Monthly Archives: August 2016

Totality: A Year From Today

A total solar eclipse is certainly on my bucket list. A year from today I will be off from parish duty and driving south into Oregon to see something I’ve wanted to see since I was a little boy. I’ve … Continue reading

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Amoris Laetitia 138: Relating To Another

More advice from Pope Francis, not just applicable to a spouse: 138. Develop the habit of giving real importance to the other person. This means appreciating them and recognizing their right to exist, to think as they do and to … Continue reading

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Bernard of Clairvaux

The name saint of my graduate school has a feast today. I suspect Trappists around the world today have a little festivity added to their austerity. In his lifetime, Bernard was something of a wunderkind. Abbot at 25. More effective … Continue reading

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Amoris Laetitia 137: Listening

Pope Francis elaborates on how to listen: 137. Take time, quality time. This means being ready to listen patiently and attentively to everything the other person wants to say. It requires the self-discipline of not speaking until the time is … Continue reading

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Amoris Laetitia 136: Dialogue

One thinks dialogue is easy. And for some couples, that may be true. But for others, probably most, it takes practice: 136. Dialogue is essential for experiencing, expressing and fostering love in marriage and family life. Yet it can only … Continue reading

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Rabbis on Christianity

One of my facebook friends posted this news on a statement from Orthodox Jewish rabbis on Christianity. Catholicism got a special shout-out: We recognize that since the Second Vatican Council the official teachings of the Catholic Church about Judaism have … Continue reading

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Amoris Laetitia 135: Love Is Never A Finished Product

The bishops of Chile criticize what they see as consumerism. I think their assessment is spot on: 135. It is not helpful to dream of an idyllic and perfect love needing no stimulus to grow. A celestial notion of earthly … Continue reading

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Amoris Laetitia 134: Constant Growth

In Church circles, one sometimes hears phrases like “lifelong catechesis” or “continuing conversion” The implication is that we are never a finished product. In marriage, this is also likely to apply. Pope Francis calls on Thomas Aquinas to present the … Continue reading

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Amoris Laetitia 133: A Love That Reveals Itself and Increases

Love isn’t defined by outward acts and by spoken words, but the virtue is assisted when people practice the outward signs of that interior reality. Pope Francis are cites some recent words: 133. The love of friendship unifies all aspects … Continue reading

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Amoris Laetitia 132: Judging When To Commit

A priest with whom I once worked often commented on a significant flaw in our culture: the unwillingness or inability to commit. He wasn’t just talking about sex and marriage. Jobs, friendships, volunteer work, college majors. And he’s right. When … Continue reading

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Amoris Laetitia 131: Marrying For Love

Today, the role of love. Not a hindrance or obstacle to our discussion of commitment and sacrament. Commitment ensures the flowering of love: 131. I would like to say to young people that none of this is jeopardized when their … Continue reading

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Amoris Laetitia 130: Growth From Adversity

Battle imagery from one of the Western Fathers, but not inappropriate, I’d say: 130. On the other hand, joy also grows through pain and sorrow. In the words of Saint Augustine, “the greater the danger in battle the greater is … Continue reading

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A Day Of Opportunity

I was pleased to discover some weeks ago my parish is offering the same holy day schedule this coming Monday as it does for when such observances are obligatory. Compared to Sundays, the numbers will be small. I suppose that … Continue reading

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EPL 2016-17

My alarm will be set to wake early to watch pre-game tomorrow and catch the first two matches of the new English Premier League season. I’ve been pouring most of my sports attention the last few years into soccer, so this weekend … Continue reading

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Amoris Laetitia 129: The Cultivation of Love

Love is not an abstract rational thing. It co-exists in a material universe where it can be revealed, symbolized, or represented by concrete acts. These acts are not love, but rather the cultivation of it. Let’s read: 129. The joy … Continue reading

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