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I Have a Skull on My Desk. Here’s Why.

I Have a Skull on My Desk. Here’s Why.

I have a skull on my desk. It’s not a Halloween decoration. The skull sits on my desk all year round. I decided to acquire the little ceramic skull to help me meditate regularly on my death. By now, I’ve been meditating daily on my inevitable and unpredictable death for over two years.You might be thinking, “Well, that sounds unpleasant.” And you would be partly right. At first it was unpleasant. I hated thinking about my death. Like most people, I had put a lot of energy...
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How St. Gianna Teaches Complete Trust in God

How St. Gianna Teaches Complete Trust in God

St. Gianna Beretta Molla was a devoted pediatrician, wife, and mother. She loved and served God in the simplest, humblest gestures of her family and professional life, juggling—as do many women today—the demands of both worlds.Her example shows how keeping our relationship with God at the center of our lives allows grace to affect all our decisions, especially difficult ones. St. Gianna exemplifies how ordinary, daily experiences are important opportunities for evangelization. As a c...
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Newman's Path to God: Interview with Ryan Marr

Newman's Path to God: Interview with Ryan Marr

We’re all excited about Ryan Marr’s new book in the Ex Libris series, John Henry Newman, about one of our newest saints! He graciously agreed to share some of his thoughts with us today. Ryan is the director of the National Institute for Newman Studies and the associate editor of the Newman Studies Journal. In what ways can reading John Henry Newman assist those who wish to develop their own prayer lives?Ryan Marr: Based on the testimony of his closest friends, we know that Newm...
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A Guide to Seeing the Vibrancy of Faith in a Dark World

A Guide to Seeing the Vibrancy of Faith in a Dark World

“It is the business of the artist to uncover the strangeness of truth.”Flannery O’Connor It’s often said that truth is stranger than fiction. Nobody is more familiar with this reality than Fr. Damian Ference, who, as a priest, is often witness to life’s most dramatic and mysterious events. In his new book, The Strangeness of Truth, meditations on the incarnation and resurrection are presented alongside scenes from his own life: a midnight call to the ICU t...
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The Secret of a Saint Who Struggled

The Secret of a Saint Who Struggled

It’s always something of a relief to me when I learn a saint struggled with a behavior or an inclination because it makes them more human, more approachable, even more understandable. The saints were real people, of course, but many of them seem to have lived so perfectly that it's discouraging to even try to emulate them. So when I read about a saint struggling to overcome human weaknesses—just as the rest of us struggle—I’m more inclined to view that perso...
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Why Did the Crabby Mystic Write About History?

Why Did the Crabby Mystic Write About History?

Mary Lea Hill, FSP, has added a new book to her repertoire: The Church Rocks, an engaging and often amusing whirlwind tour of Church history. We caught up with the Crabby Mystic to ask her a few questions about it. Your new book, The Church Rocks, gives young people an overview of Church history in a delightful and entertaining way. But… why do we need to know about all this?We need to teach Church history to young people because it is our history, their history – it is a story...
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The Mystical Path of St. John of the Cross

The Mystical Path of St. John of the Cross

For St. John of the Cross, the mystical path meant living with an all-consuming desire to know and love God, completely and fully, abandoning everything that didn’t move him toward that goal.He believed that God illuminates the individual—who, because of that illumination, then has the desire and power to shed the illusions of this world. These illusions include the messages of the senses, which distort the reality of union with God.In his poem Dark Night, St. John of the Cross extol...
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Is Church History Dull? Not anymore!!!

Is Church History Dull? Not anymore!!!

 Do you think Church history is dull? It's okay to admit it! But here are a few facts that might liven it up a little: Feeling pent up in the Vatican, Pope John Paul II used to sneak out to ski and hike in the Italian Alps. He did it over a hundred times before being discovered by a 10-year-old boy who pointed at him and shouted, "The pope! The pope!" The only Christian church in existence for the first 1,000 years of Christian history was the Roman Catholic Church. Most ...
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How To Be a Hero

How To Be a Hero

It’s sometimes easy to believe that we’re not measuring up to what God wants of us. Oh, we try to live good lives, but we often fall short of even our own expectations. We snap at our children. We forget a commitment we made. We have unpleasant thoughts about our next-door neighbor.When that happens, a lot of us feel that we’re the only people who have ever fallen short of doing what we should. We think that people in the early Church somehow lived better lives, purer lives, ho...
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Pray to Your Father in Secret Lenten Book Club - Week 6

Pray to Your Father in Secret Lenten Book Club - Week 6

The final week in the "Pray to Your Father in Secret" Lenten Book Club.
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