By: Cindy Wooden (CNS)
Originally Appeared in : 9908-4/11/19

VATICAN CITY (CNS)-- The life of a young person and the vocation to which God calls each one is “holy ground” that pastors and parents must respect, nurture and encourage, Pope Francis wrote in a new apostolic exhortation.


“Christus Vivit” (“Christ Lives”), the pope’s reflections on the 2018 Synod of Bishops on young people, the faith and vocational discernment, is a combination letter to young people about their place in the Church and a plea to older members of the Church not to stifle the enthusiasm of the young, but to offer gentle guidance when needed.


By: Mary Marrocco (CNS)
Originally Appeared in : 9908-4/11/19

Not far from where I live is a donkey farm. It’s highly popular because of the donkeys’ beauty. Donkeys, the most mistreated of animals, have a gentleness that draws and heals people. It’s a sanctuary for the donkeys but also for the people.


When the Gospels were written, no therapeutic donkey sanctuaries existed, but the donkey was a common animal of service, humble and ordinary. The donkey appears in every Gospel. All four evangelists show Jesus entering Jerusalem to a great welcome — riding, not a majestic horse that a king or warrior might ride, but a donkey.

By: Shemaiah Gonzalez (CNS)
Originally Appeared in : 9908-4/11/19

Holy Week invites us to walk through the sufferings of Christ. Christ said very little when he was betrayed. He did not attempt to defend himself, but “humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross” (Phil 2:8).


With so little said, Christ’s last seven words hold weight. A Jesuit priest in the 17th century is said to have started this devotion and it has become a well-loved tradition since. We contemplate not on a single word but these last seven statements said. During Holy Week, set some time aside to meditate on his precious words.


By: Jennifer Ficcaglia (CNS)
Originally Appeared in : 9908-4/11/19

After Jesus returned to his Father in heaven, the apostles preached to the people about Jesus.


This angered the high priest and the Sadducees, who had the apostles thrown in jail.


During the night, an angel of the Lord came to the jail and opened the doors.


“Go and take your place in the Temple area, and tell the people everything about this life,” the angel said.


The apostles left the jail. In the morning, they went to the Temple to teach.


By: Jennifer Ficcaglia (CNS)
Originally Appeared in : 9907-3/28/19



Jesus and his apostles traveled to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover. As Jesus entered the city riding on a colt, people spread their cloaks on the road before him.


“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven and glory in the highest,” they shouted.


Jesus and his friends ate the Passover meal in a large upper room of a house in the city. During the meal — which Christians call the Last Supper — Jesus instituted the Eucharist and explained that one of his friends would betray him.

By: Sister Constance Veit (CNS)
Originally Appeared in : 9907-3/28/19

As a child I was an overachiever with a strong competitive streak. I couldn’t stand to lose at anything, not even Candy Land. By the time I entered religious life I had learned to curb the drive to be first in everything, at least outwardly, but I was still a diehard perfectionist — until trying to reach perfection through my own efforts led me to the brink of despair.


By: Deacon Robert Vigil (CNS)
Originally Appeared in : 9907-3/28/19

On this Fourth Sunday of Lent, we hear the parable of the prodigal son. When I was a kid, my father spoke to me in Dichos, also known as proverbs. He used to tell me, “Di me con quien andas y te digo quien eres.” Tell me who you run with and I will tell you who you are.


By: Dennis Sadowski (CNS)
Originally Appeared in : 9906-3/14/19

WASHINGTON (CNS) --Four Catholic Relief Service staff members on their way to a training session in Nairobi, Kenya, were among the passengers aboard an Ethiopian Airlines flight that crashed moments after takeoff in the east African nation.


The accident March 10 claimed the lives of 157 people on board, many of them from humanitarian agencies.


By: Jennifer Ficcaglia (CNS)
Originally Appeared in : 9906-3/14/19



Moses was married to a daughter of Jethro, the priest of Midian. One day, Moses was tending his father-in-law’s flock near Horeb, the mountain of God.


As Moses walked along, something strange caught his eye. A nearby bush was on fire, but the flames were not destroying it.


“I must go over to look at this remarkable sight, and see why the bush is not burned,” Moses said.


God saw that the burning bush had caught Moses’ attention.   “Moses. Moses.” God called out from the bush.


By: Stephanie Clary (CNS)
Originally Appeared in : 9906-3/14/19

I used to think that fasting was worthless. I would find reasons to excuse myself from the obligatory Lenten practice: low blood sugar, anemia, etc. While true, these weren’t the reasons I wasn’t fasting. I couldn’t understand how depriving myself of food made any difference in the world.


Yes, the Lenten fast is coupled with prayer and almsgiving, but I knew my prayers were heard and my donations effective regardless of how many calories I consumed. Since I didn’t think fasting mattered, for years I didn’t do it.



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