Let God’s forgiveness heal your heart, Pope Francis says after Christmas

Vatican City, Dec 26, 2015 / 09:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- For Pope Francis, the path forward from Christmas can be found in the martyrdom of St. Stephen, especially in his transforming forgiveness of his persecutors.“If we want to move forward in faith, first of all we must receive the forgiveness of God. We must meet the Father, who is ready to forgive everything and always,” Pope Francis told a crowd gathered in St. Peter’s Square before the Angelus prayers … [Read more...]

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A gruesome accident, a powerful faith – one Catholic couple’s story

Lincoln, Neb., Dec 26, 2015 / 07:14 am (CNA).- It was a cold December day in Nebraska, and Ashley Stevens was riding in a car with four other women. It was the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and the women and the rest of their FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) team were headed to a retreat center near Gretna, Neb. when a large truck smashed into their car on Highway 6 near the Platte River, several miles east of Lincoln. While the other women had minor injuries … [Read more...]

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Only God can overcome ‘monstrous’ evil in the world, Pope says on Christmas

Vatican City, Dec 25, 2015 / 08:38 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his annual Christmas “Urbi et Orbi” blessing Pope Francis prayed for all those affected by violence, conflict and poverty throughout the world, asking that they rejoice in salvation offered by the birth of Christ.“Only God’s mercy can free humanity from the many forms of evil, at times monstrous evil, which selfishness spawns in our midst. The grace of God can convert hearts and offer mankind a way out of … [Read more...]

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Christmas joy is the antidote to skepticism, Pope Francis says

Vatican City, Dec 24, 2015 / 02:26 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The joy we receive from Christ’s birth has the power to counteract doubt and indifference, in a world that is “merciless to the sinner and lenient to the sin,” Pope Francis said during Midnight Mass for Christmas.“Joy and gladness are a sure sign that the message contained in the mystery of this night is truly from God,” the Pope said in his Dec. 24 homily for Mass celebrated in St. Peter’s … [Read more...]

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A ‘most powerful woman’ – National Geographic’s major hat tip to the Virgin Mary

Washington D.C., Dec 23, 2015 / 06:02 pm (CNA).- Our Lady. Blessed Mother. Virgin Mary. Queen of Peace. Theotokos. Handmaid of the Lord. Mother Mary. These are just some of the titles used to describe the young woman to whom an angel appeared some 2,000 years ago with the message that she would conceive and bear the Savior of the World. Mary has very few recorded words in the New Testament, but her worldwide devotion spans across time, cultures and even religions. In a Nov. 8 feature … [Read more...]

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Dating apps and the death of romance

Denver, Colo., Dec 23, 2015 / 07:14 am (CNA).- This September's issue of Vanity Fair contains a pretty disheartening prediction for single people: the “dating apocalypse,” brought on by wildly popular dating apps like “Tinder,” is upon us.Young singles are too busy swiping left and right on their phones making shallow, transient connections, rather than finding real love with real people. Romance is dead, proposes author Nancy Jo Sales.What sets Tinder apart from … [Read more...]

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Beauty in suffering: How one woman is fighting the stigma of therapy

San Diego, Calif., Dec 22, 2015 / 04:59 pm (CNA).- Maura Byrne was terrified to go to therapy for the first time.She knew something was wrong, and she knew she needed help. But she didn’t know if she wanted to revisit the ghosts of her past, particularly with a therapist.“I was very reluctant to do it, there’s just such a stigma associated with therapy, and I didn’t know if I wanted to open up to someone,” she told CNA.A young woman from northern New … [Read more...]

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