“It’s easy to think the Church’s great Marian feasts are sentimental or quaint. But really just the opposite is true. Here are Bishop Barron’s reflections on today’s Memorial of the Queenship of Mary, a dramatic celebration which demands we make a choice: Which army are we fighting in? Are we battling alongside the Queen of Heaven or in service of the enemy? That’s the question raised by this memorial.”
Every year, I post this link to the first chapter of Unplanned by Abby Johnson. This week, the March for Life took place. Years after reading this, I can still feel the deep emotional affect it had on me.
“True prayer is that done in the secret of the conscience, of the heart: inscrutable, visible only to God. God and I. It shuns falsehood: with God it is impossible to pretend.” This is a great place to start when reading Pope Francis’ audiences on The Lord’s Prayer – which are continuing still. His audiences are very pastoral – calling on us to embrace our spirituality.
“It should come as no surprise, then, that St. Thomas Aquinas taught that the effect of the sacrament of confirmation on the spiritual plane of life corresponds to this same law of growth we see in operation on the physical plane. Confirmation, through the infusion of the fullness of the life of the Holy Spirit, further energizes the seed of faith planted in baptism to grow into that fullness of communion with Christ for which we were made.”
“In the liturgical season running from Easter to Pentecost, the Church is recollected in contemplation of the risen Christ. Thus she relives the primordial experience that lies at the basis of her existence. She feels imbued with the same wonder as Mary Magdalen and the other women who went to Christ's tomb on Easter morning and found it empty. That tomb became the womb of life.”
“Palm Sunday, when the Church recalls Christ's triumphal entrance into Jerusalem, is a solemn gateway as it were leading to Holy Week. Looking at this day from the standpoint of liturgical spirituality, we can consider it as somehow present in every Eucharistic celebration. Just as in its time it was the threshold of the events of Christ's paschal week, so it continues as the threshold of the Eucharistic mystery. Indeed, the very threshold of the liturgy. The moment we cross this threshold, we approach the centre of the Mysterium fide.”
“This addresses some of the most common questions about the Sacrament of Reconciliation. It does not deal with questions about the actual structure of the Sacrament of Penance, which is described on the "How to go to Confession" page. If your question hasn’t been adequately addressed, don’t hesitate to contact your parish priest.” I find the Examination of Conscience page particularly useful – but there are also many more online.
“The season of Lent comes every year and it’s always an adventure for Catholics. But of course the roots go back deep into Sacred Scripture. I think it is helpful for us to begin our Lenten journey reflecting upon all these biblical precendents.”
“The activities are grounded in the symbols, Scripture readings, devotions, and traditions of the Lenten season. Check this calendar each day to find another Lenten activity that you can adapt for your own setting.” Great family activities!
“May our Lent this year be a journey along that same path, bringing the hope of Christ also to creation, so that it may be “set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Rom 8:21). Let us not allow this season of grace to pass in vain! Let us ask God to help us set out on a path of true conversion.”