The Saint John Who Walked the Streets of NYC, Philly, Ohio …

January 5 is the feast day of St. John Neumann, the fourth bishop of Philadelphia. That’s not a bad way to start out the first full work-week of the year during which Pope Francis plans to visit the “City of Brotherly Love.” (Take a tour of Catholic holy sites in my recent National Review Online [Read More…]

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Pressing on Toward Bethlehem

From Pope Francis’s homily at the Epiphany Mass at St. Peter’s in Rome last year: On the feast of the Epiphany, as we recall Jesus’ manifestation to humanity in the face of a Child, may we sense the Magi at our side, as wise companions on the way. Their example helps us to lift our [Read More…]

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Got Thirst?

In talking about St.Gregory Nazianzen in 2007, Pope Benedict XVI highlighted just what are lives are about: Gregory teaches us first and foremost the importance and necessity of prayer. He says: “It is necessary to remember God more often than one breathes” (Orationes 27, 4: PG 250, 78), because prayer is the encounter of God’s [Read More…]

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This Is Christian Friendship

There was a beautiful testimony to Christian friendship from Saint Gregory Nazianzen — about his with St. Basil — in the Liturgy of the Hours this past week: Our single object and ambition was virtue, and a life of hope in the blessings that are to come; we wanted to withdraw from this world before [Read More…]

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Something about Mary

This is from the Jan. 1 entry in Divine Intimacy (available on Kindle!), vol. 1, by Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen: Mary is Jesus’ mother not only because she gave him flesh and blood, but also because she entered into his mystery and associated herself with him in the most intimate way: she dedicated [Read More…]

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Toward Eternity

It’s that changing-of-the-calendar time again. There are memories we run through. Regrets we have. Resolutions we make. There tends to be lots of reflection on losses and gains. There is unfinished business. And there is a conscience to examine. And — please, God — we look ahead with hope. But hope for what? I’ve been [Read More…]

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The Human Family, an Icon of God

Scott Hahn’s new book, Joy to the World: How Christ’s Coming Changed Everything (and Still Does), is a beautiful one. In it he writes about the Holy Family, whose feast we celebrate today: Salvation arrives by way of the family — the Holy Family. The household of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph became a “home away [Read More…]

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‘the Visitation was a beautiful gift for all of us’

Earlier this month, the Vatican released a report assessing the lives of and challenges faced by religious sisters in the United States. (I’ve written about it for here and here and here and here.) Through Catholic Voices USA and other work I’ve recently been meeting sisters I barely knew existed. Among them: sisters from the [Read More…]

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