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How to Express True Love in the Nitty-Gritty of Daily Living

How to Express True Love in the Nitty-Gritty of Daily Living

In the musical production of Fiddler on the Roof, Tevye asks his wife, “Do you love me?” She struggles to answer him: “For twenty-five years I’ve washed your clothes, cooked your meals, cleaned your house…” Tevye is not satisfied. “But do you love me?” he asks repeatedly.The expression of true love in the nitty-gritty of daily living is many-faceted. Certainly the things we do for others are demonstrations of our love, but there must be somet...
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Sr. Nancy's Take on the 2020 Oscars Nominations for Best Picture

by Sr Nancy Usselmann, Director of the Pauline Center for Media StudiesThere is so much buzz in Los Angeles about the Oscars, even after the event. Last week I brought one of our Sisters who has never been to Hollywood to Grauman’s Chinese Theater on Hollywood Boulevard and to see the Walk of Fame. The entire street was closed off as they were setting up the red carpet and canopy leading into the Dolby Theater for Hollywood’s biggest night. Sister was fascinated by everything: the na...
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Mary, Helper of the Sick

Mary, Helper of the Sick

If you only knew how good the Blessed Virgin is! If people only knew! (Saint Bernadette)High in the Pyrenees, the ice-cold water of the river Gave rushed along on the morning of February 11, 1858. Fourteen-year-old Bernadette had stopped to take off her stockings before wading across. Her younger sister, nine-year-old Toinette, and their friend Marie Abadie had already waded across the river. The three girls were collecting branches for firewood.Bernadette suddenly heard a strong wind whistling ...
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Franz Jägerstätter: A Hidden Life

Franz Jägerstätter: A Hidden Life

"A Hidden Life" is a contemplative kind of biopic of Austrian conscientious objector Franz Jägerstätter (1907-1943). He has now been beatified by the Church, but Malick's film is not about a man who becomes a statue on the altar; he avoids hagiography at every turn. Instead, the film's focus is on the inner journey of a man and wife, and ultimately the man himself, who makes an almost unthinkably difficult choice and finds true freedom by following his conscience.The ...
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Our Lady of Guadalupe: a sign of Mary's closeness to us

Our Lady of Guadalupe: a sign of Mary's closeness to us

It seems coincidental, doesn’t it, that the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe and the feast of Christmas fall so close together in the calendar? And yet… if it’s an accident, it’s a particularly happy one. Because the two have much more in common than might generally meet the eye.We all know the story: On December 9, 1531, an indigenous peasant by the name of Juan Diego saw a vision on a hillside outside Mexico City: a young, dark-skinned woman who spoke Nahuatl, a native&n...
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It’s Time to Ask for the Grace We Need

It’s Time to Ask for the Grace We Need

I am deeply in love with Jesus and his Church. It is the reason I started asking my parents to drive me to Mass, even when we didn’t go as a family; it was the reason I decided to go to a Catholic college; and ultimately it is the reason why I felt called to enter the Daughters of St. Paul three years ago and become a religious sister. But over the past few years, people have posed the question to me more than once: “Why would you want to give your life to the Catholic Church, when i...
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A Treasure for the Taking: 3 Easy Ways to Help the Holy Souls

A Treasure for the Taking: 3 Easy Ways to Help the Holy Souls

Have you ever heard of the Church’s treasury? It’s not money or the precious artwork in the Vatican museums. No, the Church’s treasury is of infinite value because it contains all the spiritual goods and grace that Jesus himself merited for us. And we can draw from this treasure to help the holy souls! But how?First let’s look at a couple key ideas from the Catechism of the Catholic Church: As members of the Church we belong to the communion of saints. We profess this in ...
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All Saints and All Souls: contemplating the life we know now and the one to come

All Saints and All Souls: contemplating the life we know now and the one to come

The wind is picking up dead leaves fallen from the trees, swirling them around, making them dance. It feels appropriate, somehow, for our days of the dead—All Saints’ and All Souls’ days—to coincide with the waning of the liturgical year as well as the physically darker days of late autumn. The swirling leaves are just the physical markers of change.October 31 is All Hallows’ Eve, November 1 is All Saints' Day, and November 2 is All Souls’ Day, our own &qu...
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Explaining Faith: Wisdom from G.K. Chesterton, Apologist and "Maker of Converts"

Explaining Faith: Wisdom from G.K. Chesterton, Apologist and "Maker of Converts"

Explaining faith is a difficult task, because faith is separate from intellect. Or... is it? Certainly some of the greatest "apologists"—explainers of the faith—have managed to incorporate the two, and one of those people lived in a time both entirely unlike and entirely like ours—barely a century away from us. His writing hovers over that liminal valley between past and present. He wrote unequivocally about his own time... and just as unequivocally abo...
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How Meditation on Death Can Change Your Life

How Meditation on Death Can Change Your Life

Several years after joining the convent, I decided to take up the practice of regular meditation on death. As a reminder to meditate on my death, I acquired a small ceramic skull for my desk. I was inspired by Blessed James Alberione, the founder of my religious order, the Daughters of Saint Paul. He kept a skull on his desk as a memento mori to remind him of his death. Every day I would simply look at the skull on my desk and remember that death could come at any time. Then I would bring to pra...
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