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How the pandemic opened my heart to the world

How the pandemic opened my heart to the world

In the Acts of the Apostles, we read that when the Spirit came upon the disciples in wind and fire, they proclaimed the Word in languages they didn’t even know, so that everyone who heard them would understand.Understanding and connectedness: those are two of the gifts of Pentecost, and two that we need sorely today. Division has been a theme in politics for a long time, but these last few months of the coronavirus pandemic have brought our polarization of thought into sharp focus, forcing...
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Oh, What a Beautiful Mourning!

Oh, What a Beautiful Mourning!

Yes, that is how I meant to spell “mourning”!Please don’t think I’m making fun of mourning, especially in this time of pandemic when all of our mourning traditions have been upended. We may all have lost someone in these months and been unable to give them a proper funeral. It doesn’t matter whether they died of the coronavirus or of more natural causes. We’ve had to let them go so quietly that it seems almost sacrilegious. Fortunately, God is such a loving Fa...
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Hold on to the Good and Beautiful Shepherd and God's Word!

Hold on to the Good and Beautiful Shepherd and God's Word!

Two days ago I exited our temporarily closed Pauline Book & Media Center and a twenty-something-year-old woman bounded up to me excitedly and asked, “Do you work at the Catholic bookstore?” I responded with a big smile, “Yes!” She asked, “Are you hiring?” I replied that we weren’t, and she quickly rejoined, “Do you know anyone who is?”Promising prayers was all I could do, though I wished I could do more. And once again, I was reminded of ...
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Face masks, social distancing, standing in line. This is the saint I turn to for patience in the pandemic

Face masks, social distancing, standing in line. This is the saint I turn to for patience in the pandemic

I stood outside the grocery store for an hour yesterday waiting to get inside. It was cold—cold enough to snow. Worse, I was wearing sandals, because I forgot (again) that our “new normal” means you can't get from your vehicle to the store in thirty seconds anymore. As my toes slowly froze over, I overheard the woman in front of me mumble a question to the grocery store clerk—a questi...
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A plan for getting off the hamster wheel of worry

A plan for getting off the hamster wheel of worry

I recently asked an elderly neighbor how she was faring, and whether she needed me to pick up any groceries for her. “I’m fine,” she responded, then added, “Just trying to keep busy!”It’s a common expression, “trying to keep busy,” and it reflects a common belief that as long as we’re doing things, keeping productive, then everything is fine. Except that everything isn’t fine, is it, and no amount of activity is going to ...
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3 Ways to Practice Everyday Mercy in a Pandemic

3 Ways to Practice Everyday Mercy in a Pandemic

This past Sunday was the feast of Divine Mercy. We celebrated this feast as best we could, virtually joining with each other in prayer, but what we need to remember is that the feast is not really over: mercy needs to be practiced every day of the year. And in particular, this year, when people around us are in so much need of compassion and understanding, the message of Divine Mercy lived every day is a blessed way to live.Jesus wants us to trust in his mercy, because he is goodness itself...
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Holy Week at Home: Ideas You Can Use

Holy Week at Home: Ideas You Can Use

What is your plan for Holy Week? Do you have one? Gather the household and decide how you will follow in the footsteps of Jesus, from the Last Supper, to the Cross, to the Resurrection. Here are some ideas to get you started: Attend Mass and prayer services virtually during the week. Many dioceses and parishes are filming their services! Create a "sacred space" in your home where you can pray and attend Masses and services. Light some candles, enthrone an open Bible, or hang a cru...
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How to make every day holy—even during a pandemic

How to make every day holy—even during a pandemic

We are the children of God, called to be holy. But it’s often difficult to feel that holiness in the midst of daily life—and that’s even more true now, as we adjust our lives to the COVID-19 pandemic, than it was even a mere two weeks ago. Before, it was merely easy to get caught up in the minutiae of things—the dry cleaning, the coworker talking loudly on the phone, soccer practice, forgetting to buy tomatoes at the market; these days, it’s easy to get caught up in...
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How Saint Joseph Can Help Us in a Time of Crisis

How Saint Joseph Can Help Us in a Time of Crisis

Covid-19 is on everyone’s mind these days. What saint can better help us than Joseph, whose feast is March 19? Saint Teresa of Avila wrote about him, “I wish I could persuade everyone to be devoted to the glorious Saint Joseph, for I have great experience of the blessings which he can obtain from God. I do not remember that I have ever asked anything of him that he has failed to grant.”Saint Joseph can help us especially in these areas:1. Overcoming fearIn a crisis people ...
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How to practice media mindfulness

How to practice media mindfulness

Teaching the faith within the digital media culture can be an immense challenge. Parents and teachers wonder how to communicate the essence of what we believe while competing with Snapchat, Minecraft, Netflix’s Stranger Things, and every superhero film that exists. Our catechesis does not need to be removed from these cultural experiences. Instead we have to make them integral by teaching our youth how to think about media consumption and the messages it communicates. Media mindfulness is ...
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