Pope Formally Announces Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy

04/11/2015 Comments (15)

Pope Francis formally announced the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy during Solemn Vespers this evening in St. Peter's basilica. 

The Bull of Indiction, through which the announcement was made, was presented before the Holy Door of the basilica to a representative group of heads of the dicasteries of the Holy See.

The Jubilee will open on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8th, and end on the Feast of Christ the King on November 20th, 2016. 

Excerpts of the Bull of Indiction “Misiceridocdiae Vultus” (below) were then read aloud by Msgr. Leonardo Sapienza of the prefecture of the papal household.

The Pope explains in the bull it is his "burning desire" that, during...READ MORE

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153 Fishes and Related Matters

04/10/2015 Comments (26)

When Pope John Paul II died on April 2, 2005 there were any number of fascinating coincidences that surrounded his death.  They were the sort of thing that make you go “hmmmm” and (if one is a wobbly agnostic) begin to suspect that maybe You Know Who has His hand in things after all.

For instance, John Paul managed to go to his reward in the one sliver of time which tied together Easter, Fatima and the Divine Mercy Feast which he himself had established (he died on Saturday evening, the Vigil of the Feast of Divine Mercy, which falls in the Octave of Easter). Given the movable nature of the Easter Feast (not to mention the moveable nature of First Saturdays, a devotion associated with the...READ MORE

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Salon Christianity Secrets: The Fine Art of Doing Zero Research

04/09/2015 Comments (71)

Oh, this is fun. I stopped by Salon.com to see what my intellectual superiors were up to today, and their huge headliner made my eyes bug out: 

Jesus went to hell: The Christian history churches would rather not acknowledge: Prior to his resurrection, Christ descended to the underworld -- a paradox most churches would rather not confront.

Yup, that's right: it's a shocking, unbelievable exposé about . . . something that Catholics say out loud that they believe, every single Sunday. Or more often, if they say the rosary. The lede from Salon:

“It was Saturday that Jesus Christ went to Hell.”

 This is one phrase that Christians, whether mainline or evangelical, Catholic or Protestant,...READ MORE

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Thuggery Under the Banner of Tolerance

04/08/2015 Comments (367)

I long believed that the oft-discussed tolerance and compassion of secularists were remnants of Christianity or even seeds of the faith which given proper care could be guide those touting those values towards the faith. But I don't think I think that's the case anymore.

While being wrong is nothing new to me, this is especially painful in that I believed tolerance and compassion could bring secularists and Christians together, now I believe they will tear us apart further. In fact, the tolerance and compassion that I believed would bring us together is being used as a cudgel to attack Christians.

One must only look to the "tolerance" of those fighting religious freedom laws in Indiana. A...READ MORE

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I Don't Know Nothin' About Raisin' No Babies, Apparently

04/07/2015 Comments (26)

"Assume I don't know anything." This is what I always tell the nurses in the hospital when I have a new baby. And I'm not just being modest or cute or something. I have picked up a few things about caring for babies in the last seventeen years (SEVENTEEN YEARS); but there are a few things that I will never, ever learn.  For instance:

1. That baby is asleep. Sleeping babies breathe very shallowly. If you really, really feel the need to freak out over whether she is breathing or not, you can slowly, quietly go in real close and listen, and you will be able to tell if she is breathing. It is not medically necessary to swoop down upon the child, hear her gasping with fright, and then clasp her...READ MORE

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Death and Laughter

04/06/2015 Comments (6)

"If April showers bring May flowers," I asked my four-month-old son as he lay on my chest, "what do May flowers bring?"

I waited for a reply but four-month-olds are uncommonly reticent about speaking, so finally I was compelled to answer my own riddle.

"Pilgrims!" I cried with glee.

My wife Janet lay there next to me, propped up on one elbow and rolling her eyes. The only thing worse than a dumb joke is a dumb joke you've heard before. So I sat little Luke up on my chest and said, "I don't know, Luke. I thought it was a good joke. What did you think?"

He instantly barfed on me.

Janet fell over backward laughing and eventually slid off the bed in her convulsive hysteria. It was several...READ MORE

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Pope Francis' Easter 'Urbi et Orbi' Address

04/05/2015 Comments (10)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Happy Easter!

Jesus Christ is risen!

Love has triumphed over hatred, life has conquered death, light has dispelled the darkness!

Out of love for us, Jesus Christ stripped himself of his divine glory, emptied himself, took on the form of a slave and humbled himself even to death, death on a cross.  For this reason God exalted him and made him Lord of the universe.  Jesus is Lord!

By his death and resurrection, Jesus shows everyone the way to life and happiness: this way is humility, which involves humiliation.  This is the path which leads to glory.  Only those who humble themselves can go towards the “things that are above”, towards God (cf. Col 3:1-4).  The...READ MORE

Filed under easter, pope francis, urbi et orbi

8 things you need to know about Easter Sunday

04/04/2015 Comments (15)

Easter is the most important day of the Christian calendar, even more important than Christmas. Here are 8 things you need to know.

The great day is finally here: Easter, the most important day of the Christian calendar. More important even than Christmas.

What happened on this day?

Was Jesus' resurrection a real, historical event?

How does the Church celebrate this day?

Is Easter a pagan holiday?

Here are 8 things you need to know.

 

1. What happened on Easter?

Among other things:

  • The women went to the tomb to anoint Jesus' body.
  • They saw angels, who told them he wasn't there.
  • They went to tell the apostles, who initially didn't believe them.
  • Peter and the beloved disciple rushed to see the tomb and found it empty.
  • Mary Magdalen, in particular, had an encounter with the risen Christ.
  • So did the...READ MORE

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