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Have You Met the Little Girl who Inspired Archbishop Sheen?
Can you remember who influenced your life the most? Perhaps it was someone from your childhood, an adult—such as a relative or teacher or priest—who made you see clearly what was important for you, what shape your life should take?That’s usually the way it happens: children are most often influenced by the lives of adults around them. But in one little-known situation, it worked the opposite way. And, oddly enough, the adult influenced by the child’s life lived half a wor...
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Fulton Sheen: a Voice for Today

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Fulton Sheen: a Voice for Today
As inhabitants of the 21st century, we tend to think that our style of anything—fashion, thought, language, music—is the best that things have ever been. We’ll listen to songs from the past with a grin of nostalgia. We’ll look at clothing from the past with a grimace of how-could-we. And while we know that the treasures of Catholic spirituality might be relevant to us today, we often get stuck precisely on their style.No one talks the way people used to, and no one writes...
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A Prayer in a Crypt that Led Straight to LA
by Alexis WalkensteinThat was the last thing I uttered when I was inside the crypt at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City at Christmastime 2008. I was praying to then-Servant of God Fulton J. Sheen, asking him for intercession with a litany of impossible prayer requests, three for others, and two for me. I closed my prayer with, ”If you help me with these intentions, I will promote you.” That profound moment inside the crypt was a stand-out moment of so many thin...
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Why Read The Imitation of Christ for Lent?
With the exception of the Bible, it is perhaps the most widely read spiritual book in the world. It was first published anonymously in 1418 and consists of a series of counsels of perfection that are as relevant today as they were when it was written.It is The Imitation of Christ, and every Catholic should own a well-thumbed and much-consulted copy!When its author, Thomas à Kempis, was a boy, he attended a school operated by the Brethren of the Common Life. He was so impressed with t...
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Why I’m praying only two stations a week this Lent
Every Lent, I look around for a Way of the Cross that will draw me into the mystery of redemption in a new way. So I was really intrigued by the introduction to the new Way of the Cross written by Father Marco Rupnik, SJ, a small book which also features his mosaics. The book is called Contemplating the Face of Christ.These stations featured in Contemplating the Face of Christ were constructed by Father Rupnik and the artists from the Atelier of the Aletti Center. They stand outside the church o...
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So You Think Church History is Dull!

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So You Think Church History is Dull!
Do you think Church history is dull? It's okay to admit it! But here are a few facts that might liven it up a little: Feeling pent up in the Vatican, Pope John Paul II used to sneak out to ski and hike in the Italian Alps. He did it over a hundred times before being discovered by a 10-year-old boy who pointed at him and shouted, "The pope! The pope!" The only Christian church in existence for the first 1,000 years of Christian history was the Roman Catholic Church. Most non-Ca...
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Lent: A Season of Joy

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Lent: A Season of Joy
Saint Paul lists joy second among the seven famous fruits of the Holy Spirit. But if you are like me, you might often find joy to be elusive and somewhat immeasurable. No one can force another person to be joy-filled.Finding even the least bit of joy in our hearts, in fact, can seem almost impossible in the desert sands of a Lent that opened with the horror of the school shooting Ash Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. After this tragedy, we might fe...
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The Journey of Our Love: Thoroughly Romantic and Thoroughly Spiritual
It’s almost Valentine’s Day, and thoughts turn easily to romantic love. But what if you could read something thoroughly romantic… and thoroughly spiritual and thoughtful as well?  The love letters exchanged between Saint Gianna Beretta and her husband, Pietro Molla, might provide just what you’re looking for. Better than a theological treatise, these letters are a convincing proof that the way of holiness does not necessa...
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Why Read "Christ in Our Midst" for Lent?
As Christians, we are commended to see Christ in everyone, to see God’s hand in everything. The Gospels tell us to, Pope Francis tells us to, Saint Teresa tells us to… and, in the early part of the 20th century, an Englishwoman named Caryll Houselander told us, as well, in words that still resonate today.Many of the Church’s mystics saw or heard Jesus. He appeared to them in visions and they listened to his words echoing in their hearts. Caryll Houselander was different: she s...
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Why Did the Crabby Mystic Write About History?
Mary Lea Hill, FSP, has added a new book to her repertoire: The Church Rocks, an engaging and often amusing whirlwind tour of Church history. We caught up with the Crabby Mystic to ask her a few questions about it. Your new book, The Church Rocks, gives young people an overview of Church history in a delightful and entertaining way. But… why do we need to know about all this?We need to teach Church history to young people because it is our history, their history – it is a story...
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