The saints are as different as they are similar. Some saints lived short lives; some long ones; some saints were married, others single; some saints came from prominence, others from obscurity; some saints were devoted to God their whole life, others only after a conversion of heart. The common thread that runs through the lives of the saints is a love for God. What made the saints extraordinary?
I have lots of memories of Christmases from my youth. I vividly remember making delicious holiday meals, singing in the children’s choir at mass, and excitedly buying presents for my siblings and parents, among many other things. But I don’t remember too much about Advent growing up, except for lighting the Advent wreath every night […]
Throughout his life, especially during his years as pope, John XXIII was known for his genuine joy and a magnificent sense of humor. Considering his story, that is a striking quality and virtue to possess. John XXIII used humor in various types of moments to keep himself humble, to shed new light on situations, or simply to make those with him crack a smile.
Let’s face it, keeping distractions at bay during Mass is a difficult task for just about everyone. It takes an almost heroic amount of effort to keep our minds from wandering away from the most important thing happening in our world in that moment -Jesus Christ coming to us in the flesh. But, nevertheless, it is possible to at least limit some of our distractions at Mass with these simple yet practical tips:
Pope Pius VI named John Carroll the first bishop of the United States of America in 1789. His cousin, Charles Carroll, was one of America’s Founding Fathers and the only Catholic to sign the Declaration of Independence. Archbishop Carroll wrote the following prayer for our newly formed government on November 10, 1791, to be recited in parishes throughout his diocese.
A sacrament is an outward sign of an invisible spiritual reality. Because humans are a unity of a physical body and a spiritual soul, God uses the means of physical objects and rituals to convey spiritual truths that we cannot detect using our senses.
This outward sign functions as a channel through which God imparts sanctifying grace into the soul. The sacraments are seven in number and have their source in the saving work of Jesus in his passion, death, and resurrection, and were established by Him for the sanctification of every member of His Church.
December 12th is the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas, unborn children, and the New Evangelization. Our Lady of Guadalupe is unlike any other apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary. First, it is the only apparition where Our Lady left a miraculous image of herself unmade by human hands. Second, it is the only universally venerated Madonna and Child image where Our Lady appears pregnant instead of holding the Infant Jesus.
Understanding the temperaments is important is because your temperament has a crucial place in your spiritual life. It can greatly affect your growth as you seek to draw closer to the Heart of Christ. This kind of self-knowledge will help you to know where your strengths are as well as your weaknesses; it gives you more accurate self-knowledge.
Graduation, a wonderful time, opens the door for a different kind of life to begin. I graduated from college only a few years ago; not long enough for me to forget the mixed emotions that came along with throwing my cap into the air. Remember that this is the beginning. Be proud of your degree, but if you have regrets about whether you reached your true potential in undergrad (we all do—mine are longer than the treaty of Versailles) remember that future opportunities are still ahead. The curtain has dropped on act one, but it will open for many more acts, on many other stages. So, congratulations, graduates. And here are some quotes to remember as you venture out into the world “and let down your nets for a catch” (Luke 5:4).
The Bishop of Phoenix, Thomas J. Olmsted recently released a very important document called Into the Breach: An Apostolic Exhortation to Catholic Men, my Spiritual Sons in the Diocese of Phoenix. This masterful pastoral letter is addressed to men, asking Catholic men to be men, in all that God designed for a man to be in strengthening, defending, fighting for, guiding, and fathering.
This document is so important that it deserves much attention and circulation. You should read it. You should have the men in your family read it. You should gather together a group of men from your parish or circle of friends to study and discuss it.