Faith Alive

By: Mike Nelson (CNS)
Originally Appeared in : 9909-4/25/19

Near the end of “Jesus of Nazareth,” the acclaimed 1977 miniseries, those who put Jesus to death are alarmed, to say the least, at the news his tomb has been emptied — and that maybe, just maybe, Jesus has done what he said he would do: rise from the dead.


“And now,” murmurs one of the alarmed, “it begins.”


Such is Easter: a beginning. But of what?


By: Maureen Pratt (CNS)
Originally Appeared in : 9909-4/25/19

The family reunion was wonderful — reconnecting with beloved relatives and meeting new ones, too. I settled into my airplane aisle seat to return to Los Angeles, completely content about my summer vacation and ready to tackle the second year of graduate school at UCLA, which promised to be as exciting as the first.


Then came a jumble of people in the aisle, a frantic exclamation, and a hardcover suitcase tumbled out of the overhead and cracked into my head and shoulder.


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: 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: 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.


By: Genevieve L. Mougey (CNS)
Originally Appeared in : 9906-3/14/19

Lent. Food. Sacrifice. 40 days. Hunger.


These are all words we encounter in our conversations around this liturgical season. The act and ability to participate in Lent shifts dramatically over the course of a person’s lifetime.
From being “forced” by parents to give something up to the moment when a person chooses what to do without, Lent encourages seeking a deeper dynamism in life, to seek a fuller and deeper relationship with Christ. We embrace a call to great participation in the world around us, while still remembering we are Christ’s.


By: Father Herb Weber (CNS)
Originally Appeared in : 9905-2/28/19

There is very little that a priest does each week that requires so much attention as the Sunday homily. The homily can be a source of inspiration or it can be a stumbling block for many in the assembly. For the one who prepares and delivers it, it may be a unique opportunity for strengthening the call to discipleship.


By: David Gibson (CNS)
Originally Appeared in : 9905-2/28/19

Do I know what I truly believe? I hope so. For what people believe shapes their thinking and decisions, especially in key, consequential moments.


Were my beliefs different, I might “invest” myself differently than I do in the people and world around me. So I need to know what beliefs I aim to live by.


The question’s answer is essential to achieving the self-understanding that makes life go better.


I need to know who I am, and we need to know who we are. Shared beliefs create bonds among people, enabling them to act together in vital ways.


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