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Pope: 'The Cross of Christ Is the Height of Love' (1623)

Benedict XVI urged pilgrims March 18 to keep their eyes fixed upon the goal of Lent, 'when we will accompany our Lord on the path to Calvary, so as to rise with him to new life.' He also spoke of St. Joseph, whose feast day is March 19, and his upcoming Mexico-Cuba trip.

03/19/2012 Comment

– Shutterstock

Pope Benedict XVI encouraged Christians to walk with Jesus across the desert of Lent, to “listen more closely to the voice of God, and to unmask the temptations that speak within each of us.”

Before praying the traditional Sunday Angelus prayer at noon on March 18, Pope Benedict offered those pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square a reflection on how Lent is a “journey with Jesus through the desert.”

“On the horizon of the desert looms the cross,” he said. “Jesus knows that it is the culmination of his mission: In fact, the cross of Christ is the height of love, which gives us salvation.”

“He himself says in today’s Gospel: ‘As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the...READ MORE

Filed under cross, god's love, jesus, lent

Friendship: The Overlooked Love (1324)

Part 1 of a Register series on friendship.

03/18/2012 Comments (1)

Samuel anoints David in the presence of his friends, from the third century AD.

– Wikipedia

The Christian tradition teaches us that grace perfects nature. Therefore, anything normal and native to human existence is, so to speak, grist for glory. God takes the ordinary stuff of human life and raises it—with our cooperation — to become the means by which his love is enfleshed and brought into the world. Everything, no matter how ordinary, can be raised by God to become sacramental.

A case in point: Once, when I was still a pagan, I came down with a horrible case of stomach flu. As I lay on my bed of suffering in my dorm room, I got a phone call from somebody on a neighboring dorm floor that had a bunch of Christians living there. I informed them I was not available to play...READ MORE

Filed under agape, catholic faith, fraternal love, friendships, jesus christ

Men Model Their Lives After Christ (3087)

March 11 issue feature on how Catholic conferences prompt conversions.

03/18/2012 Comments (2)

– Shutterstock

Five years ago, Richard Lane of St. Louis attended an event with Promise Keepers, a Protestant organization that helps men develop a relationship with Christ. It drew 15,000. He was inspired by the event, but wondered why the Catholic Church didn’t have a similar movement.

So he went to his archbishop, Raymond Burke, and asked him if he could launch an annual Catholic conference for men in the archdiocese. The conference’s purpose was to get men excited about living their Catholic faith, and then to return to their parishes to form Catholic men’s apostolates that would meet regularly and support and encourage one another in the faith. Archbishop Burke (today a Rome-based cardinal in charge...READ MORE

Filed under catholicism, conversion, men's conferences

God's Love Brings Us Home (1484)

User's Guide to Sunday, March 18.

03/18/2012 Comment

– Shutterstock

Sunday, March 18, is the Fourth Sunday of Lent (Liturgical Year B, Cycle II).


On March 23, Pope Benedict XVI begins his visits to Mexico and Cuba.


2 Chronicles 36:14-17, 19-23; Psalms 137:1-6; Ephesians 2:4-10; John 3:14-21

Our Take

Today’s Gospel reading includes John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.”

The great lesson here is that God is not somehow foreign to our experience. He is part and parcel with it and has entered into the world to show us the true meaning of the life he created for us here.

It’s a lesson we need because we so often feel out of place in the world.


Filed under eternal life, god's love, heaven, life in christ

Mexico's Must-See Marvels (2683)

March 11 issue preview of the Pope's trip highlights.

03/18/2012 Comments (1)

Pope Benedict’s March trip, his first trip to Mexico, will include a stop at El Cubilete.  To those outside Mexico, it seems like an obscure choice. Mexicans, however, are not surprised at all: El Cubilete is considered the second most important religious site in the country.

Pope Benedict will celebrate Mass at the foot of El Cubilete Hill, the site of the colossal statue of Cristo Rey (Christ the King). With its height of 9,000 feet, El Cubilete looks much more like an imposing mountain than a hill. The statue was declared a national monument in 1928. Cristo Rey can be compared to Poland’s ark church of Nowa Huta, the major symbol of Catholic Poland’s resistance to the anti-religious...READ MORE

Filed under catholicism, mexico

Endurance in Lent (6151)

Lessons for sacrificial perseverance from high-seas history.

03/17/2012 Comment

Dogs look on as the Endurance is caught in the ice.

– Wikipedia

Right off the frozen ship, I am a minor Ernest Shackleton aficionado — fascinated and inspired by the famous explorer’s harrowing story of survival in 1916.

And the best time to share Shackleton’s story — about the fate of his vessel, the Endurance and her men — is in winter, albeit it has been a mild one this year for most of us. The trip to the south started in 1914, with high hopes of an exploration feat, and ended with the crew — by the grace of God — escaping with their lives.

Last month, with significant curiosity and anticipation, I attended 69° S (The Shackleton Project), a multimedia theater production created by Phantom Limb Company out of New York City. The show employed an...READ MORE

Filed under history, lent, perseverance

Valuable Vacations (2055)

March 11 issue Family Matters column. Said John Paul II, 'Vacations should be … seen as significant moments in the very existence of the person.'

03/17/2012 Comment

– Shutterstock

Every spring my husband and I have the same disagreement: He’s ready to plan a big summer vacation, while I fret about the time off and the cost. In my mind, it’s an extravagance, given that our kids are not far from high school and college. Is it wrong for us to spend money on something so frivolous as a vacation?

Caroline: Funny how something as innocuous as a vacation can lead to tensions in marriage, but it surely can! It stems from how we were raised. Did you camp in state parks or travel to beach destinations? Were you financially even able to take a vacation, or was money tight, and you vacationed by visiting relatives? In my family, vacation meant relaxing on a Gulf Coast beach for a...READ MORE

Filed under family life, john paul ii, vacations

St. Patrick, Pray for Us! (2101)

Catholics remember Ireland's patron saint on March 17.

03/17/2012 Comments (2)

– Wikipedia

On March 17 Catholics celebrate St. Patrick, the fifth-century bishop and patron of Ireland, whose life of holiness set the example for many of the Church’s future saints.

St. Patrick is said to have been born around 389 in Britain. Captured by Irish raiders when he was about 16, St. Patrick was taken as a slave to Ireland, where he lived for six years as a shepherd before escaping and returning to his home.

At home, he studied the Christian faith at monastic settlements in Italy and and what is now modern-day France. He was ordained a deacon by the bishop of Auxerre, France, around the year 418 and ordained a bishop in 432.

It was around this time that he was assigned to minister to the...READ MORE

Filed under catholic, ireland, saints, st. patrick

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