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Jesus' Challenge: Embrace Poverty

In 1987, I got sober. In 1990, with the law degree I’d earned while drinking, I landed a job as an attorney and started making money for the first time I my life. In 1994, I quit that job in order to embark on the precarious vocation of a writer. In 1996, I converted to Catholicism and joined the Church.
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Year of Mercy: Nourishing Body and Spirit

A Zimbabwean man walks through his drought-affected corn field outside Harare Jan. 20. (CNS photo/Philimon Bulawayo, Reuters) With poverty on the rise and a drought compounding Zimbabwe's problems, people are struggling to make ends meet, and the poor are becoming poorer, church workers said. In Zimbabwe's hospitals and other health facilities, "patients need to pay for everything: painkillers, drips, injections and scans," said Getrude Chimange, coordinator of the justice and peace commission in Mutare Diocese.
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Psalm 25: Directions from God

Image: Matthew Wiebe. 1 To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul, 2 my God, in you I trust; do not let me be disgraced; do not let my enemies gloat over me. 3 No one is disgraced who waits for you, but only those who are treacherous without cause.
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Proclaiming the Message of Life: Reflection for the Fifth Sunday of Easter

Image: Altarpiece picture of Johan Ludvig Gebhard Lund (1777-1867) in Saint Peter's Church, Copenhagen. As the weekend approaches, reflect on this week's readings through the lens of life—the life of Christ and the sacredness of all human life. This reflection is taken from Proclaiming the Message of Life: Weekly Reflections from the Lectionary by Fr. Frank A. Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life.
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12 Things to Know about 'Amoris Laetitia' ('The Joy of Love')

Image: Benji Aird. What is so special about Amoris Laetitia, or The Joy of Love? If you don't have time to read the document itself, here's a must-read article of twelve things you should know about it. 
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Pope Francis on Our Role in Caring for Creation

Image: Meg Sanchez. As I reflected on my own upbringing while reading Laudato si', Pope Francis’ encyclical on concern for the environment, I really appreciated some of things the pope discusses in it. For example, in paragraph 210, Pope Francis observes that education takes place first in the home and in the family. He also notes that environmental education should facilitate the “leap towards the transcendent.”
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In Search of Perfect Joy

Image: Forrest Cavale. Twenty-five centuries ago, Aristotle wrote a book called Nicomachean Ethics, in which he concluded that the ultimate goal of human beings is and ought to be happiness. Aristotle’s book became a classic long ago. But when you think about it, its thesis is rather commonplace. When we honestly examine our lives, we quickly realize that what we want is to be happy. What sane person wouldn’t? So we scarcely need an ancient Greek philosopher to tell us what we already know. What isn’t so obvious is how to be happy. There are any number of answers out there competing for our attention. The advertising industry, for example, spends billions of dollars annually to tell us that true happiness lies in buying this or that product. Pop psychologists assure us that happiness consists in getting in touch with our primordial self, looking out for number one, or learning how to be intimate. (It all depends on which psychologist you read.)
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Year of Mercy: It's a Family Affair

Image: Fresco at Parz Castle, Allegory of Mercy. One night, I came home from a busy day at work. As usual, I was attempting to get the daily rundown of the kids’ activities, read the mail, check the messages, and get dinner started. That’s when it all came apart.  “Mom, Riley hit me,” reported Alex.  “Mom, I want pink milk,” demanded Riley.  “Mom, I feel like I’m going to throw up,” cautioned Maddie.  Another typical night in the Brigger house, I thought.
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The Book of Job: A Lesson on Being Angry with God

My older sister Patricia died of spina bifida before I was born. My younger sister Linda died of spina bifida when I was 3. Given that I was raised in a traditional, stoic, Irish-Catholic family, my sisters and their deaths were never talked about. In fact, I didn’t even know they existed until I was 5 and found their names in our family Bible. “Who are these people?” I asked my mother. “They are your sisters”—that was all she said.
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Follower of Saint Francis: Brother Moises Gutierrez

Photo: Pierre Olivier Bourgeois | unsplash Brother Moises Gutierrez, OFM, can credit his upbringing for introducing him to the meaning of living in a community. “Needless to say, community living came naturally for me since I came from a large family,” he says. When Brother Moises says “a large family,” he really means it. The youngest of 24 siblings, Brother Moises grew up in Leon, Mexico, with aspirations of becoming an engineer.
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