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Re-Dedicate Yourself to the Sacred Heart of Jesus!
The month of June is dedicated to the Sacred Heart. And yet to many people, the devotion seems odd. We worship Christ who was resurrected from the dead, and yet we have a special devotion to his… heart?Humanity has always associated the heart with love. It is the life-force of the body; when the heart stops beating, life ends. So it’s not surprising that as devotion to the Incarnated Christ increased in the Church, people experienced his love for them through his heart.General devot...
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Fr. Greg: How the Spiritual Exercises Foster Personal Sanctity
Note: We’ve been talking recently about Ignatian spirituality, and today we’re bringing you the first in a series by Fr. Greg Cleveland, OMV, the director of the Lanteri Center for Ignatian Spirituality in Denver, Colorado.The charism of my congregation and our founder, Venerable Bruno Lanteri, is to proclaim the mercy of God, especially through parish missions and retreats. We are graced with the mysticism of St. Ignatius and his Spiritual Exercises, which lead people thro...
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How to Use Coloring Books for Prayer and Meditation
When you think about meditation, you’re probably imagining yourself sitting cross-legged on the floor in an uncomfortable position with your eyes closed. Or maybe when you think about prayer you’re visualizing yourself in a pew in your parish church, not sure what to focus on.There’s another technique for prayer and meditation that’s so amazingly simple, little children do it all the time! It’s coloring. Finding a subject to color in, and taking the time to reflect ...
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Unwrapping God's Gifts

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Unwrapping God's Gifts
A lot of people think of Confirmation as some sort of graduation ceremony, during which a person moves on from one part of their life in Christ to another. And to some limited extent, that’s true, as every sacrament brings us deeper into relationship with God.But something very specific is happening at Confirmation. When a person is confirmed, they are anointed with the oil of Chrism, and an anointing is a whole lot better than a graduation.What is chrism? Holy chrism is a mixture of olive...
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12

We Can Turn The Light On

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We Can Turn The Light On
One of my silliest memories from childhood is the time when I was seven years old and decided I would play a trick on my six-year-old brother, Gordy. It was nighttime, and my mom had probably run a short errand to the neighborhood store. Everyone else was gone, so we were alone in the house.As we were playing, a bright idea came to me: I could scare Gordy by turning out the light and screaming at the top of my lungs. So I stood by the light switch near the door, turned off the light, and commenc...
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Seeing Scripture the Ignatian Way: For Children!
Not many people automatically associate Ignatian spirituality with children’s Bible reading, but in fact it’s an easy fit. Children love stories and are experiential by nature, and the Ignatian method for meditation on Scripture offers just that.We start the meditation by asking God for his grace, just the way that Ignatius teaches us. Then we use our imaginations to enter into a Gospel story, sensing and feeling what’s happening in the scene.This method we’re describing ...
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08

Knock on Wood!

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Knock on Wood!
You’ve probably heard the expression, “knock on wood.”  But what you may not know is that this popular saying refers to one of our own Catholic traditions – that of the recitation of the Rosary. The Rosary was a physical representation of one’s inner faith, and it was natural to finger or touch it when one was in distress or pain. “Knocking” the rosary beads together, people said, was sure to make one’s wish come true!The word itself comes fro...
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The Call of Fátima

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The Call of Fátima
Look around, at the state of the world, at the multiple crises erupting every day in every corner of the globe, and it’s easy to say, “How could it get worse?”Those were probably the same words used by people exactly one hundred years ago. In 1917, the western world was still engulfed in what would hopefully—and erroneously—be called the “war to end all wars,” warfare on a scale that no one had known before, a war that refined the use of poison, that cla...
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Pray Always...Over and Over Again

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Pray Always...Over and Over Again
Repetition. It’s often seen by those outside the faith as a real stumbling-block to understanding some key components of Catholicism—prayer, liturgy, even the calendar. “You say the same things over and over,” an acquaintance of mine complained one day, shaking his head. “I don’t get it. Do you really think that God didn’t hear you the first time?”Au contraire, mon ami: I am very sure indeed that God heard me the first time. I’ll even go a st...
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Can Fátima Help Us Understand the Book of Revelation?
In the Easter season the Church encourages us to read the Book of Revelation, the last book of the Bible. What does that book have to do with Fátima? It’s not that the apparitions of Mary at Fátima can help us decode the Book of Revelation with all its visions. But at a deeper level, Fátima is about the main message of that book: We are in the battle of our lives, but have no fear because in the end, God wins!Many people have tried to figure out what the various vision...
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