Giving Till It Hurts

    One day, a priest of my acquaintance heard the voice of a young woman through the screen of his confessional: “Father, tomorrow I will have an abortion. I know that it is wrong. Can you forgive me in advance?” The priest was stunned. “Dear child,” he said, “wh...
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The Spiritual Law of Gravity

  Catholics call the month of November the “month of holy souls.” It is our annual commemoration of the dead. The month begins with All Saints’ Day, which is our celebration of the citizens of Heaven. On the day after, All Souls Day, we remember all the dead, especially...
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Reflection on St. Francis of Assisi

  The feast day of St. Francis of Assisi tomorrow (October 4) prompts us to consider what this most beloved of Christian saints has to contribute to how we think of the natural environment and our current concerns about it. His “Canticle of the Creatures,” a hymn of praise...
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The Gift of Love

Holy Week begins today—the most solemn season of the Church’s year. The gospel readings for Tuesday and Wednesday of this week (John 13:21-33, 36-38 and Matthew 16:14-25) portray the scene of Jesus announcing to his disciples that one of them would betray him. Judas is, of...
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Photo 169328830 / Ash Wednesday © Vetre Antanaviciute-meskauskiene |

Ash Wednesday

  On Ash Wednesday of 1996, at Santa Sabina Basilica in Rome, Pope John Paul II placed ashes on my forehead while repeating the familiar words, Remember, man, that you are dust and to dust you will return. (Genesis 3:19) In his homily, the pope had asked, “Why does the...
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The Gospel of Life

Simply from the point of view of reason and right thinking, contraception and abortion cannot be called “health care”—unless a child be considered a disease to be prevented or eliminated.
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Photo 107814689 / Advent © Hel080808 |

Advent: No Time for Comfort Zones

  Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God. (Isaiah 40:1)   The word “comfort” has considerably weakened in the centuries since it was chosen to translate this passage from the Prophet Isaiah. In its original force, “comfort” comes from the Latin confortare,...
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The Holy Rosary

  Because Catholics celebrate the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary on October 7, the whole month of October is dedicated to the Holy Rosary. Originally called the feast of “Our Lady of Victory,” it was established by Pope St. Pius V to celebrate the defeat of invading naval...
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The Glory of August

In the month of August there are two feasts of glory: the Transfiguration of Christ on August 6 and the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on August 15. In the Bible, “glory” signifies the radiance of God: “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:50). By...
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Photo 157631347 © Alexander Reitter |

Independence Day: July 4, 2021

On this day of independence, let us pray that America’s failures may teach us humility, just as her successes make us proud.
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