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Are We Better Catechists & Evangelists as We Age?

The short answer is "it depends." But for prayerful Catholics who persevere in cultivating a relationship with God, over time, the answer is a resounding YES. First, the most radiant witness is someone in love with God. That soul connection with Christ magnetizes our personalities and fast-tracks our growth in virtue. As our souls are increasingly conformed to Christ, our ability to lead, nurture, and inspire the faith of others explodes. And in a critical sense, this empowerment all comes down to obedience.
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Breathing Under Water: Day 5

Each in our own way, we are all breathing, or trying to breathe, while not recognizing that we are first of all “underwater”—under the water of our own untested assumptions, our cultural blindness, the compulsive neurological responses often inherited from family and childhood, our early wounding (which somehow seems to be universal), and the narcissism of our own egoic responses to almost everything, including most especially our learned defenses to that early wounding—which are almost entirely unconscious and well-practiced by now.
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Breathing Under Water: Day 4

Breathing Lessons: O Lord, you have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from far away. You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. Read Psalm 139 slowly and prayerfully. Write about your feelings at being known so intimately by God. Ongoing shadow boxing is absolutely necessary because we all have a well-denied shadow self. We all have that which we cannot see, will not see, dare not see. It would destroy our public and personal self-image.
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Breathing Under Water: Day 3

Prayers of petition are perhaps our most common prayer from the desperate plea of “Help!” to prayer of intercession for those we love and those who are in grave need. Write about times when you have prayed for someone or something. How was that prayer answered?
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Breathing Under Water: Day 2

Breathing Lessons: Think about your breathing. Inhale. Exhale. Hold your breath for 20 seconds. Breathe deeply. Feel yourself relax. Think about an experience of being under water and not being able to breathe. By definition, you can never see or handle what you are addicted to. It is always “hidden” and disguised as something else. As Jesus did with the demon at Gerasa, someone must say, “What is your name?” (Luke 8:30).
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Breathing Under Water: Day 1

To mourn for one is to mourn for all. To mourn with all is to fully participate at the very foundation of Being Itself. For some reason, which I am yet to understand, beauty hurts. Suffering opens the channel through which all of Life flows and by which all creation breathes, and I still do not know why. Yet it is somehow beautiful, even if it is a sad and tragic beauty.
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The View from Mt. Nebo

Franciscan Father Fergus Clarke greets our small group at his community’s residence on Mt. Nebo, a site sacred to three major religions and more than half the earth’s population. He’s dressed in his brown robe, some shockingly cool-looking sunglasses, and a radiant smile. “Welcome to Mt. Nebo,” he says in an Irish lilt that evokes green valleys while we look at miles of dry and desert vistas. “Would you like to see our turtles?”
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Pope Francis's Winning Smile

That smile. Oh, that smile. When Pope Francis exited the plane at Joint Base Andrews, it was there. Those present for the welcome erupted. How could you not? His smile—and his wit—have drawn people to him, as well as back to the Church. He seems to be able to spread his message without seeming condescending or authoritarian. But it is a message which he is not afraid to preach. It is a message he most certainly will be sharing during this visit. This morning he is at the White House, tomorrow he is at Congress. Later this week, he will be at the UN, along with that smile.
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Pope Francis: Our Spiritual Guide

On March 13, 2013, Pope Francis caught the world’s attention by choosing St. Francis of Assisi as his patron - and he continued his journey towards becoming our spiritual guide. He quickly showed what that means for him: riding the bus with the cardinals back to the Domus Sanctae Marthae (where he has chosen to live) and paying his own bill at the hotel where he stayed before the conclave. A few months later, he carried a small bag onto the plane for his trip to World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro.
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On the World Meeting of Families

Our guest blogger is Gina Loehr, who wrote about meeting Pope Francis in the May 2015 issue of St. Anthony Messenger. It feels a bit like Christmas. I’ve been waiting a whole year to attend the World Meeting of Families and now the event is inching closer. Just a few more days! Finally, all of the planning and prayer is about to come to fruition. I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen.
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