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It’s National Thesaurus Day!

It’s National Thesaurus Day!

January 18 is, believe it or not, National Thesaurus Day! And for someone like me who loves words, it’s a great holiday to celebrate. But it also got me to thinking about the many different ways we refer to God—the thesaurus of the Bible, if you will.Here at the Pauline Books & Media publishing house, there is a poster we pass many times a day, as it hangs in a busy corridor. It lists the many ways Scripture refers to Jesus:And thou shalt call his name Jesus, Prince of Peace, Mig...
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Purgatory, Candy, and All Saints

Purgatory, Candy, and All Saints

On Wednesday night I waited forlornly for someone to come to my door trick-or-treating. I live in a cottage community that’s largely seasonal in nature, and by now nearly everyone’s left and gone “home,” but I hoped there were still some kids in the neighborhood who might stop by.No one came. I ate a lot of chocolate.I was wondering later why I felt so deflated, until I realized it had a lot to do with homesickness. I grew up in France, and I listen to a French radio stat...
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Why Passing on the Good News Matters

Why Passing on the Good News Matters

It was late on a Sunday afternoon, and I was sitting in the chapel of a hospice care facility, waiting for Cherry to die.Cherry and I weren’t related by blood, but as her dementia increased—she was in her nineties when we met—I was asked to take on legal and other responsibilities around her care. It was my honor and my delight: I never knew my grandparents, and she became in many ways the Nana I would have loved to have. She was still smart, still funny, still kind.Even before...
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Seeking a Teacher for Prayer? Turn to St. Elizabeth of the Trinity

Seeking a Teacher for Prayer? Turn to St. Elizabeth of the Trinity

I still remember the moment I first heard the prayer of St Elizabeth of the Trinity. In the quiet of our convent chapel on Staten Island, New York, Father Bruno Forte—Italian theologian and now Archbishop of Chieti-Vasto—led our community in a profound meditation on silence and prayer. We each had a small copy of the famous prayer of Elizabeth of the Trinity. Bruno Forte opened up the treasures of each phrase one by one, leading us deeper and deeper into interior recollection. It was...
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How Does a Person Become a Saint, Anyway?

How Does a Person Become a Saint, Anyway?

We’re all called to sainthood—or to try for it, anyway! Scripture and the Church both make that clear: we’re all called to seek holiness and sainthood, whatever our state in life. The Church expresses this Universal Call to Holiness over and over again, most recently in Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate. The vocation, the calling, to holiness is universal; God is speaking to all Christians when he says, “Be holy because I [am] holy”...
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Learning the Way of Jesus, Divine Master

Learning the Way of Jesus, Divine Master

Taking a visual “tour” of the Jesus, Divine Master painting is learning the deepest of truths, and you can do it right here and right now, without even traveling to Rome!
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Guardian Angels: The Beating of Holy Wings

Guardian Angels: The Beating of Holy Wings

It’s a familiar prayer:Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God's love commits me here, ever this day/night be at my side, to light, to guard, to rule and guide. Amen.We probably all learned this prayer when we were children, and the image of a personal guardian angel—a celestial being appointed to watch over us—enfolded our childhood fears and joys. As adults, though, many of us have drifted away from that childlike confidence in a protector, but as we celebrate the Fea...
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Oscar Romero Entered the Priesthood During a Time of Turmoil

Oscar Romero Entered the Priesthood During a Time of Turmoil

On October 14, Oscar Romero will become a saint.
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The Secret of a Saint Who Struggled

The Secret of a Saint Who Struggled

It’s always something of a relief to me when I learn a saint struggled with a behavior or an inclination because it makes them more human, more approachable, even more understandable. The saints were real people, of course, but many of them seem to have lived so perfectly that it's discouraging to even try to emulate them. So when I read about a saint struggling to overcome human weaknesses—just as the rest of us struggle—I’m more inclined to view that perso...
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Are Regrets Dead Ends—Or Merely Detours?

Are Regrets Dead Ends—Or Merely Detours?

I am a Catholic. I am divorced.Those two parts of my being don’t always sit comfortably together, but it is reality for millions of people worldwide, and it’s my reality.My parents stayed married until death did them part, and they were truly miserable for most of their lives together. They made their children miserable. They were determined to not divorce, and they both ended up bitter, manipulative, and extremely unhappy. With that example in mind, I had determined my own vocation ...
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