6 Apps to Help You Have a Prayerful Lent

01/28/2016 Comments (2)

(Photo credit: Beth Crow, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

With Lent rushing upon us, I’ve been particularly interested in apps that will help me make this a fruitful, prayerful and holy Lent.

One problem: If you haven’t noticed, there’s a plethora of apps out there than can — and would — help me along through Lent.

I decided to ask some experts about the Lent apps they recommend.

Here are the results.

Son Rise Morning Show host Matt Swaim wrote this to me:

“My first and foremost is the CRS Rice Bowl App: Not only does it have daily reflections (a staple of most Lenten apps), my favorite feature is the recipes. Each Friday, the app has instructions for a simple meatless meal from one of the countries benefitting from Rice Bowl. Families can...READ MORE

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When Great Lives End Early for Something Greater

01/27/2016 Comments (2)

(Photo credit: greaterthemovie.com)

Why, God? They had so much to contribute; why did you take them so young?  It’s a question that swirls around the lives of exceptional people that ended early.  

I’ve personally witnessed a dozen such losses over the years.  For instance, Betsy Roller was a cheerful and precocious little girl who never made it to second grade. What was the point of her learning to read at the age of only 3 and giving her family so much joy only to die so young? 

At the funeral of Josh Cates, 26, people came from around the country to mourn his death from a car accident.  Several people from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he was working on his PhD, were at the funeral. One instructor...READ MORE

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Pope Francis Disappoints “Progressives” Once Again

01/27/2016 Comments (8)

Pope Francis meets with the Tribunal of the Roman Rota in Vatican City on January 22, 2016. (Credit: © L'Osservatore Romano)

Pope Francis has once again put a substantial dent in the hopes of “progressives” that the Church will finally join the modern age on sexuality and the family. I wrote here recently how the Bishop’s Final Report on the Synod of the Family was remarkably strong and concise regarding biblical and historic orthodoxy on the issues of sexuality, marriage and the family.

The Holy Father reaffirmed the steadfast moorings of the Church on these issues in his recent address to the Tribunal of the Roman Rota on the occasion of the beginning of their work year. The Tribunal is the final court of appeal in the Church on marriage nullity cases. His brief address can be read in its fullness here and is...READ MORE

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Rights and Gifts

01/27/2016 Comments (20)

One current notion is the idea that the Church is denying women their "rights" when it tells us, "the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful" (Ordinatio Sacerdotalis). One need not seek far to find rhetoric like this:

"The prohibition against women priests is based on the ancient idea of the inferiority of women. But we are all created in God's image and have the same rights; and the fact that Jesus was male does nothing to negate this. That, along with the fact that all the Apostles were male, is the only thing upon which the Church bases its male-only priesthood. But in the...READ MORE

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Archbishop Paglia: Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Published By End of March

Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernandez, one of Pope Francis closest advisers, believed to be the document's principal drafter.

01/27/2016 Comments (19)


The president of the Pontifical Council for the Family has confirmed that Pope Francis’ post-synodal apostolic exhortation devoted to the family will be published by the end of March.

Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia reportedly disclosed the news today at a conference with priests in Portugal, according to Il Sismografo, a semi-official Vatican news aggregator supervised by the Secretariat of State.

The Italian archbishop said the much-anticipated document, which summarizes the Pope’s conclusions of the two synods dedicated to the family, will be “a hymn to love, a love that wants to take care of the welfare of the young, to be close to wounded families to give them strength, a love that wants...READ MORE

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Love in the Time of Zika

01/27/2016 Comments (37)

When Pope Francis' environmental encyclical Laudato Si came out, some Catholics rolled their eyes. ISIS is beheading Christians, and Planned Parenthood is beheading unborn babies! If we're supposed to be pro-life, why aren't we wringing our hands about these problems?  Catholics should worry about real issues that affect actual people. The spotted owl and the rain forest can go pound sand.

Enter the Zika virus. It's a nasty, mosquito-borne disease that is spreading through South America and Latin America, and is the likely cause of thousands of serious birth defects. Mosquitoes thrive in warm, wet environments without enough cold to cause die-offs. If the world is getting warmer and...READ MORE

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Bent Coins, Body Candles, and Incubation: Ancient Devotions to the Saints

Can we recapture some of the wonder involved in our devotions to the saints?

01/26/2016 Comments (3)

Icon of Mary as the Theotokos. The hand in silver at the bottom is a votive offering related to a miracle of St. John Damascene. (Wikimedia Commons)

A story is told in the Life of St. Gotthard of a priest in the 12th century named Folcward who met a poor women with a dying child. He urged the woman to make a vow to St. Gotthard for the boy’s recovery, and seal it with the promise of a candle the length of the boy for use at the saint’s shrine. She had no money for this, so Folcward measured the child with a strand of flax which he would use as the wick for the promised candle. The boy was healed before Folcward left the house with the flax.

In the Miracles of Thecla, we learn of Alypios, who slept in Thecla’s church one night to cure an illness. The saint visited him during is vigil and he was cured, “as is her custom.”

After St. John...READ MORE

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National Review Thumps Trump as Candidates Stump in Iowa

01/26/2016 Comments (41)

As Iowa Republicans prepare for their party's first presidential caucus on Feb. 1, National Review has officially thrown down the gauntlet and repudiated Donald Trump as a nominee conservatives can support. Here's one salient passage from the magazine's leading editorial in its latest issue—"Against Trump."

If Trump were to become the president, the Republican nominee, or even a failed candidate with strong conservative support, what would that say about conservatives? The movement that ground down the Soviet Union and took the shine, at least temporarily, off socialism would have fallen in behind a huckster. The movement concerned with such “permanent things” as constitutional...READ MORE

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