Month: September 2015

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The First Step in Learning to Forgive

Bernardo Strozzi, Banquet at the House of Simon (1630)
Every day, when we pray the Our Father, we ask God to “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” If we refuse to forgive others, we’re asking God to hold us to our own unforgiving standard. This is a hard message, because it’s hard to forgive others when we’ve been hurt. Jesus recognizes it. When He introduces the Our Father, this is the only one part He feels the need to explain. But He doesn’t say “forgive, unless it’s hard.” He says, “if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14-15).

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The Virgin Mary, Suffering, and the School of the Cross

Michelangelo, Pieta (1499)
We, the Church, we are the Body of Christ. We say that all the time, but do we really believe that? If we do, then we need to know two things: (1) that Mary is our Mother, and (2) that our sorrows have meaning, they have a purpose. Jesus didn't say, “take up your Cross and throw it away,” but “take up your cross and follow me.” He doesn't suffer and die so that we don't have to suffer. He suffered and died so our sufferings have meaning.

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Behold, the Wood

Tree of Life, Miniature from the Scherenberg Psalter (1260)
It was through wood that we fell, and it is through wood that we have been redeemed. It goes back to Adam and Eve. The Fall of Man happens after the serpent tempts them into eating from the fruit of the forbidden tree. But from the very moment of the Fall, we're promised that sin and rebellion aren't the end of the story. God promises that a Redeemer will come who will crush the serpent, Satan, underfoot. And the passage in Genesis ends with a tantalizing clue: an angel with a fiery sword is sent to guard the Tree of Life, lest man eat of it and live forever. Salvation, eternal life, will come through the tree, but we can't reach it on our own.

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The Promise and Peril of Online Catholic Dating

One of the side projects that I work on is a bi-weekly “talk show” on YouTube called The Catholic Five, so named because there are four other people involved: David L. Gray (of DavidLGray.info), Katrina Fernandez (The Crescat at Patheos), Brantly Callaway Millegan (Founder and Editor of Church POP), and Kevin M. Tierney (Associate Editor of Catholic Lane). […]

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