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Saint Patrick and the Easter Fire

Saint Patrick and the Easter Fire

In 432, Saint Patrick, the Apostle of Ireland, arrived on the Emerald Isle to begin his work of evangelizing the Irish. Upon his arrival, he discovered that his competition for the souls of the people would come from the pagan druid religion and their priests. St. Patrick's struggle with the existing pagan priests truly began with one rebellious and bold act that reverberates throughout history. During the Druid springtime fire festival known as Beltane, there was a ritual where the pag...
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Seven Last Words: "Behold Your Mother"

Seven Last Words: "Behold Your Mother"

Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home. (John 19:25-26)Nine-year-old Zoe was crying with her brothers and sisters around their dying mothe...
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Christ in Our Midst

Christ in Our Midst

If there is one theme that many of the saints return to again and again, it’s this: the absolute requirement that we have as Christians is to see Christ in everyone, to see God’s hand in everything. The Gospels tell us, Pope Francis tells us, Mother Teresa tells us…and, in the early part of the 20th century, an Englishwoman named Caryll Houselander told us, as well, in words that still resonate today: There are many people in the world who cultivate a curious state which ...
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Pray To Your Father in Secret Lenten Book Club - Week 2

Pray To Your Father in Secret Lenten Book Club - Week 2

Welcome to the Online Lenten Book Club!During these six weeks of Lent, we are reading and reflecting on the classic on prayer, Pray To Your Father in Secret by Jean Lafrance. For more information about the book club, visit this blog post. Week 2, Section 1 - The God of DialogueFr. Lafrance urges us to walk in the steps of God’s people in Scripture. As Moses discovered, God isn’t accessible through our minds: he is mystery. Moses, Elijah, and the psalmist all knew ...
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Seven Last Words: “Today you will be with me in Paradise."

Seven Last Words: “Today you will be with me in Paradise."

“I just can’t wait.” How many times do I say this? To be put on hold or made to wait unnecessarily because of some controlling tactic by another person is one of the most frustrating experiences in our lives. If you look up “Waiting is Deadly” on the Internet, the top matches are quotes from people trying to deal with government offices (no surprise there!), immigration visa departments, and especially from prisoners… and everyone I know has had been made a &...
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In Times of Trouble, Turn to God

In Times of Trouble, Turn to God

There is perhaps only one thing that people of all nations, all political parties, all beliefs, and all races can agree upon: the world is in turmoil. The planet may have already suffered irreversible damage. The situation in Syria is perhaps the worst humanitarian crisis of all time. The United States is so politically polarized that family members cannot speak civilly with each other. Children go to bed hungry, and people pass the homeless on the street with no more than a cursory glance. ...
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Pray to Your Father in Secret Lenten Book Club - Week 1

Pray to Your Father in Secret Lenten Book Club - Week 1

Week 1 of the weekly guide to the "Pray To Your Father in Secret" Lenten Book Club: Preface.
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Seven Last Words: "Father, Forgive Them..."

Seven Last Words: "Father, Forgive Them..."

Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.  Luke 23:34We may have previously shared with you the words every Pauline religious sees daily surrounding the tabernacle in the community chapel. These words—Do not be afraid. I am with you. From here I want to enlighten. Be sorry for sin—were revealed to our founder, Blessed James Alberione, in what he called a “dream.”If we think of the last of those words, “Be sorry for sin,” we find ourselves grapp...
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Chocolate and Crucifixion

Chocolate and Crucifixion

And so the Church year turns again to Lent.It’s a tricky season to navigate. As Catholics, we’re called to penance as we contemplate the journey of Our Lord through betrayal by his friends all the way to his torture and death. But let’s face it: 40 days is a long time to keep doing anything, especially something that you don’t like to do.Catholics traditionally “give up” something for Lent. We return to meatless Fridays. We deprive ourselves of something that ...
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Three Ways To Make Holy Week Truly Holy

Three Ways To Make Holy Week Truly Holy

Holy Week is an extraordinary week in the life of the Church, and it’s meant to be an extraordinary week in our personal and spiritual lives, too. But from waving our palms on Palm Sunday, to being splashed with holy water on Easter Sunday, sometimes it’s hard to get into the rich liturgies of Holy Week. We may get restless during the longer services or find it hard just to get to church an extra time during the week. Sometimes, we may find it uncomfortable or depressing to focus on Jesus’ su...
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