Month: March 2016

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Holy Saturday Soul Booster

Fra Angelico, Christ in Limbo (1442)
In my opinion, Holy Saturday is the hardest day of Holy Week to really "enter into." Is it a day of mourning? Not exactly. A day of rejoicing? Again, not exactly. The best description I've heard it is that it is a day of "quiet hope." Here are some aids to cultivate a spirit of quiet hope as we make the massive transition from Good Friday to Easter Sunday, and as we commemorate Christ's "harrowing of hell."

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Holy Thursday Soul Booster

Jaume Huguet, Last Supper (1470)
Today is Holy Thursday, the night of the Last Supper, and therefore the anniversary of both the Eucharist and the priesthood. It's here that Jesus celebrates the first Mass, and then commissions his disciples to do the same. And it's here that the Passion of Christ truly begins. Here are a few resources to help as you enter into Triduum, the holiest time of year.

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Palm Sunday Soul Booster

Giotto, Entry into Jerusalem (1305)
To get deeper into the spirit of Holy Week, and to help you to do the same, I'll be posting daily "soul boosts" containing the following: (1) a hymn tied to the liturgical day; (2) a timely Biblical text; (3) a beautiful piece of religious art; (4) a spiritual reflection; and (5) a Saint you should get to know (or get to know better). Today's Palm Sunday, also called Passion Sunday (or "Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord"). Let's start with the obvious: why does this day go by two different titles?

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The Pope and the Mongols

Vincent of Beauvais, Pope Innocent IV sends Dominicans and Franciscans out to the Tartars. From Le Miroir Historial (Vol. IV).
As the State Department has just acknowledged, we are currently witnessing the attempted genocide of Christians by ISIS. But this isn't the first (and won't be the last) time that someone tries to wipe the Church off of the map. One of the most frightening was the invasion of the Mongolian "Golden Horde" in the 13th century. We could learn a thing or two from Pope Innocent IV's response.

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