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Holy Week at Home: Ideas You Can Use

Holy Week at Home: Ideas You Can Use

What is your plan for Holy Week? Do you have one? Gather the household and decide how you will follow in the footsteps of Jesus, from the Last Supper, to the Cross, to the Resurrection. Here are some ideas to get you started: Attend Mass and prayer services virtually during the week. Many dioceses and parishes are filming their services! Create a "sacred space" in your home where you can pray and attend Masses and services. Light some candles, enthrone an open Bible, or hang a cru...
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The Eighth Station: You Are Seen

The Eighth Station: You Are Seen

Maybe you’re the mom in the grocery line frantically trying to keep one kid’s hands off the candy bars while the other kid erupts into howls from the cart, and feeling the judgmental stares of people behind you… people who see the disruption, but who don’t see you trying. Maybe you’re the teacher who hasn’t been to the washroom all day for trying to keep your students safe and learning in a rowdy classroom, and just got yelled at by the parent of a child who ...
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Mary Magdalene—A New Twist on Jesus Films

Mary Magdalene—A New Twist on Jesus Films

One of my spiritual practices on Good Friday, or sometime during Holy Week, is to watch the classic 1977 British-Italian television miniseries directed by Franco Zeffirelli, Jesus of Nazareth—my favorite “Jesus film” of all time. Watching especially the passion, death, and resurrection scenes allow me to connect deeply and concretely with the reality that we celebrate during the Holy Triduum. Robert Powell’s powerful blue eyes and stoic demeanor captivate me, though his l...
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The Stones Will Cry Out

The Stones Will Cry Out

An occupied country. A time of civil unrest. And a city about to explode.That was the situation in Jerusalem when Jesus arrived on Palm Sunday. Crowds were thronging the city for the Passover celebration, and the occupying Roman army was understandably nervous about it all. They scheduled a military parade; no one was off-duty, and additional troops had been sent for. There must have been an intense air of fear, of unease, of pressure. Something was going to happen, and the smallest spark might ...
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Giving Thanks in Lent

Giving Thanks in Lent

As we journey through Lent, our thoughts and hearts turn most frequently—and appropriately—to acts of penance and remembrance, daily reminders of the great mystery of faith: that Christ died, has risen, and will come again in glory.But have you ever thought about Lent as a time for thanksgiving?Neither had I, frankly. But I have the great privilege of working with Sr. Kathryn Hermes, who has introduced me to the works and thoughts of the Fathers of the Eastern Orthodox churches, and ...
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St Ignatius' Guide for a Lenten Check-In

St Ignatius' Guide for a Lenten Check-In

I don’t mean that question in the colloquial sense—as in, how are you today? This is a rather deeper question: as we move through the journey of Lent, how are you doing? Have you determined a Lenten practice—and kept practicing it?It’s a good idea to pause and take stock of where we are as we travel through Lent. Too often it’s tempting to simply put aside a practice or discipline that we haven’t been following consistently. “Oh, gosh, I didn’t do ...
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This Lent, Don’t Look Back!

This Lent, Don’t Look Back!

40 days. 40 years. These numbers appear often in the sacred text, and they remind us immediately, of course, of Lent—which starts tomorrow!At the beginning of Lent we think of Israel’s 40-year journey in the desert and Jesus’ 40-day fast in the desert. In both of these desert treks, there were temptations.The Israelites often asked Moses why he had brought them out to the desert to die. Why couldn’t they go back to their slavery under the Egyptians, they asked, where at l...
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Why I’m praying only two stations a week this Lent

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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Lent: A Season of Joy

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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Why Read "Christ in Our Midst" for Lent?

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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