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Dismas: A Journey of Forgiveness

March 28th, 2014 by Mary Anne Bressler

The only place I felt forgiven was in the Catholic church. The individual who expressed this sentiment is a convicted felon, a young man who served time and has continued to serve time through the seemingly never-ending punishments meted out by society after the door closes behind you on the way out of prison. I didn’t know much about returning citizens until three years ago when I joined a task force of Advocate for Justice, the Archdiocesan Social Action Collaborative. So often when we speak of the criminal justice system, we speak in terms of …

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Knock, Knock

February 26th, 2014 by Joshua Danis

A couple of days ago, I was shaving and getting ready for work in the bathroom when I heard the gingerly sound of a toddler’s knock on the door.  “Who is it?” I asked. “Heehee, it’s Michael!” came the giggling response. I guess his mother has been teaching him closed door etiquette lately.  Being a child who loves repetition and coming to recognize patterns, Michael goes through the routine of opening and closing the door half a dozen times in the next two minutes.  I proceed to help him test out all the different responses …

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Discerning God’s Will

February 25th, 2014 by Dan Thomas

Recently at the Sunday liturgy we sang “Jesus, Lead Me.” It is not the most powerful or deep or even beautiful of music, but it raised a question for me about how I/we know where it is that Jesus is leading us. Nearly a month ago, I read the book Discernment: Reading the Signs of Daily Life by Henri Nouwen with Michael Christensen and Rebecca Laird. This book is the third of a series (the other two are Spiritual Direction: Wisdom for the Long Walk of Faith, and Spiritual Formation: Following the Movements of the Spirit) …

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Christ at the Center: Home Edition

February 22nd, 2014 by amcentee

February 23, 2014: 7th Sunday of Ordinary Time Gospel: Matthew 5:38-48 Jesus said to his disciples: “You have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one as well. If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic, hand over your cloak as well. Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go for two miles. Give to the …

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Christ at the Center: Home Edition

February 15th, 2014 by amcentee

February 16, 2014: 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time Gospel: Matthew 5:17-37 Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom …

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The Greatest Show On Earth – and the Finale is up to You

February 10th, 2014 by Tajci Cameron

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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Christ at the Center: Home Edition

February 8th, 2014 by amcentee

February 9, 2014: 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time Gospel: Matthew 5:13-16 Jesus said to his disciples: “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. …

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Running from the Cold

February 6th, 2014 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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Magic Wand? or a Combo of Hard Work and Faith?

February 5th, 2014 by Tajci Cameron

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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Prayer and Its Difficult Depths

February 4th, 2014 by Dan Thomas

Through the blog of Sean Michael Winter I came across an article, Dumbing Religion Down in the New York Times William James, Joel Osteen, and the Gray Lady BY LEON WIESELTIER literary editor of The New Republic  In it he raises several significant issues worth reflecting about in our experience of religious belief and religious practice, particularly the practice of prayer. First, there are Wieseltier’s reflections on intercessory prayer that point out its difficulties and challenges: “As the climactic pleadings were chanted, I was pierced by an intuition of the utter impotence, the wrenching sensation …

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