The Christian struggle with secularity

We live in a highly secularized culture. Generally this draws one of three reactions from Christians struggling to live out faith in this context.

    Mighty winds and little breezes

    Elinor had been trying to mend a family relationship but found it ever more broken. She had done all she could think to do, including incessant prayer.

      Mexico's soon-to-be-saint recalled for her ministry to poor, sick

      GUADALARJARA, Mexico - A shy woman stopped to pray in front of statue of Blessed Maria Guadalupe Garcia Zavala while visiting the Santa Margarita Hospital. She knew little about the founder of the facility, who will be canonized May 12, but, like many, she had heard stories from hospital patients who say the soon-to-be-saint still walks the halls providing care, attention and miracles to those in need.

        Pope tells young to 'swim against the tide; it's good for the heart'

        VATICAN CITY - Administering the sacrament of Confirmation to 44 people, including two teenagers from the United States and two from Ireland, Pope Francis encouraged them to "swim against the tide; it's good for the heart."

          Support of abortion, euthanasia arise out of the ‘illusions’ of compassion: Collins

          TORONTO - The new evangelization isn't about condemning our culture but healing it, Cardinal Thomas Collins told an audience of doctors, nurses and health care ethicists at the annual Cardinal Ambrozic Lecture in Toronto.

            God is as near as we wish Him to be

            Sixth Sunday of Easter (Year C) May 5 (Acts 15:1-2, 22-29; Psalm 67; Revelation 21:10-14, 22-23; John 14:23-29)

            What are the basic entry requirements for joining the people of God? This is an age-old question that continues in our own day. In the reading from Acts, we can eavesdrop on a debate that tore the first Christian community apart: does one have to first become fully Jewish, observing all of the elements of the Law, in order to become a follower of Jesus? There were those who interpreted the Law and tradition very strictly and those who were more flexible. The hardliners from Jerusalem had unsettled the community of Antioch and upset the delicate balance between Jewish Christians and gentile converts. Some community members refused to even eat at the same table as gentile Christians. Old ideas die hard, especially those involving separation and difference.

              Lucky sevens: the lists are endless

              From the Bible to casinos, seven is often considered to be a magical, perfect and lucky number. Jesus told us to forgive those who hurt us 70 times seven times. Clearly He meant that to mean infinity. Genesis speaks of the seven days of creation, Scripture speaks of seven archangels, and the Book of Revelation speaks of the Seven Seals of Revelation. The Bible is saturated with the number seven. It would take several pages just to list the references.

                Vatican official says Archbishop Romero's sainthood cause 'unblocked'

                VATICAN CITY - Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family and the official promoter of the sainthood cause of the late Archbishop Oscar Romero of San Salvador, said the process to beatify and eventually canonize the slain Salvadoran archbishop has been unblocked.

                  Pope ordains new priests, talks about learning to hear Jesus' voice

                  VATICAN CITY - Before ordaining 10 men to the priesthood, Pope Francis prayed privately with them in the sacristy and entrusted them to Mary's care.

                    Pope reaffirms call for reform of U.S. nuns’ group

                    VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis has reaffirmed the Vatican’s call for reform of the U.S.-based Leadership Conference of Women Religious.

                      Self-giving love is not optional

                      Fifth Sunday of Easter (Year C) April 28 (Acts 14:21-27; Psalm 145; Revelation 21:1-5; John 13:1, 31-33, 34-35)

                      Becoming a follower of Jesus Christ was not an easy task in the first century. It often involved the loss of friends, the estrangement of family and alienation from one’s culture. Occasionally violent persecution was thrown in.