Marriage and the Family: An Encouragement to the Joy of Love

8/04/2016 Vatican City. Press conference presenting Pope Francis' Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation "Amoris laetitia", on love in the family, in the Holy See Press Office. Cardinal Christoph Schonborn O.P., Archbishop of Vienna. Photo Grzegorz Galazka.

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn gave the official presentation of the text at the April 8 press conference in Rome. The Pope chose Schönborn for this task because he is a Dominican (i.e., a follower of the great medieval Dominican, St. Thomas Aquinas) and because he played a key role in drafting the Catechism The evening of […]

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The Sorrow at the Heart of “The Joy of Love”

20.11.2012 Roma. Presentazione del libro "L'infanzia di Gesù", scritto da Benedetto XVI, nella Sala San Pio X. Il card. Gianfranco Ravasi, Presidente del Pontificio Consiglio della Cultura.

Francis in Amoris Laetitia (“The Joy of Love”) has written a hymn to the joy that the lasting love between a man and a woman in marriage brings. But this love can grow cold, and sorrow over this failure is at the heart of The Joy of Love. And this has led to controversy The […]

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The Pope’s Hymn to Marriage

In his Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia (“The Joy of Love”), Pope Francis praises the beauty of marriage and family life. In an age where marriage is in decline, the document is a reminder of how wonderful marriage can be “Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near Him to listen to Him. But […]

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The Mystery of Man

Giusto_de'_menabuoi battistero di padova

Our immortal souls are joined to mortal bodies. How can this be? A thought-provoking philosophical reflection on human nature by the great Belgian philosopher Dr. Alice von Hildebrand At age eleven, I was privileged to discover Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), one of the very great names in French literature, and I started reading his Pensées. I […]

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Holy Week with Pope Francis

20/03/2016 Saint Peter's Square. Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord. At the end of the Palm procession Pope Francis blesses palms and olive branches in front of the Obelisk. Photo Grzegorz Galazka.

The Liturgical Celebrations of Holy Week Unfolded with No Violent Incidents Despite Fears following the March 22 Terrorist Bombings in Brussels  Pope Francis in his Palm Sunday 2016 homily lamented what he termed a lack of concern for the many Middle Eastern and African refugees flooding into Europe, making a comparison to the Roman authorities […]

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Letters to the Editor

On Amoris Laetitia (“The Joy of Love”) Thank you for forwarding by email “The Joy of Love” by Pope Francis, published on April 8. I have read it and think it is one of the finest pieces ever written. I’m hoping our community will do a study of it. God bless you. Eva D. Madison […]

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Editorial: We Are Free, and What That Means

The great predicament in our modern age is less a belief that we moderns are “like gods” than it is a conviction that we are like animals, ruled by instinct — that we have no free will. But Christian belief is that man is in fact free… The early Church universally held that every man […]

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Spirituality: The Orthodox Saints Speak

Russia___Kirill_Easter_Pasqua celebration

The Resurrection of Christ “Having beheld the Resurrection of Christ, let us worship the holy Lord Jesus, the only sinless one. We venerate Thy cross, O Christ, and Thy holy Resurrection we praise and glorify. For Thou art our God, and we know none other than Thee. We call on Thy name. O come, all […]

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The Message of the Icon: Extreme Humility

estrema umilt‡ ok

One of the most powerful icons for the Lenten season is that depicting the King of Glory in His tomb, commonly called “Extreme Humility.” The grave is the great human equalizer, of course; princes and paupers alike must descend into death and experience the corruption of the flesh. An honest contemplation of the grave must […]

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The Tears of This World (“Lacrimae rerum”— Virgil, Aenaeid)


Recognizing how we hurt other people can be the first step in becoming more charitable to our neighbor One of the sad facts of human existence, as mentioned by St. Augustine, is that, wittingly or unwittingly, we hurt other people’s feelings. Of this, there is a whole gamut of possibilities; let me mention some of […]

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Spirituality: The Orthodox Saints Speak

1112nilusathos (1)

Rivalry over material possessions has made us forget. . . So we no longer pursue plainness and simplicity of life. We no longer value stillness, which helps to free us from past defilement, but prefer a whole host of things which distract us uselessly from our true goal. Rivalry over material possessions has made us […]

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The Message of the Icon


Christ the Judge This month we highlight a famous and brilliantly executed icon dating from the 6th or 7th century. The icon was preserved during the time of the iconoclastic heresy simply due to the remote location of Saint Catherine’s Monastery at the base of Mount Sinai. Some of the oldest icons in the world […]

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“The Lord Changed My Life”

Interview with an exorcist:  “The best way of dealing with the devil is to fall in love with God” Fr. Peter Glas, a native of Poland, is a priest and exorcist in the Diocese of Portsmouth in southern England. He was ordained in 1989 and is a noted member of the International Association of Exorcists. […]

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Suffering, A Crushing Burden…

portare la croce compassion-bouguereau x

…except when it is an expression of love. Then it can sanctify, not destroy us If there is one thing we all dread, it is suffering. A newborn baby will already respond with screams to any discomfort. Many human beings spend much of their lives trying not only to avoid suffering, but to pursue enjoyment. […]

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Francis and Kirill

On February 12, 2016, Pope Francis met with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill at the airport in Havana, Cuba. It was the first time a Roman Pope has ever met a Russian Orthodox Patriarch. What now? “In the contemporary world, which is both multiform yet united by a shared destiny, Catholics and Orthodox are called to […]

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Exorcism and Spiritual Deliverance

Cathedral Gurk, Carinthia Esorcismo diavoli

An exorcist talks about the spiritual battle with the devil and what the strategy of the devil is to conquer our souls — and what we should do in response Catholics once recited, after every Mass, Pope Leo XIII’s Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel, which asked protection from “the wickedness and snares of the […]

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The Liturgical Year: The Byzantine Great Lent

The Liturgy of the Pre-sanctified Gifts, holy_eucharist

O Lord and Master of my life, drive from me the spirit of indifference, despair, lust for power and idle chatter. Instead, bestow on me, Your servant, the spirit of integrity, humility, patience and love. Yes, O Lord and King, let me see my own sins and not judge my brothers and sisters, for You […]

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The Fulfillment of Christ

Monreale adamo soffio di Dio

How is the Church, as St. Paul says in Ephesians, the fullness of Christ? A thoughtful reflection on the deeper meaning of the events we are now celebrating “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth… And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” (John 1:14, […]

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The Miracle of Christmas


A thought meditation on the meaning of the events we celebrate at Christmas, events which respond to the deepest desire of all men and women Once upon a time there lived this very tall Texan who travelled to Rome to see the sights, his size eclipsing all the buildings in town. Except the Basilica of […]

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The Great Divide (part 1)


Love, marriage, sacrifice, procreation: a reflection on the deep meaning of human love and marriage Many schools and universities pride themselves to have finally acknowledged that the difference between man and animals is minimal. As a matter of fact, Peter Singer, professor at Princeton University, proudly proclaims that a clever chimpanzee is intellectually much superior […]

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