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Entries related to: featured

Meditation: Prayer of the Heart

Our guest blogger is Laurence Freeman, OSB, author of Sensing God: Learning to Meditate During Lent. Image: Bara Cross How best to move forward with meditation? The way of meditation I would recommend is in many ways universal, but also an integral part of the Christian tradition of prayer. In this tradition it is called the “prayer of the heart.” This distinguishes it from either mental prayer or the external forms of worship with which many Christians have come to identify prayer.
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Self-Giving Love

Our guest blogger today is Edward Sri, author of Men, Women, and the Mystery of Love: Practical Insights from John Paul II's Love and Responsibility. Image: freestocks.org One of the chief hallmarks of the objective aspect of love is the gift of self. John Paul II teaches that what makes betrothed (married) love different from all other forms of love such as attraction, desire, and friendship is that two people give themselves to each other. They are not just attracted to each other, and they do not simply desire what is good for each other. In betrothed love, each person surrenders himself entirely to the other. Yet the very idea of self-giving love raises some important questions: How can one person give himself to another? What does this mean? After all, each human person is utterly unique.
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A World of Illiteracy

Image: Micah Hallahan. What God writes in the skies, the oceans, the wind, and the rain provides a glimpse of his purpose for our lives, rooted in his incomparably generous love. Since we are made in his image, this love gives meaning to our lives, so it makes sense to be on the lookout for signs of his presence in the world around us. In fact, recent scientific discoveries point resolutely to the existence of our Creator, revealing all the structures of the universe’s intelligent design by a “someone” with a purpose and a plan.
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Why I'm Still Catholic

Image: Daniel Kainz. It was an honest question. After listening to me recount all my frustrations with the Catholic Church one night after dinner, my sister-in-law, who is not Catholic, asked me very honestly, “So then why do you stay?” The question stopped me in my tracks. At first I bristled a little at the question, feeling a bit defensive. But then it occurred to me that I really didn’t know how to answer her.
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What's New about the "New" Feminism?

Image: Tachina Lee. Recently, something called “The New Feminism” has been getting quite a bit of press, both in print and online. An expression coined by St. John Paul II in his encyclical Evangelium Vitae, the New Feminism is about helping women to live and express Gospel values more effectively in the Church and in the world, by recognizing their own authentic gifts and mission. It remains to be seen what new initiatives will arise from this more recent conversation, but as the mother of a teenage daughter, I am thrilled that our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has called for a more profound theology of women in the Church. His cry for progress recalls St. John Paul II’s Letter to All Women:
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Feast of the Holy Family

Image: Giorgio Vasari and Andrea del Sarto. A Word from Pope Francis The message that comes from the Holy Family is first of all a message of faith. In the family life of Mary and Joseph, God is truly at the center, and He is so in the Person of Jesus. This is why the Family of Nazareth is holy. Why? Because it is centered on Jesus. When parents and children together breathe in this climate of faith, they have an energy that allows them to face even difficult trials, as the experience of the Holy Family shows, for example, in the dramatic event of their flight to Egypt: a difficult ordeal.
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“O Emmanuel,” We Want to See Your Face!

  A Word from Pope Francis This week the Church is like Mary: she is awaiting a birth. The Virgin sensed within herself, in body and in soul, that the birth of her child was near. Surely in her heart she said to the baby she was carrying in her womb: “Come, I want to see your face, for they have told me you will be great!”
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An Advent Reflection with Kelly Wahlquist

                        Enjoy this Advent reflection from author Kelly Wahlquist! I love the season of Advent. I like the colors, the smells, the rituals, all the good things that come with it. And at the end, we get to celebrate the birth of Jesus. With all the festivities and commitments attached to the season of Advent and Christmas I often forget that this is the beginning of a new year.
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What Are Your Blessings?

Image: Benjamin Combs. This past summer, my kids and I decided to grow a garden. We planned on growing pumpkins, zucchini, corn, sunflowers and carrots—planned being the key word. By the end of August, our garden consisted of a few carrots, some dead zucchini and pumpkin plants, no corn and some gigantic sunflowers. The carrots never quite made it to maturity because the kids kept feeding them to their rabbits. I forgot to plant the corn at the appropriate time. And the other plants fell victim to a heat wave and my brother-in-law’s puppy.
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Franciscan Ministry Gives Back to Cincinnati

A ministry of St. John the Baptist Province, OFM, St. Francis Seraph Ministries serves those in need in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood in Cincinnati, Ohio. From their website: “We believe every member of the Over-the-Rhine community has the right to enjoy the benefits of good health, prosperity, and well-being and has the capacity to contribute positively to the neighborhood. Through compassion, collaboration, and community building, we provide programs designed to achieve this vision.”
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