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21

Chocolate and Crucifixion

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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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| Categories: Inspiration, Lent | Tags: | View Count: (2216)
21

The Color and Melody of Prayer

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The Color and Melody of Prayer
Anything that has been steeped in prayer takes on an aspect that wasn’t there before. Churches, for example, are just buildings… until the liturgy, music, prayer and people inhabit the space—and sanctify it. Rosary beads are pretty things until they have been blessed and have slipped through the fingers of the person praying them.Objects, we might say, are transformed through prayer.And not just objects. Everyone’s been transported through beautiful music, but even the m...
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Bone of My Bones, and Flesh of My Flesh
My grandmother told me she would have given birth to a dozen children, if she could have. When I asked her why, she responded that twelve seemed like a nice number. In contrast, my mother deliberately chose to have two children, spaced eight years apart, so that she could raise them as “two only children.” My grandmother remarked ruefully, “I never understood your mother.”Nowadays, families of more than two children are as rare as ice cream in the sun. Typical family size...
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| Categories: Inspiration, Theology of the Body, Family | Tags: | View Count: (1201)
16

Lord, Teach Me How To Pray

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Lord, Teach Me How To Pray
Humanity has been trying to learn how to pray from the earliest times. In fact, almost every single book in the Bible mentions the word prayer or expresses a prayer, making close to 1,200 distinct references to praying. Our most important prayer, the Our Father, was given to us by Jesus himself in response to the disciples’ plea for help praying. And St. Paul exhorts us to devote ourselves to prayer and to pray without ceasing.We are in a difficult position, it would seem. We yearn to reac...
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| Categories: Inspiration, Prayer and Holiness | Tags: | View Count: (1183)
A Peek into the Love Letters of a Saint
Let’s face it: we’ve always loved reading other people’s letters.Perhaps it’s a bit of voyeurism, this glimpse into someone else’s life; but more often than not, reading the correspondence of others—particularly of people we hold in esteem—leaves us with a humble understanding of how they lived in a day-to-day manner, how they expressed themselves to each other, and finally how they came to be the people we admire and strive to emulate.And when the corre...
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| Categories: Inspiration, Living the Faith Today, Family | Tags: | View Count: (1669)
Discover Theology of the Body: A Video Lecture Series
I have a confession to make. When I was 16 years old, I was already in the convent, working in the department of our publishing house where we typed new manuscripts (on old really large machines...we're talking the 70s before the desktop computer). I typed and proofread Saint John Paul II's General Wednesday audience talks which eventually were published as one book titled The Theology of the Body. Yet, even though I can say I read them (almost 30 years ago now), and a understood them (a...
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| Categories: Inspiration, Theology of the Body, Family | Tags: | View Count: (592)
04

How I Stay Connected with My Mom

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How I Stay Connected with My Mom
I put down my colored pencils, blue and orange and green. There, I said to myself. Finished. A sense of contentment spread over me as I looked at the picture I had just finished coloring. Each page I took my colored pencils to, each image that prayerfully came to life under my hands, was another link bringing me closer to my mom almost 500 miles away. I tapped on the camera app on my phone, snapped a photo of my “masterpiece,” and emailed it to her.My mom and I are coloring the same ...
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How to Keep a Spiritual Journal like the Saints Did
There’s always been a special place in the Catholic Church for the keeping of spiritual journals. Some of our most beloved saints, including St. Therese of Lisieux (her journal was published as The Story of a Soul) and St. Ignatius Loyola (whose journal became the Spiritual Exercises), kept spiritual journals.Closer to our own time, Pope John XXIII kept a personal journal from when he was a teenager until he died, and Pope John Paul II’s personal notes are also soon to be published i...
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| Categories: Inspiration, Prayer and Holiness, Miracle of Hope | Tags: | View Count: (3698)
25

Prayer, Life, and Love

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Prayer, Life, and Love
There seems to be one observation with which everyone can agree, no matter how much discord there might be around other issues, and here it is: there are a lot of problems in our culture. Seemingly insurmountable problems.Knots, we might call them.For over 300 years there has been a special devotion to Our Lady Undoer of Knots. It is one of Pope Francis’ favorite devotions. And it’s not difficult to see why. Our culture needs healing, it needs transformation, it needs an influx of lo...
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| Categories: Inspiration, Living the Faith Today, Miracle of Hope | Tags: | View Count: (1145)
Only an Amazing Trust Can Face Large Overwhelming Issues
They’re called “keynotes.”A keynote speech is a talk or presentation that establishes a main underlying theme. It sets up the framework for a program of events that will follow, summarizing the core message or the most important revelation. The term itself comes from the practice of a cappella music: doo-wop or barbershop singers played a note before singing to determine the key in which the song would be performed.Gabrielle Bossis, writing in the spiritual journal that would b...
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| Categories: Inspiration, Living the Faith Today, Miracle of Hope | Tags: | View Count: (1411)
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