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Advent as the Season of Hope

Advent is a season of joy & hope. Paul says to rejoice in hope. But what is hope, anyway? How does this theological virtue differ from faith and what does it have to do with rejoicing?...

The Church of the Future – Josef Ratzinger

In 1969, then Fr. Josef Ratzinger, theologian and peritus (theological advisor to the bishops) at the Second Vatican Council, predicted that the Church of the future would be much smaller than it was in the sixties, at least in the western, developed world.  But, the...

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Songs of Joy & Jubilation – Augustine

Augustine, commenting on the psalms command to sing to God songs of joy, notes that the jubilation in our hearts sometimes overflows the capacity of all words, yet we cannot remain silent. The Church recalls such songs of joy on the feast of St....

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Sing to the Lord a New Song! – Augustine

This excerpt from an Eastertide sermon by Saint Augustine was addressed to the newly baptized, who Augustine considers as the chosen, holy seed who have been born again in Jesus Christ through the Sacrament of baptism. These new men and women are now sharers...

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Two Kinds of Faith – Cyril of Jerusalem

Cyril of Jerusalem on two dimensions of faith, as taught by the Bible. There is the faith necessary for salvation which is a gift offered to all. Then there is the extraordinary grace of mustard seed faith....

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Council of Orange on Grace

The second Council of Orange was a small synod of only 14 bishops, presided over by St. Caesarius, bishop of Arles, held in what is now south-eastern France.  It confronted issues of faith, grace, free-will and predestination in order to solve lingering debates over Pelagianism...

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All Saints Day Means Holiness is for All

All Saints Day gives us the opportunity to honor and celebrate the multitudes of Christians who are in heaven yet who don't appear on the list of canonized saints or have a feast day in their honor. But it also provides us the chance...

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The Pharisee, the Publican, and Humility

The parable of the Pharisee and the Publican (aka tax collector) in Luke 18 teaches us a lot about pride, humility and . . . insanity. It even gives us insight into one of the principal battle cries of the Protestant Reformation -- "sola...

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Mustard Seed Faith – St. Francis & the Sultan

Jesus calls us to have faith at least the size of a mustard seed. He also constantly addresses his disciples with this command: Be not afraid! St. Francis of Assisi shows us how to leave behind fear and grow in trust....