Tagged: christus vivit

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Growth Requires Strong Roots

America is a melting pot of various cultures and traditions. As American Catholics, we have a unique perspective on both the benefits and the challenges that this can bring as we seek to evangelize in our schools and communities. Multiculturalism, as Pope Francis describes it in several different speeches and letters, can help to bring people together in a new, enriched harmony but Francis acknowledges that it very easily can create a feeling that one...

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Not Mercenaries, but Missionary Disciples

“A missionary disciple is not a mercenary of the faith or a producer of proselytes, but rather a humble mendicant who feels the absence of brothers, sisters and mothers with whom to share the irrevocable gift of reconciliation that Jesus grants to all.”  –Pope Francis Homily at Holy MassSupachalasai National Stadium of Bangkok During his first full day of events in Thailand, Francis spoke to thousands during Mass in Bangkok’s national stadium. In his homily,...

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Dreams and Grace

Reading through Christus vivit recently, I found a section labeled “Dreams and visions” (§§192-197), a six-paragraph-long exegesis of Joel 3:1: “I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.” I would like to share a brief thought—or tell a brief story; and Pope Francis says in this section that the young tend to...

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Consider the Man

If you follow the news, especially Church news, you likely understand that there are few places on the internet or in the public square where faithful, orthodox Catholics can find respite. Anecdotally, it appears that there is a growing sense of discontent or even of despair. Pope Francis seems to be addressing this tendency in Christus Vivit: “Young people, do not let the world draw you only into things that are wrong and superficial. Learn...

Shepherds of the Young

Among the many issues that critics of Pope Francis took with Christus vivit, the apostolic exhortation that emerged from last year’s Youth Synod, a number focused on how the exhortation treated the fact that many teenagers and young adults have serious qualms about Church teachings and practices. Pope Francis and the Synod participants clearly realized that the more politically controversial aspects of Catholic belief present serious obstacles to communion for young people not predisposed to...

False News and What We Can Do About It

Where do you get your news? It’s funny how the answer to a seemingly innocent question can reveal so much about the person we’re talking to. Whether you read Vox, The Atlantic, or National Review; watch MSNBC, CNN, or Fox; or read the National Catholic Reporter, Catholic News Agency, or LifeSite News, revealing what sources you turn to can be like opening up a window into the soul.   In some ways, the media companies...

Going to the Peripheries

When Silence, Martin Scorsese’s epic film adaptation of the 1960s Japanese historical novel of the same title, hit theaters in late 2016, I was a master’s student at a mainline Protestant school of theology attached to a prominent private university. I was also in the process of entering the Catholic Church. I have a longstanding interest in Japan, my bachelor’s degree is in Japanese literature, and I was making a point of studying East Asian...

Our Father

For the past week, and up until just a couple days before Pentecost, the Gospel readings for daily Mass are from John’s recounting of the Last Supper. Here Jesus repeatedly speaks about, and prays to, “the Father.” I want to step back and reflect on that for a minute. God is completely and utterly beyond us. Take a second and try to imagine something, anything, that isn’t bound by space, time, and matter. We can’t...

Are You Called to Social Media?

Bishop Robert Barron has a wonderfully fresh perspective on social media and its use. See here and here. He criticizes the technology sharply, but he also embraces its more positive characteristics, even to the point of celebrating it as a spiritual phenomenon. But is it really possible to use social media well? Can one be on social media without impacting one’s moral or spiritual life? There are a few challenges to the good use of...

How vast the Father’s love for us

The picture on the top of this article is one of my favorite religious images. It’s an icon of the resurrection, specifically, of Jesus’ descent into “the place of the dead.” This is the event we remember every time we say the line in Apostles’ Creed, about Jesus “descended into hell.” After his death, Jesus went to the place where the righteous figures from the Old Testament were waiting for the Messiah to defeat sin...

We Are Called to Be Perfect

There is a dangerous attitude prevalent in the world that suggests we are completely responsible for our own transformation. Whatever we become, whatever we achieve, it is because of our human efforts–exclusively. In a Christian context, we call this Pelagianism. Those who embrace this attitude might think that the primary difference between us and the Saints is that the Saints worked harder, studied harder, and made more intense sacrifices, for which God then blessed them....

Don’t Kill Their Joy

Pope Francis often makes a clear distinction between what he sees as a cold recitation of the Church’s doctrine and a vibrant encounter with the person of Jesus Christ. One of the clearest statements along these lines was in Amoris Laetitia, in which Francis wrote, “Rather than offering the healing power of grace and the light of the Gospel message, some would ‘indoctrinate’ that message, turning it into ‘dead stones to be hurled at others’.”...

Christus Vivit: Calling All Young People

“Young people can help keep [the Church] young,” says Pope Francis in his new Apostolic Exhortation, Christus Vivit.  “Young people can offer the Church the beauty of youth by renewing her ability to ‘rejoice with new beginnings, to give unreservedly of herself, to be renewed and to set out for ever greater accomplishments’.” (Paragraph 37) This brief survey of the document is not meant to replace a full reading. Do not be deceived by the...