The Seven Deadly Sins for Parents

12/19/2014 Comments (12)

As parents, we know that problems which are harder to see, like a young cancer, are easier to cure, while problems plain to the eye, like a five pound tumor, are hard to cure. And we know the same is true spiritually. This is why the Church's tradition concerning the Seven Deadly Sins is so useful.

The Seven Deadly Sins are divided into the three "warm-hearted" sins of

  • Wrath
  • Lust
  • Gluttony

and the four "cold-hearted" sins of

  • Envy
  • Avarice
  • Sloth
  • Pride.

Wrath loves the high of anger. We see it in spouses who love to get mad at each other, who look for reasons to fight, who get a sad little thrill from blowing their top when the husband is late for dinner or the wife loses the...READ MORE

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Christmas, Xmas, and Yuletide: 5 things to know and share

12/18/2014 Comments (23)

Where does the word "Christmas" come from? Is "Xmas" okay? What about "Yuletide"?

A reader writes:

Jimmy could you please tell us about the origin of the word "Christmas? What did the first Christians call what we today know as Christmas?

Is writing X'mas okay? As in today's language X means “nothing.” I know that X is the 22nd letter of Greek alphabet known as chi. This chi is the first part of the word chirios or expanded to Christos, which means to anoint.

Thus we say that Christos & Messiah are the same. We accept Christos, why not Messiah? Just because St Paul called Jesus Christ?

Also Yuletide? Since Yule is a pagan rather a Gentile term for winter solstice in the northern regions, and a period dedicated to Saturnalia, how come we Christians have adopted this...READ MORE

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Gift-Giving Is So Catholic!

12/18/2014 Comments (18)

Many Christian parents spend Advent agonizing over how to preserve the true spiritual meaning of Christmas. They want to give their kids a happy day without turning them into materialistic little monsters, but it's not always easy to strike that balance.  In a recent conversation online, Jaclyn Ruli put her finger on one of the wrong ways to do it. Noticing a disturbing theme in many Christmas videos designed for kids, she said:

Why are Christian videos for children condescending? "Christmas isn't about gifts, it's about Jesus!" There's almost a chastising tone in so many of these shows. They start out with a scene by a Christmas tree, passively showing how this scene is flawed, and then...READ MORE

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Zechariah’s mysterious vision in the Temple: 10 things to know and share

12/17/2014 Comments (6)

Luke tells us some very interesting things about a mysterious vision that Zechariah had in the temple. Here are 10 things to know and share . . .

The Gospel reading for December 19 contains the familiar story of Zechariah in the temple.

You can read it here.

It is the occasion when the Angel Gabriel appears to him to announce the birth of John the Baptist.

Although the story is familiar, there are some fascinating details in this account, and their significance is not obvious.

Let’s take a look.

Here are 10 things to know and share . . .


1. When did this event take place?

Luke begins his narrative "in the days of Herod, king of Judea," by which he means Herod the Great.

When precisely Herod the Great ruled is disputed. According to a theory introduced a little more than a century ago, Herod reigned from 37 B.C. to 4 B.C.


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Pope Warmly Congratulates U.S. and Cuba on Re-establishing Diplomatic Relations

12/17/2014 Comments (15)

Pope Francis has warmly welcomed the news announced today that the United States and Cuba are to re-establish diplomatic relations.

In a statement issued this evening by the Secretariat of State, the Vatican said "the Holy Father wishes to express his warm congratulations for the historic decision", adding that the Pope took a leading role in achieving the breakthrough by writing to the Presidents of both countries and making humanitarian appeals. 

The Holy See also "provided its good offices to facilitate a constructive dialogue" between the two nations, the communique added. 

The full text of the statement can be read below.

The Holy See mediates in international disputes more often...READ MORE

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3 Books Worth Sharing: Spicing Up Your Marriage, Your Kitchen, and Your History

12/17/2014 Comments (2)

There are so many good books, so many new books, and so many books, period, that sometimes it’s hard to sift through them. What do you buy that bibliophile in your life? Or how about your parish priest, the guy who doesn’t collect ANYTHING and who has everything he needs? How about your married friends?

I could go on, but I’ll stop and just share three great books, written by great Catholic authors, that will make great gifts for you or your favorite people.

Add Some Spice to Your Marriage

I don’t remember how I caught wind of Hallie Lord’s project, but I was, honestly, so grateful to see it.

It’s an eBook: Spice Up Your Marriage: A 28-Day Adventure, and it’s something that I’m pretty...READ MORE

Filed under book review, books, brian burch, emily stimpson, food, hallie lord, history, jeff young, marriage

Equipping Catholics for the New Evangelization: ChristLife

12/17/2014 Comments (5)

There’s a lot of talk about the New Evangelization, but for ordinary Catholics, it can seem underwhelming. Just what does it mean? And how do you pull it off in the midst of your already busy life?

Parishes, too, can find the call to evangelization challenging. Talk to almost any parish secretary about turnout and volunteer rates: how do you get people excited about yet another parish program? And then how do you staff the thing?

That’s where ChristLife comes in. My own parish is actually in the beginning phases of rolling it out. It’s a process that requires an investment of people. It’s not a “once and done program,” but rather a change in mindset.

ChristLife’s vision is “to equip...READ MORE

Filed under catholic, christlife, evangelization, new evangelization, parish life, renewal

Mother Agnes on Visitation Report: ‘Religious life is not dying in U.S.’

The Sister of Life superior general and chair of the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious points to young vocations that buck a broader trend and inspire "hope and wonder."

12/16/2014 Comments (9)
EWTN News Nightly

– EWTN News Nightly

There is reason for hope. The same voice of love which called women to courageously and selflessly tend the poor, weak and young in the past is still calling young women today. It is the voice of Jesus, and the experience of His personal love continues to lead young women to our doors. ---Mother Agnes at Vatican City

At the Dec. 16 Vatican press conference making the release of the Final Report on the Apostolic Visitation of  Institutes of Women Religious in the United States, Sister of Life Mother Agnes Donovan, who chairs the Council Major Superiors of Women Religious, which represents a smaller number of religious institutes that are faithful to the Magisterium, offered this formal...READ MORE

Filed under apostolic visitation of women's religious communities, final report on women's religious, mother agnes mary donovan, sisters of life

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