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Confronted with Christ

My brief reflection from Give Us This Day earlier this week:

Whenever we take our children to Manhattan, we are confronted by the reality of “these least brothers” Jesus talks about in today’s Gospel. On subways and street corners they hold out battered cups in battered hands. Our kids look to us to gauge whether we should be doing something, and if not, why not? We tell them we can’t give to every street person. And even as we explain, we fight our own guilt over ignoring those with the least who live among those with the most.

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Surprise! It’s Pope Francis. Yeah, that happens.

Pope Francis makes an impromptu visit to an immigrant settlement on the outskirts of Rome. This video is so beautiful it made me cry. Read more

Start talking: Real communication in a virtual world

Put your hands up and step away from the screen. That’s the Cliff Notes version of Pope Francis’ message for World Communications Day. Okay, I may be taking some liberties, but that’s definitely the general idea, and I couldn’t agree more, even if I am terribly addicted to all of my various screens.

The pope’s message and related comments from Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, are spot on, and I’m not just saying that because they affirm what I wrote in my book Walking Together: Discovering the Catholic Tradition of Spiritual Friendship or in numerous columns and articles on parenting, marriage, and life in general. Read more

News flash: Pope Francis isn’t saying anything new

I’ve kept quiet through a lot of the ridiculous stuff that goes on out there in the media world lately. To be honest, I just don’t have it in me anymore to bang my head against the wall of the blogosphere, but today I just can’t keep quiet. One word: EVOLUTION. Why, why, WHY is this breaking news? Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Pope Francis. (See that photo over there on the left? I took it when I was THIS CLOSE to the pope two weeks ago. If I’d been just a little bit unhinged, I could have jumped that barrier and been in his popemobile. But I digress…) I love Pope Francis. (Remember my post from when he was elected, “My Pope Crush: He Had Me at Hola”? Oh wait, I’m digressing again.) So, anyway, I love Pope Francis, and I appreciate the fact that he wants to get the truth out there, but the truth is that his statements on evolution and the Big Bang theory are not new, not even close. The fact that the press — and a good chunk of the world, I guess — don’t seem to realize this and thinks the pope is making some landmark statement is just mind boggling to me. Read more

Giving a soul to the internet

My June Life Lines column, running in the current issue of Catholic New York:

When you sign onto Facebook to check out your friend’s latest vacation photos or post a status update, you probably don’t think of it as an evangelization opportunity, but social media is fast becoming one of the most effective ways for Catholics to share their beliefs in unintimidating and powerful ways.

By providing a virtual witness through things we say, the links we post, the community we build, we draw people toward us and, by extension, the faith that sustains us. Read more

Pope Francis: “If we destroy creation, creation will destroy us.”

It’s not easy being green. Today Pope Francis used his General Audience to talk about our stewardship of God’s creation. Preach it: 

“Creation is not a property, which we can rule over at will; or, even less, is the property of only a few: Creation is a gift, it is a wonderful gift that God has given us, so that we care for it and we use it for the benefit of all, always with great respect and gratitude. Read more

Manic Monday: A pope, a robin’s nest and Pearl Jam

I thought today’s headline should appropriately reflect just how manic this Monday will be, or how manic this past week has been. A little a bit of everything — and then some. Which is exactly the point of Manic Monday. Lots going on lately, and this week will be no different. We wrapped up our week with a first-of-season visit to Jim’s Tastee Freez here in Delmar, which you can see the girls enjoying in that photo on the left. Here’s what the rest of our Manic Monday looks like: Read more

Pope Francis: All are invited to a ‘life-changing encounter’ with Christ

I was thinking about blogging about the disciples on the Road to Emmaus when I sat down to breakfast today, and then I read Pope Francis’ homily on this very subject and realized that, once again, he says it better than I ever could. Not that this is surprising news, but, still. And, as always, he gets me thinking, especially when he gives us the three examples of what a life-changing encounter with Christ looks like.

So, here, courtesy of Rome Reports, is the text of the pope’s message today.

A thought to ponder as you read: Have you missed Jesus on your own Road to Emmaus? I’m pretty sure I have, at least a dozen times. Read more

Should Eucharist be the only thing that matters?

Over the past few weeks, folks here have talked about the role of Eucharist in their lives and in the liturgy, with a lot of people saying as long as there is Eucharist it shouldn’t matter how lame the rest of the liturgy might be. One commenter went so far as to say that even if Nazis did liturgical dance for an hour, it wouldn’t matter if Eucharist was at the end of it. Yes, someone actually presented that argument. So I thought maybe we needed to talk about this a little more, about Eucharist and how it plays into the life of an average Catholic. Read more