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Saints are just real people who’ve finished their journeys
By Fr. EvansOver the past century or so we’ve seen significant changes in the way saints’ life stories are offered to the reading public. It’s not been too surprising to find emphasis placed on what made saints extraordinary while they were on earth—and thus different from most other people. So, many saints are portrayed as exhibiting some or all of these attributes: signs of God’s favor at birth, precocious holiness in childhood, early and consistent renunciation o...
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Saints' Struggles: St. Thérèse de Lisieux
Who was she?St. Thérèse of Lisieux, popularly known as the “Little Flower,” was a French Discalced Carmelite nun popular in modern times because of the simplicity and practicality of her approach to the spiritual life. After nine years as a Carmelite religious, and having spent her last 18 months in Carmel in a night of faith, she died of tuberculosis when she was 24.What was she struggling with?Her health had never been good: she suffered from scruples (a religiously o...
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Saints' Struggles: St Francis de Sales
St. Francis de SalesWho was he?St. Francis de Sales was a Bishop of Geneva noted for his deep faith and his gentle approach to the religious divisions in his land resulting from the Protestant Reformation. He is known also for his writings on the topic of spiritual direction and spiritual formation, particularly the Introduction to the Devout Life and the Treatise on the Love of God.What was he struggling with?St. Francis de Sales struggled daily with a fiery temper and intense impatience. By hi...
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How do I "live Jesus"?

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How do I "live Jesus"?
Most world religions are about humanity reaching for God; Christianity is about God reaching for humanity, and doing it through his Son.by Jeannette de BeauvoirI had been living in the United States for a few months and was dreadfully unhappy, terribly homesick for France. I was attending college, and in a fit of what can only be called pique I decided to spend my spring break away from everyone. I rented a tent and went off to a campground in New Hampshire that was, at that time of year, virtua...
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How Do I Live Jesus This Advent and Christmas?
If you’re like many families, in October you feel like you’re still recovering from the mania of getting your kids back to school: re-establishing schedules (“no, you can’t stay up until eleven o’clock”), sorting activities (“how am I ever going to get Jamie to ballet class and Alyssa to her trumpet lesson at the same time?”), and policing homework (“if you’ve really finished, show it to me.”). Halloween is a blip on the calendar,...
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Never Read a Graphic Novel? You Might Be Surprised!
Many parents and educators don’t look at comic books and graphic novels as “real” literature. There’s a reluctance to see anything as a real book when it contains fewer words and more pictures. But there are a lot of good reasons for your children and students to read them—and those reasons can hold true for adults, as well!The best way to think about a graphic novel is that it is a format, not a genre, with a far longer and richer history in countries like Japan (m...
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100 Years Later: Is Our Lady of Fátima Relevant Today?
For the Daughters of St. Paul, founded only two years before the Fátima apparitions, the answer to that question is profound. Our Lady of Fátima appeared to three obscure Portuguese children at an important, even crucial, time in world affairs. World War I was going on, of course; but sadly there’s rarely a time when there’s a war not going on somewhere. Fátima's Distinctive Context: the Media ExplosionNo; what’s particularly distinctive to us is t...
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A Conversation with St John Paul II about Being Afraid
Fear is one of the most powerful of all emotions. Fear has started wars, ended lives, and destroyed belief. Fear is possibly the most dominant weapon in the Devil’s arsenal, and he uses it well. So it stands to reason that one of our primary defenses against evil is to fight fear. And that can only happen through faith.One person who understood fear was Pope John Paul II. He was elected pope after the upheaval of Vatican II and saw fear everywhere he looked: in the politics and turmoil of ...
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Failed at Anything Lately? Could be Part of God's Plan.
He didn’t do very well in school. Called—he thought—to the priesthood, he failed several of his seminary classes and was then in fact told to leave. His fifth-grade teacher urged him to persevere, and he went on to finally graduate from Mount St. Mary’s and follow his vocation.Still, it doesn’t sound like an auspicious beginning, does it? But soon after he was ordained, Father Stanley Rother answered Pope John XXIII’s call for missionaries to the struggling Ch...
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Do You Pray Without Ceasing?

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Do You Pray Without Ceasing?
One of the New Testament’s best pieces of advice, written by Saint Paul to help the small community in Thessalonika, was to “pray without ceasing.”Through the centuries since that letter was written, the Church has taken the advice very much to heart, and the result was what we might call the Church’s prayer schedule, sometimes referred to as the daily office (from the Latin officium divinum or divine service), the opus dei (work of God), the liturgy of the hours, or the ...
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