As Catholics are encouraged to make going to confession a significant part of their lives during Lent, Pope Francis offered some quick tips to help people prepare for the sacrament of penance. After a brief explanation of why people should go to confession -- "because we are all sinners" -- the pope listed 30 key questions to reflect on as part of making an examination of conscience and being able to "confess well."
St. Bernard of Clairvaux meditated and wrote about twelve steps to deeper humility in his book "Steps of Humility and Pride." The twelve steps include Fear of God, Abnegation of self-will, Obedience, Patient endurance, Disclosure of the heart, Contentedness with what is, Lucid self-awareness, Submission to the common rule, Silence, Emotional sobriety, Restraint in speech, and Congruity between one’s inside and one’s outside.
One of the biggest things I believe needs to be changed in order for youth ministry to be more effective, is that we must make ministry less about what we can do and more about what we can enable others to do.
The continuing presence of courageous men and women religious is Iraq is an important sign of hope amid the suffering of the Christian population there. That was the key theme of a report released by two Dominican leaders who recently visited Baghdad and the northern Iraqi city of Erbil, capital of the Kurdistan region.
Remember that Lent when you decided you wouldn't give up anything, but you would have a really authentic Lent with a disciplined regimen of daily prayer and spiritual reading. Yeah, that didn't go so well. A good Lent means starting with a plan. What better way to carry it out than with an app to remind you of your best intentions? Here are 7 mostly free apps to help you out.
ISIS beheaded 21 Coptic Christians. Surely it is time to dust off the war psalms in our breviaries, to pray the prayer to St. Michael, and to make those fervent supplications we usually tuck away to remain inoffensive within this Pluralistic Disneyland we call modernity — “Save me, my God! For you strike the jaws of all my foes; you break the teeth of the wicked.”
In his Ash Wednesday homily, Pope Francis said the time of Lent is a call to leave hypocrisy behind and reconcile with God through fasting, charity and prayerful tears before our merciful Father.
With Lent about to begin, some of us will have thought and prayed about our Lenten resolutions for weeks, and are well prepared to commence this holy season. Others of us will be hurriedly making our Lenten resolutions in the next few hours.
Pancake Day, or Shrove Tuesday, is the traditional feast day before the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday. Lent - the 40 days leading up to Easter - was traditionally a time of fasting and on Shrove Tuesday, Anglo-Saxon Christians went to confession and were "shriven" (absolved from their sins). A bell would be rung to call people to confession. This came to be called the “Pancake Bell” and is still rung today.
Do you ever wonder if Jesus’ followers got confused when He spoke? I mean, when you hear Jesus said things like “He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 10:39), do you think Peter and Andrew were a little confused but too embarrassed to admit it? When Jesus said, “The leader is one who serves” (Luke 22:26) can’t you almost imagine St. Matthew and St. Thomas nodding in agreement but silently wondering what the Lord was talking about?
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