Faith Alive

By: Daniel S. Mulhall (CNS)
Originally Appeared in : 9904-2/14/19

I began my service as a lector in 1965 when I was 12 years old. Only a few months before (on Nov. 29, 1964), Masses were celebrated in English for the first time in the United States. So, you could say that I got my start on the ground floor.


By: Julianne Stanz (CNS)
Originally Appeared in : 9904-2/14/19

Catholics have often been falsely accused of not being regularly exposed to the Scriptures. While it has been true in the past that sprinkling conversation with the Scriptures has typically not been a part of Catholic culture, this has certainly changed over the years.


What many people do not realize, however, is that Catholics are deeply saturated in the word of God every time they attend Mass. Readings from Scripture are a sizeable part of every Mass.


By: Mike Nelson (CNS)
Originally Appeared in : 9902-1/17/19
The Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist comprise the lengthiest components of the Mass.
But neither can be fully effective — that is, capable of achieving full, conscious and active participation called for in “Sacrosanctum Concilium,” the Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy — without a proper celebration of what precedes them.
By: Maureen Pratt (CNS)
Originally Appeared in : 9902-1/17/19
With so much of our lives concentrated on work, personal and family responsibilities, and the inevitable detours to our carefully planned calendars, the arrival of Sunday Mass can sometimes find us breathless and far from spiritually or otherwise prepared to deeply participate in the liturgy.
By: Joseph F. Kelly (CNS)
Originally Appeared in : 9901-1/3/19
The arrival of the Magi may be the most famous part of Matthew’s infancy narrative.
What are some little-known elements in both scriptural and traditional accounts of the Magi?
They were three kings, right? Not so. Matthew says only “Magi,” but since they brought three gifts, many Christians thought that meant there were three of them. Magi were priests of the Persian religion, so they were men of high stature but definitely not kings, part of the account piously augmented in later centuries.
By: David Gibson (CNS)
Originally Appeared in : 9901-1/3/19

The action on the field during a particularly exciting football game often locks spectators in its grip. With minutes to go and everything hanging in the balance, spectators hold their breath, jump up and down or even pray. The moment consumes them.


By: Father Graham R. Golden, O. Praem. (CNS)
Originally Appeared in : 9826-12/20/18

As we journey through Advent each year we encounter a threefold sense of Christ's coming: in history, in mystery and in majesty.


The most concrete experience for many of us is a preparation for the Christmas season. This is when we celebrate and re-encounter the truth that Christ has come in history. We remember that the Messiah has come into our world and that salvation has been won.


By: Susan Hines-Brigger (CNS)
Originally Appeared in : 9826-12/20/18
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
That iconic line from the 1986 film “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” seems pretty off-base just a little more than a week away from Christmas, doesn’t it? Stop and look around? There’s no time for that.
There’s shopping and wrapping to be done. The house has to be cleaned and Christmas cards have to be mailed. Cookies need to be baked, plated up and distributed. Who’s got time to stop or slow down?
By: Father Geoffrey A. Brooke Jr. (CNS)
Originally Appeared in : 9825-12/6/18

Be watchful and Be alert! are two traditional spiritual commands often heard by Catholics during the Advent season in preparation for the birth of Christ at Christmas. To the contemporary Catholic, they can also present somewhat of a conundrum.


Being watchful and alert both imply a void, an emptiness, something lacking, an expectation to be fulfilled. On the other hand, the Advent season in today’s society seems to be an overflow of noise and images, these days all about Christmas.


By: Nancy De Flon (CNS)
Originally Appeared in : 9825-12/6/18

Advent is a season of expectation, of waiting for promises to be fulfilled — God’s promises, to our Israelite ancestors in the faith and to us. Isaiah promises the birth of a child named Emmanuel, “God with us.”


The prophet Malachi foretells the rising of the sun of righteousness (note those words in “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”). Zechariah prophesies that his son, John, will be the “prophet of the Most High.” In Nazareth a young virgin becomes pregnant under puzzling circumstances.



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