July 10, 2020

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The Sower: Perseverance in the Face of Disappointment

Often when we hear the Parable of the Sower (Mt 13:1-9), the point of emphasis is the disciple as rich soil. The metaphor is that the sower is Jesus, the seed is the Word of God, and the soil is the person who receives the Word. The desired outcome is for the listener to be rich and fertile soil, cultivated, soft and receptive, eager to welcome the seed, to let it take root, permeate one’s life, grow and flourish, and produce astonishing results.

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June 26, 2020

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The First Martyrs of the Holy Roman Church

The memorial of the First Martyrs of the Holy Roman Church comes one day after the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul. The first day, June 29, is the remembrance of the two most famous martyrs who died during the persecution of Nero, St. Peter crucified upside down in 64 AD and St. Paul beheaded in 67 AD. The second day, June 30, is the remembrance of the countless other nameless saints who died during the same persecution.

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June 19, 2020

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St. Aloysius Gonzaga

St. Aloysius Gonzaga

St. Aloysius Gonzaga was born on March 9, 1568, at the family castle in Lombardy, Italy. He was born into the Castiglione clan, an aristocratic and extremely wealthy family. His father, Marquis Ferrante, was a Venetian knight who served under King Philip II of Spain, and he made it clear that he wanted his son to pursue a career in the military.

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June 19, 2020

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Ordinary Time

The liturgical year is divided into six sections: Advent, Christmas, early Ordinary Time, Lent, Easter, and late Ordinary Time.

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June 12, 2020

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Father Bloom, The Eucharist, and Eternal Life

This is Crosier Fr. John C. Bloomenstein, O.S.C. Born in the Netherlands, January 20, 1902; Ordained a priest July 25, 1927; Died at the Crosier Monastery, Onamia, Minnesota, February 3, 1983.

Fr. John C. Bloomenstein, O.S.C., was a character, to say the least. The first time I met him he had a cigar in one hand, a glass of gin in the other, a smile on his face, and a twinkle in his eye. He was fun, abuzz with energy, the life of the party. He had the gift of gab, and he helped others gab more. And the laughter. Smart quips. Jokes. Teasing. He was joy personified. Everyone called him “Father Bloom” and affectionately nicknamed him “The old goat.”

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June 4, 2020

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The Trinitarian Coucils – Nicaea, Constantinople, and Ephesus

During the Fourth and Fifth Centuries, the Church was beset by conflict over different understandings of the God the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, who they are and their relationship to each other. A series of three major ecumenical councils addressed these questions and progressively defined the Church’s doctrine of the Most Holy Trinity.

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May 29, 2020

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Pentecost – the role of the Holy Spirit

As we celebrate Pentecost, this is an opportune time to reflect briefly about the nature of the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Most Holy Trinity.

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May 22, 2020

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St. Bede the Venerable, Priest and Doctor of the Church

St. Bede the Venerable was born in 673 in Northumbria, a remote and rugged area of northeast England near the twin Benedictine abbeys of Saint Peter and Saint Paul at Wearmouth and Jarrow. He was sent there at the age of seven to be raised by the monks and he was educated, first by Abbot Benedict Bishop of Wearmouth and then by Abbot Ceolfrid of Jarrow.

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May 22, 2020

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A curious detail about Matthew’s Ascension gospel

Ascension

The Ascension is entirely absent in Matthew’s gospel. All of the details of the other accounts (Mk 16:19; Lk 24:51; Acts 1:9) receive no mention. There is no cloud, no lifting up, no vanishing from their sight, and no enthronement of Jesus at God’s right hand. This oddity is no oversight. It is not an error or a mistake.

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May 15, 2020

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St. John I, pope and martyr

Pope John I

St. John I was born in Tuscany, Italy. His memorial is celebrated on the anniversary of his death, May 18, but in some localities he is commemorated on May 27. He became an archdeacon and a member of the Roman clergy. He was elected Pope on August 13, 523, despite his advanced age and poor health, and he served as Pope for three years (523-526).

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