Tuesday (today, as I write) is the feast day of St. Catherine de’ Ricci, a Dominican saint, who had an intimate, mystical gift of prayerful love — and knowledge — of Christ. Her body shared in the wounds of Christ and her heart knew his Passion. In her Canticle of the Passion, we walk the journey she did with Christ. And we pray with her: Behold, God is my Savior I will trust, and not be afraid We ask you,… Read more

We can never afford to lose our love and compassion for every man and woman and child. That is so much of the message of the Gospel — of God’s love and mercy for us — that Pope Francis has been pleading with us to truly surrender our lives to. Tuesday morning in his tweet, Pope Francis instructs: Dear young people, Jesus gives us life, life in abundance. If we are close to him we will have joy in our… Read more

One of the surprising delights of the new movie Gimmie Shelter is the presence of a Catholic priest. Inspired by a real Catholic priest working with Several Sources Shelters, James Earl Jones plays the father whose wisdom, and guidance and love a girl called Apple so needs. He arrives after she’s reached the point of desperation and teaches her what she always wanted to believe but no one in her life would bolster: That she’s the apple of God’s eye…. Read more

As Pope Francis announces his own journey to the Holy Land, we are invited daily to meet Christ in the Eucharist. Magnificat has Pope Benedict reflecting on the Epiphany (from his homily just last year): Human beings have an innate restlessness for God, but this restlessness is a participation in God’s own restlessness for us…. Faith is nothing less than being interiorly seized by God, something which guides us along the pathways of life. Faith draws us into a state… Read more

From Paul VI, as he canonized St. Elizabeth Ann Seton: Being a Saint means being perfect, with a perfection that attains the highest level that a human being can reach. A Saint is a human creature fully conformed to the will of God. A Saint is a person in whom all sin-the principle of death-is cancelled out and replaced by the living splendor of divine grace. The analysis of the concept of sanctity brings us to recognize in a soul… Read more

A happened upon this piece while Googling St. Elizabeth Ann Seton earlier. I almost titled this post The Little Sisters of the Poor Are Women, Too. Seton is a timely saint to celebrate! (But then what saint isn’t? But a blessed New Yorker sure hits close to home!) From that piece: Where religious freedom flourishes, so do women, and so too does society. A review of our nation’s history makes this case. Catholic women have served our country well. Consider… Read more

Behold a wise woman who has built her house. She feared the Lord and walked in the right path. That’s Saturday’s entrance antiphon to the Mass, as we celebrate the feast day of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, who came to America, was received into the Catholic Church at St. Peter’s church in Manhattan (near where the World Trade Center would stand and disintegrate), and was herself a building block of schooling in America. She was a wife and mother, who… Read more

As I’m still sitting by a Christmas tree and a manger scene as I write, I’m sort of stuck at the moment on Christmas and the reality that it needs to penetrate our lives. And I’m finding myself haunted — as we all ought to be, and some of us are, inescapably, with a deep suffering — by the approaching 41st anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling. Toward that, I’m just rereading Anne Lastman’s Redeeming Grief: Abortion… Read more

“The house of Nazareth is a school of prayer where one learns to listen, meditate on and penetrate the profound meaning of the manifestation of the Son of God, following the example of Mary, Joseph and Jesus,” Pope Benedict XVI told an audience gathered on the Feast of the Holy Family, just days after Christmas, in 2011. Getting to know Christ through the context of a family — knowing God as a loving Father and accepting the intercessory help and… Read more

The M word in the title is, of course, a joke … The message of the Gospel, of course, remains the same under Pope Francis — and so much of what he says is an (not all that simple but radical) invitation to Christ, to know God’s love and mercy. On my birthday (random fact) during Mass in Manger’s Square in Bethlehem in 2000, Pope John Paul II said the same: The newborn Child, defenseless and totally dependent on the… Read more

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