For All the Newly Baptized

04/20/2014 Comments (1)

The Convert

G.K. Chesterton

After one moment when I bowed my head
And the whole world turned over and came upright,
And I came out where the old road shone white.
I walked the ways and heard what all men said,
Forests of tongues, like autumn leaves unshed,
Being not unlovable but strange and light;
Old riddles and new creeds, not in despite
But softly, as men smile about the dead.

The sages have a hundred maps to give
That trace their crawling cosmos like a tree,
They rattle reason out through many a sieve
That stores the sand and lets the gold go free:
And all these things are less than dust to me
Because my name is Lazarus and I live.

Happy Easter!  Christ is Risen...READ MORE

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Good Friday, 1613. Riding Westward

04/18/2014 Comment

Let man's Soule be a Spheare, and then, in this,
The intelligence that moves, devotion is,
And as the other Spheares, by being growne
Subject to forraigne motion, lose their owne,
And being by others hurried every day,
Scarce in a yeare their naturall forme obey:
Pleasure or businesse, so, our Soules admit
For their first mover, and are whirld by it.
Hence is't, that I am carryed towards the West
This day, when my Soules forme bends toward the East.
There I should see a Sunne, by rising set,
And by that setting endlesse day beget;
But that Christ on this Crosse, did rise and fall,
Sinne had eternally benighted all.
Yet dare I'almost be glad, I do not see
That spectacle of...READ MORE

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What Do I Think About Boycotts?

04/13/2014 Comments (3)

A reader asks:

Last weekend, some friends and I were discussing a topic that became more serious as the conversation wore on. (This was one of those conversations that men have on a weekend retreat at the lake with beer and cigars, their wives wisely already fast asleep with the children.) I recently came across a list of companies that signed a Friend of the Court brief in favor of same-sex "marriage". I'm not sure if you're familiar with the list, but one of the more prominent and ubiquitous companies is Amazon. I'm sure you're familiar with their CEO's stance on the sexually libertine issues. But this was the last straw for our family: we have decided to boycott Amazon until they...READ MORE

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A reader struggles with scruples about prayer

04/10/2014 Comments (16)

Perhaps you can take a moment to touch on a topic that I haven't seen covered on your blog before, or explicitly in any of the Catholic things I have read.

It's related to the issue of pain and suffering, but it's from the perspective of a believer.  I find that as I've gotten older, and have become more convinced of the power of prayer, I am tormented by guilt over the suffering of others.

By which I mean, I ask myself how I can sit at dinner and laugh at my husband's jokes, when, right at that very same moment, innocent babies are being aborted in droves.

I read today that a five-day old baby was abducted from her home in Wisconsin, and now I can barely function.  I want...READ MORE

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A question about the dead

04/06/2014 Comments (14)

A reader writes:

Can souls of our departed love ones return to earth to appear to us? I recently lost my 45 year old wife and have been praying for a sign that she’s in Heaven and okay. I’m thinking that Heaven is outside of space and time so would be difficult to “crossover” back to earth. What do you think? What does our church say about this?

First of all, please accept my condolences on your terrible loss.  May her soul and all the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace.  In answer to your question, yes, it is possible—and has on rare occasion happened—that God permits the dead to be manifest to the living.  We have an example of that in the New Testament, when the...READ MORE

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Question about Shopping on Sunday

04/04/2014 Comment

A reader writes:

Is it okay to shop online during Sunday? What if only downloadable, digital purchases are made? What do you think?

I suppose it depends on the spirit in which it is done.  The idea is to set Sunday aside for rest and time with God and loved ones.  People do different things to relax on Sunday.  What is for one person a pleasurable bit of relaxation is, for another, a driving work of slavery to the work ethic or avarice.  So one person might find gardening on a Sunday a lovely, restful, prayerful time while another might find it an exercise in a harried torment of trying to keep up with the Joneses and their perfect, manicured home and garden.  If it’s the latter,...READ MORE

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On Low-Income Women in Crisis Pregnancies

03/27/2014 Comments (139)

A reader writes:

I don’t know if I should have sent this as a comment to the announcement on your blog of the movie “Gimme Shelter”, but it reminded me that I have wanted to write to you about this for a while, and since there has been no other comment, I was wondering if anyone would read it. I have wanted to point this out for some time, however.
It has to do with a disconnect I seem to have noticed between all the efforts by pro-life Catholics to save babies from abortion, and the attitude of some Catholic people towards unmarried single mothers. I have often seen comments to the effect that social assistance is encouraging irresponsible behaviour by allowing women to have children...READ MORE

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A Reader Hurt by Private Revelation Enthusiasts Writes…

03/23/2014 Comments (19)

Quite frankly, I'm starting to have doubts on approved private revelations: Lourdes & Fatima for example.

What kind of God would request for us to pray the rosary in order to annihilate communism, and respond to the message of the first Saturday etc, for the sake of conversion of Russia--but by the time the apparition is approved not enough catholics responded to the call, so a 2nd war broke out and communism spread her errors??

[Perhaps I've been taught the wrong info by fanatics] on private revelations, but it just doesn't sound like a loving God who'd blame his children for communism spreading her errors b/c the Church took her time to investigate it.

On the other hand,...READ MORE

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About Mark Shea

Mark Shea
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Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.