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Psalm 36: Sin Speaks to the Sinner

The Book of Psalms was composed many centuries before Jesus’ time. The psalms are beautiful prayers that fit every condition and circumstance of life. They praise the Lord’s goodness and cry out in complaint and despair for the suffering we experience. The Book of Psalms, inspired as it is by God, gives us a powerful insight into human nature. The imagery is strong and so telling in its description. One such example is the opening verse of Psalm 36, entitled “Human Wickedness and Divine Providence.”
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Power of the Rosary

You've probably heard the expression knock on wood. But what you might not know is that one derivation of this popular saying refers to one of our own Catholic traditions—the recitation of the rosary. The rosary was a physical representation of inner faith, and it was natural to touch it when you were in distress or pain. “Knocking” rosary beads together, people said, was a sure means to get an answer to your prayer!
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Honoring Saint Mary Magdalene

Many Catholics mistakenly link Mary Magdalene with the “sinful woman” who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears (see Luke 7:36–50). Even though Pope Gregory the Great (590–604) said that they were, they are not the same person. The Gospels affirm that Mary Magdalene was the first person to see the empty tomb on Easter Sunday. She was called the “apostle to the apostles” for proclaiming that fact.
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Saint Francis of Assisi: Reformer, True Son of the Church

Encircling the choir of our college chapel in Southfield, Michigan, were the words of Julian of Speyer, taken from an antiphon he wrote for the Divine Office for the Solemnity of Saint Francis, which began: Franciscus vir catholicus et totus apostolicus (Francis, a catholic and totally apostolic man). I saw those words often as I began my Franciscan formation, but I had no idea what they meant. But they must have impressed me since I remembered them all these years.
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Saint Francis and Suffering

Might the authority of those who suffer bring the diverse cultural and social worlds together? —Johann Baptist Metz I believe this profound question about suffering from a modern German theologian succinctly and precisely expresses the religious breakthrough that Christ has offered humanity. It is also foundational to understanding the unique Franciscan view of the world. True gospel authority, the authority to heal and renew things and people, is not finally found in a hierarchical office, a theological argument, a perfect law, or a rational explanation. What the crucified has revealed to the world is that the real authority that “authors” people and changes the world is an inner authority that comes from people who have lost, let go, and are refound on a new level. Twelve-step programs have come to much the same conclusion in our time.
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Finding Light in the Darkness

Because my father was the parent who slept lightly, he was the one we awakened if we felt sick or troubled in the middle of the night. There was always a soft night light glowing by the radio in the kitchen, and I’d find my way to the kitchen table while my father set about making two cups of tea. As we waited for the water to boil he would open the back door and look out at the night sky. 
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Pathways of Prayer

You and I are sometimes like TV sets that are not properly tuned into a station. The news announcers are there talking. The station is sending out live signals. But if we have not turned on our sets, there will be no communication! This is often our problem with God. God is out there—as well as inside us—beaming forth love, goodness and inspiration. But it’s lost on us because we fail to pray, to tune in or open ourselves to God’s loving presence.
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Love Letters From God

The Sacred Scriptures, on the other hand, are most fittingly likened to a honeycomb, for while in the simplicity of their language they seem dry, within they are filled with sweetness. —Hugh of St. Victor, Didascalicon
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Pope Francis on the Importance of Family

Whether you are young or old, married or single, engaged, widowed, or divorced, may Pope Francis’ words strengthen you, refresh you, and illuminate the pages of your own life story. Here are some suggestions he offers to do just that. All words below are from the pope.  
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Family: Holiness in Its Place

The life of God is not lived in a vacuum. We do not become Christians and then withdraw from relationships with others. Holiness is not something we find outside normal, everyday human activity. Any and all fruits of following Christ with Francis must show up primarily in those relationships which are fundamental: family life. Charity and prayer, penance, poverty, humility—all must have their first fruits in what we contribute to the atmosphere of our home.
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