Pope Francis at Final WYD Mass: Aim High, Be Courageous, Take Risks to Encounter Jesus

07/31/2016 Comments (2)
© Mazur/episkopat.pl

Holy Communion during the final Mass for World Youth Day in the Campus Misericordiae field near Krakow, July 31, 2016. The archway on the Holy Door of Mercy reads in various languages: "Jesus, I Trust in You". Pope Francis and five young people representing different continents processed through the door of ‪mercy‬ during Saturday night's prayer vigil.

– © Mazur/episkopat.pl

In order to meet Jesus, aim high, overcome a paralysis of shame, and be courageous in ignoring the critics of the Gospel, Pope Francis has told young pilgrims said at the final Mass of World Youth Day in Krakow. 

In a reflection peppered with some social media references, the Holy Father reflected on the Gospel reading of Zacchaeus the tax collector whose life changed after his encounter with Jesus. But before that could happen, he had to overcome a number of obstacles.

The first of these was his smallness of stature: we, too, can risk not getting close to Jesus because we don’t feel big enough, Francis said. But this is a “great temptation” that not only has to do with “self-esteem, but...READ MORE

Filed under poland, pope francis, world youth day

Abstinence Education Works, Condoms Don’t: New Teen Pregnancy Data; and Many More Great Links!

The Best in Catholic Blogging

07/31/2016 Comment

Click on Abstinence Education Works, Condoms Don’t: New Teen Pregnancy Data by Rebecca Oas, Ph.D., of Catholic Lane link to read more.

Abstinence Education Works, Condoms Don’t: New Teen Pregnancy Data – Rebecca Oas Ph.D., Catholic Lane

Filipinos are in Love with the Mary and the Baclaran Shrine Is Proof – Antonio Anup Gonsalves, epicPew

Where You Store Your Treasure of Time – Denise J. Hunnell M.D., Catholic Stand

“One Who Serves Cannot Hoard His Free Time”, Says Pope Francis to Clergy – Shaun McAfee O.P., epicPew

Are We in the Womb of Mary, or the Womb of Deception? – Lilla Marie Lottinger, Catholic Stand

Author Says a New Religion Persecutes Christians – Austin Ruse, Crisis Magazine

Jean-Paul Sartre: ‘Bathroom Bill’ Philosopher Extraordinaire – Brother André Marie, Catholicism.org

When Should We Ignore Tradition?...READ MORE

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Have You Ever Heard of the Ancient Agnus Dei Devotion?

07/31/2016 Comments (8)

Agnus Dei discs from the collection of Gary Minella, Queens, New York. The wording on the disc on the left reads: “ECCE AGN DEI ... PECC . MUNDI” and “PIUS XI PM ... ANNO P XIV MCMXXXV”. (Photo credit: Angelo Stagnaro)

There are many blessings and advantages to being Catholic, and sacramentals are a special part of that magnificent patrimony.

I carry them with me so that I might dispense them to those in need. After all, God helps us in all our troubles, so that we're able to help others, using the same help that we ourselves have received from Him. (2 Co 1:4)

Handing someone a Miraculous Medal or a saint card or perhaps a rosary can have a profound impact upon people including upon people you don't know.

I recall being on the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage in northern Spain a few years ago and my friends and I ducked into a restaurant for dinner.

The waitress took our order and returned shortly...READ MORE

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Pope Francis to Youth: Leave the Sofa and Make Your Mark on History

Full text of Pope Francis' address at the World Youth Day Prayer Vigil in Krakow.

07/30/2016 Comment
© Mazur/episkopat.pl

Pope Francis addressing a large crowd of pilgrims at the prayer vigil in Campus Misericordiae, Krakow, July 30, 2016. The organizers said an estimated 1.6 million pilgrims attended the vigil.

– © Mazur/episkopat.pl

At last night's World Youth Day prayer vigil, at the purposefully named Campus Misericordiae field in Krakow, Pope Francis urged young people to leave the comforts of what he called "sofa happiness" and, with Jesus help, put on "walking shoes" to make a mark on history.

"You might say to me: Father, but I have my limits, I am a sinner, what can I do?," the Pope said. "When the Lord calls us, he doesn’t worry about what we are, what we have been, or what we have done or not done. Quite the opposite. When he calls us, he is thinking about everything we have to give, all the love we are capable of spreading. His bets are on the future, on tomorrow. Jesus is pointing you to the future, and...READ MORE

Filed under krakow, pope francis, prayer vigil, world youth day

5 Books About St. John Paul II For WYD Weekend

07/30/2016 Comments (2)

As the young people of the world visit the many holy sites of Poland for World Youth Day, one can not help but notice the profound impact Saint John Paul II had on the country. Everywhere you turn there are commemorations to the Polish hero, making it seem that there is not one inch of Poland that the saint hasn’t influenced.

It can be a bit overwhelming and no doubt many of the young people (and adults) who walked the streets of Kraków these past few days will want to deepen their knowledge of the beloved pontiff.

Thankfully there are a host of great books devoted to the man who inspired the world and each highlight different aspects of his life. While preparing to write my own book on...READ MORE

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Taizé Wecomes World Youth Day Pilgrims

07/30/2016 Comment

Here in Krakow, where World Youth Day is in full swing, I have talked to dozens of pilgrims from around the world. Although many of them were in elementary school when St. John Paul II died, they credit the late Polish Pope with rejuvenating their faith.

After all, it was John Paul who encouraged youth, “The most beautiful and stirring adventure that can happen to you is the personal meeting with Jesus, who is the only one who gives real meaning to our lives.”

This is especially true of pilgrims from such highly secularized countries as France and Australia; they say that, inspired by John Paul and World Youth Day, they are creating vibrant Catholic communities in their parishes and...READ MORE

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World Youth Day Bracelet Initiative Highlights Power of Prayer

My Saint My Hero is bringing together young people in a unique way.

07/30/2016 Comments (1)
Adrian Marquez Alarcon of the Los Angeles Archdiocese

– Adrian Marquez Alarcon of the Los Angeles Archdiocese

A bracelet initiative is showing that prayer works, as more than 3,000 young people in California are participating in World Youth Day in Krakow.

In an official send-off, My Saint My Hero joined Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez and Bishop Robert Barron in distributing bracelets to the young devotees who were Krakow-bound.

Based in San Pedro, Calif., My Saint My Hero was founded by Amy D’Ambra and Christine Rich as a prayer community that offers women meaningful work. For instance, they employ artisans in Medjugorje, Bosnia and Herzegovina, who hand weave the “Blessing Bracelets.”

The jewelry collection has quite an international presence. It was part of World Meeting of Families last...READ MORE

Filed under my saint my hero, world youth day krakow

Brexit and the Chaos in Our World Today, Love Your Enemies and Pray for Them, and More Great Links!

The Best in Catholic Blogging

07/30/2016 Comment

Click on Brexit and the Moral Vision of Nationhood: Cosmopolitans vs. Nationalists (A Highly Recommended & Profound Read) - Alastair Roberts, Mere Orthodoxy link to read more.

Brexit and the Moral Vision of Nationhood:  Cosmopolitans vs. Nationalists (A Highly Recommended & Profound Read) - Alastair Roberts, Mere Orthodoxy

Nine Mesmerizing Videos of Churches Filmed by Drone – Shaun McAfee O.P., epicPew

Love Your Enemies and Pray for Them – Dan Byron, Catholic Stand

Why Did the Vatican Reverse the Ruling on Marian Apparition in Lipa? – Shaun McAfee O.P., epicPew

The Long Unmarked Grave of Henry VIII – Reverend Patrick G. Burke, Paddy

Natural Rights and Social Duties - Mimi Teixeira, PowerBlog via the Acton Institute

Getting Home Is a Game Plan All Christians Can Embrace – Gabriel Garnica, Catholic Stand

Apostasy in England and Europe – Regis Martin, Crisis...READ MORE

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