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Mary Magdalene—A New Twist on Jesus Films
One of my spiritual practices on Good Friday, or sometime during Holy Week, is to watch the classic 1977 British-Italian television miniseries directed by Franco Zeffirelli, Jesus of Nazareth—my favorite “Jesus film” of all time. Watching especially the passion, death, and resurrection scenes allow me to connect deeply and concretely with the reality that we celebrate during the Holy Triduum. Robert Powell’s powerful blue eyes and stoic demeanor captivate me, though his l...
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10

The Stones Will Cry Out

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The Stones Will Cry Out
An occupied country. A time of civil unrest. And a city about to explode.That was the situation in Jerusalem when Jesus arrived on Palm Sunday. Crowds were thronging the city for the Passover celebration, and the occupying Roman army was understandably nervous about it all. They scheduled a military parade; no one was off-duty, and additional troops had been sent for. There must have been an intense air of fear, of unease, of pressure. Something was going to happen, and the smallest spark might ...
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| Categories: Prayer and Holiness, Living the Faith Today, Lent | Tags: | View Count: (737)
02

Giving Thanks in Lent

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Giving Thanks in Lent
As we journey through Lent, our thoughts and hearts turn most frequently—and appropriately—to acts of penance and remembrance, daily reminders of the great mystery of faith: that Christ died, has risen, and will come again in glory.But have you ever thought about Lent as a time for thanksgiving?Neither had I, frankly. But I have the great privilege of working with Sr. Kathryn Hermes, who has introduced me to the works and thoughts of the Fathers of the Eastern Orthodox churches, and ...
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St Ignatius' Guide for a Lenten Check-In
I don’t mean that question in the colloquial sense—as in, how are you today? This is a rather deeper question: as we move through the journey of Lent, how are you doing? Have you determined a Lenten practice—and kept practicing it?It’s a good idea to pause and take stock of where we are as we travel through Lent. Too often it’s tempting to simply put aside a practice or discipline that we haven’t been following consistently. “Oh, gosh, I didn’t do ...
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04

This Lent, Don’t Look Back!

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This Lent, Don’t Look Back!
40 days. 40 years. These numbers appear often in the sacred text, and they remind us immediately, of course, of Lent—which starts tomorrow!At the beginning of Lent we think of Israel’s 40-year journey in the desert and Jesus’ 40-day fast in the desert. In both of these desert treks, there were temptations.The Israelites often asked Moses why he had brought them out to the desert to die. Why couldn’t they go back to their slavery under the Egyptians, they asked, where at l...
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| Categories: Inspiration, Lent | Tags: | View Count: (2002)
Why I’m praying only two stations a week this Lent
Every Lent, I look around for a Way of the Cross that will draw me into the mystery of redemption in a new way. So I was really intrigued by the introduction to the new Way of the Cross written by Father Marco Rupnik, SJ, a small book which also features his mosaics. The book is called Contemplating the Face of Christ.These stations featured in Contemplating the Face of Christ were constructed by Father Rupnik and the artists from the Atelier of the Aletti Center. They stand outside the church o...
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15

Lent: A Season of Joy

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Lent: A Season of Joy
Saint Paul lists joy second among the seven famous fruits of the Holy Spirit. But if you are like me, you might often find joy to be elusive and somewhat immeasurable. No one can force another person to be joy-filled.Finding even the least bit of joy in our hearts, in fact, can seem almost impossible in the desert sands of a Lent that opened with the horror of the school shooting Ash Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. After this tragedy, we might fe...
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Why Read "Christ in Our Midst" for Lent?
As Christians, we are commended to see Christ in everyone, to see God’s hand in everything. The Gospels tell us to, Pope Francis tells us to, Saint Teresa tells us to… and, in the early part of the 20th century, an Englishwoman named Caryll Houselander told us, as well, in words that still resonate today.Many of the Church’s mystics saw or heard Jesus. He appeared to them in visions and they listened to his words echoing in their hearts. Caryll Houselander was different: she s...
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05

How do you celebrate Epiphany?

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How do you celebrate Epiphany?
I almost broke my tooth on it.It was the evening of Twelfth Night, the end of the Christmas season, and my parish church was celebrating as many churches and families do in France, with a galette des rois—what might be translated as a King’s Cake.We don’t just sit down and eat this cake, mind you. There’s an age-old protocol that needs to be followed having to do with the little charm that bakers hide inside the cake. The youngest child present must hide under the table a...
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| Categories: Inspiration, Advent-Christmas, Lent, Family | Tags: | View Count: (4197)
Jesus to St. Faustina: No Misery Can Match My Mercy
I wrote a prayer when I was eight or nine. I remember that I was in my bedroom and very worried. A very big question—for a very small person—was haunting me: What if I died and discovered that I had lost everything, that I had put all my good deeds into a bag with a hole in it? What if everything I believed about heaven wasn’t true?The shadows of that possibility have darkened the threshold of too many days of my life. The celebration of Good Friday and Easter, and the Feast of...
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