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Pope Francis: Follow Jesus’ Way of the Cross (2588)

In his weekly Angelus address, the Holy Father reminds the faithful that being a Christian entails sacrifices.

09/09/2013 Comment
Vatican Radio/Facebook

A crowd assembled in St. Peter's Square listens to Pope Francis' Angelus remarks on Sept. 1.

– Vatican Radio/Facebook

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis spoke to the throng gathered in St. Peter’s Square for Sunday’s Angelus, encouraging them to follow Christ on the way of the cross.

“Following Jesus does not mean participating in a triumphal procession!” he said Sept. 8. “It means sharing his merciful love, entering into his great work of mercy for each person and for all mankind. And this forgiveness passes through the cross.”

The Pope reflected on the Gospel, in which Jesus “insists on the conditions to be his disciple: to not place anything before love of him, to take up one’s own cross, and to follow him.”

Although there are many who want to follow Jesus, especially when there are miracles, “Jesus...READ MORE

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The Last of the Living Stylites; Suffering? Lessons We Can Learn from Agony in the Garden and More! (3235)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

09/09/2013 Comment

The Last of the Living Stylites. Follow the link to read about this fascinating story.

The Last of the Living Stylites - BigPulpit.com

All Male Altar Service Increases in Numbers of Altar Boys Participation – Fr. Z’s Blog

Suffering? 10 Lessons We Can Learn from Agony in the Garden – Gary Zimak, Catholic Stand

Thank You, But Hold the Applause – Richard J. Clark, Views from the Choir Loft

Overpopulation: Mother of All Myths – BigNewsWonk.com

How Religion Benefits Everyone: Rodney Stark Interview – Brandon Vogt, Strange Notions

Your Misery has Disappeared in the Depths of My Mercy – Rachana Chhin, Ignitum Today

Made a Conscious & Adult Decision to Leave the Church? – Richard Collins, Linen on the Hedgerow

Syria and Just War - BigPulpit.com

Conversion Story of...READ MORE

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Embrace Peace, Pope Tells 100,000 Gathered for Vatican Prayer Vigil (4534)

‘Let us work for reconciliation and peace,’ the Holy Father urged, ‘and let us all become, in every place, men and women of reconciliation and peace!’

09/08/2013 Comments (2)
Lauren Cater / CNA

Pope Francis reflects before an image of Mary at the Sept. 7 prayer vigil for peace.

– Lauren Cater / CNA

VATICAN — Addressing a large crowd of people in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis denounced war as a “defeat for humanity” and called on world leaders and individual Christians alike to rebuild a “shattered” harmony.

“Let us pray for reconciliation and peace,” the Pope exhorted the crowds. “Let us work for reconciliation and peace, and let us all become, in every place, men and women of reconciliation and peace!”

Pope Francis and an estimated 100,000 people knelt in prayer together in St. Peter’s Square Saturday evening, seeking peace throughout the globe and especially in Syria. The Vatican prayer vigil included hymns, Scripture readings and silent reflection as incense drifted into...READ MORE

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Ariel Castro: Why There Is Purgatory — and Hell (10698)

COMMENTARY

09/08/2013 Comments (24)
Wikipedia

Ariel Castro is interrogated by the FBI.

– Wikipedia

Ariel Castro was to have spent a millennium in prison. That was his punishment after being found guilty of 937 criminal counts, including kidnapping, rape and murder. To be more exact, he was to serve life plus 1,000 years.

But after just about a month, he tied a bed sheet around his neck and cut short his life and his punishment.

That’s it. No more Ariel Castro. No more temporal punishment. After causing a living hell for the three girls he kidnapped and kept as sexual slaves for over a decade — girls who were continually raped, chained to a wall, locked in a dark room, fed one meal a day, regularly beaten, threatened with death, day after day, month after month, year after year —...READ MORE

Filed under catholic faith, heaven, hell, objective evil, public good, purgatory

The Beheading of St. John the Baptist, The Church and the Syrian Refugees and Much More! (2800)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

09/08/2013 Comments (1)

The Beheading of St. John the Baptist. Follow the link to read more.

The Beheading of St. John the Baptist – BigPulpit.com

The Church and the Syrian Refugees - William L. Patenaude, The Catholic World Report

Let’s Hear It for St. Augustine: Theologian for Our Times - Dr. Robert Kurland, Catholic Stand

The High Costs of High-Tech Babies - Jennifer Lahl, Catholic Lane

Medical Ethics: An Absent Church, God - Matthew Heinrich, Ignitum Today

Egypt: Christians Defend Al Azhar University - Alessandro Speciale, Vatican Insider

The Saint who Gregorian Chant was Named After - Ed West, Catholic Herald

A Protestant Scholar on the Miracles at Lourdes - Michael Barber, The Sacred Page

Burning Down the Great Library of Alexandria: A Christian Conspiracy?...READ MORE

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Confidence in God's Power Draws Us to Pray for Peace (3967)

Homily for the Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace in Syria, the Middle East and Throughout the World

09/07/2013 Comments (7)

The following homily was delivered Sept. 7 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception by Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archhbishop of Washington.

 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). This admonition from Jesus recorded in Matthew’s Gospel is what brings us to this basilica today. Jesus told us to pray with an unshakeable confidence born of faith.

We learn from the Gospels to pray with perseverance, sincerity and total confidence: “Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night?” (Luke 18:7)

We come together this afternoon for a day of fasting...READ MORE

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The Catholic Case Against a U.S. Military Strike on Syria (15372)

As President Obama awaits congressional approval of his plan to deter future use of WMDs, Catholic scholars explain why Church leaders oppose U.S. intervention.

09/07/2013 Comments (20)

WASHINGTON — Over the past week, Pope Francis has condemned the use of chemical weapons, but also rejected a proposed U.S. military strike on Syria that President Barack Obama has said will deter future use of weapons of mass destruction by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government.

The president announced his plan to punish Assad after he reviewed video images of what appeared to be the horrific aftermath of an Aug. 21 poison gas attack that killed 1,400 Syrian civilians, including 400 children.

But Pope Francis, backed up by Syrian and U.S. Church leaders, has argued that military intervention could fuel an escalation of violence, and he called instead for a political settlement...READ MORE

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The Gubbio Project Serves San Francisco’s Least Fortunate (3570)

Franciscan spirit guides one parish's service to San Francisco’s homeless.

09/07/2013 Comments (1)
Courtesy of the San Francisco Chronicle

Homeless men sleep in the pews at St. Boniface Church in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood.

– Courtesy of the San Francisco Chronicle

SAN FRANCISCO — When Pope Francis welcomed 200 homeless people to the Vatican for dinner on July 1, Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, in speaking for the Holy Father, told the homeless diners, “This is your home and [Pope Francis] is pleased that you are here.”

For the past decade, a historic parish in downtown San Francisco’s toughest neighborhood, known as the “Tenderloin,” has extended a similar welcome to the area’s large population of homeless. Of San Francisco’s 6,500 homeless, most live in the Tenderloin.

Even in broad daylight, the neighborhood can be a frightening community to visit. It is known for its high crime rate, drug abuse, graffiti, strip clubs and general run-down...READ MORE

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