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Sacraments

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Thanksgiving and the Eucharist

Before thanksgiving was an American holiday, it was a way of life for Jews and Christians alike, indeed a hallmark of the Judeo-Christian tradition. All ancient peoples gave thanks for creation; only Jews and Christians believe that God acted decisively in history to secure...

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Buried With Christ in Baptism – Basil

This Holy week reading on imitating Christ's death by being buried with him through baptism amplifies St. Paul's words in Romans 6:11 that in the sacrament of baptism we are baptized into Christ's death, being buried as it were with him under the saving waters...

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Baptism, Born Again in Water & Spirit – Basil

This excerpt on the sacrament of baptism from St. Basil the Great’s book On the Holy Spirit (ca. AD 360) describes how baptism fulfills what Jesus says to Nicodemus in John 3 about being born again in water and the Spirit. He also here outlines...

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True Repentance of Sin – Second Century Homily

This excerpt from a homily written in the second century by an anonymous Early Church Father speaks of true and sincere repentance of sin. His insistence that we must "keep the seal of our baptism undefiled" shows that the "once saved, always saved" doctrine...

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Zacchaeus – Grace Comes to the Tax Collector

Zacchaeus (a.k.a Zaccheus) was an especially successful tax collector and therefore an exceptionally hated man. On the road to Jericho, from the limb of a Sycamore tree, this blood-sucking vampire caught a glimpse of mercy and grace and had to make a choice....

The Confiteor – Why Beat our Breasts?

In Advent 2011, the English Translation of the Mass was changed.  One of the most noticeable changes was in the Penitential prayer in the beginning of the service known as the Confiteor.  Why all of a sudden did we begin beating our breast and saying...

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True Sacrifice, the Body of Christ – Augustine

Augustine reflects on the nature of a true sacrifice pleasing to God. Works of mercy and acts of compassion qualify, but the most perfect sacrifice is that of the Whole Body of Christ, head and members (Totus Christus), which is offered to God in every...