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Heart to Heart with Pope Francis

I have always loved the readings of the Liturgy in the last couple weeks of November and the end of the liturgical year, particularly the book of Revelation. Just yesterday we began proclaiming the prophetic messages to the seven Churches. Those who are victorious I will feed from the tree of life!  We too want to stand one day robed in white, singing the song of the Lamb. In today's Strength for the Week, Pope Francis offers us some personal spiritual guidance on our journey. In the digital ma...
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Where Do We Turn If Not To God?

Where Do We Turn If Not To God?

Way back in 1959, St. Paul Editions, as our publishing house was then called, compiled and printed a marvelous book: the Queen of Apostles Manual of Prayer. It wasn’t just another prayer book—at that time there were hundreds of those on the market—but literally a manual, a how-to, of conversation with God, learned by…praying. It was reprinted and revised more than once. By the time it received a new title, Queen of Apostles Prayer Book, it contained over 400 prayers and novenas. At least tha...
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Why Catholics Ask Mary's Intercession

Why Catholics Ask Mary's Intercession

A few years ago I went to see the tall ships that were visiting Boston harbor. On my way home I stopped at Saint Anthony’s Shrine downtown. As I was walking toward it I noticed a tall, thin man hanging around in front of the church, sort of huddled into a corner wall. Though he looked around furtively through his black-rimmed glasses and seemed a bit timid, he didn't appear to be begging. True to my New York upbringing, I began to walk quickly past, pretending not to notice. As I went by, he su...
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St. Zélie and St. Louis Martin: A Family of Saints

St. Zélie and St. Louis Martin: A Family of Saints

Zélie Martin sat upright in the chair of the doctor’s office on that never-to-be-forgotten day in October 1876. She waited patiently for his verdict. Without raising his eyes, the doctor cleared his throat and began writing out a prescription. He said, “Madame, what you have is a tumor.”“Please be direct with me, doctor. What is the use of the prescription?”“Really, no use at all,” admitted the doctor.“Will an operation help me?”“I’m afraid not, Madame. We have diagnosed you too late....
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"My Heart Bleeds for Iraq" (Pope Francis)

 “We are one human family whatever our national, racial, ethnic, economic, and ideological differences. We are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers, wherever they may be."USCCB on Solidarity Sunday, August 17, 2014 Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Peace and blessing to you. I pray this message finds you all well in this summer season. Inspired by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ announcement of observing Sunday, August 17, as a Day of Prayer for peace in Iraq, I take this initiative ...
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The Holy Trinity in Our Life

The Holy Trinity in Our Life

The Trinity can seem so far removed from us. As little children our teachers may have used the three leaves of a shamrock to help us understand, “one God in three Divine Persons.” The Trinity is a mystery, but that doesn’t mean that our awareness of the Trinity needs to stop with the shamrock. Even though we can't understand this mystery, it is highly “practical,” meaning it has a very profound effect on how we live our life. I’d like to share with you a few stories I have encountered rega...
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Light in Darkness: Superhero Movies

Light in Darkness: Superhero Movies

I’ve noticed something about movie titles lately. So many of them contain the word dark. The Dark Knight Rises, Thor: The Dark World, Star Trek: Into Darkness, Dark Shadows, Zero Dark Thirty. Others might not use the word but their subject matter is dark: Divergent, The Hunger Games franchise, even the recent Noah film. As Christian moviegoers, how do we stay focused on the light?John’s Gospel says, “The light shines in darkness and the darkness did not overcome it” (Jn 1:5). All of our live...
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How to Evangelize Without Saying a Word

The Catholic Church preaches the good news of Jesus Christ 24/7. Members of the Church preach in and outside of Church buildings. Every Catholic is engaged in "preaching." We, in fact, are a great body of preachers, of evangelizers, and we spread the Gospel as good news in many different ways. Most probably we associate preaching with the homily “preached” by the priest at Mass. Pope Francis, however, views preaching much more dynamically. Pope Francis, in The Joy of the Gospel, describes ho...
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Pope Francis and a Very Challenging Message

Two interviews in barely two weeks! Francis is taking every opportunity to engage in conversation. The second is an interview he granted Eugenio Scalfari, an Italian journalist, in the same setting as the three day interview with his fellow Jesuit, Antonio Spadaro. I find it amusing that the Pope, who makes good use of his own cell phone, called to offer Scalfari an appointment, but had to wait to be "put through" to the journalist by the newspaper man's nervous secretary.There are things in tha...
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The Atheists Our

The Atheists Our "Brothers"

These days are certainly very different from those in which I grew up. Perhaps you have a similar feeling? The assumption of Christian values and a Christian cultural environment just aren't there today as they were forty years ago. There is a very definite move toward atheism being more public and society being shaped by values which are far from those proclaimed by Jesus in the Gospel. I read last week how an import from Britain called the Sunday Assembly—a church that doesn’t believe in God...
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