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How Lent Reminds Us of What We Should Be Doing All Year

In her wisdom, the Church gives us these seasons of preparation – Advent and Lent – not only to help us truly understand the feasts they precede, but to remind us of what we should be doing as disciples of Jesus every single day. It’s the nature of the lay state, living in the world, that we get distracted. We’re called to live as disciples and so to transform the world around us. But all to often we get distracted and end up being transformed by the world instead. Advent and Lent are seasons to call us back to the Covenant – and back to true discipleship.

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My Inner Abbey – Where I Meet Jesus

The “Rebuilding My Inner Abbey” webcast has finally relaunched! After months of messing around trying to get live video to work, I’ve finally come to the conclusion that our rural connection is just not going to work. So I’m pre-recording all the episodes. But you can still join the conversation, ask questions and get bonus…

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Don’t Take Vacation from God

We all know that things slow down over the summer. School is out. Parish activities stop, except possibly for a parish picnic. Every institution assumes everybody will be traveling or camping. So it’s understandable that we consider summer a time to take a break from everything – including our faith. Summer activity and travel are…

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What Are We Really Celebrating Tomorrow?

Welcome to the last day of Advent! Tomorrow we shift our celebration from joyful anticipation to full-out celebration. To maximize our joy this Christmas season, let’s reflect on what we’re celebrating. If your parish is stuck in “Jesus birthday” mode, you’re going to love reflecting on the full meaning of Christmas. During Christmas, God enters…

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Celebrate Advent – Wait for Christmas

H.L. Mencken famously quipped that “Puritanism [is the] haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.” A similar attitude is applied to the Catholic Church. There is a horrible assumption in the world – and sometimes within the Church as well – that the world is about having fun and doing whatever you desire while…

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Fourth Sunday of Advent: The Week of Charity

This past weekend, my family was watching the movie “The Year Without a Santa Clause.” Early in the movie, one of the characters says, “No Santa Clause? Christmas would have no meaning!” My nine-year-old daughter immediately said, “That’s not true! Jesus’ birth is the meaning of Christmas!” I guess we’re doing something right. Later in…

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Our Hearts Are Ready, Lord . . .

Back in June, Pope Francis gave a homily based on St. Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians. He taught that, while grace is freely given, we need to prepare our hearts to receive God’s grace so that we do not “receive the grace of God in vain.” This means to be attentive to God in…

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