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Moving beyond our bad habits

We all have our faults, weaknesses, places where we short-circuit morally, dark spots, secret and not-so-secret addictions. When we’re honest, we know how universally true are St. Paul’s words when he writes: “The good thing I want to do, I never do; the evil thing that I do not want to do — that is what I do.” None of us are whole, saints through and through. There’s always something we are struggling with: anger, bitterness, vengefulness, selfishness, laziness or lack of self-control (major or minor) with sex, food, drink or entertainment.

Lived faith, service, charity keys to evangelization, says synod text

VATICAN CITY - Catholics who act like their faith has nothing to do with daily life and a church structure that is more bureaucracy than service are two impediments to the church's ability to proclaim faith in Jesus, said the working document for the next world Synod of Bishops.

"Every one of the church's actions has an essential evangelizing character and must never be separated from the duty to help others encounter Christ in faith," said the document that will guide the work of the synod, scheduled for Oct. 7-28 at the Vatican.

Pope Benedict XVI chose as the synod's theme: "The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith."

Cardinal Ouellet homily at Lough Derg

Here is the text of the homily given by Cardinal Marc Ouellet, who asked forgiveness on behalf of the Church for the sexual abuse of children by some clergy.

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Related Story: Cardinal Ouellet, representing Pope, meets with Irish abuse victims

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Dear brothers and sisters,

Pope Benedict XVI asked me, as His Legate to the 50th International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin, that I would come to Lough Derg and ask God’s forgiveness for the times clerics have sexually abused children not only in Ireland but anywhere in the Church.

Pope prays Dublin congress draws people closer to Christ, one another

VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI called for prayers for the 50th International Eucharistic Congress under way in Dublin, expressing hopes it would lead to a greater appreciation of Jesus' self-sacrifice and deeper love and unity in the church.

The weeklong gathering, which opened June 10, is "a precious occasion for reaffirming the centrality of the Eucharist in the life of the church," the Pope said at the end of his weekly general audience June 13.

Our work is about the Lord

Birth of John the Baptist (Year B) June 24 (Isaiah 49:1-6; Psalm 139; Acts 13:22-26; Luke 1:57-66, 80)

What will this child become? Many people — especially new parents — ask this question when they gaze upon a newborn baby. In any large group of infants there are a few who will become great, a much larger group destined for relative anonymity and a few headed for frightening notoriety. All, however, enter this world with free will and a wide range of possibilities. No one begins life with a signed and sealed fate from which there is no escape.

‘There’s always something!’

A friend of mine jokingly says that when she dies she wants this epitaph on her gravestone: There was always something!

And there always is. All of us appreciate her frustration. Invariably, there’s always something, big or small, that casts a shadow and somehow keeps us from fully entering the present moment and appreciating its richness. There is always some anxiety, some worry about something that we should have done or should be doing, some unpaid bill, some concern about what we need to face tomorrow, some lingering heartache, some concern about our health or the health of another, some hurt that is still burning or some longing for someone who is absent that mitigates our joy. There’s always something, some loss, some hurt, some jealousy, some obsession or some headache, that is forever draining the present moment of its joy.

Love, patience led promoter of Kateri's sainthood cause for 55 years

VATICAN CITY - Although separated from her by three centuries, an ocean and major cultural differences, Jesuit Father Paolo Molinari absolutely loves Kateri Tekakwitha, the Native American who will become a saint in October.

While the 88-year-old Italian Jesuit was forced to give his successor most of the sainthood causes he still was actively promoting when he turned 80, "thank God, they let me keep Kateri."

Father Molinari, one of the church's most prolific postulators -- as the official promoters of causes are called -- inherited Kateri's cause from his Jesuit predecessor in 1957.

Cardinal Ouellet says society has lost sense of marriage, family

MAYNOOTH, Ireland - The Vatican official who will act as papal legate for the International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin defended marriage based on the church's traditional teaching and urged Catholics to use the resource of the family to confront the challenges of secularized societies.

Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet, head of the Congregation for Bishops, made his comment in his keynote address to open the International Theology Symposium at St. Patrick's College June 6.

Vatican II did not downplay eucharistic adoration, Pope says

ROME - A misunderstanding of the Second Vatican Council has led some Catholics to think that eucharistic adoration and Corpus Christi processions are pietistic practices that pale in importance to the celebration of Mass, Pope Benedict XVI said.

"A unilateral interpretation of the Second Vatican Council has penalized this dimension" of Catholic faith, which is to recognize Jesus truly present in the Eucharist and worthy of adoration, the Pope said June 7 during a Mass marking the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ.

Sundays must be a day of rest dedicated to God, family, Pope says

VATICAN CITY - The demands of work can't bully people out of needed time off, Pope Benedict XVI said.

Sunday must be a day of rest for everyone, so people can be free to be with their families and with God, the Pope said.

"By defending Sunday, one defends human freedom," he said during his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square June 6.

The Father determines all human destinies

Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) June 17 (Ezekiel 17:22-24; Psalm 92; 2 Corinthians 5:6-10; Mark 4:26-34)

A parable or metaphor plucked from its original time and place is often difficult to understand. At first glance, the image of planting and tending shoots in the reading from Ezekiel seems vague and puzzling. It is only when we study chapter 17 in its entirety and place it in the context of the sixth century BC that it becomes clearer.