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 thirst with our thirst. God is thirsting for us to thirst for him (cf. Orationes 40, 27: SC 358, 260). In prayer, we must turn… Read more

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 we departed from it. With this end in view we ordered our lives and all our actions. We followed the guidance of God’s law and… Read more

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 herself totally… to the person and to the work of her Son, with a function in the redemption, both dependent on him and with him”… Read more

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 thinking a lot about people who have died this year. The end of the year seems to necessitate it. Christmas notes you can’t send, among… Read more

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 from home” for the eternal Son of God. It was an outpost of heaven, an image of the Trinity in the world. “We may say,”… Read more

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 Religious Institute of theServants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary, whose motherhouse is in Miami. Since interest in the report continues (just ask… Read more

It’s also very typical of him. Give or take a few details, it’s a great guide to an examination of conscience for anyone. (More thoughts here.) As Greg Erlandson puts it in a column in Our Sunday Visitor reflecting on the North Korean Sony hacking (of all things!): As Catholics, we know that none of our sins stay hidden. No matter how sincerely we lie, how cleverly we obscure, God knows all. We believe there to be a final accounting,… Read more

From the Imitation of Christ (and today’s Liturgy of the Hours): When a man humbles himself for his faults, he more easily pleases others and mollifies those he has angered. God protects and frees a humble man; He loves and consoles a humble man; He favors a humble man; He showers him with graces; then, after his suffering, God raises him up to glory. He reveals His secrets to a humble man and in His kindness invitingly draws that man… Read more

Mother Agnes M. Donovan’s statement on the final report of the Apostolic Visitation. Mother Agnes founded the Sisters of Life with Cardinal John O’Connor and is chair of the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious: When the Apostolic Visitation of Women’s Religious communities in the United States was announced, the Members of the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious (CMSWR) welcomed the invitation from the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life (CICLSAL) to… Read more

Just a little point. The so-called “Vatican investigation of nuns” had as its facilitator a religious sister. This was not a hostile intervention, but a collaborative process seeking revitalization during challenging times. You can read her prepared statement: I imagine that each of the women religious here present and those who are following this press conference via internet remember the moment we heard the announcement of the Apostolic Visitation. For me, it began with a totally unexpected phone call from… Read more

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