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“This Is All I Can Do Now” – Applying a Practice of St. Catherine of Siena to Our Current Crisis

September 24, 2018 0 Comments
“This Is All I Can Do Now” – Applying a Practice of St. Catherine of Siena to Our Current Crisis

Many Catholics have struggled to find a voice that has been nearly washed out of us by our training. We remember a time when it was unthinkable to criticize a priest; those who did were quickly rebuked, with little opportunity for explanation. Bishops and especially the Pope were not to be questioned let alone criticized. […]

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Learning to Name Sins Is to Have More Power Over Them

September 23, 2018 6 Comments
Learning to Name Sins Is to Have More Power Over Them

Over the years we have steadily been losing the vocabulary of sin. Saying “I have sinned” is often replaced by “I made a mistake,” or “I made a poor decision,” or “I’m sorry if my behavior was hurtful in some way.” Not only are we slow to say we have sinned, we are also ignorant […]

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Asking a Crucial Question: A Homily for the 25th Sunday of the Year

September 22, 2018 0 Comments
Asking a Crucial Question: A Homily for the 25th Sunday of the Year

In the Sunday Gospel, the Lord Jesus is asking a crucial question. The word crucial here is selected carefully; it comes from the Latin cruces, meaning “cross.” Indeed, looming over this entire gospel reading is the cross. In it, Jesus makes the second prediction of His passion, death, and resurrection. It is in the context […]

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Seeing Beyond Appearances

September 21, 2018 0 Comments
Seeing Beyond Appearances

The commercial below presents one of life’s little tests: the “middle seat.” There’s a lot of stress involved in flying, and on top of that we’re in like cattle. Finally, there is that dreaded middle seat. We’re not happy if we’re consigned to one and often feel apologetic about it to our seatmates, even though […]

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Knowing the Bad News Unlocks the Good News

September 20, 2018 7 Comments
Knowing the Bad News Unlocks the Good News

Some people suggest that the Church should speak less of sin and instead emphasize positive things. After all, it is said that one can attract more flies with honey than with vinegar. In that vein, we in the Church have been collectively de-emphasizing sin to a large degree for decades, and yet our churches have […]

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All God’s Children and Nothing Greater

September 19, 2018 5 Comments
All God’s Children and Nothing Greater

We often get anxious about rather petty notions related to our ranking relative to one another. On this topic, the Lord teaches an important lesson in the Gospel of Luke: An argument arose among the disciples about which of them was the greatest. Jesus realized the intention of their hearts and took a child and […]

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A Prescription for Peace in a World of Woe

September 18, 2018 4 Comments
A Prescription for Peace in a World of Woe

The Gospel for Tuesday of the 24th Week provides a kind of prescription for peace in a world of woe. Let’s look at it in four stages. I. The Place – Jesus journeyed to a city called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd accompanied him. The name of the city, Nain, means fair […]

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On the Length of the Homily

September 17, 2018 23 Comments
On the Length of the Homily

During a recent day trip to Sicily, Pope Francis said that homilies should not last more than 8 minutes and that the entire Mass should be completed within 40 (although he may have been exaggerating on this second point). He has said similar things before. He is entitled to his opinion, of course, but I disagree. […]

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