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I suspected it was a fluke. Something that only happened at that particular place with that particular group of people. It stopped me in my tracks like a great tragedy would. Except it wasn’t a tragedy I was witnessing. It was something so ordinary, so basic, and yet so magnificent it made me pause in awe and wonder. But the lesson in it, if not taken to heart, could be tragic.  The Crowds Show Up  Four days in the row, my husband, our kids and I came to the beach in Naples, FL. I had …

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Running from the Cold

by Joshua Danis

For all us athletic enthusiasts out there, winter can be an especially trying time.  Running outside in comfortable spring weather is a challenge that many of us may take up until we learn to love it; until we even learn to long for it.  When the weather turns and the flowers bloom, we cannot drive past a scenic nature trail without having to fight the urge to pop on our shoes and race away.  When it gets like this, we have to make tough choices.  Do we brave snowy wind in our face and sub-zero …

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Playlist: “A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes” (from my album “A Chance to Dream”) “If you eat your dinner, I’ll take you to Disneyland some day”. This was the only conditional phrase I ever heard my Dad say. He didn’t do much of the disciplining or raising us, my mom did. So, when he did, I took it seriously. He was either tremendously brave or completely ignorant to have made this promise to me, sitting in a small, grimy kitchen of our rented apartment in Zagreb in the winter of 1974. Disneyland was …

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9 Days for Life

by Joshua Danis

To get involved: Download the 9 Days app available from iTunes and Google Play store. Text 9Days to 99000 to receive text message updates. Go to the 9 Days resource page to sign up by e-mail. Follow on Facebook. Fast approaching is that busiest of days in the United States Pro-Life movement.  Last year, an estimated 650,000 people from every state in the nation descended upon Washington for the March For Life.  As both protesters and pilgrims, these individuals affirm the dignity of every human person created in the image and likeness of God.  They …

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Snow Day

by Joe Ollier

The January I was in 4th grade at St Bart’s school in Cincinnati, we got hit with the biggest blizzard in the city’s history, followed by ridiculously cold temperatures.  Like sub-zero with wind chills that made it feel like 50 below.  It was so cold that the Ohio River actually froze over.  We missed school for 2 straight weeks, as much because of the cold as the snow. I still remember the snowdrifts that blocked our back door, and using a pick axe to break through the ice so we could clear our driveway. After …

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Magi or Shepherd?

by Fr. Rob Waller

If you were given your choice as to which part you would play in the pageantry of the Christmas story, would you rather be a magi (king, wise man) or a shepherd? Before you read on, answer that question for yourself and ponder why you chose what you chose. The magi and the shepherds have some things in common. Both came to believe that Jesus was the Savior. Both found him in the manger. How they got there – how they came to that conclusion and how they came to that place – was quite …

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Gratitude, Hope, Joy?

by Fr. Rob Waller

There are three beautifully wrapped gifts on a table in front of you. One has a tag marked, “Gratitude.” Another is tagged, “Hope.” The third is, “Joy.” Answer quickly, without thinking. Ready? Without thinking, answer, “Which gift has God given to you this year?” Those three wrapped gifts from God: which one would you like for God to give to someone else at Christmas?

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Growing up in my Croatia, I didn’t know there was such a thing as Advent. Christmas Eve came quietly. Our city streets and lamp-posts weren’t gleaming with millions of string lights during the darkest time of winter. Christmas was wrapped in a mystery, known only to those who believed. Perhaps that’s why I love the American tradition of decorating houses shortly after Thanksgiving, playing Christmas music on the radio, putting up lights and trimmed up trees on city squares and corners, watching people getting into the holiday spirit – everyone in their own way… Some …

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Today is Pope Francis’ 77th birthday! Say a prayer for the Holy Father, and enjoy this post by Dan Andriacco about the pope’s recent Person of the Year recognition. Time Magazine has named Pope Francis its Person of the Year, only the third pope so honored by the magazine (after Blessed John XXIII and Blessed John Paul II). That’s hardly surprising. Who else has captured the attention of the world in 2013 as he has since his election? Also in the running for the recognition, and in the top 10 possibilities, was singer Miley Cyrus. Perhaps the …

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Pope Francis has launched a campaign of prayer and action against hunger. Organized by Caritas, a wave of prayer started December 10 at noon on the island of Samoa and will progress around the world. You can join in by praying this prayer at noon: O God, you entrusted to us the fruits of all creation so that we might care for the earth and be nourished with its bounty. You sent us your Son to share our very flesh and blood and to teach us your Law of Love. Through His death and resurrection, we have …

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