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Pope on Ash Wednesday: ‘Return to the Arms of God and Cry in Those Arms’ (2265)

The Holy Father reminded the faithful Feb. 18, the start of Lent, ‘The Lord does not ever tire of having mercy on us … inviting us to return to him with a new heart.’

02/18/2015 Comment
Shutterstock

– Shutterstock

VATICAN CITY — In his Ash Wednesday homily, Pope Francis said the time of Lent is a call to leave hypocrisy behind and reconcile with God through fasting, charity and prayerful tears before our merciful Father.

Before Mass, in keeping with papal tradition for Ash Wednesday, Pope Francis began the Lenten liturgy with a procession, during which he walked from Rome’s Sant’Anselmo Church to the Church of Santa Sabina on Aventine Hill.

“I ask you a question: Do I cry? Does the Pope cry? Do cardinals cry? Do bishops cry? Do consecrated men and women cry? Do priests cry?” the Pope asked during his Feb. 18 Ash Wednesday Mass.

This question led to his focus in the homily: “weeping in prayer.”

He...READ MORE

Filed under ash wednesday, catholic life, conversion, faith, god's mercy, lent, lent 2015, pope francis

How to Develop an Unbreakable Habit of Prayer, Conscientious Objections to Vaccinations and More! (3231)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

02/18/2015 Comment

Click on How to Develop a (Nearly) Unbreakable Habit of Prayer by Philip Kosloski link to read more.

How to Develop a (Nearly) Unbreakable Habit of Prayer by Philip Kosloski - BigPulpit.com

Conscientious Objection to Vaccinations - Phil Lawler, Catholic Culture

From Faith Came Science: Condemnations of 1277 - Stacy Trasancos PhD, The Integrated Catholic Life™

Pope Francis and the Hidden Path to Holiness – Daniel J. Heisey, First Things

“I Am Woman”, Ironic Ode to the Embryo‏ – Leila Miller, Catholic Stand

God’s Gift: Husbands Should Reverence Their Wives – Gabriel Somarriba, Catholic Lane

Fear of the Lord Part 1: Holy Fear – J. C., Ignitum Today

Instagram Is a New Field to Evangelize, but Most People Doing It Wrong – Fr M Schneider, Project YM

An Apology for the Catholic Church’s...READ MORE

Filed under beer, embryo, fear of the lord, gaudium evangelii, god, happiness, holiness, joy, patriarchy, pope francis

African Catholic: Your CRS Rice Bowl Saved My Life, Gave Me Jesus (4429)

Catholic Relief Services Provides Practical and Spiritual Aid During Lent and Beyond

02/18/2015 Comments (1)
Sara A. Fajardo/CRS

Gertruda (above) and her granddaughter harvest soybeans in their fields in Nakahegwa, Tanzania. Since joining the CRS project in her village, Gertruda has doubled her soybean harvest and has increased her earnings sixfold.

– Sara A. Fajardo/CRS

BALTIMORE — “For me, a little snack in school was Jesus Christ. That was God, for me.”

Thomas Awiapo recounted how a “little snack,” made possible through Catholic Relief Services (CRS)’ Rice Bowl, saved his life in Ghana. He was orphaned through starvation — a pagan child “with little hope for survival,” he told the Register — but his life took a turn when the smell of food enticed him to a Catholic school, where he was offered “a snack and hot food” if he stayed in class.

“If that little snack and that hot meal were not fixed in that school by Catholic Relief Services, I would not have gone there in search of food,” he said.

2015 marks the 40th anniversary of CRS’ annual Rice Bowl, and...READ MORE

Filed under catholic relief services, crs rice bowl, lent

Alabama’s Judicial Process Becomes a Marriage Battleground (2841)

Cotton State’s Chief Justice Roy Moore has countered a federal-court ruling with a memo instructing that state probate judges aren’t required to issue same-sex 'marriage' licenses.

02/18/2015 Comments (27)
foxnews.com

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore appears on Fox News Sunday on Feb. 15.

– foxnews.com

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — More than 81% of Alabama residents voted in 2006 to amend their state Constitution to define marriage as the institution of one man and woman.

But because U.S. district court Judge Callie Granade believes the state Sanctity of Marriage Amendment violates the due-process and equal-protection clauses of the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment, Alabama’s probate judges are under increasing pressure to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

“We certainly see it as another example of the federal judiciary encroaching into matters that have traditionally been within the state’s purview, and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight,” said Katherine Robertson, vice...READ MORE

Filed under alabama, callie granade, clarence thomas, justice roy moore, marriage redefinition, u.s. supreme court

Pope on Siblings: ‘Having a Brother, a Sister Who Loves You Is Priceless’ (3165)

Ash Wednesday catechesis focuses on brotherly and sisterly love.

02/18/2015 Comment
Shutterstock

– Shutterstock

VATICAN CITY — In this week’s general audience, Pope Francis spoke on the role of siblings in family life, saying the fraternity we learn from them teaches us how to overcome barriers and leads to greater freedom.

“With Jesus, this bond of brotherhood expands to overcome any difference of nation, language, culture or religion,” the Pope told pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square on Feb. 18, Ash Wednesday.

There is no greater compliment than to say of another, “He is like a brother to me or she is like a sister,” he said, explaining that without the value of fraternity “the freedom and equality achieved by many people become full of individualism and conformity and personal interest,...READ MORE

Filed under brothers and sisters, catholic families, family life, pope francis, siblings

The Joy of Being Wrong (5412)

COMMENTARY: Ash Wednesday, self-righteousness and the bigger picture.

02/18/2015 Comments (10)
Shutterstock

– Shutterstock

Ash Wednesday is the day when we wear our error on our brow. The ashes declare to the world, “I’m wrong. It was me.”

With the ashes, we put our hands in the air and admit that it’s our fault. You ask, “What’s wrong with the world?” With the ashes we say, “I am. It’s me. Look no further. I take the blame.”

Have you ever stopped to think that Christianity is the only religion in which the first step is to say, “I’m wrong?” The first message that comes from Jesus at the front end of the Gospel is: “Repent!”

Before you can do anything else in the Christian life, you have to say, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” It can’t just be routine. It can’t be just words from...READ MORE

Filed under ash wednesday, father dwight longenecker

Signs of Hope: The Under-35 Priests; A Speedy Approval for Bishop Oscar Romero and Much More! (2960)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

02/18/2015 Comment

Click on Signs of Hope: The Under-35 Priest by Thomas Peters of Catholic Vote link to read more.

Signs of Hope: The Under-35 Priest by Thomas Peters of Catholic Vote - BigPulpit.com

At Last, a Speedy Approval for Oscar Romero – Carlos X, Super Martyrio

Six Traits of a Modern-Day Saint Joseph – Rich Lamm, Epic Pew

A Priest’s Fight for the Seal of Confession – David Anderson, The Dead Philosopher's Society

Pope Francis’s Dystopian Reading Material by Francis Phillips of Catholic Herald Magazine - BigPulpit.com

Why No Community In America? – Saint Etheldreda’s Place

Let’s Be Reasonable About Vaccines - Jo Anna Wahlund, Catholic Stand

Why Opposing the Practice of Altar Girls Is Not Disobedient - Brian Williams, One Peter 5

Pope Francis Defends Sanctity of Life – Donald R. McClarey...READ MORE

Filed under altar girls, america, calvinism, community, heaven, oscar romero, pope francis, priest, sanctity of life, science

Chinese New Year Trumps Ash Wednesday Fasting for Some Asian Catholics (2242)

Because Feb. 18 is the eve of the Lunar New Year, dispensations have been granted in a number of dioceses this year.

02/17/2015 Comments (3)
Wikipedia

2015 Chinese New Year celebration in Singapore on Feb. 15.

– Wikipedia

BANGKOK, Thailand — Since Ash Wednesday coincides this year with Chinese New Year — also known as Lunar New Year — many bishops in East Asia are granting dispensations from the fasting and abstinence normally required on the day that begins the season of Lent.

This year, Ash Wednesday falls on Feb. 18, which is the eve of the day that begins the Year of the Goat in the Chinese calendar.

“In view of the celebration of the Chinese Lunar New Year, its cultural and spiritual importance and the traditional practices associated with it, we therefore grant dispensation from the obligation of fasting and abstinence to our Chinese-Filipino and Chinese Catholics in the Archdiocese of Manila from...READ MORE

Filed under ash wednesday, chinese new year, fasting, fasting and abstinence

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