Terrence C. Wright

After finishing her article on the protest, Day went that evening to the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on the campus of the Catholic University of America to attend Mass on this Feast of the Immaculate Conception. The upper church was still under construction, so she went to the crypt church. Day recalled: “There I offered up a special prayer, a prayer which came with tears and with anguish, that some way would open up for me to use what talents I possessed for my fellow workers, for the poor.” 15  She did not have to wait long for her prayer to be answered.

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Sheila Liaugminas

When discreet encounters with spiritual things get insinuated into your everyday life frequently over a few years, you don’t really notice that something is happening to direct your attention toward the transcendent, the divine. You only see that with perfect hindsight. Which happened to me on an otherwise ordinary day when something routine became an extraordinary catalyst that brought it all together, in the span of a few hours.

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Jesús García

The truth isn’t that we’re approaching Holy Week here, but rather that these roads, these parts, resemble a perpetual Good Friday. Christ makes the climb to Golgotha in the person of every poor and abandoned brother, of everybody who feels poor and exploited by an absurd world that he doesn’t understand. Imagine, my people’s dream is very simple. They say here that the first words that a child learns are ‘‘New York’’ or, as they say, ‘‘Nueba Yol’’. It’s a shame that these poor people imagine paradise in this fashion.

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Bernard Brien

After spending the greater part of my life far from the Church, I made up again with God at the age of fifty-seven. It happened one day in May 2004. My second marriage was on the rocks. I was desperate because of this new failure that confirmed the collapse of my life. That day, prompted by I know not what inspiration, I went through the door of a little chapel in Les Sables-d’Olonne, at the seashore. It had been ages since I had gone into a church. As soon as I crossed the threshold, I felt that I was seized, enveloped by a presence. I remained there for more than an hour, in silence, awkwardly starting a dialogue with God that resembled a prayer. As I left the chapel, with my heart calmed and at the same time inflamed, I knew that now nothing would be as it had been before.

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Mother Mary Francis, P.C.C.

Nothing good will ever be accomplished in our lives unless we are merciful, unless we are growing in mercy. We will never evoke from others their best selves if we are not merciful to them. Mercy, far from being weakness, requires great strength. Any weakling can be harsh, corrective, demanding. It is only a strong heart that can be merciful, succoring, shielding, excusing. Our Lady invites us to respond to problems by sacrifice and self-renouncement without waiting for a solution, which would be for virtue to appear in the other person. She says, “Take care of your own self-sacrifice, your own renunciation. It will pour out in mercy from your temple upon others.”

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Janet Smith

Rethinking Humanae  vitae Deborah Savage, Ph.D. ….. When Pope Blessed Paul VI promulgated his landmark encyclical Humanae vitae in July 1968, I was just getting ready to enter my junior year in high school. I knew nothing of the controversy that swirled around the document at the time. Though it seems unbelievable in light of our contemporary context, I was blissfully unaware that anything like contraception even existed, let alone that the birth control pill had only recently been invented, or that its use had even more recently been legalized. I was more or less a “normal” sixteen-year-old, at least what passed for it then—a diligent student and an athlete, looking forward to college.

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Dale Ahlquist

In the midst of his conversion, he wrote another epic poem, the lesser known Ballad of St. Barbara. It was published in October of 1922, a month after his confirmation. And it was the only other work he dedicated to his wife. The dedicatory poem is a profound tribute to Frances, a celebration of their married life, of the amazing experiences they had shared.

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Joseph Cardinal Zen

Pope Benedict often quotes Saint Augustine to help us understand the mystery of history. Saint Augustine lived at an awful time in history. Rome was on the decline, invaded by so-called barbarians. A mighty civilization fell into the hands of barbarians. In the book City of God, he invites us to take the long-term view. Why does the Lord allow so many bad things in history? On the one hand, to show how man can become evil if he does not obey God. But on the other hand, says Saint Augustine, the Lord shows that he knows how to conduct things in a superior way.

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Robert Cardinal Sarah

52. Silence of the heart consists of quieting little by little our miserable human sentiments so as to become capable of having the same sentiments as those of Jesus. Silence of the heart is the silence of the passions. It is necessary to die to self in order to join the Son of God in silence. Saint Paul says: “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which was in Christ Jesus” (Phil 2:4–5).

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Leah Libresco

Before I began dating my husband, I wanted to give God a chance to tell me if He were calling me to religious life, and I spent a little time researching different orders. I was most attracted to the Nashville Dominicans and their charism of teaching. But, when I thought a little harder about what was drawing me toward them, I realized I was mostly picturing myself as a teacher—a teacher wearing a habit.

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Fr. Gary Lauenstein

As in all Catholic religious orders, a man who wishes to become a Redemptorist dedicates a year to an initiation in the spiritual life. Many will tell you that their novitiate year was the best of their life. After all, a novice is given a full year, free from studies, to look at where he is going with his life and to weigh his options.

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Chene Heady

Annunciation of the Lord (March 26)3 (Lk 1:26–38)

Today’s Gospel—Luke 1:26–38, the Annunciation story— shows us that the Word precedes the Incarnation, the spiritual idea comes before the material person or thing. The angel’s annunciation precedes Mary’s conception of Jesus. This is the pattern going back to the divine word that brings about creation; “the universe was ordered by the word of God” (Heb 11:3, NABRE). God speaks (in this case through his angelic messenger), and things come into being.

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Colin Raye

After recently reading the wonderful little book Heaven Is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back (Thomas Nelson, 2010), I saw the miscarriage from a new perspective. Todd Burpo’s book recounts the near-death experiences of his three-year-old son, Colton, who almost died from a burst appendix. After Colton recovered, he described with great precision the things he saw while on his own personalized tour of heaven, and his story is amazing. He told his parents in some detail about his operation and his family’s reactions to his crisis as if he had been looking down on them from above. He also described sitting in Jesus’ lap and looking at the “markings” on His hands and feet and meeting John the Baptist along with a man who fit the description of a great-grandfather he had never known.

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Mother Dolores Hart, OSB

Later Dolores met with Reverend Mother Benedict. She spoke of her walk and finding herself at the crest of the hill and standing still, not knowing why she was there. The founder of the monastery told her that years before, in 1947, when she and Mother Mary Aline came to Bethlehem with the mission to found a Benedictine order, they stood at that same place, holding medals they had carried from France. They buried those medals beneath the ground Dolores had stood upon and photographed.

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Roy Wenzl and Travis Heying

At sunrise on Easter Sunday, March 25, 1951, Kapaun startled POWs by donning his purple priest’s stole and openly carrying a Catholic missal, a book with the readings and prayers for Mass and other services, borrowed from Nardella. He had talked atheist guards into letting him hold an Easter service, a favor they soon regretted.

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Rev. Paul D. Scalia

We hear several times in the Gospels that our Lord removes Himself from the crowds and goes off by Himself. As Mark explains, this was due partly to His miracles: due to His fame, “Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in the country; and people came to him from every quarter” (Mk 1:45). But fame and first-century paparazzi were not the only reasons for such seclusion. It was a common practice for Him. He would rise “a great while before day” and go to a deserted place and pray.

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Ramona Trevino

“Well, here goes”, I said with a sigh, as I turned the dial to 910 AM, Guadalupe Radio Network,

landing in the middle of a now-familiar show called The Good Fight with host Barbara


Barbara spoke in her usual, soothing voice while addressing a man who had called in—an older

gentleman whose loving voice reminded me of my Grandpa Lupe. He was discussing the pro-life

work he had been doing, how he had been fighting for years to prompt change, and how

important this was to him.

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Alexis Walkenstein

A few years ago in December, the women in my family took a mini road trip to New York City for a “girls’ weekend,” which included the holiday shows, shopping, and some unexpected signs from my new holy friend. Of course, you can’t visit New York without stopping at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. So, we made a visit to the cathedral and a few of us stayed behind to take in the beauty, go to Mass, and spend time in prayer.

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Jennifer Fulwiler

I ran down the empty hall and shoved open the double doors that led to the parking lot. It was cold, colder when the gusts of wind ripped by, and I’d left my jacket in the conference room. I didn’t care, though. I drank in the fresh air, inhaling until my lungs hurt, but it wasn’t the air that refreshed me—it was being away from Rayburne and his lawyer. I leaned against the locked car, trying to process what I’d just seen.  

When I considered what I experienced in that room, there was only one word that came to mind: evil. And when I considered how it had operated, I knew that I’d never see the world the same way again.

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Tyler Blanski

Christianity is not just another spirituality, because Jesus gathered the tribes, established a Kingdom. The Twelve were his royal cabinet, entrusted with viceroyal authority to represent him in his New Israel, the Church: “As the Father has sent me, even so I send you. . . . If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven” (Jn 20:21, 23); “He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me” (Lk 10:16). King Christ had appointed them to an office, and an office left vacant must be filled (Acts 1:20).

 Thus, the apostles appointed presbyters in each church (Acts 14:23). Paul reminded Timothy that the office of bishop was conferred on him through the laying on of hands (1 Tim 1:6; 4:14; 5:22).

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