And it seems that Friday penances largely disappeared along with the long lines outside Brown’s Fish and Chips every Friday. That was the fish restaurant in my neighborhood […]

Fasting: A Source of Trial
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Fasting: A Source of Trial

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Lent is a season of prayer and fasting, a time for conversion of the heart. As in all things, the Christian looks to Christ’s example and seeks his grace to be able to follow him. To look to Christ means, first, to see and hear him in the Gospel. We will hear Jesus ask us […]

Are you Crazy? Preparing for Lent?
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Are you Crazy? Preparing for Lent?

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When I was a kid, preparation for Lent meant Mardi Gras. My mother was so good she always looked for fun things to do, also instructional things at the same time, which would help us both to learn and enjoy.  So, at St. Anne’s we would sometimes have candies or cupcakes on Mardi Gras.  Sometimes […]

Lenten Check-Up: Don't be Afraid to Start Again
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Lenten Check-Up: Don’t be Afraid to Start Again

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I remember those Lents when I kept my resolution but still failed in what I set out to do. By giving up chocolate, diet soda, the internet and social media, I emerged from those 40 days slimmer, less addicted to caffeine, and Facebook-free, yet no stronger spiritually. The Lents that drew me closer to God […]

Patient Progress
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Patient Progress

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My son called from graduate school, somewhat discouraged. As part of his degree program, he works with ninth graders, spending his days trying to convince jaded 13 and 14 year olds to care about literature. He’s new to the field and discovering that the major struggle in teaching is not making a lesson plan, but […]

God's Love is Extravagant
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God’s Love is Extravagant

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There is nothing you can ever do to make God love you less. Nothing. This is very hard for us human creatures to wrap our heads around: a love so generous we can’t do anything to lessen it. Jesus came to make this point perfectly and tangibly clear through His life and death. In the […]

Who Wouldn't Want This?
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Who Wouldn’t Want This?

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Has Lent got you feeling grumpy? Deprived? Hungry? Has politics got you acting like a real bear? Are you snapping at people? Is the long wait for the first buds of springtime transforming you into someone from whom people walk away? Your heart, soul, body, and mind all need something. But what? If only The […]

Be Not Afraid of Making a Deeper Lenten Dive
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Be Not Afraid of Making a Deeper Lenten Dive

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In my job, I supervise financial advisors for a large firm. I primarily focus on the best interest of clients, with special consideration given to the many laws and federal regulations governing the industry. I monitor a variety of actions using the phone, the computer and face-to-face interaction. Occasionally, I take extra time and make […]

God's Master Plan Of Love And Creation
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God’s Master Plan Of Love And Creation

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A study published in 2012 in a publication called “Prenatal Diagnosis” said that as many as 90 percent of all pregnancies with a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome resulted in “pregnancy termination,” i.e. abortion. Other studies indicate that about 6 percent of all abortions occur because the baby will have birth defects. A Guttmacher Institute […]

Examining Our Consciences and Lent
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Examining Our Consciences and Lent

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Lent is our time to be with Jesus in the desert, where He, in His humanity, experienced weakness, hunger and temptation. Jesus entered fully into our humanity and was like us in all things except sin. This is the unique mystery of the Incarnation, where our God suffers as one of us. Jesus can identify […]

Two Ways to Maximize Prayers This Lent
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Two Ways to Maximize Prayers This Lent

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Supersize, maximize, be all you can be…because if you are going to do something, why not get the most out of it? Prayer is one of those things. We know we can do it poorly — babbling like the pagans do and not even paying attention to what we are saying. “What the world most […]

Three New Lenten Resources
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Three New Lenten Resources

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Bringing Lent Home with Pope Francis: Prayers, Reflections, and Activities for Families by Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle Ave Maria Press, 2015 Bringing Lent Home with Pope Francis is designed to “provide and encourage a daily occurrence of family prayer and communication as you move through this holy season together. By following the suggestions regarding how your […]

Your 2016 Handy-Dandy List of Lenten Resources
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Your 2016 Handy-Dandy List of Lenten Resources

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Lent comes early this year. February 10th is Ash Wednesday! That’s just three weeks away, folks. So instead of waiting until the last minute and grasping at your old standbys (giving up chocolate or God forbid, coffee), why not plan ahead using our convenient list of resources below? Make this your most spiritually fruitful Lent ever! Reprinted with […]

The Cross is for Wretches Like Me
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The Cross is for Wretches Like Me

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In his remarkably profound book, Lift Up You Heart, Bishop Fulton Sheen said, “The Cross is the most inescapable reality of life. If we will not accept it outside of ourselves, to pardon us and to heal, then we will have it inside, as frustration and despair.” The life changing reality of Calvary has been […]

If God so Loves the World, Why is There a Hell?
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If God so Loves the World, Why is There a Hell?

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As the camera pans the crowd at a football game, you see a few fans holding up the sign. It simply says “John 3:16.” For years, evangelical Protestants have extolled this little bible verse as the heart of the Gospel. In their minds, if you only have a moment to tell people something about the […]

Fire on the Mountain:  The Transformation of Peter
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Fire on the Mountain: The Transformation of Peter

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Lightning struck. Thunder clapped. The disciples of Jesus—Peter, James, and John—buried their heads in their arms. What is happening? What is Jesus up to now? Another manifestation of the Spirit. We already know that Jesus is God and on this night another affirmation. How could we forget? Throughout their three-year ministry with Jesus the Lord […]

Lent With Mary
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Lent With Mary

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During Lent, we generally think about Jesus’ suffering and death. However, how often do we think about the suffering of his mother, Mary? A few days ago I stopped by the adoration chapel to ask Jesus what he wanted of me this Lent. The answer came back clearly: suffer and pray alongside the one who […]

How to Deal With Temptation
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How to Deal With Temptation

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When one speaks of temptation, it tends to carry a negative connotation because it is often attributed to something we shouldn’t do. However, I would propose that the art of temptation reveals a certain beauty in that a person is faced with a decision to either act out the temptation or not. Whether the decision […]

Sweet Silence
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Sweet Silence

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Shielding my eyes from the blinding sun, I sensed, rather than heard, a presence to my left as I stood in line waiting to board the plane. His face was about five inches from mine. I could see his lips moving but could hear nothing. Finally I faced him squarely and he repeated himself. “What’s […]

Social Media Fasts: Making Room for Blessings
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Social Media Fasts: Making Room for Blessings

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Remember when social media fasting was trending during Lent? My big undertaking for Lent was to fast from Facebook, and though it wasn’t complete, it was my first attempt and pretty strict. It was such a huge change for me that months later, I’m still processing the experience and reaping rewards from the fast. My […]

Little Lents, Little Easters
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Little Lents, Little Easters

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There are few things as toxic as envy.  Schadenfreude, envy’s cousin, is close.  To envy means to mistrust Jesus.  It is to say, in effect, that God has erred in what He has given you,  where He has placed you and what He has made you. When I am the object of someone’s envy, I […]

Don’t Be a Tourist on the Spiritual Journey of Faith
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Don’t Be a Tourist on the Spiritual Journey of Faith

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One of the points I try to stress with those joining me on the many trips I host to Rome and other Christian holy places is the difference between a tour and a pilgrimage. A tour is more of a fun seeking trek to an exotic location, one filled with great photo opportunities that contain […]

Marker Mayhem With Little Kids
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Marker Mayhem With Little Kids

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It was a rainy, inside day, so I went to the craft boxes to see what I might find.  Cereal boxes—perfect!  I generally try to save cereal boxes for just such occasions when you find yourself unexpectedly confined indoors—you can do a million different projects with those things—and today, with some markers and scissors, construction […]

Lenten Reflection: What Is Salvation?
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Lenten Reflection: What Is Salvation?

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Shortly before his martyrdom, St. Paul penned a letter to his friend Timothy. The great apostle seems to have known that death was near, and his bittersweet words are imbued with a sense of urgency. St. Paul comforts and commends his young protégé, while exhorting him to sacrifice. “Do not be ashamed of the testimony […]

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