Be human already! Christ became man for you, died for you, feel this, know this. This is Pope Francis’s full message of peace to the world. Pope Benedict knew he couldn’t plead like whoever the Holy Spirit had in mind to be our Holy Father in this hour. And, goodness, can Pope Francis plead. He went out to St. Peter’s Square famously in prayer, and then begging us to ask God for His mercy. This message of Divine Mercy was… Read more

A friend is leading a pilgrimage in France and preached at the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur de Montmartre: we’re supposed to make him in the Eucharist the biggest difference in our life, as our true priority, as the “source and summit” of our existence, the fulcrum of our week and day. In response to irreverence, he wants us to treat him with deep piety, adoring him outside of Mass, making genuflections and profound bows with devotion and love. In contrast to… Read more

Friday was the feast of St. John Chrysostom. He advises: When your enemy falls into your hands, do not consider how you can pay him back and let him feel the sharp edge of your tongue before sending him packing; consider rather how you can heal him and restore him to a better frame of mind. Continue to make every effort both by word and deed until your gentleness has overcome his aggressiveness. Nothing has more power than gentleness. As… Read more

Magnificat today excerpts an interview with Tiffiny Gulla,a composer and choreographer who was 29 years old on 9/11/01, working near the World Trade Center. In the fuller interview, she explains: I was standing on the corner of Liberty and Broadway. I remember suddenly running through a smoke cloud down the avenue toward the water to get away from the building collapsing, but I hadn’t even realized it was collapsing. We thought maybe the collapses we heard were bombs exploding. The… Read more

To answer this question we have to take a look at our lives (and every day). Are we growing in faith? Are we focused, returning our focus, renewing our focus on Christ? We’re called to be living stones, built up to be a spiritual edifice. On Twitter, this qualifies as a #HomilyTweet. Listen here. If you haven’t already, and want to get your roots deeper in Christ, read Lumen Fidei, the work of four hands, Pope Benedict XVI and Francis…. Read more

Friday’s gospel is about new wine and old wineskins. Fr. James Bradley (whose Twitter feed — @FrJamesBradley — is a source of social-media spiritual nourishment) reflects: fervent and yet silent interior renewal, that makes us ready to receive the graces of this endeavour and to act on them, as we seek to bring the gospel once more to the world. If we simply continue to pour the ‘new wine’ of a renewed faith into the ‘old skins’ of our unchanged… Read more

One of the unmistakable themes of the papacy of Pope Francis thus far is mercy, begging men and women to go to God and ask Him for His mercy again and again. So much so that the predominant rumor is that Popes John XXIII and John Paul will be canonized on Divine Mercy Sunday, which Pope John Paul II instituted. In rereading a book-length interview Pope Francis participated in while cardinal archbishop of Buenos Aires, I happened upon Cardinal Bergoglio… Read more

Further nudging from the late sainted Fr. Josemaria: Let us take a good honest look at our own lives. How is it that sometimes we just can’t find those few minutes it would take to finish lovingly the work we have to do, which is the very means of our sanctification? Why do we neglect our family duties? Why that tendency to rush through our prayers, or through the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass? How are we so lacking in… Read more

Randy Hain from the website The Integrated Catholic Life offers some practical insights in interviews he submitted himself to about his two latest books here and here. And I found this from John of the Cross helpful to be reminded of today, in a meditation on the Gospel of the day on the “foolish virgins” (via Magnificat): They are often extremely anxious that God remove their faults and imperfections, but their motive is personal peace rather than God. They fail… Read more

NBC reports that Pope Francis posed for a “selfie” yesterday with a group of kids, “following in the footsteps of stars like Rihanna, Madonna and Justin Bieber,” even if he has failed to post it to his Twitter account like the celebs do. My understanding, from links provided by NBC, is that a “selfie,” as seems obvious, “means photographing oneself, usually on a telephone camera held at arm’s length.” The hot blue-encased phone seems clearly not the pope’s. And he’s… Read more

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