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Fear of the Lord Confirms the Virtue of Hope (5926)

COMMENTARY: A Register series on the gifts of the Holy Spirit

12/26/2013 Comments (4)
Wikimedia Commons

Detail of 'The Return of the Prodigal Son,' by Batoni

– Wikimedia Commons

As we have seen in our previous discussions, the paradox of the gift of the fear of the Lord is that it is a fear that does not call us to cringe like slaves, but to rejoice in reverence of our Father as his children.

Jesus feared God, but never cringed before him. Instead, he worshipped and adored him so much that he willingly laid down his life in obedient love toward him for our sakes. And he did so, not in some act of despair, but because he trusted that God would bring abundant life and gladness out of it.

As Hebrews 12:2 says, it was for the joy set before him that he endured the cross, despising its shame. Jesus did not lay down his life because he saw himself as a worthless...READ MORE

Filed under catholic faith, confirmation, fear of the lord, gifts of the holy spirit

Economist: Christianity Helps India’s ‘Untouchable’ Women Rise Up From Poverty (6319)

A Georgetown University researcher’s pilot study found positive improvements for India’s Dalit women after converting to Christianity.

12/26/2013 Comments (6)
CNA/Hilary Senour

Young professional women walk along the street in Bangalore, India.

– CNA/Hilary Senour

ROME — A researcher at Georgetown University in Washington has found that impoverished women in India are more likely to improve their economic circumstances after converting to Christianity.

“Conversion actually helps launch women on a virtuous circle. A woman feels better; she’s part of an active faith community; she works more; she earns more money: The extra money she earns and saves encourages her to earn more and save more and plan and invest in the future,” said Rebecca Samuel Shah, research fellow at Georgetown’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs.

Shah presented her initial findings of a pilot study looking at “patterns and directions where conversion had an...READ MORE

Filed under catholic faith, catholic social teaching, christianity, india, poverty

A Look Back at Vatican Reporting With the Late ‘Dean of Vaticanisti’ (2828)

Benny Lai had a long, successful career of covering the Vatican for 60 years.

12/26/2013 Comment


ROME — Benny Lai, known in Italy as “dean of the vaticanisti,” died Dec. 12 at the age of 88, following a lengthy illness. Before his death, he shared with CNA a look back at the past 60 years of covering the Vatican.

Lai was born in 1925, in Aprigliano, in southern Italy, and he started his career as a journalist in 1946.

He was accredited with the Vatican city state press service in 1952, and he long carried with him his first accreditation card as something of a “relic.”

It had been signed by then-Father Giovanni Montini, who was a deputy in the Vatican Secretariat and who would be elected Bishop of Rome in 1963, becoming Paul VI.

In 1952, the Vatican Press Office was located...READ MORE

Filed under blessed john paul ii, catholic faith, catholic media, pope paul vi

Vatican Encourages Renewed Missionary Zeal in Catholic Schools (2899)

A new document from the Congregation for Catholic Education says Catholic schools must foster intercultural dialogue to build a civilization of love for the human person.

12/26/2013 Comments (4)

– ncea.org

VATICAN CITY — A recently released Vatican document is calling for a fresh commitment to Catholic identity within what it calls an increasingly secularized educational system.

At a press conference held Dec. 19, Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, said, “The Catholic identity of the school is fundamental.”

Noting the many challenges facing Catholic schools, the cardinal added, “Today one of the greatest problems is when large organizations want to impose gender ideology.”

“Today, due to the advanced process of secularization, Catholic schools find themselves in a missionary situation, even in countries with an ancient Christian...READ MORE

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Group Accuses Gates Foundation, USAID of Hiding Injectable Contraceptive Dangers (14436)

Congressional hearings are being triggered by allegations that agencies concealed FDA warnings from poor minority women targeted for the injections.

12/26/2013 Comments (10)

WASHINGTON — Hundreds of thousands of impoverished women and girls in both the U.S. and Africa are not being told about dangerous side effects associated with a contraceptive injection that is heavily promoted by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), USAID, Planned Parenthood and a collection of “racist” family-planning groups, a human-rights report alleges.

The scathing report from the Washington-based Rebecca Project for Human Rights, a group that advocates for vulnerable women and girls in the U.S. and Africa, accuses the Gates Foundation of colluding with family-planning organizations to deliberately conceal known risks of the injectable hormonal contraceptive, Depo-Provera,...READ MORE

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Padre Pio and Christmas, When St. Francis Built the First Nativity and Much More! (4002)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

12/26/2013 Comment

Padre Pio & Christmas. Follow the link by Frank M. Rega to read more.

Padre Pio & Christmas by Frank M. Rega - BigPulpit.com

When St. Francis Built the First Nativity – Dale M. Coulter, First Thoughts

Rhetorical Questions: In Defense of Pope Francis – Meghan Garcia, Ignitum Today

The Deeper Meaning of Christmas – Marcellino D’Ambrosio PhD, Catholic Exchange

What Did Pope Francis Say About Orthodox Church? – Byz Pulpit

The Promise & Fulfillment of Christmas - Fr. Robert Johansen, Crisis Magazine

St. John Vianney, Patron Saint of Bad Memories? – Jamey Brown, Catholic Stand

12 Songs of Christmas – Matthew Becklo, Aleteia

LiveScience Asked Me About Why We Believe – Stacy Trasancos PhD

The Story of the Magi in 12 Works of Art – H. H. Ambrose,...READ MORE

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Fr. Robert Barron Comments on The Nativity of Luke's Gospel, Christmas with the Poor and More! (2765)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

12/25/2013 Comment

Fr. Robert Barron Comments on The Nativity of Luke’s Gospel. Follow the link to learn more.

Fr. Robert Barron Comments on The Nativity of Luke’s Gospel - BigPulpit.com

Francis: Christmas Is for Jesus, Not Parties & Shopping – Domenico Agasso Jr., Vatican Insider

Reconciling Belief in the Virgin Birth With Science – Stacy Trasancos PhD

Christmas with the Poor – Carlos X, Super Martyrio

Round-Up of the Best Christmas Posts - BigPulpit.com

God Sent Forth His Son – Fr. Mark S. Camp ThD PhD, MC Catholic

Christmas Carol For Our Time – Donald R. McClarey JD, The American Catholic

Preparing for the 12 Days of Christmas – Dale Ahlquist, Catholic Exchange

Pope Francis Christmas Special - BigPulpit.com

Benedict XVI on the Christmas Readings - Matthew Ramage, Crisis...READ MORE

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Pope Francis’ Christmas Messages (9520)

The Holy Father celebrated his first Christmas midnight Mass at the Vatican and delivered his first urbi et orbi message.

12/25/2013 Comments (26)

Pope Francis delivers his 2013 urbi et orbi message Dec. 25 from the loggia of St. Peter's Basiica.


VATICAN CITY — In his first Christmas urbi et orbi message, Pope Francis has issued impassioned pleas for peace in the Middle East and war-torn countries in Africa, while also remembering children who are victims of war, the elderly, battered women, the sick, trafficked persons and refugees. 

Addressing a crowd of pilgrims from the loggia of St. Peter’s Basilica, the Pope said that true peace is not a “balance of opposing forces,” nor a “lovely facade which conceals conflicts and divisions.” Rather, he said, peace calls for “daily commitment, starting from God’s gift, from the grace which he has given us in Jesus Christ.”

Looking at the Child in the manger, he said “our thoughts turn...READ MORE

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