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40 Days of Lent: Jesus Is Risen!

The serpent’s bite was a deadly one. The venom had worked its way deep into the heart of the entire human race, doing its gruesome work. The antivenom was unavailable until Christ appeared. One drop was all that was needed, so potent was this antidote. Yet it was not like him to be stingy. He poured out all he had, down to the last drop. The sacrifice of his entire life, poured out at the foot of the cross—this was the Son’s answer to the problem of sin. 
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Reflections on the Holy Thursday Readings

Image:Andelsbuch (Vorarlberg). Saint Peter and Paul parish church: Stained glass window showing the sacrifice of passover during the plagues of Egypt. Begin your Triduum preparations with these reflections on the Holy Thursday readings.
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Avoiding the ‘A-Word' During Lent

When I was a kid, there were a lot of things that confused me about Lent. I understood the basics of why we observed the Lenten season, namely to remember Jesus’ suffering and death, and to spend 40 days in repentance in the same way he did in the desert, but there were a few things I just didn’t get.
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Mercy and the Sacrament of Reconciliation

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40 Days of Lent: Look for Ways to Volunteer

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Happy Feast of Saint Patrick!

Image: Saint Patrick's Day Festival. Dublin, Ireland. Miguel Mendez. Today, parades, shamrocks, and green beer will be all around. Many Americans will proudly proclaim their Irish roots, even if they have none. Despite the popularity of such cultural things, many Catholics know little about Saint Patrick.
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Who Was Saint Patrick?

Today we celebrate the feast of Saint Patrick, the patron of Ireland and one of the best-loved saints in the Catholic Church. Sometimes it seems that Patrick can't be separated from the myths about him and the cultural trappings associated with his feast day: the snakes and shamrocks, the green beer, corned beef and cabbage.
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Physical Pain and Moral Suffering

Image: Racorn. In his apostolic letter Salvifici Doloris, St. John Paul II says that “suffering is almost inseparable from man’s earthly existence.” He defines two kinds of suffering: physical suffering and moral suffering. The distinction is based on the double dimension of the human being, the bodily and spiritual elements of humanity.
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Mary: A Portrait of Hope and Faith

And Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." —Luke 1:38 Think of all that Mary just learned: She will soon be expecting a baby, this child is the long-awaited Messiah who will restore Israel’s kingdom and bring the history of the world to its climactic moment, she will conceive not through natural means but by the Holy Spirit, and the child will be the divine Son of God. 
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Follower of Saint Francis: Rhett Engelking, OFS

Image: Angel Acevedo | unsplash In Saint Francis’ “Canticle of the Sun,” the saint proclaims, “Be praised, my Lord, through our sister Mother Earth/Who feeds us and rules us . . .” How might Saint Francis view the current state of the environment and people’s relationship with nature?
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