Book of Tobit, Perfect for Year of the Family

All week at Mass we have been treated to readings from the Book of Tobit, one of my favorite books, which I have called "instructive and under-utilized". I have used passages from this book both while helping to prepare liturgies for marriages and also for funerals. It has made me very appreciative, as well, of the Archangel, Raphael.Because it is a book so full of strong family relationships, it seems perfect that its cycle in the readings comes up in the Year of the Family. A couple of … [Read more...]

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Missional Church: Cardinal Dolan and the Parade

When Jesus rescued the adulterous woman from an angry mob intent on stoning her to death, he was very quiet about it. He wrote something on the ground -- perhaps the sins of the men with the stones? Words in which they might recognize themselves and their own sins and offenses?"But when they continued asking him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”Again he bent down and wrote on the ground. And in res … [Read more...]

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“A long way off…” like me

I begin to think that yesterday's Gospel reading -- wherein Luke relates Jesus' telling of the parable of the Prodigal son -- is my very favorite parable of in scripture. Every time we read it I take away something wholly new.Yesterday, it was this:While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion.Obviously, I've read the parable many times, and yet yesterday, it seemed like the Holy Spirit wanted me to really see that line. I took … [Read more...]

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Who Knew? John 3:16 Answers Genesis 3:1-6 – UPDATED

Hmmmm, one of those weird, "cue the Theme from the Twilight Zone" moments.Maybe this is something everyone else already knows, but I didn't know it. In fact, I just figured it out for myself.So, I'm either a genius, or just so unstudied that to further remark would be pathetic.I'm figuring the latter.But it occurred to me this morning that we Christians take great refuge in John 3:16:For God so loved the world that he gave 7 his only Son, so that everyone who believes in … [Read more...]

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Failing…in love again

"There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment, and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love." - First reading at Mass, from 1 John 4:17-18(Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com)As Popeye would say, "well, blow me down."I fail at love all the time -- grievously -- and when I consider how often that failure is connected to fear, I have to say, this is pretty spot-on.There is a great deal I do not fear; usually for me fear is … [Read more...]

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Pray for Nancy Pelosi

Just pray for her.Pelosi’s office did not respond to CNSNews.com’s follow-up questions regarding the speaker’s statement that she seeks to make policy in conformance with the values of the Word made flesh.It takes a special kind of cognitive dissonance to speak fervently of the Word Made Flesh, and to understand that by his Incarnation God has ennobled all mortal flesh with a sanctity and a holiness relative to his own, and yet to consistently vote--as Nancy Pelosi did in 2003--against legi … [Read more...]

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Noah's Circular Ark?

Why not? Makes sense to me that the thing only had to float, not navigate. I like this storyAccording to newly translated instructions inscribed in ancient Babylonian on a clay tablet telling the story of the ark, the vessel that saved one virtuous man, his family and the animals from god's watery wrath was not the pointy-prowed craft of popular imagination but rather a giant circular reed raft.The now battered tablet, aged about 3,700 years, was found somewhere in the Middle East by … [Read more...]

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"The first will be last…"

Jesus summoned the twelve and said to them, "You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all. For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many." -- Gospel of Mark 10:42-45Boy, talk about … [Read more...]

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The World’s Tiniest Hair Shirt…

Brown ScapularMy husband was noticed a brown cord peeking out from the neckline of my shirt and asked, "what's that?"Oops. Caught. "It's a brown scapular," I admitted."That's like, hardcore fanatical Catholic stuff, isn't it," he asked. "When did you start wearing that?"He wasn't being critical, exactly. My husband is a tolerant sort, and if a person wants to practice a lot of devotions that he doesn't feel particularly called to, that's alright by him. But he did seem a … [Read more...]

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Taking Communion when not Catholic – UPDATED

Rick at Brutally Honest, for whom I have a deal of affection, and he's been a a provocative read for years, has been away from the Catholic Church for a long time.He and his wife have now decided to partake of Holy Communion within the Catholic Church, although without the sacrament of Confession or any sort of adherent "membership," in the church. He feels free to do this, because "no man has a right to stand between another man and Jesus." He believes Jesus would not turn him away, nor … [Read more...]

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