Simple Habits that Will Bring You Closer to God
If you’re anything like me, you find bad habits difficult to break and positive ones tricky to establish. I think it would be a great thing to exercise more, and to stop staying up late to read “just one more chapter” in the book I have by my bed, and maybe even to stop by my parish church and spend an hour or two with the Blessed Sacrament from time to time.You can see the problem here: I said: “I think it would be a great thing.” I don’t plan it; I think abo...
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Nothing Can Come Between Us and the Holy Spirit
It feels, lately, that we live in particularly dark times. We’re not the first Christians to live through difficult times. In fact, the whole liturgy of entry into the Church is the story of emerging from darkness into light.Baptism is the sacrament that brings a person—usually a child or even a baby—into the life of the Church. Baptism is so important that it’s the only sacrament the Church permits lay people to perform in an emergency! And it’s perhaps in bap...
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Living in Difficult Times: Lessons from a Soon-To-Be Saint
No matter how you feel about recent geopolitical events, or issues and problems from within our own Church, one thing on which everyone can agree is this: we are living in difficult times. And what difficult times call for, more than anything else, is the help and support of someone who understands.Next month, Oscar Romero, priest, bishop, and archbishop, will be canonized by Pope Francis, and I’d just like to suggest that if you’re looking for guidance in navigating the perilous wat...
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Are Regrets Dead Ends—Or Merely Detours?
I am a Catholic. I am divorced.Those two parts of my being don’t always sit comfortably together, but it is reality for millions of people worldwide, and it’s my reality.My parents stayed married until death did them part, and they were truly miserable for most of their lives together. They made their children miserable. They were determined to not divorce, and they both ended up bitter, manipulative, and extremely unhappy. With that example in mind, I had determined my own vocation ...
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It’s All About Books at Booktalk with the Daughters of St. Paul
There’s nothing quite like reading a terrific book, a book that makes you think, a book that opens up new ways of living a Catholic life, of relating to others, of praying and meditating. Seriously: is there? And what’s even better than finding such a book is being able to get deeper into it, to chat about it, to hear how other people reacted to it.Wouldn’t that be a great idea? A Catholic book club that introduces you to new books, that revisits old favorites, that brings you ...
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Lessons of Faith from a Miraculous Staircase
It can be difficult to teach the kids you love about faith and the power of God’s providence. Often we find that these are abstract concepts, difficult to explain, and we decide to leave them alone, to put off talking about them until children are older. But the true story of the Loretto Chapel in Santa Fe, New Mexico, demonstrates the power of prayer—and can open kids’ eyes to the wonders of God’s work.The story begins when a group of seven sisters set out to build a cha...
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How nature leads us to love God more
It’s summertime, and in the northern hemisphere that means warm—often hot!—weather, longer days, balmy nights. In fact, it’s just the right time to be outside more. We do cookouts, we lie on the grass and contemplate the stars, we swim and hike and do all the things that, come January, we’ll remember with more than a little nostalgia.It’s natural in summer to feel closer to nature—after all, we spend more time outside in the midst of it! And nature,...
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Christmas in July? Why Not!

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Christmas in July? Why Not!
It’s hot and it’s humid and what most of us want more than anything these days is a bit of shade and a glass of iced lemonade. What do you mean, talk about Christmas?Leave me alone!The truth is—and we all know it—that Advent has a way of creeping up on us. The calendar seems to accelerate once school starts in the fall, and if you’re like me, every year you say the same thing: I wish I’d started my Christmas shopping last summer!It certainly would be more conv...
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Prayer Can Conquer the Worst the World Can Offer
Today we celebrate the feast of St. Charbel, someone many Catholics have never heard of. Joseph Makhloof was born at Beqa-Kafra in the mountains of Lebanon in 1828; he entered the Lebanese Maronite monastery of Notre-Dame de Mayfouk when he was 23 and took the name Charbel.We’re not the first generation to have forgotten St. Charbel. Thomas Merton wrote that “Charbel lived as a hermit in Lebanon—he was a Maronite. He died. Everyone forgot about him. Fifty years later, his body ...
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According to John Paul II This Is Mary's Role in Our Lives
As we’ve seen in the past few issues, three major figures in Catholic history represent a Mariology that draws the faithful through Mary to Jesus: Saint Louis de Montfort, Blessed James Alberione, and Saint Pope John Paul II. These three figures are the influences on Guiseppe Forlai’s new book, Mary Mother of Apostles, and we looked at both de Montfort and Alberione in previous articles: Mary as Mother and Teacher Today How to Live Marian Devotion to Proclaim ChristPope John Paul II ...
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